The Middle Feast – Merrylands West

The Middle Feast is a Lebanese Restaurant that serves a wide range of menu. They are popular for their Lebanese food but you can also find your everyday western food with a Lebanese touch that creates a tasty ‘east meets west’ experience. Looking at their extensive menu, you won’t be hungry leaving this restaurant!

It was our first visit and upon entering the restaurant we were surprised to see how spacious it was. The vibe was pretty cool and exotic with a middle eastern touch on the decor. With large seating area, this venue would definitely be suitable if you have a large group of family and friends dining in together.

If you just want to chill and have a casual drink, they have comfortable couches with cushions.

There is also a more private and secluded room that has more of a fine dining feel to it. The décor is beautiful and elegant with blue as the dominant colour and the extravagant lighting in the room added a touch of extra glamour.

At the time of writing they are open for lunch and dinner on the weekends and dinner only from Tuesday to Friday.

It took us a while to choose what to order as every dish in the menu sounded so extremely delicious.
With suggestions and help from Zayd, the restaurant owner, we finally decided on several popular dishes to try.

While waiting for the feast we started with coffee and the Mango Magic Smoothie. I really love this refreshing and indulgent smoothie. What a great way to start!

As we were seated, we were served the deep fried Lebanese bread with pickles. These deep fried goodies are so irresistible!

Then we continued with the refreshing salad, Fatoush and tasty Mezza Platter consisting of 2 lamb sambousek, 2 cheese sambousek and 2 fried kebbe.

Of course I had to order one of my favourites – Falafel!

Next was the Trio Dips. The perfect dish if you want to enjoy freshly baked bread with 3 awesome dips (baba ghanouj, labne and hummos). My favourite was the baba ghanouj.

For the main we had the Mixed Meat Platter and the Kafta Burger.
Let’s start with the Mixed Meat Platter. Wow! I couldn’t even pick my favourite as I love all the chicken, lamb and kafta skewers. Served with a generous amount of delicious garlic sauce, charcoaled tomato, onion and chilli peppers, it’s a highly recommended dish!

The Kafta Burger next. This dish was easy to love! The burger came in quite a generous size. With a tasty kafta patty, tabouli and grilled haloumi cheese on Turkish pide bread, this Lebanese style burger is distinctively delicious and a must try.

Now let’s talk about dessert. Seeing the Chocokebab on the dessert menu, I had to ask Zayd for some more details about it as I was intrigued to see how the Chocokebab machine works.

It was very cool to see how the cremino chocolate was shaved and then placed into a kebab. This time we had the Nutella and fruits Chocokebab. The crepe was sweet and spongy, filled with cremino chocolate shavings, strawberry and banana then drizzled with Nutella.

As you can see, the chocokebab looks very appetising and mouth-watering! It was definitely a delightful sweet treat.

There’s always room for more desserts so here came the Middle Feast Delights:
Baklawa, Namoura and Shaabeit. All are sweet and decadent but my favourites were the baklawa and shaabeit.
We also had some strong Arabic coffee, giving this feast a memorable ending.

We really had an amazing dining experience at The Middle Feast and for sure the feast was wonderful and memorable!

* Foodblogs dined as guests of The Middle Feast.

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Macchina Espresso – Beecroft

Nicely tucked inside Beecroft Place, this brand new cafe (just opened on 20th September 2017) offers new excitement to the local community. 

I love the fact that they’re sourcing local produce and support Beecroft’s ‘plastic bag free’ movement. 

The venue’s decor is modern with a black and white colour palette and marble design. 


I was very honoured to be invited by the Manager and the Chef, Ashleigh Favaloro, to visit this newly opened Macchina Espresso in Beecroft.

Having been a customer at Macchina Espresso on Wentworth in Parramatta, I knew that I would love their coffee and menu as well.


Their menu is not extensive but represents popular dishes that are easily becoming crowd pleasers. As a lover of burgers, their Southern Fried Chicken Burger instantly called my name when I saw the menu. So I had to order one.

