Beer, schnitzel and pizza lovers of Western Sydney will be stoked to know that Penrith is now home to the Bavarian Bier Café and Fratelli Famous concept restaurant. What is this concept restaurant, you ask? Well, basically it’s the two restaurants under one roof. You can order Bavarian items from one end and Fratelli items from another end. Or, just head straight to the bar in the middle, which offers a menu with a range from both restaurants. We recently checked out this new venue and indulged in some big food and drink.

 

The Emporium in Parramatta is a dining spot unlike any other in the area. It’s a bar, restaurant and café all in one with gorgeous curb side tables and an indoor dining space with an alfresco feel. It immediately transports you from the hustle and bustle of down town Parramatta, to a sophisticated European food and drink sanctuary. The refined share plates, glorious cocktails and fine wines are perfect for a date night, dinner with friends or enjoying a celebration with family. I’ve dined at The Emporium a few times now, but most recently visited for the launch of their March long festival, Under the Parra Sun.

Chefs Gallery is a display of modern Chinese cuisine. Not just through the dishes placed on your table that you get to eat, but through the kitchen’s glass walls which offer a glimpse into the chefs’ domain. We peered inside these windows to see bamboo baskets stacked high over simmering pots and long ropes of dough being stretched, rolled and twisted into hundreds of perfect noodles all by hand. There are quite a few Chefs Gallery restaurants around Sydney. We visited the Bankstown restaurant for an authentic Chinese dinner (which means no Sweet & Sour Pork or Honey Chicken in sight).

I remember coming to Cabra-Vale Diggers club back in the eighties. My friends and I would drink and dance here until the wee hours of the morning. Of course, back then, we were more into the Rieslings so I never got a chance to try the club’s food. Now, a few decades on, I was excited to hear that Cabra-Vale Diggers is undergoing a huge $18 million dollar transformation, with stage 1 already complete: Brasserie On The Park. Alice and I were invited along to the club to check out this beautiful new bistro on the border of Cabramatta and Canley Vale.

You know those nights when you just can’t be bothered cooking. You want pizza, but the thought of waiting an hour for it to be delivered is just torture. Well, if you live near Casula, Little Caesars may just be your saviour. Located on the Hume Highway, Little Caesars Hot-n-Ready pizzas are available for pickup, delivery and even drive thru with no call ahead or waiting required!

Smack bang in the middle of Cabramatta, perhaps The Usual Café should have been called the Unusual Café, as unlike its local authentic Vietnamese counterparts, this eatery looks sleek with a menu to match. A somewhat peaceful place to retreat to, away from the hustle and bustle of the colourful streets, it was the spot for a recent catch up with friends.

Mama Rosy’s is an Italian restaurant located on the southern end of King Street in Newtown. This strip is famous for its ecclectic cafes, quirky boutiques, vintage wares and antique stores. I am happy to visit a place like this anytime, especially when there's food involved!

Some people get really excited about Christmas, a super Saturday sale or Grand Final weekend. But here at the Western Sydney Food Blog, we get really excited about local markets, especially visiting new ones. One of the newest on the scene is Market by the River in Ermington. This once a month market set up next to Parramatta River has a range of foodie delights and handcrafted items available.

Last Thursday, unlike my husband, I had an extra day off work thanks to the Australia Day Public Holiday. I made the most of it by taking Mr 11 for a milkshake, walk and swim in the beautiful bushland surrounds of Lake Parramatta Reserve, or as we like to call it, Western Sydney's Beach.

Last month was Ethan’s birthday. It was also my first study break since starting my degree via correspondence over a year ago. To celebrate, I promised Ethan a surprise weekend away. However, when it came time to searching for somewhere nice to stay, my hopes were shattered when I found that the average price for hotels around this time of year is $400 a night - way over my budget! After more searching, I finally found a place that ticked all the boxes – affordable, looked nice, not too far away and with fun places to visit nearby. It was the Atura Hotel at Blacktown. Yep, Blacktown. Happy Birthday Ethan, we’re off 25 minutes down the road to Blacktown.