142 Addison Rd Marrickville, Sundays…
Another blissful Sunday morning at the Marrickville organic markets. Coffee first, to aid important decision making. The best coffee I’ve tried at the markets so far is from the building on your right as you enter the market from Addison Rd. Note the installation art on the side wall of the building of milk crates, took me a few visits to notice it and that it spelt out a word…
Next pick up Sicilian olives and hummus for casual pizza  dinner with friends, salami and soft French white mould cheese, a small Tuscan kale seedling for never ending batches of minestrone made with veal stock and thick lardons of pancetta.
The lovely Kate, who has moved back home to Orange whom I miss dearly as she’s so entertaining, has a new food blog http://piesandkates.com/
If you get sick of walking around, a cup of chai while sitting on woven mats in the sunshine is pretty nice… you can also get a $10 haircut at the stall next door. I haven’t been brave enough to try.
There are both conventional produce and organic stalls, the conventional ones are labelled as such. The advantage of having both is sometimes the organic range is limited and if you have your heart set on cooking a certain something you’re more likely to find it having both options.
The Common Ground bakery always smells good and they have a super juice with more good things in it than you could could think of. They usually sample it so you can try before you buy. They have lots of options for gluten and wheat free eaters. I bought a rice flour banana bread for my sister which she said was great. The also have spelt, rye, wholemeal, with and without nuts and seeds and all slow fermented sourdough (read maximum flavour development). They deal directly with a wheat grower too so their flour is really fresh. I just liked all the info they passed on, it shows how passionate they are about their product. They also had a rice flour lamington, the first of it’s kind I’ve come across, haven’t tried it yet though.
There’s also a Brasserie Bread stall where they try to lure you with delicious brownies and danish pastries. I’m sold on the sour cherry loaf and the quinoa and soy seed loaf if you like seeds. There is also a German bread stall with darker rye loaves, pretzels and tiny chocolate chip buns. I think the chocolate buns are best served toasted with butter, but they’re also good straight from the bag while browsing.
Char kway teow at Jackie M Malaysian
Shopping just about done (and cash nearly depleted) and I settle on nasi lemak and otak otak, D has a lamb wrap from another stall which is a more appropriate portion size than mine, which is enough for two hungry people, so we take the rest home for lunch.
I bought some coffee beans from the fair trade stall and had a delicious coffee at home made from PNG beans. Flavoursome and strong without being too acidic or bitter.
I’ll try and get a picture of the corn fritters next time, they’re my healthy option for when I’ve had an indulgent Saturday night!

This is not a comprehensive list, just the start of a list of the best places to get a good coffee in Darwin. The criteria? The coffee should be full of flavour, the milk silky and not burnt. That screeching sound? It sounds bad for a reason. If you can scoop your milk into a meringue shape then it’s over cooked.
My faves? A tie between Ducks Nuts on Mitchell St and Jay’s Coffee cart at various markets and the Nightcliff Jetty. I bought some gorgeous home roasted beans from Jay’s Coffee, some Ethiopian Sidamo and some PNG Purosa, both organic. I’ve been grinding to order at home on my Rocky grinder and my Rancilio Sylvia has been loving it! Thanks 🙂
Jay’s Coffee Bar
Great coffee, freshly roasted fairtrade coffee beans and I’ve heard the iced coffee is the best in Darwin.
Rapid Creek Markets (Sundays)
Nightcliff Jetty (Sat and Sun afternoons)
Ducks Nuts Bar Espresso
Mitchell St. You can sit inside Bar Espresso, or choose the lovely verandah outside, same coffee, more atmosphere. But you have to brave the heat. Come on, don’t be soft!
There’s another list here, but I haven’t tried them all. Will have to ask my trusty coffee scout to suss them out:

As soon as the balmy sea air at Mindil Beach hit my face, I relaxed. Sustained by treats from the stalls at the Mindil Markets, there was too much to choose from; Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Roadkill stalls all competed for my attention. Do try the Ice Kachang dessert if you can find it.
Enthralled by the hard-to-find-in-Sydney Thai vegetables at Rapid Creek Markets, along with a great selection of meat and other ingredients at the Greenie’s real food store that I visited far too many times than a 10 day trip justifies.
Thai Massage, an Iyengar yoga class outdoors that bordered on Bikram’s style, local Indigenous art and music, the Darwin festival, and my new favourite clothing designer, Gita.
I can’t wait to go back to Darwin, if only to recapture that breezy vibe.
Sunset at Mindil Beach Markets
Even in the dry season, Darwin gives you a nice sweaty glow…
The view from The Wharf, a great place for dinner
Fish & Chips, Laksa and Som Tam at the Wharf
John Butler rocked the Darwin Festival
Deliciously cooling pools at Buley Rockhole
Florence Falls, a deep black pool beneath a waterfall filled with amorous fish

Today Phee and I had brekky at Ducks Nuts. They have an espresso bar and a bar & grill. We ate at the bar & grill outside on the deck and watched the world go by. The coffee is excellent, with silky milk and good flavour.
Phee had Eggs Benedict and I had French Toast. I didn’t need lunch after that!
Ducks Nuts
76 Mitchell St Darwin

