IKEA Vegan Buffet

Who doesn’t love the food at IKEA?! Those Swedish meatballs, salmon wraps and that ever famous Daim cake!
But seriously, for a long time, there has been a growing culture of vegetarians and vegans so an idea for a “vegan” or “vegetarian” buffet is trying to get pushed to be available at IKEA for those opting for a cruelty free meal.
Kindly invited by Troy, we were one of the lucky punters to be able to try all of these deliciously colourful dishes.

The dishes are basically vegan but are labelled vegetarian as the chefs are unsure of what the soil used to grow the vegetables has been fertilised with therefore, have called the meals “vegetarian” rather than vegan.
Other than that little thing, all of the dishes are vegan and don’t have any animal based products used in them.
This is honestly a dream come true! Even meat lovers who attend will fall in love with the food and I’m not just saying that. You could tell the dishes were made with love. Not to mention everything was presented really well.
My husband who is a renowned meat lover was super impressed and kept going back for more until he was about to burst.

On the table they had veggies balls with tomato and spinach ragu (the vegetarian version of the Swedish meatballs) which was definitely a favourite for all.
Spiced roast potatoes which my husband and I honestly couldn’t get enough of.
Thai green curry with jasmine rice had the perfect spice level to it.
Garlic roasted mushrooms which were super tasty.
Pesto penne which was definitely at the top of my list – I went back for seconds and overheard a meat eater from across the table say to his mum that if it were something like this that was cooked every day he wouldn’t bother eating meat again.

Broad bean salad which was light and refreshing.

Roast pumpkin salad which is always a must and you can’t go wrong with.

Potato salad which had a nice mustard dressing to it.
Mixed veg quinoa which was also another favourite of mine.

Two types of soup being minestrone and lentil. I only tried the minestrone and it was delicious and hearty!

For dessert they had a fruit platter with rockmelon, honeydew, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries.

They also had almond friands topped with strawberries and walnut cupcakes.

Both of which were just delicious that I had to take some home!
So who’s up to try this delicious feast and help push for it to be a standing thing on IKEA’s menu?! I for one am a huge fan.
Frankiie xX

Sydney Cebu Lechon

Sydney Cebu Lechon is no newbie to the food scene.
Having been around for 27 years, these guys have built a strong reputation for themselves and opened a pop up in Blacktown with just recently securing themselves a little spot on Enmore Road.
Holding a soft opening on the 9th of February we were lucky enough to have been invited by some friends who have been long term fans of Sydney Cebu.
We were allowed to have whatever we wanted off the menu and of course, we opted for all of the “lechon” dishes.
The charcoal roasted pork/Cebu lechon which is the fave of the bunch was just delicious. Definitely not falling short of expectations, I now know why people insist on waiting in massive lines for this dish!

The braised pork belly/humba (Cebuano Adobo) is a slightly sweeter version of the adobo I am used to coming from a Filipino background but I have to say that I quite enjoyed this dish. It was super flavoursome and the pork, tender.

The crispy fried pork belly (lechon kawali) was also a hit. Differing from the Cebu lechon in the way it is cooked, this too has crackling right on point.

These three dishes to share along with steamed rice was enough to feed a table of four, all of us pretty big eaters so if you’re wanting to try more than one dish, I suggest going with a group of friends so you can get the full Sydney Cebu Lechon experience!
And don’t forget to leave room for dessert which is a mistake we made but will give more of a pull for us to come back and visit.
Frankiie xX

Ya Malaysia

Ya Malaysia is an eatery located on Parramatta’s busy Church Street.
Their menu is quite extensive and everything looks so good, it’s hard to make a decision, which is why it’s best to go with a group of people so that you can share lots of different dishes.

For our entrées, we chose the entrée platter, which had three spring rolls, three curry puffs and three fishcakes.

All of them were so good, it’s hard to pick which one was my favourite but I think the spring roll scraped in there by a hairline – it had such a flavoursome filling and went really well with the sweet chilli sauce.
You can get this dish for $16.00 which is quite a good price.
Drink wise, we ordered a coke, Milo dinosaur and glass jelly drink.
The Milo dinosaur is the best – it’s an ice cold milo and just perfect for the Aussie summer weather.

