Tag Archives: Lane Cove

Foogoo, Lane Cove

(August 2018) Lane Cove food is on the up.  There’s been a spate of new openings in the last twelve months, prompting even the likes of Terry Durack to venture to this side of the bridge.  Foogoo, a modern Chinese diner, is among them and we’re here to exchange some post Europe travel stories with some friends.  A rustic style clock with French text gives away the venue’s previous incarnation, and it’s simply but pleasantly decked out.

And as we marvel with our friends over the fact that we bumped into each other in the Vatican, where some 25,000 people set foot each day, we enjoy some very tasty Chinese.  The ingredients are very obviously fresh, the quality good, and the service quite pleasant.  And we love that it is BYO. Pricing was very reasonable, though the serves are on the smaller side and we could have ordered a couple more dishes for our bottomless pit Small People, but even then it’s a good value meal and you can eat here for $30 a head or less.

The crispy soft shell crab is exactly that and not at all oily as it often is at many restaurants.  The chilli and lemon salt give it a lovely flavour.

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And we were very happy with our soupy xialongbao.  There are plenty of dumplings on the menu if you’re in the mood for pure yum cha.

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Also on the menu:
Delicately steamed barramundi with ginger and shallot

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Kung pao chicken with a pleasant but not overpowering amount of heat

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Wok fried black pepper fillet with oyster mushrooms and blackbean – I loved this

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We all really liked the Shanghai style dry noodle with shallot oil, sweet soy and crispy shrimp

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And there was a good amount of tasty BBQ pork in the special fried rice.

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The steamed Asian greens were so fresh.

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It’s a good addition to the ‘hood, and we’ll be back to try the rest of the menu.

Foogoo, 94B Longueville Road Lane Cove, Ph (02) 7900 7081

Shorties Bar & Dining, Lane Cove

Shorties has upped the bar ante in downtown Lane Cove.   With an experienced small bar crew behind it, the locals have breathed a sigh of relief.  Come for a drink and a snack, or settle in at a booth for a meal.   It has the pre-requisite small bar features – moody lighting, exposed brick, and cocktail names the bar man came up with while sampling too many.

So I gave their refreshing Nice Melons a whirl, though they are more than happy to mix up a classic if that’s what your after.  The staff were friendly and welcoming.shorties (10)

The menu has a good mix of dishes

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We started with the kingfish ceviche, simply done and lovely quality fish

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I also really enjoyed the scallops

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And I find it hard to go past a beef tartare

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The pork cheek was flavoursome but the octopus on the chewy side

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And the buttermilk fried chicken wings were juicy and tender, but unfortunately a little bland, they needed a little something to give them an edge

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Banana is not my thing but the girls rated the banana parfait with Nutella mousse

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The second desert, which I think was a mango ice cream and a cream, just blended, it really needed some texture and some separation to distinguish the components

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But for a venue just recently opened, they are ticking a lot of boxes.  Welcome to Lane Cove!

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Shorties Bar and Dining, 96 Longueville Rd, Lane Cove
Ph +61 2 9418 9780

Shorties Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Encasa, Lane Cove

Encasa in the CBD has long been a popular place for Spanish tapas and cured meats. Over the last year, owners Maria Barona and Francisco Rodriguez have expanded, opening two more city venues including an “express” takeaway in Chifley Plaza, and this cosy restaurant in their home turf of Lane Cove.  A couple of friends and I checked it out the other night, and were pleasantly surprised by the tasty, well priced food, and the added benefit of being able to BYO.  The staff were also very attentive and friendly.

There’s lots to tempt on the largely meat and seafood menu, though there are not too many options for vegetarians.  I’d love to see something like a ceviche or fresh fish dish added to the menu. Here’s what we tried

The jamon Iberico croquettes were delicious – crispy coating and gooey cheesey centre


Scallops with a saffron cream sauce – a tasty smooth sauce and plump fresh scallops


The tortilla de patata, a potato and onion omelette, didn’t look terribly exciting on the plate but delivered on flavour


Sizzling prawns had a delicate hit of chilli and were also enjoyable


I was looking forward to the beef cheek, and it was tender, but it didn’t pack the flavour punch of a similar dish I’ve had a few times at MoVida, and it could have used a bit more cauliflower puree.


I really wanted to try the crema catalana for dessert but clearly so did everyone else as it was sold out! Next time.  I’m not big on churros as they remind me of donuts which I don’t like at all, but the girls were keen for a serve and I had a nibble – they were light and crispy.


Banquet menus are available for groups of 8 or more priced between $42 and $55, and there’s a nice range of Spanish goodies you can buy to take home.  There’s a short kiddie menu too.


Encasa Lane Cove, 132 Longueville Road, ph 02 9418 8577

Encasa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fourth Fish, Lane Cove

We’d had a manic day and no cooking was going to go on in the Napoli household that night.  So we headed up to Lane Cove to check out a recently opened seafood café in the plaza.   It’s got cute nautical theming (I like the blue chairs outside) and the staff were friendly and efficient.

There’s some good value, straight forward food going on in a casual setting.  The grilled fish and chips – take your pick of barramundi, salmon or swordfish – is a good choice at $18 and comes with a refreshing crisp salad.

