Hawker Lane, Westfield Chatswood – a first look


The Good Food Guide to Sydney calls out Hawker Lane as one of Chatswood’s good cheap eats.

And very good it is!

While still a food court by nature, it does have more ambiance and is clearly popular.


Excellent choices were the steamed pork dumplings with soup $8.80 for 8…


…the cumin lamb bun $5.80…


…and my favourite was the Saffron Roast Chicken Kathi Roll $7.90 from Chachu’s Street Style Kathi Rolls.

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The perfect finale was a sea salt and purple yam soft serve from Aqua S.

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ChaChu's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Passion and Delight at #mybrekkiebowl Launch


As part of the Love Cereal4Brekkie team I was delighted this week to be part of the #mybrekkiebowl launch, a gorgeous  event to kick start a flow of conversations about personalising brekkie cereal bowls.

All my foodie and dietitian passions were indulged as I….

…. enjoyed the fantastic Cafe Sydney early morning view over Sydney Harbour….

……marvelled at Cafe Sydney chefs’ delicate canapé creations using breakfast cereals….

Sanitarium Weetbix and vanilla yoghurt delice, strawberry, gold leaf

Freedom Gluten free Ancient Grain Flakes date and fig bliss ball

All bran corn and zucchini fritter, cured trout

Uncle Toby’s Plus range digestive, avocado, quail egg, crisp kale

Kellogg’s Five Grain Muesli coconut and apple Bircher

Sanitarium Granola Oat Clusters breakfast panna cotta, pineapple, passionfruit, mint

Uncle Toby’s Ancient Grains Porridge, sautéed mushrooms, onion, thyme
…was intrigued by Dr Cathy Gare’s insights (food sensory expert from the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology), summed up in her quote from the chef, Heston Blumenthal, who is convinced that we need to “engage all of [the] senses if we want to create a truly memorable eating experience”


…..was inspired by Food stylist and founder of blog 84thand3rd.com, Jennifer Jenner who gave us great food styling tips like the strengths of iphones, they work best flat or straight up but start to fail at an angle…


….appreciated again the research that underpins breakfast cereal as an excellent choice for nutrition and a heathy weight as Leigh Reeve APD, Director of the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum reminded us of the secondary analysis of the Australian Health Survey

….and the recent Galaxy research that research that showed that one of the biggest motivations for people in choosing a bowl of breakfast cereal is to create something healthy



…..but that also looked for little known and quirky facts about Aussie breakfast bowls like…

…….just over half a million Australians added vegetables to their brekkie cereal

….almost a million added herbs and spices

…….half a million added spreads like peanut butter


……but fruit and nuts were the most popular toppings

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……more than 300,000 Aussies ate cereal with a fork and more than 1 million had a special spoon they always use for cereal


…..nearly half a million Australians used a mason jar and nearly one million a plate, for their bowl

……almost half a million Australians post a photo of their breakfast bowl to social media every day

…….Aussie men are three times as likely as women to post a photo of their cereal on social media

…..and celebrated as the humble breakfast cereal, an everyday core grain food, took to the stage as an actor with so many new personalities and roles


…and burst with pride as the team’s efforts and hard work all came together…

…to create the arena for social and mainstream media writers to explore new possibilities in their own cereal bowls and inspire their readers to new breakie bowl creations.

As Jennifer Jenner said…

“A simple, beautifully styled bowl of brekkie cereal can look gorgeous and taste great in itself, however with the opportunity for people to get adventurous with their flavour and styling combos, the brekkie bowl can be a real social media star.”

This was my creative brekkie bowl, to tantalise all the senses!

….with passionfruit yogurt, Bran cereal, pumpkin purée, peanut butter, raspberry, blue berry, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, mint, macadamias, zucchini ribbons with marinated figs, cinnamon and honey.

It was actually surprisingly excellent, even rivalling the canapés! I think I’m a convert to veg and spreads on cereal!

What’s your personalised brekkie bowl? Post it with the #mybrekkiebowl hashtag and join the conversation!


Soft serve lover’s paradise at Regent Place, Sydney Town Hall


If I’m ever asked what my very favourite food is… icecream has to be on my short list!

So, of course I couldn’t help but notice everyone walking near Sydney Town Hall with exotic soft serve ice cream colours and cones.


I tracked down the source nearby at Regent Place a small arcade off George Street near St Andrews Cathedral and found not one, but two very different spots.


Chanoma Cafe specialises in a Japanese style Soft Cream in Matcha or Azuki flavours or a mix in a plain, pink or green cone.

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At just $3.90 you have change to go next door and also try Aqua S sea salt and maple syrup mix in an equally exotic cone for a competitive $4.


Truly icecream lovers’ heaven!

Aqua S Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chanoma Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Waterfront Grill, Harbourside – Darling Harbour


It’s always lovely down at Darling Harbour, a great spot for lunch on a sunny day!


And while it looks like it might be quite expensive, there’s plenty of well priced gems like Waterfront Grill.

The Pear salad with Wild rocket, sliced green pear, Spanish onion, toasted walnuts, Shaved parmesan cheese, honey and apple cider vinaigrette $16.50…


…wasn’t as good as the Chickpea and haloumi salad  with Grilled haloumi, chickpeas, green beans, semi dried tomatoes, wild rocket and balsamic dressing $17.


