Forks at the ready! There’s always a new foodie adventure to be had on the lower North Shore – from an authentic Mexican taqueria, to upmarket Malaysian, and a Vietnamese street-food restaurant to a brand new bakery, plus many more… We’ll keep adding to this very exciting list of new local cafes and restaurants!
Cammeray Square just scored itself a go-to Mexican eatery for date nights, friendly catch-ups, and celebrations. Taqueria draws inspiration from the taco trucks and hole-in-the-wall taquerias that are scattered across Mexico. The menu is stylish but still authentic to its Mexican roots.
Choose between traditional slow-cooked meats, fresh-cooked seafood, vegan ceviche, tostadas, tacos, and larger plates to share. There’s also a Margarita, Mezcal and Tequila Menu, along with wine, beer, spirits, cocktail and mocktail menus.
Book in for Bottomless Margaritas paired with a 6-course meal on the weekend for just $99 pp, or stop by for happy hour every Friday and Saturday from 2:30-5pm with 2 for 1 margaritas and tacos/bontanas from $5.
And forget cooking at home on Tuesday evenings with their new Taco Tuesday offering with a delicious range of tacos available for just $5 all day and night!
Address: 405 Miller Street, Cammeray, 2062
Phone: (02) 7202 0045
Opening Hours: Tue 5-9pm, Wed-Fri 12-2:30pm & 5-9pm, Sat-Sun 12-3pm & 5-9pm
Amah by Ho Jiak, Chatswood
Amah is the food baby of chefs Junda Khoo and Hun Loong, and the newest restaurant to join the Ho Jiak family. The upmarket Malaysian restaurant opened two weeks in June, before the latest COVID lockdown in the District Dining Precinct at Chatswood Interchange.
“My good friend Hun Loong’s amah (grandmother) passed away during the pandemic,” shares owner and executive chef, Junda Khoo. “He loved her dearly and so when he couldn’t fly back to attend her funeral, it broke him. That’s when the discussion of paying tribute to her legacy started. Loong realised that in all his professional years as a chef, he’d never cooked Malaysian food before, and it was almost an epiphany moment where he decided it was time to cook his grandmother’s food to honour her legacy.”
Since reopening, customers have rushed to Amah for a taste of Ho Jiak’s home-style Malaysian cooking that has a touch of flair and sophistication.
“It has always been my mission to share and spread the different tastes of Asian food here in Sydney,” Khoo explains. “In fact, all four Ho Jiak restaurants are different in taste and menu. Amah in particular, showcases the food from Ipoh in northwest Malaysia, where Loong’s family is from.”
Signature dishes that Chef Khoo and Chef Loong recommends includes:
- Amah’s signature handmade Spanish mackerel fish-ball soup
- Mum’s caramelised soy char siu pork belly
- Assam nyonya curry toothfish
- Wok fried king prawns with dried Sarawak black pepper curry
- Oyster with raw sambal dressing
- Fried chicken wing marinated with red fermented bean curd
- Stir fried cabbage with mung bean noodle and bean curd skin
- Braised pickle mustard with roast duck and pork belly
You’ll find Amah by Ho Jiak at:
Address: Kiosk 1 & 2, The District, Podium Level, Chatswood Interchange, 436 Victoria Avenue Chatswood, 2067
Phone: (02) 9170 4714
Website & Bookings: https://www.hojiak.com.au/chatswood/
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/
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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
Opened: December 2020
The Urban Teahouse, Naremburn
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
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