Sir Manong

Filipino food is a growing trend in Sydney with the Filipino food movement building up a gathering of followers.

Sir Manong offers a range of Filipino dishes to make your mouth water and they are officially opening their doors to the public on Monday, 29 June.

Their menu features an array of popular dishes as well as some which haven’t been in the spotlight before. I think most people think of Filipino food being marinated pork pieces on skewers but Sir Manong offers more than just a filo barbecue!

Twice-Cooked Crispy Adobo Wings $14.00

The twice cooked crispy adobo wings are a staple Filipino dish which people who have tasted filo food before should be familiar with. This one however is a little bit different. It’s like an adobo flavoured crumb rather than a sauce which was quite a surprise. The crumb is actually filled with flavour, kind of like you’re eating KFC but filo style!

Fried Sinigang Squid $14.00

The fried sinigang squid is a filo take on salt and pepper squid. It’s super flavoursome and melts in your mouth and is definitely one to try.

Pork and Pawn Shanghai Spring Roll $12.00

The spring rolls are a winner – so tasty and filled with all the right ingredients. Depending on where you come from in the Philippines, you get many different takes on spring rolls, some even have sultanas which I’m definitely not a fan of but these ones were so good!

Chicken Inasal $16.00

The chicken inasal was so moist and cooked to perfection. Pair it with the house specialty brine and you’ve got even more of a flavour burst.

Chop Suey $15.00

It’s hard to find a veggo dish in the Filipino culture as everything is meat based so the chop suey is a welcome change. The dish is comprised of seasonal greens, broccoli, tofu and mushrooms with a ginger and garlic sauce. It’s quite a subtle taste but really goes well with all of the other dishes as the flavour doesn’t overpower whatever else you’re pairing it with.

Liempo $21.00

The liempo is soOoo good! The pork is tender and juicy and is even better with the spiced vinegar dipping! This is another dish worth trying as you won’t be disappointed.

Sir Sisig $19.00

The Sir Sisig is one for all of you pork lovers. It has pork hash and pork crackling topped with a soy lime dressing. This is another one which will make your taste buds tingle with delight.

Bangus Ala Pobre $21.00

The bangus is a milkfish (milk by name, not flavour!) topped with salted duck egg and a tomato salsa and is a dish which many Filipinos eat quite often. It’s the national fish and can be prepared in many different ways, fried being the choice of Sir Manong giving it a good combination of the salt from the fish and duck egg and the freshness of the salsa.

Hoy Gising $15.00

The Hoy Gising is a coconut stew comprised of pork mince, beans, fermented krill and chillies. I’m not the biggest fan of coconut dishes but I do have to say that the flavour of this one reminds me of Thai cuisine with the use of coconut milk.

Fried Banana and Dolce de Leche Ice Cream

Now for dessert!

I was already going to burst and I didn’t see any dessert dishes on the menu but we got served some fried bananas with ice cream.

Fried bananas are another staple Filipino dish and this really didn’t disappoint. I’m also not a big banana lover but this tasted really good with the caramelisation of the banana. Here’s hoping they put out a dessert menu so people can also get a taste of something sweet.

Kalamansi Juice $15.00

To drinks they have on offer include soft drinks, kalamansi juice, pandan milkshakes, mango milkshakes, mocktails, pineapple juice, apple juice and buko juice (which is coconut juice to you and me).

I opted for the kalamansi juice which was so refreshing! If you guys don’t know what a kalamansi is, it’s a filo lime. They are super small – smaller than your average lime and is also slightly sweeter in taste.

I highly recommend Sir Manong – the food was delicious and staff super friendly and warm just like you’d find in the Philippines. The chefs also performed really well under the pressure of cooking so many different dishes in such a timely manner and they were also presented really well.

I would love to hear your thoughts on filo cuisine and whether you’ve tried any of the dishes I’ve mentioned before.

Frankiie xX

Desserts by Jen

Desserts by Jen may seem like an unknown dessert company but they set themselves apart from the rest when you take that first bite out of any of their mouth watering desserts.

Founded by Jen and Jeff, these guys know how to satisfy a dessert craving and leave you wanting more.

Mixed Box $50.00

As soon as you open that box, you are slapped across the face with a delicious aroma of baked goods. But it’s when you take that first bite that you know you’re going to be hooked and want more.

Peanut Butter Reese’s cupcake

Their cupcakes are super cute and well decorated but their icing is seriously on another level. Pair it with the cupcake and it’s a flavour explosion only you can dream of.

Each cupcake is a flavour which compliments its icing so you know you’ll get a good combo.

Kit Kat Gold Cupcake

They also do personalized cookies which I love! I think it’s such a beautiful touch and the bits of gold leaf make it just that little bit extra. They are also really tasty!

