Cafe Enzo

Broke Rd &, Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320

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Situated along Broke Road, near the main attractions of what Hunter Valley has to offer, this rustic cafe is a lovely spot for breakfast and lunch. I recommend making a reservation, especially during these times, so you won’t be disappointed. There are both indoor and outdoor seatings; if you do sit outside, you might be greeted with a swarm of flies… depending on the table you choose.

Cafe Enzo is located within the Peppers Creek village; inspired by Tuscan ambience and life. Their menu boasts of handmade and locally produced meals, ranging from continental breakfasts, bowls, delicious/fresh sides, salads, seafood, desserts and much more. We ordered their veg breakfast board and I forget the name of mine, but it had two slices of sourdough, lemon, salmon, cream cheese (?) and it might have been their tomato chutney (?). Everything tasted fresh and lovely, not too heavy for the first meal of the day!

Staffs were lovely, who made sure to check on their guests and gave us enough time to check out their menu. Prices are what you expect, to be mid-ranged and what I liked is stripped down content of their menu. There is plenty of parking in the village itself. Just across and down from the cafe, there is a little green area to stretch out after a satisfying meal.

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Hanmade’s Bakehouse

Shop T30, Eastern Creek Quarter, 159 Rooty Hill Rd South, Eastern Creek NSW 2766

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I get super excited when my culture’s food is represented in the Australian foodie scene! Hanmade’s Bakehouse is located in the hot hub of the Filipino community, in Sydney’s west. The founder of this creative and nostalgic bakehouse, had just recently opened up her retail store this year along within the newly established Eastern Creek Quarter.

From sundaes, cakes, soda/beer float, silvanas , soft serves and their changing seasonal specials, you won’t need to go any where else for desserts! The images below, on the right is the ‘Yema Polvoron’ and on the left is their ‘Ube Leche Flan’. I enjoyed their Yema Polvoron, which was rich in flavour. The sundae was generously filled with vanilla ice-cream, yema polvoron silvana and a small slice of what tasted like Filipino macaroon. Not too sure what the sundae was drizzled with. The vanilla ice-cream used I did not entirely enjoy as it was more on the watery-tasting side, I would have preferred their ice-cream to be on the creamy side. It would have tied everything in the sundae perfectly. The sundaes are served at the price of $14, which I thought was fair because of the large quantity (great to share between 2 people) and quality was still exciting!

I highly recommend their silvanas; although they are priced at $3.50 each, these Filipino sweet things are amazing. Did I forget to mention? Everything in their menu is handmade! If you would like to order a custom cake or desserts for an event, I believe Hanmade takes pre-orders. By keeping and mixing the traditional Filipinos flavours with a modern interpretation/style, I can see Hanmade’s Bakehouse to be a staple dessert getaway for all cultures.

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Lazy Cats

Jl. Raya Ubud No.11, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

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Lazy Cats is a well-known stylish cafe along the bustling Jl. Raya road. The cafe is also centrally in the midst of Ubud, surrounded by boutique retail stores, well-being stores, eateries and around the corner from a museum. Lazy Cats was just a walk away from my accomodation, from memory there was limited side parking or you can just get dropped off.

 For a known cafe, I loved how Lazy Cats was not filled with tourists. The interior was filled with modern art, vintage furniture and leafy plants would be sure to attract foodies and passionate ‘Instagramers’. The foyer felt like walking into someone’s modern, stylish home, which was juxtaposed to the laid-back rawness of the environment outside. No reservations was needed, as there was ample social seatings indoors and outdoors on their balcony. The industrial interior, with clear, wide windows on the roof and towards the street, allowed for ample sunlight to flow in. I can only imagine how it would look and feel like in the evening!

The menu consists of breakfast dishes, bowls, regional coffee specialties, cocktails, juices, all-day lunch plates (burgers, tapas, sweets, snacks, classics) which conveniently caters to meat eaters and vegetarians. Their wide menu selection, makes Lazy Cats cafe an ideal spot to unwind and eat or drink in your own pace. You also get to choose plates that are healthy, refreshing and are in decent size. Service was timely and I honestly didn’t see much staff on the day.

A lovely cafe, Lazy Cats is a cafe I’d definitely revisit to try out more of their dishes, a place to read, talk or just listen from out on their balcony.

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Folk Byron Bay

1/399 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481

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You’ll mistaken this charming cafe as somebody’s home, with a cool blue roof, white wooden panels surrounded by some leafy greens. Folk is a well-known, frequently Instagrammed cafe in Byron Bay, just a few minutes away from Belongil Beach. There is not much information on Folk through their website, however their value and commitment is to serve local and ethically made vegetarian meals, whilst also being environmentally conscious.

