Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lunch at Surrey Hills and Balmoral

There are any number of theme based walking tours you can take through Surrey Hills in inner city Sydney. Taking a designer, architectural, foodie or arty approach to exploring this eclectic suburb will reveal many delights and contrasts.

We started too late yesterday to do much exploring. We'll take a more serious approach when we're back in early November. Our main goal yesterday was to find somewhere to have a good meal well after the time people usually eat lunch.

Walking past the excellent Lebanese eateries on Cleveland Road and Elizabeth Street (all closed) and then around the corner and up Devonshire to Crown Street we eventually came to "Alchemy" a tiny Polish Cafe Restaurant with a distinctly retro feel (retro without irony I mean).

Set in the tiny rooms of an old Surrey Hills terrace, European style wooden furniture, fresh roses on the table, proper Polish comfort food, amazing cakes and fragrant Polish beer....just perfect for this rainy, cool afternoon - as hungry as we are by now.

Rob was ecstatic about his schnitzel, sauerkraut and mash (with a glass of Zamkowe beer). He rarely gets to eat food like that anymore!

But this cafe is worth visiting just for its amazing cakes and coffee. My choice was the chocolate cherry tart and Rob's was rhubarb pie. They don't have the delicacy and balance of fine dining desserts but are very yummy all the same!

Today for lunch we were a world away at the iconic Bathers Pavillion at Balmoral Beach.

As another birthday treat we met up with my friend Tania McM. for a long lunch in this gorgeous restaurant, catching up on family, travel and art news as we enjoyed Serge Dansereau's special Crave Sydney lunch menu. Dessert was another and passionfruit roulade; much much lighter and more subtle than our dessert yesterday.

Tania's generous gift of Serge D.'s French Kitchen will be an inspiring reminder of this lovely meal together and hopefully will encourage us to do that cooking school with Serge sometime in the future.

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