Sydney’s Finest Dining

Argue all you like, we’re too bloated to care. Here’s our satiated verdict on the 20 best restaurants in Sydney. The first example…

Tetsuya’s Consistently featured in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants between 2002 and 2010, Tetsuya Wakuda refurbished a heritage-listed site, with influences of traditional Japanese-inspired style, to create a serene dining enclave in the Sydney CBD. The restaurant offers three main dining areas overlooking an exquisite Japanese garden, private yet atmospheric rooms for larger groups, and a bar at which guests may enjoy a pre-dinner drink before commencing their meal. Every room also features pieces from Tetsuya’s eclectic art and ceramic collection, from delicate Japanese porcelain to bold Australian sculptures. The cuisine is unique, based on the Japanese philosophy of using natural seasonal flavours, and enhanced by classic French technique. To read more click here.

Foodie events around Australia? Keep up with our scout Bizzy Lizzy as she showcases Australia’s finest upcoming food events.

A True Community Cafe

Common Groundz

Based in the outer western suburb of Lalor Park, Common Groundz, is a new prototype – not for profit –community café establishment, that commenced trading in October, 2008. The founder and operator, is Nathan Marshall, a Christian minister, and it’s Nathan’s actions that speak for his community philosophy. He possesses an unassuming nature and the café is in itself a very successful working model.

Nathan wanted to find a means whereby he could interact with people for a more direct experience. By becoming an integral member of the community, he found a people that simply needed something to belong to, believe in and contribute to freely. The community couldn’t wait to show their readiness to participate.

Apart from Nathan, all of the staff consists of a group of local dedicated volunteers. Common Groundz also cultivates its own array of vegetables grown organically from the rear of the premises. This in turn aids in keeping their overheads down, while providing a more nutritious and beneficial meal.

With the assistance of the local TAFE, they have now introduced a free barista training course, that will ultimately help provide many with the means of reversing a chronic trend of local unemployment.

At any given moment, Nathan and the crew of the Common Groundz café consistently find themselves reaching out to aid and assist those who could use a helping hand. There are always a stack of new projects on the go.
A small sampling includes:
· The approval to create an organic vegetable garden. The LGA donating the land and full approval to do so. The produce will be used in the café and also provided indirectly to needy families. (Vegetable gardens to be constructed by volunteers.)
· Free barista training courses for the unemployed. (Over a ten-week period.)
· Free internet provision for local school children.
· Volunteer missions to build small dwellings in East Timor.
· Many small programs to benefit the victims of local societal tragedies.

Such a business model cannot survive without the warm generosity of its patrons and community, and a little help from other sources never goes astray! Hence, they are always hoping to receive encouragement and donations from some of the more philanthropic elements of our larger community. In this way, they shall remain enabled to continue exemplifying that true Australian community spirit, growing organically – while going from strength to strength.

Oh and we love this pic opf Nathan with his coffee machine – note the truck wheels underneath:

To assist or learn more about the barista courses offered by Common Groundz and TAFE –

Foodie Trends

Trendy Tea Blossoms

We were most bemused when a review parcel arrived from the Australian tea company WorldParTea who are based up in Port Macquarie. Why, we wondered, were they posting us dried flowers? We’re not known for reading instructions but after a while the curiosity got the better of us, and from there it was just a skip over to the kitchen to put on the kettle. Well folks the kettle boiled all afternoon, until the filament broke, as we sampled fascinating tea blossoms with names like Chloe’s Pink Carnation, Princess Malia, Little Prince Harvey and Hannah’s Jasmine Wreath. Drinking that much tea in an afternoon meant that the office’s porcelain bowl got an almost relentless spraying, but we were buzzing … on some kind of detoxing tea-high. Maybe that’s where the name “high tea” comes from? Anyway hope you enjoy our article on the subject … Read More …

How Good or Bad is the Air in Your Cafe?

Serious business owners know that word of mouth is the best advertising one can hope for. To have one person get sick in your establishment, be it an employee or a customer, is like a tiny pebble that can start an avalanche of bad gossip. Have you noticed a case of absenteeism from any of your employees? Or perhaps incidences of allergic reactions like asthma attacks from patrons? Being pretty sensitive (I’m the gluten-free dairy-free type, so confessing my biases – but I’m by no means the only one), I can think of at least three inner-city Sydney venues that I personally simply can’t go to. It couldn’t be the food; it was made according to specifications using the freshest ingredients. If a venue has all the proper licenses and health permits to operate, still they wouldn’t want any of their customers getting sick. What could be in the air? An air purifier may be the answer and there are many different types available in Australia. For more info click here.

