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?

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!

Can greenhouses solve social distancing?

We’re sure many of you have been out since the restrictions in Australia have been lifted. Now restaurants and cafes are allowed to open as long as the follow the 1.4 social distancing rule. However, we’ve found that when we have been out dining, there may be the right amount in the space to keep the 1.4 distance but they put everyone cramped into one section. Should we be concerned if we can touch the people on the table behind us? What if we told you there are greenhouse restaurants trying to solve the problem?

Where can you find them?

We have recently come across a restaurant in Amsterdam, Mediamatic, that has used greenhouses to make sure everyone is spread out. Many restaurants have tried to be creative with ways to stand out with concepts to control social distancing. However, this would have to be our favourite!. Should there be more greenhouse restaurants?

greenhouse restaurants
Photography – news.com.au

According to the Government, these sort of measures are unnecessary, but it is a great concept for those who are more at risk of the illness or those that feel uncomfortable going to a normal dining experience. And lets not forget the Instagramers who would love this idea simply for the Instagram photo (us).

This made us think, the amount of trust we are putting in restaurants and cafes to do the right thing and keep us safe. Have they wiped down everything? did they wash their hands? Are the staff being honest about their health? On the other hand are all the guests being honest about their health? The questions are endless!

greenhouse restaurants
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Nevertheless, good luck and be safe, wherever you decide to eat! Hopefully we can find more greenhouse restaurants popping up!

Have you seen our latest blog on solo dining options 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!

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?

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!

Solo dining in Sydney? Here is where to go!

Are you a Sydney-sider wanting to eat out but you’re all alone? Or are you on the trip to Sydney be yourself and want to eat out? Well, not to fear, there are plenty of places to eat without feeling awkward that you are alone. You want to avoid quiet places or places like yum cha where it is probably best to have a companion. Or buffets, because who is going to mind the table haha? So, here is our list of where we would eat if we were solo dining in Sydney.

1. Sushi Rio

We personally can’t think of a better option than a sushi train. There are no tables and everyone is sitting along a bench facing the train, nothing awkward about that right? You can casually pick the options you want off the sushi train without anyone noticing you are all alone. Sushi Rio would be our pick if you are in the Sydney CBD. They have a lot of options and it is super fresh!

Where can you find them: Shop 7/339A Sussex St, Sydney (you can also find them in Westfield Sydney and Bondi)
When are they open: Mon-Sun 12pm-10pm but open till 11pm on Fri-Sat

solo dining sydney
Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

2. Jimmy’s Recipe

Next on our list of options for solo dining in Sydney is Jimmy’s Recipe. During the week at lunch time this place is super busy. You order at the counter and your food is generally ready within the minute, so there is no awkward waiting around. Then you are off to find a table, it is so busy and fast paced in there, that no one will notice you are alone. Plus there are usually quite a few solo diners on their lunch break from work. We always get the Laksa from here, it’s the best!

Where can you find them: Ground Floor/500 George St, Sydney
When are they open: Sat-Sun 11am-3pm Mon-Tues 10am-6pm Wed 10am-7pm Thurs 10am-9pm and Fri 10am-8pm

3. Mister Gee Burger Truck

Last but not least, for our solo dining options in Sydney we had to add a burger truck. There is nothing awkward about ordering from these and taking a seat in a park and enjoying your meal. We picked Mister Gee Burger Truck and their burgers never disappointed. Oh and the loaded fries are amazing too! The good thing about food trucks in general is that they move around so you are bound to find one near you.

Where can you find them: Check their Instagram, they move around to different locations (this week they are at 16 George St, North Strathfield)
When are they open: Depends on where they are

solo dining sydney
Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

Enjoy your solo dining in Sydney!

Have you seen our latest blog on takeaway options in isolation?

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 still open in Sydney during isolation

As we continue to live our lives in isolation, I’m sure many of you are just like us and looking for places that are still open for takeaway. If you can’t find any, not to worry, we’ve done the research for you, see below our recommended options for takeaway open in Sydney during the COVID-19 crisis.

1. Mark & Vinnys, Surry Hills

Mark and Vinnys is the place for all our vegan and vegetarian readers. Pick from an array of pasta options and side dishes and by the look of their Instagram everything looks delicious! If that doesn’t convince you enough, they are also offering a bottle of Paladino Sangiovese or Pinot Grigio for $16 with any pick up orders!

Takeaway open in sydney
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

2. Duo Duo, Strathfield

We all still need ice cream while in isolation right? Well Duo Duo’s deep fried ice cream is still open for takeaway. They’re a food truck so they move around quite a bit but you can usually find them in Strathfield at night. Check out their instagram to see where they are next. They are also doing large takeaway tubs too!

3. Billy the Greek, Dural

Greek food is definitely essential during the crisis and Billy the Greek is open for takeaway. They’re open 7 days a week and will deliver locally for just $5, otherwise you can do pick up. On the menu you can chose from gyros, seafood, mains, pasta and they also have a special board!

4. Contessa, Balmain

Another takeaway open is Sydney is Contessa Balmain. Pick up a warm coffee or one of their delicious meals including burgers, omelettes and more! And you can be rest assured you will be socially distancing here as they have crosses marked on the floor!

Takeaway open in sydney
Photo by David Bares on Pexels.com

5. Aj’s Cafe, Greystanes

Aj’s Cafe is a great choice as they have basically converted their whole normal menu into the takeaway menu! Open for breakfast and lunch, their pancakes are superb and they’re burgers are bound to fill you up. Oh and make sure to get a coffee too!

Enjoy your takeaway that is still open in Sydney

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!

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?

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 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!

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!

Top 5 places for ice cream in Sydney

Who doesn’t love ice-cream? With the current soaring temperatures in Sydney at the moment, ice-cream is especially needed in our lives haha! But, why have regular ice-cream when you can have out of the ordinary, fancy ice-cream? We’ve done the hard work for you and found some of the best spots to find this treat in Sydney.

Heet Tea

We can’t leave out our bubble tea lovers when it comes to ice cream choices. Heet Tea in Burwood, is the place to be to find soft-serve milk tea flavoured ice cream! Amazing, I know and it is as good as you expected, especially with the added pearls inside. I dream of one of these opening closer to my house to I can have it more often.

Pimp my Chimney

If food trucks are more your style then Pimp my Chimney, may be your calling. They travel around to different locations serving ice cream in cones made of doughnut. It is actually delicious and you look forward to eating the cone instead of just the ice cream! I just recommend you eat it quick before the warm cone melts the ice cream all over you.

Cafe Crop, Stratfield

What about Korean ice cream? You may have come across the name Bingsu, which is a Korean ice cream that comes in many flavours. Cafe Crop sells this near Strathefield Station. My personal favourite is the melon flavoured Bingsu, it also has real melon instead as well. All there servings are for 2 or more so I suggest you bring a friend.

Duo Duo

Another food truck to add to our list of best ice cream places in Sydney is Duo Duo as we couldn’t leave deep fried ice cream off the list. They move around a lot, but you can generally find them in the inner west. They usually sell 2 flavours of ice cream at a time, the two times we have been, they have had different flavours. I guess that gives you more reason to keep going back for more haha!

Cow and the Moon

This place definitely wins the contestant for best range of flavours. It is easy to get overwhelmed by your choices here, but that isn’t a bad thing when it comes to ice cream. Every flavour is beautifully presented. They have your normal every day flavours as well as a few unique ones. Every time we go we try a different one (you’ve got the try them all haha)

Enjoy your ice cream adventures and make sure to not get a brain freeze!

Have you seen our latest blog on the PeanutButterLove Dessert Bar?

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!