Friday, March 11, 2011

Johnny's Cafe, Cupcakes on Pitt, Armory Wharf Cafe (27th July '10)

        I thought I better get stuck into this every growing backlog of mine. July '10 (yes I know it's way way late) this was another one of my 'You Days'. I actually had to get my car serviced that day which meant Ryan was up extra early for a Friday (after working night shift) to pick me up from the service centre in Parramatta, on the plus side he gets to have breakfast with me! =) Breakfast is one of those meals that neither of us seems to really have properly and having a nice sit down breakfast with your soul mate is just a perfect start to the day.
        I had originally wanted to actually try and seek out the cafe in Parramatta Park but after some negative reviews and miscommunication we ended up parked on Church Street and walked around to see what we could find that was open for a decent breakfast. We ended up on Horward Place and a choice between two cafes which were side by side to each other and Ryan chose the one called Johnny's Cafe. The owner actually had noticed that we walked past the entrance to check what the other one offered and was glad we came back to his cafe. There were quite a few people already inside, having their breakfast or morning coffee, seemingly office workers from near by. It seemed like a nice little family run cafe, with regulars as they seemed to all know each other by name.

        So Ryan needed his caffeine fix and ordered a cappucino. He was quite suprised at how good it was. Spotted a (coffee) industry magazine so Ryan presumed that they were probably serious about their coffee making.

        I ordered a pineapple juice, was told it was the bottled stuff which I was happy to have but was very suprised when a glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice appeared on our table. The owner tells me later that he did it especially for me even though pineapple is not a fruit that they would freshly press as it does not juice well. The pineapple was nice and naturally sweet, just the way I like it. I hate it when I get really tangy or sour pineapple juice, or the heavily sweetened bottled stuff.

        Ryan ordered the grilled mushroom on sourdough with cream cheese and spinach, and extra smoked salmon on the side. It seemed so simple but yet the mushrooms and spinach were well seasoned, the smoked salmon was nice and smokey and the bread was so soft and fluffy and crusty on the outside.

        I ordered the scrambled eggs on toast with grilled tomato and mushroom. Breakfast seems like the most basic of meals but yet some places can get it so wrong. The eggs were moist and fluffy, mushrooms well seasoned. I totally enjoyed it. My only miff was that there was a bit too much butter on the toast, I only had one slice and gave my leftover toast to Ryan.
        We enjoyed our breakfast that much that even now, we still talk about how we have to go back there one day, especially for the coffee. We surely did stumble across a little gem in Parramatta. They don't put out the most creative food but they at least got the basics right. And to think there are some places that can screw up scrambled eggs on toast...

        After breakfast we somehow ended up at Ikea in Rhodes. I just loved the mini cookware in the kids section. My future kids are so getting these!

Miniature tea and coffee sets.

        It's lunchtime, and to stay local we head to the Armory Wharf Cafe, this is actually our second visit here (see our first visit). Their menu does change seasonally which they publish it on their website, what we had then will be different to what they are serving now. It does get quite packed so you may need to book ahead. We've been lucky both times to get a table just rocking up with no booking.

        We start with the marinated kalamata and green olives with thick sliced casa panotte bread. I'm not usually a fan of olives usually only having one or two and then calling it quits. Ryan is an avid olive fan so I thought I could just have my one or two and then he could finish them off. These olives were so so good though! I ended up having more than a few. They were marinated in a tasty herb, garlic and chilli oil.The kalamata olives were slightly too salty for me but I absolutely enjoyed the green sicilian ones. I now no longer live in fear of olives though I don't really like them if they are too salty.
        Bit of an inside joke has developed between Ryan and I from our olive experience, our waitress dropped the plate as she was setting it down on the table and the olive oil went all over Ryan's hand. After mopping it all up he was boasting about how smooth and soft his hand was so we're always joking about 'marinating in herb and garlic olive oil'.

        They also do some pretty awesome fruit sodas. I enjoyed the blood orange and cardamom so much last time I decided to order it again. Only a glass for myself though, I ended up drinking most of the jug myself last time which was a bit much.

        Ryan's main was a grilled pork chop with apple puree and pistachio praline and a side of salad and chat potatoes. The pork was cooked well, not too dry, and the pistachio praline was an interesting part of the dish but worked really well with all the other elements.

         My main was duck confit with pea risotto. The duck was tender, though a little dry in places and the risotto was flavoursome. Wasn't a huge fan of the pieces of roasted capsicum on top. Overall it was a good dish, especially for the middle of winter. It's been a while since our last visit so will have to try and come back again soon, it's one of my favourite places to be.

        After lunch we ended up back in Parramatta and killed some time in Westfield before picking up my car. I wanted to check out Cupcakes on Pitt and saw that they had giant macarons so grabbed one to try out. The flavour was nice and strong with the blueberry buttercream but the shell itself tasted old and dried out. Bit disappointed there.

I bought two cupcakes to try out, a lemon meringue and a green tea cupcake.

Presentation wise they look very cute and pretty.

        Disected so that I can share them with Ryan. The lemon meringue was okay, tasted pretty ordinary. The green tea one was a bit disappointing as the flavour wasn't very prominent despite the colour and it was a bit on the dry side. The buttercream didn't really do much for the cupcake either. These cupcakes didn't impress me at all unfortunately.
        I'm suprised that we both managed to fit in so much food in one day. Most of my 'You Days' now are scheduled around eating, and spending time with Ryan. My last 'You Day' was spent lunching with Ryan at Quay, wonder what food adventures we'll have on my next day off =).

Johnny's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Armory Wharf Cafe on Urbanspoon


MelbaToast said...

Might see if I can convince The Boy to come to Johnny's with me tomorrow - looks like nice food (I like the half smear of cream cheese on the bread - arty).

Parramatta Park is good - I've been there quite a few times since we moved here in September....I like to get a table overlooking the river. Relaxing!

Anonymous said...

Too much butter on the toast seems to be common here. But apart from that seems that you indeed found a good hidden breakfast pit stop in Parramatta. That duck confit with risotto looks like something I would totally enjoy, with capsicum and all.

Maria said...

That sounds like a really nice day out :-)

Anonymous said...

Angie... I love the kids cookwares from Ikea too!! Wished I am still a kid :)

chocolatesuze said...

heh too much butter?? pass it to meeeee!

mademoiselle délicieuse said...

My gripe is that I often encounter underseasoned mushrooms! Easily fixed with a sprinkling of salt but thinking maybe I just like my 'shrooms extra salty =p

And I wanted to get that mini Ikea set for myself! The pastel colours are too cute but I really couldn't justify its purchase.

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