Tag Archives: brunch

Devon Café, North Sydney

I had heard good things about Devon in Surry Hills for the longest time, but never managed to get there.  But now I don’t have to, as they have – wisely! – crossed the bridge. North Sydney, for a long time a concrete jungle ghost town outside of 9 to 5,  is slowly but surely coming to life with the spate of new apartments, and places like Devon are well placed for this.  Unlike Surry Hills, the northern sibling is also open for dinner.

On a few visits, I’ve made my way through tasting a fair bit of the unique breakfast/brunch menu – with help from the Marito, Small People, and friends, I didn’t eat this all myself!  There are a lot of bold and gutsy flavours, not much shyness here.  And I love the generosity of their serves, none of this teensy tiny business. A breakfast here accompanied by one of their good cups of coffee and I’m full for the day,

The Marito was a big fan of the Devon Fish Cake and had it two visits in a row – the cake was salmon and potato with a nice crisp to the outside, served with a poached egg, a full bodied yuzu aioli and a watercress and cabbage slaw.

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Salmon is on show again with “Breakfast with the Sakumas” (named after the politician I’m guessing?) – salmon grilled with miso, an eel croquette, a 63 degree egg, radish and kewpi mayonnaise. Delicious but very rich.

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The Croissant St Denis is pure morning indulgence.  An omelette with lobster, prawn and caviar, served with a very punchy seafood bisque.  Soak up the bisque with the flaky, buttery croissant and you’ll have a very good day indeed.

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Get some pork on your fork with Piggy Banc –  free range pork belly,  pork + fennel sausage, hasselback potato, roast fennel and peas

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If it’s something of the more “straight up” variety you’re after, that is not an issue.  Good old scrambled and fried eggs are on offer, and they are huge – they even satisfied my bottomless pit Small People.

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Plenty to choose from on the lunch menu too.  I love the playful take on Italian in the name of “ragu alla Sichuanese” – coriander tagliolini, chilli mince pork, peanuts, burrata, slow cooked egg. Silky noodles with a good kick.

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For something lighter try the poke bowl, and again a very generous serve. Sashimi king salmon, brown rice, avocado (get your mortgage in order), salmon caviar, seaweed, edamame beans, cucumber and kale
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Devon Café North Sydney, 36 Blue St North Sydney. Ph 02 8971 0377

http://www.devoncafe.com.au

Mushroom and filo scroll

Always on the hunt for good vegetarian recipes for The Marito, I thought I’d give this recipe, courtesy of Belinda Jeffrey, a try. I did make a few changes, using less butter, less and lite sour cream and skipping the garlic. You’ll serve 4-6 with this, more if part of a banquet. I think this is one of those versatile “any time of the day” dishes – it would easily work for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or a late night supper! I used a good variety of mushrooms – other than standard cup I used oyster, Swiss brown, enoki, shemeji and shiitake, about half cup and half the others. It can turn into a costly dish if you go all exotic varieties, and nothing wrong with just using standard cup for the whole thing.

Ingredients
Mushroom filling
80ml olive oil
50g unsalted butter
2 medium brown onions, finely diced
1kg mushrooms sliced
100g lite sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
lemon juice, to taste (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (about 15g) tightly packed finely chopped dill
60g pecans, coarsely chopped

Pastry
12 sheets filo pastry
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Poppy seeds for sprinkling

Making it
1. First make the filling. Place the oil and butter in a large frypan on medium heat, then add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes or until softened. Then add the mushrooms and cook for 15 or so minutes. All the juices will need to evaporate or your scroll will be soggy.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the sour cream, mustard, lemon juice (I just used a squeeze), season with salt and pepper and combine all ingredients. Allow the mixture to cool and once cool add the dill and the nuts
3. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees. Place some baking paper on a baking tray and place your 12 filo sheets on a slightly damp tea towel.
4. Take one filo sheet, lightly butter, then place another sheet, until you have three sheets. Repeat so that you have four lots of three sheets. Divide your mushroom mixture into four and spoon in a “log” shape down one long side of the filo. Then roll each of the four lots into logs. Take the first log and shape it into a coil and place it on your baking tray. (You can if you like place the logs inside a springform cake tin to ensure it holds its shape). Lightly butter the outside edge so that the next log sticks and then coil the next log and the next and you’ll end up with a large coil. Brush the top with butter, season the top with a bit of salt and pepper and sprinkle the poppy seeds. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the filo is nice and golden. Slide it onto a serving plate. I find it is easiest to cut using a serrated knife.

Spinach hotcakes and greens with almonds

This is another Good Food recipe that I tried out by Neil Perry.  He originally used feta in it, but I swapped it for ricotta wanting that creaminess of texture to contrast the almonds (and also because I’ll use any excuse to introduce ricotta); there was also originally a mixture of silverbeet and kale (I used all silverbeet), as well as some chopped olives which I skipped.  If you don’t want the hotcakes, the greens mixture itself is great with a fried egg or on a nice chunky piece of sourdough, or as Neil suggested, with some smoked salmon. You’ll get 8-10 hotcakes from the recipe.

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Ingredients
Hotcakes

250g baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 whole egg, whisked
50g unsalted butter, melted; plus extra for frying
3/4 cup milk
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 egg white
1/4 cup ricotta, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve

For the greens
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 small leek, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 red capsicum, small dice
2 cups shredded silverbeet leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp chopped dill
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped

Making them
1. For the hotcakes, wilt the spinach in a hot pan. Place in a colander to drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Allow to cool and coarsely chop.

