Bitton Gourmet – Cafe and Grocer

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Bitton Gourmet – Cafe and Grocer

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

I had come across Bitton Gourmet in the Sydney Morning Herald Foodies Guide 2010. Its little blurb about their famous jams and dressings was enticing enough for me to view their website. From that point on my curiosity grew. I loved the description of a green grocer, cafe, and gourmet food shop, and was convinced I had to pay a visit. Pizzaboy and I invite Papa & Mama Bear along with us for a Sunday Lunch. It turned out we got more than what we expected and truly love and believe in this wonderful establishment in Alexandria.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

We arrive at the store in between the breakfast and lunch rush. We were seated inside the cafe as the tables outside were all occupied. I was slightly disappointed because I prefer my food pictures to be lit by sunlight. I politely ask if we could move when there is a table free. The lovely staff member did not hesitate and checked for me, he came back and said that we were more than welcome to move to a table that was just vacated. I breathe a sigh of relief.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

Fresh fruit and vegetables from Flemington Markets

It seemed like the place to be, the cafe was quickly filling up and there is a constant flow of customers throughout our visit. We order our drinks and I cannot stay in my seat! I head towards the fruit boxes, the apples are sweetly scented and tomatoes unblemished. One of the signs says that the fruit and vegetables are fresh from Flemington Markets, by looks of things, I don’t doubt it.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

The jars of tapenade, spices, sauces, oil and dressings catch my eye, with its bright red packaging I just wanted to place them in a basket and take them home. Recipe cards are displayed along with them, and I begin to realise that the Bitton-experience doesn’t stop when you leave the premises. They want you to take it home and enjoy the same quality food with your family and friends.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

The refrigerators are stocked with international and local produce. More fruit ‘n’ veggies, fresh pasta, tomato sauces, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream are displayed to entice the average joe to take it home and make a gourmet meal out of them.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

However, the item that caught my attention most was the Kobe Burger. Pizzaboy and I have a wild obsession with the Wagyu steaks and we were disappointed that we did not manage to eat the Kobe steak whilst in Japan. I later kick myself for not purchasing some of the frozen patties, they would’ve worked a dream for our annual Australia Day barbie.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

Courtyard

Pizzaboy appears from a doorway at the back of the store. He says, “Amy, you gotta see this”. He leads me to the courtyard, there is an additional dining area and further out the back it appears to be a private dining area in the garden.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Sydney Morning Herald Good Living "Shoot the Chef" Competition Entries 2007

The walls are decorated with photographs, they are entries into SMH Shoot the Chef competitions. I am utterly fascinated and had to include some of them here.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Kids Playroom

It is also a pleasant surprise to see a small playroom for the kiddies. It is adorable and appropriate for their clientele. It’s a very nice and loving touch. Pizzaboy and I joke that we want to dine in this room because its so cute!

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

After seeing the playroom, I realise that there is a large display of healthy snacks and drinks geared for the kids at the front of the store. This adds to my love for Bitton, their desire for tasty and healthy meals also include the bubs and cubs.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

I walk up and down the shop, back and forth, around and around. I do not want to miss a thing. I look over the items in the fridge, over and over. I stare at Bitton’s oils and dressings, I am unable to look at the international food items because there are a group sitting front of the shelf and I do not want to disturb them. Pizzaboy walks over whilst I am cooing over a jar of their famous strawberry and vanilla jam. “So… are we ready to eat?” Ahh yes, the cafe… this is what we have come here for.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH Bitton Gourmet - Cafe and Grocer

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Wheat-Free & Low-GI Cookies

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald SMH Foodies Guide 2010

Vanilla Milkshake made with real vanilla beans, Strawberry Smoothie made with real strawberries. $5.00 each

I return to the table and I had forgotten that I had ordered a drink. The strawberry smoothie is pale and frothy, I take a sip and declare it tastes amazing! It is not overwhelming in its flavour of strawberries, it is rather a milkshake scented with freshly picked strawberries. I close my eyes and slurp away. Mama Bear laughs at me and I offer her a sip. She reluctantly takes a sip, fearing that it will be overly sweet. Her eyes light up, “That’s nice!” I grab Pizzaboy’s Vanilla Milkshake and take a sip, the cool vanilla-scented milk was perfect. Pizzaboy swishes his straw around and enquires about the blackish-purplish seed-like things floating in his drink. We realise they have used real vanilla beans. YUMMO!