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So too is the fisherman’s basket, for $26 which has a tasty fish fillet, crumbed prawn, calamari, chips, a couple of oysters and some olives.

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The chargrilled octopus was a little disappointing, a little chewy, and it was cold (I asked if was meant to be, the waiter wasn’t sure) but I did like the salad underneath.

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On the off chance you’re going to a seafood restaurant but don’t actually want seafood, there’s a steak option as well. In addition to the normal menu, there’s a selection of specials.  The lunch menu varies slightly and has a fish burger.
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Fourth Fish Café & Restaurant, 12-16 Burns Bay Road Lane Cove, ph 02 9427 4896

Fourth Fish Cafe and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stain @ The Cove, Lane Cove North

Following the successful Stain @ The Hill, the experienced team have opened up a second venue in Lane Cove North. There’s a lovely outdoor balcony, a play area with some equipment for the kids, and a good stretch of grass in front.  The balcony was a very pleasant place to sit on a nice Summer’s day.


The breakfast menu has plenty to appeal and is well priced, as are the children’s selections.

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Coffee is good and the food was great! Pictured below, clockwise are – scrambled eggs with salmon, feta scrambled eggs with black toast, French toast with yoghurt, nuts and maple syrup (absolutely delicious), and avocado toast with poached eggs.


While the lady who welcomed us was lovely and warm, our waiter was unfortunately very very grumpy, rude and abrupt. Maybe he didn’t like us? I’m hoping he was just having a bad day, as this has to be one of the best breakfasts in the 2066 postcode.

Stain @ The Cove, Corner of Mowbray and Felton Avenue, Ph (02) 9427 8083

Stain @ the Cove on Urbanspoon

Pottery Green Bakers (with a side of pho), Lane Cove


My local little homestyle bakery, the kids are pretty partial to the cupcakes and gingerbread men; you’ll also find meringues, lamingtons, and plenty of other sweet treats as well as pies, quiches and sausage rolls if you’re after something savoury, and of course a selection of bread. Me, I’m a fan of their oversized sultana scones – light and not too sweet.


Keeping true to their Vietnamese roots, the Tran family have introduced beef and chicken pho to the menu, $12. Pho at a bakery? Well, why not. Its a generous, steaming bowl, with plenty of fresh herbs and chilli sauce on the side for extra heat. The broth isn’t as flavoursome as other pho I’ve had, and the chicken is a little tough, but its a filling meal; I notice most people order the beef version, so maybe this is the better of the two.


The better pick in my mind is the Vietnamese Pork Roll ($8). Cased in a crunchy bread roll, its packed with a generous amount of salad with a tangy dressing, and worth a try.


Pottery Green Bakers, 112 Longueville Road, Lane Cove, Ph 02 9420 4793
Pottery Green Bakers on Urbanspoon

Is Via Napoli Sydney’s best pizza?

Via Napoli Pizzeria happens to share my surname. It also happens to be a couple of kilometres from my house, so I can pick up a metre long any night of the week (and I’m not talking about the stocky Italian wait staff). But unlike Luigi and his crew, I hail from further south, but thank the Napolitani for the invention of an Italian staple.

Many have claimed that Via Napoli is a contender for The Title. The place has been getting a tonne of press lately with all the big name Italian Chefs – Armando Percuoco, Adriano Zumbo, Alessandro Pavoni, and Giovanni Pilu for starters – showing up and giving it a plug. With a metre long pizza for $60, as opposed to Criniti’s $95, they pack them in night after night. There’s also a Fantasy Pizza (they really must change that name, sounds like a bad movie) every night, which is a random that pizzaoili feel like whipping up ….if you can, whisper to one of them find out if its the one with a heap of fresh seafood on it.

So does it get my vote? My favourite is still Lucio’s at Darlinghurt (sorry Luigi, but I still want to know where you got those briscola themed espresso cups) – the base, the quality of the toppings, the Lucio half pizza/half calzone – devine. The antipasto platter is great too. Via Napoli in my view has the stone oven – brought in painstakingly from The Motherland – temperature just a little too high, which can lead to a bit too much charring around the edges for my liking, and a softer centre. But its still on my list. I also like the calamari and the croquettes here.

There’s also RossoPomodoro at Balmain (don’t ask for an ‘alf and ‘alf, or pineapple, or any additions or changes for that matter, you’ll get a death stare from these pizza puritans), Popolo at Potts Point (on my to do list), Cavallino at TerryHills, and Pizza Mario in Surry Hills. I also used to be a fan of La Disfida at Haberfield, but I have not tried it since it changed hands.

In other news, no need to go to Melbourne any more, Movida has opened in Sydney! Hopefully Frank has the liver parfait with the PedroXiminez foam on the menu, and the Jamon croquetas. If not I’ll start a petition.

Have a great week

Via Napoli Pizzeria, 3/141 Longueville Road, Lane Cove, ph  (02)9428 3297

Lucio Pizzeria, 1/248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst, ph  (02) 9332 3766

Via Napoli Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Lucio Pizzeria on Urbanspoon