Southern Fried Chicken Burger


I loved it! The fried chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. The melted American cheese, bacon, tasty harissa mayo and soft toasted bun perfected the burger. And the beer battered chips.. quite crispy and perfectly seasoned. The large size of the burger has definitely added an extra smile to my face. Highly recommend.


The next dish I ordered was the Waffle Madness. Having seen this beauty on Instagram, I couldn’t resist ordering one. 

Waffle Madness

Who doesn’t love a variety of indulgent goodies that are beautifully plated? Buttery Belgian waffle, ‘falling ice cream’, Nutella, Oreos, fresh fruit, meringue and cream. I love how the different textures and flavours work brilliantly together, creating a mouthwateringly delicious dish without being overly sweet. 

Ashleigh recommended me to try their yoghurt pannacotta. Oh boy, I’m glad I said yes! It’s like art on a plate!

Yoghurt Pannacota

Don’t you agree that it’s almost too pretty to eat? The pannacota is soft, tangy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Complemented with the macadamia crumble (love the crunch!), meringue and fresh fruit it was definitely a beautiful dish and the perfect way to end the meal. 


The coffee game is strong here, as expected from Macchina Espresso.

They also serve signature juices and signature shakes. During this visit I tried ‘Summer Breeze’ and protein booster shake, as highlighted by the name.. ‘The Hulk’. The Summer Breeze is so refreshing and light as a breeze, whereas The Hulk is just as satisfying as a meal and can sustain your hunger for hours!


The sweet temptations on display had to wait for next time unfortunately as I was already so full. 


Overall it was a very nice dining experience and I can’t wait to see more exciting dishes on offer in the future of this newbie!

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Macchina Espresso Beecroft with some part of the meals provided complimentary.

Chow Bella Cafe – Lidcombe

Located inside Lidcombe Shopping Centre, this friendly and casual Cafe that was established in 2006 has really impressed me with their extensive and exciting menus.

I was very fortunate to be able to meet and chat with the chef and CEO, Sean Miskin. He is really passionate in what he’s doing and always tries to produce different and unique signature dishes for customers to explore. From your early morning at work, Sunday brunch ’til your late night craving, they’ve got you covered.


At the time of writing, they also have weekday breakfast and lunch specials as well as hot dinner specials.


If you love coffee and cake, this ‘not-to-be-missed’ special is waiting for you!

Gorgeous looking cakes!

Let’s begin this mouth-watering journey Chow Bella style. During my first visit Sean suggested that I try one of their best sellers, ‘Mexican Surprise’. What a nice surprise indeed! Perfectly cooked poached eggs on top of sourdough. Love the salsa, crisp leek (my favourite ‘surprise’) and guacamole. Charred corn, dried coconut/onion and dukka complement the dish. I don’t mind these kind of delicious surprises any day!

Mexican Surprise

Sean also suggested that I try their Lamb Burger (as if he knows I’m a burger lover!). I love it! Succulent and tender grilled lamb pattie, lettuce, tomato and onion topped with oh-so-good aioli and hummus. And the seasoned fries complement the burger nicely!

Lamb Burger

Then came the magical and indulgent Rocky Road French Toast. Turkish delight, marshmallows and velvety chocolate ganache stuffed between two soft pieces of brioche. Then topped with delicate and soft Persian fairy floss, berries, granulated nuts and toasted coconut. Delish!

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Rocky Road French Toast

The next dish is a matcha made in heaven! I really adore these matcha pancakes. They are beautifully smooth with just a hint of bitterness that perfectly complements the ice cream, fresh berries and a big drizzle of spicy cinnamon maple syrup. I also love the crunchy elements from the granola and toasted coconut. No wonder this dish is one of their best sellers.

Matcha Pancakes

I was intrigued to try their Korean fried chicken burger during my first visit. So when I visited them the second time I ordered this crispy Korean style fried chicken with tasty sweet chilli and aioli sauce. The milk bun is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. With 17 hand-picked seasoning ingredients, these fries are crispy and full of flavour.

