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Café Kitchen by Shelagh Ryan - Book Review

The Café Kitchen is the first book written by Australian-born foodie Shelagh Ryan, founder of London’s Lantana Cafés.  Shelagh grew up in Brisbane, Australia in a family that loved to cook and eat.
Cover of Cafe Kitchen Cookbook

A hard back book with 160 pages and 120 photographs this book makes you want to cook everything in it.  The brilliant photography by Kate Whitaker really draws you to the recipes.  The recipes themselves are easy to follow and sound delicious.  Simple, relaxed food perfect for informal dining perfect for chilling out indoors.
Categories include Breakfast and Brunch which includes Drinks and Chutney's, Small Bites, Salads and Soups, Larger Plates, and Cakes and Bakes.

My thoughts:
I really, really like this book, you know how when you first open a cookbook and flick though you're instantly drawn to certain dishes?  Well personally I'm drawn to loads of of them - yes this book is packed full of the kind of recipes I like to cook and eat.
The Braised Chicken with Bacon, Saffron, Tomato and Potato has to happen, it looks so, so good. In fact I'm annoyed with myself as I have everything to make this recipe apart from celery and parsley or I'd make this for dinner tonight.  I could have easily bought these yesterday, I can't go out today since I have to wait in for a parcel but fear not this will be made soon for sure.

Tomato Soup with Fennel, Garlic and Basil Drizzle sounds lovely too.  Thai Fishcakes with Nahm Jim Dipping Sauce is another dish I've labeled 'must happen soon in my kitchen'.

This book has a good few vegetarian dishes too.  As I'm writing this review I've just noticed Cheddar Cornbread with Tomato Chilli Jam - Mmm yes please I'll have me some of that!
Lovers of all things cake will really like Sticky Toffee Ginger Loaf or the famous Lantana Crack Cakes - a mix of bananas. pineapple, cinnamon and pecans with a cream cheese icing.  

Would I recommend this book?
The answers is most definitely yes.  A wide range of scrummy yummy recipes that really inspire you to get cooking. 

Café Kitchen by Shelagh Ryan is published by Ryland Peters and has a RRP of £16.99 hardback.
You can follow Shelagh on Twitter @lantanacafe

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Ryland Peters for sending me this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 


  1. The food on the cover looks very appealing... these Aussie brunch places do seem to have an obsession with putting poached eggs on everything though?!

  2. Sounds like a good book - cheddar cornbread sounds amazing!

  3. That braised chicken recipe sounds great, if it has bacon and saffron then it has to taste great!

  4. I love poached eggs and I really like the look of this book Jan, those Aussies know a thing or two about good food. If you make anything from it do hook up with Bookmarked Recipes which i'm hosting this month :-)

  5. Sounds like a fantastic book - one I'd love to have a peek inside!

  6. This book is aimed at me - the poached egg on the cover seals it! Lovely review


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