Thursday, 17 September 2009

3 hidden gems

(as heard on FBI Radio)

Its no secret that Sydney houses some of the best food from all around the world, but with so much good food, little gems can get lost in the noise...and people like to keep their favourite finds to themselves. Because caring is sharing, here are three food finds you may not know about and why you should check them out.

1. Cafe Max

251 Bondi Road
Bondi, NSW 2026

With so many cafes, take away joints jammed amongst the mini-takeover of the area by Thai massage and nail salons, it can be tough to know where to find a decent coffee or truly decent cafe fare in this neck of the woods (at reasonable prices, anyway).

Cafe Max is of the breed of cafe that makes their own food, rather than ordering it from wholesalers, meaning it's fresh, original and of course, made with love. Any given day of the week brings new dishes, such as mini Wagyu beef Shepard's pies, $6.50 (marble score 6, which lends itself to a tender mince with lots of flavour), home made pasta and dishes like prawn and chorizo paella, with plump, crunchy prawns and dotted with jewel green peas.


The hallmark of a solid cafe is, however its coffee and its here you'll find one of the best coffees on Bondi Road.

2. Sonoma Bakery

Shop 24
198-222 Young St
Waterloo 2017 NSW

Look past the Dank Street superstars like Fratelli and Dank Street Depot for a minute and head to Young Street. Sonoma Bakery is mecca for lovers of sourdough in Sydney, but this outlet also carries a range of cafe fare that showcases their artisan products, such as cracking bacon and egg rolls, toasted sandwiches (stars includ the salmon soft boiled egg and turkey sopressa pesto) as well as seriously good coffee.

Tip: Avoid Sundays if you're not a fan of being preached to while you're still hungover from the nigh before - it's a stones throw from Hillsong church.

3. Mamaris

694-696 Botany Road,
Mascot, NSW

Botany Road is usually known for its crumbling old man pubs, wholesalers and business hour sandwich joints. Little do many know that Mamaris (that famous Turkish tourist town on the Agean) had an outpost tucked away, kilometers from the sea.

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for passing off Mamaris as another kebab joint. While it may sell Australia's favourite drunken snack, it also sells some of the best pides in Sydney.

Pull up a chair in the adjoining room, wallpapered with a gigantic vista of its namesake town, and dig into a Kusbasili pide - diced lamb, tomato, onion, capsicum and parsley, or a Karisik (as opposed to a 'car sick') wih Tukish sausage mince, mushrooms, egg, cheese and parsley.

What makes this golden pides great is much like what makes a good pizza; a thinly rolled crust that manages to maintain a slight level of doughiness...and of course it has to hold the fillings without falling apart.


One diner tells me that he's been frequenting Mamaris since he was a kid, fifteen odd years ago (another hallmark of a great joint - it's family owned) and it's still one of the best kept secrets in Sydney.


There are plenty of other Turkish delights including vine leaves, iskander kebabs and perfect baklava, and with prices ranging from $5.50 to $12.00, bring a group of friends and order up a feast.


Simon Food Favourites said...

i haven't heard of Mamaris but hope to check it out this weekend if it's open. sounds good. thanks for the foodie tips. s :-)

Katherine said...

I have heard of Sonoma Bakery. Everything looks delicious.

Adrian @ Food Rehab said...

The Wagyu beef Shepard's pie looks amazing. I'll try and hunt one down in Melbourne!