Vesta Italian, Darling Quarter

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Belle: With daylight savings coming to an end, those long summer nights are now a distant memory. We visited Vesta Italian a couple of weeks ago and the warm evening night was perfect for the alfresco dining at Darling Quarter. We were hosted by the welcoming manager Kaz and really enjoyed the night. So much so that we stayed till closing.

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We started off with Antipasto for two/four ($26/$49). Serving two or four, a large platter of classic delicious antipasto selections include marinated olives, marinated vegetables, salami, and cheese served with grissini and bread.

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The second entree was the Seared Scallops with cauliflower puree and lemon crumble ($16) which was perfectly cooked.

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Pork belly pizza, diced pork belly, mozzarella, potato and apple sauce ($23) was an interesting combination of salty pork belly combined with the sweet apple sauce.

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Gnocchi al ragu di agnello, gnocchi with our slow cooked lamb shoulder ragu, peas, and shaved age parmesan ($23). This was a rich and hearty dish that would be perfect for the upcoming colder months.

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Mixed mushroom risotto with truffle pecorino ($19) was my favourite dish of the night. It was well seasoned and the added truffle pecorino was the cherry on top.

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The best part of the night was having desserts to finish off the night. Home made daily panna cotta ($12) was a pot of goodness. The panna cotta was smooth and creamy and not overly sweet.

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Home mad cannoli, Ricotta and chocolate chip ($6). The citrus infused ricotta was a welcoming change. I am not usually a fan of chocolate chips in ice creams because they are usually too frozen and not melt in your mouth ready. But because the ricotta is served at a warmer temperature, I enjoyed the small bites of chocolate flakes.

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Affogato, a shot of espresso with 2 scoops of ice cream and a shot of Frangelico ($14). The perfect blend to finish off the night.

vesta italian darling quarter the lamstock 8We had a wonderful time dining here and would come back here some good old hearty pasta dishes.

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Vesta on Urbanspoon

15/1-25 Harbour St, Sydney, NSW 2000

(02) 9267 9644

http://www.vestaitalian.com.au/

Opening Hours: Monday – Wednesday 6am til 5pm, Thursday – Sunday 6am til late.

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Lauren from Folke Agency and Vesta Italian to dine as guests. Opinions are however, our own.

 

 

Cake Bake Sweets

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Belle: Some of my earliest memories of food involved helping my mum out when she was baking. Every time my mum was baking, Brenda and I would eagerly sit around waiting to help her. As we got older we were given permission to bake our own cakes. We started with the cake mixes out of a box and eventually making our way to baking from scratch. Over the years we have baked numerous cakes and pastries for family and friends.

Two weekends ago was the annual Cake, Bake and Sweets Show at Sydney Showgrounds and we were excited to attend and be inspired by the cakes on showcase. Here are some of the highlights from that day.

I loved walking through the dessert table showcase. Each display had incredible attention to detail and there seemed to be one for every occasion.

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Also on show were the cakes from the Australian Cake Decorating Championships. Here are some entries from the novelty cake competition that caught our eyes on that day.

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cake bake sweets show 2014 the lamstock 7After a walk around and marveling at all the displays, we wanted a change of scene from all the sugar and sat in on Dan Lepard’s demonstration on making’The Easy All Australian Burger Bun’.

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We had a great day and has inspired us to bake more often. We also brought home some goodies that we purchased from various vendors. I definitely can’t wait to visit again next year.

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Kiarna from National Media and Abbey from Thrive PR to attend as media guest for the Cake Bake and Sweets Show. Opinions are however, our own.

Nescafe Dulce Gusto

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Belle: Last week Brenda and I had the chance to meet up with renown New York coffee artist Michael Breach for the Nescafe Dulce Gusto pop up event at Wynyard Park.

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Before attending the event Brenda and I did a little bit of investigating and found both his Instagram and Tumblr account. After seeing a few of his work, we were hooked. Michael was able to create portraits and buildings in a cup of coffee with three things; milk froth, crema and a small toothpick. He told us that the coffee art started after he made a bet with a few friends to see if he was able to draw in the coffee foam. It it turned out he was quite good at it and everything took off from there.

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We were lucky to have our portraits drawn and here is the finished product.

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So the lesson learnt from this event; don’t listen to those who tell you ‘not to play with your food’.

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Jessica from Impact Communications for the event. Opinions are however, our own.

 

Mashawi Home (Camel Kingdom), Lakemba

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Ando: Camel? Yes, those animals with humps. In a burger? Yes, and it was quite tasty! Well I have to admit, the first time I tried the camel burger at Mashawi House (back then the store was known as Camel Kingdom) it was delivered to me and it wasn’t piping hot, so the burger wasn’t as satisfying. But this time I decided to visit the store. C’mon camel burger, change my mind!

Located in Lakemba, parking wasn’t too much trouble but I did get a bit lost locating the store. Since the name change, I didn’t realise I had walked straight passed it. An A-frame located on the pathway spelled out ‘Camel Kingdom’ but the store sign above the walkway had ‘Mashawi Home’.

Camel Burger – with lettuce, tomato, onion, beetroot and cheese ($7.99). The main reason I ordered this burger was for the camel meat. The patty tasted like a cross between beef and lamb. It didn’t taste too fatty but did taste a bit elastic.  Aside from the patty, it was a simple burger. I ordered this in a meal with chips and a drink (not pictured). It was midday and the fridge stock was quite limited. I believed I took the last bottle of coke on that day.camel kingdom burger lakemba the lamstock 1

Skewer Mixed Plate – choice of lamb, chicken or kafta (single serve $15). The friendly man behind the counter suggested that I tried all three meat. This dish also came with a side of Lebanese bread and I side of sauce. I told him I couldn’t pick between the three; garlic sauce, hummus and baba ganoush, so he gave all three. I wasn’t complaining.

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The experience of the camel burger was more enjoyable the second time around. And I will be back whenever I am in the area or whenever I feel like venturing out from the usual beef burger. Alpaca or deer burger next round anyone?

Camel Kingdom on Urbanspoon

156 Haldon Street, Lakemba, NSW 2195.

(02) 9759 3304

Ryvita Masterpiece at The Grounds, Alexandria

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Belle: Last week Brenda and I were invited to try the Ryvita’s launch to search for Australia’s ‘Best Sandwich’. This was an event that Brenda and I were looking forward to because that evening was kicked-off with a Reuben sandwich demonstration by Jake Dell, owner of renowned Katz’s Deli in New York City. Both Brenda and I dreamed of visiting Katz’s Deli and talking to Jake about New York has increased our urgency to book flights to NYC ASAP.

ryvita grounds of alexandria the lamstock 4Below is Jake Dell’s recreation of the New York City Pastrami on Rye using local ingredients.

ryvita grounds of alexandria the lamstock 5Jake Dell’s recreation of the famous Katz’s Deli Reuben using local produce.

ryvita grounds of alexandria the lamstock 9The sandwich demonstration was followed by a workshop to create our own Reuben and Pastrami Sandwiches.

ryvita grounds of alexandria the lamstock 1This was Brenda’s take on a Pastrami on Ryvita during the workshop.

ryvita grounds of alexandria the lamstock 6The rest of the evening we had the opportunity to learn more about the Ryvita Masterpiece; over the next four weeks, eight eateries around Australia will battle it out to see who will win the best Ryvita Masterpiece. The eateries involved are: The Grounds (Sydney), Malibu (Sydney), Gelato Messina (Sydney), Hotel Windsor (Melbourne), Shady Palms Cafe (Brisbane), Bar 9 (Adelaide), Cafe Elixer (Perth) and Toastface Grillah (Perth).

We were lucky enough to try three of the Ryvita Masterpiece contenders on the day.