The coke was $4.00, Milo dinosaur and glass jelly drink were $5.00 each.
For the mains we chose the Nasi Lemak, wonton noodle soup and the black pepper beef.
The Nasi Lemak came on a plate with coconut rice served with anchovies, peanuts, sambal sauce and a side of beef rending.

Now let me ask you how well you can handle your spice as it’s a slow build up then bang! These guys know how to pack a punch into your meal and make it a tasty one at that.
This dish is a must try and you can get it for $13.90.
The wonton noodle soup is more for the faint hearted with a spice rating of zero.

This has to be the best wonton noodle soup I’ve had in a long time. The wontons were super tasty when normally I’d be asking for some soy sauce and the noodles were plentiful and cooked to perfection, that meaning they weren’t all stuck together like they were just chucked into a pot and boiled, they were actually separated and cooked through.

You can get this beauty for $13.90.
The black pepper beef is another one with a high spice rating (it has one chilli next to it on the menu but builds up).
Super tasty, the name of the dish pretty much sums up what it is made of – sliced beef with black pepper sauce. We ordered a side of Jasmine rice to go along with it.

The Jasmine rice takes away a bit of the spice but this dish really has a good flavour to it!
You can grab this one for $15.90 and the rice, $2.00.
This place is a must try. The food is pretty amazing and I’m not just saying that. They have lunch specials during the week and is in the perfect location if you work in Parramatta CBD.
We dined as guests of Ya Malaysia and this review is true and based on our dining experience.
Frankiie xX

Brick Bar

So I was scrolling through the popular feed on Instagram when I stumbled across some burgers that looked like Lego pieces.
Immediately I had to see where to get myself one.
Luckily enough the guys at Brick Bar were doing a pop up at the Starship in Sydney so I had to get some tickets.
The entry fee included a play around in the ball pit and an hour and a half where you are free to build and create your own creations in the block room.

The ball pit had five dollar notes scattered around the bottom of it which people had to try and find and the down stairs area which had all the Lego was equipped with a bar, food station and ping pong table where people versed each other for drink prizes. There was also a money prize if you found five gold pieces of Lego.

The ‘brick burgers’ were served in pairs – one being chicken and the other, beef – both with a side of fries while non-alcoholic drinks were five bucks a pop.

The time went by so quickly, which was surprising but I didn’t know that Lego could be so much fun!
There were thrones made of large Lego pieces and walls where you can write messages or create character with pieces of Lego.
Both the upstairs and downstairs area had their own separate DJs and everyone was having a right old time.

By far, this was the story which got the most responses from fellow followers so it’s definitely one to try.

Frankiie xX

Mamma Teresa

Mamma Teresa is a nice and homely place to eat when you’re looking for good Italian food.
The people there are super friendly and welcoming as soon as you walk through the door.
We dined as guests of Ompty Media and are now happy we have found a great place to enjoy good quality Italian eats.
We started off with an entrée of garlic bread which was served in nice, large portions.

For the mains, I opted for the risotto pollo which had chicken breast, sundried tomato and spinach tossed with carnarolirice in a creamy napolitana sauce. Now I always choose this if it’s on the menu as I love sundried tomatoes in a creamy sauce and this dish was just perfect! Some places go overboard with the sauce and it becomes quite overpowering but this was right on point.

I also ordered myself the entrée size to save some room for pizza and dessert and this is just the right serving size if you want to eat other items off the menu.
Hubby ordered the fettuccine boscaiola which he too tends to order every time we have Italian (it’s so hard for us to break habit hahaha)! He loved this dish as well and said it was also one which wasn’t too overpowering and didn’t become sickening towards the end.

But a word of warning! If you don’t like garlic, you may want to ask them to tone it down a bit as it is quite strong in this dish. If you’re a garlic fan, then you will definitely enjoy the hit of it in this dish.
We were also given the Kingsford Special gourmet pizza which had toppings of prawns, pepperoni, mushrooms and pineapple. I don’t normally like pineapple on my pizza but this went surprisingly well with the rest of the flavours.

The prawns were also quite dominant in flavour which was good as every other pizza I’ve had with them on top, they’ve had no taste.
For dessert, I opted for something light; the Belgium Chocolate Mousse. It was a nice dark chocolate mousse topped with a strawberry. This was delicious. The mousse was nice and airy and the chocolate flavour, just right.

