Preoccupied Press

Month: February, 2013

Flamingos and Dingos

A Fleetwood Mac vinyl spins in the corner and a glass cabinet displays fresh strawberry tarts. Is the coffee up to scratch through the window on Robertson Lane?

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Any place that has ‘fine coffee haunt’ registered as part of their business name is worth a try. Either they are indeed a place of fine coffee and deserve to be haunted, or they are asking for some raised eyebrows.

Flamingos and Dingos is a hole in the wall on the cafe- ridden Robertson Lane, Newport. If you remember The Sugarmill; a surf shop in Narrabeen with a coffee window, then Flamingos and Dingos is what eventuated after The Sugarmill called it quits. With hanging copper lamps, a vinyl record player and fresh pastries sought from my favourite bakery in Avalon, F&D is off to a terribly good start.

Their clipboard menu is understandably limited (being a coffee haunt after all), but they have perfected their selection. Avocado on sourdough is taken to a whole new level and their toasted muesli is very nice too. For what you get, the pricing is incredibly reasonable and I must admit it’s my weekend go- to for a healthy breakfast and a rich cuppa.

I must say, the coffee is spot on. It’s different and a strong drop, perfect for serious coffee drinkers looking for a variation in the taste of their caffeine. They also have a text message and ‘phone ahead’ system that is amazing if you’re on the run. If you manage to score the desired indoor seat; a romantic bench with large folding windows, it’s a cosy meeting spot with a difference.

The young staff are lovely and the atmosphere isn’t trying too hard to be laid back and funky. If I had any hats to speak of I would take them off to these guys, who have managed to turn a shoebox into an excellent coffee site and a showcase of clever interior design.

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When You Can’t Decide

Don’t bother flipping a coin.

Barbuto has all but tacos on their menu and is stylish, without the price tag.

Barbutonarrabeen
Barbuto
5/16 Ocean St  Narrabeen NSW 2101
(02) 8911 1760
http://barbutorestaurant.com.au
 

If you can’t think of anywhere that can please all parties, give Barbuto a go. It’s located one minutes’ walk from the local pub and has somehow managed to cater to almost every category of diners (except the dear old elderly folk). Barbuto is especially great at lunchtime or late afternoon for drinks and tapas style eating. The dinner is also scrumptious, however the restaurant holds two seatings at 6pm and 8pm, so working around that can prove difficult. The place is buzzing this summer and booking ahead is unfortunately a must – but their website now offers online bookings that are instant and guaranteed (because the times, they are a changing).

If you like a bit of spiciness, I strongly recommend their chorizo starter (6.0), keeping in mind that it is a small portion and should be ordered with other bits and pieces. One of these may be the baked camembert with tomato chutney and honey (19.0), a top choice for sharing and an excellent accompaniment to Barbuto’s White Sangria. Note that the sangria comes with its own fruit salad and is extra sweet at $8 a pop.

Barbuto’s menu has a lot to offer, from pizzas and pastas to ribs, steak and fish. The ribs come with a bib and all, with your own choice of glaze. The steaks are also decent and, to be quite random, I must say that the dressing they splash on the side salad is a favourite.

The food is not to die for but it is very, very good. The atmosphere, location and staff lift the restaurant as a whole, making Barbuto’s perfect for a summer afternoon and a fussy-person-safe meeting spot for any occasion.*

*Currently, Barbuto is also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

7.9/10

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