Malibu ‘Green Fields’. Poached chicken with homemade lemon and herb mayonaise topped with diced avocado, celery, cucumber, spring onions and mixed herbs. I liked that this dish was simple and very doable at home. I can definitely see myself attempting to recreate this dish.
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The Grounds ‘The Pumpkin Pie’. Homemade spiced pumpkin mousse topped with sliced fennel, pickled cucumbers and shavings of hot salami. This dish had a lot of punchy flavours. There was sweetness from the pumpkin, a dash of sour from the pickled cucumbers and a hit of salt and chili from the salami. It was a well rounded dish.
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Gelato Messina ‘White Bait’. Mounds of Messina’s smoked salmon and white chocolate gelato between mounds of lemon cream cheese and toped with cubes of dill and caper jelly and micro herbs. This dish was definitely the talking point of night. Gelato Messina never ceases to amaze me with their combination of flavours. The ice cream didn’t taste fishy at all. It was sweet with essence of smoked salmon. It worked well on the Ryvita, but I am unsure if I will be able to have this ice cream on its own.
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All three dishes were enjoyable. But my vote will be for the Messina’s take on the Ryvita Masterpiece with extra points for their risk they took.
Also there is a change to win $2000 when you Like their Facebook Page and vote for your favourite creation.
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The Lamstock Sydney restaurants
Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Katie from AC Agency and Ryvita Australia to the event launch. Opinions are however, our own.

The Flynn, Sydney

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Belle: Hidden in Sydney’s Central Building District is a pub that has been inspired by late Australian actor Errol Flynn. Formally known as The Bligh, this pub has been relaunched as The Flynn.

The pub’s restaurant Lil’ Damita is reminiscent of the old school 1940s Hollywood glamour with the addition of dark parquet timber walls, velvet upholstered booths and pot plants. The menu at Lil’ Damita is a combination of classic Australian pub foods as well as some new mixes to compliment the changing pub food scene in Sydney. 

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The ingredients of a classic steak sandwich has been mixed up to create the Open Steak Sandwich, Angus sirloin, caramellised onion, beetroot, roast tomato, aioli & rocket on Iggys sourdough and chips ($18). The new take on this classic dish now requires the use of a knife and fork, which I didn’t mind because it allowed me to savor each bite. I would come back here for this dish and the $12 deals on Monday makes it all the more tempting. You can also check other deals that are available Monday til Thursday here.

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On the lighter side, there are also a few salads that are available here. We decided on the Sashimi Salad, atlantic salmon, kingfish, cherry tomato, mixed leaf, avocado, daikon, spicy lemon & lime dressing ($20). The combination ingredients work well together. Make sure to mix the salad well before eating.

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Being on a tight schedule, we did not try out the range of wonderful cocktails that were available. Perhaps next time!

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The Flynn on Urbanspoon

2a Bligh Street, Sydney 2000.

(02) 9223 0037

http://www.theflynn.com.au/

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am til late.

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Sneha from Shake Appeal and dined as a guest of The Flynn. Opinions are however, our own.

Hot Star, Sydney

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Belle: I have a love/hate relationship with eating fried chicken. It is easily one of my ‘go to’ food when I am craving for junk food. And it is because of this reason that I try to stay away from it whenever possible. But I couldn’t resist the promise of a 30cm piece of fried chicken from Hot Star.

Hot Star opened their first store in Sydney at the beginning of the month (Melbourne was their first Australian store) and this Taiwanese franchise is already attracting long queues since opening.  I spoke to Cassey, the manager of the store and she told me they were selling over 700 pieces of fried chicken a day.

Cassey took me to the back of the store to show me where all the food was prepped. I liked the fact that their chicken is 100% Australian chicken breast with no meat glue involved. At $7.90 a piece, it is worth every cent. What sets this fried chicken apart is the batter and the seasoning. The tapioca flour coating makes the batter super crunchy. After the crunchiness it gets nice and chewy after a few bites. And their seasoning is a mix of chili, seaweed, salt, pepper and plum. There is also the option to try the original fried chicken with additional spices: little spiciy, medium spicy, spicy or extra spicy. I really enjoyed this piece of chicken, but I will have to warn, it is very filling and highly addictive.

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Along with the fried chicken we also had a few of their sides. The chicken bites ($5.9) are a small sample of the large fried chicken with hints of their seasoning and some addition of deep fried basil leaves.

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I couldn’t say no to the Mushrooms ($4.9), which were cut in bite sized pieces. But I wished there was more seasoning to it. Just make sure it is cooled down before you eat it, or you might see yourself burnt from the scolding hot juices.

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Sweet potato fries ($3.9).

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Hot Star is a fast food outlet that I will come back to and I can already see myself stopping here after a night out in the city.

Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

96 Liverpool St, Sydney 2000.

Facebook Page

Opening Hours: Sunday til Thursday 10am – 12am, Friday til Saturday 10am – 2am.

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Harvey Publicity and Hot Star Australia to sample their menu. Opinions are however, our own.

Taste of Sydney 2014, Centennial Park

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Belle: With only two days left to attend the annual Taste of Sydney festival, this is a quick blog to highlight some of the food that we tasted on Thursday night.

The aste of Sydney festival is a showcase of some of Sydney’s finest restaurants, with 15 restaurants exhibiting, as well as Icon Park a new crowd funding concept to dining in Sydney and a selection of food providers.

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We arrived late on Thursday night and with just under two hours to scope out the festival, our first stop of the night was to start with drinks thanks to Rekorderlig cider.

Apple – Guava Cider and Orange – Ginger. I haven’t tried these flavours previously and really enjoyed the Apple-Guava and it was perfect for the warm night. But I also couldn’t pass on the Orange-Ginger as I love anything with ginger and will be ordering this drink which is perfect for the cooler nights.

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Aki’s Indian Restaurant

Lamb Biryani, dum cooked lamb & rice with raita ($14). This was one of the favourite dishes of the night. The lamb was tender and packed full of spices.

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Chur Burger

Wagyu Rossini, with shaved fois gras, truffle and Medeira jus ($18) was a must try for me after seeing the hype on social media before the festival. And it was certainly worth the wait. Juicy patty and a good serve of melt in your mouth fois gras. the only down side was that the but was slightly dry and serving was small.

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Effendy

Duck, Haloumi & Wilk Weeds Gozleme, mini gozlemes with duck leg, string haloumi & barberries ($8).

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The Larder

House Smoked Salmon Rillettes, salmon roe, crostini ($8)

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Spiced Lamb Shoulder yoghurt, cucumber, mint ($10). This perfect marriage of flavours complimented the soft and well cooked lamb.

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This was my first time attending Taste of Sydney and I really enjoyed the atmosphere that this even created. Next year, I will be attending a lot earlier to try more of the dishes on offer.

Taste of Sydney, 13th – 16th March 2014

Brazilian Fields, Centennial Park

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Exposure PR and Rekorderlig cider. Opinions are however, our own.

New Shanghai, Chatswood

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Belle: Every few weeks, my sisters and I would drop by Ashfield on our way home from uni for some Xiao Long Baos. But since graduating last year, our tradition of dumpling sessions haven’t been on the agenda. New Shanghai is one of our favourite spot. So when Alana from Wasamedia invited myself and some fellow food bloggers to try out the new menu at the Chatswood Chase store, it was an immediate ‘yes’ from me.

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Upon arrival, it was recommended that we ordered a drink from the new drinks menu. The Fresh pineapple with coconut milk ($6.8) struck a chord with me. It was refreshing and had just enough ice to be easy to drink and not to give you a brain freeze. I would order this again any day.

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The night started off with an array of classics from their menu.

New Shanghai pan fried pork bun (8pcs) ($10.5). One of my favourite classic dishes from New Shanghai.

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New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao – steamed mini pork bun (8pcs) ($7.8).

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Prawn wonton tossed with peanut butter, red chili oil & spice (10pcs) ($11.5). I enjoyed the combination of peanut butter in this dish.

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Pan fried pork dumpling (8pcs) ($9.9).
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Steamed pork belly bun (2pcs) ($6). The bun was fluffy and it had the right amount of hoi sin sauce to bread ratio.

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Braised tofu and mushroom in sweet soy sauce ($16.8).

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Stir fried clam with ginger and shallot ($15.8).IMG_1135

Sautéed sliced ling fish in red wine sauce ($19.8).IMG_1137

Salt & pepper soft shell crab ($29.8).

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King prawn with vermicelli in ginger and shallot in hot pot ($23.8).

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Salt and pepper school prawn ($17.8).

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Braised tofu with seafood in hot pot ($22.8).

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Rainbow beef (deep fried shredded beef tossed with sweet & sour sauce) ($17.8). This dish was accompanied with their plain steamed buns and it went down a treat.
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Fried rice with X.O. sauce ($11.9).
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And if that wasn’t enough food, the night was topped up with the Fresh mango/strawberry shaved ice ($10.8). The serving was generous and enough to feed three to four people. As full as I was at this point, it was the right dish to cap off the feast.

