Mad Spuds Cafe, Surry Hills


  • Do you like potatoes?
  • I love them.
  • My recommendation for Mad Spuds Cafe is not to get distracted by seemingly “interesting” dishes on the menu e.g. Vegan Brekkie Stack.
  • Stick to the specialty that’s proclaimed in the name.
  • More specifically, go for the Potato Nachos.
  • Potato Nachos consist of potato skins that are dusted in a sprinkling of flavoursome paprika powder, served with some minced beef, guacamole and sour cream.
  • The potato skins are crisp and tasty.
  • The minced beef veers slightly on the too sweet side.
  • The guacamole is fine, though I wish there was more of it.
  • All in all, worth checking out if you’re in the mood for a potato fix.

Mad Pizza E Bar, Newtown


  • Mad Pizza hits the nails on the head if you like thin, crisp bases that allow the pizza toppings to sing.
  • Their pastas and salads are fine to eat but I wouldn’t really bother.
  • Head for the pizzas, particularly the “roast pumpkin, crumbled feta, chilli, mint leaves, red onion & pine nuts” one that is De Mario.
  • It was love at first bite.
  • The flavours of De Mario are amazing and the aforementioned base is perfection.
  • To date, I’ve frequented Mad Pizza branches at Darlinghurst, Surry Hills and Newtown and can attest to consistently good pizza experiences.
  • However, they did recently tweak their menu and incidentally managed to remove the two items that I had been curious about (a potato pizza and a squid ink pasta dish).
  • Back to the pizzas – I’ve probably tried around a third of what Mad Pizza offers.
  • It’s probably a matter of preference as to what topping combinations speak to you so you can’t really go wrong.
  • Personally, I’m pretty set with De Mario and don’t think I’ll be dallying much more with the other menu items.

Khaleesi, Gelato Messina, Surry Hills


  • “Yoghurt and mango gelato with dragonfruit puree”.
  • I don’t swing to the fruity side very often when it comes to ice cream but as a fan of Game of Thrones (both the books and the TV series), the name of this flavour did pique my interest.
  • Plus, mango is one of my favourite fruits, I enjoy yoghurt on an almost daily basis and I have nothing against dragonfruit (its colouring is gorgeous but the flesh doesn’t impart much in the way of taste).
  • So, how did the Mother of Dragons fare with me?
  • The scoop was nice and firm i.e. more solid than I’m accustomed to with Gelato Messina.
  • The mango flavour was pronounced.
  • A more sour note for the yoghurt component would have been good.
  • Aside from the seeds, I’m not sure about how much dragronfruit I could detect in the purée.
  • Rather, it was jam-like and slightly tart which worked well with the sweetness of the mango.
  • Overall, ’twas a lukewarm venture for my taste buds.

Peanut Butter Florentine, Gelato Messina, Surry Hills


  • “Peanut butter gelato with choc coated praline”.
  • The peanut butter flavour was slightly more pronounced than in Smashed Crab.
  • There was a high crunch factor as the praline consisted of caramelised nuts.
  • I enjoyed the praline, though I would have preferred a higher nut to sugar ratio.
  • Speaking of sugar, the sweetness of the gelato could use a bit of toning down.
  • In fact, I would say a tiny addition of salt would complement all aspects i.e. peanut butter, chocolate, caramel and nuts.
  • Overall verdict? More than edible but it didn’t blow my socks off.

Smashed Crab, Gelato Messina, Surry Hills


  • A self-professed Gelato Messina fiend, I tend to take a moment to check out their blackboard of special flavours whenever I walk past.
  • Smashed Crab’s promise of “peanut butter gelato with all sorts of random baked, caramelised and fudged bits and pieces” seemed right up my alley.
  • It delivered well on the chunks aspect with a good variety of the aforementioned bits and pieces.
  • The randomness made it difficult to identify what I was sinking my teeth into, though I’d wager that brownie pieces were involved to a degree.
  • The peanut butter flavour was subtle, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • What I do consider a downside of Smashed Crab was that the ice cream was too sweet (possibly part of the reason the peanut butter front seemed diminished?).