Black Star Pastry, Newtown ($)

Black Star Pastry in Newtown was established in 2008 by Christopher The and the team.

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In my excitement I took a ridiculously blurry photo of the cafe- apologies!

Chris spent most of his career in fine dining restaurants, specialising in desserts and since opening Black Star has won numerous awards and has gained much recognition for his amazing pastry skills.

MC and I visited following a large lunch at Doyle’s and waited in line about 10 minutes to order (trust me, it’s worth it!).

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The line at BSP- MC waiting patiently outside!

When I got to the front of the line I found it hard to make up my mind but one thing was certain- Watermelon Cake was going to be involved.

The famed Watermelon Cake is the star of the show at BSP and almost everyone who ordered something, bought a slice.

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Watermelon Cake, $7.50

The Cake is described on the website as: “Fresh, light, fragrant. This cake has become our signature and is perfect for birthdays, weddings and christenings.   The cake consists of two layers of almond dacquoise, fresh whipped cream, watermelon, Strawberries, Iranian pistachios and rose petals.   It is Gluten free and requires refrigeration.” 

The cake is absolutely exquisite and MC and I were surprised by the combination of sweetness from the strawberries and gelatine, freshness from the slice of watermelon, crunch from the pistachios and lightness from the cream and dacquoise.

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Definitely right up there with one of the best cakes I have ever had!

Apart from the Watermelon Cake, BSP also has quiches, sandwiches, and other pastries and cakes.

I decided to buy a slice of Watermelon Cake and Lemon Myrtle for Mitch’s parents.

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I also bought a Watermelon Cake, Persian Orange Cake and Frangipane Tart for Wicko and my parents.

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I really enjoyed the sweet denseness of the orange cake (something I hope to try to make at home soon), and the almondy taste of the frangipane.

As pistachios and rose are two of my favourite flavours, I loved how much they are used in BSP’s pastries.

Rating

Pros- amazing cakes and beautiful presentation.

Cons- you have to wait in line, small and crowded shop with limited seating (it’s worth it).

9/10

* * *

Address: 277 Australia St, Newtown NSW

Tel: (02) 9557 8656

Website: http://blackstarpastry.com.au/

Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Summer Paprika Chicken and Grapefruit salad (serves 3-4)

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This delicious and fresh summer recipe is healthy and appetising.  It’s super easy to make and really accentuates the quality of the ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground paprika
  • About 500grams chicken breast, cut into medium sized strips
  • 1/2 ruby red grapefruit, segmented
  • 3-4 handfuls of washed mixed leaves such as spinach and rocket
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 large chilli, sliced
  • 1cm piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Drizzle of balsamic
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Parsley

Method:

1. Add chicken breast to a medium sized mixing bowl and mix in paprika, garlic, chilli and ginger.

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2. Place mixed lettuce leaves on a platter.

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3. Segment grapefruit, making sure to take of as much of the pith as possible as this is super bitter.  Then break each segment into thirds or quarters and arrange on top of lettuce.

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4. Layer sliced tomato on top of lettuce and around tomato.

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5. Add the coconut oil to a hot pan. Wait 30 seconds until it melts then fry off chicken until golden on both sides and juicy and cooked through on the inside.

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6. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes.

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7. Add chicken on top of salad, squeeze lemon juice and drizzle balsamic on top.

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Enjoy!

GoodTime Diner @ The Eastern, Bondi Junction ($$)

Adding to the growing list of Southern-style diners and bars is GoodTime in Bondi.

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GoodTime is located in The Eastern hotel, a four level bar/restaurant which also contains restaurants such as the GoodTime Burgers and El Topo.???????????????????????????????

The Eastern was previously The Bondi Junction Hotel and has been around since before the giant swanky Westfields opened up so it has a funny roundish shape and doesn’t sit squarely into the shopping centre – something I feel gives it character and accentuates its long history.

Atmosphere

The restaurant has a Southern Ranch feel with a modern twist.

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It features fake deer head figures, stands with pickled vegetables and coke bottles (although they actually serve Pepsi), sewing machines and rusted bits and pieces.

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In contrast, the actual floors and walls are quite modern and fresh, with lots of black and white, green plants and wooden tables.

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MC and I partook in a Dinner Club meal and dined with fellow bloggers including Sir and M’Lady Dine OutChopin in my Saucepan, Go Bake Yourself and The Adventures of Miss Piggy.

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Service

Service was good- the staff were pretty friendly, our drinks were always refilled and our food was brought out quite quickly.

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Food

The menu features plenty of delicious Southern items including Quinoa, Baby Carrot, Hazelnut & Pomegranate salad, Spiced Smoked Chicken Wings GoodTime Slaw, a variety of burgers and slow cooked meats, and a number of interesting cocktails.

We enjoyed a number of dishes with a two hour drinks package including Morgans Bay Shiraz, Morgans Bay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Stoney Peak Sparkling, Tap Beer and soft drinks.

Garlic Bread – crisp, buttery heaven. MC enjoyed this!

