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Monday, July 17, 2017

Tricycle Cafe, Hobart

Organic blueberries on rye at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart

One of Hobart's best cafes is also the most hidden. There are no signs for Tricycle Cafe, and few would think to venture inside the Peacock Theatre foyer in the Salamanca Art Centre to find it. Look for the two tricycles hanging on an inside wall and you'll know you've made it. And look forward to a vibrancy of seasonal dishes featuring local produce and housemade pickles, misos and ferments.

Service counter at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Tricycle Cafe

There's a happy buzzy feel to this cosy cafe, bathed in natural light from the skylights overhead. Amidst the bustle of punters roaming the nearby Salamanca Market, we have to wait several minutes for a table, but cleverly spend it browsing the Bruny Island Cheese shop next door.

Double shot iced coffee with organic ice cream and milk at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Double shot iced coffee with organic ice cream and milk $7

When you finally score a table, you can expect the usual gamut of coffees as well as herbal teas, freshly squeezed juices and a house brewed chai.

Bloody mary at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Tricycle bloody mary $15

But to really get your metabolism going, you need a Tricycle bloody mary. The amount of hot sauce in this set your whole mouth a-tingle and a good glug of vodka definitely kick-started the batteries.

Brown rice bowl with organic tomatoes and pickles at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Brown rice bowl with organic tomatoes, pickles, ferments and greens $19.50

The clipboard menu includes breakfast trifle with poached fruit and yoghurt, baked eggs with spicy black beans and sour cream and sourdough toasties with broccoli, miso and sunflower tahini.

We go straight for the blackboard specials, starting with a brown rice bowl topped with a rainbow of organic tomatoes, pickles and greens. The tomatoes are incredibly juicy and sweet, contrasted against the zingy pickle of turnips and radishes. It's a soul-reviving bowl of goodness.

Avocado with housemade genmai miso and blackbean miso at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Avocado with housemade genmai miso and blackbean miso with sourdough $17

Forget about coffee served in an avocado. Tricycle's version is much more tempting, filled with scoops of housemade genmai miso and blackbean miso. There's a complexity of savoury saltiness to each of them. The genmai, or brown rice miso, is my favourite, with its nutty butteriness.

It's a revelatory treat to slather crunch sourdough toast with creamy avocado, the gently salty miso and a scattering of toasted buckwheat.

Organic blueberries on rye at Tricycle Cafe in Hobart
Organic blueberries on rye $17
with Miellerie honey, Tongola goats curd and market herbs

We finish with one of the loveliest dishes I've ever laid eyes on, It's not because of its elaborate plating or fantastic science but a simple yet elegant presentation of organic blueberries on toasted rye bread.

We savour the sweet and plump blueberries on a blanket of Tongola goats curd drizzled with organic cold extracted Miellerie honey. Mint leaves and edible flowers make the dish pretty as a picture.

Adam James of Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Adam James

Not every cafe makes their own miso. Co-owner and head chef Adam James is the passion behind all things fermented at the cafe. James commenced his travelling scholarship this month after winning a Churchill Fellowship to "to study both age old and key new techniques in vegetable and legume fermentation".

He's currently in Italy and will move onto China, Korea and Japan learning about local fermentation techniques. The cafe is continuing to churn out all things fermented. In the meantime, I can't wait to see what James' plans are when he returns.

Breakfast at Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart
Breakfast at Tricycle Cafe

Tricycle Cafe in Salamanca Place in Hobart


Tricycle Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tricycle Cafe & Bar
77 Salamanca Place, Kellys Steps, Hobart, Tasmania
Tel: +61 (03) 6223 7228

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 8.30am-2.30pm


<< Read the first Tasmania 2017 post - Pigeon Hole Bakers, Hobart

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Tasmania, Bruny Island - Top 5 Things to Do
Tasmania, Hobart - Salamanca Market

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/17/2017 01:24:00 am


Sunday, July 09, 2017

Manmaru, Dulwich Hill

Crispy mochi dumpling, vegan taco rice and kakunidon at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney

Few places will see you torn between Japanese braised pork, taco rice and an award-winning vegan pie, but that’s the scenario you're facing at the recently launched Manmaru in Dulwich Hill. Locals noticed the former Graff Caff was turning Japanese (I really think so) at the start of the year, with a name change and menu shift. Husband and wife owners Erich and Takako Fasolin are still on-board, but Manmaru – which translates to perfect circle in Japanese – means Takako’s baking pop-ups now have a permanent home.

Roasted pumpkin and chickpea vegan pie at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Roasted pumpkin and chickpea vegan pie $8

At the counter you’ll find a baking cabinet filled with yuzu (Japanese citrus) cookies, white chocolate matcha brownies and gluten-free matcha friands. If the vegan ginger caramel apple crumble pie is in there, get your mitts on it. This beauty took out bronze at the 2017 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. Score one for the plant-eaters. Their vegan pie – roasted pumpkin and chickpea in a crumbly pastry made using Nuttelex, took home a silver medal in the same competition.