Visited Folk for brunch, on an empty stomach and coffee-free, to ensure I get to taste what they have to offer. I came across Folk through searching online and Instagram, cafes most people had visited. Folk was no exception to an ‘Instagrammable’ cafe, from their colourful, healthy-look bowls and bohemian-styled seating areas. Plus, I heard their coffees were pretty decent. Parked on the side of the road, walked in with no reservation and sat down at an empty table out on the veranda. The inside was gorgeous, splashed with wood, patterned rugs, hanging plants and white paint, it made Folk a truly relaxing place to start the day. There is plenty of space inside, limited and a bit narrow on the veranda. There’s a little picnic spot in the front, that’s filled with pattered pillows, a floor table which I’m sure so many people have taken pictures for their social media.

Service was friendly and not surprisingly laid-back, with our coffee coming out first and our food following shortly after. The ambience as you can already guess was calm, filled with friends and couples who dressed typically of people who visited Byron Bay. You’ll see what I mean, just do a quick online search! I love the timber bench tops and stools against the white finishes, it really fits the feel of the place. Oh did I forget to mention its next to a holiday park? I’d imagine it would get busy during the holidays or when there’s a festival. The menu is mainly filled with vegetarian bowls, with cheese and eggs making a side feature. Aside from locally-produced bowls, there are dishes that can be eaten at anytime of the day and are quite filling. Although, I did find my dish lacking in flavour. You won’t be disappointed with the coffee milk options here, from full cream, almond, almond, cashew and more! The cool thing is that you don’t have to pay extra for the milk type too. Priced on the mid-range, which is not surprising if they’re using organic and local produce and ingredients.

Folk is a charming, sun-filled cafe that is contemporary and with the times of catering nutritious, wholesome and locally produced vegetarian meals. With plenty of outdoor and indoor space to offer, away from a busy road but not too far away from points of interest, Folk is a beaut of a place to dine, chat and relax. Nothing beats a cafe that ticks all the right laid-back boxes.

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Commune

36 Polaris, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

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A cafe and bar, which has also taken up the trend as a community space. Commune is located in a quieter area of the bustling Poblacion, where the result of creative minds is seen through trendy cafes, restaurants and bars. You won’t miss the place, its in a corner of a street and covered in white with wide square windows. Parking looked like it was only available along the street, I recommend walking if you live close by or getting dropped off. You can also either choose to sit upstairs or in the main area.

Came to Commune for dinner, on a Saturday evening and I was surprised to see people with their laptops out in their groups, working. Music was moderately loud, so I couldn’t hear much around me. However, the music did set a young vibe to the cafe and not surprisingly more young to mid-aged people. The inside was decorated with books, a huge blackboard set against a mix of high and low wooden tables and a concrete ceiling. The place was urban, with the counter set in the middle so people can easily walk around and fit more people. The ambience is casual from individuals from all walks of life.

I saw more people ordering coffee, rather than alcoholic beverages that evening. I came without a reservation and was quickly shown to an available table. Open everyday of the week, you can be served breakfast all day, have your coffee fix, brunch and be served a steamy rice bowl. The owner is Rosario Juan, who had envisioned a cafe that not only served great coffee, but to gather people in one place to meet and host events. Commune’s menu is quite extensive, with a wide selection catering for both meat lovers and vegetarians. I was not feeling coffee adventurous that night, but their coffee menu had a wide selection of brew methods, espresso and iced types. Items are moderately priced, where their most expensive panini will set you back at 395 php, cheapest rice bowl at 250 php and their cappuccino (226 grams) is at 120 php.

Ordered that evening an iced camomile tea, spam fries, pork longganisa pasta and a sandwich (forgotten which one I had ordered). The spam fries were seriously addictive, its such a Filipino staple and loved how they included this! The pork lonnganisa was lovely, however they could have added more meat which was seriously lacking. Nothing really special with the items we ordered, but it was filling and comforting. Waitstaffs will come up and take your order from the table or you can make your order from the counter if it’s a take-away. Food came out timely and portion size was perfect for one person.

The mix of Filipino and western items in this cafe, is sure to cover both local and international customers. The wide, clear windows is sure to bring in an abundance of sunlight which makes the place a great cafe to work and meet in. The food were simple tasting, but I can see works well with the coffee and alcoholic beverages. I probably won’t come here for dinner, but will stop by for breakfast or brunch.

Sorry to the lady with the pink face mask… did I look suspicious haha

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Estate 88 – Premium Coffee

5/171 Power street, Glendenning 2761 NSW

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Estate 88 is a coffee bean supplier, that sources 100% Arabica beans. Estate 88 aims to ensure high quality coffee is served to its customers, where its Single Origin is targeted for black coffee lovers and their Signature Blend is catered for milk coffee lovers.

Estate 88 is set up within a creative lounge space in the west of Sydney, Glendenning. They claim it to be the ‘first specialty coffee lounge in Western Sydney’. A bold statement that is well deserved, as the choice of placement could not have been better. The cafe is set up gorgeously mixed with concrete, washes of clean white and straight lines. The space is further filled with handmade timber furniture which are softened with the comfiest cushions. The added greenery adds to the softness and natural aesthetic of the creative space.

