EAT & DRINK - SAY CHEESE!

Looks like CHEESE is the food du jour in Eastside these days with cafes, restaurants, bars and speciality stores all offering their take on this creamy, tasty, gooey and sometimes smelly, treat.

Penny’s Cheese Shop in Potts Point is leading the charge with her selection of handmade and farm house cheeses sourced locally and internationally. A self-confessed ‘curd nerd’ Penny has been in the food industry for over 20 years and is an Australian Cheese Judge to boot! She will cut cheeses to your specifications, make up platters for special events (or a quiet evening at home) plus she sells all the quince paste and crackers your cheesy-heart desires.

Penny’s cheese toasties have been voted Best in Sydney but you’ll have to get in early to decide for yourself - with a limited amount made each day Penny is regularly sold out by 1pm.

pennys cheese shop

At Formaggi Ocello in Surry Hills you can buy a cheese wedding cake (YES) Plus they also offer a selection of Australian, French and Italian cheeses with all the condiments you need - biscotti, crackers, oils and vinegars, cured meats and olives. If you prefer, you can eat in with a glass of wine or two and a tasting platter. There are cheesy gifts, raclette nights, gourmet hampers and Ocello has recently introduced Cheese Tours to Italy!

Speaking of RACLETTE have you tried the All-You-Can-Eat Raclette at Loluk Bistro? Just off Taylor Square this little French Bistro, known for its authentic southern cuisine, is run by brothers Luk and Loic, serving food in the “grandma way” with a modern twist. Every Tuesday and Wednesday they pour the cheese on top of potatoes, salad, cornichon and a plate of charcuterie (braseola, coppa, saucisson, ham and prosciutto) and it’s all included in the $49 price.

Loluk Bistro

Also on every Wednesday night, Black Bottle’s offering of ‘Fromage in a Box’ is just what it sounds like - an oven baked wheel of cheese, served with cured meats, roast potatoes and lettuce. It serves two and at $39 per head, coupled with the 5-7pm happy hour “apertivo” makes for a great date-night or after work destination.

This popular wine bar in Darlinghurst also serves up Mediterranean style share plates, along with superb selection of wines and cocktails. The ambience is chill and these guys know their food is best served super fresh!

Locals Tip: if you phone ahead Black Bottle will serve you “fromage in a box” any night of the week!

black bottle darlinghurst

Back over in Potts Point, Le Petite Louvre is the latest edition to our bustling cheese scene. Tucked away on Springfield Avenue, this shop is an homage to all things French and cheesy. Proprietor Christian Estebe, tells us he stocks a few Swiss cheeses (from the French side, bien sur) but everything else is lovingly hand made in the traditional style by pretty French farm maids living a full and wholesome life - okay we may be exaggerating just a tad here, but believe me Monsieur Estebe knows his stuff and has very high, very exacting standards when it comes to cheese.

Quality and tradition rule in this gem of a store that is part shop, part cafe, part tea room. There’s gold medal cheese, fancy cheese, rare cheese but most of all really tasty cheeses to pair with wine, tea or whatever you like.

Baroque music and French reproduction paintings on the ceiling and walls make for a unique ambience and a truely one off experience.

Locals : Christian can also be found at the KX Organic Markets on Saturday mornings

Le Petite Louvre