Clipper Cafe – a bloody brilliant breakfast spot!

Date: Saturday 26 March, 2011. Suburb: Glebe. Destination: Clipper Cafe.

Last Saturday was in one word frenetic. NSW was going to the polls and voting for Barry, Glebe’s weekly Saturday markets were on and there were people everywhere, the skies kept threatening to open up and pour down and Mr ELG and I were starving! Clipper Cafe has been on the must-go list for a while but I had never quite got there until last weekend. Located at the Parramatta Road end of Glebe Point Road, it is masked by kitsch green and white awnings and peering in through the large glass windows, it looks extremely busy with people out and about already sipping their flat whites and OJs and Saturday catch-ups have long commenced. Our group of 4 are quickly seated at the end of a share bench table and within the blink of an eye, menus are in front of us and first round of coffee orders have been taken. I get the sense there’s no mucking around here and service is top of mind. Taking a first glance at the menu, it has all the Saturday-session essentials ~ eggs, avocado, sausages, bacon, smoked salmon, French toast. Personally I order the bircher muesli with pistachio, honey and poached pears. Friends choose eggs in a variety of ways; poached and baked with an assortment of tasty accompaniments. Our order is taken by someone with a great memory and no notepad and the scene is set to simply sit back, relax and get on with the goss.

As everyone is chattering away, I look around at the character of Clipper and clearly see that it has loads of that and much more. Life-size push bikes hang on the wall next to mini penny-farthings, a selection of travel books on Sicily and Guatemala entice the wandering mind and the place has a buzz, an electricity that meets the frenetic nature of outside. A sip of the coffee is satisfying; creamy and crisp in taste and feeling like we have not waited at all, breakfast is already upon us and waiting to be devoured. Each of us have food envy looking at each other’s orders. Everything is still grand.

The bircher has a subtle sweet taste and has been efficiently soaked. The pears are soft and instantly melt in the mouth. The pistachios are crunchy and add the texture required to confirm happiness in my bowl. Mary has the baked eggs which arrive in a mini red Le Creuset dish. Oozing with sauce and sausages and partnered with crunchy buttered bread, all I hear from then on is silence and satisfied slurping with a smile. Mr ELG ordered the smoked salmon and poached eggs, with capers on toast and moments later, it has also been inhaled. Claire has eggs and bacon – a Saturday standard turned superior. As I said; a bloody brilliant breakfast.

Topping it off, the bathroom was clean – always an extra tick in my box and as I wander back to my seat I notice a Ben and Jerry’s fridge full of tubs and I know I have found a great place I will go to again. The food has exceeded expectations, the coffee was ordered more than once just because it was that good, the wait-staff were polite, smiley and on the ball and while there was a sense of urgency, there was no rush and Saturday started as it’s supposed to.

Clipper Cafe @ 16 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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a great love

I am a hopeless romantic. Not a Mills and Boon type by any means but I love a good rom-com, I still subscribe to Polka Dot Bride to see all the beautiful weddings showcased even though I was married almost 12 months ago and I do believe without a doubt that my single girlfriends will find true love despite the shrinking Sydney male population of remaining eligible bachelors!

When I heard the news that Elizabeth Taylor had passed away earlier this week, I went online to ascertain more details and read a recent quote from her, “I have been supremely lucky in my life in that I have known great love.” Not just any old, plain love but a great love! Whether or not she was referring to the renowned great love between her and Richard Burton or any of her other numerous husbands and lovers; I found this to be very inspiring and and a terrific insight into her state of mind especially at the end of such a coloured life; despite the loss and heartache that goes hand in hand with the incredible highs and ultimate lows of a great love.

So what what defines a “great love“? I believe my great love is characterised by plenty of passion, equal amounts of respect, a solid friendship, undeniable sexual chemistry, a shared sense of belonging and is ever-changing and evolving. I hope this is how Elizabeth saw and felt it too…

Published in: on March 26, 2011 at 5:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Go…Eat…Love!

