Posts tagged Brunch

Brisket for Breakfast! Fusion Cafe, Eastwood

Beef Brisket Hot Pot from Fusion Cafe in Eastwood

I have a confession to make: I, am a breakfast skipper. I just can’t help it! I’m so spoilt by all the amazing savoury options in Singapore whilst growing up that I just can’t bring myself to have a sandwich or cereal in the morning, every morning.

Just, no.

And while I’m inclined to reheat last night’s leftovers – with added chilli! – for my morning meal, it’s nice once in a while to go out for brunch with The Boy. Like a Date Morning.

Beef Brisket Hot Pot at Fusion Cafe in EastwoodFusion Braised Beef Hot Pot, $8.50

And this time it paid off. At Fusion Cafe in Eastwood, I found what was enticingly labelled “Breakfast Hot Pot”. And hot pot, at any time of the day, is a good thing. The Braised Beef Hot Pot, $8.50, consists of tender, fall-apart beef brisket and silky rice noodle rolls covered in a thick gravy. It was the epitome of comfort, and was served at the table all steaming and bubbling. The glutton in me wanted to order a side of rice, because…well, rice goes with everything.

Bonus points, too, because the price of the meal includes a tea or coffee, meaning I could start the day with a Hong Kong Bubble Milk Tea! Mmmm…Strong, condensed milk goodness. A great way to start the day.

Traditional Breakfast at Fusion Cafe in EastwoodTraditional Breakfast, $11.50

But, if you’re after the more traditional options, they also do a full bacon-eggs-hash plate as well. The Traditional Breakfast, $11.50, was enough for 2 light eaters, or one incredibly starving one. Similar to the hotpot, it also comes with a choice of tea or coffee, which I thought made for a good deal for the price. The service though, was a bit patchy, as many restaurants in this area are inclined to be. We were sitting outside because it was a beautiful day, and even though we had been brought menus and water upon seating, they seemed to completely forget about us when it came time to order. When we went inside to see if we could get some help, they responded with surprise that we were seated at all. Other than that once incident though, they were cordial, and they did try and be extra friendly to make up for it.

But if you don’t mind the slight lack in communication, it’s a nice little place to sit and while away the morning, and watch the taichi-practising people in the square.

This meal was independently paid for.
Fusion Cafe
127 Rowe St
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Phone: +61 2 9874 2226

Fusion Cafe on Urbanspoon

Breakfast and Bubbles: Kazbah, Balmain

Poached, scrambled and fried eggs, toast and lebanese bread with sides of merguez sausage, bacon, roasted tomato, hash brown, grilled haloumi, mushrooms, baby spinach, and baked beans

They say you’re meant to eat breakfast like a King, and Kazbah is more than happy to take on that challenge with their Banquet Breakfast Feast, taking it upon themselves to feed you until you’re stuffed, and then proceed to bring out dessert.

Usually available only for bookings in groups of eight, they have decided to shrink the serving sizes to allow groups of 2 to sample the feast for the New South Wales Food and Wine Festival at $30 per head, bubbly included.

Turkish CoffeeTurkish Coffee

We start off with a Turkish Coffee, because when in Rome right? It had fabulous caramel notes and its strength was only tempered by the sugar that was added. There was none of the burnt aftertaste that I always associate with darkly roasted coffee, and finished smooth on the palate. It sure provided one heck of a caffeine hit though, and we needed it for the food coma that was soon to follow.

Sweet cous cous with nuts, dried fruit, stewed rhubarb, and cardamom milkSweet cous cous with nuts, dried fruit, stewed rhubarb, and cardamom milk

Warm Rice Pudding with Saffron Poached Pear, Cinnamon and HazelnutsWarm Rice Pudding with Saffron Poached Pear, Cinnamon and Hazelnuts

Wholegrain Barley and Oat Banana Porridge with Brown Sugar and Date CompoteWholegrain Barley and Oat Banana Porridge with Brown Sugar and Date Compote

They started us off sweet, with a trio of breakfast grains and cereals. Sweet Cous Cous, Saffron Rice Pudding and Barley and Oat Banana Porridge set the scene for a breakfast in the middle east, and “sits on your stomach like a sack full of quarters” (Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Season 4, Ep 18, 16:10). We were advised very early on not to fill up on these, but I can’t resist the comforting starchy texture of a rice pudding or porridge. In fact, the Rice Pudding with Saffron-Poached Pear (with it’s beautiful notes of vanilla and orange zest) reminded The Boy very strongly of what he used to have as a kid: Haleem, which is a creamy porridge made from whole wheat berries. The Sweet Cous Cous with Dried Fruit, Stewed Rhubarb and Cardamom Milk presented like breakfast cereal with a twist – the cous cous is cooked in a rose and cinnamon spiked liquid, topped with sweet dried fruit, and served with a warm, frothed cardamom milk that you pour over the top.

