Things you've never dreamed of

March 21st, 2010

Efendy, Balmain

It’s my good friend Pimento‘s birthday today! To celebrate him not looking a day over 27, 7 of us went to Efendy for brunch. None of us have actually been there before but we were all pleasantly surprised.

Efendy is placed away from the main Darling St strip (it’s more on the border between Balmain and Rozelle), so the surroundings are a bit more quiet, but the place was busy when we arrived. There is a nice courtyard area at the front but the majority voted for sitting inside because it was too hot.

My SO and I both ordered tea – he had the apple tea. It comes with a stick of cinnamon. I absolutely loved it and secretly wished I ordered it instead. It was pretty sweet, but the cinnamon helps to mellow out the sweetness so that it’s not too sickly. I had Turkish tea, which tasted like black tea. Idk if it’s supposed to just be black tea, but it comes in a cool glass so whatever.

Oh man. Guys you gotta get your arses down here for the breakfast, it was pretty damn amazing. These were our choices:

My SO and Rachel ordered the Kiymali – “village style” minced lamb stew with eggs and tomatoes. This was absolutely delicious. I’m a huge fan of lamb, and the combination of spices and eggs made for a rich, satisfying breakfast. The serving plate they have is… interesting. It’s like a huge dinner plate with a bowl in the middle. When you first get it you’re like uh, that’s a pretty small serving innit, then you dig your fork in and the bowl goes on FOREVER. What I’m saying is, don’t worry about your serving looking small cos it isn’t.

Cam and Andrew ordered, uh, this. The menu on the Efendy website is a bit out of date so it doesn’t have a couple of the new dishes on it (and prices – everything is probably a couple of dollars more expensive that is stated on the old website menu), but this was a dish of poached eggs on top of buttered Turkish bread with haloumi, asparagus and tomato.

May and Pimento ordered the Kallavi or big breakfast – two fried eggs with grilled sucuk, merguez sausages, mushrooms and pastirma. Pimento opted for no tomatoes because he’s weird.

This was my pick, the Menemen – spiced scrambled eggs with banana peppers and tomatoes, plus a side of haloumi for an extra $6. This was delicious. It’s pretty much just eggs and vegetables but it’s very more-ish. It’s slightly spicy, the type of heat that just tickles the tastebuds so that everything tastes more intense. I thought that $6 for a side of haloumi was pretty expensive but they do give you generous slices of it and they’re fried perfectly.

Check out the giant platter of buttered Turkish bread in the middle of the table. I love this place and will be back to try out their dinner menu one day.

Because it was just after noon when we finished eating, the girls opted for alcohol for their second round of drinks. A birthday is not complete without some, even though the birthday boy didn’t have any.

Rachel and I got a delicious cocktail called Narosa – sparkling wine, pomegranate liqueur and bits of pomegranate. Not only are the pomegranate seeds delicious but they also provide the sort of entertainment devised by people with way too much time (and sparkling wine) on their hands, as we tried to get the seeds to float via the powers of bubbles in the wine. May ordered a Bloody Ayshe – vodka, tomato juice, Turkish tomato ezme (idk) and “spices”. It came with a pickled chilli on the rim. I didn’t try any of it cos I hate tomato juice, but it got a thumbs up from May.

Then we went back to my place where I surprised Pimento with a chilli chocolate orange cake (recipe from here). I need to get myself to a cake decorating class or some shit because this looks like ass, but I can guarantee that this recipe is tops – it was very fudgey and rich and the chilli in it packs just the slightest hint of heat that pairs very well with the chocolate. My mistake was to leave it in the fridge until we got home. Ideally you’d want it to be out of the fridge for an hour or so before eating, as it’s a bit dry when it’s cold.

Among a couple other things, I got Pimento this as a gag gift:

It’s gluten free, low sodium vegetarian bacon salt. It’s actually as disgusting as it sounds. It doesn’t taste like any sort of bacon I know. It tastes more like dried, ground up cocktail weiners. Blerrrghhh. I don’t recommend getting it for people you like.

79 Elliott St. (corner of Darling St.), Balmain
(02) 9810 5466

ETA: I just realised I’m using my old watermark with a www in front of the URL. FML I’m not redoing the pictures

ETA II: Heads up for food bloggers: head over to Simon’s blog to win a chance to be a guest at Efendy’s food blogger’s event! There’s going to be free samples of authentic (and I’m sure) v. tasty Turkish food.

November 11th, 2009

Zumbo Macaron Report

I was going to do a blow by blow (I checked Google to see if I’m using this phrase right and one of the first few sites was a blowjob tips site so thought better of it) full on report on all 12 macarons that I got, but thought it was excessive. Plus I’m lazy. So here’s the condensed version.

Remember these suckers?


Last Saturday me, my partner R – I should probably think of a better pseudonym for him sometime – and pimento of nastybun girded our loins and did a taste test of the 12 macarons to see if we can match up the taste to the flavours they’re supposed to be. Some were hits, most were delicious and a couple were a bit on the meh side.

