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Circa Espresso, Parramatta

Funnily enough, I heard about this cafe AFTER I graduated high school in Parramatta which was very disappointing, as I never visited Parramatta unless it was for school. So we drove all the way down just to see what the hype was about (i.e. SMH Good Cafe Guide Awards 2013)!!!!!! We were meaning to revisit the Grounds again to try the winter breakfast menu but of course, I can never quite drag myself out of bed past 10:30 am. Besides... its getting overrrated...

Theres a car-park behind Circa Espresso with 1-2 hours costing $3 and $12 for a whole day, although you can park in the Westfield's but we were lazy. Its a short walk from the station and the shopping centre, at most 5 minutes.

In the BG: Avocado, Green pea mash with a hint of chilli on Sourdough toast & Baked Eggs W/ Sujuk, Danish Fetta, tomato & hint of chilli with toast served in the Pan

African Red Hot chocolate

The service was reasonably attentive! There were about 3 waiters around the front area and even the big boss himself I think. Hes in the picture above! Although the food took its time (15 mins), our coffee and hot choco produced quite immediately! I think thats one of their specialities using Single Origin beans. The boy enjoyed his cappuccino with an extra shot (TOO BITTER! I H8 COFFEE) & I LOVED my African hot chocolate! It did have an exotic taste to it.... one of the best and most unique hot choco Ive ever had! Definitely recommended for the non-caffeine addicts. You know it tasted good because I didnt even ask for marshmallows!

OK THE FOOD.... admittedly, this is one of the first Baked eggs Ive had at a cafe. It was tasty, I couldnt get enough of the Chorizo and scraping the eggs off the pan. The fetta tasted too sour for my liking, there were huge chunks and not enough egg surface area if that makes sense. I couldve done with another egg in my pan. And definitely more rocket leaves, I mean cmon. The bread was toasted to perfection, although it may look a bit dry in the picture. It would be good if they had extra sides options because I love my breakfast with added spinach, avocado and mushroom.. however, I ended up spooning up some avocado from my boys plate... hehe. Overall, the baked eggs were not filling enough for my fat tummy! Such a shame :(

His dish was just simply mashed up avocado on sourdough bread with a wedge of lemon so not much to say there! He said coffee made him bloated haha.

We got seated as soon as we got there around 11:30am on a Wednesday but if you want to avoid queues, 10-11am would be the best time to visit! The kitchen closes at 2pm.

21 Wentworth St, Parramatta, 2150

Opening hours:
Mon - fri: 7am til 4pm
Not open on weekends! :(

Location: 21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta NSW 2150, Australia

Chanoma Cafe, CBD

JAPA-DOGS. 'nuff said.
AND Matcha Green tea heaven.

Funny story actually, I wanted to try this after uni and I had a throbbing headache but I still opted for hotdogs. That's dedication right there. (I seriously needed a salad or something)

Tonkatsu dog $6.50
Teriyaki Chicken dog $5.50 and Creamy Shrimp Croquette dog $6.20
Soy Butter and Seaweed Shaker fries $4.40
 I also grabbed a green tea float as well but I forgot to take a picture. It was the most anti-climatic drink in the history of green tea drinks. The flavour was very bitter-some which was adaptable but still a mediocre drink. The green tea ice-cream really made no difference at all, if any to the flavours. Nothing that reached the WOW factor. There's some brown syrup near the sauces if you want any extra added sweetness. Next time I'll be trying the Azuki frappe!

If you like those Dagwood dogs at the Easter show, the Tonkatsu dog is perfect for you (and me)!! It is tonkatsu panko bread crumbed over a Slovenia kranksy, still being able to provide a succulent taste towards the middle. It has a bbq-esque sauce over the sausage, of course I add extra ketchup and mustard sauce for the full-effect. Although, after one bite... I had the wasabi sensation in my mouth!!! I couldn't figure out what it was, it was very overpowering and realised it came from the mustard sauce. Since when was there wasabi in mustard?! Owell, I ended up scraping it off and enjoyed the rest.

