Friday, August 29, 2014

My Sweet Memory

Jenny: Eh, since you like green tea latte right, you should try MSM.
Me: Where ah?
Jenny: MSM la. Got one down the road from my house and got another one near Town Hall.

And my infatuation with MSM's green tea latte ($4.70) began (not a very flattering shot of it below)...


When a friend from KL visited, we had dessert at their Strathfield branch. We shared a slice of red velvet ($6.95). We felt that perhaps it had been in the fridge for a tad too long, as it wasn't as moist as we would have liked it to be.


My Sweet Memory on Urbanspoon

3 & 4 Symond Arcade, 12 Churchill Avenue, Strathfield, NSW 2135, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 9267 2003
Daily 6:30am to midnight

The nearest branch to where we are is located in Chatswood. Proves to be a popular place to hangout, as almost each time we were there, we had to wait for a table.


And like the other branches, I like their interior decor...


They have a wide selection of colourful cakes on display...


Didn't help that the last time we were there, we were seated right next to the display above. After a while, we all felt that we had to have some of these sweetening (and fattening) goodness. We really enjoyed the richness of the triple chocolate mud cake ($6.95):


After we demolished that slice, we felt that we needed more. We added a slice of Oreo cheesecake to our order and yum, the crunchy bits of Oreo biscuit provided a contrast to the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the cheesecake:


D and S ordered a smoothie each. Both very refreshing.


My Sweet Memory on Urbanspoon

My Sweet Memory Dessert Cafe & Stationery
Shop 4, 370 Victoria Road, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 8756 5015
Daily 6:30am to midnight

At their Town Hall branch, we also saw that they sell Beerenberg jams, mustard chutneys and relishes. The names of each flavour caught my attention; The Apricot Jam that Sally always makes time for, The mildly spiced Bavarian Mustard the Robert turned into a habit, Blueberry Jam - the first thing that Aunty Natasha puts on the breakfast table, The Caramelised Onion that Dean hates to share, The Original Strawberry Jam from Grandma's Pan, Whenever Roger travels, so does his Sweet Chilli Relish...


So far, I have enjoyed all my visits to their branches. I have not bought anything off their shelves. Yet.

My Sweet Memory on Urbanspoon

My Sweet Memory Dessert Cafe & Stationery
95 Bathurst Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 8971 7465
Daily 7:00am to midnight

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reuben Hills

Am going to try something different with this post. Am going to use just one-liners for each photo. Hah, tough for a long-winded person like moi. Here goes...

Easy to spot the cafe with its simple, no fuss signage and wooden outdoor furniture for patrons who prefer the sun and fresh air (don't know how fresh it would be with passing vehicles)...


The unassuming exterior contrasts the former printing factory turned purpose-designed coffee shrine interior...


Other than the intoxicating aroma of coffee, the catchy (and explicit) names on the menu caught my attention...


Haha, pretty sure they don't use Nescafe here...


Enjoyed my mocha ($4.00) heaps...


The Dirty Bird ($17.50) is a pretty big mouthful of spicy grilled chicken, tomatillo salsa, cheese, pickles and chipotali aioli on brioche...


The NOT Reuben ($18.00) is a wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego and horse cream radish on rye...


And my favourite, soft baked eggs with jam on, spinach, ranchero and rye ($18.00)...


Central and Southern American influenced, obviously and one other drink on their menu which is a must-have according to both flatmates: salted caramel milkshake ($8.50). My next visit will see me trying the Really fucking great fried chicken, just to find out how fucking great it is :)

Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon

Reuben Hills
61 Albion Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 9211 5556
Sunday 7:30am to 4:00pm
Monday to Saturday 7:00am to 4:00pm

Friday, August 15, 2014

Element6

It was by chance that I found out about this cafe. To be exact, it was through a friend's Facebook photograph check-in. West Ryde? Cafe? Oooh, that caught my attention alright.... and that was almost 2 years ago! Funny how the nearer the establishment is, the less often they would cross your mind when thinking of where to go for brunch. However, since visiting the first time, I have returned several other times, each time with a different group of friends.

The cafe is not huge and if you choose to visit on weekends, be prepared to wait a bit. They are conveniently located just across the road from West Ryde station, the same side of the tracks as the leagues club.

I quite like their interior, or according to friends, I like anything that is wood and a la natural. 


A smile stole a few seconds to appear on my face as I noticed a cardboard moose head on the wall near the entrance. Reminded me of The Rag Land.


They do Five Senses here and they make my mocha just the way I like it, even with a quirky vintage teaspoon.

Mocha with Molten Belgian Chocolate $4.50

Friends who tried the iced versions of their coffees liked them, too, especially the one with the additional ice-cream. A must have during the warmer months.