Korean Fried Chicken Burger

As for the dessert, the Rocky Road Bomb has been calling my name for a while so I gotta have it!

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Rocky Road Bomb

There are 8 ingredients in this drool-worthy, sweet indulgent freaky shake, including Persian fairy floss, cronut (yes!), Nutella, marshmallows, coconut and nuts. Definitely a must have!

The amazing looking designer cakes and macarons on display are so tempting but they have to wait for next time!

Macarons

Designer Cakes

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Chow Bella Cafe.

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Cook & Co Casual Dining – Auburn


Located in the multicultural suburb of Auburn, this Turkish influenced, family-friendly, 100% Halal Restaurant offers a wide variety of menus. From Turkish inspired dishes, breakfast options that are worth waking up early for, burgers, wood fired pizza, charcoal grill, dessert and amazing coffee!

They have two separate dining areas and both are spacious and large enough to accommodate many guests.

I love the simple yet beautiful decor with a mix of light and dark wood colours, elegant lighting and touch of greenery on the ceiling and on the walls.


When choosing the breakfast menu, Cook & Co Breakfast caught my eye. I love having a little bit of ‘everything’ on my plate for the most important meal of the day.

What a perfect choice I made! Generously portioned, every single element works together nicely. I adore the freshly baked Zataar bread. Having it dipped in creamy labne, yum! The beef sausages have a distinctive tasty flavour, definitely not the usual beef sausages I normally taste – these are much better!

A great cup of coffee from Toby’s Estate is the perfect company.


Then I had one of their most sought after dishes, the ‘pretty as a picture’ French Toast!


Served with perfectly caramelised banana, fresh berries, mascarpone cheese and maple syrup, this French Toast is an utterly sweet temptation that’s hard to resist!

On my second visit to Cook & Co I tried one of their signature dish: half rack of Wood fire Lamb Shoulder that is slow cooked for 10 hours in their rotating wood fired oven.


This beautifully presented dish brings a wonderful aroma when it arrived on the table. What a top notch dish. Being slow cooked for 10 hours, the lamb is infused with flavour, tender, succulent and fall of the bone delicious. And the little bit of extra fat on the lamb, yes please!

I definitely don’t miss the rice on this dish as the perfectly cooked bulghur pilaf is not only healthier but even more tasty. All working in harmony alongside the crispy pastirma, salad and labne, making this dish a very satisfying meal indeed.

These mouth-watering cakes on display have to wait for next time!


As printed on their wall, “Eat well, laugh often, love much”, that’s exactly what I’m gonna do!

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Cook & Co.

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Hills Organics – Dural


Whether you are into organic, natural, Paleo, low-carb, being raw or plant-based, gluten-free, dairy free or a food enthusiast who loves all kinds of food like me, this wholefoods Cafe and one stop Shop will accomodate your needs and satisfy your cravings!


Tucked inside Dural Business Park, Hills Organics offers not only a great selection of nourishing and nutritious dishes from their relatively new Cafe, but also extensive wholefood products from their previously established Shop that sells ready-made meals, nuts, bread, baking and cooking products, sauces, protein goodies, snacks, vitamins, bath & body products, kids’ products and many more.. even make-up!



I love the welcoming and relaxing atmosphere with the additions of the greenery throughout the store. With the comfortable couch, cushions and all the meaningful writing on the plaques on the wall I really do feel like I’m at home.


Sitting outside while enjoying the sunshine is cosy too!


As for your little ones, they will definitely appreciate the playing corner equipped with wooden train table and toys. Obviously kids meals are available for the young ones to enjoy.


Coming here, I was intrigued to try their ‘Warm Vegan Waffles’, from their all day breakfast menu. Oh boy, not only they are beautifully presented, these organic, vegan and gluten-free waffles are delightful and indulgent. The CocoWhip soft serve that I chose as an extra option definitely makes the waffles even more special.

