Monday, August 20, 2012

Portico - Greengate Hotel - Killara - NSW

While supporting our daughter at aerobic national competitions in NSW we needed find a place to eat. We had an hour or two before heading back to the competition venue to see her team perform. While driving on the Pacific hwy.  through Killara, we spotted the Greengate Hotel. With intentions of eating at the hotel we parked at the back but to our surprise there was a very nice restaurant, Portico, as part of the hotel complex.

I wouldn’t put Portico in the class of “fine dining” but it is extremely nicely laid out with just a touch of class.  The decor is modern but with a cosy feel. There is a bar and couched area for drinks and nibbles. We took a window seat and spent time drooling over the menu. There really were some nice selections. After a prolonged period (we just couldn’t decide) we shared a platter.  Pate, calamari, prawns, crisp breads, etc. adorned or large wooden platter. A light beer to start and a local red to finish the lunch just topped off a beautiful meal. Every part of the platter was perfect.

Food selection is mouth watering (if not a little over descriptive on the menu), service was first class, decor was modern, spacious and smart and the whole experience – transporting.  We were hoping to visit Doyle’s while staying close to Sydney but it didn’t happen. Though Portico is no Doyle’s I don’t feel jilted. Portico gave us a very delightful eating experience and a pleasant distraction while away. Don’t drive past the Greengate Hotel and just make sure you drop into Portico. Give yourself time to savor the experience.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Thyme Square Cafe - Hornsby - NSW.

Thyme Square Cafe can be found in the heart of Hornsby in NSW just north of Sydney. It is situated between a number of both India and Chinese cafes and restaurants. We dropped in for brekky but coffee and cake, lunch or a beer and wine can all be catered for. It is a bright (quite white) cafe with booth or table seating and two eating areas. A window seat can be obtained and a eating bar with stools for a quick snack is provided.

Staff are courteous and efficient in what was a very busy little cafe. Families do dine here so expect a little noise but booth seating will help reduce this a little. Foods yummy, coffee excellent  and though the menu is a little curtailed there should be something there for all. There is a bar so a drink after work or over lunch is possible. A pleasant place to eat.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Crackerjack Cafe - Carrum - Southern Victoria

Sometimes I think there is a God especially when I visit cafes and restaurants for the first time and have a heavenly experience.  For me it is only a twenty minute drive to Carrum from my home and a pleasant easy d rive at that. To find at the end of the short trip a modern waterfront cafe with delicious food, stunning Port Phillip Bay views and great service is a real blessing.  My first “holy” experience for was breakfast one chilly winter’s morn.  Breakfast with good friends themselves religious foodies.  Crackerjack is a crackerjack.

Not only is there a main cafe area, but also decking for drinks and coffee and add to this a function room. In the function room music afternoons are held regularly (too, loud for me). There is something for everyone here. The main cafe is small and extremely busy so book first to ensure a seat. The establishment is modern and boasts extensive use of timber and glass, all very nice.

Our host was most accommodating when we arrived for a table of six, on a Sunday, in the middle of their busiest period.  Service and staff were very warm and friendly and meals arrived in a reasonable time. The kitchen is right on the ball here with food not only being exceptionally delicious but hot and served promptly. All credit to Chef and kitchen staff. Meal size is generous and pricing very reasonable.  Crackerjack is open seven days a week. Go in a quiet period for a relaxing meal or drink. You will pay for parking though.

A few weeks later we dropped back for coffee and cake. I went for the wine list which is sufficient without being extensive. Locally grown wines and beers are very well supported and this is great to see. Carrum awaits you for Sunday service or any other time you feel sinfully hungry. Praise be those who serve and thank God for Crackerjack.