Date Archives November 2011

IKEA, Tempe


Image by yassan-yukky

I have a confession to make: I am a big IKEA fan. I once was in a discussion with an Art History teacher about the scariness of being able to walk out with an entire environment, but I still love it. I like the funky colours and the nifty ideas and the showrooms. LOVE the showrooms. And if that makes me a slave to pop culture and convenience, then so be it.

Part of the convenience that is associated with IKEA is that you can get practically anything there, including food! I’ve already done a post on their cheap breakfasts, and since Sean and I decided to make a day trip out of visiting the brand-spanking-new IKEA Tempe store, we sat down and ate a proper meal while we were there.


I decided to try the Shrimp with Wheatcorn Pilaf while I was there. Sure, the shrimp was not near the usual Sydney standards (I must say that Sydney does prawns surprisingly well), and it had been left in that bain marie for a touch too long, but it was actually really enjoyable. I guess part of it was that it was relatively cheap (the whole meal cost us under $25) and it was a quick and easy stop in the middle of our big IKEA trek.

Having the Swedish meatballs was a really easy choice for Sean. He always gets it and it’s always consistently enjoyable and again, relatively cheap. The creamy gravy is always nicely set off by the lingonberry sauce, which, by the way, is superb on a smoked salmon sandwich.


And because we had worked up an appetite walking around this furniture superstore, we decided to order some sides. The mashed potatoes come with the meatballs, and Sean and I decided on Veggie Pasta and Chips and Gravy. The Veggie Pasta was surprisingly creamy and well seasoned, and the chips and mash, were, well chips and mash. Nothing particularly special, but they both really hit the spot in terms of mid-shopping food.

It’s food that I like to term pseudo-gourmet – it can be gourmet if executed differently, but at least it’s interesting and really enjoyable for a really affordable price ($25 for the lot). Isn’t that like its furniture though? Affordable, reliable and consistent, that’s IKEA (for me) in a nutshell.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there, but if I’m in the shopping in or in the vicinity of an IKEA, it’ll definitely be on my list.

Oh, and for those of you wondering about the Tempe part of this IKEA post – sure it’s large, but that’s kind of what IKEA always has been. It may be larger than the Rhodes store, but I really don’t feel like there’s that much of a difference in terms of the feel of the store. As an avid IKEA fan, I still don’t think there are enough differences to make me want to travel all the way out to the Tempe store unless I’m maybe visiting someone in the area.

We ate at:

IKEA Tempe
634-726 Princes Highway
Tempe NSW 2044
(02) 8020 6641

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It seems to be a week for pizzas. We had a very lovely drop-off at work today, from the café down the street. Teru Café and Pizza is a relatively new addition to the food wonders in Glebe, and I’ve heard that pizzas and coffee have been the owner’s life leading up to this café. I’ve also heard that there’s someone from Rome involved in the café, which ups the chances of authenticity if you are after that sort of thing.

I’ve never been to Rome, so I can’t comment on authenticity. But really. Who cares when it’s so yummy!

We had the two-face of pizzas arrive today – one side covered in moist, smoky roast veggies, and the other topped with slices of salami and mushroom.


The roasted veggies were sweet and caramelized with a hint of char. A tomato paste covered base was generously smothered with zucchini, sweet red peppers and Spanish onion. The crust had a nice crunch, but was not overly tough. A great support to the medley of ingredients that lovingly cling to it.


The seemingly simple meat half of the pizza had slivers of salami and mushroom, which created light bursts of flavour with the tomato base and melted cheese. Contrary to the stereotype of a typical salami/meat-lovers pizza, this pizza did not leave me feeling heavy and sleepy. I strongly believe that the tomato paste has sun-dried tomatoes in it. There is a strong hit of rich tomato flavour, and I can taste the sunshine in it. The near paper-thin slices of meat created a cloud of tangy spicy flavour in my mouth, and together with the sun in the tomato paste, this pizza tastes like a beautiful day in Sydney.

In all, the pieces of pizza transported me to a sun-drenched farm, with sweet vegetables and a philosophy toward food that is far away from the overly carnivorous tendencies of many pizza joints that saturate the market at the moment. Definitely somewhere to try with your nearest and dearest, for what is a better side to good food than great company?

Food from:
Teru Cafe and Pizza
02 9566 4949
33 Glebe Point Road
Glebe, NSW 2037

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I just thought that I’d share what I’m having for dinner – homemade pizza piled high with salami, kransky, ham, onion, garlic, cheese, cheese, capsicum and olives.


The Bellevue Hotel, Paddington


The lovely people from the Trish Nichol Agency and The Bellevue Hotel invited myself and a couple of other bloggers for a tasting session after the big revamp of the upstairs bar. It’s really nice in a gentlemen’s club sort of way. Luxurious leather armchairs, dark wood shutters, and lots of old world charm. The whole setting made me feel like dressing up in a 20’s flapper dress and wear my hair in a short dutch bob – not that it’s flattering on me, but you get the idea. I immediately got the impression that it would be great for a murder-mystery party. It is really unfortunate that the pictures I took of the interior really didn’t do the venue any justice, but the photos on their website gives a great idea of the feel of it.

What I did get photos of though, is the food – what kind of food blogger fail would it be if I didn’t?


We had the Meat Short Board, $35, the Mixed Short Board, $35 and the Mixed Long Board, $45, for maximum variety.

The Meat Short Board had Little Pig Sliders, Veal, Pork and Sage Meatballs, and Lamb Cutlets with Salsa Agresto.



