The first thing you’ll notice about Flower Child Café is the ambience and the decor as everything is so florally. I just couldn’t help but smile as it just looks so peaceful. And what a stunning place to eat at with their brekkie, brunch or lunch menu options available all day.
Just on Anderson Street in Chatswood Westfield entrance you’ll easily spot a crowd full of hungry humans waiting around for a table. One thing I’ve noticed about brunch places is that if there’s a line it must be good. And boy I am glad my hungry instincts got this right.
Flower Child Cafe Entrance
As soon as we scored a table we quickly knew what to order and after a short conversation, everything had arrived. What drew me to the Flower Child French Toast ($19) was the lovely garden of fruits which included a scoop of banana mascarpone, freshly sliced banana, crumbs of dark chocoalte, baked peacan pieces, fresh mixed berries and a spread of salted toffee & maple syrup ($19). The toast looked evenly fried on the outside and soft and fluffy inside which made me think this could easily be on my comfort food list.
Flower Child French Toast ($19)
For the benedict fanatics the Eggs Benedict ($19) was quite a cheat day treat with two poached eggs covered in burnt butter hollandaise served with espresso & house made tomato jam with proscuitto. What was fun about this dish was it came fashionably buttered and toasted on a freshly baked croissant. I had a ‘moment’ alone with this because it was hitting all the right notes with the butter and creamy flavours. With the croissant it had the perfect layered crisp and crunch that married so well together with the savoury prosciutto. This is really something you shouldn’t be sharing folks.
Eggs Benedict ($19)
Feeling thirsty for something fruity? Well the freshly squeezed Pineapple Juice ($7) was a summer pleaser as it had a mix of pineapple, pear, apple, mint and a hint of ginger. We were trying to pretend to be healthy…haha.
Pineapple Juice ($7)
Next up the Barramundi Burger ($19) that came with a thick piece of crumbed barramundi schnitzel, red cabbage slaw and was drenched in kewpie mayo sauce on a sesame seed milk bun served with a basket of salty French fries.
Barramundi Burger ($19)
The burger grabbed my full attention as I could easily taste the freshness of that evenly golden crumbed barramundi. It was beyond my expectation and certainly a burger I’d like to order again.
Trust me when I say this burger is worthy for your tastebuds to enjoy. The red cabbage slaw with mayo combined flawlessly with the burger as it had bold cruciferous and peppery flavour.
Side view of the Barramundi Burger
In between meals you might want to give their coffee a try as all their coffee beans come from The Grounds of Alexandria. So we opted for Moccamaster ($4) which was a batch brewed filtered coffee resulting in a heavenly clean sweet taste. You won’t get your usual bitterness but great option for filter coffee starters.
And if your heart is set on the traditional brekkie dish then look no further because Breakfast Plate ($21) can sure be a real hearty meal as it includes two poached eggs, grilled chorizo, chunks of avocado, goat’s curd, roasted truss tomato, sprinkles of pomegranate, quinoa salad and on the side sourdough toast. I don’t think you need to eat dinner after this as it was an endless spread of all things nutritional.
Breakfast Plate ($21)
I could happily look at the Acai Bowl ($16) all day as it was just too pretty to eat. This so called bowl but served on a plate contained half sliced strawberries, generous sprinkles of blueberries, a piece of banana, chia seeds, crushed almonds, shredded coconut & the most importantly granola. It was all high in antioxidants and incorporated into this sugar-free and healthy breakfast. Winning for the health junkies out there!
Acai Bowl ($16)
At Flower Child Café on the weekends you’re best off dining in groups of two or four as it’s quite a train long wait. As for service it was surprisingly efficient and hassle free when ordering. Now for the food and beverage it was reasonable for what you pay for and I was quite surprised how the Barramundi Burger tasted, thumbs up.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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Fancy baking in a bakery? How about an evening making a loaf of gluten-free bread and shortcrust pastry? At Brasserie Bread, they have come up with one of the best gluten-free slumber baking party ideas ever. It’s a rare chance to spend 3 hours with an artisan baker and learn the technical skills from starter to finish. For ($160 per person) max 10 students per course, this intimate workshop allows you go create and bake an amazing gluten-free bread loaf, a foccacia-style cornbread and a smoked trout & goats cheese tart with natural ingredient. In 2013 the Brasserie Bread has won sourdough loaf and Gold Medal at the RAS Sydney Fine Food Show Awards and in 2014 winner of champion sourdough & organic bread at sydney royal fine food show. The bakery is always occupied with a variety of hot fresh baked breads and pastries. For those who like to attempt making gluten-free bread, Brasserie Bread offer evening classes. You wouldn’t want to miss out breaducation, if you happen to like bread.
Gluten-Free Baking Workshop at Banksmeadow Bakery.
At 1:30pm sharp, the breaducation door was wide open and whilst we wait for other guests to arrive, I go do my Nessy thang. Wandering around with my camera and trying snoop around and see how a bakery looks like. This crazy large kitchen has a lot of personality and I am talking about GIGANTIC mixer and LARGE oven, it’s a dream baking kitchen alright. We were almost ready to begin, but it was nice of Artisan Baker Jo to let us introduce ourselves. Just a few centimeters to my left, I happen to be standing next to Go Bake Yourself! Urvashi is incredibly an awesome baker and you’d want her to bake you something everyday! Also standing next to Urvashi, Grab Your Fork’s cousin, Yvonne happens to be in the house. What a small world! This woman is seriously a baking enthusiast as she mentioned this would be her second class. SUPER KEEN BEAN!
Baking 3 Hours of gluten-free bread is fun for everyone.
Enough of me waffling and we start off with our starter ingredients to make Gluten-Free Bread Loaf. This includes organic gluten free flour, organic buckwheat flour, organic besan flour, river salt, raw sugar, fresh yeast, extra virgin olive oil, milk, water, xanthan gum and biga. Jo mentions that in the gluten free flour, there is a mixture of organic gluten free flour, 75% organic brown rice flour, 12.5% millet, 12.5% buckwheat. Top secret tip: For every 500grams of this mix, add 1tablespoon of gelatine, so this let’s the bread mingle well together. With the mix of these organic flours and gelatine it helps create a better tastier characteristics, especially the tendency of the bread is quite strong. For the gluten free enthusiast, Jo recommends Eating Gluten Free and Bette Hagman’s recipes. After Jo introduces us to gluten-free ingredients and our schedule, we hop to it with our mixing. We blended our fresh yeast, raw sugar, salt to our cup of milk, then poured it straight into our bowl and mixed thoroughly together till it looks sticky.
This is not so hard! Gluten-Free Bread Loaf here I come.
Next, we add water and oil, then continue mixing thoroughly till you get a nice mushy texture.
Adding 40ml of extra virgin oil plus 80ml of water into the mixing bowl.
After a nice arm workout with mixing, add 200 grams of biga into the mixing bowl. Did you know? Biga is a natural fermenting dough that is used to create a breads characteristics of flavour.
That’s 200 grams of Biga.
Mixing all ingredients together.
Well that’s a wrap for Gluten Free Bread Loaf. Just kidding! We had no choice to say farewell to these babies for about an hour so they can bulk ferment in a warm place. We all had to make sure our bowls were covered in clean wrap, so no flavours dissolve out in open.
Placing these Gluten-Free Bread Loaf mixture into the refrigerate room before baking.
Eagerly waiting for a next activity, Jo introduces us to Lupin. Lupin is a fantastic ingredient as it contains LOW GI and HIGH in PROTEIN (up to 40%) and great health benefit for those participating high content of dietary fibre. It is made from dehulled leguminous lupin kernels, not maize. From an Artisan Baker’s perspective, Jo suggest Kialla Pure is an excellent choice to making gluten free products, however if you don’t have that then use whatever that best fits you.
Jo talks about the ingredients we were using.
For making our Gluten Free Focaccia, it was exactly the same steps to making Gluten Free Bread Loaf. However slight difference with ingredients: organic gluten free flour, river salt, raw sugar, fresh yeast, organic Lupin flour, extra virgin olive oil, milk, water, xanthan gum and biga. After combining all ingredients together, cover it with clean wrap and store in a warm place. During the waiting process, six lucky guests including myself got the opportunity to go behind the scene and witness Brasserie Bread baking world. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photos, but let me point this out, it was FREAKEN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE! It felt like Willy Wonka Wonderland, except this one’s for the bread fanatics. We stopped at the croissant pastry room and endless trays of croissants were waiting to be baked. We even witnessed bakers who had no gloves on taking out hot crisp sourdough bread straight out of the oven. That’s unbelievably insane!
Excitingly waiting to place the mixture into that tiny tray.
I know! Time flies and our Gluten Free Bread Loaf mixture was ready. I am going to make sure this bread is going to look attractive to eat. But first, let me out scoop 250 grams of Gluten- Free Bread Loaf mixture to take home and test it out in my own oven.
We were allowed to take home 250g Gluten-Free Bread Loaf mixture.
Jo suggests we should sprinkle nothing but sesame seeds to add that additional flavour to our loaf of bread. Hmmmmmm I can smell it already!
Get ready to get baked Gluten-Free Bread Loaf.
Can’t wait to see how these bad boys will turn out.
Once these adorable tins are in the oven, get your hands dirty cause it’s time for Gluten Free Shortcrust Pastry. Each guest gets one piece of already made mixture that has been refrigerated for at least 1 hour before ready to use.
Excited to make Gluten-Free Shortcrust Pastry.
Closely listening and examining Jo’s method of placing the shortcrust onto the tin seemed super easy, but when I done it, it was a bit of a struggle. Luckily, a great tip Jo mentioned is use your roller to evenly shape the edges of the crust. Once you have enough confidence with the mold of your crust, add baking beans to hold the shape before place it in the oven.
Baking beans are used to get the shortcrust pastry to hold their shape before putting it in the oven.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, then push the tarts into the oven for 10 minutes until slightly golden brown. My tart almost looks golden brown, but don’t forget I need to add a few things then back in the oven again.
Hey! My gluten-free shortcrust pastry turned out not so bad for a first timer.
Jo offered us smoked trout, goats cheese, caramelised onion, ricotta and pesto to fill up a lovely tarts. Once all guests were finished showing-off their presentation talents, tarts went straight back in the oven again for about 10 minutes.
The best part about making gluten-free tart is filling it with smoked trout, goats cheese, caramelised onion and pesto.
What do you think? The crust was perfectly baked and texture was very nice and crumbly with a hint of buttery flavour.
TA DA! My work of art 😀
Fruit flavour refreshments : Frou Frou Cordials is a must try! Taste very fancy without any preservaties, colouring or artificial flavours.
Back to the bakery lab and our Gluten Free Focaccia is ready for us to mold. Before that Jo gives us some helpful hints to create the perfect flavours to our focaccia and that’s adding extra virgin olive oil. Once we’ve completed shaping our Focaccia, it’s ready to get baked!
Allow the mixture to ‘bulk fermet‘ for at least 1 hour in a warm place.
Jo demonstrating how to decorate the gluten-free focaccia.
Time to top the Gluten-Free Focaccia with desired ingredients.
Can’t believe I made my own Gluten Free Bread Loaf!!! I like I am one step closer to becoming the perfect future housewife 😛
Our Gluten-Free Bread Loaf is ready!
Ok ok, I confess and Urvashi can be my witness that most of the time I was the kid in this class. Everyone elses Gluten Free Focaccia turned out to be a normal, except mine and Urvashi. Haha! You see Urvashi focaccia and my Franklinstein focaccia got married in the baking room. They were baking it out for 15 minutes in the oven and they look perfectly happy with a nice golden crisp tan face. They make an excellent couple because they both have wonderful red sun dried tomatoes and sprinkles of rosemary smile and oh, can’t forget dusted cheddar cheese to add that extra personality.
Haha! Urvashi and I may of decorated our Gluten-Free Focaccia in a different manner.
Before we left, it was my duty to go for a BREAD-ING SPREE with Yvonne and Urvashi. Can you imagine how much bread and danishes one can take home and eat? Brasserie Bread have an enormous supply of bread, cake and pastries. It honestly didn’t take us long to decide what bread to take home because everything smelt so delicious, my body was ready for it.
WOW! Is this bread heaven or what?! ❤ ❤ ❤
Ready to eat Olive & Rosemary Loaf
Love to whack someone in the head with the Rustic Loaf. KIDDING! Or am I ? 😛
All the French Pastry one could ever ask for!
This is where beautiful breads and pastries are made.
I only have one sentence to sum up my BREAD-ING SPREE feelings. DAMMMMMN GIRL!!!! Mama’s bringing home the bread. 😛 I apologise to you readers in advance that your eyes will have to witness a few disturbing photos and maybe some side effects include craving for bread and pastries.
Just doing my BREAD SPREE with Urvashi at Brasserie Bread Bakery store. No biggie!
Let me introduce you to some unique breads that Brasserie Bread has to offer!!! You won’t be bored from this bakery. Behold! Organic Sourdough – Large Bakers Round that’s the size of my face and BIGGER.
French Mountain Bread – Large Bakers Round-It’s TWO TIMES BIGGER than my FACE.
Granary Toast Loaf packed with variety of 6 grains.
The Kalamata Olives & Fresh Rosemary Boule ($7.50) is great with soup.
Walnut & Fig Loaf ($7.50) contains chock-full of walnuts and dried figs and is the ultimate fruit sourdough.
Ready to take on the world with my my French Mountain shield and Rustic sword.
(Excuse my messy Nessy hair, I just came back from a battle).
I am not ashamed of myself for not being that typical girl who enjoys shopping spree at a shopping center ( don’t get me wrong, I love that too), but I rather get some carbs in my system and go all bread-ing bad at the bakery.Teehee.
Nessy Eater girl clearly brings home the bread. Haha!
Photos by Vanny Tang
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
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