Tag Archives: Glebe

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The Wedge Espresso

For a neighbourhood that’s a mere ten minutes from home, Glebe barely falls on the radar as being an option for eating or loitering. Don’t get me wrong as I think there are some great little places to eat at and the village atmosphere has more appeal than the centre of Newtown, but somehow it’s just never thought of. Lately it seems I only get up to Glebe Point Road when something new has opened.

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Something new like what’s just popped up beside the discount chemist on the corner of Glebe Point Road and Cowper Street. And what is it with discount chemists opening in just about every suburb? Appropriately named The Wedge is a long and very narrow space that doesn’t celebrate the use of mismatched plates and souvenir spoons from an op-shop, something many-a-cafe has embraced across town. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just getting a little predictable. The Wedge opens out to the side street with wooden stools perched at large retractable windows and more seating runs the length of a corrugated wall to a cosy nook scattered with cushions and milk crates.

Owner Toby Wilson, ex coffee man at Le Monde, has a simple formula going with the food at The Wedge. A handful of breakfast items and another handful of sandwiches; no eggs & bacon, no ubiquitous salt & pepper calamari or chicken caesar salad. Head to any cafe on the strip for those. Bread from Newtown’s Luxe Bakery is toasted and topped with fresh ingredients (bruschetta/tartine style) or sliced fresh and sandwiched with the likes of lemon & sage poached chicken or beef with onion jam & vintage cheddar. There’s bircher muesli, toasted banana bread with maple butter or just toasted sourdough with preserves and regular spreads.

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Virgin Mary on toast (9) was the special going on this particular visit – think Bloody Mary with less liquid and more solids. Diced roma tomato, celery leaves, black pepper, sea salt, Tabasco, Worcestershire; all on toasted sourdough with a wedge of lemon on the side. The mild tingle on the lips is a nice little pick-me-up. The Five Senses coffee is well-crafted and poured but not as gutsy as I prefer. Nothing a double shot won’t remedy.

I fell in love with the shaved dried fig, pistachio & ricotta (9) on fig sourdough. Rosewater honey adds sweetness and aromatics and the texture is a jumble of grainy, crunchy and soft. Add wet to those three textures and you’ve got yourself a classic ice Milo (5) – simply described as lots in the bottom, lots on top, milk and ice cream in between. One for the kids and the adults!

Of the five listed sandwiches just one stood above the rest, in my eyes. Any guesses? Pulled pork with plum sauce, spring onion, mint and coriander (9). The bread is rediculously fresh and with the combination of tenderly gorgeous meat with sweet plum and crunchy greens, I could have easily scoffed a second one. I hope this becomes a menu staple.

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On a later visitation is was a couple of sandwiches for a speedy lunch. Chicken & leek (12) with mayo, mustard and rocket. Can’t go wrong there. For me it was The Henry (13) – with smashed egg, ham, avocado, gruyere, smoked chipotle mayo, basil & rocket. Great flavours. Sadly it was toasted to the point of the Turkish bread resembling a cracker; making it much more difficult to eat and a real workout for the teeth. Had the menu stated it would be pressed in a toaster I’d have reconsidered.

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  • The Wedge Espresso
  • 53-55 Glebe Point Road
  • Glebe 2037
  • The Wedge Espresso on Urbanspoon
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La Banette

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Until recently, I never really considered myself a lover of the sweet stuff. By recently I mean the last few years and by stuff I mean cakes, lollies, ice cream and pastries. Perhaps it comes down to growing up in a household that rarely had such things laying about or maybe when it was I just wasn’t interested. Come to think of it, even in primary school I often wondered why the other kids’ lunch boxes had chocolates and lollies tucked next to their Vegemite sandwiches when and all I had was an apple and a semi-frozen Popper next to my luncheon & salad sandwich.

Fast forward to the 21st century and I’m all wide-eyed and excitable as soon as I step into a well-stocked patisserie such as this recent addition to Glebe’s food scene.

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This place is the second outlet of an apparently well-known patisserie and boulangerie over in Avalon, far far away from my neck of the woods. La Banette in Glebe is a magical place that is very easy on the eye with its French provincial decor, fresh flowers and twisted tree branches and baskets of colourful baked goodies such as mini brioche scattered with rock sugar or almonds, just like the ones in France. There’s a plethora of the sweet stuff here. Choux pastry made into delicate little éclairs or brightly iced petit fours, tiny caramelised walnut tarts (love these) or decadently ganached cakes beckoning to be bought. I love how the petit fours can be bought already boxed for $10.

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It’s not all about the sweet stuff either. The little heating cabinet behind the counter holds a range of pies and sausage rolls or there are soft rolls studded with black olives and cheese or a very impressive ratatouille tart. The range of breads is damn fine as well and I can vouch for the crusty soughdough. V nice!

