Table 1 Espresso

I wasn’t going to blog about my brunch while I was in Newcastle over the weekend, I was just going to catch up with a dear friend of mine who had heard good things about Table 1 Espresso, but when our drinks came I couldn’t NOT blog about it.IMG_0899I thought it was odd that this popular cafe was right next door to a car wash in the middle of nowhere, although there was no surprise that there was a queue forming near the front, luckily I had booked a table earlier.

At first we were surprised that the menu was mainly savoury items without a single pancake or waffle in sight, but when TimmyC went to order and pay at the counter, he spotted waffles on the specials board and his first choice was quickly replaced. I didn’t take a photo of the menu (because I didn’t think I was going to blog about it) and TimmyC has a terrible memory for details so the descriptions and prices are based from my memory.IMG_0901Oreo and Snickers milkshakes. TimmyC knew me well when he chose Snickers from a list of popular chocolate bar flavours. I looooove snickers and this milkshake tasted exactly like it! Not only did it look absolutely fabulous (and sparked my need to blog about this place) but they both tasted great too; Canberra cafes should take heed.IMG_0904IMG_0892IMG_0893Flat white Campos coffee. TimmyC didn’t think that there was anything special about his coffee and kept on sneaking sips of my milkshake instead. I like how it comes with a little love heart short bread that he didn’t even offer me a nibble of *cough*.IMG_0889Waffles with banana, vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. TimmyC specifically asked if the waffles were made in-house and the person at the counter said ‘yes’. When he started to eat them he had his doubts because of the texture was thick and hard like at Max Brenner, he was less than satisfied but I surprisingly finished off his waffles between mouthfuls of mine.IMG_0896Scrambled eggs 3 scrambled eggs with spinach, fetta, chorizo and toasted sourdough ($18.00). I liked the flavour combination, I just think that the toasted needed some melted butter and it would have made it easier to eat. I liked how the eggs were moist and that the chorizo was crispy.IMG_0897I must highly commend the wait staff, despite being really busy, they were always polite and efficient. I was surprised at the minimal wait time, the cafe was particularly full when we sat down but the drinks and food all came in a timely manner. The menu is a bit simple but I wouldn’t hesitate to come back and grab a milkshake!

Venue: Table 1 Espresso

Address: 89 – 93 City Road, Merewether NSW 2291

Phone: (02) 4963 3796

Websitewww.table1espresso.com

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hip hip hooray at the Dockyard

——-28/01/2012——-

Well I could say that was my sister’s 21st birthday but as you can tell by the cake, that’s a lie. 

My sister organised her birthday at The Dockyard, a trendy bar over looking the Newcastle wharf (near the Hog’s breath that I went to previously), offering tapas and modern pub food.

A Corona Bucket- a ingenious way of serving a crowd favourite beer.

Meatballs in a spicy tomato and red capsicum sauce (6) ($10.00)

Honeysuckle pizza with chorizo, bacon, Spanish onion, mushrooms and BBQ sauce ($15.00)

Grilled Haloumi and vegetable skewers with balsamic reduction (4) ($10.00)

Lime and black pepper squid with aioli ($10.00)

Twice cooked sticky pork belly with honey and ginger soy ($10.00)


Everything was absolutely deeeeeeeelicious (although I didn’t try the haloumi) so much so that we even ordered more of everything! I like when you order a variety of things and nothing is disappointing. 

My sister especially chose this cute custom made star shaped cake from Bobbie’s cakes and I didn’t think there would be enough but I got to take some extra home with me and that’s all that matters. 

I took a lot of photos with my impatient keen bean hands and only one shot was not blurry, but it doesn’t really do it much justice (sorry about that). I usually peel off the “pretty” icing layer on decorated cakes because it’s usually too marzipan-esque or too sweet but this one was perfect and I ate the whole thing (of my slice not the whole cake!).

This was a delicious dense moist chocolate mud cake with a chocolate ganache that wasn’t another overpowering sweet cake where you have to skull a gallon of milk per bite- a nice sweet ending to a delicious meal.

