Ribs and Burgers, Zetland, Sydney

Hanging out in the hip new area of Zetland where high density living space has created the need for a small shopping complex to be built in order to support the needs of the ever growing Zetland community. Luckily for us, this complex also provides for a variety of eateries to enjoy.

This Saturday we decided to try Ribs and Burgers. Burgers are becoming ever increasingly popular with sooo many pubs and restaurants springing up everywhere to meet the demand. Ribs and Burgers is a chain that focuses on the aforementioned items.

Chicken burger - free range chicken, ice berg lettuce, tomato and Spanish onion and Cajun sauce - $13.50 - A pretty decent burger but at the same time a bit simple for the price. A crusty bread roll, lightly toasted so that it provided a slight crunch. The chicken lovely and char grilled, though the highlight was the sauce. A tad spicy, the sauce packed plenty of flavour without being overwhelming.

Regular fries $6 - I had a bit of a craving for fries so went for the 'regular' option rather than the $4 'side' option. When the fries (which more like chips) arrived - I saw the bowl and grinned with glee that I had chosen the larger option. But... this grin turned to a grimace - see the photos below...

1. A deep deep salad bowl full of chips was plonked at the table - nice!

2. Peering inside, the chips which golden brown and the first chip proved to be the perfect formula of outside crunch with soft inside potato.

3. But under the chips was a piece of paper - that effectively reduced the bowl size by at least 90%!
This was no longer worth the $6 price tag! Especially as I had just passed a KFC that had a sign advertising $1 large chips!!!

Why would they do this?? Really they should just use a shallow plate and reduce the price

Ribs & Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2108 Espresso, Palm beach North

The next morning at Palm beach we wandered over to the North end - where the ocean wave pool and the surf life saving club sits. It was early - around 9am and the beach was already absolutely packed. I guess it helped that it was a scorching hot 30 degree summer day, but it also just goes to show how beach mad this town really is.

Being an atrocious swimmer myself, I instead opted to enjoy myself at a nearby cafe.

Poached eggs and avocado - an average dish - egg was cooked nicely and the avocado was sliced and sourdough toasted. It didn't really justify the price tag unfortunately.

Pancakes with berries and icecream - the berries provided a nice sour contrast to the sweetness of the icecream but the pancakes themselves were unfortunately overdone to the point that it was almost a biscuit, lol.

You can't win them all and so we just sipped our coffee and enjoyed the sights of the sand and the waves.

2108 Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Crust Pizza - Simply better range launch, Bondi beach

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Crust Pizza. All opinions and comments are my own.

I'm normally pretty blasé about marketing events but when I was offered an exclusive invite to the launch of Crust Pizza's new 'Simply Better' range of pizzas I couldn't resist.

Crust Pizza has been our go to pizza for State of Origin nights for soooo many years now. Whenever the boys come over for the series, at least 1 of those 3 nights we would call our local Crust and get enough pizza to feed the crew as well as have for leftovers the next day. Over the years we've provided tried most of the flavours and we end up usually falling back to our favourites which inevitably includes Peri Peri chicken. Other flavours we tried which weren't so favoured included Peking duck - a strange fusion which had bok choy and slices of duck meat but pretty much just tasted like Hoisin sauce, lol.

Anyways, hearing that Crust Pizza were going back to the drawing board and launching new pizza flavours (woot!) I just had to go and try them out. The launch was at Bondi beach - right at the forecourt area (a bit of a pain to get to – the government should have just made a train line that went straight to the beach!) and involved a small fenced of area and a portable kitchen. Entertainment was provided by some local artists but we know that everyone there was really there for the pizzas :P

The new range is called the 'Simply Better' range and whilst they have stuck to their tradition of creating unique pizza flavours that aren't usually offered by the other pizza chains, the new trend here seems to be towards a slightly healthier spin. This can be seen through their use of spelt and wholemeal pizza bases which are reportedly more nutritious and healthier than traditional types of flour based pizza bases and a focus on fresh ingredients such as the marinated spiced meats which are cooked in house at each pizza shop.

Concept display at the venue

The person running us through the details of this new range was actually one of the franchisees of Crust (whose name I have forgotten >_<) and I was pleasantly surprised by the knowledge that he had as well as his passion towards pizzas. Throughout the night he was either presenting about pizzas, talking about pizzas to the guests or in the kitchen working on preparing the pizzas. He was particularly proud of the produce used in the pizzas, highlighting the ‘paddock to plate’ aspect as well as how pretty much all the ingredients are locally sourced.

The franchisee presenting the new pizza range

Now straight on to the pizzas. The pizzas tried and tested are below. Apologies for the grainy imagery as it was getting quite dark by this stage.

Biltong Spiced Lamb - $21 for a large - We first got to try the main ingredient of the Biltong spiced lamb on its own first before trying the pizza. Biltong is a blend of South African herbs which is used here to coat the lamb. Seriously mouthwatering – it wasn’t a taste combination that I had previously tried, but the herbs made the lamb so much more succulent if that is even possible.

The pizza itself had the lamb, broccolinni, pine nuts, lemon yoghurt dressing and notably a significant amount of chilies. And these chilies were hot! The spelt base didn’t have much difference in taste but the base did seem a bit crisper. Best part of the pizza was of course the lamb. 

Harissa Hummus Chicken - $21 for a large. The unique thing about this pizza was the Hummus base! If you love hummus then this is a must try. Other toppings included chickpeas, almond slivers, and capsicum, garnished with rocket and drizzled with mint yoghurt.

The kitchen frantically at work to get us our pizzas

Wagyu Shoga -$21 for a large – Apparently shoga means ginger in Japanese and you can definitely taste it on this pizza. Those flakes on top you see there are basically all ginger. Actually this was my favourite of the night but I am a notable ginger fan. The other toppings included Wagyu beef, wild mushroom, capsicum and the infamous hoisin sauce – luckily this time it wasn’t overpowering.

As you can see below, the chilies here are on the side :P

Crust website for your reference is www.crust.com.au


The Boathouse, Palm Beach

'Closer each day..... home and awayyyyyyy' - this weekend I was up at Palm beach - yes this is the same place that everyone's favourite Aussie soap is filmed. Unfortunately they weren't filming on this day so we missed out on seeing and buff beach bods, but as a consolation, we got to have brunch at the uber cool Boathouse at Palm Beach.

Rocking up around 11am, the place already buzzing with patrons. It's grab your own table kind of place where you order at the counter, grab a number and the staff bring out your food. It's also fully licensed so feel free to order a cheeky dozen of ciders or two.

Be warned that on weekends this place is absolutely chockers. The line for food was literally out the door the whole we were there and although the food didn't take tooooo long to come out, if you're not the patient type you will be in trouble.

The kitchen is bustling with staff and dishes are being pumped our fast and furious styles, but there is still a bit of a wait - especially if you go at peak times.

Bucket of prawns with seafood sauce and sourdough - $39 - the most simplest of pleasures. Fresh chilled prawns. Super fat, super juicy. Dipped into housemade tangy seafood sauce on a hot summers day. Can not go wrong.

View from the deck as we munched on our prawns

Beer battered flathead - $29 - Crispy yet moist morsels of fish flesh served in a dim sum steamer. Housemade tartare with a bed of thick cut, twice fried chips that were crunchy yet soft on the inside.

As we left, the courtyard tables began to bake and the line still snaked out to the curb...

The Boathouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ripples at Chowder Bay, Sydney North

I've been spending some time in the northern Sydney suburbs lately, mainly lounging around the harbourside locations, doing coastal walks and enjoying the beaches they have on offer. On this occasion, we were in Clifton gardens for lunch at Ripples, Chowder Bay.

A gorgeous sunny day  meant that the place was packed. This meant the deck seating (which has an amazing view of the beach and water) was booked out and we had to sit inside, which isn't that bad. Service is attentive and quick, and if you have a certain Citibank credit card, this is a participating restaurant where you can get a free bottle of wine.

Yamba prawns - split prawns, garlic, chili, lemon, parsley and smoked capsicum powder- 4 for $32 - Amazingly simple but delicious prawns. It normally comes in 3 but because we were sharing we asked for an extra prawn. The prawn meat was fat and juicy and the lemon provided that extra zing.

Beef tenderloins with white sweet potato, shitake ketchup, burnt onion crumble, edamame and beef jus - $36  - Wow. This beef was so amazingly soft and tender it was ridiculous. I literally don't remember when I last had beef this tender. Would have been perfect with a dollop of creamy mash, but the roast sweet potato wasn't bad either.

Barramundi bouillabaisse with scallop, clams mussels, sweet potato and sourdough - $35 - The other main we got was the barramundi. A piece of crispy skinned barra in a soup base teeming with seafood flavour. Throw in a few pippies, mussels, clams and a single scallop and it was even better. My only complaint - in the words of Manu - more sauce!

Orange cake, matcha crumble, orange gel, poppy seeds, pistachio gelato - $15 - To finish the meal we got a light orange cake. Given our mains were quite rich, we wanted something light and refreshing and this was perfect. The cake was packed with tangy orange flavour and the matcha crumble provided the perfect contrast.

Ripples at Chowder Bay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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