Categories
Bakery Café

Brasserie Bread – Banksmeadow NSW Cafe Review

Another day, another feed. Today’s breakfast was eaten at Brasserie Bread, a bakery and cafe a mere ten minutes walk from our home.

The bulk of this review is actually about the second time I ate food from Brasserie Bread – the first time was a couple of takeaway sandwiches following a night shift several weeks before. The Smoked Chicken Sambo with avo, provolone cheese, roast tomato & aioli ($14) was quite good, while The Brasserie BLT Sambo with bacon, iceberg, tomato on Sourdough Batard ($12) was very middling.

While the wait for just a couple of sandwiches the first time felt like forever, the wait for dining in was actually very minimal. This is my story.

This glossy looking rhubarb and strawberry tart I must admit was only okay. I thought it was a bit too cakey and not tarty enough for my liking. Beautiful, though.

The apple crumble, in contrast, was relatively divine. Absolutely great interplay of crispy pastry textures, crumble, apple, and sauce.

My partner ordered the Eggs Your Way on Toast with Pepe Saya Butter, a mere $10 for a delicious and wholesome meal. She loved it so much that I caught her making heart eyes at the perfectly liquid yolk atop Pepe’s cultured butter. The chorizo that I spent $4 adding on was a waste – an absolutely not necessary addition to this already perfect dish.

The Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Sambo with housemade pickled cabbage slaw ($14), in comparison with the simple wholesomeness of the eggs on toast, was a letdown. I found the beef a bit unflavourful, a disappointment matched with its boring texture. Not even the yummy pickled cabbage slaw and sauce could save it. The second letdown of the dish was the oppressive quantity of soft crusty bread. I understand that Brasserie Bread is first and foremost a bakery, but I feel that they really missed the mark on the filling to bread ratio, and consequently I cannot recommend this sandwich.

COMMENT

I liked the little pastries and I liked the simple toast and eggs. The beef brisket sandwich was a bit of a letdown, but from memory their smoked chicken sandwich was actually quite nice. It was a cheap and cheerful local breakfast.

4/5 sauerkrauts

Brasserie Bread
1737 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow NSW 2019
1300 966 845

Categories
Café Middle Eastern

Kepos Street Kitchen – Redfern NSW Cafe Review

Kepos Street Kitchen came highly recommended by a vegetarian colleague of ours. Naturally we went without him to share a meat-heavy meal before a swing at nearby Moore Park.

The Charred broccolini salad, shredded chicken, coarse burghul, herbs ($18) was delicious. As a group we are not the biggest fans of salad, but all members of our party ended up enjoying it. There is a surprisingly generous amount of chicken tucked in with all the greens and grains.

The Burrata cheese, Persian eggplant, pine nuts, volcanic salt ($22) was pretty good. The cheese was firm on the outside and less firm on the inside, as expected. The real star of this dish was the crusty, freshly toasted bread. Delicious.

The Grilled prawns, chermoula, grilled lemon ($27) came with five prawns. The prawns were quite large and tasty, and the lemon was too (though I was tricked by a colleague into an entire quarter of the lemon pictured in one mouthful by itself). I’m still trying to come to terms with paying $5.40 per prawn though.

Kepos meatball sub, coriander paste, grated haloumi, ciabatta ($18) was very good. Plenty of meat and red sauce on crusty warm bread. Very yum and a good serving of meat. A strong recommendation for this one.

The Arayes pita of wagyu mince seasoned with parsley, onion, olive oil, cumin and paprika, chili tomato salad, tahini, pita ($18) started off good, however quickly we found it to be too flavourful and too saucy. You will recognise this complaint of “too tasty” from many of my reviews, and in this case you can rest assured that this was a view that was held by the majority of our group. I would not recommend Kepos Street Kitchen’s Arayes pita.

