Cookbookmaniac
  • The Smokehouse – Vintage quirky and mighty delicious
    Australian Restaurant Reviews
    The Smokehouse – Vintage quirky and mighty delicious
    I love to travel. Take me to any exotic place and I will not fear to venture out on my own. There is nothing more exhilarating than to get lost in a city and discovering its many hidden treasures without the aid of a travel book or map. Pizzaboy and I have not been able to travel as much as we use to since we decided to settle down and buy a home. All our savings are now being banked up in a volt for when we find the right place. Isn't it odd that we must save money to borrow money? We have had to give up on a lot of things in pursuit of the homeownership dream, but we are not able to sacrifice the luxury of eating out. The discovery of The Smokehouse had left me with the same joyful feeling as when I travel without a safety net. When entering the premises I could not help but feel like I had stepped into a place that was a cross between Gilligans Island, a pre-loved vintage shop, fish'n'chip shop, french cottage and a fancy restaurant. Its mismatched furniture and various other random elements left me scratching my head but with a tingling in my fingers. I wanted to start snapping away with my camera like an overly excited tourist. I did my best to not appear like a member of the paparazzi and made my way around the room quietly. I notice that I am being watched…
  • Soffritto in Newtown – Oh my! How good is this!
    CBD & Inner City
    Soffritto in Newtown – Oh my! How good is this!
    Have you ever stumbled upon a place and given it serious consideration and then passed it up. Only to find that many days later the curiosity has grown from the size of pea to a giant watermelon? I was gazing into the window of this little restaurant one evening and did just that. It only had 15 items on its menu, the lighting was very low and there wasn't anyone in there at 6pm. However, there was something about it... an air of mystique. It got the better of me one boring Thursday afternoon at work and I rang to make a reservation for Friday date night with the boy. Phone call made on Thursday afternoon "Hello? This is Soffritto." "Hi, I would like to make a reservation for 2 people at 6.30pm on Friday night." "Ahh.... yes, we are able to fit you in. It will be a full house that evening. Please be aware that you will need to vacate the table by 8pm." "Ok. No worries." Phone rings at 6pm "Hello? This is Amy." "Hello, this is Soffritto. We are calling to confirm your booking for 2 tomorrow at 6pm." "Yes!" "Are you aware that you will need to finish your meal by 8pm." "Errr. Yes." "Please let us know if you are not able to as we now have an extensive waiting list for the evening." "Ok. No worries." "Thank you." Pizzaboy and I arrive at the virtually empty restaurant and we are shown to a…
  • Bitton Gourmet – Cafe and Grocer
    Eastern Suburbs
    Bitton Gourmet – Cafe and Grocer
    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. 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. 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…