Category Archives: Rise ‘n Shine

OSOA is now on Steller

Steller OSOA
Our Stamp of Approval is now on Steller! A visually stunning mobile storytelling app. Combining photos, text and video, it is a great way to create and share your stories. We are using this platform to share our dining experiences and some extras that we might not normally post on our site.

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The Book Kitchen

The Book Kitchen is located on Devonshire Street in the culturally rich Surry Hills. With a 10 minute walk from Central Station, Sydney — The Book Kitchen is the perfect place to have a good meal or a good cup of coffee. And if you haven’t noticed, a good book to read just to add to your little dining experience or just a little personal getaway from the buzzing of the city. This was our lunch experience at The Book Kitchen:



TBK caesar – pork belly, white anchovies, baby cos, cherry tomatoes, croutons, soft poached egg, parmesan dressing $18
Jessica: My all time favourite salad to have! The pork belly was a nice surprise to replace the traditional bacon that is usually added. It looked super crispy – which it was, but what I loved was that the meat was super tender and soft once you bite into it. Cherry tomatoes were fresh and sweet. I loved the croutons, it tasted like sourdough with a hint of olive oil. I would’ve loved more caesar dressing though. Perfect dish to have, it is light but will fill you up and won’t leave you feeling bloated! 8/10


Wagyu burger – soft centre of braised shin, beetroot relish, cos lettuce, smoked garlic aioli, brioche roll with chips $19
Jimmy: I have had quite a few burgers here and there, this was the first burger that I have had that oozed a great blend of flavours and textures of that of a “normal” Wagyu burger you would usually get. The two pieces of wagyu beef were incredibly soft and juicy, the garlic aioli complimented the meat nicely and the cos lettuce was fresh and gave it a little crunch. The brioche roll tasted beautifully soft and had a slight sweet taste and I actually prefer this to the sesame buns or the common leavened bread. The star of the burger award would most definitely go to the beetroot relish. This really made the burger for me, the flavour was delicious and nice on it’s own also. Warning that if you eat burgers as sloppy as me, it may get insanely messy so probably stay away from this dish if your wearing your best. In addition, the chips that came with the burger were a nice change. Chunky and seasoned nicely, a lot more filling than your usual straight, thin or french fries. 7.5/10


Iced mocha $6
Jessica: You have the option to have this with some ice cream or just over ice, I chose to have it over ice. Coffee flavour was good, it had a nice aroma to it and there was the perfect amount of chocolate in it too! 8/10


Orange and almond meal flourless cake $4
Jessica: O-M-G.. You could tell from the first bite that this little cake was made with love! I loved the fact that you could see some orange pulp throughout the cake. The cake was the perfect texture, it was moist and not crumbly at all. I absolutely loved this and I would go back JUST for this little cake. This would be a perfect treat to have with coffee, as the marmalade is quite sweet. I couldn’t get over how amazing the orange flavour was and how moist the texture was. A must try when you come here!! 9.5/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: I really enjoyed dining here, the staff were very friendly and polite. I love the interior, it looks very welcoming. They have a bookshelf with an extensive range of cook books and some good reads if you were looking for a place to wind down and relax. Food and drinks were above average, I would highly recommend this little cafe/restaurant for lunch or breakfast. I’m hoping to try out their breakfast menu the next time we come back. This is definitely a place their surrounding competition should take notice of!


Jimmy: The Book Kitchen has all the makings of a great dining spot. Perfect location right across the famous Bourke Street Bakery, The Book Kitchen is a beautiful spot to stop, relax and enjoy a meal or drink. Though we didn’t read any books, it did not reduce the peaceful atmosphere. Dog walkers and casual diners stopped by to have a cuppa or a light meal. Food was nicely presented and executed well. Service was very friendly and they weren’t afraid to hold a conversation with you.