Personalised Fondant Cookie

The bigger cookies are super good! I got to try the half and half choc chunk and double doc, and Biscoff flavours and they were both delicious. I caught myself having one for breakfast the other day!!!

Half and Half Choc Chunk and Double Choc Cookies

The brownies are also quite amazing. If you think Tee Lish Brownies are good, you need to get onto these ones! They’re not just a brownie with different toppings, some of them have layers which makes them even more yummy.

Biscoff Loaded Brownie
Snickers Brownie and Wagon Wheel Brownie

The pandan creme brulees are out of this world. You can really taste the pandan flavour and they have the perfect crack when you tap the top.

I honestly can’t talk these guys up enough, their desserts really exceeded my expectations. I’m constantly tasting different desserts from different places but these by far are at the top of my list.

Thank you to Desserts by Jen for feeding my sugar addiction and I really hope you guys try their desserts out for yourselves because I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Frankiie xX

Dapto Hotdogs and Burgers

Dapto are a food truck business based in Lakemba so don’t be fooled by its name.

Parked in an unsuspecting area, this is one definitely to visit.

Having won a competition on Instagram, this was my first time out since #iso and I have to say it was pretty good considering it was freezing cold.

I won a family feast so we took a couple of friends with us for a late night feed (or what I would call late now with my lack of sleep) and had our first meal out.

We got to try the plain dog which was a damn good hot dog with ketchup and mustard for those who like things more traditional. It’s a pretty decent sized thing so you definitely won’t go hungry.

Plain dog with your choice of sauce $8.00

The chilli dog which has Mexican salsa, chilli, cheese, onions, BBQ sauce, mustard and jalapenos – a winner if you love your spice and it definitely works for something so different!

Chilli dog $11.00

The cheeseburger which was also really, really good (we went back for seconds) if you like your burgers plain like me just has the patty, onions, cheese, mustard, pickles and tomato. The patty is nice and juicy, and freshly made to order.

Cheeseburger at the front $9.00 and DD grilled chicken on the left $10

The second burger was a DD grilled chicken burger which comes with chicken breast, lettuce, mayo and chilli as an option, which was also really good and we had a second serving of.

Then we also had chips and drinks as part of our sides (all of the above you can get as a combo for seven bucks extra). A bargain if you ask me as most joints charge between $15 and $22 just for a burger on its own and fail at the taste!

These guys can cook up a mean cheat meal or everyday treat if you’re looking for something delicious and filling. Not to mention they have other items on the menu as well like Pluto pups and chicken nuggets. They also do a variety of burgers and different styles of hot dogs as well as a hot dog snack pack – now that is one I’ll be ordering next time round!

What’s your fave hot dog and burger joint?

Frankiie xX

Graze in a Box

If you’re looking for the perfect grazing spread look no further than Graze in a Box.

A newbie on the scene, Graze in a Box comes in strong with their selection of high quality nibbles, you’d think they were in the game since day dot.

The Classic Graze box feeds over four people, measures at 360 by 255 and is jam packed with something for everyone.

With two cheeses, two dips, artisan crackers and wafers, cold cuts and twiggies, pickles and olives, antipasto, Tim Tams, nuts, seasonal fruit, raw honeycomb, chocolate, dried fruit, and other yummy nibbles you honestly can’t go wrong.

The ham used has a yummy smoked flavour, it’s hard to stop eating. The pieces also quite big in size and are arranged like blooming roses – so pretty!

The artisan crackers have me absolutely hooked! They’re sweet in taste and went so well with the apricot and almond cheese.

The sweet potato and cashew dip was amazing. I’d never had this before but it was heavenly. I paired it with the twiggy sticks and the flavours were a really good combination.

The pickles, olives and sun dried tomato were also really tasty – I love sun dried tomatoes so to have them included in the box was such a treat for me.

The fruit packed was fresh, sweet and vibrant in colour, a must for all grazing tables.

The assorted nibbles for those with a sweet tooth really deliver. With things like Tim Tams to Lindt balls and chocolate covered pretzels – chocolate lovers celebrate.

Now you be the judge and tell me if this doesn’t sound like the ultimate graze you’d love to have at your next event or secretly for yourself.

Frankiie xX

Mother’s Day

I hope you guys all had a lovely mother’s day!

Mine started off really well by winning two sets of competitions on Instagram with one of them being from The Pasta House x Lulu Flora.

It was such a good win as I got to choose four different pastas, a bottle of Little Berry wine, garlic bread and the most amazing bunch of flowers from Lulu Flora.

One of the pastas I chose was the pappardelle ai funghi. This had a wild mushroom medley sauce and was just delicious! It had a more subtle flavour but was definitely one of my faves.

I also chose the lasagne emiliana which was so good! This one had a stronger flavour but was so yummy. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this was one of the best lasagnes I’ve had in awhile.

