Yelp’s 10th Birthday Party

To celebrate Yelp’s 10th anniversary, Yelp Sydney partnered with the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel for a swashbuckling party on 15 July 2014. The theme was anything maritime with Snog The Frog Costumes & Fancy Dressproviding discounts on costume hire. Guests were treated to delicious bites, brilliant beverages and marvelous entertainment.

The bar served Wirra Wirra WinesLittle Creatures Brewing beers,Frangelico and Wild Turkey Spiced. Food included hot dogs and chips from the Snag Stand, authentic brazilian tastes from Ovo Cafe, pies from the Pie Society, and South African beef jerky from Biltong2Go.com.au, Desserts consisted of Twisted Frozen YoghurtByron Bay Cookies and cake pops from the Valhalla Dessert Bar . Entertainment was provided by Sydney DJ Hire and the burlesque dancer Miss Kelly Ann DollPix2Flix were there to capture those party moments in a flipbook. And for anyone where it all got too much, 3 Minute Angels where there to provide a massage and Revivol Hangover Relief tablets were available for hang over relief.

The star of the event was MasterChef season 4 contestant Kevin Perry who, despite coming in the top 24, still realised his food dream and opened up a business called Dinner’s Ready Australia. Dinner’s Ready supplies its customers with the groceries and recipes (that can be prepared in half an hour). The customer cooks the meal themselves. Nothing is pre-cooked because the philosophy of the business is that fresh is best.

Everyone who checked in on the Yelp app got a free Yelp aluminium drink bottle or wharfie gloves.

The evening was an opportunity for Yelp to throw the spotlight on some wonderful local businesses and brands. — at Pyrmont Bridge Hotel

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Après-ski launch at Zeta Bar

Après-ski, meaning to go out and have drinks after skiing, is a popular pastime in the Alps where skiers often stop at Alpine huts, inns and ski huts after a day of skiing.

Sydney’s Zeta Bar has brought this experience to Sydney at a launch party to commence its winter campaign on 11 July 2014. As the ski season hits its peak, for those unable to escape the daily grind and head to the slopes, Zeta Bar will transport you to the ultimate Après-ski venue whereby guests can indulge on festive cocktails, mulled wine, blazers and hot toddies, all while snacking on delicious roasted chestnuts.

The Après-ski evenings at Zeta Bar will provide the perfect opportunity for guests to warm up and enjoy a variety of hearty food offerings, including pork rolls with apple schnapps, as well as sizzling cheese fondue or garlic mushrooms. For something sweet, try the delightful toasted marshmallows dipped in rich and decadent chocolate fondue, or release your inner child and partake in the candy floss station with homemade lollipops.
`Zeta’s bartenders have also created an extensive cocktail list to fight off the cold weather with everything from a Double Black Diamond Espresso containing Johnnie Walker Double Black, espresso, cinnamon and a touch of raspberry, to a Toasted Marshmallow Gin Fizz incorporating Tanqueray gin charged with orange flower water and toasted marshmallow. If you desire a cold cocktail, there is the Frozen cocktail, which contains an oversized shot ofKetel One thrown in with liquid nitrogen and frozen into a sorbet like consistency and accompanied with fresh lime and ginger sorbet.

Other cocktails include the Honey’d Highlander (aka Fancy Hot Toddy) which is a combination of Johnnie Walker Black Label infused with stonefruits and honeycomb served hot toddy style. The finest of night-caps is the Roasted Chestnut Rum Blazer consisting of Ron Zacapa with toasted chestnut syrup and winter spices, served short and hot.

Those who attended the launch party included Channel Nine’s Today Show Australia guest vet Dr Josie Gollan, recently graduated NIDA actress Melina Vidler, and blogger from Simon Food Favourites Simon Leong.

So if you would like to experience Après-ski as they do in the Alps, make your way to Zeta Bar this winter for some winter fun. Lose yourself in the extensive seasonal cocktail list, dine on warm winter food and kick back around the fireplace or your very own private booth.

Après-ski at Zeta Bar opens to the public every Friday night from 6 p.m, starting Friday 18 July through to 29 August 2014. — at Zeta Bar

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FVodka Australia Launch

Vodka contains zero fat, carbohydrates and proteins and seems to be a better choice in comparison to beer and wine. It is also one of the most popular distilled spirits used in cocktails and mixers. Its popularity comes from the general characteristic that it has no discernable flavour, smell and is clear, so it can be mixed with anything. If I had to imagine a drink that models would drink, it would be vodka.