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Charcuterie plate- smoky cheese, spicy nuts and salty meats served with sour gherkins and bread- delicious and a great starter with a glass of wine.

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12 Hour Slow Cooked Beef Ribs- tasty, gooey sauce on soft and tender fatty beef- one of my faves, and Southern Spiced Chicken- spicy and hot seasoning, well-cooked chicken. The portion sizes were also very generous.

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Fennel, goats cheese, pear and walnut salad with spinach- another favourite. I really like the thinly sliced pear and crunchy walnuts and I thought the salad was really fresh and light; it had a tangy dressing and balanced out the richness of the ribs.

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Cous cous, chickpea and pine nut salad- great side with the chicken, loved the sweet raisins and cool salad although I remember Chopin in my Saucepan saying he wasn’t a fan of the fact that it was cold.

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Other sides included the:

Charred Cajun Corn – I really enjoyed the butter and spice (quite hot!) on these cobs and love the charcoal taste and colouring.

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Mac & Cheese- very well presented and quite tasty. Super gooey!

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Recap

Overall we liked the menu as we are big fans of Southern food= especially ribs and charred corn. Decor was funky and would be a nice place for drinks and nibbles.

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Miss Piggy holding up the Mac&Cheese

TCFB and MC dined courtesy of GoodTimes Diner and CR PR.

* * *

Address: Level 4, Bondi Westfields, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction NSW

Tel: (02) 9387 7828

Website:  http://goodtimediner.com/

GoodTime Diner on Urbanspoon

Hurricane’s Grill, Top Ryde ($$$)

MC, Wicko and I visited Hurricane’s Top Ryde for their delicious ribs- a favourite!

The restaurant is located on the top outdoors area of the shopping centre, at the Piazza and you can get three hours free parking in the shopping centre car park.

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As usual, the placewas packed but as we were late (8:30pm) we were able to get a table indoors.

For drinks we ordered a pitcher of LLB- classic and refreshing and I was pleased with the amount of bitters- perfect!

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Wicko got a rack of ribs and MC and I shared one. We all love the Ribs with Hurricane’s gluten-Free basting sauce; it’s the perfect combo of sweet and BBQ-y but there are also other great dishes (see here for my review of the Darling Harbour Hurricane’s and here for a previous review of Hurricane’s Top Ryde).

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Happy camper MC!

Overall a great meal, very enjoyable ribs as always, great atmosphere with the gas heaters, flames and full house!

* * *

Address: Top Ryde City Shopping Centre, Shop R 3006 Ground Level (109-129 Blaxland Rd) Cnr Blaxland Rd & Devlin St, Ryde NSW

Tel: (02) 9130 7101

Website: https://topryde.hurricanesgrill.com.au

Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

The Bourbon, Potts Point ($$)

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The Bourbon at Potts Point is a Southern New Orleans style bar, just a short 5 minute stroll from Kings Cross Station.

Atmosphere

The decor makes you feel as though you are in New Orleans sometime in the 60’s. It features blue velvety chairs, a bar with a yellow backdrop and plenty of colourful spirits and mixers, wooden panelling, and exposed brick walls.  Even the bathrooms are amazing with elegant dark tiles and a huge fountain.

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The place has a cosy and intimate feel with dim lighting and dark colours. The night we visited there was live music on, which was quite entertaining.  Much to MC’s delight, there was also free popcorn.

Service

We had reserved a spot for about 15-20 people and so we had a great little area from which to base ourselves. It gets pretty busy on a Friday night so I would definitely recommend booking a spot if you have a large group and don’t want to hang out by the bar. They accept individual bookings for up to 7 people but you should be able to book a space for an event if you contact them.

For drinks, there were a number of great value jugs for $30 and you could get a good few glasses out of them.

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Food

James Metcalfe from Becasse is in charge of the delicious Diner-meets-pub food and the food is tasty and quite interesting.

The menu features items such as steaks and rotisserie chicken, buckets of grilled prawns, popcorn shrimp, quinoa salads, pork belly, burgers, pumpkin pie, ribs and tacos.

Lots to choose from and there is something to please everyone.

We had:

Beetroot salad with toasted nuts, spinach, goat chevre, beetroot and maple vinaigrette.

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The Po-Boy sandwich with chips and coleslaw; a New Orleans favourite which was fed to striking workers in the 20s and 30s.

The Po-Boy, short for “poor boy” contained ingredients such as prawns, oyster, catfish, soft-shell crabs as well as French fries and ham and cheese.

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Finally, the southern fried boneless chicken with buttermilk marinade, cajun spices,
devilled BBQ sauce. Tad dry, good flavours.

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Overall, a good menu and cool, relaxing atmosphere.

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Address: 22 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point 2011

Tel: (02) 9035 8888

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 2am

Thursday-Friday: 12pm – 4am

Saturday 9am – 4am

Sunday 9am – 1am

Website: http://www.thebourbon.com.au/

The Bourbon on Urbanspoon