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Willoughby Living

Exciting New North Shore Cafes and Restaurants to Try

November 14, 2021

Forks at the ready! There’s always a new foodie adventure to be had on the lower North Shore – from a Vietnamese street-food restaurant to a brand new bakery and a Pakistani hidden gem, plus many more… We’ll keep adding to this very exciting list of new local cafes and restaurants!

 

Me Pho Vietnamese Street Food, Chatswood

Me Pho is the second venture for owners Bac and Kim, who have another street food restaurant in Bankstown. They decided to bring their ”home-grown” Vietnamese cooking to Chatswood and opened in late April of this year. Lockdown hit not soon after, and they’re just re-opening their doors again – in fact you can probably smell the delicious cooking down the streets!

“COVID restrictions definitely slowed down the business,”” says Kim. “Given we are still new in the area, during lockdown, people are more comfortable ordering food from the local restaurants they knew for a long time. We just want to let the community know that we are here to provide Vietnamese food with a difference! We are also exploring options on home cooking kits for customers to cook dishes at home, Watch this space!

And with dine-in an option again, Bac is looking forward to introducing his food to the community.

“This is my food, this is who I am,” he says. “There are no rules in cooking – just creating dishes authentic to my self. With new ways of pairing seasonal ingredients, and balancing between the old and the new. I just want people to taste food made my way.”

Kim says their must-try dishes are:

–  “Pho, a slow cooked broth of marrow bone and meat in a special blend of herbs and spices with Bac’s own twist, giving the pho a unique flavour that when customers taste it, they knew it’s from Me Pho.

– Crispy Banh Xeo (vietnamese crispy pancake), different to the traditional banh xeo that’s usually filled with mung beans and pork mince. our banh xeo is filled with tiger king prawn and chicken. Insanely crispy and light, you can easily demolish one on your own, or it’s perfect to share as an entree.

– Charcoal grilled pork/chicken, all grilled dishes are made to order. When the charred meat arrives at your table, we guarantee the people next to you will be jealous!

– Our special drinks: Unlike other Vietnamese restaurants, our drinks are created in house with a balance between the old and new south-east Asian flavours: Lychee Lemon Green Tea, Vietnamese Mint and Lime, Coconut Lychee with red dragon fruit).

– Fried ice cream, it’s slap-the-person-next-to-you kinda good!”

You’ll find Me Pho at:

Address: 375 Victoria Ave, Chatswood

Facebook page: https://business.facebook.com/pg/MePhoRestaurant/

Website: https://www.mepho.com.au/

Instagram link: https://www.instagram.com/mephostreetfood/

 

Cornucopia Bakery, Naremburn

It’s no secret the community has a love of a good bakery, so it’s little wonder the hood has been buzzing with the news of this opening. Cornucopia Bakery has taken up where well-known Delicia Bakery used to be in the Naremburn shopping strip on Willoughby Rd.

It’s owned and run by husband and wife team Zahir and Suzannah. They have an 8 year old son and 4-year-old twin boys as well, and currently live in Maroubra but are looking to move over the bridge soon. Zahir is a chef by trade and Suzannah is an actor. They’ve been in the bakery and café business for about four years now.

So how did they end up in our lovely Naremburn?

“I dropped in to get some flowers from the wonderful Ivy League,” says Suzannah, “and saw the For Lease sign, it was the old Delicia Bakery and perfect for us. We saw it the next morning and started the fit out a few weeks ago. It’s been hard and fast but so enjoyable. We have cruised the beautiful streets here and love that its so quiet but full of wonderful personalities!”

There’s another local connection as well with the pair also running another nearby bakery. “We own a shop at Castle Cove that we used to run as a Grumpy Baker. However, we have rebranded that shop and opened Naremburn and they both trade under our new venture Cornucopia Bakery. We only have the two shops (for now ),” says Suzannah.

Lovers of all things pastry and dough will have to ensure this new store is on the must-visit list – for any time of the day. ‘We’ve got delights and treats for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner (any time really)…” says Suzannah. “We have sourdough loaves, bagels, babkas and the old school classics of pies, cheese sticks, vegie pasties, cakes, vanilla slice, banoffee pies, and we even have Gluten Free options to boot. When we finally get to open up a bit, we will also have tables and chairs for a quick carb stop off.”

So far the vegie pastie and the beef, bacon and cheese pies have been getting rave returners, according to Suzannah. “Our bread and butter pud is pretty darn good, too!”

Opening in the middle of restrictions certainly hasn’t dampened the reception from the community with a line out the door on day one. Suzannah says the enthusiasm and welcome they’ve received is what’s carried them through the difficult open.

“We have been so chuffed and buoyed by the love and support we receive every day,” she says. ‘We love the locals and we look forward to being able to actually have a chat, mask free, soooon. We are excited to be surrounded a community that is supportive and encouraging. It has helped us get through. Obviously it has been quite a few months getting the bakery baby up and cooking but phew its done. Please come and say hi!”