Therefore, I was not that surprised when FTV (FashionTV) launched its own vodka called Fashion Vodka or F VODKA Australia on Friday 4th July 2014 at Casablanca Bar Double Bay. The event was an internationally televised event with models, celebrities and the media, Fashion TV is an international fashion and broadcasting television channel that reaches over 500 million households worldwide in 193 countries across five continents through satellites and cable operators. It is also present in more than seven million public venues such as bars, clubs, hotels, airports, fitness studios, beauty salons, fashion stores, etc. It is the only 24 hour fashion network in the world. It was founded in France in 1997 by Polish born president Michel Adam Lisowski. FTV can been seen in Australia on Foxtel and Fetch TV .

There are two types of Fashion Vodka: Super Luxury and the Party Collection. Both Vodkas are from Poland and are quadrupled distilled from the best Polish grains (wheat and rye). The recipe is a 200 year old recipe made for General Kosciuszko and the Polish White Eagles Legion and served to them during the American War of Independence. This story is documented on the bottle. The difference in the two vodka is that the Super Luxury has a lot longer filtration process and allowed to rest for a longer period which gives its a smooth cleaner finish. Fashion Vodka is sold at www.mybottleshop.com.au

Guests were served: cauliflower fritters with harissa mayonnaise; tomato marshmallows with harissa and Parmesan; lamb targine sliders with mayonnaise and rocket; and arancini of Moroccan saffron, parmesan and black olive. Guests also sampled Fashion Vodka in four cocktails
• Steve McQueen – Fashion Vodka, butterscotch schnapps, apple juice, lemon zest, lemonade and lime
• Paul Newman Punch – Fashion Vodka, pineapple juice, peaches and peach juice, lemons, limes, tea, lychees and lychee juice and grenadine
• Audrey Hepburn – Fashion Vodka, strawberry puree, lemon juice and Chambord
• Caprioska – Fashion Vodka, lime, sugar syrup and soda water

Guests included co-host of Channel Ten’s morning program Studio 10 Sarah Harris, band member of Australian band SKUNKHOUR Aya Larkin, Perth model and winner of Naomi Campbells’ The Face Australia Olivia Donaldson, winner of The Bachelor Anna Heinrich, beauty contestant from Beauty and The Geek Australia Jordan Findalyson, model Angelia Kambouris, model and Miss World National finalist Natalie Meeuwissen, food blogger from Simon Food Favourites Simon Leong, men’s stylists Christopher Haggarty and Trent Andersen McWhinney and the Stuck-Up girls (not in personality but for the butt lifting jeans that they sell).

So next time I watch a fashion parade on FTV, instead of imagining the gowns I would wear if I were invited to a lavish party attended by the whose who of the world, I will be thinking of the models and fashion designers who will be toasting to the success of their fashion collection with drinks of Fashion Vodka. — at Casablanca Bar Double Bay

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Fourth of July American Independence Day Party at the Hard Rock Cafe Sydney

Sydney Expat Americans had the biggest Fourth of July American Independence Day Party in the Southern Hemisphere at the Hard Rock Cafe Sydney on 4 July 2014.

Revellers, dressed as American as apple pie, started the festivities at 5pm when the Hard Rock Café Sydney opened. The neighbouring Cohibar opened its doors at 8pm to cater for the large number of RSVPs (1,300 to be exact). Revellers enjoyed: American meal specials, American whisky tastings, drinking games such as beer pong and flip cup, giveaways from the Jim Beam party crew, charity raffle and lucky door prizes worth $10,000 (with proceeds from the raffle going to support local community projects of United Way and one person winning the grand raffle prize of a return trip to Los Angeles or San Francisco courtesy of Air New Zealand) and DJs DLake and DJ ToeKnee T (GA) who were spinning American tunes all night.

The food and beverage menu was specifically created for this event. American whiskies included Jim Beam, Bakers Kentucky, Basil Hayden’s,Booker’s Bourbon, and Maker’s Mark. American beers served were Coors,Sam Adams Boston LagerBlue Moon Belgian White Ale and Abita Beer. American Cocktails included titles such as American Beauty, Beam Dream, Sunset Boulevard, The Slurpeeee, Butterfingers, Cran Slam, Riders on the Storm, Purple Willy Mays Haze, Alabama Slammer and Long Island Ice Tea.

American food available for purchase included Fatboy burgers, chilli cheese dog platters, hickory smoked pulled pork sandwiches, hickory smoked bbq ribs, hickory smoked bbq combos, New York strip steaks, buffalo wings, tupelo chicken tenders, twisted mac and cheese, grilled shrimps, jalapeno poppers, chilli dogs, chilli cheese fries, potato skins and apple pie with ice-cream.

