A Cafe’s Guide: Working with Food Bloggers

Approaching food bloggers for your marketing is pretty fool-proof. You are on display to thousands of their followers at little cost to yourself. Compared to advertising in the mainstream media, it is a smart move.

We have noticed recently we are getting a lot more requests from cafes and restaurants regarding using our foodie Instagram to promote their business. While some cafes have gotten straight to the point and know exactly what they want, there are also places that are new to the game and aren’t sure what to expect.

We have put together a small guide to point you in the right direction and answer some of your questions.

Selecting your food bloggers

We would recommend you select quite a few. If you have a few bloggers all posting at the same time about your business, your food takes over everyone’s timelines and makes people interested in why so many people are visiting you. You also need to think about the right food bloggers for you, do they usually post the food you serve? do they post close up images of food or flat lays? do they mainly focus on cafes/restaurants or home cooking products? All of these elements matter depending on what you’re looking for.

man taking picture of food on top of table inside restaurant
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

How many followers should they have?

Once someone hits 1-2K followers, I believe they start having a decent following. Generally the more followers you have the small your engagement rate is, so keep that in mind when you approach the big guys. Of course you need to be careful of people who buy followers. You can generally check by looking at their followers list and seeing if the followers look real/are from the same country or state.

How to approach your selected food bloggers?

A simple Instagram DM is usually the best way to get a quick response. You should introduce yourself and be clear you want to collaborate. I find it best when they know what they want to acheive (eg. 2 posts and 3 instagram stories). Also be open to dates and times, don’t make them only come at awkward times of the day when you’re quiet.

Make sure your staff are prepared

You think this would be obvious, but we have arrived at cafes and the staff have no idea the manager organised for us to come. It becomes awkward when I need to show messages and prove I’m not making it up.

cheerful black waitress standing at counter
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Don’t change your dishes for us

You should serve us exactly what you would serve any other person. A few times we have been given huge proportions and then realised this isn’t a normal dish and when we post the image, it’s basically a catfish version of what they will really get. While we appreciate you going above and beyond, we want to showcase to our followers what they would actually get, if they decided to visit you. BUT do put us in a good seat next to natural light for our photos.

What are the costs involved for you?

Most bloggers will be happy to come along as long as you provide the meal. You definitely can’t expect people to go out of there way, showcase your food – and pay for it (yes we have been asked to pay for it before). Larger bloggers may requirement payment – you will have to deal with this on a case by case basis.

And to conclude, in no way are we complaining about anyone that has approached us. We are so greatful for every experience we have had. This is just a guide to help you, next time you are looking into food bloggers for your marketing.

Have you seen our latest blog on The Hideout Cafe and Pizza?

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Review: The Hideout Cafe & Pizza

We spend our days trying to find new, exciting and hidden cafes around Sydney and just when we thought we had found them all, along comes a café that was in hiding.

The Hideout Café is surrounded by houses in the backstreets of Old Toongabbie just off Old Windsor Road. It looks like your average take-away, however, once you sample that menu, average gives way to amazing!

What did we have?

The choices on this menu are endless. Your breakfast, brunch, lunch and pizza cravings are sorted. We started with the Smoked Salmon with spinach and avocado on sourdough. A delicious dish with fresh ingredients, the sourdough with a good spread of cream cheese. Next we devoured the Vegetarian Stack consisting of our favourite “haloumi”, spinach, mushrooms, avocado, hash brown, grilled tomato on sourdough with two perfectly cooked poached eggs. Add a dash of basil pesto and you have a dish to satisfy plenty of tastes. To finish – a sweet dish to balance out the morning – Acai Bowl with crunchy granola, almonds, banana, kiwi and strawberries. Delishous! The Chai Latte and Soy Cap lived up to our standards.

Hidden Cafes - The Hideout Cafe & Pizza
Photography – What the Haloumi

The lunch menu also includes sandwiches and wraps, pizzas, burgers, fish and chips, skewers etc.. If you are looking for a new café, this is definitely worth a try. It is a busy place and that usually means one thing, and the staff are super friendly – always a plus!

We will definitely be returning to sample the delicious lunch menu.

Hidden Cafes - The Hideout Cafe and Pizza
Photography – What the Haloumi

Do you know any hidden cafes around Sydney? We’d love to hear about them!