My next favourite was the Creamy Shrimp Croquette dog! Literally ebi fried prawn with generous amounts of Jap mayo in a bun. Interesting concept to take in! The Teriyaki chicken dog wasn't a winner though, the chicken breast got lost in the bread and I ended up eating more avocado than chicken upon sharing! The flavours weren't really there for me.

The Shaker fries also has different flavours such as: Wasabi, Teriyaki, Chili and Garlic, Soy Butter and Seaweed. I chose the latter as it seemed more appealing and unique! They were very addictive but really lacked the buttery taste I was looking for. I felt like the fried seaweed was nothing special. It was like eating seaweed from the seaweed packets I buy from the asian grocers. Just crumbled up in fries. Ketchup to the rescue! :)

Chanoma Cafe
Regents place, ground floor
501 George st, Sydney, NSW, 2000
Ph: (02) 9266 0667

Location: 501 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Mary's, Newtown

Let me tell you, we spent at least a minute staring at the nondescript door before a coupla folks inside stared us down. Only to realise that 'Mary's' was sprawled clumsily in marker at the top... yes there is no sign. It's pretty hidden but you'll find it next to Kelly's On Kings back entrance.

The atmosphere was relaxed on a weekday afternoon.. there is an upstairs level which we headed towards which is much more suitable for couple time with candlelit tables for extra intimacy ;) The lighting is highly dim even for the day time.

L to R: Fried Chicken ($16) - half bird, Mash ($5) with some type of heavenly gravy (addictive!)
Mary's burger with shoestring fries ($14) and me enjoying my burger :D

FIRST OF ALL, I regret not trying the cheeseburger or the vegetarian shroom burger instead. But we decided two people can't stomach more than one burger, half a bird, fries and some mash!
The burger had the extra grease factor with some type of mayo aoli sauce (reminiscent of Hungry Jack's whopper...) that made the burger soggy after about 10 mins :( I'd have to say the burger was pretty average with the lettuce, tomato and the patty. The fries are compulsory with the burgers. There is an option of adding Trashcan bacon $4 / double and double-down (patties) to the burgers for $3 extra.

The succulent fried chicken was to DIE FOR. If only they had options for smaller portions. Definitely some real gritty pub food! The chicken is incredibly tender and juicy with the added crunch. When dunked in the mash and gravy (A MUST!), oh boy I was on a whirlwind to foodie heaven. 
I'm pretty sure the boy devoured half that mash, after agreeing that it was the highlight of the meal.

w/ fries



Mary's 6 Mary Street, Newtown, NSW 2032
Located next to Kelly's on King

Mon-fri: 4pm - midnight
Sat: 12am-12pm
Sun: 12pm - 10pm

Best to go during earlier than later on a weekend night, I heard there are lines....

Location: Sydney NSW 2032, Australia

Black Star Pastry, Newtown

Lo and behold! The first post is dedicated to probably the tastiest cake ever to venture into my mouth.
You can't refuse the Strawberry Watermelon and Rose cream cake... even if it costs $7.50 for a small piece. It is definitely worth the 45 minute commute from my hometown.

The tiny innards of the cafe? bakery? holds a barista with shelves encasing with delectable pastries and sweets. I hear the lamb shank pie and the lamb shake pie & beer brisket pie are quite the popular studs as well - but nonetheless, the Strawberry watermelon cake steals the show!

It's a funny story actually, I brought some cake home for my mum to try and she was very critical of the cake haha (we own an Asian bakery). Her view of the cake was that there was hardly any cake but an abundance of cream and fruit, she was also surprised by the (edible) rose petals. There's probably only one layer of actual 'softness' that deems it as a cake. Who knew dried rose petals tasted so good?

The cake is super light to eat, it isn't heavy on the sweetness but the fact that it is predominantly rose cream and fruit probably holds the reason why. If you're not a cake lover, you're this cake's lover.

Best to avoid the weekend rush, people would line up just to savour the deliciousness of this cake i.e. me.

P.s. Has anyone tasted the vegan chocolate, lime, avocado cake from there? I've been twice but I've never seen it on display. So sad. It looks yummy!

Black Star Pastry
277 Australia St Newtown
(02) 9557 8656

Opens seven days 7am-5pm but the cake sells out quick! ;)

Location: Newtown NSW, Australia