Move over, Captain Crunch.

Duo of Roasted Pumpkin, and Lamb TaginesDuo of Roasted Pumpkin, and Lamb Tagines

Then the tagine: a half and half of Roasted Pumpkin on one side, and Lamb on the other. Usually marked by the high conical cap that tops the shallow dish that holds the food, the tagine, much like the paella, actually refers to the stewing pan and not the food. In this one, the Roast Pumpkin was sweet and light, and y’know, good, but it wasn’t the lamb. Oh the lamb. Spiced lamb mince (secret spice mix recipe and all that) lays thick and rich on the bottom of the tagine, couching a baked egg that retains its oozy yolk. Grilled bread on the side, of course, because you need to be full, right?

If I die from being overfed tomorrow, I’m just glad that I have had this lamb.

Poached, scrambled and fried eggs, toast and lebanese bread with sides of merguez sausage, bacon, roasted tomato, hash brown, grilled haloumi, mushrooms, baby spinach, and baked beansPoached, scrambled and fried eggs, toast and lebanese bread with sides of merguez sausage, bacon, roasted tomato, hash brown, grilled haloumi, mushrooms, baby spinach, and baked beans

Then more savoury, because you can’t have breakfast in Australia without bacon and eggs. Laid out on a wooden platter were eggs done three ways (scrambled, poached and fried), hash brown, toasted bread, bacon, roasted tomato, grilled haloumi, stewed mushrooms, baked beans and spinach. It was quite a luscious platter (though not quite as amazing as the lamb tagine) and I really needed the acidity and tang that the stewed mushrooms provided. The scrambled eggs were a touch overdone for me – maybe to keep it from spreading all over the platter, I don’t know – and the hash browns didn’t quite have enough surface area to fluffy inside as I was hoping for. But really, I’m just nitpicking at this point because my stomach feels like overfilled muffin cups that have been put into the oven, and is resulting in the subsequent spilling out over the waistband of my jeans.

Chocolate and Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream and Housemade Butterscotch SauceChocolate and Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream and Housemade Butterscotch Sauce

Remember how I said that they would feed you till you’re full and then bring out dessert? Well here is dessert. Chocolate and Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream and Housemade Butterscotch Sauce. Pancakes larger than your face is drowned in a pool of sauce, and topped with two scoops of ice cream.

Chocolate and Raspberry Pancakes with Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream and Housemade Butterscotch Sauce

And thick, too. I’m sure that this is the food coma talking, but I’m not such a fan of the texture of these pancakes. The addition of almond meal and the sheer size of it creates a tough, cakey texture, which is not quite the fluffy, bouncy texture that I’ve come to expect from pancakes. The butterscotch sauce mixed in with rivulets of creamy chocolate ice cream was nice, like a caramel and chocolate milkshake had a baby.

This is where the Turkish Coffee really came in handy. I was well and truly in a comatose state from the meal, and needed a wooden barrel to help roll me home. I’m told that these portions are calculated to be scaled down from the 8-person banquet, and the only thing that was left at a larger portion was the pancakes, which usually serves four to six. I could have easily been full if The Boy and I shared this with another four people, and with a bag full of leftovers, I can safely say that neither of us ate for the rest of the day.

And maybe that is the point of a middle eastern breakfast. You can like a King in the morning, so you don’t have to consume anything until the next breakfast.

If you’d like to try this luxurious breakfast, it is still available at Kazbah in Balmain till the end of the NSW Food and Wine Festival on the 1st of March. Visit for more details.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of the NSW Food and Wine Festival.
Kazbah Balmain
379 Darling St
Balmain, NSW 2041
Phone: 02 9555 7067

Kazbah Balmain on Urbanspoon

Cinderella ahoy! Sweet Pumpkin Soup, Eastwood

The Big Breakfast from Sweet Pumpkin Soup in Eastwood comes with baked beans, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, wilted spinach, grilled tomato half and thick slices of white toast.

In my household, brunch on a weekend is often nothing more than a nice idea that other people do. See, all the fancy pants brunch places are located inside the city, and otherwise, the cheapskate inside me insists that I can whip up the usual breakfast fare in my own kitchen.

And really, I don’t want to have to hop on a train first thing in the morning on a day off just to get some food.