Pictured here is a half serve of chips, which were provided complimentary as they had forgotten to make our chips. Even this half serving was quite a lot of chips. The chips were fresh and fluffy on the inside, with a cripsy exterior. They may just be the best hot chips I’ve had in a long long time. There’s definitely something special going on, owing perhaps to a proprietary cooking method. At $7 (for twice the chips listed) I would give them a go.

Overall

Pretty much everything we had hit the spot. I can recommend.

5/5

Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos St, Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9319 3919

Categories
Latin American

Pochito – Mascot NSW Restaurant Review

Having to drive my previously-slightly-inebriated partner to work following a night out meant that I had an excuse to try one of our local cafes on the way back home. Pochito, one of Sydney’s few homes of empanadas and other Chilean cuisine, was next on my hit list.

Pochito, as the story is told by its owners, means the feeling of sleepiness induced by a meal. While I can’t find such a translation online from Spanish, what I can find is that pochito means kidnapping in Russian. Something to think about.

Chicken and mushroom, Four cheese empanadas.

After having a seat at a table of my choice (all tables were free), I indulged in three of Pochito’s specialty empanadas.

The four cheese empanada ($5) was too cheesy for me. It’s a stupid thought to put down on paper, but I’m sticking to my guns. Apart from the cheesiness there was not much other flavour. The chicken and mushroom empanada ($6) was quite creamy, not bad, but not as good as our third contestant. My partner thought that both the four cheese and chicken and mushroom empanadas were missable.

The traditional beef empanada ($6) was by far my. It had a tasty filling of beef, egg, and onion, as well as some olive and sultana that I wasn’t quite able to appreciate. This was served with a dish of coriander salsa, which was delicious.

The Lomito Sandwich ($12) is a Chilean specialty, and really delicious. Included within its milk bun was a generous serving of marinated pork loin mixed with smashed avocado, a tasty, juicy slice of tomato, and a lot of mayonnaise. I actually ordered the lomito after I had finished my half of the empanadas, as they had not quite hit the spot. I’m glad that I did. The lomito sandwich really is special.

DISCUSSION

Pochito is a family run business, and during my visit I interacted with multiple family members, who were all quite nice and welcoming. At one point during my meal the owner of the restaurant came by and asked me if I was a foodie. I must admit that I was too embarrassed to say that was, and basically lied through my teeth and told her no. She said something along the lines of “I guess everyone needs to eat to stay alive though.”

Sorry Paulina.

4.5/5, mostly for lomito. (Empanadas alone 3.5/5)

Pochito Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Café

Culture Bean – Kogarah NSW Cafe Review

I would estimate that I’ve been to Culture Bean thirty to forty times over the past twelve months. Located on absolute prime real estate across the road from St George Hospital, Culture Bean is the leading off-campus provider of coffee and food to my starving colleagues whilst also commanding its own customer base from the wider community. Culture Bean is the favourite local cafe of one of our consultant intensivists in particular, but also known to frequented by everyone else we work with.

The reasons behind the fact that I’ve got very few photos to show for the sheer volume of food I’ve consumed from Culture Bean is multifactorial. It’s a bit embarassing to take photos of food in front of colleagues at work, especially bosses. Each meal also becomes less special the more you eat somewhere, and therefore in the mind less worthy of photography, even if you never took any photos to start with.

Bacon and egg sandwich

The bacon and egg sandwich ($11.50), not to be confused with the bacon and egg roll, is a fully featured, stuffed with ingredients sandwich featuring egg, rocket, halloumi, heaps of bacon, and your choice of sauce (default is hollandaise and barbecue). It is very filling, and the flavours are perfectly balanced. It is much better than the bacon and egg roll ($7), which I feel to be a bit too bread heavy and dry in comparison.

The mainstay of management at Culture Bean is their fantastically good value egg and haloumi slider and regular coffee combo ($8). These hot little sliders can be optioned with a vast array of sauces if you know to ask (otherwise you will be given barbecue), and make for a great post-ward round snack. The coffee at Culture Bean is from Gabriel Coffee, and is always of good quality.