Read the rest of this entry »

November 7th, 2009

Pomegranate Thai, Balmain

Pomegranate is my favourite Thai restaurant. It’s more expensive than your standard Thai restaurant but the thing about it is that it doesn’t serve your bog standard Aussie Thai fare. Pomegranate has amazing blackboard specials you can’t find anywhere else. My friends and I had these for dinner:


Deep fried spicy whitebait in betel leaves. Ohhhh crunchy crispy salty goodness and the slight bitterness of the betel leaves om nom nom nom. I’ve always associated betel leaves with the chewing practice because my late grandmother did it and I was absolutely fascinated with the process. Actually eating it was a new experience, but I welcome it with open arms (as long as it’s accompanied with deep fried whitebait).


Taro dumplings filled with pork mince and peanuts – a blackboard special. This and a few other dishes have Thai names that I can’t remember. It’s served on a witlof leaf. I found out tonight that I’m not a huge fan of witlof but it was still good. Love the contrast of the pillowy taro dumpling and crispy insides. The shape of the actual dumpling creates a civilised party in your mouth, complete with its best silver tea service.


Pork spare ribs served with two sauces (not pictured) – tamarind and sweet chilli. The meat was falling off the bones and melt-in-your-mouth tender.


Spicy deep fried crispy barramundi with salted duck eggs (blackboard special). This is the best I can do with the picture, sorry. The sauce tastes like pad prik king, but I’ve only ever had that dish once so I’m probably not the best person to ask about that sort of thing. Alls I know is, it’s bloody addictive and my friend scraped every last bit off the plate. He does that all the time anyway but the scraping was accompanied with heaps of praise and not just desperation.


Banana flower salad with creamy tamarind dressing and poached chicken (the white bits). I think the chicken was unnecessary – the salad was delicious on its own.

DESSERT TIME! The desserts are always blackboard specials.


Passionfruit and chilli sorbet. The chilli gets a little bit overwhelming and I don’t like passionfruit, but the two people who had this gave two thumbs up.


My friend and I shared this one – it’s black sticky rice, mango and coconut cream ice cream. My friend was greedy and wanted one dish for himself but we’re glad he didn’t – this was bloody huge and probably had the meat off one whole mango. This was v. good but the black sticky rice was crusty in some places.

Servings are crazy big. The above cost us $40 per person and we were dying from the amount of food we got. Service tends to be a little bit slow but very friendly. Book in advance on Friday and Saturday nights and prepare for a bit of a squeeze – it’s not a big restaurant and the tables are small.

Pomegranate Thai
191 Darling St. Balmain
(02) 9555 5693

October 22nd, 2009

The Riverview Hotel, Balmain

So we heard about this Balmain-Rozelle Gastro Pub tour that’s happening in October. We decided to check out The Riverview Hotel, heady with the promise of ~*~specially selected beer and wine~*~

When we got there, there wasn’t much in the way of promotional materials available for this thing, and when we ordered one of the items off the Gastro Pub menu there wasn’t a mention of any recommended drinks. The food made up for the apathy, though.

"Slow roasted pig, caramelised fig, wild rocket, skordalia & PX sherry dressing"

“Slow roasted pig, caramelised fig, wild rocket, skordalia & PX sherry dressing”

My pick - "Roast barramundi, confit dutch cream potato, cherry tomato, artichoke & prawn salad w/ tomato jam". This was delicious, the barramundi was perfect. This is also the shittiest photo I took of that night.

My pick – “Roast barramundi, confit dutch cream potato, cherry tomato, artichoke & prawn salad w/ tomato jam”. This was delicious, the barramundi was perfect. This is also the shittiest photo I took of that night.

I forget what this is. It's a pizza with three different sorts of cured meat. I'm pescaterian this week and didn't partake. Ross said it was delicious, though.

I forget what this is and it’s not on the Riverview website. It’s a pizza with three different sorts of cured meat. I’m pescaterian this week and didn’t partake (let’s not worry about the bite I took off Rob’s plate). Ross said it was delicious, though.

September 13th, 2009

Balmain eats

I live in Balmain – there’s no shortage of places to go for a lazy breakfast here.

19 October 2008

Breakfast at La Bohème followed by a trip to Adriano Zumbo.


La Boheme Breakfast – fried ham topped with fried eggs, rye bread, beetroot and pickles.


May’s pick. Little Big Breakfast – a one-serve portion of everything you get in a big breakfast.


My pick (and one of my favourite breakfasts ever), Veggie Feast – fresh tomatoes, avocado, wholegrain toast topped with ricotta & wilted spinach, a poached egg and capsicum spread.


A selection of cakes at Adriano Zumbo. This was back when there were no long lines outside his shop every weekend (good for him, bad for me, excellent for my thighs).