Tag Archives: Woolwich

Ironwood Coffee Company and Cafe, Woolwich

ironwood (10)It was time for a another Girl Crew & Mamma Rosa gathering, so we decided to check out the new kid on the Woolwich peninsula. Ironwood has moved into the space where Koi used to be, and by the looks of it, the new kid is pretty popular. We visited two weeks after opening and it was full and buzzing, a happy, relaxed casual place where you’d be happy to sit and read the paper on a lazy Sunday. It’s a bit of a “something for everyone” café menu, with burgers, salads, pasta and pizzas, going on, but there is a big Greek influence with haloumi, spanakopita, prawns saganaki and the like on offer. Most places don’t pull it off with such a broad spectrum of dishes, but they do a pretty solid job of it. Kids meals are $12 and include a drink and a scoop of ice cream which is great value. Service was a little haphazard that day but I figure they are still finding their feet in the first fortnight so will cut them some slack. Will certainly be back to try their breakfast menu (and the coffee!).

Some of what we tried that day:

Stuffed zucchini flowersironwood (4)

Haloumi with dried figironwood (5)

Slow braised octopus – meltingly tender but a little saltyironwood (6)

Beetroot and goat’s cheese saladironwood (7)

Mixed seafood plate. The soft shell crab was a bit oily and soggy, but the other components were goodironwood (8)

Mixed meat plate with some nice lambironwood (9)

Kids fish and chipsironwood (3)ironwood (2)ironwood (1)

Ironwood Coffee Company and Café, 102 Woolwich Rd Woolwich, Ph 02 9879 7770
http://www.ironwoodcoffee.com.au/

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Deckhouse, Woolwich

You can tell when it’s Summer in Sydney. We gravitate towards water, whether to swim in, sail on, or dine by. On the elegant Woolwich peninsula, around the corner from Cucinetta, you’ll find Deckhouse, part of the Dedes Group that owns Dedes, Flying Fish, and Watergrill. It’s a lovely setting, tranquil and hidden.

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The menu, as you’d expect, has plenty of seafood.

We start with some garlic bread. Rather than stock standard garlic bread, it was toasted country style sourdough with lashings of garlic butter

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Tempura crispy prawns with Asian sauce & slaw. These were enjoyable, but this wasn’t tempura – I would describe them as battered prawns instead given the thickness and texture.

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Roast duck with watercress, orange salad & peking dressing – slightly tough but very well flavoured – however it was three tiny slivers.

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Crispy soft shell crab on a pickled organic salad with chilli & green mango dressing – enjoyable and crisp

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Seared tuna with lime crust wasabi, soya & soba noodle salad.  When this came out, we had to check that it was the main course, the size meant we thought it was an entrée.  The tuna was melting, but the noodle salad bland and boring.

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Deckhouse fish & chips tempura batter & fat chips. Like the prawns, this was more a standard batter than tempura – though it was a good batter with flaky fish.  It looked like a generous plate, but there really wasn’t that much fish on there.

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Whole baked rainbow trout with wilted asian greens & tamarind glaze. A very generous dish which would have serverd two, and nice fresh Asian greens, but the tamarind was so incredibly salty that we had to scrape most of it away or the fish would have been inedible.

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Tiramisu with mascarpone & coffee chocolate bark.  A bit too dense and solid for my liking.

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Steamed fig & golden syrup pudding with hokey pokey ice cream. Good texture from the fig, but a little bit of false advertising – we got plain vanilla ice cream and not hokey pokey.

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Although the surrounds were lovely, and the staff were friendly, there were a lot of execution flaws in the food. I also found the children’s menu quite pricey (more expensive that one hatted Glass!) – the kids burger, at $17.50, consisted of a plain meat patty and bun, with some sauce, and a side of chips – what’d you’d pay for a gourmet adult burger with chips elsewhere. So I probably wouldn’t come back for lunch or dinner, but I might give breakfast a whirl given the setting.

Deckhouse, Clarke Road, Woolwich, ph (02) 9817 4394
http://deckhouse.com.au/

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Cucinetta, Woolwich

Cucinetta is Italian for “little kitchen”. And a lovely little kitchen this is in the salubrious Woolwich peninsula, looking out towards the habour bridge. Bright and light, its a great space for a relaxed lunch, admiring the city from a distance and glad that you are not a part of its busyness. Now in its seventh year, Vincenzo Mazzotta’s kitchen must be putting on a good show or the well heeled local patrons would have quickly flocked elsewhere. There’s a lot to be said for longevity in the restaurant game.

I’ve seen a few recent negative comments about the service and staff, but they seem to have heeded them, as they were attentive, welcoming, and accommodating, and we felt well looked after.

On the menu:

Pane Carasau – Sardinian Bread with mascarpone cheese and truffle honey and marinated olives.  While the cheese and honey combination was a great creamy indulgence to spread on the crispy slices, it was an incredibly small portion of cheese, and this was not at all good value for $21.

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Calamaretti – lighty fried calamari with tartare aioli. And the frying was indeed light, with no heavy sense of oil.

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Proscuitto di Parma with Buffalo Mozzarella and Caramelised Grapes.  Those grapes – a standout – and such a pretty dish, but again I thought four slices of prosciutto was a little lean.

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Vincenzo’s signature potato gnocchi with parmesan fondue, truffle, and black pepper.  Light and fluffy potato pillows, though I couldn’t really taste the truffle.

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Fresh Egg Squid Ink Linguine with crab meat, tomato, basil, parsley, and fried chilli.  This was the dish of the day for me. Silky smooth pasta, balanced tomato sauce, fresh crab, and chilli that provided a flavoursome fragrance rather than an overpowering punch.

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Grigliata – mixed grilled seafood – beautifully and simply done, as good quality seafood should be. Once again, a small serve, considering it was a main course and came with a $43 price tag.

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And to finish, ricotta canoli.  Not a great finish – pastry too thick and not as light and crisp as canoli I’m used to, and too much lemon in the ricotta.

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So the verdict – lovely surrounds, friendly staff, food with finesse and good flavours overall, but the serving sizes relative to price are disproportionate.  Italian food usually equates with generosity, and they need just a little more of it here.

Cucinetta, 103 Woolwich Rd Woolwich Ph (02) 9817 2125

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