My thoughts about Ora

Hi all!!

I apologise for my lack of posts lately. It really has been a while since I’ve written on my blog… Now that I am back at uni and getting into a bit of a routine again I promise I will be better!

Today, I would like to share my thoughts about a cafe which I discovered on the weekend called ‘Ora‘, located on Whistler street in Manly. Now Ora is not your typical cafe… Nope, definitely not. It is quite different actually, starting from the fact that no paper napkins nor plastic straws are to be found there for example.

So, what is Ora in a nutshell?

Ora is an organic cafe in Manly which thrives on the idea that you can eat yummy healthy food.

What type of food do they serve there?

The cafe serves breakfast and lunch, including drinks and snacks. Although the food options are rather limited, the menu caters for a range of taste buds and the drink list runs for a few pages. Whether you are more of a sweet tooth, enjoy a typical bacon and egg sandwich or fancy trying something different, Ora has got you covered. However, what struck out to me the most was the original meal options like the savoury porridge served with bacon for example (see photo below!). In terms of drinks, naturopathic teas are the cafe’s go-to as well as the novel ‘Tumeric Latte’ which I got the chance to try!

Tumeric Latte

Overall experience?

I really enjoyed having breakfast there with my family on a fine Saturday morning. The vibe is relaxed, the staff is friendly and attentive and the design of the cafe rocks! Plus you will definitely feel nice and full after your meal as the portions are generous which is always a bonus.

Thumbs up?

What I liked the most about Ora is that the place definitely centres around serving organic and nice food but, most importantly, it is not about ‘cleansing’ or being ‘vegan’ or anything extreme like that. Ora genuinely aims to create yummy wholefood which is sustainable, makes you feel good and is delicious! The package deal really. And price wise, dishes costs $20 or under so not too bad!

So, Ora, you have my thumps up!!

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Nutty over Nutorious

Let me introduce you to everything nutty and inbetween’: Nutorious (be careful, it’s addictive)…

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Less than a year ago, my friend Jim launched an Instagram account displaying his passion for delicious and healthy food. Not only is it rather unconventional for a 20 year old male to be so gifted and passionate about cooking, what’s even more amazing is the fact that Jim’s creative flair never ceases to flourish. Nutorious mixes flavours, scents and spices in a way that constantly leaves you wondering how his recipes only get better and better. Take for example Nutorious’ iconic muffins. A dozen muffins are sold every morning at one of Sydney’s best Cafes called The Penny Royale and every day a new flavour comes out which always leaves you mouth-watering.

I would describe Jim’s food as healthy and innovate cafe style cooking. His Instagram and Tumblr are full of fantastic ideas for recipes especially for breakfast and lunch. Nutorious also documents excellent food places around Sydney which provide lovely inspirations for Cafe lovers like me! I would definitely recommend you check it out.

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Follow Nutorious on Instagram here

Follow Nutorious on Tumblr here


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How to satisfy good food cravings in Cambodia and Laos

It has been less than a week since I’ve been back from my trip in South-East Asia. I cannot help to constantly reminisce on the amazing memories I have made along the way. As promised, here is a short guide to some of the best places to eat in Cambodia and Laos.

Cambodia
1) Sala Bai Hotel School
I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS PLACE ENOUGH!!! I would definitely rate it 5/5 and would say it was the place I ate at during my whole trip :)
Not only does the food taste delicious, the dishes are innovative and presented in a creative manner. What is also attracting about this restaurant is the whole humanitarian project behind it. In a nutshell, Sala Bai is a Hotel and Restaurant School created by the French NGO Agir pour le Cambode which each year trains – free of charge – about 100 young disadvantaged Cambodians. So the Sala Bai school promotes the establishment and growth of the Cambodian vocational training system, the sustainable development of tourism, the reduction of poverty and the fight against human trafficking in Cambodia.
Given the nature of the restaurant (being a school), the menu is a ‘set menu’ which comprises of an entree, main and desert. The drinks menu has a wide selection of choices with yummy cocktails (and mocktails) to watch out for!
Here is an example of what you can be expected to be served:
– Deep-fried vermicelli with tofu and pork. A combination of traditional Khmer appetiser, flavoured with fresh coriander, shallots and Khmer dressing.
– Traditional Khmer chicken curry and yellow mango.
– Sweet chilled black sticky rice, fresh seasonal fruits and sweet milk.
The service is impeccable (clearly the students are well taught) and the atmosphere of the restaurant is charming as the place is stylishly decorated and has a relaxing yet sophisticated feel to it.
Here are some photos from my lunch:
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Location: 155 Phoum Tapoul, Siem Reap.
For more information about Sala Bai and it’s ongoing project head to: http://www.salabai.com/html/
2) Friends
One of Phnom Penh’s best-loved restaurant and another good-cause dining place, this venue specialises in tasty tapas bites that are a must-try! I would recommend getting a few tapas and plates to share. The traditional Khmer curry called the ‘Amok’ is particularly delicious. Prices are rather low with tapas ranging from US $2-$5 and mains from $6.
Location: 215 st 13, Phnom Penh.
Below are photos of the restaurant (note: the photos are just taken from the internet as I did not bring my camera out with me when I went there!)
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3) The Temple Club
Located in the famous ‘Pub Street’ of Siem Reap, if you don’t visit this place for lunch/dinner or by night for a drink or two, then you have to try one of its 3-hour cooking classes!
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I went to the Temple Club for dinner and I had the pleasure to watch a traditional dancing show as part of my meal for free! This place gets busy at night. It literally transforms itself from a rather family/touristy orientated restaurant to a very groovy, loud and busy dancing bar in the late hours of the evening. Great atmosphere!
The cooking classes there are really worth doing. My friend and I joined an afternoon class and we had such a great time. The classes are only US $10 which is also a bonus.
Below are photos from our cooking class (note that the quality of the dishes clearly give you a good idea of what you can expect to be served at the restaurant if you just went there for lunch or dinner!):
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Location: Pub Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Laos
I didn’t go to that many restaurants in Laos actually. I loved going to the markets and buying fresh local fruits and I also ate at some of the many street stalls. Just an advice though: if you are going to eat at the street markets be careful about what you are getting – I would recommend staying away from the meat and fish and sticking with simple rice, vegetables and stir fries! Banana chips are a yummy snack which are found everywhere in Laos and Cambodia!
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In Luang Prabang you will find the best street markets (both in terms and food and shopping). I also recommend eating by the Mekong River at night. There are plenty of cheap yet really charming restaurants by the river which offer a wide variety of food on the menu catering for all tastes!
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The one ‘Western’ cafe which I did fall for is called Joma. I have to admit that once in a while it does feel good to eat a fresh salad which you know is safe to eat as the vegetables have been cleaned in purified water (you can get very bad food poisoning if you eat raw food in Asia – I can talk from experience!). Joma amazingly provided for my western style cravings! I LOVED their ‘Taco salad’ and their sandwiches are great as take-away food which can be eaten on a day trip. For coffee and tea lovers this place will also be your new best friend. Good news is there are a few Joma cafes around in Asia!
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Location: Chao Fa Ngum Rd, on the main road near the post office, Luang Prabang.
For more information about this cafe click here.
P.S: Click here to access a good lonely planet webpage with recommendations regarding dining for a good cause in Asia.