A mug of cappuccino is topped with thick frothy milk and a dusting of cocoa powder.Cappucino

But Sweet Pumpkin Soup opened up just down the road, and besides the usual breakfast fare, they served up cheesy garlic bread first thing in the morning.

Cheese. On garlic bread. FOR BREAKFAST. Me likey.

Iced Chocolate from this cafe is served in a tall glass, topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powderIced Chocolate

So off we went. Drinks first, of course, because some people can’t eat till they’ve had their Cappucino. Fair enough. Just gives me an excuse to get an Iced Chocolate! They were nice and rice, though not outstanding. But it was a good start.

The Big Breakfast from Sweet Pumpkin Soup in Eastwood comes with baked beans, mushrooms, bacon, eggs, wilted spinach, grilled tomato half and thick slices of white toast.Big Breakfast

And for the interest of comparing apples with apples and bacon with bacon, we did also order the Big Breakfast. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this plate – the serving was actually enough for the two of us to share (we’re not big on breakfasts usually) and the food was cooked well. The toast was my favourite bit – no sad slices of supermarket white bread here, they toasted sweet white Asian milk bread, and that soft fluffy interior of the thick slices made all the difference.

Pumpkin soup is served with a thick dollop of cream, and an aromatic basket of fluffy garlic breadPumpkin Soup

Of course, we couldn’t not order the Pumpkin Soup at a place called Sweet Pumpkin Soup, right? So I indulged my Cinderella fantasies and got a bowl, which was really half a bowl…cause the bowl was very tall.


You know what I mean.

It was rich and thick, and was actually quite satisfying and creamy. Especially with the Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Garlic bread is topped with melted cheese and served in a pretty white basket.Cheesy Garlic Bread

Yes, as promised, the cheesy garlic bread. And it actually lived up to my lofty expectations. Again, the sweet Asian milk bread was used, and it gave me the distinct impression of eating a cloud. A buttery, savoury, makes-garlic-breath-worthwhile cloud. And the cheese gave me a fantastic soft foil for the lightly crisp crust that gave way to my determined attempts to get it all in my belly before The Boy noticed it was even on the table. 

Not quite successful, but I guess I can share. 

It was a lovely morning out, and considering that we were both a bit grizzly first thing in the morning, I think the staff managed us very well. Now for more of that garlic bread…

This meal was independently paid for.

Sweet Pumpkin Soup
106 Rowe St
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Phone: 0433 301 173

Sweet Pumpkin Soup on Urbanspoon

Lobster with your eggs? Rustic Pearl, Surry Hills

rose-infused watermelon salad with watercress, mozzarella and capers.

I think it’s fair to say that Sydney has a cafe on every corner, and then some. Whether it’s a coffee obsession or a casual-dining obsession, we seem to express it in a myriad of coffee and food options.

But I haven’t yet had lobster to go with my eggs. Until now.

Turkish Apple and Rose Iced TeaTurkish Apple and Rose Iced Tea, with Lemon and Mint

We started off first with a couple of refreshing drinks.

Avocado Smoothie with honey and pistachioAvocado Smoothie, with honey and pistachio

The Turkish Apple Iced Tea with Rose Lemon and Mint was lovely and what you’d expect an iced tea to be, but the Avocado Smoothie was the one that really caught my attention. Notes of honey and pistachio were laced through the creamy smoothie, and it was a really nice departure from the crazy sweet Avocado smoothies I’m used to having from Vietnamese restaurants.

bosphorus benedict from rustic pearl in surry hillsBosphorus Benedict

And the main event. The Bosphorus Benedict involves two toasted buns topped with smashed avocado, poached eggs, housemade hollandaise and bay lobster, finished with coriander and chilli.

Oozing egg yolk from the bosphorus benedict

I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculously luxurious this breakfast is. Besides the fact that there was a perfectly cooked lobster sitting on your breakfast plate – and trust me, because I detest overcooked shellfish with the fire of a thousand suns – there is the texture of a creamy buttery hollandaise, mixed in with the oozing yolk, mixed in with that smashed ripe avocado. Besides the fact that the bread was toasted so well it was just slightly hard to cut and eat, this plate was utter perfection for me.

rose-infused watermelon salad with watercress, mozzarella and capers.Rose infused Watermelon Salad with Watercress, Mozarella and Capers

And they’re not a one-hit wonder either. We also ordered the Rose infused Watermelon Salad with Watercress, Mozarella and Capers to freshen things up. It comes with an option of grilled scallops on the side, but it doesn’t need it. The cubes of watermelon was lightly scented with rose like a fruity Turkish delight that Mother Nature ought to have made, and the mozzarella and capers brought a great contrast in flavour and textures to keep things interesting. The watercress, I could’ve done without, but it really needed something else crisp and fresh on the plate, so fair enough.

Besides the food, the service was also commendable. We were put on the waitlist when we first arrived, and were still seated relatively quickly. They were attentive without hovering, and managed the crowded, packed restaurant with apparent grace and calm.

Well done Rustic Pearl, well done. /slow clap.

This meal was independently paid for.

Rustic Pearl
415 Crown St
Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Phone: 0406 930 083

Rustic Pearl on Urbanspoon

Chambers Fine Coffee & Wine Bar, Rhodes

Have you seen a sadder burger?

We had taken a long walk to Rhodes and were starving. Ribs and Burgers had been on my list of places to try for a long while, but some how – yes I know I’ve been living under a rock – I completely forgot that it was Good Friday, and that just about everywhere was closed for the holiday.

But we wanted ribs, and we wanted burgers, and WE WANTED IT NOWWWWWW.

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Bread is one of those things – you’re not guaranteed a result even if you are given the recipe. It takes technique, with the right recipe and the right conditions, to achieve the fluffy interior and crusty exterior that is the holy grail of white bread.

I’ve dabbled with bread on and off over the years, but I knew that I would absolutely get back to figuring this culinary puzzle out if it was the last thing I did!!

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Minion Pancakes!!!

If you’ve watched Despicable Me – and its sequel – I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that the Minions absolutely stole the show with their adorable antics and costumes. Naturally, children love them too. So in a bid to win my young nephews’ affections – it is, after all, one of their favourite shows – I made them Minion pancakes! And with inspiration from Pinterest, I’ve learnt that there’s only one thing you need to make any cartoon pancake you want.

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Devon Cafe, Surry Hills

Breakfast with the Sakuma’s

Sometimes, your food news feed explodes with a new cafe/restaurant that’s opened up. That’s when eating out becomes a mission, rather than just a meal. My twitter and instagram feed were absolutely flooded with food from Devon Cafe, and I knew I had to make the trip into Surry Hills.

Now I don’t live/work/have activities near or around Surry Hills, so this was a special trip into the city for me. I brought a hungry tummy and a skeptical dining partner, and ordered three dishes between the two of us. I wanted to order one of the specials, but they were sold out.

Breakfast with the Sakuma’s (pictured above) was the first one out of the bat. With a grilled miso king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63C egg, kewpie mayonnaise, and a radish salad, I had very high hopes. A dusting of furikake (Japanese rice topping) over the top? I’m just jumping at the bit to take a bite.

Well, it might be all the hype, but this particular dish was slightly disappointing for me. I found the salmon to be slightly overcooked – I think that salmon should be cooked to medium and this was brought all the way, so it was a touch dry – and the yolk didn’t really have that much ooze. I put a fork through the egg and it separated easily and nearly solidly.

The second dish we had was the Ogre’s Happy Meal, and after the last dish, I was trying to temper my excitement a little.

Ogre Happy Meal

I felt like this dish was very nicely presented, and was everything that it was advertised to me. There was a certain playfulness to the dish – I thought that it kinda looked like Shrek’s swamp – and you could just tell the technique that was put into the creation and execution of this particular ‘happy meal’. The flavours were dark and comforting in a grumpy sort of way – like an ogre would want – and textures were also of a similar fashion. The ox tongue pulled apart in the mouth without being mushy, and the only criticism I could think of is that there wasn’t just that little ray of sunshine in the flavours – everything tasted so rich and dark that I almost felt like I wanted a kick of acid to maybe lift the dish a bit. Not that an ogre would want that, so it’s just a personal preference.

The last out of the kitchen was the Citrus Cured Salmon.

Citrus Cured Salmon

This is the highlight of the brunch for me. Light and delicate, the salty-tender flesh of the salmon is balanced by the wafer thin slices of apple and fennel, and the creaminess of the soft boiled egg. Simple and satisfying.

In all, it was an alright experience. The food didn’t quite live up to ALL the hype, but it was very good fare. The prices were decent too, but the service fell slightly under par for me. I understand that it was a Sunday brunch and they were really busy, but for the waitress to constantly not hear the other people at my table (we were at a share table) while they were desperately trying to get her attention, and then to take so long with a coffee order that they had to cancel it was kinda not cool. That, and the sourdough for the Heirloom Tomato special at our table was forgotten, (twice!) and the scrambled eggs ordered by someone at our table came out looking overdone.

It was a bit of a touch and go experience for me. Have you tried Devon Cafe? How did you find it?