Have you seen our latest blog on the best places for solo dining in Sydney?

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Part 3: Takeaway in social isolation #covid19

So it looks like we are still in isolation and if you are still sick of cooking, your only option is takeaway at the moment. While there are some promising signs we can get back to a more normal life soon, here are some takeaway in social isolation options to fulfil your cravings until then.

1. Piccolo Me, Various Locations

These guys can be found all over the place and their coffee is great! We’ve noticed quite a few of them still open for business, maybe all of them are? Their pricing is pretty decent too, so next time you’re craving a good coffee, skip making it yourself and reward yourself with some Piccolo Me. I’d recommend their Chai Latte! (Does that count as a coffee?)

takeaway in social isolation
Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

2. Betty’s Burgers, Various Locations

I’m sure you are all missing going out and ordering a big juicy burger. Betty’s Burgers is one of the best when it comes to this and they have quite a few locations all over Sydney as well! I always go for their chicken burger and French fries option! I haven’t tried their ice cream yet, which they call ‘concrete’ but I’ve heard good things about it!

3. You Pizza, Various Locations

We can’t leave out the food trucks! We actually used these guys for catering a few of our parties and they were great! The pizzas are full of fresh toppings and there are quite a few options too. We were never disappointed – and compared to other pizza food trucks we have tried, they are the best! You’ll have to check their Instagram to see where they will be next, recently they were at Penrith!

takeaway in social isolation
Photo by Eneida Nieves on Pexels.com

4. Bubble Nini, Various Locations

Thirsty? Our favourite bubble tea place is still open for takaway! Woohoo! They have authentic tea and so many flavours to pick from. It’s a shame you can’t stay in the café because it is so pretty! Oh well, I guess you can always go back when we are back to a more normal life for that!

5. Ze Pickle, Surry Hills

Sorry, we had to add another burger place to the list! Ze Pickle has some top notch burgers on the menu and so many sides to pick from! There are also some super spicy options on the menu too for our heat lovers! Our favourite are the chicken burgers here too!

And there it is, our top picks this week for takeaway in social isolation!

Have you seen our latest blog on more places open for takeaway in Sydney?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Takeaway options for isolation in Sydney

The world we are living in now is completely different to what we have ever experienced. What we use to take for granted is no longer possible, with restaurants no longer being able to have a dine-in option. Many places have had to quickly adapt to the world of takeaway. Here are some takeaway in Sydney options that have stood out for us:

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Belmonte Italian Cusine

One of our favourite places in the Hills District has shut up the doors to their dine-in section but continued to excel in their takeaway. Not only have they been delivering free pizzas to the local supermarket staff but they are also delivering orders free when you spend over $40 (which is pretty easy to spend on a family dinner). They will also add a garlic bread or drink on pick up orders over $40.

2. The Pie Tin

If you’re craving a pie then The Pie Tin in Newton is another places for you to take advantage of their takeaway options. They are delivering in the local area as well! Not only are they selling hot ready to eat food but also par-baked, cold or frozen items for you to save it for a later date.

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Butter

Located in Surry Hills and Parramatta, Butter only claim to be a phone call away during these uncertain times. They are offering their fried chicken via pick up or delivery – and have even signed up to deliveroo to make your experience easier if phone calls aren’t your thing! We’ve tried their burgers and ramen and both are delicious!

4. Sunset Diner

Dreaming back to our freedom during the summer months, my first thought goes to Avalon Beach! Sunset Diner is located there and are staying open for pick up and delivery via UberEats. They also created a DriveUp option where they will bring your order to your car (I like the sound of this haha). Ps. the burgers look so good here!

takeaway in sydney
Photo by Horizon Content on Pexels.com

5. Chatime

We couldn’t leave a drink option off the list and with locations all over Sydney, there is bound to be one near you. They are on their own app, UberEats and Deliveroo so take your pick! They are also taking measures via their SafeTea (haha) inclusions of contactless payments and restricting reusable cups.

Enjoy your takeaway in Sydney!

Have you seen our latest blog on our favourite coffee shops in the Hills District?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Top 5 Coffee Shops in the Hills District

We all love a local coffee shop that stands out from all the others. More recently, the Hills District has has a growth in cafes which has been great for the area. So whether you live there or are passing by, we’ve put a list together of our favourite coffee shops in the hills that we have come across.

