DCE Cafe and The Lolly Barn, The Entrance

Recently, Sir D and I went to The Entrance for a little getaway. After taking much longer to get there than anticipated (since it seems like whenever I drive on the F3, I always get stuck in traffic because there’s an accident), we were absolutely ravenous and we popped into this little cafe for a late lunch. We ate here the last time we went to The Entrance and fell in love with their crunchy yet fluffy fries, so we ordered burgers since they all came with a generous serving of said fries. 

Beef Burger: with homemade 100% beef pattie, tasty cheese, beetroot, salad greens, tomato and gourmet tomato relish, served with chunky chips – $13.50

Both the burgers were enormous with lots of salad and sauce to go with the meat. Sir D opted for the beef burger which had a homemade beef patty topped with two slices of melted cheese and lots of salad. Underneath the beef patty you can see some tomato relish poking out and this tasted sort of like bolognese sauce but went pretty well with the beef. 

Chicken Caesar Burger: with chargrilled chicken breast, bacon, shaved parmesan, salad greens and a light Caesar dressing, served with chunky chips – $14.50

I went for the chicken caesar burger which had grilled chicken breast, lots of bacon, salad and parmesan. One side of the burger was also slathered in a delicious, creamy caesar dressing. Despite the fact that we were both starving having sat in the car with no snackages for a few hours, these servings were so large that we couldn’t finish them. Sadly we had to leave some of those delicious chips behind.

Iced chocolate – $4.50

To wash it all down, we ordered an iced chocolate. I think the person who made this went a little crazy on the chocolate but it was nevertheless a nice drink to go with the burgers.

Afterwards we walked up the street away from the waterfront to The Lolly Barn to stock up on some sugar-laden snacks. I remember as a child that there used to be heaps of lolly stores in shopping centres with all the lollies arranged in plastic see through containers, and you scooped out your favourite lollies into a paper bag with a metal scoop. They seem to have dwindled away and now the only place I can find anything other than the supermarket brands is in Sugar Fix, and the British Lolly Shop.

This little shop has plastic tubs of lollies all along the walls from chocolates to gummy lollies to old-school favourites like milk bottles and strawberries and creams. 

Spotted some favourites amongst the myriad of lollies – ears, clouds, peach rings and Sir D’s favourites the sour peaches.

Behind the plastic tubs are prepacked 100g bags of the lollies which are priced at $2.50 per bag or $6.50 for 3 (unless otherwise stated). If they’ve run out of the prepackaged ones just take the tub to the counter and the lady there will kindly weigh out 100g for you and seal it in a plastic bag.

3x100g bags of lollies (clockwise from top – peach rings, sour cola bottles and strawberries) – $6.50

Of course we got 3 bags – the peach rings, strawberries and sour cola bottles. And they were all comforting in the way that only sugary lollies from your childhood can be.

Facing off with the pelicans!

DCE Cafe

Shop 3, 91-95 The Entrance Road
The Entrance NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 43345122
10% surcharge on Sundays and public holidays

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The Lolly Barn

Shop 2, 38 The Entrance Road
The Entrance NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 43325282

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Night Noodle Markets 2009, Sydney

Sir D and I headed to the Night Noodle Markets last night on the prowl for some yummy food. Having been there in previous years, we went early to avoid the horrendous crowds that build up through the night, and also to redeem our SMH subscriber free drinks vouchers from the SMH stand! We got there at exactly 5pm and had time to walk around all the stalls to see what was on offer before there were too many people.

The early bird catches the worm… people at the Noodle Markets at 5pm

There were all the usual Malaysian and Thai places selling noodles and curries as well as a few yum cha stalls selling dim sum. Notable newcomers included Din Tai Fung who were offering dumplings such as their famous pork soup dumplings (xiao long bao) and also some mini dessert buns like red bean. 

Offerings at Jackie M

We decided to grab the char kway teow from Jackie M since we could see them frying each batch of noodles separately to order. The smell wafting from their stall was mouth-watering, and we could see that it was already drawing some early noodle-market goers to their stall.

Chicken Char Kway Teow – $12.00

Our freshly fried chicken char kway teow was bursting with flavours and textures from the soft noodles to the crunchy bean sprouts. I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t have any lap cheong (chinese sausage) in it but the flavour of the noodles more than made up for it.

Big batches of Beef Bourguignon and Caramel Pork at La Mint

For dinner part 2, I had spied big batches of beef bourguignon at La Mint, and was keen to try it. It looked a bit watered down and flavourless, but it turned out to be surprisingly tasty! The beef and carrots were cooked until tender and we finished this up in no time. They also gave us a voucher to use at their restaurant to the value of $25 (minimum spend $50).

Beef Bourguignon a l’Indochinoise – $10.00

And finally, onto dessert – my favourite part of the night! With Gelato Messina new to the Night Noodle Markets scene and offering delicious sounding flavours like Thai Custard and Coconut and Lychee, it was a no brainer where we were getting our dessert from! We settled on getting their Night Noodle Market dessert which consisted of Thai Custard gelato and Mango Sorbet with warm black sticky rice.