The third pasta dish I had was the gnocchi napoletana. This had a bang of flavour and was so good. The gnocchi was just the right texture and was still good the next day after reheating.

Last but not least was the cannelloni di carne. This was also really good. Most cannellonies I’ve had have been soggy but this was cooked to perfection. The flavour was again another subtle one but still yummy.

All of the pastas were so good, it was hard to choose a favourite but the pappardelle ai funghi and lasagne emiliana just pushed through to the top.

The garlic bread was also really good and went so well with the gnocchi napoletana!

The wine was Little Berry Mclaren Vale Shiraz. It has a strong taste but paired really well with the pasta dishes.

Lastly, the flowers from Lulu Floral were absolutely amazing! They were the biggest bunch I’ve ever seen and were so pretty.

It’s been 3 days since I received these and they’re still in good condition. The Madonna lilies are now in full bloom and are absolutely massive! Everytime I walk into the room, I can smell their floral smell straight away.

How did you guys spend your mother’s day?

Frankiie xX

Crust Pizza

Crust Pizza has been turning heads with their pizzas since I can remember.

I remember the hype when they first started gaining traction so went out and bought a couple of pizzas. I was lucky to be living in North Parra at the time so was super close to one of the stores.

Fast forward three years later and they’re still as good as I remember.

Winning a prize through Instagram made me remember how good their pizzas were and had me ordering on top of what I had won.

Each month Crust Panania holds a competition and April happened to be a lucky month for me to win their pasta giveaway. I got to choose a starter, pasta and dessert.

I couldn’t go to Crust and not have a pizza so ordered the Chorizo Salsa Verde and Kids Cheese Pizza with a juice on top.

Of course they delivered the goods by making me realise I was missing out not ordering from them more often (please excuse the box photos, we were starving and didn’t want to spend over an hour trying to style and photograph our food).

As part of the prize I chose the Smokey BBQ Wings, Homestyle Bolognese and House Cooked Belgian Waffles with chocolate fudge.

The Smokey BBQ Wings were so moreish! Such a good flavour, I’d definitely recommend getting a box or two of these.

Smokey BBQ Wings $9.50

The Homestyle Bolognese will give your nonna a run for her cooking. It has bacon in it which probably added more flavour because let’s face it, who doesn’t love bacon?!

Homestyle Bolognese $13

The House Cooked Belgian Waffles are insanely good! They’re seriously out of this world. I wanted to eat them both but because I had eaten so much already, I could only manage one without feeling like I was going to burst.

I remembered I had another one the following morning and ate it sneakily for breakfast before anyone could see me and it was still so good (I have to say it was probably better the day after but maybe because I wasn’t at the point of bursting).

House Cooked Belgian Waffles with chocolate fudge $12

The Chorizo Salsa Verde pizza is one of Crust’s newbies. It’s got chorizo, roasted capsicum, caramelised onion and oregano on a tomato base.

Loved this one apart from the onions. I’m not a fan of onions anyway but hubby is and he thought it could have also done better without the onions. Next time I’ll know to customise it and remove the onions! Other than that, it’s definitely one I’d order again.

Chorizo Salsa Verde $23

The Kids Cheese Pizza and juice speaks for itself. Cheese pizzas are so easy to eat. Bub didn’t eat most of it as she’s only 11 months old so of course that leaves me to eat the leftovers and this went down a treat. Because the base is quite thin I could practically eat the whole thing even after eating half the Chorizo Salsa Verde and most of the pasta.

Kids Cheese Pizza with Juice $9.50

Thank you to Crust Pizza Panania for giving me a chance to win and for such a good feed.

I can’t wait to try the rest of the menu next time round.

Frankiie xX

Tipsy Jam

Tipsy Jam is an Australian local business which specialises in jams infused with alcohol.

They create products for grazing platters, gift boxes and event favours but the best thing is that they are vegan!

To celebrate mother’s day, Tipsy Jam have created a mother’s day box which includes two jams; I got fig and port, and plum faced, a blueberry cheesecake flavoured candle, some handmade dark chocolate and a ‘Sit Stay Society’ rosé.

The boxes cost $45 each and it’s $10 for delivery if you live outside of the 10 kilometre radius of Lane Cove.

The jams are perfect for #iso because you can create your own mini high tea or picnic for mum by baking some simple scones. Whip up some thickened cream and add your Tipsy Jam, pair it with your rosé and you’re ready to celebrate! You even have some chocolate for dessert afterwards.

Such a perfect gift, I know I’d love to receive one of these boxes!

Frankiie xX

Crackle & Co.

Crackle & Co. are an Australian family owned company who specialise in creating the perfect pork crackling snack.

They hand cook each piece until it’s just right and have flavours of sea salt, balsamic vinegar and chilli as part of their mouth watering range.

