Where to go for street hawker Thai in Sydney CBD @ Abb Air

Beneath the simple allure of Abb Air’s menu lies a multitude of flavours, each with its own story. The recipes of Abb Air have been passed down through generations preserving the traditional Thai taste. Using fresh herbs, authentic spices, fresh ingredients and exotic seasoning, they redefine traditional dishes to ensure all customers receive an unparalleled Thai dining experience.

In Thailand, there is no such thing as a starter, main or dessert.  There is also no one person at the table a dish belongs to.  The number of dishes ordered equal the number of diners sat down to eat and everything is shared and enjoyed together.

Chef Oliver, Chef Aoody, Chef Prem have combined decades of experience, a fountain of knowledge and heart into creating the contemporary Thai menu.  A trio of ‘Chef’s Recommendations’ showcases the cohesiveness in their respective specialities and experience. 

The Chef’s Recommended dish is called “LOVE” – a crab stick roll with enoki mushroom and fish wrapped in seawood and jeweled with salmon roe – the combination of flavors living up to the expectations of the art form that’s served to the table. Freshness of the seafood and smokiness in the mushroom ends with bursts of roe.  The dish living up to its name in taste and also beauty.  

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The pork sausage is lean weaving in gluttonous rice, while the chive dumplings are crisp on the outside and topped with deep fried garlic and was a great accompaniment.  

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A selection of mains revolve around heat.   Papaya Salad and the Red Duck Curry were beautifully executed, much in the same way you would expect on the street stalls of Bangkok, balanced out with the original fried rice. 

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There’s something classy about soft shell crab with crispy fried greens, taking street food to a new level. 

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The Hotpot is the essential winter warmer, a broth that’s prepared for hours with mixed seafood absorbing that intense flavor. 

A luxurious velvetty theme of Pandan, a lime coloured asian vanilla flavour that themes their desserts and some of their ice tea.

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The communal  dining experience, the social nature of Thai people embodied by the staff and it’s central location in World Square make it a great meeting point for a catchup while enjoying over modern interpretations of Thai classics. 

Joseph Lloyd, contributor.

 

Abb Air: Thai Cuisine 1982 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go in Vancouver: Part 2

Grouse Mountain

Pay your admission to Grouse mountain for $56 for adults or a whole family for $150 and you get a skyride round trip and peak chair ride. In the park there’s also plenty of activities like a skyride (aerial tram), a bird demonstration, a lumberjack show, a chairlift, zip line, shopping, dining and more. You can also go on guided walks or hear ranger talks.
If you want to do a Zipline, mountain biking, heli tours, it is an extra cost.

The skyride up and down was a 6 minute cable car with amazing views of Vancouver and fits about 90 people.

The lumberjack show was great, a little comedic but was worth a watch to see the entertainment and skills. We also enjoyed the bird show with the host showing a few different birds, teaching us about them and seeing their skills demonstrated.

It is also home to two grizzly bears called Grinder and Coola and we enjoyed watching them in the water playing with food and eating.

We did the ridge walk (about 1.5 hour walk up), quite challenging to get to the top in the heat, but once up there it had a 360 degree panoramic views. If you’re up for more of a challenge, you can do the grouse grind, a solid walk from the car park to the mountain (instead of the skyride).

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Granville Island

It has heaps of boutiques and galleries selling souvenirs, art, native art, clothing, jewellery. There’s also plenty of food in the public market from bakeries to fish and chips and sushi. We grabbed lemon donut and tasted a couple of other things. There’s also restaurants and a brewery. We tried out a beer flight and a cider at the brewery. You can pick the beers you want in the flight. They even had a beer called the. baconator with smoked malt. It’s a super busy place but just line up a short time and you’ll get in. Staff are friendly and efficient.There’s plenty there for kids too, so the whole family can certainly go. You can drive over the bridge there, catch a bus from Olympic station or catch a cute little tugboat ferry for $4.50 one way or $7.50 return.

Granville Island boat rentals

This was one of the best activities we undertook whist in Vancouver. Rent your own private speed boat to explore the coastline of Vancouver. You don’t need a license, not have driven a boat before. That tag line sucked us in quick. They show you how to use the boat and give the driver a temporary license. You can explore east or west (to the waterfalls – a 4 hour trip) and we picked the west (a 3 hour trip), passing Stanley Park, the lighthouse, Bowen island, fishing and watching the seals. This is a super good activity for a small group. We hired the 17ft-90hp which carries max 5 people and has a stereo. $50 per hour (for 4 hours or more). It’s an extra $10 on weekends. It ends up being quite expensive. We stopped at Bowen Island to explore and even went to a bistro and had a meal. This was superb! What an awesome activity. We loved it.