FaceBook TwitterInstagramW: The Book Kitchen

255 Devonshire St, Surry Hills 2010
0420 239 469
Open 7 Days // Breakie & Lunch from 8am

The Book Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Ristretto & Co


Ristretto & Co. is located in Liverpool, Sydney offering a range of coffees from the espresso to iced chai lattes. With a menu consisting of food for both breakfast and lunch with the addition of small pastries and sweets, Ristretto & Co is a breath of fresh air for the coffee scene in the area of Liverpool. It was a last minute decision to visit this little cafe, this was our experience:



Bacon and Egg brioche with provolone, aioli and smokey bbq sauce $9
Jessica: When I saw this in the menu I thought YES! I might actually be able to have a delicious bacon and egg like the one at The Boatbuilder’s Yard in Melbourne. The presentation was simple, and I liked that you could see the layers inside. Together, the burger was delicious, bread was nice and soft.. you could tell that it was fresh. The best part was the brioche bread and the beautifully melted provolone cheese! The cheese wasn’t too overpowering and was melted sooo well. The bbq sauce wasn’t ‘smokey’ like it was described to be though. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this! 8/10


Bircher muesli with mixed berry compote & fresh fruit $9
Jimmy: For those that haven’t had bircher muesli, it’s pretty much like rolled oats with the addition of grains/nuts, fruits that are infused with milk or yoghurt or whatever it would be. Anyway, this was a really nicely presented meal. The various berries and the touch of mint made this look tasty, it makes you want to just dig in. The flavour of the compote was generous making the bircher muesli enjoyable throughout. I wasn’t too sure about the fresh fruit and where that came in on the bowl, though it didn’t trouble me much it would have boosted this to a great breakfast. 6.5/10


Mocha (Right) $4
Jessica: The first thing that caught my attention was the colour of the coffee.. I thought it looked like there was no chocolate added in at all. In fact it practically looked like Jimmy’s latte. Second thing was that there was no pattern on the coffee. It’s no big deal but it’s the extra effort that makes a coffee more special. Coffee was the perfect temperature, and was not burnt. However, the sweetness of chocolate seemed to come more from the chocolate powder sprinkled on top. When you look at the glass you see chocolate settling on the bottom.. So I feel like the chocolate was not mixed in well with the coffee. Needed a bit more sweetness in my opinion. 6.5/10

Latte (Left) $3.50
Jimmy: Being extremely tired in the morning, I was really looking forward to the latte, and according to many reviews the coffee was of a high standard. With Ristretto and Co. using the Campos blend, I was always going to have high hopes for their coffee. Personally the froth was the perfect amount and the temperature was good. I can’t say much about the quality of the milk, it was quite bubbly and the pour evidently drowned the flavour of the espresso. 5/10


Salted caramel chocolate tart $5
Jessica: I noticed this baby from the moment I walked in.. at first I thought it was a dark chocolate tart but hearing that it was a salted caramel chocolate tart made it even more exciting! The salted caramel filling is so smooth and the bitterness of the dark chocolate layer balances out the sweetness of the salted caramel. Chocolate pastry was good, nice texture but I found that it was a bit fragile! Although it was delicious, you do need some water or coffee with it! 8/10


Final Thoughts

Jessica: I feel like this could be the “Circa Espresso” of Liverpool. It has some of the same elements as Circa Espresso… however it is not executed as well. I feel like their coffee needs a bit more improvement.. food is great though! Staff were attentive; the waitress noticed that our coffees hadn’t come out yet when she gave us our meals. But I feel like they lacked at making some small talk or conversations with us. When we were there it looked like they were still getting the place together, looked like they were going to paint something on the wall? It has a great location and has a lot of potential! I look forward to giving them another visit within the next couple of months to see the place completely finished.


Jimmy: Ristretto & Co have so much potential and thrive on so many aspects that are lacking in the Liverpool area of Sydney. The decor and interior are inviting and different from the major franchises that monopolizes the area. The back seating area is peaceful and a really nice place to kick back and relax in the morning or catch up with some friends, away from the busy roads. The place can only improve as they seem to be doing a large mural painting that is in the works as well as a large chalkboard tracking the FIFA World Cup. They also have a large TV screen towards the front so that could be interesting come the World Cup. The food was enjoyable and the service was standard. The coffee was a real let down and I really expected better, however this is a really nice place that you can rarely find in a place like Liverpool. Within walking distance of Westfield’s Liverpool, this place should be on your list of places to try next time you’re thinking of a place for brekkie!




