Here we go folks. These are my favourite eats for July!Across the road from my favourite pub meal venue The Henson sits Illi Hill, a busy cafe in an old corner grocery store building. Having visited when they had only been open for a couple of weeks, I was interested to see how they were doing a few months down the track.
With no booking, a party of five turning up unannounced on a Sunday morning was a gamble. The staff were incredibly accommodating asking us to give them a few minutes while they put a table together. As one who doesn’t need caffeine, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit ripped off when you order a hot sub-standard hot chocolate due to the venue being so focussed on great coffee. Well friends, my soy hot chocolate arrived in a big mug, it was creamy and the chocolate certainly didn’t taste like the powdery cheap stuff. Happy days!
For eats I had the mushroom on sourdough with cherry tomatoes. Also at the table was an avocado smash (sans cheese), baked eggs and the winter porridge with rhubarb, banana and pistachio. The team here were more than happy to alter dishes on the menu, making our two vegan diners very happy.
The Emporium is a new restaurant, bar and bistro on Phillip Street, just off the main strip of restaurants in Parramatta. The venue is beautifully done up with some exposed brick on the outside, high ceilings and timber flooring on the inside. While it’s a big venue with an inviting open space, it was a tad too noisy for us so we sat outside.
On the weekend they offer a brunch menu with lots of fabulous sounding breakfast dishes and a few more lunch items. We decided to go for a more savoury lunch option and our waiter recommended a few plates to share. The best news – they have lots of vegetarian options. We ordered the wild mushroom and mozzarella tortellini with charred leeks and hazelnut and the grilled haloumi with charred cucumber, pomegranate and radish. On the side we had a bowl of shoestring fries with a wonderful black garlic aioli and broccolini with slivered almonds. I quite enjoyed the food and am certainly keen to head back and try the dinner menu.
Is there anything better than a sharesies lunch with a pal? On a Saturday visit to Chatswood my friend and I sat in the sun at Lid & Jar, sipping on a peanut butter shake and a honeycomb shake and then we shared a haloumi burger and a lentil salad. The food was good, friendly service and the back of the restaurant looks out over an outdoor area with fake grass that was filled with people soaking up the winter sunshine.
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