The sponsors that made the event possible included Air New Zealand, Jim Beam, Coors BanquetESPNOutback SteakhouseBonza Bike ToursUber,Blue Moon Brewing CompanyJazz City DinerBrooklyn Boy BagelsHungry Jack’sJelly BellyAbita BrewerySamuel AdamsUnited Way, Hard Rock Cafe Sydney, Democrats Abroad, Sydney Expat Americans and Network Canada. Beer sponsor Coors only recently started shipping to Australia.

I left at 7:30pm to attend another event. The venue was very crowded. As I walked out the door I was told that if I left, I would not be allowed back in. I looked outside to see a queue snaking its way down Harbourside Shopping Centre. I suppose those 1,300 plus RSVPs were real!

Sydney Expat Americans is a network of thousands of 22-37ish year old expats and locals in Sydney who get together every few weeks for events like Halloween, Superbowl, Cinco de Mayo, Thanksgiving picnic, kickball & touch football games, and lots more. — at Hard Rock Cafe Sydney

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The Glenmore’s Winter Rooftop Party

On 2 July 2014, The Glenmore‘s iconic rooftop was transformed into a winter wonderland for its first ever Winter Rooftop Party.

The fully decked out venue was the perfect spot to party into the night with complimentary canapés and Smirnoff Double Black cocktails, including the specially created Smirnoff Comet (made of Smirnoff vodka, raspberry juice, lemon juice, pineapple juice and soda).

Smirnoff Vodka also provided headbands, gloves and reflective glasses to party goers. These items were in limited supply and latecomers missed out. One latecomer wanted a headband so much that he offered money to other revellers if they were willing to sell. Luckily the buyer found a seller and an exchange was made.

The talented Mark Matthews was the DJ and saxophonist for the night, while Chloe West provided the vocals and Chris Bongoliro played the drums. Together they played their funky sounds until late.

Revellers who uploaded images of the night on Instagram could get a copy of the image printed by Your Scene and went into the draw to win the lucky door prize – one of 10 day ski passes to the Thredbo Resort. One reveller, who posted more pictures on Instagram than anyone else, was very happy to go home with a brand new snow board. —    at The Glenmore

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Mordeo Bistro and Bar Launch

Recently opened Mordeo Sydney hosted a launch event for 200 people on 1 July 2014. Mordeo Bistro and Bar is located on the ground floor of Deutsche Bank Place at 126 Phillip Street Sydney. The area underwent an extensive refurbishment which included the installation of five super-sized lamps which architects MBMO designed as a key element of the bistro.

Owner and Executive Chef Nicholas Aspros worked alongside Head Chef Marc Gehret to curate and style a rich collection of produce driven canapés for the night, including: pork hock terrine with a fig chutney and pear salad; grilled quail with caramelised red onion salsa; pea risotto with sage and lberico Jamon; chicken Ballotine with pearl barley; spinach and a hazelnut salad; squid ink Gnocchi with truffle salumi; margherita mini pizza with basil; and whitebait croquetas with a cauliflower mayonnaise. Alongside the extensive selection of canapés was a buffet offering slow cooked octopus Carpaccio with split green beans and chorizo sausage, BBQ lamb ribs with Pedro Ximenez and two delicious desserts of catalana and loukoumadis.

In addition to all this food was five tasting stations that included: produce from artisan Spanish charcuteria La Boqueria by Nomad Distribution, wines from two suppliers Fox Wine and Broadway Liquor Distributors, and coffees from two tasting stations by suppliers Gabriel Coffee and Ona Coffee.

The food was perfectly matched with a range of beverages including: French, Spanish and Italian wines; Estrella de Galicia beers; and the venues own brew ‘White Wolf’ on tap. Three cocktails were served:
• Red Wolf – White Wolf cream ale with Campari, Antica formula red vermouth & a blood orange foam;
• Jamon & chargrilled pineapple Sazerac with a Jamon & sage crisp – Jamon and Pedro Ximenez butter washed Hennessey VSOP with a chargrilled pineapple shrub, pechauds bitters; and
• Cold Drip Spiced Rum Old Fashioned – Kraken spiced rum, cold drip single origin coffee, cold drip syrup, angostura bitters with a twist of orange.

Guests were entertained by the Spanish vocalist of Richard Valdez and Greek Bouzouki player Telly Benetatos.

Celebrity guests who attended included singer, and former Popstars contestant Arrnott Olssen, singer Brittany Cairns, actress Ursula Mills, actor Rae Johnston, MasterChef contestants Alvin Quah and Renae Smith, and Sydney’s very own Psy impersonator, Teddy Kim.

Mordeo Bistro & Bar’s has combined fine dining quality food and service in a casual setting to capture the day trade of busy office workers and the night trade of relaxed diners. If it maintains the standard of food provided at the event and delivers it consistently, I will not be surprised if makes it into the Good Food Guide and even scores a hat.  — at Mordeo Sydney

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