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New Shanghai is a restaurant that I always find myself returning to. And with four stores located in Sydney, it makes it even easier to find a great place for a good dumpling session.

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New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Shop B-038, Chatswood Chase
Chatswood, NSW 2067

(02) 9412 3358

www.newshanghai.com.au

Disclaimer: The Lamstock was invited by Wasamedia and dined as a guest of New Shanghai. Opinions are however, our own.

Romana Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant (Online Ordering with Eat Now)

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Ando: It was one of those nights where I was not willing to cook and was reluctant to drive to get food, so Belle suggested that we order with Eat Now. We were first time users and found the whole process quick and simple. Eat Now is completely 100% free to use and allows customers to order takeaway and delivery online. Eat now also has access to over 2,500 restaurants. We couldn’t wait to get started and view which local restaurants were on offer.

There are two ways you can order from eat now. First, hop onto your computer and visit their website. Or second, download their app and order from your phone. I chose the latter, as I already had my iPhone with me. It wasn’t long before the app was installed and ready to go.

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The app picked up my location and didn’t require me to enter my suburb. Too easy!

Romana Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

We were craving pizza so it didn’t take long for us to pick which restaurant we wanted to order from.

Romana Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

We found the customer’s review section insightful, including comments on recommended dishes and the restaurant’s service. Some restaurants also offered deals which made it all the more enticing to order with Eat Now.

Romana Italian Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

Romana Italian Guildford Eat Now - The LamstockRomana Italian Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

Free garlic bread? I’m not complaining!

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Payment options included cash, card or PayPal. I love it how you can use your Facebook account as your Eat Now account.

Romana Italian Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

We received an SMS shortly after our selection that confirmed our order and stated the delivery time.

We ordered the Special 4 deal ($45.99) which saved us $6 if we bought the items individually. 2 family pizzas, large chips, garlic bread and 1.25L drink.

Romana Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

Romana Guildford Eat Now - The Lamstock

Romana Cheese Lovers Family – Romana Italian sauce, mozzarella cheese, fetta cheese and parmesan. Who can resist a cheese filled pizza!

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Supreme Pizza Family – Pepperoni, cabanossi, mushroom, capsicum, onion, olive and pineapple. Filled with classic toppings this pizza quickly filled our bellies and left a smile on our faces.

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The app is a free download and by joining you can receive emails for great specials, discounts and freebies. Start ordering!

Romana Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

126 Military Road, Guildford, NSW 2162.

(02) 9681 6645

http://www.eatnow.com.au/

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock received a reimbursement courtesy of Eat Now. Opinions are however, our own.

Minskys Hotel, Cremorne

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Belle: Last month Brenda and I were invited to the media launch of the newly renovated Minskys Hotel in Cremorne. With the addition of an updated pub menu, and  hotel’s extensive range of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails, the Minskys Hotel is a great place to hang out for a light meal and drinks or for that midnight craving.

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Here is a glimpse of the menu items (in canape sized portions) that we tried during that night.

Chicken liver pate, mango chutney & toasted sourdough ($11)*

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Wild mushroom arancini - wild mushroom, boccocini risotto balls (3 per serve) ($9)*

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Crispy school prawns - chili & lime mayo ($10)*

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Salt & pepper squid - lemon & habanero chili sauce ($12)*

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Herb crusted chicken tenderloin bites - paprika & jalapeño mayo ($12)*

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Pear & Meredith goats curd salad - pear, orange, roasted beets with Meredith goats curd & almonds ($17)*

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Minskys beef burger - beef pattie, house smoked ham, swiss cheese & baby cos, served on a brioche bun w/ salad & fries ($18)*

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Asian inspired Pulled pork burger with cabbage slaw.

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Caramelised pork belly with coconut rice

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With the kitchen operating til 1am six nights a week, there is no excuse not to pop by the Minskys Hotel.

Minskys Hotel on Urbanspoon.

287 Military Rd, Cremorne NSW 2090

(02) 9909 8888

http://www.minskyshotel.com.au/articles/Home/1

Opening Hours: For Bistro Monday tol Saturday, 12 noon til 1am, Sunday 12 noon til 11pm,

Disclaimer: The Lamstock were invited to attend the media launch by Jonah from Men at Work Comms.

* The food provided are only canape sized serving, the actual menu offers a larger serving than the images of food shown in this post

West Juliett, Marrickville

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Belle: Whilst running around the Inner West for some errands, Brenda and I popped by West Juliett for a late lunch. It is located among the residential streets of Marrickville and the parking was quite easy to find.

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I couldn’t go pass an Affogato – double espresso over two scoops white chocolate ice cream ($5.9) for my afternoon caffeine hit.

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Whilst Brenda stuck to her usual Soy Latte ($3.5 + extra for soy).

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I was on a sugar high that day and was still craving something sweet after my affogato. I ordered the French toast, ricotta, roast rhubarb, salted caramel ($13.9). It was exactly what I was craving that afternoon. I have to admit I did went a little overboard with the sugar and wasn’t able to finish my dish.

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Brenda again was more sensible and ordered the Grass fed burger, betroot relish, butter lettuce, cheddar, pickles, mayo ($13.9). It was a decent burger, but the bread was too dry. According to Brenda, she hasn’t found another burger to meet her benchmark burger from The Fish Shop in Potts Point.

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After a quick break we decided to add in a Bowl of hand cut chips with crisp herbs ($5.9) to finish our meal. The addition of fried herbs was a nice touch of flavour, but sadly the chips were undercooked. We were hoping to find chips that matched the chips we had a Kepos Street Kitchen.

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I enjoyed the ambiance of West Juliett and it is somewhere that I will be returning for future brunch session.

West Juliett on Urbanspoon

30 Llewellyn Street, Marrickville, NSW 2204

(02) 9519 0101

Facebook Page

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 7am till 4pm.

James’ Bistro, Fairfield

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Belle: From the owner that has brought you Holy Basil and Green Peppercorn, brings another addition to the Western Sydney scene. James’ Bistro brings modern Australian to multicultural Fairfield. It is nestled inside the Crescent Tavern on the corner of The Crescent and Smart Street on the main strip of Fairfield.

The Lamstock gang arrived here early on a Sunday to avoid the late diners and to scope out this new restaurant. We were so early that we were the first customers there for a good 30 minutes.

I remember checking their Facebook page before we arrived and noted their feature graffiti wall and noticed it right away when we arrived. We were seated right in the centre of the restaurant in the middle of all the action.

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Upon arrival we were given complimentary bread with olive oil to start the evening. While waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive, a few of us overloaded on bread before the evening even started.

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Chilli salted squid Nam Jim Aioli ($12)*. It was a lovely dish to start off the night and a favourite for D-Lam. The hints of chilli was just enough to not overdose on water.

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Mini Sliders – caramelised pork belly apple slaw, Vietnamese pork roll ($9.5)*. These were a lot smaller that what we were expecting and it was a little bit on the dry side.

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Pork belly braised cabbage turnips compressed apple ($23)*. This dish was one of my favourites of the night as you can never go wrong with pork belly.

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Crispy skin ocean trout baby leaks fennel salad fennel purees ($25)*. I enjoyed this dish the most compared to the rest of the crew. I am a sucker for any fish dish and the fennel salad that came with it was perfectly acidic and sour. While some people might find it too overpowering, I reckon it is the perfect side dish with the ocean trout.

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Braised lamb neck smoked eggplant puree puffed quinoa almond milk pomegranate jus ($25)*. The lamb was juicy and perfectly cooked. However the side dishes were lacking in salt and flavour.

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250g scotch filled glazed carrots caramelised onion puree crispy chips ($25)*. Two of this dish was ordered on the night, one rare and the other medium rare. The rare was perfect but the medium rare was overcooked and dry.

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When dessert time rolled around, we decided to try all three dishes that were featured on the menu.

First up was the Creme brulee with salted caramel ice cream ($12)*. It was perfectly smooth and creamy. We knew it wouldn’t be a disappointing dish after having tried their pandan creme brulee at Green Peppercorn.

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Second up was their famous Lychee & coconut eton mess ($14)*. It was refreshing and light. We cleaned up the plate within a matter of minutes and had to order a second dish.

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And lucky last was the Vanilla panacotta with pistachio crumble &raspberry gel ($12)*. The panacotta was overly rich and creamy on its own, but the raspberry gel really help saved the dish. A little more gel would have been perfect.

