Wednesday, 19 September 2012

:: Out & About in Newcastle ::

Out of the Kitchen - Newcastle
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::

:: out & about for a bite to eat ::

When we first moved to Newcastle, my good friend Heidi spent the time to type up a list of “where to eat” about our new town. This, to me, was like gold. When time is so precious in a new & foreign location, it is hard to know where to go & what to eat when the options are so many! Now, my dear readers, visitors & newly appointed Novacastrians, I would like to give you my personal list of culinary delights.

As much as I want to, I don’t go out every weekend for a gastronomical experience. However, there are some lovely places in my current hometown that I just adore for various reasons. In all honesty, there are so many great places! In the past few years, the list has grown larger due to some of the outstanding establishments opening their doors just for us.
This list is simple – places where I have frequented often & had consistent quality food & great service. I will keep updating this post as venues open/close their doors to the public or if I have stumbled across a new food adventure. Everyone has their own preferences & individual tastes, this list includes just some of my favourite & local haunts.

A Special Date Night
Experience delectable food & outstanding service - Ah-mazing cuisine for a special occasion
For a fine dining experience of flawless modern food in gorgeous surroundings & a wine list + service to match, Bacchus is the place to be. Also a good excuse to put on a gorgeous dress or handsome tie!

For our last date night, we went to the intimate Subo for dinner with some pre-dinner drinks a short walk away at the Melbourne inspired Terrace Bar. Subo's establishment is small, but the food is ingenious & service outstanding. Sue & Beau offer a flavour sensation with their tasting menu - great if you aren't too fussy & want to try new things. With a modest but delicious wine list, it is one of my new favourites.

Good Food
Excellent food & a great night out for two/four/six…
I loved the ingenuous food that is produced from this kitchen. Mason produces honest French Country inspired food with outstanding service. The choice of shared plate of “duck for two” with a Central Otago Pinot is my kind of eating & drinking. Just YUM!
This restaurant is great for quality food. The Sprout kitchen showcases seasonal food at its best, changing its menu regularly.

Drink Up
A quality beverage with delicious food to nibble on
A beautiful old building that used to be an Air Force Officers Club, Longworth House has some outstanding drinks & an even more delicious tapas menu. A very cosy space, the lounges & fireplace on offer create great atmosphere. They are also my pick for a major function/wedding venue. Definitely my favourite place to be with a glass in my hand & good company to chat with.
Bar Petite
I recently revisited this venue on a Sunday afternoon & was suitably impressed. The friendly atmosphere accompanied by a fresh, live music of the HP Duo (Bar Petite has live music every weekend) & some yummy tapas welcomed me as I drank with friends. I also love the eclectic decor & individual arrangement of vintage chairs. Worth a look for sure!!!

Other Notable Mentions
Terrace Bar, Newcastle; Depot on Beaumont, Hamilton;

:: the Scotties take-away window - don't forget to request hand cut chips ::

Gone Fishin’
Best fish’n’chips in town
Make sure that you specially request the home-style hand cut chips, even from the takeaway window. It may cost you $2 more but it is a small price to pay for the best chips in town at Scotties on Scott St, Newcastle!

For the Girls
when you just want to have a chat...
Bacchus high tea
My friend arranged a fantastic Sunday afternoon at Bacchus for a high tea with a gorgeous bunch of girls. It was a simply blissful afternoon with amazing bite sized treats, beautiful surrounds, a bottomless cup of lovely tea & excellent service to match... only $35 (a bit more with a glass of bubbles), put it on your to do list.

Asian Affair
What everyone wants to know - whether it’s Thai, Chinese, Indian eat in or take-away. Service/atmosphere not always guaranteed… but the food is authentic & delicious
Chinese: Sinofood, Hamilton;
Thai: The Grain, Hamilton; Larna Thai, Honeysuckle;
Indian: Indiana Raj, Hamilton; Raj’s Corner (Takeaway), Hamilton;
Japanese: Nagisa, Honeysuckle; Sushi Revolution, Hamilton;

Pub Grub
When your are wanting the food basics with a cold beer
They have huge list of beers on tap & good pub food. Great kids meals (ages 4+) that are made in house with portable DVD players for distraction/entertainment of the little ones.

:: when breakfast is the ultimate meal, look at the III Bean menu ::

Breakfast Best
Bacon & Eggs stepping up above the norm
The way the food is prepared every time in this café is outstanding. All of their quality ingredients are sourced for your breakfast pleasure. The excellence of local food producers, such as Cornucopia Eggs & Artisan Morpeth Sourdough, is highlighted with every meal. Enjoy III Bean - I do nearly every week!

The Big Beef
Nothing beats a good steak & a glass of red wine. Nothing.
When your beef fillet arrives on a wooden board, you know you are in for a great meal. The waitress gives you a selection of enhancements to go with your meal - my pick is the salsa verde… I couldn’t get enough of it!

:: always providing a good cup, III Bean Espresso ::

Caffeine Hit
When it is only about the coffee…
Just around the corner for me, I love the way they pull their Peaberrys grind for a perfect coffee every time. A divine accompaniment is the home-style sweet treats by Alice from BakedUprising – delicious!
It is by the beach, grab a coffee & watch the waves roll in. Some fantastic honest cooking from the Estabar open kitchen as well.
Other Notable Mentions
Sprocket Roasters, Newcastle; One Penny Black, Newcastle; Good Brother, Newcastle; Bank Corner, Newcastle West; Rolador Café, Hamilton; One Tree Coffee, Charlestown Square; Glee Coffee, Darby St - Newcastle;

:: roasting up a good bean, Sprocket ::

Buy the Bean
For those with a home espresso machine & who need quality coffee beans in the morning & afternoon
These beans are roasted in Newcastle & supply various locations around town – We particularly like their “MilkyWay” variety of beans that is perfect for my morning latte at home.

:: the best ice-cream in town from Estabar ::

We All Scream…
When it comes to the best ice-cream/gelati in town to brighten your day
For the most wholesome, traditional ice-cream & gelati, as well as the best iced-coffee (café frio) in town. Grab a cup of the cold stuff & walk along the beach.

Scenic Experience
When it is only about the view of our amazing town surrounded by water

:: fresh produce from the Newcastle Farmers Markets ::

Shopping Fresh
Fresh food & local produce for your very own feast at home
Stalls to visit;
Eat – Tiny Ponder (the best grilled sandwiches)
Cakes & Sweets – Baked Uprising, Head in the Clouds Pastries, The Iced Queens & Sinnamon
Coffee – Sprocket & Peaberries
Pantry & Fridge Items Binnorie Dairy & Cheeses, Fosterton Farm Flour, Over the moon Milk, Hunter Valley Pasta Co & Happy Hen Eggs   
Meats – Saltbush Lamb
Vegetables – Johnson's Farmgate Vegetables
Specialising in locally grown & specialty produce.

:: seafood delights from Scotties, Newcastle ::

Buzz about Town
There are newer places in town about whom I have heard GREAT things – but being a mum takes its toll on the number of culinary outings! Look out kitchens… I’m coming as soon as we get a babysitter!
Subo (A renowned chef, big accolades, a fine dining experience)
Le Petite Deux (A relaxed sister to Restaurant Deux in the old Bacados)
Bocados (same people, new & bigger location right next door to the old venue)
Café Mason (An extension to Restaurant Mason – should be good!)

Restaurant Bookings
How to get a seat at your destination of choice…
Phone ahead…
Where available, each Restaurant/Café name has a link provided to their website for current contact details, opening hours & phone numbers. I highly recommend booking ahead to guarantee an open venue, a seat & to avoid utter disappointment.

:: the mobile Sprocket van at the Newcastle Farmers Markets ::

Note: Unless otherwise stated, ALL the featured providores are places that I have frequented often to ensure quality & consistency. 


  1. Estabar is also one of the best places for hot chocolate and their affogatos are great, both the coffee and the chocolate ones. Try the chocolate affogato over ginger fudge gelato, mmmmmm yum!

    Glee on Darby street are the only place so far that rival Estabar for hot chololate. Their orange infused hot chocolate is to die for.

    1. I totally agree Colleen - Estabar has a great selection & excel when both their coffee AND ice-cream feature! Also love Glee!!! It must have been an oversight, but I have added them to the list. I haven't tried their choc orange infusion hot chocolate, but it is now on my list.


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