March 8th, 2008

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - La Buena Mesa



While I’m sad to see the departure of Hopscotch (and quaint touches like the colourful magnetic lettering of the specials board), the new owners have done more than add just a new name (La Buena Mesa). There’s also a new dimension to the café menu. The flavours are distinctly South American, and include breakfast options like great little Chorizillo with Eggs, Potato Rosti, Roasted Tomato and Toast ($14). I was impressed with the chorizillo, but have had better rosti.



Those not in the mood for something exotic for breakfast will see a few old favourites on the menu too – I enjoyed the Corn Fritter with Fresh Tomato and Avocado ($13.00) which came under a mound of well-seasoned greens, with standout avocado.



South American inspired lunch selections like the Lomito Palta ($14.50) – a pork loin and wilted cabbage sandwich was interesting, but perhaps read a little better than it tasted. My take on it is that the avocado (not listed on the menu) was a mistake.



Drink favourites like the Pineapple, Apple and Mint Frappe ($6.50) remain from the old Hopscotch menu. The coffee’s Belaroma and is well made.



They make a mean Affogato ($6.00). It goes perfectly with one of the dulce de leche (South American caramel) treats from the cabinet inside. Prices are higher than your average café – but the quality of the produce is too.

EDIT: Interestingly, a later visit was a complete disaster... down to a hollandaise sauce so congealed, I thought it was scrambled eggs at first glance, having to return to the menu to decide what it actually was! My dining companion refuses to return on the basis of this!

La Buena Mesa Café & Providore
61 Annandale Street, Annandale
Ph: (02) 9560 2698

La Buena Mesa on Urbanspoon
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Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Warning - Major Meat Ahead


In my quest to learn more about good produce, we tried another new butcher this week - Hudson Meats in Surry Hills. Tonight we embarked on a huge hunk of meat - an Angus T-Bone ($32.95/kg) weighing over a kilo. It's not cheap but for the sake of comparison, we used one steak to feed us both (and our contingent of connoisseur cats) for dinner, and there's enough left for two great beef rolls tomorrow!



It was one THICK steak so it required a pan-oven combination to avoid it drying out.



We used ghee, or clarified butter to brown it, in a cast-iron skillet that can be transferred straight to the oven.



The thick layer of fat needed a good go, to get it nice and caramelised - in the final eating, it was absolutely buttery (one of the reasons I choose Angus beef).



We chose to serve it up fairly simply with just a potato salad made with potatoes, mint, shallots, fennel, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and sour cream.



We were also given a complimentary bag of Cafe de Paris butter to go with the monster steak by the butcher, so it was a nice addition to the dish.



Hudson Meats

410 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9332 4454
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