The Late Night Cafe Scene

The 3 Steps Cafe

With Sydney’s summer in the air, no more keenly is the party season celebrated than around Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi, which locals and many visitors like to think of as the Saint Tropez of the southern hemisphere … For The 3 Steps Cafe, another summer of heady Bondi love will always be a case of “same as it ever was”. Their team of seven chefs knows what it is to see off the wildest of Bondi nights – and they equally know what it takes to unflinchingly fire up a new day of Bondi adventures as they open their doors and churn out the biggest of breakfasts from 4.30am. There’s no messing with this place’s legend, as it’s been doing this since 1962, long before most of its patrons were born


Here’s some articles that came about entirely through our involvement with Twitter this year – it’s fab for contacting people and talking about food…

For the Caffeine-Sensitive: Teeccino Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee
Flavour of the Year: Alvin Quah from Masterchef

Fact or Fiction: Are these Sydney’s 20 Best Cafes?

Celeb Interview: Max Markson’s Favourite Cafes & Bars

Love it Local: The Coffee’s Good in Hurlstone Park
Out to Lunch: Restaurants in Port Macquarie with Bob & Christine

Filmic Foodies: Sydney Underground Film Festival Launch
Hard Core: Where to Taste or Buy Absinthe in Sydney

Performing French: Paris Cake Shop & their Croqu’embouche
Socialising: Sydney Good Food & Wine Show

Tea Time: Australian Tea Company ‘WorldParTea’ in Review
Healing thru the Gut: Health in a Bag Gluten-free Wholefoods

Cooking Up Some Good Food Copy

Here’s an array of recent articles if you’re just about to start drinking your coffee or teeccino and feel like some idle reading:

Alvin’s Purple Patch: Interview with Alvin Quah from Masterchef

Fact or Fiction: Are these Sydney’s 20 Best Cafes?

Celeb Interview: Max Markson’s Favourite Cafes & Bars

Love it Local: The Coffee’s Good in Hurlstone Park
Out to Lunch: Port Macquarie Restaurants, Bars & Cafes

Filmic Foodies: Sydney Underground Film Festival Launch

Performing French: Paris Cake Shop & their Croqu’embouche
Socialising: Sydney Good Food & Wine Show
Healing thru the Gut: Health in a Bag Gluten-free Wholefoods

Have an article you’d like to submit to us for publishing? Don’t keep all of those awesome food articles sitting on a blog being read by 3 people per day! Our site gets over 2000 readers per day so we can make a star out of you! Email it to Claire Felices via

Man Dies from Caffeine Overdose Prompting Calls for Ban

A British man has died of a caffeine overdose, according to a report. The 23-year-old, Michael Lee Bedford, apparently poisoned himself after using just two spoonfuls of caffeine powder. His grandmother now wants this particular lethal product banned.

The report on this tragic death comes from The Nottingham Post.Apparently a friend of Bedford’s bought the caffeine powder for just $5.26 online. He mixed it with an energy drink and within fifteen minutes was sweating and vomiting blood. Bedford didn’t use the product according to its directions, and took a level of caffeine that was 70 times the amount found in energy drinks. The product’s recommended dose was just 1/16th of a teaspoon.

The case of Michael’s death was heard before a Coroner’s court, with a verdict of accidental death returned. The coroner Dr. Nigel Chapman noted, “”Caffeine is so freely available on the internet for £3.29 but it’s so lethal if taken in the wrong dose and here we see the consequence.”

Friends and family of Michael’s are distraught and angry over the death. His aunt even said “there should be a warning on it saying it can kill.” Caffeine in this situation is clearly a deadly drug, like many other drugs used at parties. The difference is that caffeine is perfectly legal, so you wouldn’t expect this. Obviously anyone who doesn’t heed the instructions on a product will suffer the negative consequences.

You can find plenty of examples in your kitchen that you just shouldn’t overdo it with. However, there should be a significant warning on this particular product to warn of serious health issues and that it can potentially kill someone who takes too much. Michael’s Grandmother even asked that this particular caffeine powder be banned. Does she have a point? To see source of this news item click here.

Our Most Popular Sydney Cafe article

Sydney’s 20 Best Cafes

Just daring to proclaim a 20-best list of Sydney cafes risked earning us bitter-bean scorn and twittery tirades, but life is short and most of the team suffer nightly ‘petit morts’ from caffeine-induced heart failure overnight. So instead of jeopardising the brand by having all of our writers contribute, we let Jane Louise stick her neck out ready for the guillotine of rabid public opinion, as she dared to define her selection of … “the 20 best cafes in Sydney”. In its first three weeks online the page attracted, with no other advertising other than about eight tweets, a total of 13,508 hits. Never as heady as our extremely popular “Sydney Bars” page which is always number 1 on our site (and number 1 on Google) and attracted 132,644 hits for the month of September, but still, we were happy. In fact we’re already planning a 2nd “20 Best Sydney Cafes” article and then one on “20 Best Sydney Restaurants” then “20 Best Sydney Bars” so if you’d like to be reviewed please email Stewart Dawes via before the coffee gets cold.