Archives For April 2011

Grill’d, Crows Nest

April 11, 2011 — 8 Comments

Sometimes you feel like some good basic food, something like a hamburger. I’ve been before to Grill’d at Crows Nest (with multiple other locations), serving interesting hamburger combinations, and decided to get back there. The hamburgers are full of fresh, healthy ingredients, and the herbed fries tasty.

What’s on the menu?

Here are some of the burgers on the menu, including beef, chicken, lamb and vegetarian:

  • Almighty: grilled 100% lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish and herbed mayo
  • Tuscan Delight: grilled chicken breast, roasted peppers, basil pesto, tasty cheese, salad and herbed mayo
  • Baa Baa Burger: grilled lean lamb pattie with avocado, tasty cheese, salad, relish and herbed mayo
  • Bombay Bliss: premium quality chickpea pattie with roasted peppers, tzatziki, salad and relish

They also serve salads for the times when you don’t want a hamburger.

What we ate

Last time I had the Zen Hen hamburger: grilled chicken breast with tangy satay sauce, coriander, shredded carrot, salad and herbed mayo:

There was lots of carrot, and the satay sauce is gentle, not overpowering, just adding to the mixture of flavours.

The buns are quality, light, and satisfying. You can choose to have a panini bun, the traditional (a wholemeal blend) with or without sesame seeds, or a gluten-free bun.

Their fries are thick-cut, crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle. They’re advertised as being cooked in low-cholesterol oil. They’re served herbed, and you can also order freshly made dipping sauces such as sweet chili mayo or herbed mayo.

There are plenty of tables inside and out. We sat out today, watching the world go by. Fun watching the people of all shapes and sizes and ages go by.

My choice for today was the Back Bar steak sandwich: grilled scotch fillet, crispy trim bacon, rocket, feta, tomato, spanish onion, tomato relish, herbed mayo on ciabatta::

Here’s how it looked inside:

Very tasty. I think I’d like any of the burgers served there, with the interesting, fresh ingredients. Serves are large, and I’ve wondered if their mini-burgers may even be big enough, especially with a serve of fries.

Sure, you could call this fast food, just because it’s burgers, but it’s a cut above, with fresh ingredients, flavourful, good-sized portions. Grill’d does satisfy the urge for a good burger.


Here are the details for Grill’d at time of posting, but please check their web site for current details:

Web site
Address 57 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, NSW 2065
Phone (02) 9436 0699
Open Mon: 11am – 10pm
Tue: 11am – 10pm
Wed: 11am – 10pm
Thu: 11am – 11pm
Fri: 11am – 11pm
Sat: 11am – 11pm
Sun: 11am – 10pm
Menu Hamburgers, salads. Mains: $10-$15
Grill'd on Urbanspoon

Where do you go when you feel the need for a good hamburger?

After watching my niece play soccer, I wandered up the Northern Beaches, to Avalon. I love Avalon. It has village feel, with plenty of choices of places to eat, and some cute little shops (such as one selling decorator items for beach-houses). Avalon has a relaxed feel, without being grungy as beachy places can be, having an understated style.

We settle on having lunch at The Cooks Larder. I don’t think it has any identifying signs from the street, but the locals sure know it, judging by the constant stream of people we saw looking for a table. I can understand why.

It was the first day out of daylight savings, so I was hungry early. We got a table at just the right time: at the end of the breakfast service, and just before lunch began to be served. Good timing.


Our table was in an ideal location on this sunny autumn day, looking out into the street, so we could watch people strolling by (and cute gentleman driving his mobility scooter to do his grocery shopping, complete with a Ferrari flag at the back!). The restaurant has these old hand-beaters hanging from the ceiling along the wall:

Cute. And at the back of the restaurant, there is a shop selling all sorts of delightful produce. Apparently they also have cooking classes, including for kids during the school holidays.


The menus at The Cooks Larder sure do looking interesting. Here are some items from the current lunch menu, to give you a feel for what they offer:

  • Homemade pork terrine or chicken liver pate with onion marmalade and sourdough toasts.
  • Antipasto plate, with homemade marinated, chargrilled vegetables with bocconcini, caramelised balsamic and sourdough.
  • Zuchini fritters with cucumber, watercress, mint and fetta salad.
  • Prawn, lemon and fennel risotto.
  • Homemade linguini with zucchini flowers, ricotta and herbs.
  • Grass-fed scotch fillet steak sandwich on sourdough with onion marmalade, mayo and rocket, fries – thickcut.

While waiting for our lunch to arrive, we saw the last of the breakfasts go by, and they looked fabulous. The ingredients are fresh, interesting, good quality, and the serves generous.

The restaurant is not licensed, but they accept BYO, and there are two bottle-shops very close by.


I wanted to leave room for dessert, so ordered the oregano, chilli and garlic marinated squid with lemon, aioli and rocket salad:

The squid was tender, with that gorgeous char-grilled taste. I couldn’t really taste the distinct flavours of the marinade, but it was tasty. The lemon and olive oil dressing on the rocket salad went so well with the rich aoili and squid. A light, yummy dish.

The person I was with ordered the croque monsieur with free range ham, gruyere, homemade ketchap and greens:

The sourdough bread was nutty and rich, with the outer sides being crunchy, and in the inner side soft. The sandwiches were piled thick with beautiful ham. The homemade ketchap was strong and rich, a perfect complement to the ham and cheese. That sure was a good-sized serve.


I saw the list of desserts before ordering the main course, and the only question was which to order:

I ended up choosing the pecan, fig and maple syrup cake with caramel sauce, served with vanilla bean ice cream:

I love figs, so I loved the richness of the figs with the maple syrup, with the soft pecans throughout the cake adding some texture to the cake. The caramel sauce was a good one, not too strong or thick, matching the cake well.

So, my first visit to The Cooks Larder was a good one. With the interesting menu, the relaxed atmosphere, the great location, I’ll be back. I’d particularly like to visit for breakfast next time.

Up the road

After leaving the restaurant I saw this:

I couldn’t resist taking a photo. Funny, heh!


Here are the details about The Cooks Larder at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site
Address 21-23 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon, NSW, 2000
Phone (02) 9973 4370
Open Breakfast: 8am – 12pm, 7 days
Lunch: 12pm – 3pm, 7 days [3-6pm light menu]
Dinner: 6pm – late, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Menu Modern Australian. Breakfast $10-$17, Lunch Mains $18-24, Dinner Mains $28-29.
Cooks Larder on Urbanspoon

I know this was for lunch, but I’m thinking about breakfasts out. Where do you like to go for breakfast?