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Rustique Bistro

This was a great find on Bowen Island – the food was amazing!

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We tried Brussel sprouts, a poke bowl, Cobb salad and a halibut fish as as well as truffle Parmesan fries. The staff were lovely and food came out super fast. They also sell alcohol and coffees. Worth a visit if you’re on this island.

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Gastown

Vancouver grew from this historic location, Vancouver’s oldest town. There is a steam whistle clock and a commercial district with boutiques, restaurants, bars and a interesting array of things to look at. More the boutique style of shop, plenty of homewares stores and expensive art. An easy walk from pretty much anywhere in downtown Vancouver. It’s not exciting but if you’re keen to look around and grab a bite to eat, pop on down.

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Here you’ll find Nemesis Coffee which is probably the best coffee you’ll find in Vancouver. All your regular types, cold brew, filtered and more. They also have a delicious range of pastries and food you can order as well. Another good specialty coffee shop was revolver, where you can do a coffee tasting flight consisting of esspresso and milk based coffee.

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Yaletown

Streets of warehouse style buildings full of restaurants, bars and large patios. There’s also boutique stores and salons and worth a look around. Free wi Fi all around the streets too.

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Tap and barrel Brewery

A huge brewery in North Vancouver selling a huge range of beers from across Canada. We tried out a flight and a cider at the brewery. You can pick the beers you want in the flight. We tried the bridge blood orange, beere pale ale (our favourite), brew hall and twin sails IPA’s, and a fat tug. It’s a good way to sample a few beers. We also tried a cocktail and a gin. The food here is also good, we had a few things including the poke bowl and tuna tataki.

Bridal Veil falls

If you’re heading on a drive to Harrison, Bridal Falls is somewhere worth stopping on the way. A beautiful waterfall to admire.A little bit of a trek up so take your hiking boots.

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Harrison

1.5 – 2 hours from North Vancouver pending traffic. It’s a resort destination with hot springs, trail walks, boating and fishing activities. The watersports include an inflatable water park, sea doo rentals, bumper boats, banana tube rides and kayaking. Can be accessed through a day pass 11am-6pm and it has a big water park with inflatable slides etc. We paid our entry, which is $33 each and you get tugged out to the park. It’s good fun, hard work climbing all the equipment.

The hot springs can be visited via the public pool or hot springs resort.

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Squamish

Take a drive about 1 hour towards whistler and pass through this cute little town surrounded by the chief mountains. You can climb three different peaks here, of three different challenging levels. The second peak is for the regular hiker and don’t attempt 1 unless you’re a seasoned climber.

We ate at Zephyr health food cafe and it’s frequented by a hippie crowd. A good range of brekkie and lunch food like salads and soups. hI got a quinoa salad with with chicken and a satay dressing as well as a orange juice. They also sell vegetarian and vegan food. It was a super long wait (long line) but the food was good.

We also got a big burger at Copper Coil called the Chief – with AAA beef, pulled pork smoked in house, smoked gouda, aioli. It was a pretty good burger – massive and super filling. As a side, we got the poutine: skin on fries, traditional gravy, cheese curd. This place has other stuff like crab cakes, chicken wings and popcorn shrimp.

Alice Lake

A large lake where you can swim, hire paddle boards and kayaks. There was plenty of people here for the holidays. There’s also room to camp and bring your RV.

Cat Lake

Not far from Alice Lake but the entrance is less obvious. A lake shaped like a cat but quite large and lots of people swimming. There’s also a rope swing for the lake. You can also camp here (no fires) and there’s lots of signs about bears and protecting your belongings from bears.

Shannon falls

A spot to stop on or from Squamish. There isn’t much parking but if you manage a spot, the parks and bathrooms are nice and it is only a short walk to the falls on a gravel track. A pretty place to visit.

 

Where to go in Vancouver: part 1

Vancouver, Canada is a stunning city, surrounded by  a multitude of mountains and also the Pacific Ocean. The climate is temperate, this making it very easy to be active in summer and spring (and snow activities in winter) but do remember that Vancouver is considered a rainforest, so precipitation should be expected, We were there in late July and luck enough to avoid any rain. The city is very multicultural and thus reflected in cuisines on offer.

As we were in Vancouver for over a week and there’s plenty to do, blog is split in two for readability.

Where to stay

We were lucky enough to have accomodation with our cousin in North Vancouver. We loved this area for its scenery. We would otherwise recommend staying in the city, there’s plenry of hotels, you could also hire a camper van and travel around and we would recommend a night or two at whistler to make the most of the sights to see there.