The Quinoa and grilled veg salad with Mixed Quinoa, spinach, grilled eggplant, zucchini, roast pumpkin, capsicum, and basil pesto $17 would have also been a good choice or once of the generously sized, tasty looking burgers on a foccacia bun.

If you are lucky enough to have a Sydney Entertainment Book, you can get tow mains for the price of one.
Waterfront Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Clancy’s Brasserie, Banjo Patterson Hotel, Jindabyne


Clancy’s in Jindabyne, is in the Canberra Entertainment Book offering two for one meals.


But it’s also just a great spot for lunch when you’re cold and tired….


…and great to add in to a lodge weekend with friends!

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There’s the Banjo Beef Burger $15…

…or $17 with chips..

..the Club sandwich $15…

…Roast Pumpkin Salad $19…


…or Surf and Turf $36

Clancy's Brasserie & Cocktail Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Tree House, North Sydney


I know I’ve mentioned the Tree House before, but it truly is a great ‘go to’ spot if you need a place for coffee, brunch or lunch or just somewhere to camp and do some work before a meeting.

There’s plenty of cozy, quiet nooks…..

….great coffee…


…..fruit toast $6…


Staff are endlessly flexible, friendly and accommodating.

Looking around, it seems it’s a favourite for work coffee meetings with many.

The Treehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The North End Cafe, Maroubra


We didn’t quite have time to enjoy a spread like Not Quite Nigella,  but the North End Cafe was a cute and friendly spot to enjoy a quick lunch in Maroubra.

It’s not on the beach, but still has a beachside vibe.

Serving all day breakfast like simple poached eggs on rye $9.50….

….or all day lunch like the chicken breast burger $17…

…it’s a small but versatile menu for a light meal.

The North End Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Din Tai Fung, North Sydney – a second look


I just had to go back for more dumplings at Din Tai Fung.

This time I had the Chinese tea $1 with free refills, an excellent idea.

I also tried the Seafood Jiao Zi $7.80…

…but sadly they weren’t quite as good as the Shrimp and pork Jiao zi $9.80 or steamed pork dumplings xiao long Bao $5.80

I also ordered the Steamed mini bun with red bean – $1.90

…but again, it wasn’t as good as the savoury pork bun.

The Green bean with minced pork and dried shrimp $11.80 looked pretty good as a share dish…for another time perhaps.

Din Tai Fung Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Faheem’s Fast Food, Enmore Road – the real deal!


Faheem’s Fast Food on Enmore Road is the first real Indian eatery I’ve discovered in Australia. The decor is perfectly authentic,as is the service and it has the very best (almost Indian) prices!

It’s open daily for dinner everyday, there’s no need to book.

The menu is extensive and includes options like….

Dal Makhani $11 – black lentils with fresh herbs, corriander and spices

Fantastic!! soft naan from $2.50

Garlic naan $3

Rice larger serve like this is $3

Yogurt mint sauce $1.50

Two people can eat for $20.

There’s also the option of three veg curries and rice $10.

I will have to go back!

Faheem Fast Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Urban, Newtown, a great base to explore Enmore Road Eateries!


I would never have found this great spot on my own but it was recommended by a friend.

The Urban won’t fit everyone’s preference ….but I loved it!

It’s close to the city…just a short 6 minute train ride from Central on the inner west line.


It’s just near Newtown Station, easy 2 minute walk.

It’s only $109 per room on the website….


….and if you book on line the mini bar is free.

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Pastries and fruit are available all day and so breakfast is included.

The room has a kitchenette so you can cater easily..


…but why do that when it’s surrounded by great places to eat on Enmore Road!

The Urban started life as an RSL Club and front the road it looks quirky but not fancy.


The foyer is pretty plain and practical.


But then you realise that staff at reception are really friendly, approachable and helpful.

And you notice the pastries, coffee and fruit you can help yourself to anytime.

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I’d booked a double room, but was upgraded to a king bed (nice!).


Room 405 was great, facing the side street Station Street not the main road. Once the windows  were closed it was especially quiet.


The room was simple and basic but it was the five star touches that really impressed like the full toiletries….


….large bathroom and shower ( excellent)….

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….pod coffee machine and classy teabags.

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The bed was very comfortable, heating was cozy.


And did I mention that free minibar?

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If you don’t want to go far the Hakiki icecream shop is across the road…


..as is The Stinking Bishops with an interesting menu.

A bit further along is La Ricetta ( open Monday’s) Great Aunty Three (Vietnamese) and Faheems Fast food (Indian) ( open Mondays).


The Tandoori Hut has a great Biriyani recommended by The Urban reception.

Hartsyard, Osteria di Russo and Russo and Bloodwood are pricier spots nearby.

There’s the historic iconic Enmore Theatre near by and some interesting sounding markets on the weekend.


At breakfast time there were some amazing croissants and pastries on offer – maybe from the wonderful smelling bakery over the road.

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And I’m there’s a whole lot more to discover on King Street!


Parking is $40

Wifi is free and excellent!