Flower child 

Tapping into local knowledge of North Sydney, I asked my cousin where should I go for brunch that is in Chatswood, has air con (it was forecasted to be a 38-degree day!), good food and easy access as we were going with TimmyC’s grandma. She gave me two options but she mentioned that Flower Child was a sister cafe of the famous Grounds of Alexandria- BINGO! That was the one we were going to choose, the only downside was that they don’t take any bookings. TimmyC’s parents went 1 hour early to book a table for 6 people, they had to leave their mobile number and would be called when the table was available. What was supposed to be a 35-minute wait turned into just over 1 hour because every man, woman and child decided to have brunch there as well.Freshly squeeze juices~

Watermelon, pineapple and orange ($7.00).

Pineapple, pear, apple, mint and ginger ($7.00). I would have liked a stronger ginger taste but the juice overall was nice and refreshing.Cake~

Passionfruit cheesecake ($7.00). I may have chosen this cake based on its pretty looks but luckily it was yummy. There weren’t many layers or different flavours in the cake so the price may seem a tad steep for its size and complexity. Breakfast~ available all day

Toast with jam toasted sourdough ($7.00) with avocado ($3.00). I thought I would have received house made jams as well as the avocado but apparently not. The reason why I ordered such a simple brunch was because I already had breakfast and this was really just supposed to be the savoury component as I was also ordering juice and cake.

Flower Child Fruit salad seasonal fresh fruits with compressed pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, lychee, pistachio, freeze-dried raspberries and yoghurt sorbet ($17.00). We didn’t see any lychee or grapefruit in the bowl but TimmyC happily enjoyed his light and refreshing breakfast but his favourite thing on the plate was that yoghurt sorbet. We are going to have to try and make some!Flower Child French toast banana mascarpone, sliced banana, dark chocolate crumb, baked pecans, fresh berries, salted toffee and maple syrup ($19.00). I didn’t know if all these ingredients would have made for an OTT breakfast but TimmyC’s Aunty finished the whole lot with ease.Brunch~ available all day

Tasmanian crispy skin salmon crispy skin salmon with young potatoes, green beans, truss tomatoes, radish, grapefruit, baby cos and olive tapenade mayo ($24.00). TimmyC’s Dad and Grandma both thoroughly enjoyed their meal. I loved the look of the crispy skin, it is making me crave salmon as I write this post.I think it was much easier to get a table for 2-4 people but I wouldn’t come here when it is really busy and expect to get a table without a small wait. Despite the hordes of people, a waitress set up our table, took our order and came back with our food in a timely manner. I loved the diverse range of menu items, the prettiness of the surrounds and food but I did not enjoy the wait and slightly cramped table we were on.

With gorgeous food and amazing looking cake cabinets like this, it is easy to see that this cafe has ties with The Grounds of Alexandria.Venue: Flower Child

Address: Level 3, Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067

Phone(02) 9412 1555

Flower Child Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The Public Place

My friend was coming from the north side of Canberra, so it seemed to her that she was driving to the other end of the earth (in Canberran speak) when I asked if we could have brunch at the very new The Public Place all the way down in Chisholm.We didn’t have a booking, we just rocked up and hoped for the best but we were able to get a table for three pretty easily on a Saturday.Mary had a little… burger slow cooked pulled lamb, aioli, rocket, fire roasted capsicum, crumbed (crumbled?)  Persian fetta and house tzatziki on a soft white roll with fries ($16.00).The first thing I noticed was the lack of fetta on the bun, I quickly enquired with a waitress who was very apologetic for the lack of fetta and pickle with the burger. I really enjoyed this burger more than I thought I would. I really liked the combination of the meaty lamb, saltiness of the fetta and the sweetness from the capsicum. No food regrets.