 

Address: 2/296-298 Willoughby Rd, Naremburn

Phone: 0421 374 684

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CornucopiaBakerySydney

Instagram: @cornucopia_bakery

 

Zakinsa Restaurant, Eastern Valley Way Chatswood

If you’re ready to spice up winter, head down Eastern Valley Way and try this hidden gem. Zakinsa serves authentic Pakistani cuisine – think kebab, Chicken Tikka, Beef Bihari Boti, chutneys, naan, and the divine looking Mughlai Chicken Handi _ a rich velvety curry based in cream, butter and traditional Pakistani spices (below).

It’s run by Tasneem (who’s also the head chef at Papilio Early Learning Artarmon) and her husband who has worked as the Head Chef at Kolachi, a well-known Turkish, Pakistani, Indian Restaurant in Pennant Hills, for the past three years. Zakinsa is a family affair, so you’ll also see their kids helping out as well.

“We are a family owned business, serving authentic and traditional Pakistani food,” says Tasneem. ” We strive at Zakinsa to offer the best food and experience to all our customers. A few of our most popular dishes include the Beef Bihari Boti, Chicken Malai Boti, Seekh Kebab, Kebab Karahi and Kulfa.”

“We offer takeaway, and we are also available on Uber Eats, Menulog and Deliveroo! We are currently offering 10% off on all takeaway.”

Address: 102/354 Eastern Valley Way Chatswood

Ph: (02) 9417 8672

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZAKINSARESTAURANT/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zakinsarestaurant/?hl=en

Chill Restaurant, Crows Nest

If you’re wondering about the name of new restaurant ‘’Chill’ at Crows Nest, it has nothing to do with the food temperature. They love turning up the heat! Instead, the name comes from their desire to offer relaxation and enjoyment while dining. “That’s our main goal, to make you guys chill”.

The interior looks lovely, and there’s even a bookshelf for those who really want to relax. “Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably,” said C.S.Lewis, and Chill has certainly added to the ambiance with this thoughtful offering.

But what of the food? Well there’s nothing ”chill” about their passion for food here. Kevin, the owner, a head chef (and dad) says, “We aim to serve our customers with the same quality and authentic food as our family.” With a mission “to deliver the beauty of Vietnamese cuisine to customers,” there’s a lot of enticing dishes on the menu. Including:

  • Crisp fried silken tofu, topped with our beautiful homemade salted egg mayo and pork floss.
  • Grilled Lemongrass Porkchop
  • Steamed Barramundi with sweet soy sauce, ginger & shallot.
  • Green Papaya Salad with pork & prawn in sweet & sour dressing sauce with black sesame cracker & roasted nuts
  • Duck Curry
  • Pho
  • Much more!

There’s also a comprehensive wine and beer list, with regular happy hours (keep an eye on their socials). Delivery is available via Ubereats and Doordash.

Address: 52 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest

Phone: (02) 9460 8937

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chillcrowsnest/

Instagram: @chill.restaurant

Rosebud Café Castle Cove

With stunning interiors and a convenient take-away servery window, Rosebud Café Castle Cove is now open for business. The new owners have a background in hospitality for the last 10 years (including pubs) but this is the first cafe. They’re long-time locals though and say: “having grown up in the area, we’ve always had a vision for the place. When the cafe went for sale last year, we decided to put that vision into reality and give the cafe a new lease of life.”

“The space has been underutilised for the last few years so the community will enjoy having a friendly place where they can come together, unwind and mingle all while enjoying specialty coffee and delicious food. They will love dining in the beautifully renovated interior and the convenience of the takeaway servery window.”

The menu is modern Australian (and includes brekky items such as the Bush Bircher infused with lemon myrtle, the Mexican Eggs and the Smashed Pea on Sourdough; and lunch items like the Ploughman’s/Antipasto Plate, Honey Miso Pumpkin Salad, Lamb Flatbread, Croque Monsieur, Market Fish Soft Tacos, Poke Bowl and KFC (Korean Fried Chicken Burger).

They’re currently open for breakfast and lunch with the plan to open soon for dinner as well – and we’re looking forward to seeing the menu!

Address: 10 Deepwater Road, Castle Cove.

Facebook: @rosebud.castlecove

Instagram:  @rosebud_castle_cove

 

Cafe Lost and Found, North Sydney

  

Cafe Lost and Found’s addition to Miller Street will give you much to talk about. This botanically inspired café offers a greenhouse-style indoor haven where you can enjoy your woodfire roasted coffee and munch on delicious food without feeling rushed. Part of the cafe’s charm is a retail section on one side selling antiques and plants, including the option to bring along your furry friend who’ll be treated to their own little menu! And the human menu sounds wonderful too – there’s a beautiful selection of cakes and pastries, the brunch items look like words of art and lunch is all about the three ”p’s” – pizza, pasta and platters!!