James Bistro Fairfield The Lamstock 12

The desserts were an overall winner on that night. We had an enjoyable experience that was close to home. It is a place that I see myself revisiting with friends.

* The Lamstock visited this place a few months prior to the publishing of this post. There have been changes to their menu since and this item might no longer be available. Please check their menu on their website or Facebook page for updates.

James Bistro on Urbanspoon

Corner of Smart & Crescent Streets, Fairfield NSW 2165

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 12pm till 3pm for lunch, 5pm till 10.30pm for dinner.

(02) 9723 3999

Lyons R.A.W., Drummoyne

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Belle: On this particular Sunday morning, The Lamstock decided to go for a little drive around town in search of a new brunch location using our trusty Foursquare app. Originally we were on route to a bakery in Drunmoyne, but noticed Lyons Raw along the way and decided to drop by there instead.

The open glass facade brightened up the room on this particular gloomy and rainy Sunday morning.

Lyons Raw Drummoyne 1

We started off with our selection of coffee. From left to right: Affogato ($4.5), Soy flat white ($4 + $0.5 for soy) and Soy latte ($4 + $0.5 for soy).

Lyons Raw Drummoyne 2

With a quick glance over their simple menu, we knew exactly what we wanted to try.

I instantly went for the Bacon & Potato: Poached eggs, roasted tomato, smokey bacon & potato served on sourdough toast ($18.5). Being gluten intolerant, I often find myself opting for any potato dish in the morning to fill me up. The bacon was the highlight and full of flavour. It was sweet enough to not overpower the saltiness of the bacon. Ando and Brenda helped finish the sourdough toast.

Lyons Raw Drummoyne 4

Brenda ordered the Lamb Sausage: Chargrilled lamb sausage & baked eggs on a bed of mixed beans served with Danish feta & fig walnut toast ($18.5). It was a nice heavy dish and exactly what Brenda needed that morning. It was interesting to find lamb served on a breakfast menu as opposed to other meats.

Lyons Raw Drummoyne 3

Ando went for the Salmon & Eggs: Scrambled eggs, fresh chives & truffle oil served with toasted croissant & smoked slamon ($17.5). This was the dish was the one that most lacked in flavour and probably needed additional seasoning or an extra element.

Lyons Raw Drummoyne 5

I felt that for the price we paid, the dishes were not value for money and a tad overpriced.

Lyons Raw serves all day breakfast and lunch seven days a week. With an addition of their wine bar open + taps on Friday nights (Bookings essential).

Lyons R.A.W. on Urbanspoon

155 Lyons Road, Drummoyne, NSW 2047

(02) 9181 3444

Facebook Page

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 7am – 4pm. Plus Friday wine bar 6pm – late.

Jones the Grocer, Sydney

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Brenda: I’ve always wanted to dine at Jones the Grocer and have been intrigued by the combination of a grocer and a restaurant. Ando and I visited on a Sunday morning and was surprised to see the place packed and buzzing, so we do recommend booking beforehand especially during the busy brunch hours.

We started the morning with a hit of caffeine; a flat white and a soy latte.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Forest mushroom frittata, sheep’s feta, asparagus & truffle oil on sourdough toast ($17). This dish had a beautiful aroma of truffle and the eggs were fluffy and light. I really enjoyed the combination of flavours and textures, it’s also a great vegetarian option.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Jones big breakfast with pork & fennel sausage, bacon, two free-range eggs, forest mushrooms, roast tomato & hash brown with sourdough toast ($21). A very traditional big breakfast but everything was exceptionally splendid. The pork and fennel sausage was made in-house and it was perfectly cooked. There was also a generous serving of bacon – layered on top of each other like a potato gratin.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Warm sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce & vanilla bean ice-cream ($12). This dessert was to die for! Beautiful rich flavours and a velvety smooth vanilla bean ice-cream to top it off.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Glazed lemon tart with confit citrus & creme fraiche ($12). I found the tart to be a little thinner than expected, but nonetheless it was a beautiful balance of acidity and the creme fraiche really helped cut through the dish.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Make sure you check out the grocery before or after your meal for quality food products. We left with jars of relish and I couldn’t stop myself from buying a cute ceramic mug for work. Jones the grocer will be launching their online store soon so keep an eye out for that.

Jones the Grocer Sydney

Jones the Grocer on Urbanspoon

Cnr Castlereagh & Market Streets, Sydney, NSW 2000

(02) 8072 7755

http://www.jonesthegrocer.com

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 8am till late. Sunday – 8am till 7pm.

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited by Cav Con and dined as a guest of Jones The Grocer. Opinions are however, our own.

Three Williams, Redfern

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Ando: It’s hard waking up early on a Saturday morning but that’s exactly what I did along with other food bloggers to avoid the Saturday brunch crowd. Following directions from my GPS, I was surprised to see a group of ladies waiting outside at 9.30am. I was shocked and I thought to myself ‘did Saturday brunch sessions just get earlier?’ Thankfully they weren’t there for the cafe, but for a pole dancing studio a few doors down!

In the past few months my Instagram feed has been inundated with food pics from this cafe and I was glad that I was finally here to check this place out for myself. Parking at Three Williams was a breeze as there was ample parking directly outside the cafe and on the opposite side of the street.The clipboard menu acted like a map pointing and guiding me through all the delicious treats on this trip.

Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

On a side note, Three Williams does get quite loud at times. Especially being a child friendly cafe, you do get the occasional kid running up and down the wooden ramp. But this just adds to the vibrant atmosphere.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

And you can’t have a child friendly cafe without the additional kids area! I would totes bring my kids here if I had any!
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

A flat white ($3.5) was what I needed to start the morning. Oh and the use Single Origin Roasters beans here.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

The Merchant – chilli fried egg, crispy bacon, pickled slaw, ranch dressing on a warm brioche bun ($12). The hint was chilli in this dish was subtle and worked well with the tangy pickled slaw. The brioche bun was light and did not make the dish feel too heavy.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Poached eggs, marinated bull horn peppers, serrano ham, feta, dukkah, on toast ($16). The egg was poached perfectly and the feta gave the dish that extra tanginess. I would have liked more of the thin slices of serrano ham though.

Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Big William – bacon, fried eggs, nuremberg sausage, roma tomato, hash, onion relish ($18). A breakfast/brunch classic you can’t go wrong with!

Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Spicy smashed beans with avocado on charred toast with two poached eggs ($16). I wasn’t too sure about the ‘smashed’ beans, but this was a mouthful of a dish. As I am a coriander fan, I thought it was a nice addition to the dish.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Crunchy brioche french toast, blueberries, yoghurt, roasted pecans and maple syrup ($14). This was the dish I was looking forward to eat the most and I wasn’t disappointed. Crunchy, sweet, tangy, creamy, fruity… all in the morning? YES! Reward yourself!
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Narnies with grilled prawns, avocado, sweet corn and tomato salsa with aioli ($14). The naan-style flat bread is signature house made and was fluffy and not too doughy. I wish I could pick this up with my hands but this was not feasible, as it would fall apart. Knives and forks at the ready!
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Narnies with fried tempeh, asian-style pickled veg, sriracha & lime mayo ($12). A great choice for vegetarians.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Beer battered chips with house aioli ($6). Triple cooked, these chips are immensely crunchy and super addictive!
Three Williams, Redfern - The LamstockFish croquettes with lemon and aioli ($3 each). The presentation of this dish is just too adorable.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Granola with hibiscus pear ($12). Another one of the great vegetarian dishes here at Three Williams.
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Caramelised cauliflower tabouli, with quinoa, walnuts and preserved lemon ($12 + $2 with chicken). A healthy dish that will leave you feeling satisfied!
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

And some additional desserts were needed to finish off an amazing brucn session! Strawberry flavoured doughnuts and brownies! Beetroots were used here in the making of the pink icing. Yum!
Three Williams, Redfern - The Lamstock

Three Williams on Urbanspoon

613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern, NSW 2016

(02) 9689 1111

Kitchen: 7am – 3pm

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited by Wasamedia and dined as a guest of Three Williams. Opinions are however, our own.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern

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Belle: This is a blog post that got delayed during the busy final assessment period when I accompanied Brenda to her last presentation at uni and we decided to have an early celebration by having a nice lunch. I wanted to check out Kepos Street Kitchen for a while now and knew it was probably our best bet to avoid the queues on the weekend. It was almost 2pm when we arrived and the restaurant was completely full, we had a quick wait while the waitress cleared the table for us. Luckily for us, it started to clear out quite quickly after our arrival and we ended up being the last customers.