1. The Borrowed Table

This new cafe recently opened underneath a block of apartments in Kellyville Ridge. The Borrowed Table has all your brunch needs! From smashed avo to eggs on toast, this cafe has a dish for everyone. Meanwhile, you’ll be surrounded by some beautiful decor. Although in cafe is technologically not in the official boundaries of the Hills, it is right on the boarder so we will let that slide haha!

Where can you find them: G7/8 Merriville Rd, Kellyville Ridge
When are they open: Tues-Sun 8am-4pm

2. The Brook Eatery

Another beautiful cafe that has made it onto our top coffee shops in the hills list, is The Brook Eatery. Situated in Cherrybrook, this cafe has a decent brunch menu and always seems to be full of locals. All your sweet and savoury brunch items can be found on the menu. And there is something there for everyone.

Where can you find them: P1/41-47 Shepherds Dr, Cherrybrook
When are they open: Mon-Sun 7am-10pm

3. Wild Pear Cafe

If you want to venture into the more rural side of the Hills District then, Wild Pear Cafe is the place! This cafe grew in popularity a few years ago and had a huge influx of visitors from all over Sydney. The cafe is beautifully situated in a garden nursery and has some great coffee! The menu gets updated regularly which is good for regular customers to try new things. On a side note, their famous Rosewater Milkshake is the best!

Where can you find them: 658 Old Northern Rd, Dural
When are they open: Mon-Sun 8am-4pm

4. The Bella Local

This cafe is located in the Bella Vista/Norwest Business Park area, which is great for people that work there. Even in the busy area, they have a nice outdoor deck and plenty of seating. All your sweet and savory options can be found on the menu. Including Nutella Waffles for all our Nutella lovers! I think this dish helps put them in the running for our favourite coffee shops in the Hills District haha!

Where can you find them: g03/33 Lexington Dr, Bella Vista
When are they open: Mon-Fri 7am-4pm or Sat 8am-12pm

5. Arthur Street Cafe

For our Baulkhum Hills residents, Arthur Street Cafe is for you. Situated amongst the homes of the area, you’ll is this coffee shop. It has been around for quite a while and gets a a decent crowd. Oh and their ‘Big Breakfast’ is truly a big breakfast and it is served all day. Make sure you’re hungry before you go haha!

Where can you find them: 26 Arthur St, Baulkham Hills
When are they open? Mon-Sun 7am-4pm

Have you seen our latest blog on the best charcoal chicken places in Sydney?

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Top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney

There are so many charcoal chicken shops popping around Sydney. With so many, how do you know which ones are worth a visit to? Well, we have made a list of the main ones that have various locations over Sydney so you can find one near you. So, here it is our – our top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney.

1. Frangos

We had to put Frangos at the top of our top charcoal chicken places in Sydney as we cannot stop going there. Maybe it is because there is one 5 minutes from our house but also because it is delicious. It is a really hard choice here between their quarter chicken or fillet burger but rest assured, both give you a generous amounts of chips. I think the aspect that wins me here is their mayo and chilli sauce, it is the best! They started in Petersham and have expanded to Bella Vista, Gregory Hills, Smithfield and Penrith.

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Frangos

2. El Jannah

Another favourite of ours is, El Jannah and their charcoal chicken with garlic sauce and pickles! There is nothing better than combining the chicken, garlic sauce, pickles and chips on Lebanese bread. The pricing is really reasonable here and the meals are quite big. The first one opened in Granville and they have slowly expanded to Blacktown and Newtown. We hope there is one near you!

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Menulog

3. Chargrill Charlies

For those living on the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs, Chargrill Charlies should be your go to chicken shop. Hence, why we had to add it to our top 3 charcoal chicken places in Sydney. I think the best thing about this place other than the chicken is their range of sides and salads. They are so fresh and delicious! You can find them at Woollahra, Annadale, Neutral Bay, Mosman, Rose Bay, Lane Cove, Willoughby, Drummoyne, Frenchs Forest and St Ives.

charcoal chicken places in sydney
Photography – Chargrill Charies

Enjoy your chicken!

Have you seen our latest blog on the our favourite noodle places in Sydney?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Top 5 places for noodles in Sydney

Who doesn’t love a nice big bowl of noodles for lunch? Recently, I have been loving spicy food and noodles seem to be the best place to satisfy my craving. Whether you like spicy food or not , here is a list of our top 5 places for noodles in Sydney.