Ristretto & Co Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Charlie Lovett

CoverCharlie Lovett located at South Wharf in Melbourne is a cafe offering their own coffee blend and a range of food for those wanting to take some time off and enjoy sitting in a large seating area that offers both indoor and outdoor seatings. This cafe is practically next to the South Wharf DFO and is situated alongside other cafe’s looking out the waterfront. With their own roasted coffee blend and a mix between home-made and gourmet breakfast and sandwiches Charlie Lovett provides and caters for many. Whilst on a New Year Day exploration for a cafe that was open we stumbled upon Charlie Lovett, this was our experience:



Jimmy: Well here it is the Latte made with Charlie’s single origin estate coffee beans. It becomes apparent that with the combination of the constant New Years Day flurry of customers, one barista, the expectation usually results to a lack of a quality cup when served up. I guess the pour was, well poor because I could hardly taste the flavour of the coffee as it become drowned by the obvious re-steamed milk that didn’t give me that smooth and full flavoured latte I was really hoping for. 4/10

Hot Choc

Belgium Milk Hot Chocolate

Jessica: We did not have to wait long for our drinks which is good, I believe there was only 1 barista on the busy New Years Day and she did a good job with getting these drinks out quickly. This hot chocolate was so disappointing.. if you are looking for a good belgium hot chocolate then I would recommend The Chocolate Room at Parramatta, Sydney. The hot chocolate had the slightest hint of chocolate flavour.. the rest just tasted like milk that was heated up. Very disappointing and I would not recommend it, unless you ask them to put extra chocolate in for you. 2/10


Eggs Benedict on Turkish bread with Ham

Jessica: We waited at least 30-40 minutes for our food to come. In my opinion this Eggs Benedict was worth the wait. The texture of the hollandaise sauce was perfect and the flavouring was perfect as well! In the photo it honestly looks like a regular eggs benedict, but I think it was the quality in the hollandaise sauce and also the ham that made this above average. The only thing is, the “turkish bread” did not taste or look like turkish bread, it honestly looked and tasted like regular toast.. However, with this said, I would still recommend this! 6/10

Big Breakfast

Charlie’s Big Breakfast 

Jimmy: This is what breakfast looks like. I really enjoyed the spinach and sausage. The bread tasted fresh and the mushrooms were nice. The down sides were probably the bacon that was not as crispy as expected and the wait time for the meal, though it didn’t fail to deliver a good meal to start the day! 5/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: We went on New Years Day, and this was one of two cafes open. I think that they should have been more prepared with the rush of people. You had to wait in the queue for at least 10-15 minutes before you were served at the counter. And food took 30-40 minutes which is just way too long to wait for breakfast… we did see a couple leave and I don’t blame them. It feels a bit unfair to judge them on the time it took for their food to come out as it was New Years Day, and most places were closed. They probably did not expect it to be that busy. But they should’ve been prepared incase there was a massive rush of people anyway! The food certainly wasn’t disappointing, but the service was.


Jimmy: Charlie Lovett looks really good when you walk in. You’ve got the huge counter with their own roasting machine and the decor oozes a rustic fisherman’s hut to me for some reason. Kudos to the staff that got pumped for so many hours, as it seemed busy prior and after our visit. The manager offered a smile and a quick conversation whilst taking my order, indicated to me that they were consistent with good service. The New Year’s buzz aside, food was good, coffee not so much, though this place has so much more potential, I would not mind visiting it another time, when it isn’t as busy!

SERVICE: 5.5/10

Charlie Lovett South Wharf
43 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf VIC 3006
(03) 9696 6886

Winter Trading Hours
Monday – Friday: 7.00 am – 8.00 pm
Weekend: 7.00 am – Late


Charlie Lovett Website

Charlie Lovett on Urbanspoon

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The Boatbuilder’s Yard


The Boatbuilder’s Yard, you can’t miss it when you are walking from Crown Casino towards DFO. This is a little bar/cafe that serves up a delicious breakfast and lunch menu, along with coffee and alcoholic drinks too! We walked into this place not knowing what to expect, and it honestly was better than what it looks. The interior of this bar/cafe looks quite rustic and modern, giving it a very cool and relaxing feel.