The burger before adding the fetta.The burger after adding the fetta.The Big Block 300g beef burger, house aioli, lettuce, tomato, pineapple, bacon, egg, lager braised onion, cheddar cheese on a soft white roll with fries and pickle ($20.00). Man, that was one gigantic beef patty! I didn’t like the texture of such a thick patty, I think I would have preferred two thinner patties. I enjoyed that they were very generous with all the ingredients and that the patty extended to the perimeter of the bun, a very important factor to me when it comes to burgers.Publics House Benny 2 poached eggs (my friend asked for fried) on a toasted bagel, house made potato and 16 hr slow cooked smoked ham hock crispy rosti with a smokey charred corn puree, avocado smash and a house chipotle hollandaise ($19.00). I think this dish was a bit confusing. My friend was lured by the sound of the rosti but I don’t think it translated well on the plate; instead of being crispy, the texture reminded me of bad faux meat. Overall, my friend was left disappointed and helped me finish my sausage roll instead.Sausage roll ($5.00?). The greedy little girl in me wanted to try as much as possible and if that meant including a sausage roll in my order, so be it. The sausage roll was a decent size with golden flaky pastry and the filling tasted like sausage meat. I want to try their house made pies next time.Orange and ginger juice ($8.00). A bit steep for a juice but it was made fresh to order.Tea ($4.00). I was impressed with their selection of milk which included lactose free, almond, coconut and soy.Hot chocolate ($3.50). If I didn’t get a juice I would have definitely ordered one of their decadent sounding hot chocolates like salted caramel or coconut rough.You have to line up and order at the counter and I felt ordering took a little longer than anticipated but the speed at which the food came was phenomenal. The staff were friendly enough and I really liked how the pies and pastries were made in house. Not the best cafe in Canberra but it has potential, a happy welcome to the southside dining scene nonetheless.

Mmmmm so many pie options.Venue: The Public Place

Address: 42 Halley St, Chisholm ACT 2905

Phone(02) 6292 9952

Websitewww.thepublicplace.com.au/

 

Biota re-run

I could not visit Bowral without going to Biota, the restaurant holds a special place in my heart because that is where TimmyC proposed to me. We have been there multiple times; the first visit was an eye widening, jaw dropping meal as we had never had that kind of dining experience before. The second time, I didn’t love it as much and I was starting to wonder if they were doing unusual things for the sake of being avant-garde and the third was a casual encounter on the bar side trying to eat as many croquettes as I could.Keen to add it to my birthday dining list, TimmyC booked weeks in advance so we didn’t miss out.Cooler months Five courses ($110.00 pp)

Snacks~Pear and cheese. This reminded me of a sheep milk cigar I had at MoVida, the outer layer is chewy and sweet which offset the tartness of the cheese.Kangaroo and Acacia jerky This was really tough jerky (but I guess most of them are), but the kangaroo flavours were subtle which is good because I don’t usually enjoy the strong aftertaste of kangaroo.Tasty Dory roe fish smoked roe with charcoal lavosh bread, garlic oil and salsa verde. I could not believe how much I enjoyed this. When I ran out of lavosh bread I started slathering it on the rye loaf.

Molasses and Rye loaf with cultured butter. I found the crust a little too tough and chewy but that is my personal preference.  The soft bready centre created a wonderful transportation system to get all the tasty dory roe into my mouth.

The bread is hiding in the fur pouch.Mains~

Creamed eggs, spanner crab and persimmon. This was perfection. The richness of this dish reminded me of the delicious crab dish from Noma but the flavours reminded me of a burnt butter sage pasta.Whipped potato, hen yolk and cabbage buds confit hens yolk, whipped potato, garden Brussels sprouts and egg white pearls. I was really surprised that the cabbage leaves were more sweet rather than bitter. The whipped potato was light in flavour and texture which went well with the rich yolk and refreshing cabbage leaves.Peek-a-boo, there is the egg yolk!Pastured fed beef cooked over coals beef cooked over coals with leeks and potato. My favourite things on a plate. The beef itself had lots of flavour but the leeks and potato it to another whole savoury level. I would have preferred a bigger portion but that’s just me being selfish.Dessert~

Sheep yoghurt and our honey. Tim was ready to hand over his plate when they said sheep yoghurt, but he was probably glad that I prompted him to try it first as he was scraping the last of his bowl while I was finishing up with my photos. There was no strong aftertaste that I usually find with most sheep dairy products. The tartness of the yoghurt was sweetened with the perfect amount of honey and I loved the abundance of the finger lime. It was so ridiculous how good this dessert was even though it was so simple, it was just a perfect balance of flavours.Mandarin and goats milk custard. The mandarin powder coating had a slight bitterness to it but it quickly dissipated as the delicate sweetness of the meringue and centre hits the palate. The softness texture of the ball with the icy sorbet reminded me of the snow egg from Quay.