1. Biang Biang

Biang Biang is definitely first on our list. Situated in Sydney’s China Town, they have the best noodle dishes we have come across. Their famous flat Biang Biang noodles are not only delicious but also extremely Instagram worthy. We tried the Biang Biang Noodle topped with chilli and the Biang Biang noodle with beef, which were both great. Maybe just bring some yogurt if you can’t handle the spice haha!

Where can you find them: 1 Dixon Street, Haymarket
When are they open: Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm

2. Chat Thai

If you’re looking for affordable Thai is the Sydney CBD, then I wouldn’t know where else to recommend you. Chat Thai is not only one of the best Thai places, it is also quite cheap and has many options to pick from. My go to is always the Pad Thai or Pad See Ew, which never disappoint. It does get busy here, so I would suggest you book.

Where can you find them: 3 locations in the Sydney CBD
When are they option: Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

3. Gami Chicken and Beer

Although they are not a noodle place, Gami Chicken and Beer have the best sweet potato noodle dishes! So we had to add them to our top 5 places for noodles in Sydney. Their dish includes the noodles with Mushrooms, chicken and a variety of vegetables with sweet soy sauce! They also have Korean fried chicken if you are dining with any non noodle loving friends.

Where can you find them: Locations all over Sydney
When are they open: Depends on your location – generally 11am-9pm

4. P’Nut Street Noodles

Is street food more your style? Well, P’Nut Street Noodles may be worth a visit. They basically just serve a whole bunch of noodle dishes from all over Asian, including: Japan, Korea and Indonesia to name a few. Whichever cuisine you are craving, there should be a dish for you. They also have Laksa for our soup lovers.

Where can you find them: Locations all over Sydney
When are they open: Depends on your location – generally 11am-8pm

5. Ippudo

And last but not least, we couldn’t leave a ramen option off the list. Ramen is probably one of my favourite noodle dishes to eat in cold weather. Ippudo, was the first place we have ever tried ramen and we haven’t had a better one elsewhere since. They have quite a few ramen options on the menu and we have never been disappointed. You can even select how well you want your noodles cooked haha!

We have you enjoy slurping up all these noodles. We know we definitely will be!

Have you seen our latest blog on our top 5 places for pizza?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Japanese fluffy pancakes in Chatswood

You’ve probably seen these Japanese fluffy pancakes all over Instagram and you’ve probably been on the hunt to find them? Well, they are from Japan and more and more places are popping up all over Sydney that serve them. Gram – a Japanese cafe just moved into Chatswood in Sydney’s North Shore! This is especially exciting because their executive chef has flown here to teach the Australian chefs how to make these highly demanded pancakes just like they do in Japan!

japanese fluffy pancakes
Photography – Gram

So how are they made? It doesn’t look easy but according to Gram the Japanese ultra-fluffy pancakes are made with egg-whites made into a heavy batter that’s then whipped and then steamed until they get to the final stage of cooking them. The end product is a stack of 3 wobbly-sponge like pancakes (perfect for your Instagram boomerang story haha). According to their menu they also come in a tiramisu flavour, which sounds delicious!

Are you going to be bringing along friends and family that don’t want these pancakes? (surely not but just in case lol) they have french toast, soup, savory pancakes and a BLT. They also have a large drink menu with a range of smoothies, tea and coffees.

We’re so excited to try this place out and we’re sure it will be great! Gram has over 60 cafes throughout the world (the success must have something to do with those unique fluffy pancakes haha)

japanese fluffy pancakes
Photography – Gram

Let us know in the comments if you have been to one of their stores before! Which flavour of the pancakes would you recommend?

Happy Instagraming!

Have you seen our latest blog on restaurants with a view outside the Sydney CBD?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Top 5 pizza places in Sydney

Who doesn’t love a good slice (or 8) of pizza! There are so many Italian places around Sydney that is can be hard to decide which ones are best. We’ve been to a lot of them, so we’ll help you out. See below our list of the top 5 pizza places in Sydney.

1. Georges Gourmet Pizzeria

Every time we drive past this place, it is packed! And if you taste their pizza, it explains why. Located in Bella Vista, this pizza place is probably our favourite place to go to at the moment. The range of pizza options is huge (our favs being the Mediterranean Grill or Bella Vista) and they even have a Nutella pizza for dessert, which won our hearts.