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Bitton rely on fresh produce, it makes complete sense that the menu changes seasonally. The special of the day is the Moraccan Spiced Lamb Backstrap with Mango Salad. The name of the dish sounds instantly like summer-on-a-plate. I am battling with myself what to order. Pizzaboy declares he is ordering the Wagyu Burger and no one else can order the same thing. Papa Bear loves his steak, he orders the beef eye fillet. Mama Bear quietly orders the special of the day. I am last to order because I cannot decide. I close my eyes and point randomly, my finger lands on the Crispy Skin Salmon. I love salmon, so i’m happy to order it.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Wagyu Beef Burger with Vegetable Pickles served on a Turkish roll $17.90

All of the meals arrive at the table at the same time. It is the Wagyu Burger that receives our oohs & ahhs. We all gaze at it. I wonder where the burger pattie is. Pizzaboy lifts up some of the lettuce leaves and points at the burger underneath. I remark that the burger bun looks like a beret! So French! Pizzaboy looks confused and doesn’t know how to eat it. We all tell him to use his hands, but he feels uncomfortable doing that, so he pulls out the knife and fork and cuts it into quarters.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH Bitton Gourmet - Cafe and Grocer

“Hmmm. This is good”. I grab a bite and deduce that although it doesn’t evoke the same out-of-this-world nature of a wagyu steak, I still like it. The vegetable pickles are mildy sweet and tart. I like the combination and we declare it a good burger.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Special of the day - Moroccan Spiced Lamb Backstrap with Mango Salad $24.00

Mama Bear’s Moroccan Spiced Lamb with Mango Salad is a revelation. The lamb is unapologetically spiced, but is not overwhelming. The mango salad is sweet and the flavours balance really well together with the lamb. Mama Bear is not a salad person, but she scoops up every bit of it.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Peppered Beef Eye Fillet with Pommes Frites and Red Wine Sauce $24.00

Papa Bear’s Beef Eye Fillet is beautifully plated. The eye fillet is soft and tasty. The red wine sauce is slightly sweet and seems to have some fruit and spice mixed in with it. The aroma is enough to cause a frenzy. The steak is heavily peppered and everyone at the table takes a bite out of it, which doesn’t leave much left for Papa Bear. Oops. Hehehe.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Crispy Skin Salmon on Asparagus and Green Pea Risotto with Onion Salsa Lemon Dressing $23.50

I stare at my fish for a while. (You see, whenever I pan fry salmon at home, I always end up getting the outside crispy but the inside raw). The first thing I do is cut the salmon in half to find that is just cooked through and I am curious as to how it has been done. The skin is obviously crispy and the flesh is soft and bordering fluffy. The salmon is fresh and the skin salty. The bed of risotto is delicious. The rice grains are cooked but still have a slight bite to it. The peas seem to be fresh and I eat the Onion Salsa with the risotto and I am loving the pairing of the two. However, the skin is way to salty for me, Pizzaboy grabs the skin off my plate and devours it in one bite.

During the main meal one of the staff members walks pass us with a cup of something beautiful. Our eyes are locked on the dessert from the moment it appears at the doorway to when it is set down on the table next to us. Pizzaboy wonders if dessert is on the horizon. We all finish our meals and a staff member comes to pick up our plates. Papa Bear asks what the dessert was in a cup. “That’ll be the Tiramisu”. Our eyes light up. “I’ll go get the dessert menu”.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Bitton's Tiramisu $9.50

Pizzaboy loves his Tiramisu. The mascarpone topping is extremely smooth and melts in the mouth magicly. The coffee flavour is not overwhelming, but Pizzaboy likes it this way. He reaches the bottom of the cup in no time. However he doesn’t enjoy the liqueur soaked lady fingers sitting at the bottom. I take a scoop and I don’t mind it, but when I try to take another scoop, I realise that Pizzaboy has devoured it and is trying to lick the cup clean.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Caramelized Mango and Ginger Crème Brulee $9.50

I ordered the Creme Brulee based on the staff member’s recommendation. It did not let me down. I did not pick up on the mango flavour, but the ginger gives the custard a slightly spicy heat that I surprisingly enjoy, as I am not a fan of ginger. The more I eat it, the more I am enjoying it.

fresh pasta food hamper famous celebrity chef Sydney Morning Herald Foodie Guide Good Living SMH

Lemon Tart with Soft Meringue $9.50

Papa Bear has the Lemon Tart. It looks like joy on a plate, and I have fun taking photos of this at all angles. The strawberry rose is gorgeous and I want to take it home with me. But I know that I should leave it alone and sadly hand the dish back to Papa Bear. He takes the first bite and says it is delicious! He cuts me a piece and slides it on my plate. It is the best lemon tart I have ever tasted. It has a fresh burst of lemon flavour and has just the right amount of sweetness to balance it. The pastry is baked to perfection and tastes divine. I really wish I had ordered lemon tart. Pizzaboy says that I can have it the next time we visit. It puts a gigantic smile on my face and I am instantly happy.