No, I have not gone mad and forgotten the name of my blog nor confused the flow of the verbs. Instead, let me explain…

It’s no secret that Mr ELG and I love to travel and go places. It could be a local getaway, a longer road-trip or aboard a jet-plane. Doesn’t really matter where we go because somehow it is always a given that by the time we come home, we are numerous kilograms heavier luggage-wise…all due to the innocent jam jar (most likely to be plural).

Fact: Mr ELG loves JAM. Quite unlike anyone I have ever met before. This condiment love-affair also extends to marmalades, chutneys and honeys ~ savoury or sweet and at any time that you happen to open up my pantry, there will always be a jar or maybe 10! Blackberry, Fig and Raspberry rate up there at the top of flavour chart but anything goes really. Personally, pre-Mr ELG; my favourite spread of choice on hot toast was always Nutella. A definite chocoholic morning or night; I love it thickly laden and and spread right to the edge of the crust. Jam for me as a spread was hit and miss, although from time to time, I have bought a jar of Bonne Maman’s apricot variety but I will tell you now, I do not display the same enthusiasm for jam as Mr ELG.

Last year in Tasmania, on a road-trip up the Freycinet coast leaving Port Arthur behind and en route to Swansea, we began to see signs for Kate’s Berry Farm. Unfortunately the sun had just started setting so we cruised past the signs promising to go back the next day to explore. The next day’s exploration did not disappoint and after a flurry of sugary taste-testing, we left the quaint berry farm with two jars of raspberry jam; sugarless and another variety with Cointreau.

Back at home, I remember twisting open the sugarless raspberry jar and within a week, its contents were gone. Spread, devoured by both of us ~ it was happiness in a jar.

A week ago, it was time to clean out the pantry. Looking at the shelf with its numerous jars we had collected various jams from our travels sourced from Maggie Beer, Beerenberg, St Dalfour and Christmas Hills. And there at the back behind the 20 other jars was a familiar looking black and white label. Long lost but certainly not forgotten, there had obviously been a bit of a backlog of jam to get through. It was the other jar; the Raspberry with Cointreau jam we had bought from Kate’s Berry Farm. I must admit at this moment of discovery, I let out a little squeal (it’s always the simplest things!) Throwing aside my pantry cleaning chore, bread was quickly toasted and to eat this jam was priority!

And so I deem this post GoEatLove…pretty similar I think to “I came, I saw, I conquered” as this is what I did. Having gone to Kate’s Berry Farm, I ate some jam and fell in love, on par with Mr ELG’s enthusiasm. Simple as that but admittedly spreading this Cointreau one a bit thinner; in order to enjoy every last morsel!

Kate’s Berry Farm @ 12 Addison Street, Swansea TAS

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 9:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Little Italy on Hastings Street, Noosa

I always maintain…a great restaurant is one you go back to twice, three times and then who’s really counting at that point? Especially when it’s located in another state, it’s 2 hours away and that’s just flight time.

In terms of what Aussies love to eat, I am certain that Italian food rates up there in most people’s top 5 and well for me it certainly does. I know Chinese, Indian and Japanese are favourites too in terms of our ever-evolving palates but for me, #1 is my love for a food that hails from that gorgeous Mediterranean boot of a country! I love to whip up a spag bol after work (from scratch – none of this bottled sauce for me please!), I often crave for rich lasagne with lots of bechamel sauce, I have boxes of Pastabilities Roast Duck with Star Anise ravioli in my freezer (just in case) and I cannot ever go past ordering spaghetti/linguine/fettuccine/tagilatelle/pappardelle marinara when dining in an Italian restaurant. I immediately scan a menu for this when I am in a restaurant and if I have been there before I know what I am ordering before I have sat down.