All that’s missing is an espresso machine and a few milk crates on the footpath, for those of us that like to linger.

Update: They do have an espresso machine now!

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  • La Banette Patisserie & Boulangerie
  • 18 Glebe Point Road
  • Glebe 2037
  • 8095 9688
  • La Banette Pâtisserie on Urbanspoon
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Pastabella

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How often is it that you go to a restaurant and say “No thanks” to the regular menu?

“Can we just have dessert?”

We decided to drop into this little family-run restaurant for a sweet ending to our dinner elsewhere. Pastabella is known for their great homemade pasta where the servings are generous, the sauces are familiar and delicious, the service is spot-on and very friendly. It doesn’t look like much from the street but once you make your way into the dimly-lit back seating area you can’t help but relax in the cosy atmosphere. We’ve been here for dinner previously so tonight we go for two favourites on the dessert menu.

The panna cotta (12) is just what you’d expect. Soft, creamy and full of tasty vanilla seeds.

The tiramisu (10) is just as soft and just as creamy and not overdone with the mascarpone; and the door-stop-sized chunk of it is enough to fill that post-dinner void. Love the occasional acoustic guitar. Nice touch.

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Chocolateria San Churro

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I really am a glutton for punishment. Following our food spread down in Kingsford, Big Bro and I bussed back towards home and kept going to Glebe Point Road for a well-needed food walk-off. Conveniently, the dreaded Chocolateria San Churro can be found along here so there we were, not even an hour after lunch and dessert, stuffing our faces again with more food.
The first time I encountered churros was in Mexico City almost ten years ago, sold as street food from a portable cart and served dusted with icing sugar in a paper bag. The next time was in Madrid a couple of years ago at the famous Chocolatería San Ginés where they’ve been going strong for over a hundred years serving up these fried sticks of dough accompanied by a thick and rich hot chocolate drink/dip.
It’s taken a while, but now they seem to be becoming mainstream in Sydney and the novelty is still very strong.
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We decided to mix it up a little and ordered the chocolate rocher (8.5) as well as a plate of churros (7.9). The choice of dark, milk or white chocolate is a nice, if not sickening, touch to the already highly rich thick chocolate mousse sitting on chocolate crumbs then dipped in dark chocolate. Halfway through, my body was sceaming out “ENOUGH!” Sadly, there were left-overs, an absolute rarity for me.
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Big Bro liked his first-ever churros and polished them off despite the fact he was almost as bloated as me. Time to walk home, I think.
 
  • Chocolateria San Churro
  • 47 Glebe Point Road
  • Glebe 2037
  • 9692 0119
  • Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon
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Na Zdrowie

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Oh look, it’s the 2nd of January. That can only mean one thing. Our anniversary. Sixteen years ago I crossed paths with someone that would put up with me, introduce me to travel, and change the rest of my life. To quietly toast the occasion we decided to try somewhere different, a cuisine we’ve had only once before. Polish.
The food from this neck of the world is hearty, meat-based and unfussy and the presence of beetroot, dill and horseradish add an earthyness and aroma to dishes such as crumbed pork, duck, herring and smoked sausages.
Translated, “na zdrowie means “on health” and is usually said when you lift your glass to toast, or when someone sneezes.

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Na Zdrowie, the restaurant, themes its decor from the home country. The dimly-lit barn-like room is scattered with wooden tables and chairs, a large arched wooden faux door on the main wall, complete with medieval torches. Wicker pendants hang from the ceiling and cast patterns on the brick and plaster walls while a cluster of colourful folklore staues watch down from a shelf above.  Menu’s come out on wooden paddles and service comes with a smile.

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To start, we go for a shared plate of pierogi (16.9) – steamed or fried dumplings with stewed onion and bacon. These tasty little treasures resemble a dumpling you may find on a Japanese, Chinese or Nepalese menu. Absolutley delicious. Lightly fried yet still soft and filled with minced pork with a garnish of crumbly bacon and onion.
For mains we try the schab ze sliwkami (24.4) – pork loin stuffed with prunes and golabki (20.9) – cabbage roll stuffed with veal and rice with potato and light tomato sauce.

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We weren’t as wowed by the mains as we were by the dumplings. The schab ze sliwkami was quite dry and a little tough though I did like the prune filling. It came with a side of unseasoned boiled potato sprinkled with dill, a tangy sauce and a few lettuce leaves. The menu promised a side of cwikla (grated beetroot and horseradish) but it never came. Maybe it was in the sauce?
The golabki was gentle in its flavours of veal mince, cabbage and slightly smokey tomato sauce. Boiled potatoes yet again and a sprinkling of carrot and green onion.

  • Na Zdrowie
  • 161 Glebe Point Road
  • Glebe 2037
  • 02 9660 1242
  • Na Zdrowie on Urbanspoon