The Thai Custard flavour was sweet and creamy from the coconut milk and palm sugar in the gelato, and the Mango Sorbet was a nice fresh contrast to the richness of the thai custard gelato. But the best part was without a doubt the treasure trove of black glutinous rice hidden underneath the scoops of ice cream. It wasn’t that warm but it was definitely sticky and chewy and delicious! It was so good that I would face the crowds at the Noodle Markets again just to get my hands on this dessert!

Messina Night Noodle Market Dessert: Thai custard gelato served with mango sorbet and warm black sticky rice with coconut cream – $8.00
Discovering secret treasure.. black glutinous rice!

By now it was about 6.30pm, and the crowds were definitely building up. Sir D was craving an egg tart so we lined up at East Ocean to get one. They were also selling other dim sum items at $2 each, as well as salt and pepper calamari and various dinner boxes containing a sampler of dim sum.

Egg custard tart – $2.00

When we left there were hordes of people and almost all the tables were filled up either with people minding them or actually eating at them. I definitely recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid queues and to actually get a table to sit down and eat comfortably (especially when you’re juggling 2 glasses of wine, dessert, and a camera!).

Crowds at 6.30pm

Be sure to grab your free Ferrero Rondnoir samples at the Ferrero Rondnoir truck, as well as a free Sydney Morning Herald bag containing a newspaper, Crave Sydney badges, a Ferrero Rondnoir and a sample of chilli flakes from the Sydney Morning Herald stall.

The Night Noodle Markets run from 12th-16th and 19th-23th October from 5pm-9.30pm as part of the Sydney International Food Festival

Sushi Rio, Sydney

My sister Charm and I are both love our sushi. We ventured out to the city one Friday afternoon for lunch and we stumbled across Sushi Rio’s lunch special where all sushi was $3! With a bargain like that we couldn’t resist and so we abandoned our original lunch destination to eat at Sushi Rio.

The place was quite full but luckily when we went there was no line and we were seated promptly. One thing I like about Sushi Rio’s setup is that their plates are grouped into categories according to the type of seafood/meat in the sushi. So all the salmon, prawn, tuna, chicken etc has its own little section of the train preceded by a sign saying what the section is. Pretty good for those unfamiliar with their sushi.

Raw salmon onion nigiri (normally $3.00)

We started off with the salmon onion nigiri which was very fresh and zigzagged with wasabi mayo.

Grilled eel nigiri (normally $3.50)

The eel nigiri is sweet and tender – the most tender eel I’ve ever had I think!

Raw scallop nigiri (normally $3.50)

I’m a sucker for anything with scallops so I grab the raw scallop nigiri with flying fish roe. The scallops are super fat and juicy.

Lobster salad gunkan (normally $4.50)

We try the lobster salad which has finley diced lobster with spring onions in a Thousand-Island-like sauce. This tasted pretty good except the lobster was so finely diced the usually springy texture of cooked lobster meat was lost.

Grilled salmon nigiri (normally $3.00)
Crumbed prawn nigiri (normally $3.00)

Still hungry, we also pulled the grilled salmon and crumbed prawn sushi off the train. The grilled salmon looked overcooked but was in fact seared perfectly. The crumbed prawn was still nice and crunchy and came with a generous dollop of Japanese mayo.

Scallop roll (normally $3.50)
Grilled salmon scallop cake (normally $3.50)

After a while the sushi on the train seemed to be unchanging, so we decided ask for a menu and order from it. I expected them to charge the normal price for the sushi that we ordered from the menu but it was still $3 which was a bonus! We got the scallop roll which was a slice of raw scallop with mayonnaise and flying fish roe on top of a crab stick and avocado sushi roll. This was best eaten in one mouthful since everything went so well together. We finished off with the grilled salmon scallop cake which was a flat sushi “cake” with cooked tuna as the filling and torched salmon and scallop on top of the rice.

Sushi Rio’s lunch special includes all sushi for $3 and goes from 12pm-5pm everyday. They also have an izakaya style menu from which you can order bowls of noodles and other hot Japanese dishes. And if you’re in a rush, you can get take-away and they will take 10% off the price of your order.

Sushi Rio

Shop 7, 339 Sussex Street
Sydney NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 92612388
Open Sunday – Thursday, 12pm-10pm, Friday – Saturday, 12pm-11pm

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Lindt Chocolat Café, Sydney

One Friday afternoon in the city, Charm and I were in the mood for sugar. We headed over to Bacco Pasticceria in Chifley Plaza but alas, we’d come too late and they were pretty much sold out of their cakes! So the backup plan for our sugar hit ended up arriving in waffle form at Lindt Cafe.

Lindt Waffle: freshly made and served warm with Lindt vanilla white chocolate ice-cream and Chocolate Fudge sauce – $15.00

We weren’t actually that hungry, so we only shared one waffle between the two of us. The soft, spongy waffle comes with a generous scoop of Lindt’s vanilla white chocolate ice cream and their chocolate fudge sauce. If you look carefully you can see the flecks of vanilla in the ice cream which is delicious by itself but combined with the waffle and the chocolate sauce, it’s a match made in heaven.