Even though there were a lot of people, we were not forgotten by the staff at the Dockyard. Drinks and amazing food were at reasonable prices and it’s at a great location. You can’t go wrong coming here for a meal or hosting your next casual function. 

Venue: The Dockyard

Address: No. 13/1 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle NSW 2300

Websitehttp://www.thedockyard.com.au/

Phone: (02) 4915 6558

 Cakehttp://www.bobbiescakes.com 

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Hunter Valley Series- Euro patisserie

——-28/01/2012——-

Yet another late lunch (holidays are for sleeping in right?), my sister was treating me to some sweets and lunch @ Euro patisserie where I have eaten a lot of their delicious cakes before but have never actually been there.

The Euro has taken the cake for the second time winning NSW patisserie of the year for 2010/2011. When I walked in, I was like a kid in a candy store, everything caught my eye and I wanted to order one of everything!

First: lunch. We all chose a selection of pies (starting from the top left going clock-wise): beef and mushroom pieItalian bolognese with cheese, chicken and leek and Italian bolognese again cut open. 

Beef and mushroom pie– nothing particularly special. Italian bolognese with cheese– I liked the pie but if I had to judge it based on it’s name, I would have thought it would have been a more tomato based sauce and would have been disappointed. Chicken and leek- could have used a little pepper and the leek was very subtle, my sister usually goes for the delicious vegetable mornay pie but it had sold out.

 

Even though we had arrived after 2pm, business was booming and we were lucky enough to get a table. People were coming in and out and there were take-aways on top of that but lucky they had sufficient staff that you never waited long before being served.

With all the hustle and bustle we decided to take our cake home, it was cheaper (it costs $1 more/per cake to eat there) and I never eat my tarts with much finesse anyway. Mummy chose a fruit flan and I chose a strawberry cheese tart. Mum always has a knack for choosing the better cake, the fruit flan had a delicious custard while I found the strawberry tart base a bit too thick and the cheese filling wasn’t as nice as the custard.

 

I haven’t had a cake from here that has disappointed me, I don’t know how many pastry chefs they have at the back but I am very impressed by the huge amount of variety that they are able to have. Although I find their cake prices reasonable, we still only indulge for a special occasion, after all cake is a sometimes food

Venue: Euro Patisserie

Address: 68 Orchardtown Road, New Lambton, NSW, Australia

Phone: (02) 49 577188

Website: http://www.europatisserie.com.au

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Hunter Valley Series- and this little piggy had some steak

——-28/12/2011——-

So you might wonder why would I blog about a franchise that usually offers mediocre steak and often runs out of their slow cooked prime rib steak (which is weird because that’s why most people go there?). Well I’ve been disappointed many times with Hog’s breath cafe at various locations, but the beautiful new franchise positioned right on the Newcastle wharf, was not only the best Hog’s breath cafe I’ve been to, it was actually a really delicious steak.

Entree~

Hog Tail Fries El Grande served with warm cheddar cheese sauce and spicy Mexicana salsa ($6.50) These were so addictive and it wasn’t because I was really that hungry (did you not see what I ate at the Vintage cafe?) but I couldn’t stop pecking at these fries! I especially loved the cheddar cheese sauce.

Cheesy Garlic & Herb Bread cheesy garlic & herb bread topped with cheddar cheese and grilled to golden brown ($7.95) Not that garlic bread needs cheese (calorie wise) but it tastes so good!

Mains~

Prime rib steak in four ways:

#1: Calamari Prime Rib Tender Prime Rib topped with salt & pepper crumbed calamari rings and honey sweet chilli sauce (Lite Cut $26.95).

2#: Hickory Smoked Prime Ribreal Tex-Mex flavour. Seared and topped with a hickory smoked BBQ sauce on the char grill ($30.95).

#3: Hickory Smoked Prime Rib a real Tex-Mex flavour. Seared and topped with a hickory smoked BBQ sauce on the char grill (Lite Cut $23.95).