The first thing I noticed about this cafe was that it was a lot smaller than I had expected. It was not bigger than a living room and the seating was quite cosy.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstock

Brenda started her lunch with her usual soy latte ($3.5 + $0.5 for soy), which uses The Grounds of Alexandria beans.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstoc

I was after something more refreshing and decided on the pomegranate virgin mojito ($9). It hit the spot right away. Brenda thought that the drink was a little too acidic with the lemon, but I enjoyed it.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstock

I was in the mood for a light salad so I decided on the Tunisian style seared yellow fin tuna, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, egg, potoato, harissa dressing ($19). But this was a lot heavier than what I wanted. But I very tasty dish nonetheless.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstock

The steak sandwich, caramelised onion jam, wilted spinach, aioli, roasted tomatoes ($19) was the winner of the day. Crispy bread. Medium rare cooked steak and full of flavours. And the chips on the side  finished off the meal. They were perfectly cooked chips, I haven’t had chips this well cooked in a while and I was delighted.

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstock

We left the cafe being full and satisfied before returning back to uni for Brenda to collect her assessment.

kepos street kitchen redfern 8

kepos street kitchen redfern 7

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - The Lamstock

Kepos Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

96 Kepos Street, Redfern

Royal Hotel, Randwick

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Ando: As I immediately stepped into the Royal Hotel, it was fancy bumping into my cousin. She told me she works around the corner and asked me why I was here. I explained that I was here for a burger tasting and couldn’t wait to get started!

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Royal Hotel and celebrity chef Danny Russo has done splendid job with their new menu offering a wide selection at reasonable prices. The best part is that there will be a new burger every single week! Do remember to check the specials on blackboard signs scattered throughout this family friendly bistro.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

As summer is heating up, make sure you check out their outdoor courtyard surrounded by lush greenery. It looks even more amazing at night when the string lights are lit.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Spicy Lamb Ribs. On this particular night, the other food bloggers and I were treated to this dish. Note that this is not on the menu! The smokey BBQ sauce was made in-house and the ribs were marinated for several hours with a mixture of orange, cinnamon, mustard seed and other herbs. 

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Salt & pepper calamari with chilli, lime & coriander ($15). I liked how the batter was lightly crispy which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy the supple texture of the calamari.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Roast pumpkin, parmesan & basil arancini with aioli ($13). Who says that you need meat in your arancinis? This dish is great for all you vegetarians and non-vegetarians out there!

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Pork Belly Burger with Italian slaw & chips ($16). The bun was sweet and the soft texture of the pork went well with the crunch of the slaw. The burger was served with a handful of pork crackle pieces on this side. If you like more of a crunch, lift that bun and plank those babies on!

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

The Royal Wagyu Cheeseburger ‘Royale with Cheese’ with tomato, lettuce, beetroot & chips ($16). Cooked medium the wagyu patty is made with a mixture of rump and shin and is grinded with a coarse blade. This results in mouth-watering patties with tiny chunks of meat and fat.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Thai Chicken Burger with asian greens, lime, chilli and coriander. With a combination of spicy, salty, sweet and sour, the nam jim sauce was refreshing and was my favourite dipping sauce of the night. Oh and all chips are doubled fried here at Royal Hotel.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Lamb Burger with caramelised onion and goats cheese served with sweet potato fries and a beetroot and balsamic chutney. This was my favourite burger. The Man Craves suggested to eat the burger with the beetroot and balsamic chutney and boy did that make a difference!

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Grilled pumpkin & Haloumi burger with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki & chips ($15). The sauce oozed out of the burger and the haloumi gave the burger its meatiness.

Royal Hotel, Randwick - The Lamstock

Remember to order at the bar!

Royal Hotel Randwick on Urbanspoon

2 Perouse Road, Randwick, NSW 2031

(02) 9399 3006

Opening Hours: The Royal Hotel Bistro is open 7 days a week 12pm – 3pm and 5pm – 9.30pm.

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited by Wasamedia and dined as a guest of Royal Hotel. Opinions are however, our own.

Buns & Balls, Potts Point

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Ando: I must have had a tragic social life since this was my first time driving to Kings Cross. I’m a wreck when it comes to driving and whenever going anywhere close to the city, public transport is usually my first option. But on this day, with the encouragement from Brenda I decided to drive. There were multiple times when I almost drove her insane with my irritating questions of “which lane should I be in?” and “are you sure it’s this way?”

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Once we found parking it wasn’t a long walk to the venue on Bayswater Road. The elevated path led us to a luscious outdoor green courtyard and the outdoor dining area. Destiny’s Child was playing loudly as sat down in the outdoor dining area with fellow food blogger My Hunger Will Go On. Throughout the night my eyes were constantly eying the interior, especially at the street art along the walls of the venue. The venue also boasts an indoor dining area, a bar, pool table and a quirky yet interesting toilet arrangement. The crowd here is a diverse mix; mates out on a casual night out sat beside dudes in suits and us awkward foodies. I can say that Gary Linz, founder of Oporto and Bondi Pizza did a marvellous job in creating a hip, casual and affordable venue for burgers and booze.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Watermelon, lime and vodka ($12 alcohol/ $7 without alcohol). Squeezed and juiced at the bar, this drink was refreshing and was a great way to start the night. More please!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Pineapple, ginger beer, vodka & bitters ($12 alcohol/ $7 without alcohol). Another freshly squeezed drink that was light and extremely fruity that made my Instagram pals wished they were there with me!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The LamstockPork & Beef Gourmet Meatballs – beef & pork balls in a chunky nap sauce with shaved Parmesan ($9). Each bite was succulent with just the right amount of meat juice. Thank goodness it wasn’t dry like other meatballs elsewhere!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Tofu Ball – crispy tofu balls with a side of warm chilli nap sauce ($9). I was pleased that the outside shell was immensely crunchy but the inside consisting of tiny cubed tofu pieces and a blend of greens didn’t do justice for me, even when paired with the warm chilli nap sauce.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Fish Croquettes – barramundi croquette balls served with a side of BB’s tartare sauce ($9). This was my favourite meatball out the range as the Barramundi filling was of a soft and delicate nature. The tartare sauce accompanied the croquettes well providing that needed creamy tang!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The LamstockChar-Grilled Beef Burger – wagyu beef, cheese, grilled onions, tomato, pickles & BBs’s burger sauce ($10). The bun was a delight to consume as it was dense and had a slight sweetness to it. I found my Wagyu beef patty a tad dry with not enough sauce. Looking at other Char-Grilled Beef Burgers on that night which were overloaded with BB’s burger sauce, I think I was just unfortunate on this occasion.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Grilled Chicken Burger – marinated and grilled chicken, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo & BB’s chilli sauce ($10). Again, I enjoyed the bun in this burger but unlike the Char-Grilled Beef Burger, the chicken was tender and the slather of chilli sauce was sublimely spicy. For $10 a pop, I’d get this if I come back.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock Spicy Louisiana Wings – served with blue cheese sauce ($1 each). Give me more of these wings and top up on the blue cheese sauce! The chicken pieces were covered in a sticky spicy layer that begged to be enjoyed and smell of blue cheese in the sauce was subtle yet well enough to arouse any tastebuds. Yes! Order these!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The LamstockSweet Potato Fries ($6/ $9). Supposedly a healthier option compared to potato fries, these fries were remarkably addictive. It goes well with the Spicy Louisiana Wings… hmm… I take that back… it goes well with everything!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock Char-Grilled Chicken Salad – tomato, cucumber, baby cos, char-grilled chicken with a side of chilli sauce ($12). The salad was fresh, the char-grilled chicken was tender and again is paired appropriately with chilli sauce.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Smokey Steak Salad – tomato, cucumber, baby cos, smokey steak with a side of steak sauce ($12.50). I found the steak pieces quite thin and I didn’t find the steak that smokey.

Buns and Balls Potts Point The LamstockIce Cream Block To Share ($14). Or not to share! Vanilla ice cream was sandwiched between what tasted like a macadamia cookie. Me being gluttonous, I had two pieces to myself!

