[invite] Bianca: We get pretty excited when we come across local gems, we’ve been based in the Inner West for going on 15 years now and we’re constantly on the hunt for great new finds. Turns out the jokes on us. We had a great little spot under our noses for many years and didn’t even know.
Bello The Shelter sits attached to the main entrance of Burwood Westfield (our local hangout back in the day). They’ve been trading for close to 17 years but have changed owners during that time and have recently undergone a refurb. Owners Tania and Derin are infectiously delightful people and it was pretty clear the current menu and focus is one they’re both very excited about.
The menu is comprehensive and that’s putting it mildly, there’s a lot to choose from but they put this down to many years of trading and constantly adding new dishes. Tania wanting to showcase some of their more ‘specialised’ drinks brought out a range of their best sellers. The Candyland Freakshake is a verifiable showstopper, for those with a big sweet-tooth you’ll love it. We all fell in love with the Red Velvet Latte like cake in drinkable form. And for the adults that like a bit of whimsy, the Unicorn Cappucino.
Taking advantage of the All day breakfast (until 3pm) we dove straight into the Mediterranean Breakfast Platter $29 + Bacon +6 + 2 x fried eggs $6. Generous in both portion and taste, for those that like to start their mornings a little bit differently, this might be right up your alley. We loved the falafels and the combination of squeaky halloumi and crispy bacon.
Completely left of field is My boyfriend is mean – Salmon Macaroons $29. Yes, you read that right. An interesting combination of smoked salmon and macaroon crisps. I was expecting to hate it and it took a few seconds for my brain to work out what was going on but it worked. I particularly enjoyed the sweet final finishing note.
I couldn’t look past the burgers and we quickly settled on the intriguing Season 4 – De-activated black charcoal fried chicken, oak lettuce, tomato, pickles & chilli mayo w/ chips $26. Very tasty, the chicken almost schnitzel like in texture and flavour. The black charcoal really doesn’t add much in terms of taste, it’s really more a bold aesthetic. I’d order this again but I will mention that I found the buns a little unstable (I asked and it was a milk bun). The bottom bun almost completely disintegrated.
The Truffle Fries $14 were a great little addition, with generous sprinkles of parmesan cheese.
And now onto the fun stuff. And what I was most looking forward to. The Forgive My French- Matcha French Toast $34. As a dessert, this is a decadent behemoth that could quite easily satisfy 3 people. It’s HUGE! Filled with dulce de leche, tropical fruit, coconut yoghurt, oreo soil & chocolate rocks. I didn’t really get much matcha coming through at all, to me, I instantly got warm cinnamon doughnuts! Whilst gorgeously plated, the fruit was a little impractical to eat with all the skin & stalks still attached (a minor quibble).
And finally, the Edible Garden – Caramel Waffles, vanilla bean pannacotta, chantilly cream, mixed berries, housemade salted caramel, chocolate soil & rocks $28. Varying textures kept you hooked with each bite, I loved the chewy little waffle bites and the deep caramel notes.
We were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food so we’ll definitely be back when we’re in the area.
Photos by Alex
*For Food’s Sake dined as guests of Bello The Shelter.
At first I thought it was all style, no substance but the activated charcoal chicken does look good!
I forgot about this place, loved the salmon macaroon mash up. Still in disbelief that they made that work!