LaMesa was a known Filipino restaurant in Dee Why and now they have moved to Sydney. We’ve always wanted to visit the restaurant but it was just too far away. Now, it is located conveniently in the city where we can conveniently visit in case we’re too lazy to cook but crave for Filipino food.

And so one fateful night in May, a few friends and I got together and tried LaMesa’s offerings. We arrived and dinner was already in full swing. I recommend calling to reserve a table as it seemed that things get busy and full during peak hours. The place was cozy, dimly-lit and had nice looking furnitures. A few touches of Pinoy can be seen in the decors such as monochrome photographs of the Manila we once knew. 
LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)

We started off with Kwek-Kwek, deep-fried coated quail eggs. The taste of the coating was as bland as it looked (we’re used to orange Kwek-Kwek).

LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)
The Okoy looked different as well as it seemed like the prawns were individually battered and fried. This was definitely more of an appetizer. I think we were used to the big Okoy which can be paired with rice. The coating was crunchy but did not leave any significant “Oomph” as we took a bite in.
LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)
The sinful and indulgent Sisig (diced meat from pig’s face) was everything we hoped it too be. Sizzling and with egg on top, beautiful on its own or with rice. Best eaten with a bit of lemon and chili sauce. 
LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)

A cold night is often associated with Pork Sinigang at home. It was nearly winter then so we got ourselves a bowl of Pork Sinigang to warm our tummies. An enjoyable tamarind soup with pork, radish, okra and kangkong that tasted like the comfort food we enjoy at home.

LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)

Pinakbet was another dish we enjoyed. With just the right saltiness from the shrimp paste, the vegetables were tasty, fresh and flavourful. It also had a generous portion of meat. 

LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)
We resisted to order another pork dish but threw all health caution out the window and got the Lechon Kawali. Deep-friend pork belly with crispy crackling. The best partner to the Pinakbet. 
LaMesa Philippine Cuisine (Sydney, Australia)

Over-all, we enjoyed our dinner at LaMesa inspite of a few misses with the appetizers. They have definitely nailed the true taste of Filipino food. Our only hope is that they add a little more to their serving as we found the pricing of their food quite on the more expensive side. 

Will we visit again? Why, yes! Once in a while we’ll come back to try their other offerings and bring other friends to enjoy Filipino food with us.

LaMesa Philippine Cusine
Level 1, 19 Goulburn Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
Ph: 1300 880 835

I’ve caught the busy bug at work. My load at the office has developed into a slow avalanche that it’s been quite a challenge to balance my time between home duties, work, blogging and time for myself. I don’t mind busy times though. I’ve always welcomed challenges that keep me in my toes and problem solving situations that keep my mind active.

Sometimes I don’t mind long days at work too as long as it ends up with dinner out with the Husband. Last Thursday, the Husband took me to dinner at Won Jo, our favourite Korean restaurant in Koreatown (Strathfield). We just had dinner in Koreatown the previous week but our attempt at dining at Won Jo failed then, we craved to go back.

A colouful Banchan. Won Jo serves several Banchan dishes and it’s refillable too.

We ordered our comfort Korean food that night.

We started off with Seafood Pancake. Won Jo’s seafood pancake has lots of seafood and little batter (just enough to hold the seafood in). Korean pancakes are usually eaten as appetizers but this particular Seafood Pancake has generous seafood in it that you can actually eat it with rice. It’s huge as well. We only ate one-fourth of this pancake and took the rest home.

The Husband got himself a huge bowl of Pork Bibimbap. The pork was a bit spicy and flavourful. Perfect for the huge portions of vegetables and rice.

Since it was a cold night, I had a bowl of still boiling Spicy Beef Stew. So comforting to eat with rice with it’s hot soup. 

With tummies full, we decided to walk around Koreatown. We found a liquor shop with Soju and Korean wines; a grocery store that sells Korean ice cream and a chemist that sells Korean cosmetics.