Buns and Balls Potts Point The Lamstock

Buns & Balls… oh that quirky name!

Buns & Balls on Urbanspoon

33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point, NSW 2011

(02) 9326 9054

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday – 6pm till late. Saturday & Sunday 3pm till late.

www.bunsandballs.com.au

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bunsnballs

Instagram: @Bunsnballs

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited by The Darlin Group and SIMON SAYS. Dined as a guest of Buns & Balls. Opinions are however, our own.

Dim Sum & Co Giveaway

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Ando: Who doesn’t love a soft, steaming pork bun, crunchy spring roll or a melt in your mouth dumpling? Now, thanks to Dim Sum & Co‘s readymade selections, you can enjoy the delights of Yum Cha at home with ease.

Dim Sum & Co - The Lamstock

Just the thing for a quick and tasty lunch, instant entertaining or delicious mid-week dinner, Dim Sum & Co products are fuss free and easy to prepare. In a matter of minutes, anyone can savour the aromatic delicacies of authentic Dim Sum at home. Best of all Dim Sum & Co products are quick frozen, meaning you can have them on hand for unexpected visitors or a quick snack.

What I love is that Dim Sum & Co have created a range of spring rolls, dumplings, buns and siu mei that is Australian owned and made, using fresh Australian ingredients.

Dim Sum & Co - The Lamstock

There are currently six products in the Dim Sum & Co range and we at The Lamstock got to try the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, Crispy Peking Duck Spring Rolls and the Pork and Asian Greens Dumplings. With 8 pieces of Steamed BBQ Pork Buns, this one was my favourite; Lean pork marinated in rich sauces, wrapped in a light and soft bun… yum!

Dim Sum & Co - The Lamstock

Dim Sum & Co are committed to delivering a healthy, hearty and delicious alternative to Asian fast food. Using fresh Australian produce, no filters and no MSG, Dim Sum & Co really is your everyday answer to the perfect bite.

Dim Sum & Co are stocked nationally in Thomas Dux Grocers, David Jones Food Halls, selected gourmet butchers and delis, fine food stores and www.dimsumandco.com.au.

We are giving one lucky winner the chance to win twelve (12) Dim Sum & Co boxes delivered to their home! That’s 2 boxes of each variety in the Dim Sum & Co range, making it the perfect entertaining pack! All your have to do is “like” Dim Sum & Co’s Facebook page and leave a comment on this blog post to the following question “What’s your favourite Dim Sum dish?”. This competition will run till Monday 2nd of December 2013. Remember to also check our their Instagram @dimsumandco!

Good Luck!

Terms & Conditions: As the prize is frozen/perishable, this giveaway is limited to Sydney Metro delivery areas only (i.e. no more than 20km from Sydney CBD). Winner will be selected at random from all entries on http://www.thelamstock.com and be announced on 03/12/13 on The Lamstock Facebook page and comment section of this post.

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock received the following products from Dim Sum & Co. Opinions are however, our own.

Agape Organic Food Truck

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Ando: I first visited this food truck at the Newtown Festival two weeks ago and enjoyed the Organic Spelt Bun Chilli Dog. Thinking that I would never cross tracks with this food truck again, it was fate that brought us together on this particular day!

I was shopping at the Coco Republic Outlet in Auburn when a black food truck caught my eyes. When I walked towards the menu displayed on the truck, the first thing that popped into my head was that this food truck copied Agape Organic’s menu! I asked with quite a lot of doubt to the man behind the counter “Umm…Is… this… Agape Organic?” He grinned at me and nodded. I was surprised and asked him how often Agape Organic parks here?! The man explained how Coco Republic was behind this and that the food truck was only here for that day. “I see…”

Agape Organic - The Lamstock

We meet again Organic Spelt Bun Chilli Dog – chorizo sausage, wagyu beef chili con carne, spelt bun, cheddar, tomato, coleslaw and chimichurri ($12). Last time I didn’t dare pick this dog up with my hands and this time I wasn’t about to as well. I would have screamed if this dripped all over me! The spelt bun breaks off easily with a fork as it was light and airy. After devouring the top layer of chorizo and wagyu beef chilli con carne, I was met with a creamy, crispy and slightly chilled coleslaw! Oh how I love this contrast!

Agape Organic - The LamstockAgape Organic - The Lamstock

Some Phoenix Organic Cola to finish off the meal.
Agape Organic - The LamstockCheck out where the Agape Organic Food Truck will be and more information on their Facebook page, Twitter or website.

The Lamstock Sydney restaurants

Korean Banquet Showcase

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Ando: Prior to attending this exclusive event, Belle and I have never heard of the Korean Cultural Office on Elizabeth Street. At first, I thought it was strange to be attending a banquet in an office building but once i stepped into this space, I realised that this was more than just a office filled with pamphlets and handouts.Korean Banquet Sydney

Established in April 2011, the Korean Cultural Office’s mission is to enlighten and entertain through quality contemporary and traditional cultural content, in order to strengthen the emotional bond between Australia and Korea. The office houses a multimedia exhibition area, craft exhibition area, cooking facilities, multipurpose hall, class rooms and even a library which holds approximately 2,000 books and 1,000 DVDs and CDs containing everything from Korean history to traditional arts and novels. The library is free of charge and there are plenty of learning opportunities such as cooking classes, language classes and cultural classes (calligraphy, Korean music instruments and Korean arts). I think I might register myself for a Korean cooking class soon! Do check out their website for more information.

Once seated, we were treated with an impressive solo Korean drum performance in the Arirang Hall (aka. multipurpose hall). I thoroughly enjoyed the drumming and wished it went for longer, but that would only delay our banquet! A speech by the Director Dr Dong-ok Lee came next. He welcomed all of us and gave some insight into the food that we would soon be eating. The Director informed us that Korean Kings and Queens were offered this banquet and that Korean food is a recipe for happiness and wellbeing. After the speech, popular cooking teacher and caterer Heather Jeong gave us a cooking demonstration on Nurbiani. I never knew that Koreans were pioneers of soy sauce and that green onions played such a tremendous part in Korean cuisine!

Korean Banquet Sydney

Three canapés were on offer that night. Mu ssam – pickled radish with seafood. Yachae twigim – root vegetable twigim. Wrapped with a vegetable leaf, I had two rounds of these crunchy servings.

Yeon geun jorim – soy based lotus root. I love my lotus roots and this one had a sweet sticky taste to it.

Korean Banquet Sydney

12 servings of different side dishes (banchan) including regional kimchi were located on a central table and was available on a self-serve basis. My favourites included the Myulchi Bokkeum (sauté tiny anchovies with sunflower seeds) and the Gyeran Mari (egg roll).

Korean Banquet Sydney

The first dish to start off the banquet was Hobak Juk – pumpkin congee shots. This is a Korean porridge made with steamed pumpkin, glutinous rice flour or rice soaked in water and is meant to line your stomach before you start on the other dishes. The pumpkin was very subtle. I would say it’s an acquired taste.

Korean Banquet Sydney

Seasonal Hwae – Korean style sashimi. We were served delicately cut pieces of salmon, abalone, king fish and squid. Belle and I haven’t had raw abalone before so this was a first. What a delicacy!

Korean Banquet Sydney

Haemul Pajeon – seafood pancake. Our camera was playing up during the serving of this dish and unfortunately we didn’t take any pictures of the Haemul Pajeon. In this dish seafood is mixed with flour, egg and green onions. The pancake was lightly browned and wasn’t too heavy. I’m used to eating this dish in Korean restaurants and enjoyed this plate.

Tang Pyeong Chae – savoury bean jelly with soy and sesame. The Director earlier told us how the Kings and Queens invented this dish for the cabinet to share. A very colourful dish with an array of crunchy and soft textures.

Bo Ssam – slow cooked pork with chilli radish. Eaten wrapped in a vegetable leaf, this dish goes perfect with alcoholic beverages. We complimented our dish with some Korean plum wine and Korean raspberry wine.

Korean Banquet Sydney

Korean Banquet Sydney

Gyerja Chae – salad with mustard dressing. The salad comprised of prawn, capsicum, cucumber, asparagus and what I believe was chicken? The dressing was creamy yet provided a touch a acidity. Though I wanted more of this salad, I would have to say it was an appropriate serving size considering there were still 4 dishes to go!

