Fillo and Co Espresso Review


Fillo and Co opened it’s doors to Brisbane’s West End about a year ago, joining a host of other cafés in the area. Unlike it’s peers however, Fillo and Co boasts an artisan selection of coffee and baked good, all made from ingredients sourced locally.

The shop front is wooden and looks somewhat like a take away shop or deli. They stock handmade chocolates, gourmet ice cream (including Popsicles, choc tops and ice cream sandwiches), and Mediterranean-based filo pastries featuring a range of fillings; all this on top of their specialty blend coffee.

The verdict? The food looked good, but I’ve only tasted the coffee- a bottled cold brew and a long black. Neither were fantastic. The cold brew in particular was particularly bitter, something that you don’t expect from cold brews. Rated solely on the coffee, I would say it’s that good.

Atmosphere 4/5
Quality 3/5
Value 3/5
Overall 6/10

68 Boundary Street, West End

Image courtesy of the thousands

Fillo & Co on Urbanspoon


Sydney Macaroon Showdown

The Sydney Macaroon Showdown: Zumbo’s vs Baroque vs Mak Mak vs Lindt

With the amount of macaroons available today and the price you pay for them (up to $3.50 each), you’ll want to make sure that you’re buying the right ones. We’re pitting off Sydney’s best macaroon makers against each other to find out who is worth your precious coin.

First of all, one thing to be noted: some of you may be wondering up front why Laduree is not entering the ring? The simple answer; they are not worthy. Go to Paris, the macaroon capital of the world, and for sure, Laduree will be one of several battling it out for the heavyweight title. However, by the time you’ve frozen them and then carted them all the way down to the Southern Hemisphere, suddenly they become a severely overpriced and overrated product.

The competitors:

adriano-zumbo-patissier-320261Zumbo’s: in the first corner, we have celebrity chef Andrian Zumbo who has established such a big name, that he has coined the term “zumbarons” to specify his unique and boundary-pushing creations. $2.50 per zumbaron.


.Lead by renowned French pastry-chef, Jean-Michel Raynaud, Baroque may considered the most authentic of the bunch. But will their dedication to tradition pay off? $3 each

makmakMakMak: in the third corner, we have Newtown’s beloved Mak Mak, an establishment who claims their hand-crafted pieces to be “the best in Sydney”, but is also the most expensive of our competitors.
$3.50 each or 5 for $15..

Lindt: in the forth corner, world renowned chocolatiers and heavy weights in the Sydney dessert scene amongst tourists, how do their skills transcend beyond chocolate and into baking? $3 per delice.


The competition:


Round One :Berry

Zumbo’s Berry Brûlée: had a really nice cream brûlée flavour, the berry component was M.I.A and the shell wasn’t particularly crunchy. (6/10)
MakMak’s Raspberry and Cream: very crunchy, but a nice sweet and delicate berry flavour. Nothing outstanding. (6/10)
Baroque’s Strawberry and Poppyseed: a delicate flavour, the poppy seed didn’t add anything though. (6/10)
Lindt’s Strawberry and White Chocolate: mild strawberry flavour, combined with the white chocolate tasted a bit like strawberry milk, which is a good thing. (7/10)
Verdict: Lindt. Overall, this category was a let down from all competitors. None produced something that was just bursting with berry flavour. Lindt was my favourite, but I probably wouldn’t bother buying any again.


Round Two: Fruit
Baroque’s Mango Lime and Coconut: a mild flavour overpowered mainly by the coconut and slight hint of lime. Couldn’t taste the mango (5/10)
Lindt’s Passionfruit: a very nice sweet passion fruit flavour but I’m not sure that the chocolate ganache really complemented it (8/10 for shell, combined with choc 6/10)
MakMak’s Green Apple and Guava: slightly sour from the apple, very sweet from the guava. A good combination overall. (8/10)
Zumbo’s Grape Hubba Bubba: a flavour very reminiscent of my childhood bubble blowing days. Luckily the almond meal she’ll cuts out some of the sweetness to make it a bit more palatable than the original. (7/10)

Verdict: MakMak. A unique and tasty combination that was done very well.

salted caramel

Round Three: Salted Caramel
Lindt’s Salted Caramel: really good, perhaps not as salted as it could have been but the flavour of the shell and the chocolate ganache went perfectly together. (8/10)
Zumbo’s Salted Butter Caramel on Toast: The salted caramel inside here was divine, such a strong and perfect flavour. To me, the salted caramel domain is Zumbo’s strong point.( 10/10)
MakMak’s Salted Caramel: it was pretty good but not amazing. The salted caramel flavour struggled to overcome that of the almond meal biscuit. (7/10)
Baroque’s Salted Caramel: very salty salted caramel with a smooth ganache. Perfection. (9/10)
Verdict: Zumbo. Note that Baroque was a very close second.


