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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Filtering by Tag: oils

Restaurant review- Peasants Feast


I recently bit the bullet and ventured out of the Eastern suburbs to Newtown to Peasants Feast. The owner is a clinical immunologist who has a well motivated nutritional philosophy.

On the whole I would recommend Peasant's Feast if (a) you want a cheap quick wholesome meal and are prepared to choose dishes wisely to avoid the ones with grain/legumes if, like me, they don't float your nutritional boat and (b) weren't fussed on the ambience of the place (i.e. its not the place you would take someone on your first date unless they dig dreadlocks. It is Newtown, after all).

Food type: I think the menu tried to be all things to all people- it had a lot of vegetarian dishes as well as traditional meat dishes. So I couldn't really work out whether I was in a vegetarian restaurant or a traditional wholefoods restaurant. A lot of the meat dishes contained grains (mostly the gluten free ones like rice, polenta, quinoa) or legumes (e.g. lentils) so once I eliminated those from my hit list the options were narrowed down to a few mains to select from. All ingredients are certified organic and filtered water is used. Meat source: meats are from grass-fed animals. Fats/oils: there is a total ban on processed oils and trans fats. Instead they use organic cold pressed olive oil and butter in their (low temperature) cooking. What we ordered:  Mixed Tapas for entree. Crispy Pork Belly, Lamb Shank, and Hot Pot Beef Stifado for mains. Taste and presentation: all delicious Food portions: good size Atmosphere:  grungy, small Price: approx $10-15 for an entree; $19 a main. Cheap as! Service: there was only 1 waiter who was (understandably) rushed off his feet and seemed borderline rude Value for money: thumbs up (putting aside atmosphere and service and focusing just on food) Large groups: I don't think they could accommodate large groups due to space constraints. Kid friendly: yes. Caution:  In their desserts they use the sugar-substitute Xylitol. Proponents of Xylitol tout it as being better than sugar as its has much fewer calories and a low glycemic index so it doesn't effect insulin levels in the same way that sugar does. When I looked into Xylitol a few years back when it became popular I came to the conclusion that I would not use or recommended it because it seemed to be too processed (it's produced by hydrogenation of xylose which converts the sugar into a primary alcohol.  Also, could something that white really be all that natural?!?).  Having said all that this didn't stop my partner and 2 kids exerting their dessert-lovin' (Xylitol be damned) prerogative to order 3 desserts which seemed to be scoffed down in a matter of minutes. If you are keen to go I would definitely make a reservation given how small the place is. Oh, its BYO (but if you foget to BYO, like we did, there's a bottles shop nearby).

Contact details: 121A King Street,  Newtow, (02) 9516 5998,

Have you been to Peasants Feast? What did you think? If you’ve been to a great restaurant lately where consideration is given to the source and processing of their food (esp meats and fats/oils), then I’d love to hear about it. Kali Orexi  (that’s Greek for Good Appetite)!!

Restaurant review - Porteno


I love eating out but the 2 main concerns I have are:

(a) the providence of the meat-  is it from wild or  grass fed animals on the one hand or from industrialised feedlots, battery farms or fish farms on the other  (there is a world of difference and for more information refer to one of my earlier posts here); and

(b) the processing of the fats/oils used to cook the food- can they accommodate using natural unadulterated fats and oils (e.g. butter, coconut oil, beef tallow or I'd settle for olive oil) as opposed to vegetable oils or trans fats (e.g. canola, cottonseed, margarine)?

I often get asked for restaurant recommendations so I'm going to do a restaurant review on a regular basis.

First cab off the rank is Porteno - its been on my hit list since it opened in Surry Hills about 2 years ago.

Food type: traditional Argentinian.... so lots of meat! Not a good options for vegetarians (but hey I doubt any hard core vegetarians are following my blog!). Meat source: loads of grass-fed meats on the mains (you'll recognise the providence of the meat if you buy from Feather & Bone). Fats/oils: for many of the entrees and a couple of the side dishes they do use processed oils (vegetable oil from memory) so you need to ask the waiter to point these out and choose the dishes that don't contain these oils or ask whether they can accommodate using olive oil instead which is a much healthier option than vegetable oils. All of the meat dishes on the mains were free of vegetable oils- and there are plenty of choices. What we ordered: for entree: smoked mackerel, braised octopus, and blood sausages for entree. For mains: 8 hour wood fired pig with crispy crackling and 8 hour wood fired lamb. Other enticing options were veal tongue and quail eggs. Sadly, we had no room for dessert. Taste and presentation: All delicious, especially the pork with crispy crackling. Food portions: huge! 1 main feeds 2 people. We over-ordered and took home a doggy bag which rarely happens. Atmosphere:  great vibe - large, open space with traditional South Amercican decor Price: approx $24-26 for an entree; approx $38 for a main. Service: wait staff were excellent and made good suggestions (esp for South American wines). Value for money: thumbs up. I'll be back.... Large groups: yes- they had a massive table that could fit about 20 people (at a guess). Kid friendly: yes. Caution:  they do not take bookings for less than 5 people so if there's a party of 4 or less you need to start queuing from about 5:30pm to get a table when the restaurant opens at 6pm. Don't forget to ask the waiter to point out which dishes contain processed oils. And then there's the usual parking issues in Surry Hills.

Contact details: 358 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills, ph 02 8399 1440,,

Have you been to Porteno? What did you think? If you've been to a great restaurant lately where consideration is given to the source and processing of their food (esp meats and fats/oils), then I'd love tohear about it. Kali Orexi  (that's Greek for Good Appetite)!!