Stormy weather equals comfort food…..

Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ll be aware that Newcastle and the Hunter have been hit this week by terrific storms with cyclonic winds and flooding rains. Its during this time that as a home cook and baker, I like to turn my mind away from the backyard strewn with tree and leaf debris and concentrate on some comfort food for the family. In particular the 18 year old likes some home cooked treats and likes to have something nice to eat for his school lunches…..2 more terms to go! So I have spent the weekend cooking Roast chickens and baked veges, Italian meatballs, pea and ham soup and some all time favourites “bills” choc chip cookies.


The food techy and I literally stubbled upon the newly opened “bills cafe” in Darlinghurst way back in the early 1990’s and were suitably impressed with the breakfast menu items which were a world away from the normal items on offer at the time. I remember tasting the now famous ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter and having a delicious flavoursome cup of coffee. The cafe was tiny and was one of the first to brave the communal table, but was soon so popular that we were only ever able to get back in again for one more breakfast. We haven’t been back since leaving Sydney, but Bill Granger has gone from strength to strength and now boasts a global empire of cafes, cookbooks and TV shows. For me I have bought 3 of his books and continue to make some regular recipes……the choc chip cookies for one. Bills recipes are simple and easy to follow….but don’t go buying the books, his website and your local library are fully stocked!

As I write this post, I’m acutely aware of the fact that, though the Hunter has been hit with an incredible storm and many people are still without power and other services, lets spare a thought and some much needed cash for the people of Nepal, where latest estimates are of 1800 people losing their lives and terrible devastation is to be found everywhere.

Lets be grateful for the small comforts we can still enjoy this weekend.


King St Depot – Warners Bay

Waiting for Godot new tyres to be fitted requires some caffeine. So seeing that the lovely gents at Jax Tyres Warners Bay were attending to the said tyres, and would require 2 hours to do so, I thought I would check out a local cafe, a 10 min walk away, on a sunny Friday morning.

King St Depot is located as its name suggests on the corner of King and Howard Sts, Warners Bay. It is a small cafe with seating for approx 17 people but packs a punch with their good coffee (Genovese beans) and delightful menu. As it turns out I required 2 coffees that morning and both were consistently good – sometimes an issue for Hunter baristas! The menu was too tempting, so the avocado and ricotta on sourdough was ordered. Nicely presented on the ubiquitous wooden board with a wedge of lemon for self spritzing and generous toppings – $12. A rather nice little breakfast/brunch to keep me going.

King St Depot Avocado and Ricotta on Sourdough.

King St Depot Avocado and Ricotta on Sourdough.


Friendly staff, good coffee and value for money offerings will see me coming back. The place has a really nice ambiance and is obviously frequented by the locals. Word of warning though….probably best not to take your elderly Aunty Joan as the seating is all stools and would no doubt become uncomfortable for her.

So if in Warners Bay, give this little gem a try…..and if needing tyres, ask for Rodney at Jax. He’s a good bloke.