Where to go

Stanley Park

You simply cannot visit Vancouver without visiting Stanley Park. This large Park with enormous trees of some age and surrounded by the ocean is simply beautiful and is home to a multitude of things to see and do.

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Cycle

We visited in summer and so decided to hire a Shaw mobi bike which comes with a helmet. Rental is $9 for the first 30 minutes and $5 for every 30 minutes after. We cycled the Seawall of the park, which ends up being about 6 k and 13 for us since we kept riding to the other end the city. These are good bikes because you can return them to other docks in other locations rather than to store like those so that hire them there. It is an easy flat ride that will gave you take in ocean views as you ride under the Lions Gate bridge past the pool, beaches, lawn bowls, volleyball court as well as the pitch and putt makes for a scenic cycle.

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Golf

On our last day we decided to have a round of pitch and putt. The holes are all less than 100 meters, so you don’t have to be a big hitter. A round of 18 holes including, clubs, balls and tees set us back $26 each. This activity is fun for everyone, it will have you enjoy the park in a different way and is a great way to be outdoors and active.

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Walk

There are many different walking tracks within Stanley park. Walk the perimeter with ocean views or walk through the centre and be mystified by giant trees, there are also many pretty gardens throughout, duck ponds and first nation artworks including totems.

Prospect Point viewpoint

Great view of the harbour and north Vancouver, it’s right in the middle at the tip of the park so hard to get to unless you’re on the hop on/hop off bus or drive. Or if you’re biking or walking around. We walked about 30 Mins to get out.

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Prospect Point cafe

Prospect point will provide you with some lovely views. The cafe is set right at the tip of Prospect Point and takes advantage of these views. It has a cafe at the front and a bar and grill inside. We sat out on the deck with a beautiful view of the harbour. The staff were lovely and helpful. The food being prepared was a little slow but we didn’t care too much since it was a lovely view. We got a cold seafood platter to share, and it was beautifully presented with cleaned crab claws, marinated tuna ceviche (or sashimi really), poached prawns, clams and mussels and smoked salmon. For $49 this is extremely good value. You can also get salads, burgers and more. They also have half sized meals for those of you not so hungry. They sell beers, soft drinks and coffees so it’s suitable for any crowd.

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Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Located in North Vancouver BC, about 3 in from downtown. You can easily get a bus or a free shuttle from Canada Place. the Capilano Suspension Bridge is part of a bigger park with the famous 450 foot bridge, a cliff walk, rainforest canopy, sweeping views, lookouts, water falls and more. It’s quite pricy but probably because it’s a tourist haunt. But if you want to see it, you’ll pay. Whilst you’re there there’s interesting displays of the history, native history and totem poles, guided tours, and also a coffee shop, restaurant and grill. The set up has been done really well and it’s a lovely spot.

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Whistler Blackcomb

If you are after mountains and suspension bridges, Whistler is a nice 2hr drive or Bus ride away. The bus is $35 return from Downtown Vancouver to Whistler with Epic bus tours and lift passes are $60. Definitely better value than the Grouse Capilano combo. The glass floor gondola from peak to peak was very cool as was the suspension bridge “on top of the world” and will give you a slight adrenaline hit. If you are afraid of heights, you will need to conquer your fears. The views are spectacular and well worth seeing.

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We wish we knew more about Whistler in the summer as it is sublime. We would have stayed a few nights as you can get good deals in summer. There’s plenty to do and see and next time we’ll do the bobsled!

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Keep out for part 2 coming soon….

Where to get a middle eastern feast in Brighton Le Sands @ Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill

Brighton Le Sands has been well renowned for its Mediterranean cuisine in Sydney for decades. Now there’s a newcomer on the scene that is setting a new benchmark for traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill at the beach-side promenade is definitely one to schedule into your eating calendar.

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Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill entices you from the boardwalk with its lavish, colourful Turkish mosaic tiles and matching outdoor decor.

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A black foyer and bright white marble serving bars contrast elegantly with the playfulness of the tiles, while subtle lighting at dusk did not detract from a perfect view of Botany Bay.

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The custom made fish tank drew our attention immediately and became a talking point throughout dinner with part-owner Danny Monsour. The attentiveness and knowledge of the wait staff was oustanding.

We were definitely in for a treat this evening as head chef Bektas Ozean delivered a superb selection of their most popular dishes. The menu hails from our favourite Mediterranean regions: Greece, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain and Turkey.