Meat eaters can celebrate too. Manmaru’s grass-fed beef pie is made with Black Bunny dark ale by local brewers Willie the Boatman in St Peters. Even better is the fact that the café’s alcohol license means you can wash it down with a Kirin or Young Henry’s brew.

Crispy mochi dumplings at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Crispy mochi dumplings $5

The rest of the menu yields a quirky collection of Japanese-leaning dishes. Scrambled eggs are mixed with koji (the same type of culture used to make soy sauce and sake). Crispy mochi dumplings are stuffed with tofu, cabbage and quinoa.

Kakunidon braised pork at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Kakunidon $16
Braised pork with organic brown and white rice, Asian greens and soy marinated egg

Our money is on the heartier offerings like the kakunidon – sticky and tender simmered pork belly in a bowl of brown and white rice with soy sauce eggs and salad.

Vegan taco rice at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Vegan taco rice $10
Marinated soy bean with shredded lettuce, tomato and cheese on organic brown and white rice

Taco rice swaps out corn chips for organic brown and white rice, draped with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and a sauced up textured vegetable protein that looks just like beef mince.

Be warned: seating is limited and service can be slow and distracted, but that just means more time to decide whether you’ll have the matcha cookie crumble or homemade chocolate ice magic on your vegan vanilla bean or salted caramel ice cream.

Matcha latte at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Matcha latte $4.30

Bacon egg roll at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Bacon egg roll $9
with soy marinated onion, cheese and tomato chutney

Tofu noodle salad with poached chicken at Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney
Tofu noodle salad with poached chicken $15

Manmaru Japanese bakery cafe in Dulwich Hill Sydney


Manmaru  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Manmaru
495 Marrickville Road, Dulwich Hill, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)414 566 624

Opening hours
Monday, Wednesday to Friday 8am-5pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am-4pm


This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/09/2017 06:01:00 pm


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

1821 Greek Restaurant, Sydney

Pork belly baklava at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney

1821? It marks the start of the Greek War of Independence. It's also one of Sydney's grandest Greek restaurants to date, with over $3 million poured into the three-storey extravaganza on the former site of the Vault Hotel and Nightclub. 1821 is the third Sydney venture for Chef David Tsirekas, following on from his 17-year stint at Petersham with Perama, and the spectacularly short-lived Xanthi at Westfield Sydney, closing after just three years.

Tsirekas will be banking on third time's a charm. And his fans will be glad to see the return of Tsirekas favourites pork belly baklava for mains and caramel baklava ice cream for dessert.

Tarama swordfish roe dip at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Tarama swordfish roe dip $14

We pay a visit for Chocolatesuze's birthday, skipping the group banquets for a DIY mix from the a la carte menu. Our party of six starts with the tarama swordfish roe dip, a luscious and rich spread that we slather on toast. It's so good that we order more bread and scrape out every last morsel.

Ouzo cured salmon at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Ouzo cured salmon $27

The ouzo cured salmon offers a glimpse of summer, the curls of buttery salmon dotted with mulberries, flaked almonds and dabs of skordalia potato and garlic dip. Rough croutons are cleverly fashioned from paximadia, a traditioanl dark barley biscuit.

Sesame crusted salmon with hot quince syrup at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Sesame crusted haloumi $24

Tableside theatre accompanies the sesame crusted haloumi, with a hot quince syrup poured dramatically at the table. The sweet and tart syrup works a treat against the saltiness of the squeaky haloumi, the confit cherry tomatoes and the smattering of dried kalamata olives.

The haloumi itself is a highlight in itself, far from the usual rubberiness, instead exhibiting a gentler, softer and more springy texture.

BBQ octopus at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
BBQ octopus $27

We can smell the smokiness of the barbecue octopus as soon as it lands on the table, with a noticeable blackened char along the surface of each tentacle. The octopus is noticeably tender, served with pickled cucumber and cauliflower and a slick of swordfish tarama.

Pork belly baklava at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Pork belly baklava $28 for four pieces

Tsirekas' signature dish, his pork belly baklava, is as good as we remembered, layers of golden and flaky filo pastry atop a sweet and savoury base of pork belly, date and pistachio. A little tile of crackling is the cherry on top.

Don't even think about sharing individual pieces. While a standard serve includes four squares, the kitchen will happily expand the serving size as required.

Seafood saganaki at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Seafood saganaki $38

Seafood saganaki goes against Italian rule about mixing pasta, cheese and seafood. Here it works brilliantly. Orzo, the rice-like pasta commonly known as risoni, is cooked in a rich tomato sauce with prawns, black mussels and blue eye fillet. Melted kasseri cheese binds everything together, its sharp saltiness revealing itself in gooey elastic strings.

BBQ lamb shoulder at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
BBQ lamb shoulder $39

And you can't eat Greek without having lamb. The barbecue lamb shoulder is a twice-cooked hulk of protein, first slow-roasted and then grilled so the skin takes on a caramelised crisp.

