Though we do have a handful of good cafes in the Hills, my favourites still happen to be the ones much farther away, such a Dining & Co, a good 35 minute drive away in North Ryde. So when I found out that they were opening up a second branch in Castle Towers (replacing Bellacinno) i.e. less than 10 minutes away, I was stoked!
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon & Caviar ($19)
Tucked away in the middle of an industrial area, all the way out west, Ketchup Canteen’s location isn’t the busiest. So we’re a little surprised when we turn up on a Saturday evening to find it bustling with customers.
Surely that’s a sign of good food?
We’re here with some foodie friend to check out the burgers and fried chicken. Ketchup Canteen has only been open for a couple of months but is already drawing a loyal following- it’s by the same guys who run the Holy Heffa Burger Truck, so that might be part of the reason for its popularity!
With such a unique name, there’s probably not many Sydneysiders who havent heard of Haven Tailoring Coffee Joyously. And whilst the idea of tailored coffee doesn’t appeal to me (I’m not a big coffee drinker), I am a huge fan of their menu, so when I was particularly excited to try our their new menu with some foodie friends when FCBA invited me along.
Havenly Affogato with Vanilla Bean or Matcha Ice-cream $ 6 (top left, bottom right)
It’s been a while since my last visit so the menu has changed quite a bit, although the classic favourites are still there, along with some creative new options.
But first, drinks.
If dessert for breakfast is not your thing, then I’d suggest staying away from the Havenly Affogato. But if you’ve got a crazy sweet tooth like me, then this is the drink to order. I say drink, but this version of affogato is much more of a dessert than a drink, with an impressively large serve of ice cream (two scoops!)
I’ve made berry cheesecakes a number of times- infact my blueberry cheesecake recipe was one of the first recipes I posted on my blog all the way back in 2009! I’ve also written about how I’ve been on a quest for a very specific texture of cheesecake, so I won’t repeat myself here but it’s basically the texture of my favourite Cheesecake Shop cakes, which are like your typical baked cheesecake but lighter, yet not quite as light as a chilled gelatine cheesecake.
Sydneysiders who love Japanese food will no doubt have tried Yayoi. For those in need of an introduction, it’s a restaurant chain that’s come from Japan, where they already have in excess of 300 restaurants. So it’s no surprise that it was quite popular when they first landed in Australia.
I first visited their Yayoi Galeries branch when they were newly opened and the wait was excessively long. And though the crowds have died down, as they do, the beautiful presentation of the food an standout freshness is reason enough for me to make a visit from time to time. So when I received an invite from FCBA Australia to try out their newly opened branch in Westfield Sydney, I was only too eager to go!
Although the menu is largely the same between their different branches, there are some slight differences. And one big drawcard for the new Westfield location is their Umeshu (Japanese Plum Wine) offerings. If plum wine is your thing, you’ll definitely wanting to make a visit soon. Even if it’s not, you’ll want to check out their extensive umeshu menu- you’ll probably even find a new favourite!