In My Kitchen -Sydney Rd Shopping & Putting things off

Too bloomin’ cold and too much else going on here so not a lot of food IMK this month. Our positive energy and thoughts are being transported to Celia-Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. who normally ‘stitches’ all our IMK posts together every month. Unfortunately Celia is enduring difficult times so we are all ‘winging’ it by posting to comments on her site. For someone who is always the first to offer a helping hand and support to others, we wish her and her family a quick bounce back to normality. She is quite an amazing and caring person.

For those of you who don’t get my regular blog posts, we have started moving everything from the kitchen to what will be the temporary kitchen while our reno/extension (yes, my real kitchen) are taking place. You can read about that here.

The Lovely Francesca from one of my favourite blogs ‘Almost Italian‘ told me a couple of posts ago about a store in Brunswick that sells ‘everything Italian’. As luck would have it, we ended up in Sydney Rd last weekend when we were in full ‘avoidance’ mode at having to repair a broken poly pipe in the back yard.



















On Saturday morning it was raining heavily, a freezing wind blowing and it was threatening to snow (that is a rarity) so I quickly decided we should go looking at timber flooring for the reno rather than play in the mud. We turned off the water main, Googled for some showrooms of timber flooring and headed to Coburg in Melbourne. Coburg is close to the suburb I grew up in, Preston, but it certainly isn’t anything like I remember it. After looking at the timber place, I knew we would find somewhere to eat along Sydney Rd, understatement. We parked and walked for ages along the strip shops savouring quite a few tasty things on the way. God, I felt like I was in the Middle East and in particular Turkey (or how I imagine it). Such a haven of interesting shops and friendly people. After we’d had a kebab at one place (we weren’t piggies, we did share a small one) , we then ate lunch at the Middle Eastern cafe/bakery Zaatar. Lunch was a couple of freshly baked Middle Eastern pastries and they were delicious. The pastry was superb! We grabbed some Turkish mastic ice-cream to eat as we headed into more interesting stores. This had a very different taste but I think I could easily get to love it. We didn’t choose it based on it having ‘Booza’ on the label.




I was very tempted to buy this bag of chillies, (please excuse the blurring)


but really, how many chillies can one use?

We then headed further down Sydney Rd to Brunswick and I remembered the lead Francesca had given me about the Mediterranean Wholesaler for everything Italian. Well, the delights continued! I came out from there with some beautiful looking aged, hard cheese, we just can’t get that here.

IMG_1675and some balsamic vinegar that was in the cutest little bottle,



















definitely going back there. Thanks Francesca!

Back at home I’ve dried some of my Phoenicia sourdough starter (this originally came from Celia sharing some of her starter Priscilla). Having some dried starter, means I can share it and have some as a back up incase something terrible happens to Phoenicia.

IMG_1652Lastly, I have a lovely little teapot (1-2 cup) that I bought at what is the best tea shop I’ve ever been to. Tea Leaves in Sassafras which is in our Dandenong ranges, a popular  place for a weekend drive. We ended up there a few weeks ago after collecting something reasonably close by. They sell online and the prices are reasonable. The knowledge the staff have about tea is quite amazing. Love it!


So that’s it for this month. Looking forward to reading some of the other posts, it really is fun looking into peoples kitchens. I hope that Celia is back on top of things next month, we love hearing her stories.

31 Replies to “In My Kitchen -Sydney Rd Shopping & Putting things off”

  1. I love Zaatar! Sydney Rd has so many options, more so down the southern end. Coburg has changed a lot, lots of new cafes and the old police station on Bell St (near Coburg station) is now a cafe. The Franco Cozzo store is still on Sydney Rd too 😀


    1. Hi, boy has it changed since I was a kid. I think it has so much more to offer now. My sister went to Coburg teachers college back in the early 60’s and I can remember being spooked by Pentridge and the police station. Aaaah, Franco Cozzo, we drove past that “Megalo, megalo megalo”. I’ll definitely return to Zaatar, need to taste a few more delights from there 🙂