Warm Vegan Waffles

I’ve never had Cocowhip before. How impressive! It’s smooth, creamy and delicious that I almost forget it’s natural, vegan, dairy free and refined sugar free!

I certainly do recommend getting these vegan waffles for an indulgent and wholesome breakfast to kick-start your morning.


Next.. coffee and dessert of course!


I’m usually not a fan of organic coffee but their organic and 100% fair-trade coffee is amazing!

Then decisions, decisions.. looking at their irresistible raw treats on display, I decided to try their house-baked, raw and organic lemon cheesecake. It took me a bit of time to decide as the raw Mars bar and white chocolate cake also looked appetizing.



I definitely made the right choice. The lemon cheesecake is hands down the best raw cake I have had so far this year! Despite being vegan and gluten free, I don’t miss the expected richness from the ‘cheese’. This rich dessert definitely won me over with its delicious crumbs from the base and the creaminess from the cake itself. Brings absolute happiness to my day!

Raw Lemon Cheesecake & Organic Coffee

As for the last words, I totally agree with what’s written on their wall, “Happiness is not a destination. It is a way of life.”

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Hills Organics.

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Ironbark Diner – Dural

This fine dining restaurant has rustic, beautiful decor and an ambience that gives off a relaxed and cozy feeling. I felt like I was in the country!

They have a wide range of modern cuisines, including gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. It’s exciting to know how ‘flexible’ their menus are. At the time of writing, from Tuesday to Sunday 7.30am – 2.30pm, they have various meal options including breakfast, light meals, lunch and dinner kind of meals like sirloin steak and beer batter barramundi. Meaning if you’re dreaming of juicy and hearty sirloin steak the night before you can have it for breakfast! They have even more exquisite menus in the afternoon (2.30pm-6pm) and for dinner (from 6pm onwards).


The first meal I had was the mushroom katsu burger. I really adored the burger. The mushroom patty is large and flavourful, soft on the inside and very crispy on the outside (yum!). With the creaminess from the mayo and the sweetness from the caramelised onions, this burger gives a wonderful and satisfying balance of flavours – I almost forget it was vegan!

Then I had the wild mushroom risotto.
The risotto was perfectly cooked. The crunchy almond, the added saltiness from the danish feta and a touch of pepper really perfect the dish!



If only I wasn’t full and satisfied, I would try their beautiful desserts and selection of cakes, pastries and slices. Maybe next time!


*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Ironbark Diner.

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Ironbark Diner
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The Ginger Tiger – Parramatta

What a great new addition to Parramatta! This Asian fusion restaurant has just opened in May 2017 and is located inside the newly re-furbished Collector Hotel. With a wide variety of Southeast Asian dishes and signature drinks, this vibrant restaurant really excites me!


They have a spacious dining area which includes indoor and outdoor seating. With painted wall murals this amazing, I can imagine how cool it would be to have a party or function there.


I was very fortunate to be able to meet and chat with one of the restaurant owners, Vonnie. As a foodie herself, not only she enjoys good food but is also passionate about it and tries to produce delicious dishes for customers to explore and enjoy.

For the entree, Vonnie recommended the Nam kao (crispy rice salad). Wow! I’m glad she did!  It’s an addictive mix of flavours and textures. Crispy, crunchy, sweet, sour and just a bit spicy, it creates a perfectly balanced symphony of flavours. And those chunks of ‘Asian ham’, distinctly delicious! If you visit this restaurant one day, by all means, get it.

Then I continued with my first main, Penang curry. It is so delicious and full of flavour. Tender meat and various fresh veggies drenched in a rich, mildly spicy, sweet and creamy curry sauce. Have it with a bowl of steamed rice, making it a complete and satisfying dish.

And of course I have to try their rice (Thai fried rice) and noodle (Pad see ew). As expected, both dishes brought authentic and beautiful flavours to the table and transported me to Thailand!