There was a friendly little review in the Telgraph on Sunday:
I have been enjoying my Fridays lately, helping prepare some delicious food (if I do say so myself)  at Ross Dobson’s Cafe at the Cafe at Lewers at the Lewer’s Bequest Gallery on the Nepean River in Emu Plains.
If you are asking where that is and live in Sydney, shame on you. If you are from elsewhere you are forgiven. I feel free to judge as I have lived in both the East and the West of Sydney.
The easiest way to get to the Cafe is to take the M4 from the East (I’m assuming here) and drive West (capitalised to highlight the ‘great divide’), then take the first exit after you cross the tree lined Nepean River bursting with autumnal colours at the moment. The exit is Russell street, then first left at the roundabout, continue until you reach the school, just a few hundred metres, then left after the school and then left onto River Road at the end of the street.
If you’re wondering if it’s worth the trip, consider it a nice diversion on the way up to the Blue Mountains one weekend. For those lucky enough to have fabulous coffee on their doorstep on a Saturday morning, it takes a bit of a nudge to go further than the corner cafe, but do try it. The road toll is claimable and once you’re out of the city you’ll feel the fresh mountain air on your face and wonder why you stayed away so long 🙂
Cafe at Lewers is at:
Penrith Regional Gallery & the Lewers Bequest,
86 River Road, Emu Plains
Phone: (02) 4735 1870

Last year I got given a Rancilio Silvia coffee machine for my birthday. I did a lot of research online and went shopping around for a while to find a good one but not quite something that you could trade in for a car.  The Rancilio was a compromise, not quite the glossy beast with a double boiler where you can make espresso and steam milk at the same time, cafe style, but also not your run of the mill cheap model which will die in a few years.
Now I don’t own a coffee van (although think this could be a fun job) but somehow got it into my head that we could create a little cafe at a friends house. So we had a big breakfast and I brought Silvia. There are a lot of coffee nerds out there, sorry, I mean experts, maestros. Forgive me. They call ‘her’ ‘Miss Silvia’ and the way they describe her can be rather exciting. See for yourself. Check out Coffee Snobs for some good info and a friendly place to ask those questions you think are silly.  You will get useful answers.
I do not consider myself a coffee expert, just a fan who knows what she likes and is trying to recreate this at home. May I just also add that the person who bought this machine ‘as a present’ has done very well with this proverbial ‘chicken’ as it lays golden cappucinos every morning. Hmmm…

Sven Kammerzelts’ Caffetteria Karalis is the best place to get a coffee in Ulm, Germany. I may be biased, as my friend and tour guide is friendly with the owner, but there were very few places in Ulm that hit you with the smell of freshly ground coffee as you walked through the door. Sven’s delivered this. This is the first step to enticing you to buy a coffee. It is also rare that the flavour lives up to the aroma, but here the coffee is strong and flavoursome. Sven is generous on the foam compared to Sydney’s generally smooth and creamy milk. Here the milk slightly more whipped, but never burnt. Just voluminous in the cup, which is not a bad thing. Looks a bit retro and definitely needs a spoon.

Thomas Walter and Malini Christine Ganesan celebrated their wedding in February this year at the delicious Sardinian restaurant Pilu at Freshwater in Sydney. I was lucky enough to be asked if I could make the cake…

The layers are (from top to bottom)
Fruit Cake 6″
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake 9″
Hazelnut Raspberry Cake 12″
All layers are covered in Chocolate Ganache and have a dark chocolate collar, fresh strawberries, blueberries and cherries.
The guests ate the bottom two layers at the wedding, and they finished both layers! That was after dessert…

Hazelnut Raspberry Cake
Made again for Thomas’ 40th birthday party in June. We enjoyed it with an espresso or two, made on a machine borrowed from their good friend Peter.
*Recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly Website.

The top layer of fruit cake travelled back to Ulm in Germany and was not touched until my visit in June. What a surprise they had waited. It was perfect for eating by then.
*Recipe from Belinda Jeffery’s luscious book ‘Mix and Bake’.

There is something to be said for a good quality jam in a jam donut. Not sickly sweet, just the right amount of tartness…could eat these more often. Dangerous words. Lucky they’re in Bern.

Didn’t actually find a bad espresso in Switzerland. Also from a cafe in Bern. As you can see one can have quite a civilised morning while attempting to soak in some culture.

Even if they are too sweet, they look so good you want more.
P.s. If you don’t understand the reference from the title of the post, look it up.

It’s a gorgeous morning to be catching up with friends and a good coffee is all I want, with something tasty to eat a bonus. We are all happy to go to the usual place at the beach but one dissenter craves something new. You can’t say no to that so I look up the opening hours for Allpress and Campos- both closed on Sundays. Then my sister reminds me about Bourke St Bakery, how could I forget, we did a fantastic sourdough bread making course here last year as part of good food month. It was so popular that it was already booked out the day after Good Living had released the hands on courses for good food month. Luckily they put on an extra course for those of us a bit slow to decide which course to choose!
So to the Alexandria shop we go, on Gardeners Rd. It’s Sunday morning at about 10:30am and I’m expecting a queue, so am surprised to find half of the large wooden communal table free. Perhaps it’s the long weekend, or that it is beautiful weather and everyone’s at the beach, or maybe I’m just used to the tight squeeze at the Crown St shop, but in any case it is nice to have time for a leisurely chat and breakfast before the next lot crowd in around the counter.

Crisp buttery croissants with jam and ricotta, pan au chocolat, rhubard danish and currant studded snails… it’s too hard to choose. The ham and cheese croissants have sold out already so pain au chocolat it is. The filling is nice and moist and makes me wish I’d bought two.
Our coffees arrive and my cappucino is full flavoured but still smooth and creamy. I could have another, but instead I try a sip of my friend’s bottle of Bourke St Bakery’s homemade lemonade from the self service fridge. It is tart, refreshing and delicious. I buy a large bottle of my own along with two slices of pizza to take home: mushroom on one and pancetta, peppers, chilli and ricotta on the other. Ten minutes in the oven at home and they make a satisfying lunch.
Could still squeeze in another pain au chocolat though.

Lamb, Harissa & Almond Sausage Roll

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