Korean Banquet Sydney

Japchae – stir fried sweet potato noodles with beef and vegetables. Commonly served as a side dish, this can also be served as a main dish. Japchae was first made in the 17th century and was created to please the king’s palate. I love the strong sesame oil aroma from this dish.

Korean Banquet Sydney

Bul Dak – fire chicken. I’m a victim to chili food and I was holding my breath when I took my first bite. Thank goodness Heather Jeong and her staff toned down the chili. The chicken was tender and the chili was subtle. I thought the enoki mushrooms on top of the chicken was a bit random, but it did slightly neutralise the spiciness.

Nurbiani – beef fillet with pine nuts and garlic chives. The idea behind Nurbiani is that the beef is “not too wide and not too narrow” and it was exactly that! Perfect!

Korean Banquet Sydney

Mul Mak Guksoo – cold soba noodle soup. This dish was refreshing though I felt that the smell of radish was quite intense.

Korean Banquet Sydney

Assorted Ddeok with Sujeonggwa – Korean rice cake with cinnamon punch. Served with nashi pear slices, the explosion of filling (red bean and sesame) from the Korean rice cakes were highly pleasurable.

Korean Banquet Sydney

We would like to express our gratitude to the Korean Cultural Office for broadening our appreciation for Korean cuisine.

The Lamstock Sydney restaurants

Korean Cultural Office

(02) 8267 3400 – Information. (02) 8267 3488 – Library.

Ground Floor, 255 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW 2000.

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited and dined as a guest of the Korean Cultural Office. Opinions are however, our own.

Rachel’s Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt

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Ando: Rachel’s yoghurts were first made in the 90s in a family diary in Wales and has now made its way to Australia! Thick and creamy but still low in fat, Rachel’s yoghurt features modern and original flavour combinations and real fruit pieces.

Rachel's Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt

Rachel’s is available in four food flavours – Black Plum & Roasted Fig, Mango and Madagascan Vanilla, Peaches & Vine Ripe Passionfruit and Wild Strawberry & Rhubarb. Lovingly crafted, it’s your every day, healthy reward.

All Rachel’s yoghurt in Australia are made with Australian milk, are gluten free and are made with natural colours and flavours, and are preservative free.

We at The Lamstock love to combine Rachel’s Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt with some berries, bananas and a dash of soy milk in a blender to make some tasty frozen yoghurts. A great summer treat!

Rachel's Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt

Rachel’s is available at Woolworths, Coles and independent supermarkets.

www.rachelsyoghurts.com.au

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock received the following products from Rachel’s Gourmet Low Fat Yoghurt. Opinions are however, our own.

Copo Cafe & Diner, Drummoyne

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Belle: Blue skies, warm mornings and lazy Sundays calls for another brunch session with my girls Jo and T. This time we finally ticked off a place from my food list and headed to Copo Cafe & Diner in Drummoyne after our morning Bay Run walk.

Just a little side note; the address is stated as being on Victoria Rd, but the main entrance is located on the other side via Formosa Street and there is ample parking available. A big plus here.

We started with our round of coffees. I went for Affogato with Serendipity white chocolate ice cream ($5.5). This was my choice after they had run out of their cold drip that morning. It was the perfect mix of strong beans and sweetness. Jo ordered the Soy Latte ($3.7 + $0.5 for soy) and T got the Mocha ($3.7).

Copo Cafe & Diner, Drummoyne

What I like about this place is the all day breakfast on weekends and the fact that they have a very extensive breakfast menu, which will be good for the fussy eater. Lucky for us girls, it was a baked eggs kind of morning. We each chose a different one to share.

Baked eggs with fried potatoes, chorizo, chimichurri and toast ($19). I went for the gluten free option which is a rare find at cafés. The spices of the chorizos blended in with the rest of the dish. The chimichurri gave the extra acidity and texture to the baked eggs.

Copo Cafe & Diner, Drummoyne

Moroccan baked eggs with labne, herbs and toast ($19). We all agreed that this one had the better flavour of the three dishes.

Copo Cafe & Diner, Drummoyne

House smoked trout baked eggs with horseradish and creme fraiche, herbs and toast ($19). The trout was lacking in salt and I found myself needing to add additional salt to the dish. The creme fraiche added an additional richness to the dish.

Copo Cafe & Diner, Drummoyne

I think another few rounds are needed here to try their whole menu. A sweet brunch round is calling.

Copo Cafe & Diner on Urbanspoon

(02) 9719 9057

M3/135 Victoria Rd, Drummonyne

www.copocafediner.com.au

Waitan, Chinatown Sydney

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Belle: With a $10M price tag attached to Waitan located in Chinatown, I knew that this will be a one of a kind dining experience and the first of its kind to be seen any where in Australia. Waitan has taken Asian dining to the next level and aims to cater for all types of diners from large groups to private events to members only exclusive lounges. This 2,500 square metre venue has three bars, two dining rooms, 14 private functions rooms and members only exclusive Library for those with cool $10k to spend on membership.

The Lamstock was invited to the media launch of Waitan last week. And it wouldn’t be an event without the three Lamborghini perfectly parked outside the venue. Or the TVB camera crews. Or the executives and special guests complete with Asian models lined outside to be photographed. This place definitely grabbed the attention of curious by passers on busy Sussex Street on a Wednesday evening.

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We knew that the interior of this restaurant will be a show stopper and it did not disappoint. The fit out of the restaurant is by designer Thuan Teh who has done a good job in creating an east meets west kind of vibe. All aspects of this restaurant has been well detailed and from the design of the carpet to the selected artworks on display.

Waitan’s O Lounge is very impressive and something that has not been seen in Sydney. On the window side is a line of lounges that will comfortably fit a dozen people. While the other side of the room is a line of exclusive opium beds divided by a curtain to give privacy. They were popular on the night and were snatched up pretty quickly as well.

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The main dining hall has the most open space and is open to the dim sim bar and main bar.

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waitan_sydney_14The Lover’s Lane is another section off the side of the open kitchen. It consists of a row of laneway booths and this section here will be offering a degustation menu. Behind the kitchen is head chef John Rankin, who has worked at some of Australia’s finest kitchens such as Quay and Astra.

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One special element of the kitchen is the Peking duck woodfire oven that requires three days to prepare a Peking duck.

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The Peking duck pancakes were a definite crowd favourite. The smokey flavours of the freshly cooked Peking duck with the crispy skin really makes you want to keep coming for more.

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The open Kitchen that can be viewed from the main dining hall.

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Wagyu beef buns.

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The oyster bar located at the end of the restaurant.

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Freshly shucked oysters.

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Abalone mushrooms, tofu and crumbed quail egg.

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King prawn skewers with Singaporean chill crab dipping sauce.

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Deep fried bread.

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Squid spring rolls.

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Miso cheesecake with black sesame cream.

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Each of the 14 private dining rooms are all unique and have been designed for cocktail events, business and corporate functions and intimate gatherings. One of the 14 room also boasts Sydney’s largest circle dining table which spans 5.2m and seats a comfortable 32 people.

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The members of The Lamstock will be back before the end of the year to experience dinner at Waitan so keep an eye for that post!

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Waitan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

405 Sussex Street, Chinatown, Sydney, NSW 2000

(02) 8218 1000

Operating hours: Monday to Sunday 6pm till 12am

www.waitan.com.au

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock was invited by Hill + Knowlton Strategies and dined as a guest of Waitan. Opinions are however, our own.

BLACK by ezard, Pyrmont

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Brenda: Location, design and award winning chef is what makes Black by ezard the perfect combination for an amazing dining experience. Located at The Star, it overlooks the amazing Pyrmont while you dine – we had the delight to experience the transformation of Pyrmont from day to night. The restaurant is designed by Paul Kelly and expresses a warm, dark and rich ambiance. And as the name of the restaurant suggests, Melbourne’s Teage Ezard is the chef behind this restaurant and he brings you his interpretation of contemporary Australian grill.

When I looked through the menu and discovered they provided a pre-theatre menu (two courses for $65 or three courses for $75), I decided this would be a perfect place to have the long overdue catch up dinner with my two closest girlfriends. We decided on getting the three course pre-theatre menu.

PORK hock, slow cooked, crispy fried, apple and pear slaw, green chilli caramel. The pork that was buried in this dish was absolutely amazing – it was tender and just falls apart. The crisp and fresh slaw gave the dish a great contrast in textures.