We definitely want to go back and try out the rest of the menu!
Thank you to the guys at Mamma Teresa and Ompty for giving us such a great experience.

Frankiie xX

Vincenzo’s

The Vincenzo’s chain has been around for close to 40 years but the current owners have been with the business for 12 years.
Located in Merrylands, it’s a nice local for pasta, pizza and other comfort food.
With a lovely outdoor seating area, it’s also the perfect place to sit around and enjoy good food with family and friends.
Courtesy of an invite from Food Blogs Media, we were given seven different dishes to try on the day of the visit.
First off the menu was the garlic bread which was made with house made garlic butter. This was freshly baked and had just the right flavour.

Next were the garlic prawns which were cooked in napolitana sauce with a side of pane de casa. These were super tasty and the pane de casa which is a type of bread, made the perfect pairing to this delicious dish.

We were also given three types of pizza!

We had the Atlantic which has a tomato base topped with cheese, scallops, prawns, king prawns, crab meat and parsley. I’ve never been one to order a seafood pizza but this was pretty good and I would definitely rate it.

The Four Seasons pizza also has a tomato base and is topped with cheese, ham, mushrooms, capsicums and prawns. Now this is my type of pizza! I’m such a fan of ham, mushrooms and prawns that I couldn’t go wrong with this and the capsicum was a nice addition to the flavour.

Last but not least, was the Italian Special made with a tomato base, cheese, roasted capsicum, marinated artichoke, roasted eggplant, mushrooms and diced tomatoes. This seemed to be the winner on the table out of the pizzas as it was the one which people ate the most of. I’m not a fan of artichokes but I do love roasted eggplant.

From the pasta menu, we received the fettuccine marinara which had a napolitana sauce, dash of cream, prawns, scallops, crab and garlic. This was my favourite dish! I usually like white sauces best with my pasta unless it’s spaghetti or lasagne but this was just delish!

The last dish brought out was the fish and chips. The fish was nice and crispy and the chips, thick cut. Now who doesn’t love a good fish and chips dish? The fish here was crumbed rather than battered which was nice because it made it less oily.

The guys were super hospitable and came out after all of the dishes were brought out and asked if we were full enough as if we weren’t, they were going to bring out more. But the dishes here are definitely filling and it’s nice to get a group together so that you get more of a taste for the menu.

Frankiie xX

Cucina Espresso

When your foodie fam invites you out for a super early breakfast on a Sunday morning where your day is filled with more food adventures, you can’t help but say yes.
Cucina Espresso is located in Concord on a strip lined with different types of eateries.
What makes it stand out against the rest is the owner, Rocco’s warm personality and passion for food which is reflected in the restaurant’s menu.

Carlo Callauti is the head chef of Cucina Espresso and creates a range of mean Italian dishes to rival mamma’s homemade cooking!
My favourite dish was the carrot cake pancakes! It was a homemade pancake mix infused with carrot, walnut and cinnamon which was stacked between a layer of cream cheese frosting and topped with vanilla gelato.

I cannot believe how good this dish was! It had been sitting there for half an hour with us taking photos and starting off with the savoury dishes and the pancakes still had a crisp to them despite having the gelato melt all over it. This dish is definitely one which you cannot pass on.
On the savoury side, we had the Chef’s Uvo Polenta e Prosciutto consisting of a bed of polenta topped with soft poached eggs, prosciutto, gorgonzola sauce and walnuts served with a side pane di casa (a type of bread).

Another savoury dish was the Uvo Cotto which is a dish made of eggs baked in a creamy sauce with porchini mushrooms, black truffle, potato mash and shaved grana padano cheese then garnished with crispy bacon and a side of pane di casa.

This was my second favourite dish. The flavours were just amazing and reminded me of a creamy boscaiola which I love.
Another one on the table was the salmon rosti benedict which is a chef’s potato rosti topped with house cured salmon, poached eggs and house made lime infused hollandaise sauce served with asparagus and watercress. I loved the potato rosti and the hollandaise sauce was just perfect. The eggs were also cooked to perfection which most places seem to get wrong.

The last dish we received is a new menu item so I’m not too sure of its name but it had baked eggs and was surrounded by pork pieces cooked in herbs and parmesan cheese. Yummm!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over and try it for yourself as you won’t be disappointed!

Frankiie xX