    1. Hi Mandy, the little teapot is great and it actually pours nicely too. That is sometimes not the case. Ha, that’s the irony of me drooling over the bag of chillies, I have oodles I’ve dried hanging everywhere. I was just so impressed that a shop sold them like that, Cheers Maree 🙂


  2. Oh, That tea pot is so cute…. RENOVATING… good luck… but think of how amazing your kitchen is going to be when you are finished.. I can’t wait for the updates. I haven’t thought of drying out Penelope, I will have to try it! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Liz


  3. Maree, despite your difficulties as of late I detected a note of hope and humor in your musings that will see you through your ongoing renovations. (That, and your ever-caring spirit!) If all else fails, have a cup of tea or head into avoidance mode again! 🙂 This, too, shall pass. xoxoxo.


    1. Thanks Kim, very perceptive of you. It has been trying lately having so many family and friends having to endure awful times, seems there is a run of it. I hate seeing people go through this, but as you are only too well aware you just have to keep chipping’ away. Looking forward to the next round of photos as to what you are up to. Might add a dash of something to that cup of tea too. What was that lovely summery refreshment you mentioned a while back, might test it before summer 🙂


      1. I’m thinking you mean the frozen pineapple cilantro mojito? (It’s only a couple of posts back — I haven’t written much this year, ha! — or you can type it in the search box.) It was so nice adding doilies and embroidered linens to my photo efforts this time, xoxoxo. Thanks!


      2. Yes, that sounds right. What, not writing much? Goodness what on earth could you possibly have going on? I did read a couple of things, you really do write so well and grab emotion in a beautiful way. Obviously from the heart. I’d better have a closer look at the pics 🙂


  4. Thank you kindly for the link and I’m so pleased you found the Medit interesting. It’s a big barn of a place and quite amusing, with the little coffee bar in the middle. Other than the cheese, I get my Ferron Carnaroli rice there as well as Spanish calasparra rice for paella. They often stock good Farro too….
    If I had to fix that drain and broken pipe, I would head straight in to Brunswick via Coburg too. I’ve never eaten at Zaatar in Coburg but that ice cream sounds intriguing.
    Next time you head in that way, go to Bas foods in Victoria Street for another shopping experience.
    Hope the renos are progressing well.


    1. Poo, I missed the Carnaroli rice, have had that on my list for ages. Bas is booked in, thanks! I could spend hours and hours in these places, so much to take in. Was so much better than playing in the mud but at least Sunday was better for that. Cheers 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love visiting Melbourne with the primary purpose of eating. Next time I go to visit my sister we’ll be heading to Brunswick and Mediterranean Wholesaler with an empty carry-bag.
    Last time we wandered down Sydney Road the festival was on which was enjoyable but distracting, and I’m looking forward to a return visit.


  6. Oh Sydney Rd….I lived in Coburg another lifetime ago in my late teens/early 20’s and haven’t really been back since but I’ve put this grocer onto my ‘must go to’ when I’m next in Melby….We are about to start our final stage of a kitchen reno, but nothing on your scale – remember it’s stressful and you shouldn’t be ashamed to eat take away!!! if you’d like some chilli’s, I’d happily send you some of our dried ones – hit me with an email with your address and I’ll share the love 🙂 Jan x


    1. Definitely go and check it out Jan! I was amazed. If you knew what our take away was you’d retract that. Happy to go poached eggs any time 🙂 Thanks for the offer of the chillies, much appreciated, but the irony is that I have loads hanging around that I dried. Just loved that big bagful 🙂


  7. Gosh lots of lovely treasures. I love that little teapot, the red and white spots make it very cheerful looking. That bag of chillies could have kept you going for ages! The cheese look delicious too! Reminds me, I need to dry out a new sample of Lorenzo, just in case the worst happens 🙂


    1. Thanks Lizzie, yes I love getting tips, especially from people whose opinion I trust! I keep forgetting about posting to GSC, maybe once the sun comes out I’ll be a bit more motivated! Cheers, 🙂


    1. Hi Sherry, yes, biggest range of teapots in Australia they say. I was most impressed with the knowledge and service standards. Yes, will get more ice cream next time. Cheers, 🙂


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