The all-new Holden Astra is launched with a VIP party and a performance by The Veronica’s

Holden held a VIP launch party to celebrate the arrival of the all-new Holden Astra to Australia at Three Blue Ducks Rosebery on Thursday 15 December 2016.

To launch the 2016 European Car of the Year to Australia, Holden hired The Veronica’s as the special guest performers for the VIP party. The Veronica’s (consisting of twin sisters Jess and Lisa Origliasso) released the singles ‘In my Blood’ and ‘On your Side’ in 2016. They played a DJ set, sang along to their biggest tracks and took selfies while on stage. Dangerous Dan (Dan Single) was the other DJ celebrity act who played afterwards.

It was a strong celeb turnout including: model Maddie King and Yaya Deng; Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen; TV personality Mieke Buchan; MKR contestants Scott Gooding, Will Stewart and Steve Flood; Bachelor contestants Keira Maguire and Noni Janur; Bachelorette contestant Samuel Johnston; actor Sean Keanan; presenter and celebrity make-up artist Michael Brown; and Channel Seven Morning Show stylist Donny Galella.

Most celebrities were chauffeur driven to and from the venue in a Holden vehicle.

Canapes for the party included: prosciutto and grissini; cured kingfish, lime, grapefruit, cucumber, charred corn and buttermilk; smoked eggplant, sumac, shallot and spiced labeh; Piri Piri chicken thigh with spiced yogurt and chickpea salad; beef brisket and marmalade on toast; tomato, burrata, basil and fennel salt. There also were two grazing stations with roast pork and bread.

There were two desserts of: toasted marshmallow, chocolate and peanuts; and sea salt meringue, lemon curd, Chantilly and berries.

Drinks for the night included: frose with gin, Lord Nelson Brewery Three Sheets Pale Ale; 4 Pines Brewing Kolsch; Oakvale Rose 2016 Hunter Valley; Pedestal Pinot Gris 2016 Margaret River; Frankland Estate Chardonnay 2014 Frankland River,Western Australia; and Vinea Marson Prosecco 2014 Heathcote Victoria.

Non-alcoholic drinks included: sparkling water, organic cola, ginger beer, lemonade, cold pressed juices (beetroot, orange and kale).

The new Holden Astra is designed and engineered in Germany. It has high-tech features, efficient performance and sophisticated design. It goes on sale in December 2016.

For more information about the all-new Holden Astra. go to:

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Ibis Kitchen Sydney Airport launches their new summer menu

Ibis Kitchen Sydney Airport provided an exclusive preview of their new summer menu to a group of food bloggers on Wednesday 14 December 2016.

The menu is created by head chef Tharaka Sooriyaarchchi and food and beverage manager Marc Tricca, and is inspired by the finest Australian ingredients. It is designed to cater for all types of travellers, and includes traditional comfort food and modern dishes. The quality of the food far exceeded my expectations.

The restaurant is an 80-seat dining room which has been newly remodelled into a stylish contemporary hotel restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Guests were first given a tour of the hotel, which included the newly remodelled hotel rooms, followed by arrival canapes and a sit down dinner.

The newly renovated Ibis Sydney Airport is a three and a half star hotel in the Sydney Airport region that offers the ideal blend of convenience and affordability for executive travellers.

Arrival canapes included: cream cheese bruschetta; prawn, lime and chilli skewers served on a watermelon base, calamari filled with risotto; and sliders.

For the sit down meals, guests were served: lamb kofta (char-grilled spiced lamb, mint yogurt, zucchini pickle and sumac); Portuguese chicken breast with five bean ragout, and mint yogurt sauce; Thai beef salad (marinated beef strips tossed with green papaya, Asian greens, julienne vegetables and cos lettuce); and roast lamb with roast chat potatoes, root vegetables, salsa verde, and jus.

Desserts included: vanilla crème brulee; rocky road and Nutella shimmy shakes (topped with cream, rocky road and crispy pretzels); and salted caramel shimmy shakes (topped with cream caramelised popcorn and chunks of waffle. The restaurant also has strawberry pavlova shimmy shakes (topped with cream, pavlova meringue and fresh strawberries).