A trio of starters included traditional warm flat bread with seeded olive oil, taramasalata with salmon roe and crispy bread and house-made labne. The taramasalata was among the freshest we have eaten and the labne delivered a perfect combination of creamy yoghurt and char-grilled vegetables and a light dusting of cracked wheat. These were delicious and all complemented each other perfectly.

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For the entree, we were delighted to savour the Turkish grilled octopus and new chef specialty, spiced lamb sausage and hommus. Many restaurants serve octopus however few get it right. Thankfully, Republiq know what they are doing. This was one of our favourite dishes and was tender, flame grilled to perfection and sat on a mildly spiced vegetable and herb based sauce.

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The in-house lamb sausage with hommous, pickled radish and pistachio was nicely balanced and we found out later that like a lot of things from Republiq, are custom made to order by the restaurants’ butcher to a traditional Turkish recipe.

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The Turkish borek was a deliciously light, spinach and feta-filled flaky pastry served with a crisp salad of greens and olives. This would be a perfect table-sharing main dish as the serving was more than generous.

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The time-honoured lamb kebab is a signature Republiq dish and now we know why. The perfectly cooked lamb backstrap was encased in pistachio and air-light pastry. We savoured the bhaba ghanoush with the sweetness of pomegranate and the tart refreshment of globe artichoke. Burnt butter was drizzled over the whole plate to bring out the flavours of the micro herbs and spices. This is one must-have dish!

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For dessert we tried the knefe with mascarpone, honey and pistachios. The subtle sweetness of the sugar syrup enveloped the pastry and the plate was beautifully dusted with flowers. This is a desert that would please everyone. It is not too sweet and the distinct cheese and honey flavours were well matched.

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The 220 seated restaurant offers al fresco seating on the promenade and a shisha bar upstairs with capacity for a wide-variety of functions. You will feel equally at home on a romantic dinner, family catchup or party with friends. With impeccable service, generous portions and a fabulous view, definitely book ahead for Republiq Bar and Grill.

Republiq Shisha Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go in Todos Santos, Mexico

Todos Santos is a small boutique town, about 45 Mins – 1 hour via the highway from Los Cabos or an 1 hour and 30 minutes from the airport. For budding artists, honeymooners or those keen for a surf nearby, the area could be described as quaint, artistic, eclectic and cruisy.

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The properties are painted with interesting colours and mosaics, streets are cobblestone and there are plenty of boutique shops selling ceramics, jewellery, hammocks and Mexican inspired Knick knacks.

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Be sure to reach a rooftop by at least 8pm for a beautiful and amazing sunset. We felt safe in this area and shops weren’t pushy at all – and you can bargain. We recommend taking enough USD or peso because we didn’t really see any ATMs. You can get by with limited or no Spanish. 

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It is best if you hire a car to get to Todos and to explore the surrounding areas. We recommend booking online before you arrive and choose a reputable company to avoid any issues, many of the car hire companies will pick you up from the airport. We are from Australia and usually drive on the opposite side of the road and we didn’t have any problems. Todos Dos Santo is quite easy to get to you take the toll road which costs roughly $3USD, be sure to have small pesos. There is minimal traffic to worry about, just keep an eye out for goats, horses and other livestock crossing the road. 

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Todos Dos Santos is famous for the Hotel California and although it has nothing to do with the famous Eagles song, it is a very popular tourist attraction, with it’s own marketplace, restaurant and bar to cash in on its popularity. It’s certainly an interesting story to read about its history. If you visit during during the right months, you can see turtles hatching nearby and it is also possible to swim with the whale sharks in La Paz. Unfortunately we visited at the wrong time of year. 

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Where to stay 

We stayed in Todos Santos which is great because you’re near the shops and restaurants, however if you’re a surfer, you may be better to stay at Cerritos Beach. The hotels there are beachside, with great pools. With limited eating options, you’d be restrained to the hotel. Toss up what suits, but a car would help with either choice. 

Guyacura Boutique Hotel 

A quaint little boutique hotel with well appointed rooms. Large beds, a desk and cupboard with a safe. The shower is huge, almost outrageously so. They provide products for loccataine, a hairdryer and bottle of water daily. There’s also a tv but no other appliances.

We didn’t use the restaurant or bakery but we went to the rooftop bar. An awesome bar tender there, he has great English and a super entertaining personality and he really made the bar a great place. Limited food on the menu at the bar but we had some good tacos. 

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Where to visit

El Faro Beach club

This is connected to Guyacura Boutique Hotel but a 5 minute drive away. As a guest, your entrance is free. It’s basically a beach club where you can swim, drink, eat and purchase a spa experience. It’s a lovely place, although not that necessary to visit since the hotel has a pool, though would be great with a big group of friends. The spa treatments were quite expensive (like approx $220 USD) for an hour. Staff here speak excellent English. 