It is so sweet that they put a candle in for my birthday.Beverages~ I ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing which was really good and I loved how complex the flavours were ($50.00pp?).

Lemonade, smoke apple and pear juice, red grapes with cinnamon cloves and bitters and ending with caramelised pomegranate and grapefruit. 
I loved how the menu keeps evolving and changing almost every week to encompass local fresh produce. We really enjoyed our meal and the service was perfection. Ingredients are not puréed, chopped or foamed, they appear  whole and are paired perfectly with each other. It is almost like there was minimal cooking (but a lot of talent) and it was showcasing the best produce.

Venue: Biota

Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone(02) 4862 2005

Entertainment book: I’m so annoyed I forgot to use my Canberra 2016/17 book, I told TimmyC he will have to take me again.
Biota Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Double Shot

It was a spur of the moment that we went to Double Shot in Deakin for brunch. At first I was going to go somewhere else in the south side region, but just before we got into the car I asked TimmyC if I changed our brunch area to Deakin would it be that much further away on our way to Fyshwick, when he answered ‘no’ we bee lined straight to the Deakin shops.

I have hardly been in the area, so when we were browsing the shops wondering where the cafe would be, we turned around to see a very very busy cafe with cool outdoor seating. I was dreading the waiting time but we were there already and made the trip out especially, so I was willing to wait. Looking around while waiting for a table, it seemed like babies and dogs are almost mandatory here with most people having one or the other.

There are basically four ‘sections’ to the cafe: out outside.Outside/coveredInside near the counterwhich is near this cake cabinet!Or their extended insideWith such a big capacity and still being very busy was a good sign that the food was worth waiting for.

I usually take note of timing in a venue, we were slightly dismayed by the length of the line to get in but after 15 minutes of waiting we were able to get a seat inside. We were given a menu straight away and ordered within 10 minutes. I was guessing we would get drinks in another 15 and food would take around another 15-20 minutes more considering how busy it was but after 10-15 minutes of ordering we were given drinks and food. I was super impressed!

I thought the upside down planters inside looked really cool. It must take a lot of time and care to water these plants.Make your own juice my go to juice is orange, pineapple and ginger ($7.00) and a flat white in a mug ($4.70). There was a lot of foam build up towards the end of my juice. It was very nice juice but it could have done with a tad more ginger. TimmyC really enjoyed his coffee. Eggs Benedict with bacon free range eggs, choice of bacon, salmon, baby spinach or gypsy ham topped with hollandaise sauce ($18.00). I didn’t start digging into the Benedict as I was busy with my two dishes but after three bites, TimmyC said he really liked his eggs Benedict and then in the breath of his fourth bite he exclaims they are “exceptional”, leading me to dip my fork in across the table. The hollandaise was nice and the eggs were cooked perfectly but I liked my choices of brunch better because they were different to the usual breakfast menus.Poached pear pistachio crumble, chai tea panna cotta, pomegranate and blonde agave nectar ($15.00). The pear was rather big and was poached perfectly. The sweet flavours of the fruit really balanced out the flavours of the subtle chai panna cotta and the coconut. A nice blend of spices and textures.Chicken breast, avocado, smoked cheddar and aioli toastie ($10.00). Simple ingredients but it was an awesome combination. I have a friend who loves chicken sandwiches and I think she would love this one too. I could not believe how delicious this simple toastie was! A close up of the toastie itselfI envisage lots of trips to Double Shot in the future and I know it’s early and a big call but Double Shot might quickly become one of my favourite places to eat if they keep their food standards and service up. I am super keen to try more of their breakfast menu as well as their lunch offerings.

Venue: Double Shot

Address: 7/18 Duff Pl, Deakin ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6162 2027

Sundays: 10% surcharge on Sundays
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