Easter High Tea at the Grounds

The Grounds of Alexandria is always pumping full of people no matter when you go.
It can be a bit off putting with the amount of people packed in there like sardines but you can’t help but be a sucker for punishment when you see how beautifully decorated the place is.
Having high tea for Easter here was an exception as we had pre booked to avoid the disappointment of a long wait for a table.
Located in the Atrium, the area which looks like a glass house, was decorated in hanging greenery and the tables were topped with vases of colourful flowers.

Not your average three tiered platter, this high tea came on two tiered trays accompanied by a glass of sparkling or juice of your choice. We opted for sparkling water and apple juice.

For the savoury bites, we received five pieces.
Cured beef sandwich with Russian slaw, cucumber pickles and mustard.

Cucumber and cream cheese sandwich with fresh garden mint.

Coronation chicken on brioche toast with watercress.

Smoked trout and crème fraiche tartlet with salmon caviar.

Mini chicken, leek and mushroom pie with tomato relish which I loved and could have eaten ten!

For the sweet bites, we received four pieces.
Mini strawberry tart with vanilla pastry cream – this was my favourite!

Dark chocolate and salted caramel tartlet.

Chocolate and coconut “bounty bar” perfect for the lovers of coconut.

Mini raspberry Pavlova which was so cute (not to mention delicious). It was almost like a mini macaron topped with raspberries.

While we were eating, a staff member came around handing out pieces of the massive Easter egg they have each year which was quite nice. The chocolate was pretty good and surprising was comprised of several layers of chocolate.
Frankiie xX

The Pizza Shop

The Pizza Shop is a cute little shop located on Sydney Road in Balgowlah. It has a warm, retro feel with an interior decorated with records, toys and games reminiscent of early childhood.
Invited by Blacker Media, the tables were lined with boxes of Cadbury Roses chocolates and Christmas cards – the most thoughtful set up I’ve seen thus far, these guys really know how to throw an event which is super well organised!
So for the entrées we received some cheesy garlic bread, hot ‘n’ spicy wings, smoky BBQ wings and a pesto parmesan pizza.

I can’t choose which one was my fave as they were all really good! The wings were super flavoursome and easy to eat, the cheese on the garlic bread is such a good idea – I really wish more people would adopt this and the pesto parmesan pizzas flavour was nice and subtle. It wasn’t as overpowering as I thought it would be, so it’s definitely a winner.

If you were to choose what to have as an entrée, I’d recommend either one of the wings AND either one of the breads.

You definitely can’t opt out of having one of the wings as they are so good and if you choose the garlic bread over the pesto parmesan, you will see how well the cheese works and if you go with the pesto parmesan, it’s a nice, light lead up to the real pizzas.
Next up we got two sets of pizzas.
Pizza set one consisted of four different varieties.
There was the Dr Zeus which had marinated lamb, baby spinach, cherry tomato, Spanish onion, crumbed feta, garlic, and was drizzled with mint yoghurt. Definitely a Greek inspired piece, and such a good one at that. The marinated lamb had a real tasty flavour to it and gave the pizza that hit.

The Pep which is your standard pepperoni pizza definitely isn’t standard in taste. I’d have to say that this one was one of my faves (as plain as it sounds), some places you get pepperoni that isn’t super tasty but with this one, you really get that paprika, chilli pepper taste.

The Queen Marg had roma tomato, baby bocconcini, and fresh basil. Again, not your average margarita pizza. The baby bocconcini gave it a creamier texture and the fresh basil gave it a nice hit of added flavour.

The Butternut Chicken had toppings of chicken, butternut pumpkin, baby spinach, Spanish onion, crumbed feta, garlic, and pine nuts on a white base. This is a dream! It is such a nice array of flavours, reminiscent of a roast chicken dinner with sides of creamy pumpkin. Definitely one to try.

Pizza set two consisted of another four varieties.
The Mr. Prosciutto had prosciutto, Roma tomato, Spanish onion, wild rocket, and shaved parmesan also on a white base. I love prosciutto so this was a treat for me. Whenever I get prosciutto on a pizza, I end up eating the piece of prosciutto all in one go as it’s hard to bite through but this one was not.

The El Chapo consisted of chorizo, ground beef, jalapenos, capsicum, Roma Tomato, Spanish onion, corn, drizzled with creamy guacamole and sprinkled with fresh coriander. Now if you’re not a big spice fan, I suggest you pick the jalapenos off of this one as it can give you quite a burn. But other than that, the flavours worked really well together.

The Zorro had prawns, chorizo, Spanish onion, baby spinach, cherry tomato, crumbed feta, and garlic. This was also super tasty – the prawns went really well with the chorizo and the crumbed feta gave it a nice touch.

Last but not least was the Fishmonger which had an array of seafood such as prawns, mussels, scallops, Spanish onion, garlic, and fresh shallots. Now this is definitely one for the seafood lovers. With such a good mix, you definitely can’t go wrong with this pizza.
The guys also were generous enough to have brought us some desserts – a traditional tiramisu. It was delicious!

The alcohol was definitely present ahahaha.
It was such a lovely little venue and the food was definitely an A++.
I think it would be the perfect place for date night.
Frankiie xX

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