Bloody Mary's Sydney

I heard all about Bloody Mary’s through Instagram. They have outrageous cocktails and not to mention an array of appetizing American inspired food. The name says it all, they are known for their Bloody Mary’s and what sets them apart is their house made Tomato Juice.

Since it was so early in the day, I decided to stay away from the cocktails and focus on the food.


I ordered The Heart Attack, which included Guacamole, Bagel Crisps, Jalapeno Poppers, Buffalo Wings, Chili Salt Shrimp and Onion Rings. If you like spice, then this is the perfect meal for you and a few friends. The Buffalo wings are perfectly cooked, the guacamole was tangy and complimented the bagel chips. My all time favourite was the Jalapeno poppers. So cheesy in the middle and so crunchy.

The Heart Attack (Serves 3) $48.00


Will ordered the Bloody Mary Beef Burger with a Supersized Beef Patty. This came with your standard lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese and pickles and a side of fries. Our waiter suggested the Truffle fries which was a great recommendation. They were well seasoned and so cheesy. The Burger was well cooked, it was juicy and Nerd Burger demolished it so I think he also approves. 

 Bloody Mary's Beef Burger $19.00 (Truffle Fries $2.50 and a Double Sized Beef Patty is $6.00)


Bloody Mary’s ooozes cool vibes. The courtyard area is appealing and the staff are lovely. If you need a pick me up after a bender or you just need good American style food, then check them out. I'm certainly going back and this time, I'll be hitting their cocktail list.

Bloody Mary’s Sydney
332 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW2010

Phone: 02 9360 5568


Pilyo - Afternoon Delights

Being Filipino, I’ve always been extremely proud of my heritage and Filipino Cuisine. When I heard about Pilyo and their pop up events, I immediately bought tickets for Nerd Burger and I. For $33.00 we will get to enjoy 5 Afternoon Delights with a delicious dessert to finish.

Iñigo Castillo, Morris Baco and Chrissie Ablaza-Castillo, are the geniuses behind Pilyo. Their aim is to put bold and saucy flavours in traditional Filipino Cooking while adding a ‘Cheeky’ feel.

Chrissie and the team were kind enough to answer a few questions regarding what inspired them to start Pilyo, their take on Filipino Food and what it means to have a bit of Cheek in their cooking.

1. What inspired you to open Pilyo?

After almost 10 years in Sydney eating and cooking other cuisines professionally, we decided it was time to share our heritage. In Sydney, Filipino food is still very much undiscovered, has been limited to a handful of restaurants and is not as widely known as other cuisines regardless the growing size of the Filipino-Australian community. We thought it was time Sydneysiders learn about our amazing food culture in a way it has never been presented here before.

2. What Filipino dish do you think everyone should try?

Sisig, definitely. It’s how we would describe Filipino food. It’s adventurous, rich, full of flavour and texture, and at the same time zesty. There’s complexity in what looks like a simple dish, when in fact it’s not the easiest to cook given the preparation involved. It’s a feast for the senses – it smells great, looks great, and sounds great (literally!). Who can resist the smell of caramelisation and the sight and sound of food sizzling on a hot plate?! We think non-Filipinos just have to get over the stigma of eating offal.

3. Pilyo means "Cheeky" in Tagalog, what cheeky twist do you add to the dishes that you make?

You know how Filipinos are very proud and always compare someone else’s cooking to their Lola’s? Often we hear, “wala ‘yan sa adobo ng Lola ko!”
Well, what we have to say to that is:
PILYO is nothing like your grandmother’s cooking. So don’t even compare us to your grandmother. We’re cheeky. We’re PILYO.

We’re just being PILYO, we don’t actually mean to be arrogant (though it may come off so!). Our Lola's cooking gave us our flavour palate and this has been the strong foundation to everything we create today. We respect flavours that are part of our tradition but at the same time we make bold combinations and apply cooking techniques that make the dish current. That’s the cheeky twist.

PILYO – Traditional flavours. Bold combinations. Cheeky techniques.

4. Growing up, what was the one thing your Lola taught you about cooking Filipino Food?

Notice how there are no salt and pepper shakers on the dining table?
Our lola’s taught us that everything should be well seasoned to show proper respect for the ingredients.

