IT IS known as the home of Sydney’s television broadcasting but the north shore suburb towers above many with its array of foodie options.
Take a tour of the area’s best eateries right here with The Sunday Telegraph’s Eat Street.
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FOUR culinary worlds collide to create an intriguing dining experience at Spanish Sakaba.
Chef and owner Iwao Yamanishi merges his classical French training and Japanese heritage with influences from his global travels, particularly those of Spain where he learned to appreciate not just bold flavours but also the jovial communal meals centred around shared plates.
During the day, the menu offers wagyu burgers and noodle dishes, including their signature oxtail ramen, inspired by a dish Iwao had in Hawaii. Tapas is the go for dinner with both Spanish and Japanese varieties including paella and tempuras.
— 537 Willoughby Rd
ONE EARTH CAFÉ
AS the name of the cafe suggests, natural and healthy ingredients are One Earth Cafe’s specialty and in the 22 years since Jenny Gascoigne and Peter White opened this cosy place, they’ve stayed true to that ethos.
From the beginning they offered organic coffee, their own blend of chai and house-made foods alongside handmade South American jewellery and trinkets, all in an effort to promote fair-trade practices.
The menu has grown, as has the shop.
“It’s morphed into what it is now,” Ms Gascoigne said.
They still sell fair-trade items as well as bits from local artists but it’s Jeff’s nachos and Jenny’s baked ricotta cheesecakes that first get them in the door.
— 566 Willoughby Rd
NONNA’S KITCHEN @Willoughby Fresh Green Grocer
HOME cooking doesn’t get any homier than Nonna’s Kitchen at Willoughby Fresh Green Grocer. Three generations of the Scala family have been at the helm of this fresh fruit and veg shop for over 25 years, including the famous homemade Italian meals made by their matriarch Maria.
While Maria used to make things at home and bring them in, demand from loyal customers finally convinced her to open up a prep kitchen.
Seven years on and the refrigerator is filled with her meatballs, lasagnes, risottos, schnitzels, as well as the popular vegetarian pastas. Make it a one-stop shop for dinner by grabbing some salad fixings from their selection of gorgeous fresh produce.
— 67 Penshurst St
THE BBQ SCHOOL
DO you flip a steak once? What about the perfect sausage? These are the age-old questions every backyard BBQ expert has an opinion on.
The BBQ School goes some way to helping you refine the art of grilling, be it beef or barramundi. Classes are kept relatively small and start an intro in their chef’s kitchen before moving onto the grills outside to finish off the menu.
The American Smoking Class, a popular session that teaches the “low and slow” BBQ method with baby back ribs, pork and brisket, along with bacon wrapped Jalapeno poppers, smoked corn and a crisp and cold selection of tasty beers.
— 491 Willoughby Rd
IT is 35 years old and still going strong. La Botte has been a feature in Willoughby for the better part of three decades and their signature Italian dishes are still being prepared the same way as when they were first put on the menu in the early 1980s.
The oven-baked king prawns are at the top of that list as the garlic butter sauce makes them magical after a mere three minutes in a whopping 350-degree oven.
“It’s what you’d want to make at home,” owner Shipon Shazadul said, adding that is was the commitment of Ercole Perego, his father-in-law, a dear friend and the restaurant’s founder, to hearty, generous and unpretentious food that has seen generations of customers pass through the doors.
— 608 Willoughby Rd
Light and healthier options are the focus at this breezy cafe with the chicken burger being a clear leader. Tender grilled chicken breast is layered between tomatoes, avocado, cheese and crisp lettuce.
— SoulPlate Café, Shop 2/63 Penshurst St
A basic Eggs Bennie seems so benign once you’ve tried it with a base of house-made rösti patties. Served with their own rich hollandaise sauce, some droplets of apple cider vinaigrette add a tasty tang that compliments the two poached eggs with a choice of the smoked salmon, bacon or haloumi.
— Little Giant Roasters, 525 Willoughby Rd
KAFFIR LIME SALMON
Presented on rich green betel leaves, with bright red accents from the chilli lime dressing, these servings of diced seared salmon are a feast for the eyes as well as the palette.
— Kaffir Lime Thai Eatery, 541 Willoughby Rd
BEREMPAH’S CRISPY PORK BELLY
It’s the influence of so many different Asian cuisines that makes Malaysian fare so unique so when Australian favourites, such as this crispy pork belly are added, it quickly becomes a signature dish.
— Berempah Malaysian Fusion, 533 Willoughby Rd
It’s way too easy to eat your greens when they taste this good. Toast spread with a thick layer of minted pea puree, sauteed mushrooms, feta, red chillies and a perfectly poached egg.
— The Mowbray, 130 Mowbray Rd