Charm doing the honours of pouring the Chocolate Fudge sauce over the waffle

Chocolatified Waffle =)

If you haven’t tried the waffle at Lindt Cafe, go and get one because they are absolutely divine. Especially with the molten chocolate drizzled all over it. You know you want to ;)

Chocolate Milkshake blended with Lindt ice-cream – $7.00

To wash it down we also ordered a chocolate milkshake. It was the perfect accompaniment to the richness of the waffle because it was light and frothy. I loved the chocolate flakes and it was a nice surprise to find chocolate flakes hidden right at the bottom of the glass as well. These were hastily eaten up with the long silver spoon provided.

Lindt is the perfect place to go if you’re after a chocolate fix – their hot chocolates and waffles are to die for! They also have a range of chocolate items for sale, including their famous Lindor balls and a containers of chocolate flakes to make your very own Lindt hot chocolate at home =)

Lindt Chocolat Café
259 George Street (cnr Jamison Street)
Suncorp Building
Sydney NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 90175400

Other locations:
Martin Place
53 Martin Place (cnr Phillip Street)
Sydney NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 82571600

Cockle Bay
104-105 Cockle Bay Wharf
Darling Harbour NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 92678064

Kiosk 11, Level 2
Westfield Shoppingtown Miranda
tel (02) 9531 8180

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Lindt Chocolat Cafe on Urbanspoon

Let’s Do Lunch @ Sean’s Kitchen, Pyrmont

October has got to be every Sydney foodie’s favourite month because it’s the month of the Sydney International Food Festival (SIFF)! Having trawled the SIFF website for all the fantastic food-related events on this year, Sir D and I kick-started the SIFF with a visit to Sean’s Kitchen for Let’s Do Lunch.

Interior of Sean’s Kitchen

With a name like Seven Deadly Sins, I could not resist finding out just how deadly the Let’s Do Lunch offering was at Sean’s Kitchen. It was quite hard to navigate ourselves to the 2nd floor of Star City where the restaurant was located since they were renovating sections of the casino and many of the escalators were closed off – so frustrating because I was hungry! We got there eventually and we requested the Let’s Do Lunch offer, and our friendly waitress promptly offered us a choice of a Brown Brothers red wine or a Coopers pale ale.

We also got a slice of bread which was warmed up but the crust was a bit too chewy as though it had been out for a while. I was hungry so I ate most of mine with the lovely creamy butter (which was covered with a cute cow print!) but Sir D left his behind.

Seven Deadly Sins – $35 including a glass of wine, beer or mineral water

Leaving the bread was probably a good idea given the decadence of our Seven Deadly Sins meal. The mixed grill arrived on a long rectangular plate and was positively glistening with fatty goodness.

Devilled kidneys on duck fat fried bread

Starting from the left, we tackled the devilled kidneys which sat atop a crunchy soldier of golden bread fried in duck fat. Devilled kidneys are lamb’s kidneys coated with a sauce made from butter, Worcestershire, English mustard, tomato sauce and other things. I’m not usually an offal person but this was actually quite nice. The duck fat fried bread was also heart-cloggingly delicious with the most amazing crunch factor ever!

Bacon, pork sausages and black pudding

Moving along we began to feast on the bacon with a thick layer of fat. Sir D thought it was a bit too salty but I thought it was ok with the meat being very tender. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the fat on it though since there was probably a week’s worth of fat in the whole platter already! Although on the SIFF website it says that the sausages are wagyu beef, we got pork sausages today. These were quite ordinary compared to the other ‘deadly sins’.

Black pudding, fried quail eggs and duck hash

Next up was the black pudding which is another traditional English food made from congealed blood. I’ve never had this before, being put off mainly by it’s scary blackness, but I tried it since you have to try everything at least once! Although I didn’t mind the taste, the texture was sort of pasty and grainy which I didn’t particularly like so I left most of it behind.

Quail eggs and duck hash

The last 2 deadly sins were the oh-so-cute fried quail eggs and the duck hash, and were probably the least ‘deadly’ of all the items and I certainly felt less guilt about eating these. The duck hash was strips of duck meat cooked with little cubes of potatoes and onions. I also loved the mini copper pot that it was served in ;)

The Aftermath

We were positively stuffed after the rich meal and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t manage to finish the whole platter! Although in retrospect, this was probably a good thing given the amount of cholesterol that it contained.

Raspberry and peach dark chocolate truffles

While we were still sitting and digesting, we were told that our meal included coffee and petit fours which was a nice unexpected touch. We received two raspberry and peach dark chocolate truffles which were scrumptious and infused with a heady raspberry and peach flavour. A great way to finish off our first Let’s Do Lunch for 2009 which was definitely the most interesting lunch I’ve had in a long time!

Sean’s Kitchen
Level 2, Star City
80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 97779000
Lunch: 12pm-3pm
Dinner: 6pm-10.30pm
Let’s Do Lunch offer is available on weekdays in October

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