2. Place flour, baking powder, pepper and salt into bowl, then add the whole egg, melted butter and milk. Whisk until smooth. Add spinach and spring onions. Gently stir through.

3. Whisk the egg white until soft peaks form, then fold into the batter with a large metal spoon.

4. For the greens, heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add leek and 1/2 tsp salt, then sweat for about 8 minutes. Add capsicum and cook for 2 minutes, then add greens with remaining salt. Increase heat and sauté for about 4 minutes until greens are starting to wilt. Remove from heat, add pepper, then stir through the dill and almonds. Cover and keep warm.

5. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat, brush with remaining oil and melt a small amount of butter. Drop about 1/4 cup of batter to form round hot cakes with a diameter of about 10cm. Cook for 2-3 minutes until coloured underneath and bubbles form on top. Turn and cook for 1-2 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

6. Serve hotcakes topped with greens, dollops of ricotta and a wedge of lemon.

Breakfast @ Centennial Parklands Cafe

Space. There are times when, in our busy lives and often confined living quarters, we crave it. So what better place to find it in a cafe in Centennial Park. If the urge comes upon you to run in the field and relish the open air before or after your meal, you can go for it. Or you can sit lazily on the deck and bask in the sun, while your kids play on the nearby equipment.

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The menu has all the usual things you’d expect to find for breakfast – eggs, toast, museli, pancakes. We opt for the buttermilk pancakes – they are huge, and very good.

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Likewise, the omlette with chorizo and mushrooms was tasty, with some good quality bread with nice charring (The Grounds please note TWO slices of bread!), but I did think the price was a little punchy at $22.

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Kiddies stuff, like this toastie, prices at $7 which is very reasonable.

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The coffee was also well made. It does get very noisy inside, so you might prefer a table on the deck. And you can even BOOK a table, if you don’t feel like waiting in a queue for half a day. I saw a few tables for larger groups, so if you’ve got a bit of a crowd, it’s a good option, even if slightly more expensive than the better known breakfast haunts.

Centennial Parklands Café, Grand Drive, Centennial Park, Ph 02 9380 9350 http://www.trippaswhitegroup.com.au/our-venues/Centennial-Parklands-Dining/4

Centennial Parklands Kiosk & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Silverbeet and Ricotta Filo Scroll

Great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch!

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Ingredients
1 bunch silverbeet, stalks removed, chopped
2 reserved silverbeet stalks, diced
1 brown onion, diced
3 spring onions, diced
2tbsp olive oil
75g parmesan cheese, grated
500g ricotta
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 sheets filo pastry
50g melted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add onion, silverbeet stalks, saute until soft, add spring onions
2. Add silverbeet, a couple of tablespoons of water, season with salt and pepper and saute until silverbeet cooked (add more water if needed). Allow to cool and remove any excess liquid
3. Combine ricotta, parmesan, silverbeet mixture and mix thoroughly. Add egg and stir through
4. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
5. Lay out 2 sheets of filo pastry. Brush each sheet lightly with butter, and place another sheet on top of each sheet, and repeat, until you have two piles of 6 sheets.
6. Dividen the ricotta and silverbeet mixture in half, and spread along one each of the filo stacks, along the longer side. Roll each stack into a log
7. On a baking tray lined with baking paper, take one log and roll it into a scroll. Take the second log and place around the first. Brush with butter and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Ricotta

A great breakfast! Serves 4

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Ingredients
1 brown onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp raw sugar
100g baby spinach, wilted
100g ricotta
1 can canellini beans, rinsed and drained
8 eggs
Toast to serve

Making it

1. In a small pot, heat olive oil, add onion and saute until onion is soft. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. (If you like you could also throw in a whole chilli for flavour)
2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
3. Spread beans among four individual baking dishes (or you could do all in one large dish), ladel sauce on top.
4. Create a little well in the centre, crack two eggs into each dish, add spinach and dot ricotta around the dish.
5. Bake for 3-4 minutes or until eggs just set. Serve with toast.

Zucchini and Potato Frittata

Serves 8. Can be served hot or at room temperature. If zucchini flowers are available, these make a lovely decorative layer.

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Ingredients
3 large zucchini
1 brown onion
good handful of basil
sprig of rosemary
2 spring onions (shallots)
150g ricotta
100g grated parmesan
4 large potatoes
3tbsp olive oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Making it
1. Boil potatoes until just cooked, allow to cool then slice using a mandolin (3mm slices). Season lightly.
2. Slice zucchini in 3mm slices
3. Dice onion, and slice spring onions
4. Heat olive oil in a large pan and saute onion until soft, add spring onions, and finely diced rosemary
5. Add zucchini and cook for about 5 mins until softened. Allow mixture to cool slightly
6. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
7. Combine potato, zucchini mixture, parmesan, torn basil and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Grease a 26cm springform pan, line base with baking paper which comes halfway up the sides of the pan
9. Pattern a layer of zucchini down the bottom, then layer the rest of the mixture, smoothing so nice and flat
10. Lightly beat the eggs, and pour over the top
11. Bake for 30-40 mins. Allow to rest in tin for 15 mins before turning out.

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