Sunday, May 4, 2014

Monthly catch ups - April 2014

Oh haiz.. so I'm bacccckkkkkkkk from climbing all those mountains and eating ALL the street food in Taiwan. More details to come over the following months. For now, here is my belated monthly catch up. 

Left: Berry milkshake and orange juice
Right: Croissant French toast w/ season fruits and maple syrup

One of the places which I have been dying to check out for many years now is The Boathouse. Unfortunately the Boathouse doesn't take bookings so I recommend for you to head there early to grab a table, especially if you are coming in a big group. I am soooo grateful they opened up a restaurant at Balmoral Beach as it saved me from trekking it all the way to Palm Beach. In saying that though, I actually didn't know there was one in Balmoral until the day before going and almost went to Palm Beach. 

The Boathouse - Balmoral Beach

Poached egg and salmon with barley and mushrooms

Usually I have barley in the form of a drink so this the first time I ate barely. To me, there isn't much of a taste in barley but surprisingly when it was mixed with the mushrooms, some glorious runny egg yolk and a dash of salt, it was actually really tasty. Almost like a risotto but much lighter. It might appear to be a smaller portion but it is deceivingly filling.

Left: Caramel and banana milkshake
Right: Bacon and egg burger

Poached egg, bacon and roasted tomato

Ladies who brunch are ladies who orders plates and plates of french toasts with of course with some err "fruit salad" on the side. Again, there might not appear to be that much on a plate but it is very filling. I was struggling to finish both pieces of french toast myself. The restaurant can also do a glutton free version and as a bonus, an extra piece is thrown in. The croissant french toast was buttery, crispy on the outside and oh so soft and fluffy on the inside. After pouring the maple syrup all over the French toast, the first bite made my stomach warm and fuzzy because it was that good. 

I also noticed that even though you get pretty full from their dishes, it is still quite light and you don't walk out feeling bloated as if you had ate an entire cow. Can't wait to come back to see what is new on their menu. Fingers cross the croissant french toast will still be on there. 

Excelsior Jones - Ashfield

Another place I had been wanting to check out for yonks was Excelsior Jones in Ashfield. Unfortunately I didn't go when it first opened and because of that I didn't get a chance to try their famous sourdough pancakes. I have absolutely no idea why they took it off the menu? It was so heart wrenching when I arrived and our waitress told us it hadn't been on the menu for a very long time. Whhyyyyyyyyyy? *welp*. 

Nevertheless, Wendyandco and I were still keen to check out Excelsior Jones since neither of us had been before.  For those that haven't been, don't be thrown off if Google Maps tells you to drive right into the neighbourhood of Ashfield. Excelsior Jones is located right in the heart of neighbourhood. It isn't located along the hustle and bustle of Parramatta Road and it is because of this which is what made me like the cafe even more. 

Pork potato hash

As you can imagine, a gigantic bowl filled with heavenly potatoes, some egg porn and bits of Mr Piggy can be quite filling and heavy. We all know how much I heart my potatoes but what makes it even better is that the potatoes are cut into smaller pieces which means you get more crunchy pieces while the inside is still slightly fluffy.. like chips. Yes. Winning. 

Definitely a guarantee to get your bang for your buck when you order this dish. There is also a smoked salmon version which is a bit lighter but with all those potatoes, it is going to be filling either way regardless of which protein you choose. 

Left: Milkshake
Right: Moroccan style baked eggs with almond, feta and sourdough

Another popular brunch place is Four ate Five in Surry Hills. It isn't anything smancy fancy but do you get a warm and hearty vibe as you step through their doors. Like most brunch places in Surry Hills, it can get quite packed and it isn't a large cafe so best to go early if you want to avoid the queues. 

Bacon, mushroom, sausages, poached egg, potato and fennel hash and linseed toast

Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausages, avocado and linseed toast

The best thing about Four ate Five is that you can pretty much mix and match whatever you want. Add, swap or remove whatever you want. Totes customisable. The only problem is over ordering but then again that's always an issue if you are greedy as me 24/7. 

I went for the Moroccan styled baked eggs. Unfortunately my eggs were slightly over cooked as I generally like a good runny egg but there was loads of flavour and a strong punch of tomato. The almonds sprinkled over the top of the baked eggs help added a crunchy texture and with every baked egg, the best part is always to rip apart your bread into pieces with your hands (if you are as classy as I am) and dunk it into your eggs. There is something about it that makes it so satisfying and it probably why I always end up ordering baked eggs the bulk of the times. 

Can't wait to come back for more baked egg fun. 

Cheers to another month!
So that's a wrap peeps and cheers to the end of another month. Let me know if you would like me to cover anything in my monthly catch ups. 

Gotta go eat!!


  1. Yum, great choices! I haven't been to any of those cafes but they're in my radar.

  2. Welcome back Shan! Can't wait to read your upcoming posts on Taiwanese street food!

  3. Dear Shanshan,

    Great egg porn shot but looks like you already started gnawing on that piece of salmon?

    Welcome back coz I've missed you.

  4. Garden fresh brekkie is an excellent way to start a day. I can have these quickly after a long brisk walk. Thanks for all the info!

    Gourmet Getaways

  5. Oh hai! Welcome back kiddo! The pork potato has sounds totes amaze! Can't wait to read your Taiwan post!

  6. oh wow croissant french toast?! now we're talking.... looks like I have to head to the Boathouse asap!

  7. Totally digging the look @ The Boathouse. And as for Excelsior Jones - why are all the good cafes popping up where I used to live!!!

  8. I want to eat this Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausages, avocado and linseed toast

  9. Woo! Brunch is a fave meal of mine :D So many good choices in Sydney hehe :D I'm defs adding The Boathouse to my list of places to eat at!

  10. Milkshakes......burgers........poached eggs.....AND sausages, it all looks so good Shan.

  11. welcome back from Taiwan! the pork hash from excelsior jones was brilliant!

  12. Looking forward to all the Taiwanese street food sharing to come!