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Cerritos Beach

About a 10 minute drive from Todos Santos and worth travelling to if you’re keen to surf. For free parking, go to The Cerritos Surf Resort it is in a great spot right on the beach and we’d probably stay here if we visited again. We used their facilities, beach chairs and had a drink whilst watching the surf. 

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You can easily rent a surf board on the beach, or have a massage there so it’s quite a relaxing place. If you want to hire a surfboard or want a surfing lesson see Tona, he is located on the beach in front of The Cerritos Surf Resort.

Hacienda is a Boutique resort at the beach’s point with an amazing view. It’s catered to a sophisticated older crowd and we loved the styling here. It’s also recently opened to the public for meals in their restaurant La Mision and we had a lovely breakfast meal there.

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Where to eat

El Pastorcito

 No frills, plastic seats and tables. Food comes out on plastic plates covered in plastic sandwich bags (to save them washing I presume). You order in Spanish as the staff know no English. We have limited Spanish but managed. The meat cooked on the chargrill and the tacos come out (order corn or wheat) and then you add your toppings. It’s super delicious and really good value. 

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La Casita Wine Bar

Restaurant at the end of town serving salad, meat dishes, pastas and some good quality sashimi and sushi. We really enjoyed the tuna sashimi as well as the shrimp hand rolls. They give you a basket of bread and basil oil complimentary as well. 

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Restaurante Cafelix 

We frequented here for breakfast; think granola and yoghurt, French toast, pancakes or scrambled eggs, which come with tortillas, potatoes and refried beans. They serve good coffee, complete with quality latte art, as well as cold drinks and tea. The staff here were lovely too. It isn’t expensive, we spent about $20-$25 on two breakfasts and two coffees.

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Restaurant Mi Pueblito

We ate here on our first night and had some pretty good margaritas, tostada and salsa, fajitas and chimichanga. Lovely staff and a good atmosphere. Traditional Mexican fare here. 

Todos Santos Brewery 

Run by an Aussie couple who visited the area and loved it so much they stayed. They saw the market for pub style food and boutique craft beers. You can order burgers, fried food and Mexican food. We got the ceviche – a huge bowl of seasoned seafood with tostada. At $150 Mexican Pesos, it was good value for the size. Plenty of beers to choose from. Entertainment wise, there was trivia on a Friday and a band on a Sunday and you can also amuse yourself with the board games they have.

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If you do visit, we hope you have a wonderfult time, and please feel welcome to ask any questions of us.

 

Where to experience the integrity of rustic Italian in Western Sydney @ Enzo’s Cucina

For Italians, food isn’t just nourishment, it is life! It’s the most searched cuisine on Google here in Sydney and the most requested and imitated food around the world. In spite of divergence in cooking styles and interpretations from region to region, there is a deep unifying connection Italians have with what they eat. From the extensive knowledge of ingredients used, to the meticulous planning in preparation, at Enzo’s, it’s the connection to his family every diner gets with every meal that is served to your table.

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Setting the tone for the evening is an elaborate platter featuring tasters from the entire starter’s selection. It’s a sample of many of the hero dishes stripped down, but so compelling they stand out on their own. The Calamari Fritti, the arancini, BBQ octopus, pork belly, garlic prawns, and halloumi all have their own prescribed accompaniments when served at full portion. From aioli and lemon, red wine jus, napolitana sauce, lemon dressing, local honey and rocket, somehow this special assembly becomes a dish of its own while spectacularly representing the introductory section of the menu.

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Family gatherings are frequent in Italy, often centred around food and the extended networks of families. It’s the only way to experience a 5 course showcase like this one, and on this occasion, our host Food Blogger Australia has assembled 40 of the most passionate food lovers together in one monumental celebration to experience the true essence behind this cuisine’s culture.

An invitation to Enzo Cucina’s table, is an invitation to his family’s table. The items selected in the evening’s menu honoring the integrity inherent in authentic food values of Italian culture.

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POLPETTE AL POMODORO is a menu staple first served at the original store in Chipping Norton and has continued to delight for the past 8 years. These Italian meatballs are cooked in Napolitana sauce with parmesan cheese that’s been grilled into the shape and texture of wafers that break at the slightest touch. It’s Enzo’s mother’s recipe, many of which are at the heart of the menu.

