White Taro, Surry Hills

Viet skewer chicken with green papaya and herbs in a black brioche bun with chips.

A few months have passed since my last post because you know, life happens. Christmas, family from overseas were over, a few mini holidays, the occasional bump on the road, and good ol’ work work work. All powered by caffeine, whisky and carbs, of course.

It’s probably fitting to come back with a blog post about our brunch today with some girlfriends of mine. Oh you know, the type of friendship where you don’t see each other often, but when you do there’s a mutual respect and understanding that things have been busy, I haven’t forgotten you or neglected our friendship, I appreciate the love and commitment, and let’s see each other again in 6 weeks’ time. Because that’s the kind of mature friendships that in this age, I cherish more and endeavour to invest my love, time and effort. All my girl friendships are a fruit of love, commitment and most especially, investment. The plastics and mean girls have no place in my life – this is the real, raw stuff and I love each and every one of them.

Back to brunch.

White Taro is a lovely little nook in one of my favourite Sydney suburb, Surry Hills, where parking is easy to find, the coffee is amazing, and the food is exciting. One look at the mango, papaya and prawn salad and you know it’s the perfect summer meal to have with friends.

Green papaya, mango, herbs, and prawn salad
Crispy skin salmon in a black brioche bun
Chook in a broth – grilled chicken in a spiced broth with mushrooms and egg
Waffles with salted caramel bacon, egg and oat ginger crumbs

White Taro
67 Albion Street
Surry Hills Nsw 2010
Open Tuesday – Sunday 8am – 4pm


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Los Vida at The Canteen, Barangaroo

Mexico is one country I would love to visit in this lifetime. Because I mean, who doesn’t? The food, music, festivals, and the people are all so lively and colourful, it would be a beautiful sensation overload and one trip that I know will go down the books.

In the meantime, I was privileged to be invited to Los Vida’s newly opened branch at The Canteen, Barangaroo precinct. Oh you know, just those three towers rising from the construction site off Kent St in the city. The site where a promise of glitz and glamour looms in near future, where apparently we shall find (in the next few years) ‘the greenest global residential, shopping and business centre in the world’. It was a lovely walk from my office to the middle tower, where the food court aptly named ‘The Canteen’ can be found brimming with take away food counters (and hungry office and construction people alike). I genuinely loved the buzz of lunchtime people walking around, thinking of what to eat, and the shops eagerly preparing for the massive hungry exodus.

We were greeted by Ulysees from Los Vida at the extremely busy Los Vida counter, and we pretty much just let him decide what our Mexican fiesta lunch would be. He excitedly gave us a quick whiz around the exciting menu and the unfamiliar Mexican fare that, after sampling them, pretty much changed my views of Mexican food. I initially had ideas of nachos and tacos of the Tex-Mex kind: covered in cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa and jalapenos. What Los Vida offered was more of a refreshing, light, and extremely tasty Mexican affair. I was worried that I would trot back to the office feeling sluggish, heavy and sleepy, but I lasted the rest of the afternoon feeling full but content, as the whole meal packed a lot of flavour, and yet satisfyingly light and tasty.

Thanks to Los Vida for the invitation, and the colourful Mexican workweek lunch! Trish and Mr J dined as a guest of Los Vida at The Canteen, Barangaroo.

Tuna and scallops ceviche
Tequenos – South American cheese sticks with chipotle mayo
Gorditas – corn dough filled with beef picadillo and serve with green sauce
Jarritos soft drinks – more sugar than the normal Coca Cola! Definitely reminds me of the softdrinks from the Philippines in flavour and sugar content!
Tacos – chipotle beef, guajillo lamb and beer batter barramundi. Extra credit for the fried jalapenos and the chipotle mayo, because these soft tacos were AMAZING!
Chilaquiles – corn nacho chips in the adobo spicy beans and mushroom topping, topped with guacamole, cheese, sour cream, salsa verde, and queso fresco. Served with three types of chilli sauces (that chipotle sauce is a winner through and through, but the habanero also packed a mean punch!).

Los Vida, Barangaroo
Tower 2, The CanteenBarangaroo South, Hickson Rd
Open Monday – Friday from 11am – 3pm

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Sunday Slowdown | Local Mbassy, Ultimo

Next weekend, do yourself a favour and block out your whole morning. Stroll down to Wattle Street, Ultimo, turn to Local Mbassy and say hello to Marcus Gorge and his uber curled ‘tache, and park yourself on one of the upcycled furniture. Order a flat white, eggs benedict, and maybe (just maybe) a red velvet pancake for good measure.

Look up at the beautiful bronze lights, exposed piping, hanging running flora, and the graffiti and mural work by local artist Sid Tapia. The interiors and creativity are just absolutely beautiful – everything makes sense in this place, from the chairs, tables, cutlery and lights to the coffee, food, and customer service.

Sip your heart-warming Campos coffee, and look down at your beautifully stacked red velvet pancakes and gloriously hollandaise sauce-draped eggs benedict. Or maybe fancy a decent serving size of pork belly with pineapple chunks and a beautiful assortment of root vegetables, zucchini and onions?

On your way out, maybe grab a take away cronut and/or cruffin for that snack that you know you’ll crave for that afternoon.

The Local Mbassy
310 Wattle Street, Ultimo
(02) 8084 3467

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