Round Four: Chocolate
Lindt’s Chocolate with 70% Cocoa Ganache: not a rich chocolate flavour but a very nice cocoa flavour, quite unique (9/10)
MakMak’s Peanut Butter and Belgian Chocolate: not too much of a Chocolate flavour, mainly peanut butter. Nice, but didn’t standout any more than the next peanut-flavoured dessert (7/10)
Baroque’s Dark Chocolate: Another nice cocoa-filled flavour, but as good as Lindt’s. (7/10)
Zumbo’s Dark Chocolate: very cocoa-ey but as much so as Lindt. Rich but nothing too special.( 8/10)

Verdict: Lindt, for the uniqueness of a 70% chocolate macaroon.


Round Five: Nut
Lindt’s Pistachio and White Chocolate: nice flavour but a little dull (7/10)
MakMak’s Smoked Vanilla and Pecan: this could have just as easily gone in the “creations” section. The smoked pecan flavour is unmistakable and you can even finds little prices of crunchy pecan inside. (10/10)
Baroque’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate: (closest thing they had) strong peanut butter flavour and lovely rich chocolate (9/10)
Zumbo’s …:After dropping by Zumbo’s on three separate occasions and not seeing any flavours that could pass off as nut, I have to remove him from this round.

Verdict: MakMak, Baroque put up a good fight, but I couldn’t get past the smokeyness of this one.


Round Six: Creation
MakMak’s Coconut and Pomegranate: the outside shell is almost caramelly and there’s pomegranate jam in the middle but it’s disappointing that the flavour is overpowered by the coconut.(6/10)
Baroque’s Jasmine Green Tea: I’m not usually a green tea flavour fan, but this had a lovely sweet flavour. Very moorish. It’s a pity there weren’t any more exciting a contenders for their representative in the creations category. (9/10)
Zumbo’s Bread and Butter Pudding ; delicious. The flavour of this favourite dessert was captured, with layers of cinnamon (9/10)
Lindt’s Chocolate Banana: the white chocolate filling was nice but there was nothing particularly special about the banana. (6/10)

Verdict: Baroque and Zumbo, both flavours were divine.

Overall Winner: Zumbo, all things considered, it’s difficult to ignore Zumbo as a strong contender. Offering a cheaper price, there’s no compromise on form or quality. The flavours are bold, creative and always changing- and always tasty!

Zumbo Patiserie on Urbanspoon Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on UrbanspoonMakMak on UrbanspoonLindt Chocolat Café on Urbanspoon

Kingswood Review

A recent trip to World Square may have had you notice this reasonably new espresso bar. Perched just at the George Street entrance, the wide and open wooden exterior is hard to miss.

The decor, music, coffee machine’s and even the staff’s clothing all support a classic fifties bar theme. Kingswood does this quite well, making it stand out easily. The lack of dedicated seating, however, means that you can only really enjoy the atmosphere while you order and wait.
The coffee itself, brewed from Sensory Lab beans, is good, not amazing. But like most of the coffee shops down this end of town, is opts for $3.50 price tag. Better coffee can be found around the cbd for $3.
Kingswood focuses mainly on coffee; iced and filter, etc are also available, but other than that, a small selection of pastries are available for $4.50 each, including some oddly-shaped croissants that have outer layers so crispy and flakey that they are rather reminiscent of a French Madeline.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Quality: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Overall: 7/10

World Square, 680 George Street Sydney

Pictures from Kingswood’s Facebook.

Kingswood Coffee on Urbanspoon

Luxe Bakery Review


Luxe Bakery is dubbed as one of the top bakeries in Sydney, and rightfully so. Whilst it sits only a short walk from the queue-attracting Black Star, it pulls a well-deserved crowd of its own.

The bakery itself is a cute converted cottage with a decent area for seating. Aside from serving sourdoughs, pastries and cakes there’s also a decent menu for breakfast and brunch.


The bread is all cooked on-site with a crisp crust and doughy texture. It’s fairly pricey to buy though. The pastries are a highlight. The almond croissants have a perfectly crunchy outer layer with tasty almond filling. The range of cakes looked impressive but I didn’t taste any. The coffee is okay, but not very strong.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Quality: 4/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 8/10

191 Missenden Road, Newtown
Luxe Bakery on Urbanspoon