If you’re not a fan of crackling, these will definitely change your mind!

The balsamic vinegar being my personal favourite has just the right amount of flavour and hits your tastebuds, leaving you wanting more.

The chilli flavour has just the right amount of heat. As you guys know by now, I’m a wimp when it comes to spice and I was able to handle these just fine.

The sea salt would have to be the OG of flavours when it comes to crackling and definitely doesn’t disappoint.

These guys work directly with local suppliers which is great in helping to support your local businesses and you can tell that their products are the real thing as you will notice that there is branding on the occasional piece you pick up so make sure you grab yourself a few bags!

Frankiie xX

Divine Donuts

Divine Donuts is a small business which went live on the 5th of February 2020.

If you check them out on Instagram and Facebook (@divinedonuts_) you will see how well curated their dessert boxes are.

They also like to run little competitions for their followers here and there which I was lucky enough to win this month.

They have a range of donut flavours ranging from the creme brulee bombshell to the charming chocolate.

As you can see, their boxes don’t shy away from fulfilling your sweet tooth cravings!

In the box I won, I received the following donuts:

  • Creme brulee bombshell
  • Noble Nutella
  • OG glaze
  • Charming chocolate
  • Sinful cinnamon sugar

As soon as you open the box, that delicious smell of freshly baked donuts slaps you across the face making it hard to not devour the whole box before you take your photo.

Their donuts are soft, bursting with fillings, flavoursome (my personal fave being the creme brulee bombshell), and also keep well the day after – not that there were very many left!

The other little bits and pieces included in the box were pieces of Mars bars, marshmallows, lollipops, chocolate freckles, red skins, candied hearts, twizzlers, speckled eggs (given that we’re leading up to Easter), and another personal favourite, oreo filled eggs which were decorated beautifully in edible glitter!

How can you honestly resist this?!

The box was such a hit that we have already put in another order for the month of May but I’ll more than likely be ordering much sooner to fulfill cravings during the lockdown period.

If you haven’t checked these guys out yet, you really need to!

Also, it’s nice to give back to the local businesses during this time. I know it’s been rough on most of them so why not order a box to help them along a little bit.

Frankiie xX

Canberra Eats Day Three

Today we went to the zoo.

A little tip for anyone wanting to visit is to purchase your tickets online as it saves you a dollar or two. It might not be much to you but it all adds up at the end of the day and you can buy a small sundae with that!

Anyway, the food at the zoo wasn’t too bad. I had a carrot cake and hot choccie to start the day off and then a sausage sizzle as a snack before lunch.

The zoo is a reasonable size so make sure you have good walking shoes on!

After the zoo we headed out to Patissez for some lunch.

The weather was scorching hot so I had to opt for something green which I never do!

The Green Goddess Bowl saved the day with fresh ingredients like green pea hummus, avocado, quinoa, sauteed spinach, broccolini, lemon, house made hazelnut dukkah, haloumi and a poached egg.

Green Goddess Bowl $21

This was really quite good. It’s my one healthy meal of the year!

Hubby went for the reuben which had shaved Wagyu corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, house made Zuni pickles and Russian dressing on toasted sourdough and served with mixed leaves.

The Reuben $21 plus $2 extra for fries

He thought it wasn’t bad but said it was a bit too ‘hammy’. What a shame Katz’s deli isn’t here to make a fortune out of people like us!

For drinks I kept my ‘green’ streak going by having an acai smoothie which had organic acai, strawberries, blueberries, coconut water, chia and raw honey.

Acai smoothie $9

This was quite nice and refreshing in the heat.

  • Food: 4/5
  • Price: 3/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Wait time: 4/5
  • Atmosphere: 4/5
  • Baby friendly: yes

After that we headed to our Airbnb for a little nap before dinner.

For dinner we went to Burger Hero.

The burgers here are legit! I haven’t had a good stack in agesSss so this was a welcome.

I went for the cheeseburger which had 200g of hickory beef, American cheese and hero sauce.

Cheeseburger $12 plus $5.50 for waffle fries and a can of drink

That hickory beef was so good! And the flavour of that hero sauce was also really good. Those who know me know I’m a bit like Jeffrey Star and hate sauce (and like my burgers plain) so to willingly try this and like it is a rarity for me.

Hubby had the Rockin’ Rooster which had buttermilk soaked crumbed chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion, liquid cheese and chipotle sauce.

Rockin’ Rooster $15 plus $5.50 For waffle fries and a can of drink

Hubby loved this! He said the chicken was juicy and flavoursome.

  • Food: 5/5
  • Price: 4/5
  • Service: 5/5
  • Wait time: 5/5
  • Atmosphere: 5/5
  • Baby friendly: yes

I wish we had more time in Canberra, as there are so many different places to eat!

Frankiie xX