So I’ve only been back to classes for one week and I already feel like I’m in the thick of study! This semester is my final one for my Bachelor’s course…it’s a bit of a doozy so I’ve tried to pick my classes well. Only one face-to-face is a plus as I get to manage my own Continue reading
For a hot summer’s day on the corner of Philip & Church Streets in Parramatta is a little slice of Havana, a place you can sit in a big leather chair with a mojito in one hand and a cigar in the other like the boss you are. Well out of Fidel’s reach, owner Tony Melhem who aptly takes the dictatorial title, “El Presidente”, has big visions for his cafes’ revolutionary inspiration.
A group of bloggers were cordially invited to sample the menu, and I cordially accepted. So, arriving a little late for the high-noon start, I found a table full of happy (thanks, Sangria) bloggers ready to indulge and explore.
The Grilled Chorizo with Warmed Olives starts out our feast. You gotta love chorizo!
This vegetarian sandwich was for our own Miss Piggy. I couldn’t find it on the menu; you’ll have to watch her blog.
The Patatas Bravas are wedge-like spiced chunky chips with a lovely hot tomato sauce/salsa on top. Mmm!
The Vegetarian Nachos were oh-so-tasty as well, with lots of toppings! But I think I would lean more towards the beef nachos than the beans.
The Mini Beef Burger Sliders were one of my favourites of the Tapas dishes. Nicely seasoned beef burgers which were almost like a meatball sat on a toasted sesame bun with grilled cheese and onion jam. Onion jam! I loved it.
While I ordered a Corona & Lime, the girls ordered a sampling of the cocktail menu, and Suze occupied herself whilst waiting for the next round of food…
As the first of the desserts came out, so did the cameras. The coverture chocolate at Coco Cubano is delicious! Here were two pots of milk and dark chocolate, smooth and silken, with stawberries, marshmallows and lady fingers to dip.
As the mojitos came out, I began to see a pattern.
And here are the churros! I love churros, and I have to say these were very yummy. They reminded me alot of the kind we get in North America, doused in cinnamon sugar. Crisp on the outside and chewy-warm on the inside.
Lastly came the Revolution Waffle: a belgian waffle topped with ice cream, melted chocolate and strawberries! The breakfast of champions..er..if they serve it at breakfast.
Everybody Loves Ramen dined as a guest, courtesy of Coco Cubano.
302 Church St
Parramatta NSW 2124
0450 956 382
To kick off Crave Sydney International Food Festival 2011, Malaysia Kitchen participated in the BBQ Madness event by putting on a shindig at Parramatta Mall a few weekends ago. It was full of fantastic food prepared by several Western Sydney Malaysian restaurants, including Parramatta favorites Temasek and Ma’leisia Cafe. There were also demos by Masterchef Australia’s Alvin Quah and Adam Liaw, as well as chefs Wanitha Tanasingam and Florence Tan (Malaysia’s Maggie Beer).
Food descriptions (as taken from MK BBQ menu):
- Chicken Satay: Chicken in satay sauce served with cucumber and spanish onion garnish.
- Pulut Panggang: grilled sticky rice and sambal prawns wrapped in banana leaf.
- Char Kway Teow: Malaysian stir-fried rice noodles and egg noodles with chicken, garlic, beansprouts, egg and chives.
- Ayam Bagus: eight spices Malaysian BBQ chicken wings in satay sauce.
Restaurants featured in this post:
282 Beamish St
85 Majors Bay Rd
370 Forest Rd
Hurstville NSW 2220
The Roxy Arcade
71 George St
Parramatta NSW 2150
Go to www.cravesydney.com to check out all that SIFF 2011 has to offer!
Coco Cubano has opened its new outpost in a cool corner-shopfront of Phillip & Church Streets in Parramatta. Since its opening I’ve been going past it every day to work, and until a week ago had only stopped in for a take away coffee or chocolate.
What initially drew me to Coco Cubano was the decor — lots of different lights and textures, cigar boxes (and yes, you CAN get cigars here!), big leather chairs, 50s era Cuban family portraits and Havana glitterati head shots.
The staff are clad in communist-style army greens and the Red Star is ever watchful…er…wait that’s Lord of the Rings.
Coco seems just a little bit confused about what it is — enough that it’s hard to describe. What it has? Options! There is a latin-inspired breakfast menu til 4pm, sandwiches til 6pm, salads, tapas, pizzas and desserts presumably all day. You can sit down with friends and share coffee, beer, Cuban cigars, cocktails and hot chocolates — whatever you and friends want — all in one place.
Coco changes like seasons in a day. In the early mornings its glass facade is opened wide and you can hear the clammer of tamps and the hiss of steam wands, the quiet coming & going of bleary-eyed customers hesitating to wake up and go to work. At noon come the chips and sandwiches, with beers taking place on the table among the coffees. Monday to Thursday nights there are happy hour(s) — with cocktails, beers and sangria ridiculously good specials ($10 cocktails, $6 coronas).
Because there are so many choices, I’m eager to go at different times to try out all there is. But this trip, I’ve just gone for lunch with a few mates.
For drinks we ordered coffees, organic Earl Grey tea, an Iced Tea and (for me) a white chocolate mocha. To be honest, I don’t rate their coffee — I’ve tried them myself two times, and this time opted for a mocha (which I was happy with), but my friend said her espresso tasted over extracted — which is what I had experienced recently. But I’m always willing to try it again and see how it improves with time & experience.
The chocolates I’ve had are nice, the Iced Tea refreshing, and my friend’s organic Earl Grey tea is lovely.
The girls ordered the Elen Ruz ($11.9) which is a cuban turkey sandwich of smoked turkey, cranberry and cream cheese (yum!) on sourdough. I had my eyes on The Cuban ($14.9) mojo (?) pork (pulled pork w/ seasonings), serrano ham, queso (cheese en espanol), pickles and mustard on toasted sourdough. I also ordered a bowl of Fries with Chilli Salt ($7.9) to share with a friend who had a stomach thing goin’ on.
The Cuban sandwich was great — I love anything with pickles and pulled pork — and the fries reminded me of the famous hot chips w/ paprika salt from the Red Lea in Cabramatta!
Sadly I didn’t have any room for dessert — although I’m not really into the whole overpriced churros craze in Australia (probably because they’re $2 snack food in the USA). I will DEFINITELY be back to try out the mojitos though.
“Everybody gets them. They must be really good.” she said to her friend. “I just don’t know how I feel about the coriander.”
Oh my friend, if you knew about the pink mystery meat and liver pate, that coriander would be the least of your worries.
If you’re in Parramatta around lunchtime, check out Xcel Roll, the local business district favourite — great selection, fresh viet rolls made on site, amazingly friendly service.
52 Macquarie Street
(02) 9891 9180