#4: Garlic Prawn Prime Rib flame-grilled Prime Rib and 3 pan-fried tiger prawns finished in a garlic & white wine cream sauce ($34.95).

The staff were attentive and polite, the only downside was that between our plates, drinks and condiments there was little room left for anything else. Hopefully they keep up their quality of food and service and I’d be very happy to come back again soon.

Venue: Hog’s breath cafe

Address: shop A2 1&2 Lee wharf, 7 Honeysuckle drive, Newcastle, NSW 2300

Phone: (02) 4927 8005

Opening hours: 11:30am- late 7 days

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Hunter Valley Series- Brasserie88

——-27/12/2011——-

While I went home over the Christmas break, I did indulge in a few social eating occasions. Join me on my long over due ‘Hunter Valley’* series.

Located inside the Wests Club in New Lambton, Brasserie88 boasts delicious steaks and in a spacious casual dining setting.

*NB: the Hunter Valley and the surrounding areas.

Garlic bread (4 slices)- freshly grilled garlic bread ($6.50) For some reason, they can’t get this right, I’ve been here multiple times and the bread is never crispy and always cold to luke warm.

The Rattle Steakslow roasted 300g blackened primer rib dipped in our special blend of spices, chilli and breadcrumbs, fried til golden brown ($33.00)- it apparently had lots of gristle and my friend ended up scraping most of the ‘special blend of spices’ off anyway.

300g ‘Riverine’ Sirloin120+ day grain fed, South West NSW ($35.00)- Unfortunately my sirloin was hard to cut through (seriously my hands were getting sore) and the meat itself was rather chewy and had too much of a charcoal taste, I had to smother it in the hollandaise sauce to hide the taste. They are lucky that I really liked the hollandaise sauce!

Blackened Slow Cooked Prime Ribour prime rib is slow roasted for 18hours in our own special spices and blackened smoke marinade then seared on the char grill for an extra taste sensation (recommend medium). Because of the cooking nature of this steak, rare is not available. Due to popularity, this steak may not be available. This steak was much more tender than my sirloin, maybe I’ll get this next time. 

Nutmeat Wellingtonnutmeat, roast pumpkin, cherry tomatoes, basil, Persian feta and Swiss brown mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry and baked til crisp and golden, served with garlic mash, green beans and hollandaise ($24.00)- It was served luke warm and the pastry might not have been fully cooked all over but at least the mash potato was nice. I don’t know why you would want to order this in the first place when there is steak on the menu. 

Pork Ribletsfall off the bone pork riblets smothered in 88’s BBQ sauce with rustic chips and side salad with balsamic dressing ($27.00)- the ribs itself had no taste what so ever so you really had to smother it in sauce, which is a shame really because I really like ribs.

Complimentary sauces: salsa, hollandaise and smokey BBQ.

——- a few weeks later ——-

Why did I come back? Well if someone else is choosing the place and paying for it, you can’t exactly say no. 

Mornay and Kilpatrick oysters ($35.00)- The bacon bits were too big and the mornay should have been cooked longer to get that brown golden top.

Blackened Slow Cooked Prime Rib- Yes, it is not dark lighting, that’s how black my steak came out, it wasn’t all burnt, it was just black in colour for some reason. I had to cut and discard the charcoaled ‘border’ around the steak, which is weird because the middle was cooked medium. I think they were a bit heavy handed with the spices that they used and the mash potato wasn’t as nice as when my sister ordered the nutmeat Wellington the previous time. 

My sister’s steak looked better, it’s just a shame she didn’t finish hers.

Although the wait staff was polite and attentive, I wish the kitchen staff would pay more attention to the food that they are serving. I don’t know how many more times I can give this place a chance, hopefully I can convince my family to go to the Chinese restaurant next door instead next time. 

Venue: Brasserie88

Address: Wests New Lambton, 88 Hobart Road, New Lambton, NSW 2305

Phone: (02) 4935 1200

Opening hours: open every night from 4pm – 11pm

Members receive a 10% discount

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