Forget the stereotypes you have about hotel restaurants being nothing more than a convenient, albeit expensive way to eat average quality food while staying at the hotel. The restaurant is inexpensive and the quality is high. The starters range from $10 to $15, the mains range from $20 to $37 (for the 350g rib-eye), and the desserts were $7.

This restaurant is open from 5:30am to 10:30pm to both hotel guests and the general public. There is also a Grab ‘n Go menu available outside these hours.

Ibis Kitchen is located at 205 O’Riordan Street, Mascot NSW 2020. It is one kilometre from the Domestic Terminal, four kilometres from the International Terminal and a five-minute walk from the Mascot train station.

For more information about Ibis Kitchen, Sydney Airport, go to:

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Vans relaunches their flagship store in Sydney’s CBD

Vans (an action sports footwear and accessories company originating from California, USA) relaunched their refurbished Sydney store in The Galeries Sydney on Thursday 8 December 2016.
Since 1966, Vans has captured the youth market with their action sports shoes and accessories. Skateboarders were the first to embrace the brand all over Southern California and then it grew to include other sports such as BMX, surfing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, freestyle, motocross and supercross. By 2003, Vans enters the world of high fashion and in 2005 Vans collaborates with major fashion designers such as Marc Jacobs. In 2006, Vans launches a men’s and women’s apparel collection. Since then, it has worked on many collaborations, launched in various countries and gained recognition as a major footwear brand.
Tunes were provided by Dune Rats on the decks, hotdogs and chicken tacos by Woofy’s and beverages from Batlow Cidern, Absolut Botanik and Santa Vittoria. Local artist Harrison Earl was also present to paint his trademark aesthetic onto Vans shoes.
Visit in store to see the new range at Vans in The Galeries, 500 George Street Sydney. Entering via George St in the CBD.
For more information about Vans, go to:
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Mizz B’z Food and Wine opens with IronChef Masahiko Yomoda at the helm

Mizz B’z Food & Wine launched on Wednesday 7 December 2016 at the St James Centre at 111 Elizabeth Street Sydney with French-trained Japanese IronChef Masahiko Yomoda as executive chef.
Masahiko Yomoda has 22 years experience in the industry having worked at Three Michelin Star venue Joel Rubuchon and Restaurant l”Osier before joining Restaurant Arbace where he helped it acquire a one Michelin Star in its first year. He then moved to Australia in 2008, where he has worked at a number of fine dining restaurants including Galileo, Bathers Pavilion, Est, and Sake Restaurant.
The venue is owned by husband and wife team Stuart and Bupta Page. Stuart Page has thirty years experience in the industry and owns hospitality college, Evolution Hospitality Institute. The restaurant is named after his wife, whose idea it was to open a restaurant to provide students training in the hospitality industry.
The canape menu of the launch party was smaller portions of some of the dishes on the ordinary menu and included: Karaage chicken; Mizz B’z mini burgers; oysters with pickled ginger, salmon cavier and herb dressing; snapper and kingfish cerviche; smoked eggplant cavier with asian mushrooms and shaved parmesan; Hokkaido scallop and cucumber cerviche; beef tartare with charred onion and nastartiam; prawn wraps in kataifi pastry with yuzu mayo; avocado crab tart with tapioca crisps; massaman curry lamb cutlet negi; peking duck croquettes; panko clamsed tofu, mango sesame and jalapeno sauce; and hickory smoked tuna with rice paper crisps and edible flowers.
For dessert guests were treated to: matcha puddings; pineapple pina collada puddings; mini fruit tarts; and chocolate mousse cones with italian meringue.
For drinks guests were served: Red Panda cocktail (made from Tanqueray10, aperol, raspberry syrup, lemon juice, rosewater, ginger beer, pineapple and orange slices and edible flowers); Tanqueray gin and tonic with grapefruit; Kirin beer; Champagne Dalamonte; Circuit Pinot Gris (New Zealand); Gris Blanc 2014 Rose (South of France); and Domaine de Beauvernay Julienas Recolte 2013 (France).
For more information about Mizz B’z Food and Wine, go to:
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The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017 program launches in Sydney

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2017 program was launched on Friday 2 December 2016 at a warehouse in Rozelle with one message: to create equality.

