Sunday, September 13, 2009
Could I have stumbled on possibly the best hot chip in Sydney? Well, today I think I had some that would give any chip I've eaten a run for its money. Found at the palatial Club Five Dock in the Three Peppers $10 lunch special no less. Who would have thought? I've driven through Five Dock many times en route to Leichhardt, and Haberfield. Today we were on the way to Burwood and decided we didn't want to eat there and thought that the cafe's along Great North Road looked interesting. We were right! As we wizzed past trying to find a parking spot, we saw a hole in the wall, that had no name on the awning, but was packed and looked like it was calling us. However, as we got on foot and turned the corner, we decided there could be many more delights to be found if we just spent a few minutes doing a reccie! Indeed there were. What we found was a mixture of businesses, some cafes, quite a few deli's and many more pasticcerias. How fantastic! The windows of the deli's were growning with beatiful olive oils of all varieties, flour dusted bread in all shapes and sizes, and of course beautiful meats. My first stop was Bills Fine Fruit and Veg on the corner of Great North Road and Garfield Street. The piles of Blood Oranges "sweet and juicy" the sign said, were literally CALLING me. I stopped to buy a few. They were sweet and juicy, and really REALLY yummy. As I went in to pay, I found piles of really fresh herbs and other bits and pieces and just under the counter was a range of Lebanese Honey, with all different varieties of nuts floating in the jars. They looked spectacular, and after a LOT of umming and aahhhing, I decided on the Orange Blossom Honey with Whole Pistachios. My husband and children just love honey so this was a really nice surprise for them all to try on fathers day along with the Brioche I bought from a local produce market. It looked so good, I was tempted to lick the glass jar. It is a beautiful golden colour, thick and consistent in colour, with loads and LOADS of pistachios in it! As we walked along the road we decided that there was more on offer to take home, than to eat and we just couldn't make a decision on where to have lunch. As we looked up, the answer was very clear. The majestic columns of the Club Five Dock loomed across the road, and we just looked at each other and walked in! A quick and friendly sign in was done, and we were directed to the Bistro on the ground level. Now, I don't know why, but I just figured the Bistro would be Italian food. It was a nice surprise to see the menu's for Three Peppers restaurant..mostly with a Thai theme. As we stood by the large blackboard, we watched some huge thai dishes going past that smelled great. There was a good crowd there for a week day as well, and when we sat down and saw they had a $10 lunch menu, I'm not surprised really. On one side was the favourites, and the other was the made to order thai dishes. My friend had the Steak Sandwich which came with those MAGNIFICENT chips, and I decided on the Thai BBQ chicken on Jasmin Rice. As we waited we checked out the decor. Clean, modern, with a very small childrens playroom to the side, so a family friendlyplace I would say. The buzzers went off and our meals arrived. The steak sambo was the clear winner I think. I had to try a chip and OH BOY, I couldn't believe the texture and flavour. I know its just a chip, but really there are so many insignificant and murdered chips out there that these were a real stand out. They were hand cut, and as we munched away and disected them, we have come to the conclusion that they are double fried, with a bit of roughing up in between and some extra seasoning done before the second fry. I could be wrong, but I have to say the conversation took the whole lunch time and we have both resolved to come back just for a plate of chips! Very satisfied, we left (with not a crumb of chip left anywhere in sight) and walked up towards the car and decided to check out the un-named cavern. Well, it turned out to be a second shopfront for the popular Tamborrino Pasticceria. Well, we didn't have time to stop, and neither of us had any room left for dessert so the only smart thing to do was take away! I took with me a vanilla slice (the crispy golden top was enough to send me into raptures), a fresh chocolate horn (I wanted the canoli with both vanilla and chocolate custard, but was distracted when they were packed, so this is what I ended up with), and two little custard and strawberry tarts for the children. This took me a good 5 minutes to decide on though as we were jostled in the very narrow space in front of the groaning glass cases of pastry. Obviously this is a popular place, lots of tables on the footpath were full of local mums with kids, most tables in the cavern were also taken, so I think they've obviously expanded recently. There was also beautiful cakes in the cases which looked like big chocolate roses. I really needed time to have a good look, but we needed to move on. I don't think we really did justice to the street, so there will be more blogs to come on this, but as a quick taster, I think we did rather well. Club Five Dock , Tamborrino and Bills Fine Fruits, along with many other pasticcerias and continental delis can all be found in Great North Road Five Dock. If possible, visit when you have some time to really look through everything on offer. Each shop has so many treasures, it would take more than just an hour to wizz around. Happi Eating!