When I heard that they have a manager’s special dessert menu, I couldn’t resist to try! It’s a deep fried ice cream that not only looks artistic on the plate but also tastes great! What’s hiding behind the chocolate ‘wall’ is the beautiful and smooth ice cream, deep fried and covered in crispy pastry. Have it with cream, berry coulis and indulgent dark and white chocolates.. what a delectable treat!


With all these mouth-watering menus, I recommend you to visit this restaurant. And of course, the beautiful and colourful decor will make your visit even more memorable!

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of The Ginger Tiger.

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The Ginger Tiger
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Sahara Turkish Restaurant Grill – Parramatta

Conveniently located on Argyle St, the dining precinct of Westfield Parramatta, this Restaurant offers a fine balance of authentic Turkish, Middle East & Mediterranean cuisine. With a mix of modern and Middle Eastern influenced decor, it gives off a warm and exotic dining experience.


The first main meal I had was the Lamb Shanks. Cooked to perfection with the succulent meat falling off the bone, these oven-braised lamb shanks are the epitome of comfort food. Served with beautiful red bourgogne sauce poured over broccoli and a bed of smooth, buttery and flavourful mashed potatoes. Absolutely divine!

From one amazing meal to another, I continued my exotic culinary journey with Topkapi Guvech. It’s a traditional claypot casserole dish of tender lamb and vegetables. Baked in a clay pot and accompanied with pilaf rice. The rice has such a great flavour that I can just enjoy it by itself! With a little bit of spicyness, this dish really warms my soul. Love the addition of the warm bread that comes in handy to dip and soak the extra liquid that is too good to leave out.


When you think your journey is over, here comes the loveliest surprise of all! Introducing Mammas Surprise (Kunefe). This elegant and luscious dessert really transports me to the magical Middle East! It’s an ultimate baklava with ricotta cheese, layered with stretched kadayifi string pastry that is served warm from the oven. Topped with ice cream and angel hair. I love how the different textures and temperatures combined nicely together in my mouth and presented a delightful sweet symphony.


Full with satisfaction I then have to end this delectable journey.. but not before I enjoy the intense flavour of the hot Turkish apple tea!

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Sahara Parramatta.

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Sahara Restaurant

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White Henry Espresso Bar – Parramatta

Can’t agree enough with what they said on their website: “We’re hidden away but worth finding and certainly worth coming back to.”

Reading many reviews about how good their coffee was, I was intrigued to try it myself. Well, tasting is believing. They are hidden indeed, but as I got closer to them, I saw many people lining up to order coffee. And it was a chilly morning!


So I ordered a skinny flat white along with smashed avocado with poached egg (which was cooked perfectly btw!).


Oh boy! Amazing coffee for sure! Aromatic and strong (just the way I like it).



Will definitely be back! Oh, and one more (important) thing, as this blog is being written they have a ‘Happy Hour’ coffee special from 2.30-3.30pm for only $2.50.

You’re welcome 🙂

*Foodblogs dined as a guest of White Henry.

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Moss Bros Dessert and Brunch Cafe, Rouse Hill

This fairly new Café (opened in April 2017) within the Rouse Hill Town Centre precinct has cool, young and trendy vibes. During my first visit, I was very fortunate to be able to chat with Jackie, who runs the Café. His passion is to serve food with fresh and high quality ingredients.
The first dish I had was their house granola. Not only looked pretty on the plate, but tasted amazing too! The combo of granola, coconut chips, Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit worked perfectly, particularly because the granola was crunchy & nutty with just enough sweetness.
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On my second visit I decided to try their French Toast. Pretty as a picture!
Elegant. Delicious. Indulgent.
Oh, and one more thing worth mentioning.  Coffee was awesome (Campos)!

moss

Next time I’ll try their gorgeous desserts on display!
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*Foodblogs dined as a guest of Moss Bros Rouse Hill.

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Moss Bros Rouse Hill
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Moss Bros Dessert and Brunch Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato