Sydney weekends mean wandering to me – from exploring new places in our ‘hood to venturing far and wide, often in search of good eats. Here’s a little round-up of some food, finds and fun from recent weeks, which will hopefully inspire you to set out and explore your city.
The last few weekends have been a blur of kids parties (sooo many kids parties), beach walks and cafe hits and misses. We recently ventured to the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Month’s night noodle markets in the city (twice) and now have a full blown Mamak crush (best roti this side of KL). We’ve dragged our kids out for Mexican, Vietnamese, and too many places for babycinos.
One of my favourite cafe jaunts has been to Armchair Collective in Mona Vale. We were in the area anyway for a birthday so took a beach detour afterwards. The cafe looks kind of 70s from the outside, but inside is like a colourful beach shack. It’s a combined cafe and homewares store, and I fell a little bit in love with the ikat cushions, Moroccan ceramics and hippy luxe by the beach vibe of it all. The menu offers a great mix of typical cafe fare, not particularly experimental but hearty, wholesome and with high quality ingredients. The salad of beetroot, pumpkin, spinach and quinoa with goats cheese was light on the quinoa, but vegetable heavy and featured a tangy dressing – virtuous and delicious. There’s also a great BRT (with rocket substituting lettuce). If you’re stopping by for a post-beach takeaway Single Origin, you can also pick up a bunch of hydrangeas to go from the onsite florist, which adds to Armchair’s already colourful and inspiring aesthetics. And yes, the beach is a short walk away at the end of the street, so it’s an excursion-worthy combo.
On last weekend’s agenda: a school fete where I scored big time at the book stall (a wine box worth of books for the grand total of $15, including four cookbooks, some kids books, travel anthologies and novels, including one by my favourite travel writer, Pico Iyer. Score!), and a girls’ night to Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Bondi with two of my food loving friends. Sipping cocktails on the glass-panelled balcony perched over the iconic Icebergs pool and a sprawl of surfer-studded ocean was not a bad way to kick off a Saturday evening. Dinner was a fishy affair, with shared oysters, school prawns and crab, with cod and delicious sides including my favourite, the lemon drenched kale. Icebergs had a kind of special occasion, date night vibe, but was nevertheless a beautiful setting for a catchup.
As for this weekend – we made a round two visit to Chi and Co. and it was just as good, if not better, as we had an extra person this time hence more dishes! If you go, the XO pork belly is a decadent, spicy, rich must-have. We also gorged on cannolis, jam doughnuts and lemon tarts at the Italian sweet-fest Pasticceria Tamborrino in Five Dock (they have everything from arancini to gelato, and all the cakes, biscuits and Italian desserty things you can think of – heaven).
How do you like to spend your weekends? And how was yours?