Bacon and Egg roll with cheese and home-made tomato relish

Jessica: Yummmmmmm! This is so delicious, the bacon and the egg are cooked well, there’s nothing spectacular about them.. but the home-made tomato relish is the standout and makes this amazing! I don’t know what it is but the relish has a wow-factor to it, it gives the bacon and egg some life and I would definitely choose this over just a regular bacon and egg roll. You might think that the brioche bun is a bit odd to have for a savoury dish but it actually adds a nice sweetness and compliments the sweetness from the tomato relish. 7/10


Spanish Baked Omelette – Chat Potatoes, Caramelized Onions with Ham & Machego Cheese

Jimmy: If you wake up in the morning and feel like you could eat a big breakfast, this would be the type of meal you would order. Having never tried a Spanish baked omelette, I thought I would give it a go. Since I was a little hungrier than usual I ordered a side of chipolatas which are pretty much small grilled sausages. The omelette in all honesty did not have enough punch to it. It was a little tasteless at times, the chat potatoes and caramelized onions did little to enhance the flavour. The ham which was pretty much prosciutto was really strong in flavour so that went well with the omelette. The bread on the side was a little burnt and I didn’t have the best of times dodging the overcooked spots. The chipolatas were really good on the other hand and was cooked beautifully. The quantity was more than enough though it lacked in overall quality. 5.5/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: This place has a great vibe to it, the service is great and you don’t have to wait too long for your coffee or food. Lovely place to have a relaxing breakfast or lunch! Sitting outside in the sun is quite nice, but beware of the flies that will swarm around you when you receive your food. From the looks of it, this place doesn’t receive as many customers as it should! Overall, I loved it here and will definitely go back when we visit Melbourne again.


Jimmy: I really enjoyed going to this place from my first visit. It has an overall sense of peace and you get a great feel of relaxation from overlooking the waterfront. The location is perfect, close to the DFO shopping centre and Crown Casino complex, there isn’t a more beautiful spot to enjoy breakfast or lunch. The Boatbuilder’s Yard being a cafe and bar offers customers a great array of good food and drinks, a place for those indecisive about a place to have breakfast and lunch like me and Jessica were.


PHONE: 03.9686.5088
FAX: 03.9686.5099


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The Boatbuilder’s Yard Website

The Boatbuilders Yard on Urbanspoon

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Circa Espresso


Coming in at number 8th top cafe of 2013 in Sydney out of 100 according to Beanhunter, Circa Espresso is a little hidden gem located in Parramatta. Only a short walk from the popular Westfield Shopping Centre, why wouldn’t you visit Good Cafe Guide’s ‘Best Cafe’ award as well as ‘3 cups’ award winner? With both indoor and outdoor seating, you may enjoy your coffee and meal surrounded by a beautiful artsy environment. The cafe is narrow though the use of creative use of space is not a problem and each section of the cafe has a different vibe. Well, this was our breakfast experience at Circa Espresso.


French toast with cinnamon, mixed berries and pistachio nuts

Jessica: This is a very hyped up dish. With that said, it is definately WORTH the hype! It was everything I expected it to be. It was so full of flavour! The bread was soft and was very fresh. It definitely isn’t the most healthiest breakfast, something that you should have for breakfast once in a while, not daily! The sweetness of the berries worked well with the sour cream and the savoury slice of toast. The pistachio nuts added a nice crunch and texture to the dish. The only criticism I have is that I wish there was a second piece!


Mocha Latte

Coffee wasn’t burnt and it was the perfect temperature for me. I love it when baristas put in that extra time to create a pattern for you.

Breakfast granola with poached rhubarb, berries, natural yoghurt & honey

Jimmy: Out in the west you don’t get many quality food from cafe’s, though this little meal is worth the short trip to Parramatta. Healthy and tasty, it ticks all the boxes for a great start to the day. Look at the beautiful fresh fruit and pistachios! Full of texture and flavour from the berries and yoghurt, for those that feel the meals a little dry, you may opt for milk on the side which is given in a nifty vintage milk bottle that adds a great touch to the overall experience.



One of the few places in Sydney that I can feel comfortable ordering a latte and getting exactly that. You know the lattes that aren’t quite lattes but more of a glass full of froth or milky to the point you can’t taste the coffee. What you get with Circa is a smooth creamy and flavorsome espresso coffee, not bitter at all and this time unlike the last was at the right temperature.

FOOD: 7.5/10
COFFEE: 7/10

FOOD: 6.5/10
COFFEE: 7/10

The coffee may be a little hit and miss depending on which barista you have on that day. But overall, coffee is good and the food there is even better. They do not only do a breakfast menu, but there is also a lunch menu as well. We will report back when we get the chance to try out their lunch menu.

Circa FBCirca Twitter

Circa Espresso

Opening Hours
Mon – Fri: 7am till 4pm
Kitchen Closes at 2pm

Circa on Urbanspoon

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