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BEEF TARTARE heirloom beets, spiced herb mayonnaise, mustard ice cream, puffed wild rice. I was so surprised how large this portion was for an entrée – you could have had this for a main! The beef was irresistibly tender and just melts in your mouth.

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PRAWNS sauteed spencer gulf, white cheese polenta, compressed watermelon, jalapeno peppers, roast corn salad, crispy pancetta. This dish was rather small but interesting in flavours. It was rich and creamy and lovely with the burst of watermelon.

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GNOCCHI handmade potato, chestnut cream, chestnut mushrooms, roasted salsify, parsley and parmesan. A truly beautiful dish – rich and creamy with beautiful soft gnocchi.

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OCEAN TROUT pan roasted, marinated grapes, pickled eschalots and lemongrass nage. It was quite a heavy dish, but well combined flavours and a generous piece of trout.

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FILET grass fed angus 200g, roasted cauliflower and pearl onion salad with gremolata. I’ve heard many people rave about the steak here and I agree this really is a good piece of quality steak, perfectly cooked and succulent. The asparagus also had a really lovely zesty sauce that brings the dish together.

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STRAWBERRY shortcake, sauternes mascarpone, yoghurt lime sorbet, strawberry jelly. This deconstructed dessert was perfectly balanced in both texture and acidity but was probably the most boring of the three to be honest.

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CHOCOLATE warm couverture ganache, fresh mint ice cream, raspberry mousse, chocolate cookie. This reminds me of the Lindt Dome of Decadence and just perfect for those chocoholics out there.

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HONEYCRUNCH clover honey parfait, ginger biscuit, honeycomb and cinnamon. This was an exciting dish with large variety of textured elements.

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BLACK by ezard on Urbanspoon

(02) 9657 9109

Level G, The Star, Harbourside. 80 Pyrmont st, Pyrmont NSW 2009.

Operating Hours: Monday – closed; Tuesday and Wednesday – 5.30pm till 9.30pm; Thursday and Friday 12pm till 3pm and 5.30pm till 10pm; Saturday 5.30pm till 10pm; Sunday 12pm till 3pm and 5.30pm till 9.30pm.

www.blackbyezard.com.au

Pablo & Rusty’s, Sydney CBD

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Belle: As my uni finals looms closer and closer, my eating out adventures become shorter and less frequent. I try to grab any opportunity I can for a quick bite and a few snaps. On this particular day, B accompanied me for some errands in the city and we decided to drop by Pablo & Rusty’s for a brunch stop. This store is one of the few cafes opened at the forecourt of the new ANZ building and connecting to both Pitt and Castleraegh Street.

I remember walking past here around two weeks ago and being attracted to the interior of the restaurant, which has that whole industrial vibe but is toned down with all the warm timbers on the ceiling and walls.

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Pablo and Rusty’s is not new to the Sydney coffee scene with 5 other stores located around Sydney. They opened this new store to bring their beans to city workers.

Iced slow drip ($4.5). I really enjoyed this, their beans are a lot lighter and have a fruity note which was quite refreshing.

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For my meal, I decided to try Our bacon & eggs, Berkshire pork speck, poached eggs, kipfier potato & thyme hash with capsicum jam and bacon jus ($19). I found this to be my perfect breakfast dish. I enjoyed the sweetness from the capsicum jam and savoury flavours of the bacon. This is a dish that I will definitely return for.

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B decided on the Balsamic & rosemary roasted filled mushrooms on whey & rye sourdough with Persian feta and dried gremolata ($15). The mushrooms have a tang from the balsamic and the mushrooms had a good bite to the texture. It went well with the creamy Persian feta.

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Pablo & Rusty's on Urbanspoon

161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney 2000

Operating Hours: Monday to Friday 6.30am till 5pm. Saturday 8am to 4pm.

www.pabloandrustys.com.au

Menulog Giveaway Competition

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Ando: Partnering up with Menulog, we’re giving away two (2) $25 vouchers to use on menulog.com.au. Menulog makes ordering takeaway online very easy with a huge restaurant selection and thousands of peer-reviews.

Menulog

How to win? Go to our Facebook page, find our “Giveaway” tab and follow instructions on the Facebook app! To be in the competition you will NEED to enter via the Facebook app and follow ALL instructions! It includes:

1) ‘Like’ The Lamstock Facebook page.

2) ‘Like’ Menulog Facebook page.

3) Send an email (subject line “The Ultimate Comp”) to thelamstock@gmail.com with the answer to the question: “What’s your ultimate food/cuisine that you would like to order on a sizzling summer’s day?”

The two (2) most creative answers will be chosen as the winners. This competition is currently open and will close on Friday 1st November 2013 at 12:00AM. We will announce the winners on our Facebook page and twitter account in the evening on the 1st of November 2013.

Good luck! :)

Terms and conditions: Complete all three steps to win. One entry per email address. Only one winner per voucher. The giveaway will run from 25/10/13 12:00AM to 01/11/13 12:00AM. The Menulog voucher will be worth $25 and is not transferrable for cash.

Menulog The Lamstock

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock is in partnership with Menulog and vouchers have been provided by Menulog.

Lindt HELLO

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Ando: Hello readers! Please meet the new HELLO range by Lindt. Having sweetened up my day, they’re here to sweeten yours as well. Only available in Australia in the months of October and November, the HELLO range features chocolate delights in delicious dessert recipes that will put a smile on your face!

Lindt HELLO Hello Australia

With its new and playful Chocolate Blocks, Bars and Special Gift Boxes, discover the fun flavours wrapped in irresistible Lindt milk chocolate for the perfect everyday treat.

Lindt HELLO Hello Australia

Lindt HELLO Caramel Brownie – Lindt milk chocolate filled with a layer of deliciously gooey caramel goodness on a rich brownie crème, crammed with dark biscuit pieces giving you a chocolate delight.

Lindt HELLO Crunch Nougat – Lindt milk chocolate filled with a tasty nut crème clearly combined with crispy pieces of wafer, crunchy nougat and hazelnut brittle. This was Belle’s favourite.

Lindt HELLO Cookies & Cream – Irresistible Lindt milk chocolate filled with an enticingly creamy filling scattered with chocolate-chip cookie pieces. B couldn’t get enough of this one.

Lindt HELLO Strawberry Cheesecake – Melt-in-your-mouth Lindt milk chocolate filled with a light and fluffy strawberry cheesecake enhanced with bits of strawberries and crunchy biscuit pieces. This was my favourite.

Lindt HELLO Hello Australia

Sweeten your day or someone else’s day by visiting participating supermarkets or the Lindt Chocolate Cafés in October and November, and taste HELLO before it’s too late!

The Lamstock Sydney restaurants

DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock received the following products from Lindt. Opinions are however, our own.

Khoune Kham Laos & Thai Restaurant, Fairfield

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Ando: It was one of those days where I wanted to dine locally, so Belle and I decided we would drive around Fairfield. We parked on the quiet side of Fairfield train station and decided to wander the streets. Khoune Kham caught our eyes as the restaurant seemed to occupy two adjoining stores.

The waitress was quite sociable and it was interesting to hear about the history of the family run restaurant. We learnt that the waitress’s parents operated a Laos and Thai restaurant under a different name in Cabramatta before relocating to Fairfield. Also the waitress’s aunty owns Lao Village down the road.

Lao Pork Sausages ($9). Made from coarsely chopped fatty pork seasoned with lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, coriander, chillies, garlic, salt and fish sauce. Served with fish sauce, I was pleased with the thickness and saltiness of the sausage. It went well with the sticky rice ($3).

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Lao Fried Rice with Pickled Ham ($9). The fried rice tasted fresh with what tasted like a copious amount of shallots and coriander. The addition of the fried rice that has been fried till copper brown was a winner for me. It gave the dish that extra crunch. It was enjoyable to savour the whole dish. Not even one grain of rice remained!

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Lao Style Papaya Salad ($9). The waitress told us how this dish isn’t as popular to the Chinese diners as it is to the South East Asian diners due to its pungent smell. Fermented shrimp, crab and fish paste, and fish sauce is what gives this Lao dish that distinct Laos taste.

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This Lao and Thai restaurant is authentic and affordable. Open 7 days a week, they offer dining in and take away.

Khoune Kham Laos & Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

(02) 9725 6999

Shop 8/9 Dale Street, Fairfield, NSW 2165

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