5. Filipino Cuisine is certainly making its mark in Sydney, where would you like to see the future of Filipino food?

We would love for Filipino cuisine to be on the Sydney food map! …alongside other popular Asian restaurants. We believe if presented well using current techniques, Filipino food can easily be the regular weekend go-to for Sydneysiders.

The first afternoon delight Batchoy Tonkotsupulled chicken breast, soft boiled quail egg, noodles, crispy garlic & pork crackling crumble in pork bone broth

The Team  creating the assembly line for the second afternoon delight

The second afternoon delight Naked Lumpiang Betel Leafprawn & pork veggie crepe with crushed peanuts, puffed rice, powdered seaweed & peanut sauce

The third afternoon delight Lechon Kawali Baocrispy pork belly in a steamed bun with atsara & pork umami sauce

Longga Burgerchorizo de pilyo with coleslaw, cream cheese & mango sultana chutney

Empanada Ni Lola O - sweet & savoury beef, tomato, plantain, green olives & sultanas

Preparing the last afternoon delight

The Big Finish. Ensaymada & Cheese Ice Cream Sandwich - coconut jam & parmesan crisp

It was certainly a great afternoon, filled with flavour explosions and Cheekyness. I am looking forward to whats up next with Pilyo, from pop up dinners and stand up events now, maybe later on we will see a restaurant in every city. I wish them all the best.

For more information regarding Pilyo check out their Facebook Page

Make sure you like the page for updates on their next event.


The Grounds of Alexandria

I finally got the chance to check out The Grounds of Alexandria. Nerd Burger a.k.a Will and I caught up with my good friend Hayley and her family.

The Grounds is known for its laid back atmosphere. It’s a homely farm setting in a busy city location. They have monthly markets full of delicious goodies to eat and handmade one of a kind items. It’s a perfect setting for a weekend catch up with friends. 

As you make your way through to the cafe, you will walk past stands with mouth watering cakes and drinks. I tried the Sweet Rose Lemonade. A refreshing beverage even on a chilly Sunday morning.

Delicious pastries. You can purchase 3 for $20.00. I recommend the Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart. The pastry is flaky and the chocolate is smooth with a hint of bitterness.

Fresh homemade donuts. Cooked to order. They have plain with cinnamon, Nutella filled and raspberry filled donuts.



After a brief stroll through the markets, We decided to order. I ordered The Breakkie Board. This has two free range poached eggs, chicken chipolatas, grilled asparagus, smoked salmon, fresh ricotta, toasted sour dough and a cherry tomato and basil salsa.

I must admit I was a little overwhelmed at the amount of food that came out. It was well presented and delicious.  The perfectly cooked poached eggs and asparagus certainly added a nice freshness to this hearty breakfast.

The Breakkie Board $22.00

Chefs Breakkie Pan $19.00

Will ordered the Chefs Breakkie Pan with a side of Lamb sausages.  This has poached eggs, which is served with button mushrooms, kassler bacon, chicken chipolatas in a hollandaise sauce. It also comes with a baby Italian loaf which Will loved. 


Belle the Pekingese

As we were eating out breakfast, I noticed that across from us was a well behave little dog. As a dog lover I just had to say hello. Belle the Pekingese was a darling and so placid. Gizmo could learn a thing or two from this little pooch.

The Grounds is not only known for their fresh produce and homely surroundings. They are also know for their famous pig Kevin Bacon. We took a quick stroll to say hello to Kevin and all his farm friends.

I highly recommend The Grounds. If you are ever in the area, make sure you pop in and check it out. My only suggestion would be to head over early as it does get very busy. There is street parking and a limited amount of parking spaces in the premises.

The Grounds of Alexandria
Building 7A. 2 Huntley Street
Alexandria NSW 2015

Telephone: 61 (2) 9699 2225


Salted Caramels with Chilli and Fennel - The Sweet Swap

I was so excited to hear about The Sweet Swap for 2014. Sadly I was so busy and missed out on last year’s registration. The Sweet Swap is organised by two amazing Bloggers. Sara from Belly Rumbles and Amanda from Chewtown. The concept is simple, you make enough sweets to send to 3 Bloggers all around Australia and in turn you will receive 3 delicious sweets back.

I decided that I was going to make a Filipino sweet called Pastillas De Ube. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out and I was left with a tray of purple goo. I was running out of time and remembered a recipe that I made in the past with my friend Trissa. These salted caramels are delicious. I wanted to change it up, so I added some chilli flakes and fennel seeds.

