Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

Eating out Paleo in Sydney: el Capo

September 3, 2011

No doubt, eating out Paleo can sometimes induce a violent episode of hair pulling. So, I’m always delighted when I find gems in Sydney that make it easier, and downright delicious!

el capo

el Capo

I’ve been to el Capo three times in the last couple of months so I definitely like the joint. The first time I went, I was on my own and much to my bemusement, George and Matt from Masterchef came in for lunch and sat right opposite me. Quelle horreur! I’m self conscious at the best of times, and unfortunately I had nowhere else to look except right at them. Thanks to my trusty iPhone, I managed to avoid being slapped with a restraining order owing to excessive unintentional staring.

Sydney is currently in the midst of a South and Central American cuisine obsession – see the runaway success of Porteño for starters, not to mention all the decent new Mexican places springing up all over the shop. el Capo doesn’t disappoint –  from the amazing murals on the wall to the cool, yet super friendly staff, and of course….the food. The dishes are all quite hearty – you probably won’t be leaving this place feeling peckish as most mains revolve around a key cut of meat or some quality fish. They’ve also got some great sides and snacks such as cabbage salad, which is deliciously fresh, and plaintain chips…those are on my list to try next time.

el Capo ....super bad!

el Capo ....super bad!

On this latest visit, I met up with Laura (@foodfoodandmore) to talk food, Paleo and UX. We both ordered the sweet pork neck from the new menu. It was definitely delicious, though the pork was a little dry. The sweet potato was cooked to perfection and balanced well with the guajillo sauce which had a mild spice and smokey flavour.  A definite winner. I should point out that I have no idea whether there is gluten in the sauce – so if you’re intolerant or celiac, best to ask. For the flexible Paleo eaters and the non-Paleos, try the cornbread on the side….it’s incredible!

Sweet pork neck

Sweet pork neck

el Capo
52 Waterloo St. Surry Hills NSW Aust. 2010
Ph 02 9699 2518

Paleo suppliers – Sydney and beyond

August 24, 2011

I often get asked where I get my Paleo supplies from. I’m Sydney based and have a few favourite haunts from which to get my bits and bobs. It would be great if I could regularly afford to shop somewhere like Thomas Dux, but that isn’t about to happen soon, so the places I go offer good bang for my buck, along with some intriguing people-watching as in the case of hippy hangout The Suveran in Bondi Junction – aka the crazy in the coconuts place.

I’ll be updating this list as I discover new gems but these are my preferred suppliers so far. Aside from this list, Asian supermarkets, quality butchers, seafood markets and growers markets are also great places to source Paleo goodies from too!

The Suveran
244 Oxford St Bondi Junction NSW
Phone: 02 9369 4040
Website: thesuv.org

I absolutely love this place. It’s so unique that going there feels like an adventure and I always wonder as I’m heading towards it “what tidbits of oddball information am I going to pick up today?”

They have two stores – one stocks organic produce and lots and lots of staple products such as coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut flour, nuts, dried fruits – and the other is more of a cafe-style hangout with a stash of supplements and raw chocolate to die for (though watch out for the carob lurking in the fridge right next to the chocolate, doh!) This is also where I get to indulge in coconut water and flesh from A REAL LIVE COCONUT!

I usually order a delicious lunch of slow cooked lamb shank with veggies and salad. And I never forget to grab the free coconut that you get with purchases of $10 or more. Get the gang to cut it open with a machete, grab a straw and slurp your way to heaven. When you’re done with the juice, get them to crack it again, in half this time, to scoop out the flesh.  I always laugh when I read the items on the menu, their wacky sense of humour is in evidence with dishes such as “lamb crap” – that would be a crepe.

The Suveran

The Suveran - delicious hippy food served with a side of coconut

The Suveran is very Paleo friendly and works well for people on other types of diets as it’s all gluten, dairy and sugar free. Everything tastes phenomenal – except the carob that is 🙂 They have a wide selection of health books – you can read their copies for free and then buy a new copy if you wish to. They’re a non-profit so the prices are very reasonable indeed and I really like their ethics. I’m planning to go to their cooking class on September 3rd so I can pick up some tips to improve my cooking, and nab their treasured chocolate recipe.

Dr Earth Healthfoods
311 King St Newtown NSW 02 9519 3495 and
444 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 02 9389 2160

I could easily drop $100 in here no problems. Though I don’t buy supplements in Australia anymore, I rely on this place for a few of my favourite food and beauty items – coconut flakes are only for $6 for 500grams, organic hair care products, cheap goats milk soap and natural scented soaps (only $5 for 3 cakes). I really like the staff in the Newtown store, led by the wonderful Adam – they navigate their way around the over-stocked store like acrobats and always have a smile. I’m relaxing my strict Paleo-adherance at the moment to include things such as fermented soy and buckwheat, so this is where I get miso paste, tamari and 100% buckwheat noodles and bread. I make a mean miso soup with the paste, noodles, seaweed and Dulse flakes.

Sign up as a member to get 21% off on selected days each month (this is on most products except perishables and practitioner products).