The lamb is so tender it falls straight off the bone. Wilted silverbeet and leeks and a puddle of herbed yoghurt provide some relief from the carnivorous feast.

Yia yia's hand cut chips at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Yia yia's hand cut chips $14

Yia yia's hand cut chips are chips done good, smothered in a mountain of crumbled feta, dried oregano and a quivering fried egg. Dip the chips in that gooey egg yolk and savour the salty feta tang.

Roast duck gyros at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Roast duck gyros

A surprise serve of complimentary roast duck gyros arrives from the kitchen, apparently acting on instruction from Chef Tsirekas after noticing Suze's pics on Instagram (busted!).

Roast duck gyros with chips at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Duck gyros with chips

The roast duck gyros isn't on the menu but it should be, a delicious mess of juicy roast duck and refreshing slaw on a fluffy mini pita round. Add a couple of chips for extra crunch and it's even better!

Caramel baklava ice cream with baklava at 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney
Caramel baklava ice cream with baklava

And before we even have a chance to look at the dessert menu, the kitchen sends out a complimentary serve of caramel baklava ice cream with baklava. This is another Tsirekas classic, combining baklava, caramel sauce and ice cream in one frozen mouthful. (Note: We do leave a larger tip that covers the cost of both complimentary dishes)

A comprehensive wine list offers plenty of celebratory drinks for the afternoon. The boys drink their way around Greece with five local beers on offer.

There's plenty to like about 1821 from the cosy banquette seating for small groups to the dramatic high ceilings and ornate features throughout. An accessible menu includes traditional Greek dishes and modern adaptations as well as that irresistible pork belly baklava.

Entrance to 1821 Greek restaurant in Sydney


1821 Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1821 - Made in Greece
122 Pitt Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8080 7070

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 12pm-12am
Sunday 12pm-10pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/04/2017 12:54:00 am


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale

Inside Mary's bbq cheeseburger at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney

Guess who's back. Yep, The Lansdowne Hotel is open again. Forlorn fans will remember that the Lansdowne closed in August 2015 with plans to redevelop the site into a performing arts school. That proposal eventually fell through. Enter Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (co-owners of Mary's and the Unicorn Hotel) and you know how it goes... they all lived happily ever after.

In addition to reviving the Lansdowne as a live music venue - the former upstairs dining room has been converted to a performance space that will fit 250 people - the menu has also been given an overhaul.

Dining area at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Lansdowne Hotel dining area

The dining area is now constrained to the ground floor bar area, with seats for less than 50 people. There's a pool table in one corner and a dartboard right next to it.

Bar with $10 specials at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
The bar with $10 lunch options on the blackboard menu

The bar is serving up beer on tap as well as cocktails at $16 to $17 a pop. Food starts at 12pm with pizzas and pastas only available at dinner. Pizzas are also served up on weekend lunches, including a Mary's burger pizza. All the pizza dough is made in-house, a process that takes 48 hours.

Mary's bbq cheeseburger at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
BBQ cheeseburger $17

The all-day Classics menu includes a Mary's-style bbq cheeseburger that comes with an optional $3 trash can bacon add-on. It's wrapped up in greaseproof paper and set sail on a boat of satisfyingly salty French fries.

Mary's bbq cheeseburger beef patty, melted cheese, pickles and bbq sauce at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Beef patty, melted cheese, pickles and bbq sauce inside the cheeseburger

If the burger doesn't grab you, there's a fish finger sambo, caesar salad and the Korean-inspired "fire chicken" nachos. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are all clearly marked, including a cauliflower mac n cheese, eggplant parma and chopped salad.

Mie goreng fried noodles at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Mie goreng $10 lunch special

If you want maximum value for money (and you miss the ol' $7 specials from 2011), head over at lunchtime and get your mouth around one of the blackboard $10 lunch specials. On the day we stopped by, I picked the mie goreng over the pork lasagna. Because mi goreng.

Mie goreng could so easily be a disaster in the wrong hands but the version is umami central. There's a hefty whack of savoury spiciness in every bite of this muddle of noodles, vegetables, pork and fried onions. We're talking ideal hangover food. Or wake-me-up sustenance. Trust me. It's good. You probably won't need that extra scoop of chilli sauce at the pick-up counter either, but go for gold. Your tastebuds deserve to party.

Steak frites at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Steak frites $10 lunch special

And if the steak frites is on the $10 menu, just do it. Go on and order two $10 dishes if you can't decide. I did.

Medium rare steak at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Steak perfection

The 250g Rangers Valley steak with chips and cafe de paris sits at $28 on the standard menu. The $10 version is a cracker. We're talking juicy flavoursome steak cooked to grunt-worthy perfection. The cafe de paris butter on top is sweet as, too.

Welcome back Lansdowne. We missed you.

Barstools at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney


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

The Lansdowne Hotel
2-6 City Road, Chippendale
Tel: +61 (02) 8218 2333

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 12pm-3am
Sunday 12pm-12am


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Mary's, Newtown

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/28/2017 12:19:00 am



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