The theme for 2017 is Creating Equality. Equality by its definition is ensuring everyone is treated fairly and equally, and not discriminated against for their race, gender, ability, beliefs, sexuality or age.

It is a poignant message that has been the cornerstone of The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’ ethos since its beginnings in 1978. Australia has come a long way in accepting gay and lesbian people but marriage equality has not been achieved.

The Festival starts on Friday 17 February, and runs for two weeks until Sunday 5 March 2017. It includes a bumper program of events, exhibitions, music and theatre in an all-inclusive, all-singing, all-dancing celebration of Australia’s LGBTQI community.

There are over 80 events in store. There are some new events including Koori Gras @ 107, a festival within the festival where people have the opportunity to discover the history of First People’s involvement in Mardi Gras. The Art Gallery of NSW will present a number of special events around the Adman: Warhol before pop exhibition. Frontier Comedy will bring huge international and local comedians together in Sydney for the Mardi Gras Comedy Festival.

Fair Day will return with tens of thousands of people coming together for a day in the sun. The pool party will take place at the exclusive CBD Ivy pool. Post the parade, there will be The Official Mardi Gras Party with over 12,000 ticket holders at Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter.

And of course, the jewel in the crown of Mardi Gras, the Parade will take place on Saturday 4 March 2017 and offer a chance for over 200,000 LGBTQI people and their supporters to come together and celebrate the community,

Tickets for this program go on sale Friday 02 December 2016.

For information about events or to buy tickets, go to:

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Hyatt Regency Sydney launches with a spectacular light show

The Hyatt Regency Sydney unveiled the result of a $250 million redevelopment at an event on Thursday 1 December 2016 which included: a cocktail reception at their Maritime Ballroom; and an outdoor light projection video on the wall of their 2,800 square metre building.

Hyatt Regency Sydney is Australia’s largest upscale hotel that has just undergone a redevelopment to include a brand new 24 storey tower, additional premium rooms, a lavish rooftop bar, state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces and a new Regency Club Lounge. It is a five star hotel that caters for business, leisure and event travellers. It is located at the doorstep of both the city’s business and entertainment districts.

Guests were welcomed into the Maritime Ballroom and got to sample food created by a host of fine dining chefs and wine selected by expert sommeliers from four live food demonstrations. The food and wine included: Sydney Rock, Coffin Bay and Pacific Bay oysters served with three dressings and paired with NV Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut from France; handmade gnocchi with truffle and sage basil paired with 2013 Yering Station pinot noir from the Yarra Valley; seared venison fillet paired with 2014 Grant Burge Miamba shiraz from the Barossa Valley; and Harvey Bay scallops paired with 2015 Yering Station Chardonnay from the Yarra Valley.

Guests were also treated to two Hyatt Regency Sydney signature cocktails created by mixologist Grant Collins, who will also be overseeing the opening of the Rooftop Bar later this month. The cocktails included: the Lemongrass and Lillet Spritz (made from Lillet Rose, grapefruit bitters, lemongrass syrup, Villa Jolanda prosecco and soda water); and the Scrumpy Cider Apple Gimlet (made from apple infused Tanqueray gin, apple cider syrup, Apple Thief cider and cold pressed apple juice).

Speeches were made by MC Matt De Groot and General Manager Malcolm Zancanaro who revealed that guests were going on an inside-out tour of the hotel that included a harbour cruise.

At this cruise, guests were surprised further with a spectacular outdoor video that was projected onto the enormous 2,800sqm harbourside wall of the freshly rebranded hotel. Guests watched the journey of two business and leisure travellers through the Hyatt Regency Sydney. It was projected onto the building using 16 projectors and a total of 28,348,800 pixels.

The rooftop bar, the brand new 24 storey tower, along with the exclusive Regency Club Lounge is due to open at the end of December 2016.

The Hyatt Regency Sydney is located at 161 Sussex Street Sydney NSW 2000.

For more information about the Hyatt Regency Sydney, go to:

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