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GNOCCHI BEEF CHEEK are matched perfectly. The soft pillowy textures of the Potato dumplings pan tossed with slow cooked beef cheek providing the perfect vehicle for their home made Napolitana sauce. The gnocchi used in all dishes at Enzo’s is made fresh on site by Enzo’s nephews.

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It’s all about beautiful simplicity in Italian cuisine and the LINGUINE AL GAMBERETTI uses a simple dressing of virgin olive oil, chilli, garlic and parsley allowing the contrasting raw flavors of bacon and prawn to dominate.

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This is also seen in their MARGHERITA pizza of Tomato, mozzarella with oregano and their proscuitto, rocket and parmesan pizza.

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The RISOTTO PESCATORE of Octopus, mussels, calamari, prawns, vongole in a fresh Napolitana sauce is the star attraction. This is a recipe Enzo’s father use to cook up for the family. As we’re served this dramatic dish with crab claws climbing out of the plate, a sense of closeness and warmth layers our experience as the portrait of this man’s recipe watches over us on the feature wall. It’s a beautifully presented dish, sculpturesque in form, the rich broth absorbed into the rice with hues of sweetness from the crustaceans that jewel this dish.

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Enzo’s sister crafts the desserts and there are 12 to choose from. It was a symphony of ‘oooooo’s and ‘aaaaahhhhh’s as the end note to a great meal came out. Each plate buildng on the next. The silky wobble of the panna cotta, the lacy encasement of crepe both feature nutella – an impossible choice!

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The spongy pudding of caramel and finely chopped dates and the puff pastry seeds filled with ricotta, masacarpone, goats cheese, sultanas, fried and served with pistachio crumbs, vanilla gelato, honey castor and sugar!

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The secret to maintaining consistency and their personal connection to diners across all locations in Kemps Creek, Chipping Norton, Casula, Glen Alpine and Northmead is the consistency across the board in their core dishes. Every meatball made by mama, every gnocchi dish made by his nephews, the tribute in the way Enzo’s father’s seafood risotto is made to the desserts his sister makes is genuinely one big family affair.

In reaching this level of perfection, very little change has been needed to their menu since the opening of its flagship in Chipping Norton. Very few can boast such a unique proposition propelling this chain of restaurants into one of the destinations for rustic Italian in the Western Sydney dining scene.

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credit: @sydneyfoodfreak_

Enzo's Cucina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to experience world class harbour dining this Winter

The best things come in threes. Like it’s namesake, The Ternary, derived from the latin word, “ternarius” – constitutes three elements; bar, wok and grill with three dishes on this Winter Warmers menu.

Located in the Novotel, Darling Harbour, the soft hues of flamingo pink reel you in as you ascend into the space, the warmth of the fireplace provides sanctuary from the winter cold as its flames and embers whisper distinctly through the bustling main dining area.  

The walk to our table takes us through the ‘ternarius’ core, heading past the award winning bar, Asian kitchen and tandoor and finally passing the sizzling grill. 

We’re reminded of our fondness of this venue with its world class rationale of creation, with the panoramic backdrop of Darling Harbour.

6A721926-EB09-4DD1-B6A5-79DE2C6E81A6Pan seared scallops with thai sauce and hot smoked salmon served on betel leaf and nam jim sauce are beautiful bite sized bursts of flavor comes as one of the common canapés on their functions menu. It was an outstanding prelude to the showcase of new items.

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A selection of locally sourced and imported cheeses are accompanied with a bottle of McWilliam’s Shiraz Wine in the ultimate Winter board.  Taking sanctuary in the lounge area, the slow paced grazing excites with a complexity of flavors from the different stages of cheese maturation that’s been assembled.

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After several visits to The Ternary over the years, there’s one thing we know.  When they make a dish, it’s made with intention and truth.  This winter you will find that attribute in their Penang Prawn curry.   A multi-layered assault of pungency in salt, fish sauce, thick creamy coconut and peanut sweetness with eye watering fire the dish in its original form was designed yet beautiful streaming through the sauce in perfect waves.

923B9C83-E55F-43CB-80C6-E4FD7E5F6A6CThe pièce de résistance and only luxurious roast fitting for this 4.5 star rated hotel establishment is Wagyu. It’s exquisitely tender texture and luxurious taste can be accompanied with a choice of sauces including: shallot red wine, green peppercorn, mushroom, truffle mustard butter or garlic herb butter.  Resting on a bed of potatoes and spinach, this dish is recommended with a pint of Furphy Ale.

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Easy access to the venue up the escalators, it is a destination not only for visitors to the city but also for nearby locals and workers ready to embraces the best version of dishes of classic favorites. 