Wholesome Natural Health Market
181 Broadway BROADWAY NSW

02 9211 1171

Wholesome Natural Health Market

Wholesome Natural Health Market

This store is quite similar in range to Dr Earth and they also have the same discount structure and the same discount days – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? A great range of fresh and packaged products and really knowledgeable staff make this store a real treasure.

Wholesome Natural Health Market

Wholesome Natural Health Market

iHerb
iherb.com

My addiction to US online store iHerb is so bad that I’ve got VIP status. Ouch! I don’t buy supplements in Australia anymore because the US has much better range and incredibly cheap prices. I’m sorry Australian retailers, but I need to save money somewhere and this is how I do it. I order all sorts of goodies from iHerb including rose hip oil – only $5 instead of the $20+ you pay in Australia – lots of supplements, coconut flakes and coconut butter – which is soooooo tasty, cacao powder, stevia drops, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant. You get the drift, it’s awesome. At the moment, orders are taking about 3 weeks to arrive after ordering, but the discounts make it worth it. My hot tip is to keep your order under $US80 and under 4 pounds in weight (the checkout calculates this for you) so you get airmail shipping for only$6. I usually make sure my order is as close to $80 as possible to get the best value I can from each order.

If you want to try out iHerb, feel free to use my discount code for $5 off first time orders: ISO110

Be really careful not to order anything that’s illegal to import in to Australia… I did this once and got a slap on the wrist from quarantine…oops! But I was trying to buy something that was $7 compared to $70 in Australia and didn’t realise at the time I couldn’t import it. Here’s the ICON database to check on the legalities of importing things in to Australia and iHerb also has a handly list that appears on the shopping cart page to advise what items are often confiscated by customs. Do be careful, especially if you try to buy some expensive supplements like I did….turns out customs don’t like mushrooms…who knew?

The big supermarkets

For those on a budget, the main supermarkets are an important place to stock up on fresh produce, meat, oils etc. Here’s what I tend to get from each place.

Coles: macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, turkey mince, lamb mince, dukkah (spice mix), spices, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, coconut milk, coconut water – this is going to be a summer treat since it’s in a popper box you can freeze 🙂

Woolworths: Select tinned wild Alaskan salmon

Aldi: free range eggs, smoked sardines, bulk avocadoes, bulk zucchini, Italian proscuitto, macadamias

The Nut Roaster Company
79-81 Chapel St, ROSELANDS, NSW
02 9759 1206

Nut roasters are where I stock up on nuts and almond flour for those all important biscuits and muffins!  I also get my anchovies in bulk (in olive oil) and olives, though the last time they were way too salty, even for me.

Nuts

Obviously, I like nuts.

7 Star Supermarket
408 King Street, Newtown
Tel: 02 9565 5521
http://www.7starsupermarket.com.au/

I pick up Spring Hill free range bacon and their AMAZING aged beef mince from this store. This is the best beef mince you will ever taste, I’m not kidding.  They also stock all sorts of organic, gourmet products and really cool smoked fish.

Harris Farm Markets
Locations around Sydney

Great range of dried fruits, fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of unique products such as duck meat and duck fat, free range pork and sustainable tinned fish. And I love to pick up Ginger Nectar which is an incredibly potent ginger juice with honey. I really like my ginger, what can I say?

Flemington Markets

Submitted by Gazza, this has become a real Sydney institution for fresh produce and flowers. According to Gazza:

(Sat morning – get there early!) is a source of freshly grated coconut (done at the markets) and fresh (frozen) coconut milk. You can get kim chee too (Korean fermented veges, good source of probiotics).

I need to get there stat, just to try the grated coconut!

Alfalfa House
http://www.alfalfahouse.org/

Don’t be put off by the vegan-sounding name – Paleo peeps can get a lot of their staples from Alfalfa House whilst purchasing goods in a considerate manner. Alfalfa House is an ethical, not-for-profit (just like The Suveran) co-operative that shuns packaging for most goods. Perusing their website, the items available that are most relevant to Paleo would be fresh produce, spices, eggs and wide range of oils.

Meat, poultry and game suppliers

I’ve collated this list from around the traps but so far haven’t bought anything from them as I’m currently restricted by a limited budget.

Urban Food Market: really keen to try out the diced goat and some of the free range pork

Otway Pork: I’m going to be trying a pork belly from this supplier soon. After my first attempt at pork belly was an absolute disaster that almost sent me vegetarian, I’ve done my homework to find a quality product

Craig Cook’s Prime Quality Meats:  Submitted by Gazza (thanks!) – he sources 100% grass fed platinum beef from this store  with outlets all over the city, except the deep south for some reason

Stapleton’s Quality Meats: Just had to add a butcher located in southern Sydney (Sutherland and Gymea) to make up for Craig Cook’s being everywhere except the south!  I haven’t shopped here yet, but they seem to have a wide range of meats including venison, which I last ate in a French restaurant about 10 years ago – it’s been too long! They also have an online shopping and a delivery service.

Spring Hill Beef (and bacon): As mentioned above, the mince is the best I have ever tasted, and I’m really happy with their bacon product too.

If you have any great Sydney-based or online suppliers, let me know so I can add it to this list!