Rockpool’s Salted Caramels (with a hint of Fennel and Chilli)

500 grams caster sugar
250 grams liquid glucose
435 grams pouring cream (35% fat)
125 grams butter (I used Lurpak), cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes, such as Murray River pink sea salt, mixed with 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes and1 teaspoon fennel seeds

You will also need a thermometer.


1. Grease a 22cm square cake tin with cooking spray and line with good quality wax paper. Spray again.

2. In a large pot, combine the sugar, glucose and cream. Stir gently and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook gently until the mixture reaches a temperature of 113c. (It took me approximately 15 minutes to reach that heat).

3. Using a whisk, add the butter and continue to mix until the butter has dissolved into the mixture. From here on, do not stir. Let the temperature reach 119c and remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the vanilla paste. Pour the mixture on to the greased pan. Quickly scatter the sea salt mixture on top of the caramel.

4. Allow the caramel to rest and cool. This should take around 2 to 3 hours. Once the caramel has cooled, remove it from the tin, remove the wax paper and cut into 1.5 cm strips. Then cut each strip into 2 cm pieces. Wrap in cellophane (or baking paper) and store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.

As part of the Sweet Swap, I received 3 delicious sweets. The first one arrived from Cassie from Journey From Within,  she made a delicious Rocky Road full of delicious nuts, marshmallows and she added a little rice bubbles for some Snap, Crackle and Pop.

The second package came from Gabby and Norman from Baking with Gab, Gabby made some delicate Meringues, which unfortunately didn't all make it out alive. They still tasted delicious. She made two flavours which were Earl Grey and Orange and Rose Water and Pistachio. So dainty and so easy to eat, especially with the tea blend that Gabby sent with the sweets.

The last Sweet Swap treat came from Kate from Foodies Agenda, she made a Choc Hazelnut and Banana Granola. This was delicious over the top of some light Greek yoghurt. I pretty much demolished this on the day that I received it. It was fantastic.

The Sweet Swap was a fun experience and I enjoyed waiting for sweet treats to arrive in the mail. I cant wait till next year. Not only is this a fun way to meet Bloggers all over Australia, Sara and Amanda have also done this to raise money for Child Fund Australia. Did you know that $390.00 can provide Children with clean drinking water? If you would like to donate to Child Fund Australia please go to 


My Food Bag

Have you ever roamed around the super market thinking about what you want for dinner? I often do that. I think about a meal that I want to cook and end up eating something that I didn’t feel like in the first place.

My Food Bag is a service launched in Sydney in July, it’s a meal creator and delivery service. Their main aim is to encourage us Aussies to get back in the kitchen and unleash our passion for healthy home cooked meals.

Thanks to My Food Bag and the team at Porter Novelli, I was able to test drive this service. There are 3 Food Bags to choose from. The Family Bag with quick and healthy meals, The Classic Bag, which are recipes suited to families on the go and The Gourmet Bag, which is more for the adventurous types who like to try new things in the kitchen.

I opted for The Gourmet Bag. I requested an early Sunday delivery but didn’t expect the delivery to arrive on the dot. I was greeted by a good-looking delivery driver, in my PJ’s and bed hair LOL. With a massive smile and a Good Morning, Mr Delivery Man handed me 2 big brown bags and a recipe binder.

These two bags had everything you needed for dinners for 4 days except for staples you find in your pantry like salt and pepper. It also includes a recipe from celebrity Chef Miguel Maestre and a vegetarian recipe for the middle of the week.

Five Spiced Duck, Sweet Potato Mash, Pomegranate Sauce and Bok Choy

Cambodian Fish A-Mok

Each meal took less than15 minutes to make, they were quick and the flavours were amazing. The produce was fresh and it really felt like they put a lot of heart and soul into preparing each food bag.

My Food Bag is a great concept and suits families and couples who have a busy schedule. The recipes are simple, delicious and quick. My Food Bag source their ingredients from top producers, so you know you will get amazing quality food for a reasonable price.

I highly recommend giving this service a try. All A Cupcake or Two readers are eligible for 20% off their first food bag. Simply enter the code ACUPCAKE20 when you get to the check out. For more information go to Happy Cooking...

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