There seems to be quite a lot of debate online as to what a “slider” actually is, but from what I can gather it’s firstly a burger. Many say that it’s a mini-burger, and some disagree, but I haven’t seen a slider that wasn’t some form of burger-type food, so let’s go with that.



The meatballs and lamb completed the line up, with the meatballs carrying a light spice and the lamb nicely pink on the inside.

The Mixed Short Board had Patata’s Bravas, Salt Cod Brandade with Anchovies, Capers & Toasted Sourdough and more Little Pig Sliders.



The Salt Cod Brandade with Anchovies was my favourite of the lot – this is my first time eating a Brandade – it being basically an emulsion of fish and oil – but I’m pretty sure that as a lover of fish, it’s something that I’d be quite happy to try more of in future. And for those who are afraid of anchovies, rest assured that this is not the fishy, overly-oily cheap tinned versions that you find in inconspicuous corners of bad supermarkets. Yes, the dish is still relatively fish-y, but nothing as bad as the rep that anchovy seems to have.

And finally, the Mixed Long Board had Stuffed Mushrooms, Veal, Pork & Sage Meatballs, Garlic Prawns & Tomato Hot Pot and Salt & Pepper Squid with Fennel Aioli




The Salt and Pepper squid was the favourite at the table, and was nicely cooked, with a nice crunch on the batter without the squid being overcooked.

Now, if you’re familiar with the blog you’d be wondering why I’m not going into detail about each dish and how it made me feel. The thing is, the food was…okay. Besides the squid and the brandade, everything else felt slightly under-seasoned. Now I’m a big lover of salt, so take from that what you will, but besides the seasoning, I felt that the food was just a touch..empty. It felt to me like whoever made those platters had a broken heart. Maybe he/she was having a bad day? The sliders – which we heard so much about – seemed to lack a wink in its eye, and the garlic prawns seemed to lack…the garlic. It was nice enough, but not something that would make me walk away planning the next trip.

What would make me want to plan the next trip back, though, was the ever-helpful Ian-the-bartender. I must admit that it might be a slightly biased experience since we dined as guests, but he seemed to be like a genuinely nice guy. He even proffered a great food idea – smoked salmon and baked beans. On a side tangent, it really works! And now you know where that idea came from.

But back to the topic at hand. The conclusion that we had come to at the end of the day was that – in all fairness – we food bloggers are quite a picky lot. We spend so much time dreaming about fabulous food that have been augmented by fabulous memories, that anything short of that does disappoint us slightly. To a regular pub-going public though, it’s got great execution and is great food to pick at with a beer (I’m paraphrasing from Sara since I don’t really drink). Most of our respective partners would be quite happily munching away and polishing off the platters, so maybe it’s just us.

Either way, it’s good to-share food, and the venue’s great for a cozy party. Has anyone else been? What did you think?

We ate at:
The Bellevue Hotel
159 Hargrave St Map
Paddington, NSW 2021
(02)9363 2293

Bellevue Dining Room on Urbanspoon

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Tambourine of Insatiable Munchies and the other bloggers mentioned in this post dined as guests of The Bellevue Hotel and the Trish Nichols Agency.

Hog’s Breath, Forster


Over the weekend, Sean and I went to Forster for a short break. We met up with Toni, his sister, and we decided to do Hog’s Breath for dinner.

After being bombarded by promises of “slow cooked steak” and tasty ribs by ads that run in Sydney, I was quite excited to try out this chain that I haven’t really had an opportunity to try in Sydney.

Toni’s partner, Birch, ordered the Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Steak, $30.95.


With it’s inky dark treacle-y brown Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce, this was the dish that looked fantastic in person, but was extremely difficult to photograph. I’m told that this is Birch’s usual, and if he keeps coming back for it, I’m assuming that it must be of a certain standard. I can’t vouch for the steak since I haven’t tried it, but I can definitely vouch for the sauce…but more about that later.

Both Sean and Toni ordered the Byron Bay Chilli Prime Rib Steak, $31.95.


Sean ordered his steak medium-rare, which ended up like this:


Now I know that I like my steak on the rare side of medium-rare – and that might affect my judgement – but I’m pretty sure that that’s closer to just being medium. Sure, the steak was still juicy and pink, but it was a touch overdone for our liking.

The Byron Bay chilli sauce, though, now THAT was the discovery of the night.


It’s spicy for some, but what really struck me as a chilli lover is the complexity of the flavour! It had great depth, and gave much more flavour that presented itself in the aftertaste of the chilli hit. This is a chilli that made me want to find out about the Byron Bay Chilli Company and possibly get bottles of the different flavours that they have. And as a collector of condiments – the members of which include Sean’s dad and their neighbour – I think that is definitely a credit to the company. The chilli sauce, to me anyway, outshone the steak.

And since everyone else had the steak, I ordered the Smoked BBQ Ribs, $33.95.


The ribs definitely lived up to its tender reputation, but once again, the meat was outshone by the sauce. The Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce was a little bit sweet, a little bit smoky, and very addictive. While Sean and I both enjoyed the ribs immensely, I think what we liked the most was dipping those curly fries into the remainder of the sauce on the plate. In fact, the BBQ sauce mixed in with the chilli, was A-MAZING. I actually think that I’d be quite happy ordering the two sauces and a serving of curly fries.

In all, it was a really good experience. The food was more than decent, it’s got a great atmosphere, and good service. It is a touch pricey, but it’s one of those “let’s bring the family out for dinner” places. Definitely worth a try.

We ate at:

Hog’s Breath
2 Little Street Forster Nsw 2428
Forster NSW
(02) 6554 5100

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