I can’t imagine anyone not being charmed by The Big Sheila.
Peek through the large window and be enticed by the colourful trays of artistically prepared food lining the counter. Enter and be immersed in a boisterous atmosphere; it’s a happy little shop with cheerful staff! The menu changes daily; what you see on the black chalkboard is what you get. And there’s plenty of choices for everyone.
One reason why I adore this place so much is that the setup reminds me of Ottolenghi, my favourite bakery-deli in London (and possibly in the whole world).
Another reason is the food itself. Oh yes, what glorious food it was.
We shared the long communal table with a loud (in a good way) group of French businessmen and I think they were startled by the amount of food we ate, lol. Roasted pumpkin salad stood out as a clear favourite among us, so naturally sweet and delicious. I’m having a massive craving for it as I’m writing this! Savoury corn muffin was interesting, not something I’d usually pick but we just had to cuz the friendly lady who took our orders raved about how beautiful it was. Muesli and yogurt may be a strange choice for lunch but this gorgeous crunchy homemade version was so fresh and nutty that I’d get it again without a second thought, be it breakfast/lunch or dinner. Chicken cacciatore was a large casserole of braised chicken pieces slow cooked with olives, carrot, white wine and bay leaves; Aussie lamb cutlets were tender and still pinkish-red in the middle even after turning cold (our bad cuz we talked too much, haha).
Sadly, desserts that day ain’t as stellar. Discounting blueberry muffins (those are not desserts in my dictionary), there were only three options left. Of course, we had them all! The banker cake, one dense block of dark chocolate cake, too rich for its own good; coffee scroll bread & butter pudding, rather dry and had more cinnamon than a good caffeine kick; dark chocolate fondant we liked, though I wish there’s a scoop of ice cream to accompany the warm lava cake instead of cream and caramel sauce. The previous two we left almost untouched, the fondant we licked clean the plate, heh.
I believe The Big Sheila does much better sweets than that; I just had to go on a right day!
Top left, clockwise:
dark chocolate fondant, caramel sauce, cream, raspberries ($14++);
chicken cacciatore, carrot, olives, white wine, bay leaves ($18++);
savoury sweet corn muffin, feta cheese ($5++);
the banker cake, whisky soaked prunes ($7++);
butternut sweetness, eggplant mousse, almonds, pomegranate ($9++);
coffee scroll bread & butter pudding, cream, raspberries ($7++);
breakfast muesli, yogurt, fruits ($7++);
Aussie lamb cutlets, mint, coriander, yogurt, lemon ($10++).
The Big Sheila
15 Swan Lake Avenue