We ate at:
Devon Cafe
02 9211 8777
76 Devonshire St
Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Devon Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Shakshuka my way (Eggs and baked beans)

It’s Sunday morning, and despite your best efforts to sleep in, your stomach starts rumbling. You have a dream. A dream that magically, with minimal effort, you can have an enjoyable brunch with an oozing egg, hearty beans, but also looks like you’ve slaved over a hot stove.

Well, you don’t have to look too far.
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3to7, Waterloo


IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Well, it was my birthday. Thanks to the lovely people at the Trish Nichol Agency and 3to7, I got to have a lovely birthday brunch to start off my day.


The decor is just gorgeous, with the cafe/bar set in what looks like an alleyway. TrĂ©s chic. I adore the overhanging piano near the entrance – it instantly made me feel like I was stepping into wonderland. 
But really, I know you want to hear about the food. 
As you know, I absolutely LOVE bloody virgin marys, and I had to order one as soon as I saw it on the menu. 


It actually came out in a capsicum cup. HOW CUTE IS THIS????!!! Considering that I didn’t ask for the long list of specifications I have for this drink, it came out very well balanced and completely delicious. My dining partner ordered a coffee, and as an ex-barista, he’s very particular. Personally, I don’t know too much about coffee, but I’ll take his word for it that the extra strong cappuccino he ordered didn’t need any sugar, it was so good.

With the drinks, we also decided to order a sharing platter ($24 per person).

Clockwise from left: Smoked kipfler potatoes with chorizo, homemade baked beans, scrambled eggs, chicken bagel.

Clockwise from left: Coconut french toast, Arabesque pancakes with banana and salted caramel, toasted crumpets

If you’re one of those people who love variety – like me! – and love having a little bit of everything, this is the option for you. This platter is a glorious selection across their menu, and if I hadn’t asked about the other items – I’ll get to that soon – I would totally have been satisfied with it.

As with most platters, items can be a little bit hit and miss, and I’m glad to say that this one had more hits than misses. The scrambled eggs were absolutely divine, and PERFECTLY COOKED! For once, I didn’t have to specify that I wanted my eggs underdone, and have them come out over anyway. These were silky and luscious, and a real credit to the chef. The baked beans were delish also, packed full of flavour and giving a hearty oomph to the meal. The arabesque pancakes are also worth a mention – light and fluffy pancakes are covered in a rich caramel sauce and pieces of cooked banana, with a scoop of orange clotted cream on the side. If you love a rich breakfast, then this is for you. The only small thing for me is that the banana was slightly under ripe, and left a milk chalky taste in my mouth. The coconut french toast was a surprise – I’m normally not a fan of coconut, but it was well soaked and had the texture of pudding (I like!). Besides the fresh berries, the french toast was also paired with some fruit that was cooked with cardamom. That, I found a little bit strong for my liking. Just a touch.

But here are the truly magical bits.


According to the lovely and informative waitress, one of the items that are not on the platter is the steak sandwich. So the chef kindly sent out a few pieces of the steak for us to try. OMGOMGOMG. It was seriously one of the best steaks I’ve had to date. The steak was cooked sous vide – low temperature, submerged in a water bath – and so it’s never overcooked, and consistently turns out the same amazing results. As I was having the steak on its own, I did have to add a touch more salt to it. but it was melt-in-your-mouth tender. I love sous vide cooking.

And speaking of melt in your mouth tender:


I think the salmon is the piece de resistance. Seriously. Confit steak of salmon is paired with perfect 63C eggs, little fried pieces of lemon ricotta and a quenelle of vanilla butter. It’s so surprisingly simple on the palate – it was almost as if everything was in its purest flavour and form – the textures were unbelievable. The temperature of the oil for the confit salmon – I’m told – is also controlled by an immersion circulator, and the eggs are also cooked sous vide. If you’re wondering about all the hype regarding a 63C egg, you should really try this.


SEE THAT YOLK???? *drools* It’s like yolk porn the way it oozes. The salmon was also silky tender, but still flaked with the slightest pressure. Sure, everything needed a touch more salt – for me – but as I’m sure you know by now, I’m a bit of a salt fiend.

In all, it was a marvellous birthday brunch. The waitress provided excellent service, and the food was incredible. And it’s all wrapped up in a hip waterloo location, with amazing light and a relatively quiet street. Great for a Sunday morning get together.

Note: Tammi from Insatiable Munchies and her dining partner dined as guests of 3to7 and the Trish Nichol Agency. 

We ate at:

0499 418 895
3-7 Danks Street
NSW 2017

3TO7 on Urbanspoon

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