24 November 2011

Taste of Belgium: Café with freshly made Belgium waffles, Seaforth (23 Oct 2011)

Shop 1, 549 Sydney Road, Seaforth NSW 2092
Phone: (02) 9949 5330

Spoilt for sweet choices

Thanks to Nelly Indrawati on behalf of Chef Didier Lannoote for inviting me to Taste of Belgium as a guest with my family to 'taste' the menu. Upon arrival it was clear to see Didier was certainly a passionate chef seeing so many choices of cakes, pastries, chocolates and their much famed Belgium waffles in the counter display — quite overwhelming actually as they all looked very tempting. He also took the time to greet his customers when he could as he popped in and out of the kitchen for his regular stint of a flat white and it looked like the locals knew they were on to a good thing. If initial plans had gone through to have the shop at The Spot in Randwick I'm sure it would have done very well and fair competition for the likes of Bourke Street Bakery and Croquembouche Pâtisserie. The competent Russian barista made a good Cappuccino ($3.50), Real Belgian Hot Chocolate ($4.50) and Mocha ($4.20) that I'd happily order again and the Malabar Chai ($4) was flavoursome.

I was glad to see that a small selection of savoury breakfast dishes were on the menu and hopefully more choices will be added soon. The Ham, Cheese & Tomato Croissant ($8.50) was light and flakey and the Duck paté with brioche ($13.50) comes with great tasting mushrooms. The decent sized Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon ($15.50) and Big Breakfast ($16) are worth having and for those who like it sweet the Belgium waffle with ice cream ($9.50) is probably a must. We managed to try a few tarts and if you dine in they get plated up with a bit of creative fruit coulis. They might be considered a little pricey but they're also big enough to share. I liked the toasted nuts in the Tartelette Aux Noix ($7.50) although a scoop of ice cream with it would have been great as well. The Tartelette Citron ($7.50) wasn't overly sweet and I was impressed to see the number of fruits in the Tartelette Aux Fruits ($7.50) — I counted six. To finish we were given a large selection of Belgium chocolates — I'm always a sucker to try the chilli chocolate. I survived the impending sugar overload, just, and wished such a cafe existed closer to home.

PROS: Large range of quality cakes and pastries made daily, Limited breakfast menu but done well, Good Belgium waffles and decent coffees
CONS: Limited seating, Toilet around the side needs a bit of renovation, Website not available
MUST TRY: Belgium waffle, Coffee, Any cake that tickles your fancy

Owner and Chef Didier Lannoote. Showing off his croquembouche.

Barista of the day

Chocolate tarts in the making

Claim to fame: Pastry Chef to Bill Clinton and George Bush

Cappuccino ($3.50 regular dine in), Real Belgian Hot Chocolate ($4.50 regular dine in)

Mocha ($4.20 large dine in)

Didier's large Flat white

Mocha ($3.50 small dine in), Malabar Chai ($4)

Tea Drop teas: Lemongrass and Ginger tea ($4)

Ham, Cheese & Tomata Croissant ($8.50)

Duck paté with brioche ($13.50)

Brioche with jam and butter ($5.50) with coffee special ($6.50)

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon ($15.50)

Big Breakfast - Eggs cooked to your liking, bacon, pork sausage, roasted tomato & mushrooms on homemade sourdough toast ($16)

Belgium waffle with ice cream ($9.50)

Tartelette Aux Noix ($7.50 dine in)

Tartelette Aux Fruits ($7.50 dine in)

Tartelette Citron - Lemon meringue ($7.50)

Handmade Belgium chocolates ($2 – $3.50 each)

Belgian waffles menu

Coffee and tea menu

Breakfast menu

Croquembouche and chocolate sculptures on display

Pastries and pies

Cakes display

Baguettes and freshly baked pretzels

Belgium chocolate display

Paté and freshly made waffles

Chocolate cake ($35)

Table supports can be a little awkward

Seating and service counter


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Wow, the sweets look lovely. :-) I wish they did open in Randwick now!

Sara - Belly Rumbles said...

Where do I start, it all looks so delicious.

Vivian - vxdollface said...

Very generous serving of hollandaise :D Cakes look great, pretty cool being pastry chef to Clinton and Bush!

Simon Leong said...

hi joey, hopefully one day they will come to randwick.

hi sara, start with the savoury and move onto the sweets, that's what we did :-)

hi vivian, he definitely knows how to cook cakes

Anonymous said...

I went there last month and bought a large pear tart, i was dissapointed, some part of the pear tart is frozen. I managed to try lemon meringue tart and the tart shell was soggy.. It's a beautiful shop tho..

Simon Leong said...

hi Anonymous, that's disappointing to hear. i would suggest going back and letting them know your experience. i'm quite surprised to hear the pear tart was frozen in parts because all the cakes look like they are made fresh and any cakes that aren't used i believe go to charity. perhaps the refrigeration they are using in the displays is too cold and worth them knowing about. i'm sure the chef would want to make sure you're happy.

Anonymous said...

I must say my experience was similar to Anonymous'. We went in for lunch and were served a chicken sandwich that was at least 2 or more days old. Stale, with a solid crust formed over the chicken mix, made us feel quite ill. On a previous occasion we ordered bread and pastries, all of which were stale with the exception of the sausage roll which was enjoyable.

Simon Leong said...

Hi anonymous, sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I'd suggest letting them know in person of your experience. It might be something they need knowing about if they're going to do it better. I've come across an off wine (http://simonfoodfavourites.blogspot.com/2009/09/fico-wine-bar-surry-hills-3-september.html), bad coffee (cafe in Strand Arcade, beans were off) and even a pack of chocolate biscuits that had melted from a convenience store (shop was too hot from fridge heat) I complain and let them know. How else will they know about it otherwise I think.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, was looking for fresh waffles in sydney...

Can I say one thing - your blog says ".. freshly made belgian waffles..", then goes on to say ".. in the counter display .."

If anything those could be liege waffles (still from belgium), but they are definitely not of the "freshly made" variety. (In belgium, you order them then they make them)

They could be "recently made", but that's not the same thing.

Anyway, the hunt continues...

Simon Leong said...

hi anonymous, that's a good point about the waffles. i guess the same would go for Freshly shucked oysters or Oysters shucked to order. i guess the waffles are made fresh each day might be a better way to describe them? let me know if you find anywhere that make them fresh to order.

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