These were our loots that night: Makgolli (Korean rice wine), Binggrae Melona Ice Waffle and Binggrae Summer Crush

I was also fortunate to find a pencil lip colour on sale. It was a MISSHA Soft Crayon Lip Rouge and it even came with a sharpener. Can’t wait to try it.

If we’re going to end long days at work with dinner and a bit of shopping, I wouldn’t mind. But of course, we can’t do this everyday. But I’m glad for nights like this to occur in order to give us a break from our busy work.

Won Jo Korean BBQ Restaurant
33a The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW
Phone: 9746 7041

One of the chocolate cafes I like has opened a branch in our suburb.

Whenever I’m in Chatswood, I sometimes visit the Oliver Brown Cafe for coffee and chocolate. I’m glad I don’t have to go too far for their sweets. They now have a branch on the 3rd level of Westpoint Blacktown

Oliver Brown is a Belgian chocolate cafe. They offer cakes, pastries, chocolate truffles, macarons, fondues, waffles, churros and drinks.  

Yesterday, we bought two slices of cakes and had them for dessert after dinner.

Chocolate Mud Cake satisfied the Husband’s chocolate craving. It was rich and not too sweet. 

Oliver Brown Cafe, Now Open in Blacktown
On the other hand, I chose the Swiss Roll and enjoyed the chocolate chiffon and mocha-flavoured filling.
Oliver Brown Cafe, Now Open in Blacktown
Visit the Oliver Brown and have a try at their sweet offerings. 

Level 3, Westpoint Blacktown
17 Patrick Street, Blacktown
Ph: 02 8678 0628
Whenever we’re at Westpoint Blacktown, we find ourselves having meals at Senario Cafe. It opened early this year and we’ve been discovering more of their delicious offerings as time goes by. We usually stop by for brunch and coffee. 

Fluffy Pancakes with Bacon and Eggs. A sweet marriage of sweet and salty. 

Eggs Benedict with ham placed on top of a panini. They make the perfect poached eggs and the panini is a good change from the usual muffin. 
Burger Breakkie with Chips. Sausage patty in between a hash brown and egg. 
Big Breakfast. A meal good enough to share which consists of two toasts, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, eggs and hash brown. The Husband and I split this meal between us and left us filled and satisfied.
On Thursday nights, they close the same time as the end of late night shopping (9pm) and one time that I met up with a friend, we had dinner and coffee. My friend shared her Club Sandwich with me and I loved it. I enjoyed the sandwich because of the tasty chicken and added avocado. The wedges that came with it had a tasty coating which gave it a good crunch upon biting.  
My first try at their dessert was the Apple and Blueberry Pie. It came with vanilla ice cream and lots of whipped cream. It was such a beautiful dessert with lots of sweet apples inside the pie. 
The Husband and I are so glad to have a cafe near our place where we can have good-tasting meals and coffee. We’re looking forward to trying out their other food offerings.

Level 3, Westpoint Shopping Centre 
17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW
Phone: 02 9676 7737
Max Brenner is another cafe that we frequent near our home. Lately I’ve been having my “Me” times here. On evenings when we plan to do grocery shipping, I wait for the Husband at Max Brenner and indulge in their desserts. 

Their Belgian Waffle is always a favourite which I always pair up with strawberries and a cup of coffee.

The Optimistic Trio is my latest cake discovery. It’s made up of three layers of mousse: dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. It was sooooo good.

I ate it while enjoying a cup of Flat White. My coffee came with a small stirrer spoon; the cutest stirrer I’ve ever encountered.

My latest visit at Max Brenner was before we watched “Man of Steel” where I had a cup of one of their Winter offerings, Salted Caramel Storm. I tasted a hint of caramel in my chocolate drink but I hoped for more and felt underwhelmed. I guess I’ll go back to ordered their normal chocolate drinks and coffee.

For good chocolate desserts and drinks, Max Brenner gives me my sweet “Me” time. It’s a place where I get to feel a certain warmth all the time.