This was the case when I went back to Lindoni’s on Hastings Street, Noosa at the beginning of March this year. It was just under two years ago that I was in Noosa for the jazz festival and I dined at this al fresco Italian restaurant with black and white checkerboard tiles, handpainted pictures of Positano adorning the walls and knowledgeable waiters milling around telling me of the night’s specials. Grazing over the menu which was in both Italian and English, my eyes quickly picked up on Fettuccine Marinara al Cartoccio. The waiter explained that this was not your average marinara but baked and served in a paper bag and that this was a “fine decision!” Fine was an understatement ~ magnificent and eternally etched into memory is a better description!

Two weekends ago, I was back in Noosa on a family weekend. I said to my sisters who share my love of Italian food, “I promise this will be the highlight.” I didn’t lie. While the others purveyed the menu and ordered other tantalising tit-bits, one of my sisters and I ordered just as I had two years ago. Not just your average waiter, Tony also picked up my growing 32-week belly and omitted the mussels on my order this time around (as I mentioned above; ever-knowledgeable and on the ball). Just as my hunger pains peaked, out came the dish ~ the baking paper was removed with a flick of the wrist and out poured a steaming yet delightful version of Marinara and for the next 20 minutes it was all about me and the plate and my love affair continued.

The home-made tiramisu finished off the night for me and confirmed that when in Noosa, do as the Italian lovers do and go to Lindoni’s. Book so you’re not disappointed as the restaurant fills up most nights. And now I wonder when will I get back to Noosa next…?

Lindoni’s @ 13 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads QLD

black or white; one sugar or two?

At the ripe age of 22, I did the UK pilgrimage-2-year-visa-stint that a lot of Aussie youths find themselves doing. I had just finished Uni and could not care to look at another text book or sit through another lecture so where did I find myself ~ Plymouth, South-West England of all places. A call centre job was paying the bills and while I don’t remember much about the auto-spiel that I once could recite in my sleep to English train travelers, I do remember this lady in a blue smock and her tea trolley that rolled past my desk at 10am and 3pm every day. For 10p/day, this gave me endless cups of strongly brewed EBT otherwise known as English Breakfast Tea. Mainly a cappuccino drinker before that, this is where I deem my love for EBT truly began!


Whilst in the Barossa Valley late 2010, I visited Maggie Beer’s foodie farm and amongst other kilos of jam jars and verjuice bottles, I bought a packet of Scullery Made Tea, in particular the Barossa Breakfast blend. This loose-leaf blend leaves Twinings, T2, Lipton and any other brand for that matter to shame. With one teaspoon for me and one teaspoon for the pot, a good lug of boiling water and 3 minutes up my sleeve to give it some decent brewing time, it definitely makes one cup of damn good EBT. So far I have only seen it for purchase via Maggie Beer’s website.

Oh and if you’re wondering, I love my tea strong with one sugar and a dash of milk.

 

Published in: on March 19, 2011 at 5:27 am  Comments (3)  
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Love a good “I do”

Masked with tradition or none at all; there’s always bound to be an aisle, romance abundant in the air, a cake cutting moment, cheesy, toothy grins and of course the “I do”! I have always loved weddings. A day to celebrate the loving union of two people madly in love as they publicly declare their passionate feelings to the world. Some shout their written words like they’re on a rooftop, others cry so they’re barely heard and I have witnessed quite a few laughing through their vows as it’s always better to laugh than cry! Stepping away from in sickness and in health, I have vowed to make macaroni and cheese to my betrothed for the rest of our days.

Mr ELG and I have been to two weddings in the past five days with two more to go before the end of May. The first one was a beautiful amalgamation of Jewish and Catholic rituals with readings in French, Spanish and English set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The bride and groom set the scene immediately enticing the entire room of guests to join them in the Hora and with that; the party had started! Last night’s wedding was awash with red and white as a traditional Chinese tea ceremony took place while this bride and groom channeled John Travolta and could have been on Dancing with the Stars instead of dancing their first dance in front of their cheering guests.

And despite all the differences of each wedding there’s one tradition I like to keep to and that is looking at the groom just before the bride walks towards him. It is in this moment that I see love in its finest….bring on the next two!

Published in: on March 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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