Address: 223 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

Phone: 0468 883 633

Website: https://www.cafelostandfound.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cafe-Lost-and-Found-108246004337947

Instagram: @cafe.lostandfoundk

Butter at Chatswood

willoughby
Image: Butter

One of the most exciting new cafes and restaurants to open on the North Shore is Butter. The popular hot-sauce doused fried chicken eatery from Surry Hills is now open in Chatswood with a brand new charcoal-bbq chook option on the menu. Despite its presence here in Sydney since 2016, we’re still inspired by how it’s merged three disparate products: sneakers, chicken and Champagne. After being a hit in both Surry Hills and then Parramatta, we have high hopes for its presence in the Lower North Shore. It’s newest venue is showcasing hard-to-find sneaker brands, its own line of merch as well as local and international fashion brands such as Raised By Wolves and Chinatown Market. Besides its chook options, expect to find beef burgers and salads on the menu and a wide range of Champagne, bubbles and cocktails.

Address: Shop B/39 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

Website: https://buttersydney.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buttersyd

Instagram: @buttersydney

Opened: December 2020

The Urban Teahouse, Naremburn

willoughby
Image: The Urban Teahouse

Are you looking for a lovely morning tea experience with freshly baked homemade scones and cakes? Lucky for you, there’s a new spot open in Willoughby called The Urban Teahouse and it would like to welcome you to its very pretty space. Apart from the usual suspects, it’s also serving up afternoon tea grazing boards with options for those without a sweet tooth. You can even dine in and have eggs, cheese toasties, pancakes, fresh ciabatta rolls with various filling options, salads and more. The vegetarians among you will be more than pleased with the options on the menu.

Address: 292 Willoughby Rd, Naremburn

Website: http://theurbanteahouse.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theurbanteahouse/

Instagram: @theurbanthouse

Slide N Shake, Willoughby

Burger lovers rejoice! Slide N Shake is making its way into your foodie life with its latest outpost in Willoughby. It’s got a mix of beef and chicken burgers and we’re particularly intrigued by the Inferno – two Angus beef patties with a double serving of crispy bacon, American cheese jalapenos, pickles, chipotle, and habanero sauce. The Southern Fried Chilli Chicken burger sounds pretty good as well. Now imagine these with a side of buffalo wings, cheesy chips, milkshake and a warm doughnut filled with Nutella and topped with crushed Oreos. It’s the ultimate comfort food feast. Of course, it’s an extensive menu so you can choose a different dream combo if you please.

Address: 304 Penshurst St, Willoughby

Website: https://slidenshake.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snswilloughby

Instagram: @slidenshakewilloughby

DNAs Corner, Willoughby

Many locals will have noticed the new signage along Mowbray Rd where Breadworks 2 used to be. The site has now been taken over by new owners, Two Egyptian families: Hany’s and Ayman’s, and they’re all very excited about meeting and serving food from their Chef Jimin to the local community.

“We are proud to announce that the first @dnas_corner is now open at Willoughby, NSW. We are open for breakfast, brunch & lunch, takeaway and dine in. Come down for a coffee, courtesy of our good friends @littleitalycoffeeroasters, or a meal and see what the DNA’s corner’s experience is all about.”

The first thing you might notice is that the Barista is familiar – David has worked previously at Rubino’s, Rays Place, High St Deli and Tarboosh, so there’s a good chance he already knows your coffee order!

Menu items consist of: Croissant Sandwiches (choose from turkey and cheese; smoked salmon and avocado; ‘the Club’, and grilled mozzarella with tomato, red peppers and pesto); Wraps – the Falafel, Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak and Veggie; Soups and Salads; Pasta and Burgers: pancakes, crepes and waffles; Gelato Ice Cream, and Smoothies and Juices (the Lychee and Coconut Juice sounds delicious!). There’s also a brekkie menu, and many with sides of either turkey bacon or beef bacon.

Kids are well catered for with comfy lounges, colouring-in, their own menu items and the enticing Gelato cart at the front!

Pop in and say hi to the members of this lovely family who welcome your feedback.

Address: 130 Mowbray Rd, Willoughby

Phone: (02) 8283 0112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/snswilloughby

Instagram: dnas_corner

Opened: January, 2020

BRACI

Willoughby
Image: BRACI

BRACI, an Italian-themed restaurant, showcases a combination of world-class wine and cocktails with spuntini and pizza on its menu, in a relaxed setting. It’s taken over The Italian’s space on High St.

Address: 183-191 High St, Willoughby

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/braci.au

Instagram: @braci.au

If you love trying new dining options, be sure to click here for our guide to all the great new restaurants in Lane Cove!

If you have a cafe or restaurant opening in the area soon, please click here to get in touch so we can add it to the list. 

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