Their Winter Warmer menu is available until the end of August.  Ranging in price from just $35-$49 including a glass or pint of alcohol, it’s a very reasonable night out for a world class harbour dining experience.

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Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credits: @sydneyfoodfreak_  Ben, @pixbyash

The Ternary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go in Saskatchewan

Accomodation 

We were here to visit relatives so had somewhere to stay, but in Regina there’s plenty of chain hotels where you can stay. 

Regina town  

It’s not a huge city but you can head into town to explore. Find the “I love Regina” sign for some photos and stroll through the park or around the lake.

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You can find some farmers markets on a Sunday in town and a shopping Mall. We also found a good coffee shop called 33 1/3 coffee roasters.

33 1/3 coffee roasters

 It is a shared space for a coffee shop and a brewery called Malty National, love the name. It’s 90’s cool, be sure to bring about some nostalgia for Gen X and plenty of fun for all. There is outdoor/patio seating and plenty of room inside.

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With free arcade games including street fighter, there are also some old school board games like operation and hungry hungry hippos which makes it fun for everyone.

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33 1/3 have good specialy coffee, including filtered and milk based coffee.

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A great spot to get your caffeine fix. Malty National brewery have their brewing equipment on site, fully visible so you can also geek out on that if you are a beer nerd. A beer tasting flight will set you back a measly $5 and is good value to sample some interesting beer.

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 Regina Beach 

It’s not a proper beach as such, but it is a beach beside a lake. It’s a resort town where you will find plenty of people swimming, out on their boats, paddle boarding, jet skiing and more. 

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There’s places to rent equipment and also a local bar, club and a few little stores including an ice cream shop and a Mexican restaurant.

Moose Jaw 

A surprisingly unexpected place to have a good day out. It is your classic historic town which is still living those historic days out.

Moose Jaw tunnels  

This is a tourist attraction where guests buy a $15 ticket and get taken on a 50 minute tour through the recreated tunnels of Moose Jaw to teach us about the 1920’s – 1930’s days of Al Capone and the underground bootlegging era during prohibition days. It’s quite theatrical with the guides as ‘actors’ and is an interesting place to visit and learn something at the same time. 

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Mac the Moose 

 Located at the visitor centre, you must visit the giant moose (32 ft tall) for a photo!

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Temple Gardens 

In central Moose Jaw, the Temple Gardens Hotel and Spa is a huge hotel where you can stay. It has conference rooms, a spa and also the famous geothermal mineral water pool (largest in Canada). We didn’t stay at the hotel, but paid a $17 entry to use. The spa is about 32 degrees and is good for relaxation and to help soothe aching muscles and sore joints. We enjoyed our visit here and you can stay as long as you like. 

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Casino Moose Jaw

Located opposite the temple gardens hotel and spa, you can visit the casino to use the slot machines, play the table or poker. There’s dining and entertainment there too. 

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Jade Garden restaurant

A Chinese restaurant located on the Main Street in Moose Jaw. It is super cheap – $15.95 for a buffet. The buffet has mostly noodles and fried food, as well as desserts. You can also get banquets and we got one for $99.95 for 8 people which is a bargain. They were super helpful in accomodating gluten free needs. They have beers and cocktails too, although the cocktails aren’t on point. 

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Yvette Moore Gallery 

We really liked visiting the Yvette Moore Gallery as it has beautiful art, ceramics and jewellery on display. A lovely place to look around. They also have a cafe inside with friendly staff and comforting food. It is super healthy, homely and fresh. We had the salad – with candied pecans, carrot, apple, feta and Canadian maple dressing and also added chicken. It came with a bowl of soup – a beautiful beef and barley soup, as well an awesome cheddar herb biscuit. There’s a range of sweets too like bread and butter pudding or Saskatoon pie to finish off your meal. We also enjoyed a latte and a Saskatoon Berry Iced tea for our drinks. You can tell they take care in making their food. We loved our lunch here. Be sure to book if you’re going to visit.

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Shopping 

There are some cool Thrift shops where you can grab a bargain. Rings and Things specialises in jewellery but also has some other interesting knickknacks and home decor items. There are a few sports stores with some well priced merchandise.

Regina is a small place and everything we went to is within a one hour drive. If you’re here to visit relatives, like us, then this will keep you amused for your stay. 

 

Where to go for brekkie in Rosebery @ Bloomfield Eatery

Being locals to Rosebery, we were extremely happy to see this cafe pop up. Located inside the lobby of a small office building and trendy area, it has a minimal but stylish decor, complete with beautiful floristry.

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The cafe has has a great vibe and the ambience is set by their playlist of good tunes.