Stateside iced coffee $4.00

Stateside iced coffee with additional Serendipity ice-cream $6.00

They also have a selection of smoothies and in my opinion, they could be a meal on their own judging from the ingredients! Health(ier) option to coffee? Hm...

Honeybee smoothie (bananas, cinnamon, yoghurt, honey, ice-cream) $6.50

Breakfast is served from 7:00am to noon on weekdays and from 7:30am to 2:30pm on Saturday. Only once out of the several visits was I there after midday, so I have managed to sample all my staple brunch selections. 

If you like the combination of butterscotch and salty peanut, this is for you; their cinnamon ricotta waffles with banana, blueberries, butterscotch, salty peanut praline and Serendipity ice-cream ($12.00).


For a French toast addict like me, I have mixed feelings regarding the French toast here, as each time I come, the toast was served differently - sometimes it had that perfect crunchy outside, fluffy inside texture and other times, it was just soggy. Nevertheless, when done well, their French toast with ricotta, poached fruit, pistachios and Canadian maple syrup ($11.50) is my favourite on their menu.


Ever tried to have pancakes with bacon? The additional bacon ($3.50) tasted surprisingly good with pancakes, especially when drizzled with maple syrup. Not advisable to order this if you have had a 'main', we had a hard time finishing this!


One dish that they are famous for is the Moroccan spiced baked eggs with chickpea, eggplant, haloumi, zhough and zaatar served with pita bread ($16.50).


Tastefully presented on a board, it came sizzling (baking?) hot and I had to constantly remind myself to be careful not to accidentally burn myself!


If you are like me and like your eggs runny like the above, you will enjoy this dish, too! It definitely shouted out Mediterranean with the use of herbs and spices and because it had so much chickpea, this was one extremely filling dish.

Element 6 on Urbanspoon

Element6
65 Ryedale Road, West Ryde, NSW 2114, Australia
Tel: +61 2 8021 2838
Monday to Friday 6:30am to 3:00pm
Saturday 7:00am to 3:00pm
Sunday 8:00am to 3:00pm

Friday, August 08, 2014

Lorraine's Patisserie

Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of George Street is a little patisserie named after its owner, Lorraine. Lorraine Godsmark used to work as head pastry chef alongside Neil Perry for 10 years and with that experience, she then opened two other cafes in the years to come until she joined the Merivale Group, where she is now head pastry chef of Palings Kitchen & Bar and Lorraine's Patisserie.


The place is not huge but functional and not one where you order, sit down and wait to be served. It is all to-go here, which we do not mind, really. Who would when the pastry here is absolutely delectable?


The Rosebud Marshmallow ($2.50) intrigued us, as it was the first time we saw gluten-free marshmallow. We bought a bag of these rosewater and raspberry marshmallow with raspberry jelly dipped in dark chocolate. We found it just average perhaps more due to the fact that our tastebuds are not used to gluten-free food than it being not tasty. On a personal note, I liked the dark chocolate that hugged the bottom of the marshies...


But the Mascarpone Cake ($8 per slice), we are big fans of. Or at least, I am. I seem to enjoy multilayered cakes like this which has mascarpone layered with crisp coconut dacquoise and sliced strawberries. Perhaps I like the conflicting textures in my mouth as I chew. The toffee-like torched crunchy upper-most layer and slices of fresh strawberries just add to its cakesomeness. Highly not recommended for people who do not like coconut, though (just had to mention this in case anyone reading is like my flatmate - she ended up enjoying it though, teehee).


Must visit again soon to try the other things displayed and to watch the whole team in action in the kitchen - passionate people at work, just inspirational!


Lorraine's Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Lorraine's Patisserie
Shop 5, Palings Lane, 320 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
Tel: +61 2 9254 8009
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm
Saturday 9:00am to 4:00pm

Friday, August 01, 2014

Mooberry Dessert & Breakfast Bar Neutral Bay

When I received an e-mail from a 'Mooberry', I went, "Who? What?" and when I found out that they sell frozen yoghurt, I instantly thought of Moo Cow back in Malaysia. Golly, this frozen yoghurt business is no joke, hey?

According to Wikipedia, frozen yoghurt (also called froyo or frogurt) is a frozen dessert made from yoghurt and other dairy products. It is also a leaner version of ice-cream due to the use of milk instead of cream. Interestingly, not all froyo contains live and active bacteria cultures. I have always (ignorantly) assumed that anything with yoghurt would!

Promptly, I scanned the e-mail for a phrase that allowed me to bring a plus one. When I found it, I quickly forwarded the e-mail to my Cancerian flatmate, D, with a, "Mau pergi tak?" and within the minute, she replied with an, "I want!" Haha, who would not want to be spoilt on dessert?