We ordered two iced black coffees to start the day ahead. I did not have any beans I wanted necessarily, just a strong iced black. The barista delivered, the espresso was extremely dark yet smooth. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I remember the coffee to having slight hints of fruity fragrance adding to its richness. Although dark, it was not overbearingly bitter. The Nutella-filled donut and chocolate croissant, I felt came short to my taste buds. All were moderately priced and I probably won’t be ordering these two pastries in the future again. There was not a great selection when we came in.

Although the space was small, it felt comfortable. Sitting in a well-thought-out space in arms distance to a passionate cafe, I can see Estate 88 becoming a cafe staple in locals’ coffee books. A little treat for interstate and international travellers alike.

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Shari Shari Kakigori House

C127 GF, Serendra, BGC, Taguig Philippines

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What a little treat to stumble across, when I was on a hunt after dinner for some dessert! I’m not really a fan of shaved ice, called kakigori in Japanese, but when I do come across an amazing one like this place, I’m made into a fan.

You’ll find Shari Shari nestled comfortably in a hub of restaurants, not too far away from the ever-popular Bonifacio High Street. There is an array of flavours to choose from and they are separated under ‘premium flavours’, ‘classic flavours’, ‘fruit flavours’ which you then can add additional toppings if you like! We opted for the ‘matcha cream special’, correct me if I’m wrong, which had kuromitsu, matcha cream syrup, cookies (inside) and the irresistible whipped cream. You just have to look at the picture I’ve taken below, to see how beautiful and enticing it looked. Mind you, it is even special when you taste it. The shaved ice was surprisingly fluffy, like super soft! The flavours were captured evenly throughout, there was no awkward spots left unflavoured. The whipped cream added that cherry on top, not too sweet and the kuromitsu gave the shaved ice the needed caramel touch to balance the sweetness. I loved how it didn’t melt quickly, so you can enjoy it a little longer. When you finally break into the middle, it only gets better as the flavours are more intense and you have the cookie crumbles to keep you going.

I could ramble on, oh and how I wish there was one amazing as this place nearby me! The pictures don’t do the kakigori justice, also it was massive. I shared with my partner which was the perfect size and honestly, if I had my own it would have been perfectly fine too.

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Cow Cow Ice

EDSA corner J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

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What a surprising delight to stumble across this delectable store! Not only is Cow Cow Ice – Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory an instant head-turning store, with some nicely cut cheeses, cookies, small, cute cheesecake and cheese biscuits. I believe the store has three types of cheese biscuits, and I remember tasting one type of flavour and it was pure bliss. I’m thinking of purchasing a pack of 10, but because of its steep price… I don’t know. It’s definitely worth it, but still a bit pricey. The cookies would make a fantastic gift.

I couldn’t say no however to their soft-serves! I got one mixed (milk and cheese) and one pure milk soft-serve. Both were amazing, like it was not too sweet, had the creaminess of cheese and it tasted so bright. I enjoyed the thickness, has it slowly melted in your mouth, allowing you to enjoy every second. From looking at pictures, I believe you can also add the cookies or cheeses as toppings. Makes me want to go and visit Hokkaido.

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Little Flour Café

G/F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall Building D, EDSA, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

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WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM


Part of the Wildflour group and a younger sibling of the well-known Wildflour cafe, you know Little Flour cafe will be just as good!

What I love about this cafe is that they offer breakfast all-day everyday, so if you’re like me who loves to eat breakfast for dinner, you’ll enjoy this place. You will find a mixture of continental and Filipino breakfast and brunch dishes. I ordered their Filipino Breakfast item, that came with their homemade longganisa, garlic fried rice, eggs, pan de sal and coconut jam. Everything spelled out Filipino in this one dish, though it did pull back on the oiliness, whilst still keeping its moisture. I was craving chips so I squeezed that in. My partner ordered their Veggie Rice Bowl, since he had wanted to eat a bit cleaner.

The lighting in the cafe was dim, setting the mood for a comfortable and laid-back dinning experience. Waitstaffs were reachable if you wanted their attention, music was not too loud and the price averaged around $15 AUD. For some gentle cleanse, try their Fresh Ginger and Turmeric Tea.

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Two By Four Cafe

Fairwater Boulevard Fairwater Sales and Display Centre, Blacktown NSW 2148

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A new local community popped up recently, which has their own lovely cafe. The cafe is surrounded by leafy greens, a waterfront and has a verandah on the side if you prefer eating outdoors! We were fortunate to be eating on a clear, blue sunny day, as the wide windows in the cafe allowed a flood of sun to enter. There’s a mixture of table sizes in the cafe, small and large groups can be accommodated.

Two By Four Cafe did not kid, with the bowls, I was struggling with the size of mine. The chicken strips/cuts and vegetables blended great together, it tasted clean and was not heavily sauced. The juices were cold pressed, which was definitely refreshing. The highlight, that I really want to go back for, is their french toast. It was delicious, dangerously soft and not too sweet.

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