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David Bitton - Founder & Managing Director

Throughout our visit I notice that David Bitton is greeting and talking to his patrons. He has a genial disposition and come to think of it… all his staff seem to be very pleasant, attentive and friendly. I ask him about his business and he informs me that this is their 10 year anniversary and there are further plans for expansion within Australia and internationally. He says that when he and his wife started the business they never envisioned that it would become this successful and this huge. I feel inspired and hopeful from this simple and poignant insight. He asks me about my website and what my favourite cookbooks are. Like a star-struck teenager, I freeze and my mind goes blank. Oh dear.

Bitton Gourmet will be opening two new stores in the near future and will be releasing their very own cookbook at the end of 2010. I will have to make sure that I am first in line when the book is released. If it is anything like what we have experienced on this visit, I will love it already.

**the below excerpt is taken from bittongourmet.com.au

THE STORY OF BITTON GOURMET

It all started with a jar of Strawberry and Vanilla Jam, made to a recipe lovingly passed down from Grandmother to Grandson.

David Bitton’s French childhood and training, combined with a passion for excellence shared by his wife Sohani led to the opening of the Bitton Gourmet Café and Grocer located in the Sydney suburb of Alexandria.

From this small café, David and Sohani recognised a demand for quality cooking products that anyone could use to create a restaurant quality, gourmet experience at home.

These humble beginnings have remained a signature of Bitton Gourmet products, maintaining standards of excellence and attention to detail rarely seen outside a family business; the entire Bitton range is now available in over 300 hand picked fine food stores both locally and internationally.

Bitton Gourmet is featured in SMH Foodies Guide to Sydney 2010

Bitton Gourmet
36-37a Copeland St
Alexandria NSW 2015
info@bittongourmet.com.au
Phone (02) 9519 5111
Fax (02) 9519 5455
http://bittongourmet.com.au

Bitton Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon

This is a re-post from 28 January 2010

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9 Comments

  1. tasteofbeirut

    So neat! I have enjoyed spending time in this place; I love how they mix fine dining and grocery shopping, all done so tastefully; this is one example of the kind of power a good team (here husband and wife) can accomplish!

  2. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    This place just looks so nice and.. orderly! I can’t think of a better word. Clean and inviting, I guess?

    Real vanilla milkshake sounds so good, and I’m not normally a milkshake drinker. Would like every one of those desserts too!

  3. Mark @ Cafe Campana

    Mmmm they appear to have put heaps of thought into their store and restaurant. I think I will have to visit, all the food looks so good.

  4. grace

    those are some stellar plates of food! i think i’d enjoy every single item pictured, both fresh and packaged. and there’s a place for the kiddos to frolic! and the owner mingles with his customers! what a find indeed. 🙂

  5. Rosa

    What a great place with lovely produce and wonderful food!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Ellie (Almost Bourdain)

    This is my kind of place! Thanks for such a great review. I will difinitely check out this place soon.

  7. OohLookBel

    Geez, Bitton Gourmet looks so cool! I love your photos of the food – makes me want to reach out and grab it. And you’re right, the Kobe burgers do look intriguing – I wonder if they’re sold anywhere else?

  8. mademoiselle délicieuse

    I really fell in love with this place but haven’t had a chance to go back. I tried my first black truffle omelette here!

  9. Toulouse LeTrek

    This is a lovely post on the sensual delights of gourmet eating. You showcase a wonderful find, Amy! When next in Sydney, I will be sure to visit Bitton’s Gourmet Cafe and Grocer. I may also have to close my eyes and put my paw on the menu to make my selection! They sound exquisite! I mention you on my travel & leisure site, Toulouse LeTrek (www.toulouseletrek.com). Come visit! A bien tot!

    Ton ami,
    Toulouse :-3

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