Where can you find them: 1 Circa Boulevarde, Bella Vista
When are they open: Tues-Sun 11am-10pm or Mon 11am-2:30pm

2. Bondi Pizza

Our second choice is more a of restaurant chain option, but their pizzas are still good. Bondi Pizza are known for their pizza and they also have a huge menu with many options. Everytime we go, we try something different because of the different options. The good thing about Bondi Pizza, is that they have locations almost everywhere. This means no matter where you are, there is probably one close by.

Where can you find them: Various locations
When are they open: Depends on location but generally Mon-Sun 11am-10pm

3. Da Mario

A bit more on the fancy side is Da Mario which has a range of red and white based pizzas. You’ll usually catch us ordering the pizza with the olives and anchovies on it and they have the perfect one. The Partenopea consists of tomato, mozzarella, anchovies, olives, capers and oregano (heaven). It gets busy here as well so get their early or book!

Where can you find them: Shop 1/36 Morley Ave, Rosebery
When are they open: Tues-Thurs 5pm-9pm or Fri-Sun 12pm-3pm and 5pm-9pm

4. The Pizza Pasta Kitchen

Another one of our favs is The Pizza Pasta Kitchen, a hidden gem in Toongabbie (it’s worth the drive). I think because of its hidden location it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The menu is huge here as well but we always order the same pizza (Vegetarian Supreme) as we can’t imagine any pizza tasting as good haha!

Where can you find them: 5/4 Claudia Rd, Toongabbie
When are they open: Mon-Sun 7am-9pm

5. Frankie’s Pizza

If an underground bar is more your style then Frankie’s Pizza is probably the best place to be. Especially if you are into the rock n roll scene with pinball machines haha. They serve all your classic pizzas and they taste great too. It gets really busy here too, so try to get here early or book ahead.

Where can you find them: 50 Hunter St, Sydney
When are they open: Mon-Sun 4pm-3:30am but on Fri they open at midday

Have you seen our latest blog on Japanese fluffy pancakes in Chatswood?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!

Restaurants with a view outside the Sydney CBD

Who doesn’t love to eat a nice meal whilst overlooking a beautiful bay, beach or mountain range? It’s the perfect thing to do on a weekend after sitting in an office all week staring at a computer and wall haha. We’ve done some research and listed all the places you should visit if you’re after a view next time you’re going out to eat. So here it is, our summary of restaurants with a view in Sydney:

1. Echo on the Marina

This place is stunning to visit during the daytime, the place is filled with light and has a deck overlooking the water with breakfast and lunch options. It almost feels like you’re on a holiday. So, what can you expect on the menu? For breakfast you have Belgian Waffles, House Cured Salmon or for the simple types – Eggs on Toast. For lunch you can expect to see seafood and pastas!

restaurants with a view in sydney
Photography – Echo on the Marina

Where can you find them: 15 Normac St, Roseville
When are they open: Wed-Sun 8am-4pm

2. Gunners Barracks

Did someone say high tea? If you’re looking for a restaruant with a view in Sydney whilst you are having some high tea, Gunners Barracks is your solution. As you eat you can look over the stunning courtyard and down to the harbour. They also have a lunch menu with seafood, chicken and the key our heart – haloumi!

restaurants with a view in sydney
Photography – Gunners Barracks

Where can you find them: Suakin Drive, Mosman
When are they open: Check their viewing and booking options on their website

3. Jonah’s

How about a restaruant with a beach view in Sydney? If you willing to drive about an hour north of the CBD you will reach Jonah’s at Whale Beach. This place has beautiful panoramic views from every window and they even offer accomodation. The menu consists of an Australian cusine with a little italian influence.

restaurants with a view in sydney
Photography – Jonah’s

Where can you find them: 69 Bynya Rd, Palm Beach
When are they open: Mon-Sun 7:30am-10pm

We hope you enjoy eating one of our choices of restaurants with a view in Sydney – make sure to take a photo!

Have you seen our latest blog on the new cafe in Sydney – Cadenza Floral Cafe?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with where are we eating: https://www.instagram.com/whatthehaloumi and subscribe to our newsletter for our next article!