The menu options are the type of thing we’re keen to order over and over again, like granola, avo on toast, brekkie rolls and brekkie bowls. The lunch menu offers salads and sandwiches so you can easily get a fresh and healthy meal at either breakfast or lunch.

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We had the granola and the smashed avocado dishes. Both were simple yet super tasty. The coconut yoghurt really compliments the granola and we also like that there’s not too much honey. Nicely balanced.

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The classic smashed avocado on toast was nicely executed. You get the sweetness from the relish and saltiness from the goats curd which is oh so perfect.

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They use coffee beans from Campos which they are proud to present and we were excited to see that daily batch brew was on offer.

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There’s also a great range of sweet treats and we couldn’t go past getting a lemon curd muffin!

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We love this cafe and look forward to revisiting.

Bloomfield Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to rediscover rustic Italian in Summer Hill! @Andiamo

The beloved restaurant name Andiamo has grown alot in the past 5 years, replicating the magic of rustic feasting from its flagship base in Summer Hill. Flawlessly, its charm and character have since also seduced the palettes of Kensington Street, Chippendale, Rhodes and more recently Abbotsford.

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Summer Hill is in a unique position to its sister venues, particularly when the original venue is what set the bar high in the first place. The service team of Kevin and Liam who have become innerwest celebrities for locals, to the swift choreography in and around the wood fired pizza oven, mass producing pizzas for visting diners as well as delivery.

This evening’s menu marked the antecedent of a series of events planned at Andiamo Summer Hill. Each event will be transporting you on a taste journey to specific regions of Italy. ‘Tavola di Luca” (Chef’s Table) is the new concept headed by Chef Gianluca Melis. Luca uses ingredients that are “fresh from the market today and on your plate tonight”, says owner, Joe Rechichi. Flavour influences come from Sardinia, where Luca grew up in the South of Italy.

It was the perfect debut to long time Summer Hill diners as the 6 course degustation of Sardinian dishes had personal ties with Chef Luca’s grandparents and mother. His calm demeanor and meticulous detail in the kitchen was showcased with the announcement he would also be heading up the da Vinci’s which has recently been aquired into the restaurant group. “It’s going to be something different altogether when it comes to the Italian that Luca will be heading up. It’s going to be similar to the food to that served here” says Rechichi.
It was like a stunning showcase of culinary couture as Chef Luca took the Andiamo kitchen into unchartered territory. All courses were accompanied with wine from Sardinia, immersing diners completely into this style of cuisine which has deep roots in agropastorality.

Thin wafers are a staple in the Sardine antipasti, so the lead-in basket of Carasau Bread with fresh tomato of crisp textures and natural tomato flavors sets the tone together with the cured Pork fillet with Rocket & Apple. This was a beautiful pairingwith the caramelized sweetness in the Antichi Poderi Jerzu – Vermentino di Sardegna wine accompanying this. Perfectly rounded off with sips from the Maccori grapes treated with the strong mistral winds blowing in from the north-west Mediterranean.

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The primi (appetiser) of hand made pork sausage and fennel seeds requires no sauce. It’s natural juices bathe in its spiral construction allowing the meat and herb to intertwine beautifully. This represents the epitome of Sardinian style cooking. No sauce required – keep things real!

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The island of Sardinian cuisine wouldn’t be complete without seafood. Baby clams are served with hand rolled Fregola Risotatta – the perfect example of Mediterranean and Italian fusion in which this island has strong influences. There are many many versions of this dish throughout Sardinia. Native only to Sardinia, it’s somewhere in between risotto and pasta taking the form of 2mm beads. Nice earthy brothe paired with the floral fruitiness of the vermin to grape wine.

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The heart of our meal came with the Secondi (Main) pork roast. A world famous signature of the islands, it is served in the chicory plant, absorbing that subtle woody flavour into its meat, rounded off with sips of the warmth from the Bantu annonau wine.

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Dessert blends orange zest, ricotta and corbezzolo honey into a centre of crisp pastry and accompanied with In Fudu moscato. This is an excellent finale to a region not focused on as much in the mainstream.

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Chef Luca will have his hands full as he continues with his chef table series with upcoming events taking us through the style of cooking in Calabria and Sicily! It is a perfect prelude as he crafts the new style of cooking that will form the revitalized menu of da Vinci’s next door. As the master of two kitchens, it will be interesting to see the full creativity unleashed with these event nights at Andiamo while still maintaining it’s own style and feel at da Vinci’s. Very exciting times in the inner west indeed!

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

Andiamo Trattoria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato