Burger Project | Sydney CBD

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On a lazy and chilly Friday night, hubby and I decided we should have a burger. We were around the CBD area in Sydney that evening and the Burger Project seemed a good option. I had been there before and liked, so why not confirming the expectations?

There are many different burgers, and guess what, any of them you can have without the bun! Yep, they wrap it on a lettuce leaf for you. Perfect for those avoiding wheat/gluten or following a low carb diet.

I might say that eating a burger like this is not an easy task. I’ve tried, trust me. So I suggest you use the fork and knife kindly provided by the restaurant. A mess-free experience guaranteed. 🙂

My order

When the subject is a burger, I like to play safe, which means I normally go for the classic options. That night our order was:

  • Mine: double burger – 2x grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce & secret sauce.
  • Hubby: the same, but with the bun (no photos because he ate too fast 😜).
Double burger, close up.
Double burger, close up.
Double: 2x grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce & secret sauce.
Double: 2x grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce & secret sauce.

The burger is super tasty and price-wise very appealing. As I said before, eating with the lettuce wrap is not an easy task, unless you are a ninja. 🙂

About the secret sauce, it is indeed very secret. Couldn’t find any information on their website, and their employees had no idea what was in it. So if you are very strict with your diet (especially with sugar) I would recommend skipping it, just to err on the side of the caution a bit, you know.

Burger Project
MLC Centre – Lower Ground Floor, Shop 6.22
19 Martin Place Sydney NSW 2000 (multiple addresses available)
More information: www.burgerproject.com

Think.Eat.Save by OzHarvest, at Martin Place, Sydney

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I love a good cause, but even more when it is food related. 🙂

Food for thought

Today, here in Sydney, we had this event organised by OzHarvest called Think.Eat.Save Martin Place where the main idea was to attract awareness to the food waste occurring every single day of our lives.

Did you know that an alarming one third of the food produced for human consumption (roughly 1.3 billion tonnes … yes, BILLION TONNES) is wasted, or simply lost during some stage along the way from the fields to our tables?

Photos
How was the event

There was so much to see and learn, as you can see from the photos above, but let me try to summarise some of the most interesting parts.

First and foremost, free lunch with rescued food.
That’s right, not only the meals served today were prepared with perfectly edible food (but that would otherwise go wasted from restaurants and supermarkets due to their serving policies), but they were also served free of charge!

Meals were prepared by a collection of world-class Australian chefs including Neil Perry, from the Rockpool Group, and Matt Moran (ARIA catering).

Chef Neil Perry at the event

It was a great opportunity for networking as well. With at least 5,000 people expected to have attended the event, plus impeccable organisation by the volunteers, meet-and-greet like-minded people was an easy task. 🙂

Finally, you could also join a live panel discussion regarding food waste, food security and sustainability with a number of experts in this field. Ah, there was also some stands from Woolworths and Glad where they promoted some of their initiatives aligned with the idea of reducing food waste.

If you missed the event, or just happen to live somewhere else, the event also takes place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Newcastle, and Perth.

This is an annual event, so if you could not attend this time, don’t worry, you will have a new chance in 2018!

Out there: Albero-di-lemone Trattoria | Sutherland

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I need to tell you, my food weakness is pizza. Every now and then I make it at home, always trying some low carb recipes and playing around with different toppings. This is totally fun and I love it!

However, when I spot a really good pizza place I make exceptions to my diet routine, allowing me to indulge once in a while with a good and traditional Italian pizza, and this is the case with Albero-di-lemone Trattoria, in Sutherland, Sydney.

Their pizza is so good that’s worth every gram of gluten and refined carbs in it. But, before you go all sad and think this is not for you, hold on a minute! There is a gluten free crust available, not to mention delicious risotto and salad options. They also have specials every day, with different flavours for pizza, risotto and salad that are not on their regular menu!

Entree

We (Hubby and I) had been there several times, so the following photos are a collection of dinners, ok? 😛

Normally we get for the entree:

  • Buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, chilli e basil (GF)
  • Garlic and herb pizza
Albero-di-lemone - Antipasto: Buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, chilli e basil.
Albero-di-lemone – Antipasto: Buffalo mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, chilli e basil
Albero-di-lemone - Antipasto: Garlic and herb pizza
Albero-di-lemone – Antipasto: Garlic and herb pizza

Mains

Their pizza serves well two people, leaving room for an entree or a dessert. The risotto, however, is HUGE and I advise you to not get anything else in case this is your choice. Below a few things we already tried:

  • Margheritta: the classic mozzarella, tomato e basil pizza.
  • Napoli: olives, anchovy, capers e pesto.
  • Risotto: roasted pumpkin, prosciutto, fontina, oregano. (GF)
Albero-di-lemone - Main: Margheritta ‘the classic mozzarella, tomato e basil pizza’.
Albero-di-lemone – Main: Margheritta ‘the classic mozzarella, tomato e basil pizza’.
Albero-di-lemone - Main: Napoli ‘olives, anchovy, capers e pesto’.
Albero-di-lemone – Main: Napoli ‘olives, anchovy, capers e pesto’.
Albero-di-lemone - Main: Roast pumpkin, prosciutto, fontina, oregano risotto.
Albero-di-lemone – Main: Roast pumpkin, prosciutto, fontina, oregano risotto.

Hmm, I dream with this risotto every now and then…

About their pizza, the crust is very crunchy and thin enough. Toppings come in a good quantity, they use very good quality ingredients and their tomato sauce is fantastic!

I highly recommend trying their special pizza flavours! We had it a couple of times and we absolutely loved.

Albero-di-lemone Trattoria
Shop 2, 720 Old Princes Highway – Sutherland. NSW 2232
For more information: www.albero-di-lemone.com.au

Out there: Cocowhip | Sydney

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Cocowip original (plain)
Cocowhip original flavour (plain)

Have you heard about Cocowhip? It seems like this is the new healthy trend this summer here in Sydney.
It is vegan, refined sugar-free and according to their website: this refreshing cream is “loaded with bio-fermented freeze dried coconut water powder providing the equivalent of over 10 cups of Yoghurt!“.

Before trying it I did a bit more research on their website and they say in each 100 grams of the original flavour, you will find 16.1g of carbs, 0.1g protein and 3.7g of fat. However, I’ve found the ingredients list a bit disappointing and not that real food-ish as you can see below:

Ingredients:
Coconut Water, Vegan Premix (Cocowhip Coconut Powder, Corn Starch [Non GMO], Natural Sweetener [Xylitol], Coconut Sugar, Inulin, Guar Gum, Carob Bean Gum, Vegan Mono-diglycerides), Coconut Probiotic (Bio-fermented Coconut Powder, Freeze Dried Coconut Water, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plant Arum).

I understand they need some of these ingredients to get the creamy consistency, like corn starch and guar gum. But I don’t know why they decided to use 3 types of sugar?! There is xylitol, coconut sugar, inulin and I’m not even counting the natural sweetness of coconut water.

Anyways, I’ve decided to take the risk and tried some. Below I have the original one with mango swirl, and hubby got also the original version with gluten free caramel slices and chocolate syrup.

Cocowip with mango and Cocowip with gluten free caramel slices
Cocowhip with mango and Cocowhip with gluten free caramel slices

The ice cream is very, very light, and you can feel it’s not as sweet as a regular ice cream (which is great, but why all those sweeteners?). I found it very refreshing as well, and a nice option for any vegan friends out there. However, it’s not something out of this world, of course, better than regular ice cream but maybe it works better as part of a dish as I saw some cafes doing.

As far as I could understand, they sell the ice cream to cafes and restaurants, and then they make their own creations. These two I had at Heart & Soul Organic Chai Cafe, at Cronulla beach. You can check their website for more locations: www.cocowhip.com.au

Out there: El-manara Lebanese Restaurant | Lakemba – Sydney

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I simply love middle eastern cuisine; all their spices, strong flavours, and the way you eat and share the food. Everything seems so relaxed and comfortable. It’s like this type of food is always made by that lovely grandmother and I feel like in every bite, it gives my stomach a lovely hug.

I truly think I have some sort of past connection with that region haha, but anyways let’s talk about serious stuff here: my lunch at El-manara Lebanese Restaurant.

It was a friend’s idea. She is from Jordan and after visiting Lakemba (a well-known Lebanese suburb in Sydney), she invited me to go there again. The restaurant is a small and simple place, but the food my friend, is absolutely fantastic! As we say in Brazil: this is to be eaten praying (yeah, it makes sense in Portuguese :P).

Ah! In case you follow any low carb, paleo or gluten free diet, simply by skipping the pita bread you can find many options that suit these diets. I got some on the pictures below.

My order

We were in four (my friend and her boyfriend, and my hubby), and I might say I was very fortunate to have two specialists with us. They did the order and at first, I thought that it was a lot of food, but silly me. That food was outstanding and I couldn’t stop myself from eating a bit of everything (neither them). 😛

For the mains we got:

  • Kafta and Shish Kebab. [GF]
  • Fattah – layers of pita bread, chickpeas, and natural yoghurt mixed with lemon juice. According to my friend, this is a traditional breakfast dish in the Middle East.
  • Hoummos with meat. [GF]
  • Lebanese salad – Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, lemon juice, garlic & olive oil. [GF]
  • Pickles and veggies plate – Olives, tomatoes, chillies, and pickled turnips.
  • Cooked kebbeh with garlicky dip.
  • Savoury yogurt to drink (surprisingly good). [GF]
Kafta and Shish Kebab
Kafta and Shish Kebab
Fattah
Fattah
Hoummos with meat
Hoummos with meat
Lebanese salad
Lebanese salad
Lebanese salad
Lebanese salad
Cooked kebbeh (4 pieces)
Cooked kebbeh (4 pieces)
Savoury yoghurt to drink
Savoury yoghurt to drink

For me it’s clear when I really like a place, I crave it! Now, for example, writing this post and seeing these photos, I’m almost getting on a train to go there again.

Also, take advantage to explore the suburb itself, visiting some shops with traditional Lebanese products and stop in a Café for a sweet, maybe some Turkish or Arabic coffee, and why not some mint tea too?

El-manara Lebanese Restaurant: 143 Haldon Street, Lakemba, Sydney, NSW
The menu is available on their website: www.elmanaralebaneserestaurant.com.au