After an e-mail and phone call or two, D and I made arrangements to meet there directly at 6:30pm, since I was traveling from Gordon and she from the city. For those driving, there is limited street parking so I am guessing that you would have to park along the suburban streets that branch off Military Road. For public transport commuters like D and I, the buses stop just a few steps away from the store, or just four palm trees away, to be exact.


Since opening in inner west Newtown, Janine and John recently launched their third independently owned Mooberry store in the harbour-side suburb of Neutral Bay to much fanfare with sponsors like Porsche and Patron Tequila among others. Apparently, their flagship three-level store in Neutral Bay is known for its signature dishes of brownie coconut sandwich, handmade sweet and savoury waffle, as well as churros with Belgian chocolate.


We were welcomed by not just friendly service but also a hand-fitted quirky grass wall, which I felt help exude a laid-back vibe. D and I ran our fingers through it and went, "Wah, grass wall..."


According to Jamie, the uber friendly store manager, their froyo has better texture than others because they use a really good machine and they make the froyo fresh in-store daily. He also cheekily admitted that he may be a tad biased... haha. There are six flavours to choose from - original, chocolate, passionfruit, coconut, apple pie and pomegranate. 


Look at 'em adorable little moo-moos

Their selection of toppings range from colourful M&M's chocolates and chewy gummy bears to burst-in-your-mouth pearls and freshly cut fruit cubes.




D chose to have pomegranate with strawberry and lychee pearls as toppings while I chose to have original with kiwi and mango pearls.


In comparison, we preferred the original flavour to the pomegranate but enjoyed both nonetheless. As usual, had lots of fun 'popping' the pearls in our mouths.


Each table had flowers and we could choose to sit outdoors, at tables with their bright pink and white metal stools indoors on all three levels or lean against their clear glass panels on the ground floor. There is refillable water in the corner next to the coffee machine. Helps to wash all that dessert down the system. 


As D and I were testing which spot had the best lighting for shots, Jamie approached us with two big bright yellow cups balanced on matching saucers. One was Belgian hot chocolate while the other was salted caramel hot chocolate. As he placed the cup of salted caramel hot chocolate on the table, he said, "This is really good..." and both of us concur! XW, we have to bring you here for this! becausei'mhappy...


A few photo shots later, we were presented with a Belgian chocolate drizzled Wicked Waffle with chocolate froyo, strawberries and banana on the side. The waffle was still warm when it was served. It was also crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - perfect. We noticed the chocolate a little more with this second course. becausei'mhappy...


Our third course was freshly baked churros sticks, which we really liked. We have only ever had this Spanish doughnut in its traditional fried form at other dessert places, which unfortunately resemble fat oil-soaked dough sticks. We were glad that these churros were not as thick, not as oil-soaked and did not leave us feeling, "Ugh, I feel sick..." after just one stick. Instead, these were light, crunchy, and super fragrant from the cinnamon. I found out later from Jamie the reason for this - they do not fry their churros, they bake 'em. becausei'mhappy...


D made a special mention of their chocolate. "You know I am not a dessert person but this, this, this is soooo goooddd... it's not too thick, not overpoweringly sweet and if one of my friends were here, he would lick every last drop of this off everything!" Jamie showed me the Belgian chocolate that they source directly from Belgium. I decided not to share the brand here in case it is a trade secret. If you choose not to come here for their froyo, please do come for their chocolate.

We were impressed with the steady stream of customers. When I asked Jamie if their customers are mainly locals, he revealed that they also have customers who travel from the West. Hm, wouldn't travelling to their Rhodes store be nearer? Apparently, their Rhodes outlet is also popular for their coffee, as it is Campos coffee. Can't fault Campos coffee, can we?

A little tip: for payments under $10, it would be a better idea to pay by cash, as there is a surcharge of 50 cents should you opt to pay by the plastic card. But if paying 50 cents is more appealing than walking to the nearest ATM, then just swipe that plastic card of yours.

There is a branch of Dymocks round the corner for you to grab a book if you run out of something to read. There is free wi-fi for you to connect your lappie or tablet to if you want to just chill and surf the internet on their quiet third level. Or, you could simply order a few things from their menu and just stare out their window from upstairs to watch the world pass you by on busy Military Road.

A big thank you to Mooberry for the complimentary tasting session. We thoroughly enjoyed our dose of sweetness in chocolate heaven and as we waited for the bus, D warned, "Don't blame me if I bounce off the walls when I get home!"

Haha, I won't! becausei'mhappy...

MooBerry Dessert & Breakfast Bar on Urbanspoon

Mooberry Dessert & Breakfast Bar Neutral Bay
Shop 2, 164 Military Road, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089, Australia.
Tel: +61 2 8957 9758, E-mail: neutralbay@mooberry.com.au
Monday to Thursday 11:00am to 11:00pm
Friday 11:00am to midnight
Saturday 8:00am to midnight
Sunday 8:00am to 11:00pm

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