Acai Bowl

Culture Bean’s literally award winning Acai Bowl ($16) is pretty OK. My first acai bowl ever and was just fine, not mindblowing. Knowing this is apparently one of the best in Sydney did not make me want to get any more acai bowls from anywhere else.

I have enjoyed the bocconcini pesto sandwich but wish it would have some meat in it. Conversely, I have also had the chicken pesto sandwich and wished it were less dry, and thought it could perhaps benefit from some bocconcini in it. Culture Bean would really be onto something if they could put both chicken and bocconcini in the same sandwich.

The Pulled Pork Burger ($10) is a good value burger full of saucy, wet pulled pork and a carroty Asian slaw. It’s quite nice and pretty cheap, but make sure you have some paper towels nearby as it does get quite wet.

Blue Heaven

I tried the Blue Heaven ($16) with blue spirulina, banana, mango, kiwi, goji & dragon fruit one day after a night shift. While I liked the dragon fruit I wasn’t a big fan of the other fruit, nor was I a fan of the weird blue colour. Just not really my thing to be honest, maybe other people like this.

I enjoyed the Culture Burger ($12.50), which is essentially a chicken thigh burger in an activated charcoal bun. They are able to do this is a normal bun if you ask, which I tend to do since I’m not really sure if activated charcoal is good for you or bad for you.

COMMENTS / VERDICT

I feel AWFUL that the staff at Culture Bean know my name and I don’t know theirs. The service is always really nice and friendly, and the food pretty good too. I always feel guilty when I walk past Culture Bean to go to Concrete Jungle/Cafe 959 and the guys at Culture Bean just look at me with this look of sadness. They are my home cafe but sometimes I want something different. Definitely the best place in easy reach of the hospital (but sadly out of Spectralink reception).

5/5

Culture Bean Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Bakery Café

Humble Bakery – Surry Hills NSW Cafe Review

“Humble Bakery is pretty humble and quiet,” my friend said to me after my visit yesterday, “don’t let too many people know.”

“Don’t worry.” I replied. “No one reads my blog anyway.”

Humble Bakery is located on Holt St in Surry Hills, surrounded by plenty of ticketed parking. Venture around the corner onto Hart St, however, and you might just be able to snag a free one hour park. The cafe has high ceilings, large light-filled windows, and an open kitchen, allowing curious diners the opportunity to surreptitiously take photos of their work.

I had brunch on a Sunday morning with just one other customer around a large communal table, with room for at least another ten and some more classic dining tables on the back platform. While Humble Bakery might have been able to fly under the radar up to now, the quality of its offerings suggest to me that this anonymity is unlikely to last, regardless of what kind of review I empty into the river.

The Croissant around LP’s Pig Head Sausage ($10) is widely lauded but I think ultimately not as great as it could be. LP’s smallgoods are generally unfaultable, and it’s hard to not like a dish that incorporates them. The missing X factor is the croissant (ie. the Bakery’s domain), which I felt was colder than it should’ve been. I feel like this kind of croissant sausage roll should be warm inside and out, and even though I was eating in it just felt lukewarm. Not really a great buy for $10, I wouldn’t recommend this.

Pork Belly Roll with kimchi, carrot, jalapenos and mayonnaise ($18)

The Pork Belly Roll with kimchi, carrot, jalapenos and mayonnaise ($18) is truly very good. The bread is fresh and warm, perfect for soaking up all of the flavourful juices of the roll. The pork belly is undersold on the menu – there is no mention of it being five spice pork belly, and an accurate representation of it at that. The kimchi, carrot, and jalapenos (mild) add a delicious freshness to the roll. This was a really great sandwich, much better than the LP’s pig head croissant, and one that I would strongly recommend. A surprisingly coherent Asian fusion roll – just don’t compare it to your local Hot Bread store’s in terms of price.

VERDICT
My meal started off weak but ended up strong. I’d like to come back to Humble Bakery when I get the chance.

Four out of five spices

Humble Bakery
50 Holt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Humble Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato