Archives for posts with tag: Brunch

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With so many cafes and restaurants on offer on Darling Street, Balmain, it’s easy to miss a good one – especially when you find a cafe or two that you can’t seem to go past on account of their high standards of food and service. Ciao Thyme has been one such cafe for me, just that little bit further from the main cluster of shops and restaurants so handy to my own front door. Yet this weekend I was rewarded by my efforts to go the extra (half) mile and have found another brunch hot spot to add to my treasury of favourites.

A small but airy and inviting corner cafe, Ciao Thyme has an italian inspired selection of deli foods including quiches, sandwiches, pastries and salads as well as a blackboard list of breakfast menu items cooked to order with most of the usual suspects on offer. It’s quiet when we go but clear that it’s a well run and efficient business with attentive staff and fresh food well done, without pretence.

Although I could easily have chosen any of the deli items presented with today, I settled on the smoked trout, rocket and eggplant quiche, beautifully made, with a flaky buttery pastry that didn’t buckle under its filling. To accompany said quiche, I chose a sweet potato salad with chickpea, feta, olives and parsley, which delivered a satisfying combination of flavours and textures, and inspired me to become a little more adventurous with my own salads. My sister’s toasted chorizo focaccia might have provoked some envious sidelong glances had I not been so distracted by the deliciousness of my own lunch. All such feelings were avoided at the dessert stage as we made an amicable decision to share a raspberry and almond slice with coffee that, both agreed, was the best we’ve tried in Balmain to date.

Ciao Thyme is everything you want your local cafe to be – casual but distinctive in character, with a regular rotation of seasonal dishes (which I know because I walk past here most days of the week) and high quality produce. Now to make up for the many months it’s taken me to discover it!

Ciao Thyme, 212 Darling Street, Balmain, NSW 2041 (02) 9555 5455

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Euforia sits at the sleepy harbour end of Darling Street in East Balmain, a corner cafe with an enviable view of the harbour bridge and a general vibe of sun drenched happiness due to its north facing aspect. For lovers of shade however, there is seating inside with a great view of the street outside. The menu offers the very best of most breakfast genres as well as an appealing selection of Italian flatbread and grilled sourdough sandwiches for lunch. The coffee is good and it’s clear that the standard of delivery is high in the barista’s corner. This doesn’t appear to be the only area of finesse however, as everything I’ve had from the kitchen has also been without fault. On my last visit I had the poached eggs rolled in quinoa on sourdough with fresh avocado, and my sister ordered the American Bacon Breakfast plate, from which I may or may not have surreptitiously pinched some tasty green olives 😉 Both meals are on my go-to list for future visits and I’m also particularly keen to try the french toast brioche with blueberry compote, vanilla ricotta, almonds and honey.

What I love about Euforia: I’ve been here three times since moving to Balmain and on each occasion my most lasting impression has been the friendliness of service and welcoming atmosphere. However, I would hate to neglect the fact that the quality of food is also one of the reasons I will keep going back. Oh, and three other little words to mention: All Day Breakfast! Nothing more to be said 😉

58 Darling Street, Balmain East, Sydney, Australia, 2041. Mon – Fri 6:30 am – 2:00 pm, Sat – Sun 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. (02) 9810 9969

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I’ve been promising a friend to do some baking as a very belated birthday gift, so I thought I’d finally hop to it and share with you this great recipe for Lime + Passionfruit Friands. It’s a tried and true recipe torn out of a magazine by my mum some years ago now and I guarantee it’s a winner!

Lime + Passionfruit Friands

3/4 cup plain flour

1 and 1/3 cup pure icing sugar

100g almond meal

2 tsp lime rind

5 egg whites

1/3 cup passionfruit pulp

Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease six 1/2 cup friand pans. Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl, then stir in the almond meal and lime rind. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until frothy, then fold into the dry mixture with a large metal spoon until just combined. Gently fold in the passionfruit pulp. Spoon the mixture into the friand pans until they’re about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted to the centre of a friand comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, dust with icing sugar and devour.

Bon Appétit xo