Mr Black and Bar Swift at Charlie Parker’s

Coffee liqueur brand, Mr Black, and London’s Best New International Cocktail Bar, Bar Swift, joined forces at Sydney’s Charlie Parker’s, to showcase the future of coffee and cocktails on Wednesday February 13th.

Swift Bar’s Managing Director, Bobby Hiddleston, and Hamish Dowie, Winner of the 2018 Mr Black x Swift Bartender Competition, travelled to Sydney to curate a bespoke new menu of Mr Black and Bar Swift classic cocktails.

I hate coffee and until now I could never quite understand Sydney’s obsession with espresso martinis. From my perspective, it is just an unholy, unnecessary mix of coffee and vodka, however, I tasted most of the cocktails on this menu and they were quite incredible. The coffee is not too overpowering and the flavour and complexity of the drinks is quite amazing. I am converted!

One of my favourite drinks of the night, and unsurprisingly a bespoke award-winning cocktail, was Higher Ground — a smooth blend of Mr Black, Mr Black Amaro, orange bitters and coconut. It had a thick layer of cream on top and almost 90ml of liquor underneath. The drink was designed to be sipped through the cream, rather than mixed together.

Another crowd favourite was the classic Bar Swift cocktail, Sgroppino, which consisted of a delicious blend of prosecco and lemon sorbet.

All these drinks were consumed with popular items on Charlie Parker’s menu, including oysters, beef tartare, striploin beef crostini with ricotta and chimichurri, potato croquettes with smoked burrata and salsa brava, pork and veal meatballs with spicy tomato sauce and, my favourite, wood fired flatbread with mozzarella, greens and fennel.

Charlie Parker’s will be offering a selection of Mr Black and Bar Swift cocktails on their drink menu for a limited time only.

Charlie Parker’s is located at 380 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021

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General Chao launches in Chatswood

Chatswood Interchange now has a new premium modern 187-seat Asian restaurant called General Chao.

General Chao is in the centre of an oblong-shaped space at the back of Chatswood Interchange’s upmarket food court, called District Dining.

In the kitchen, everything is made from scratch. They make the most decadent XO sauces with an array of flavour combinations from Eastern and Western cuisines. Their “Classic XO” sauce is made from dried shrimp, ginger, garlic and ham. Their “Super Premium Seafood XO” is made with abalone, clams, sea cucumber, quality dried scallop, ginger, garlic, dried shrimp and ham. And the outrageous “New Style Super Premium XO” is made from black truffles, Tasmanian abalone, premium dried scallop and shrimp, jamón and gold leaf.

The food is outstanding. Head chef Son Sewoo (The Sovereign Room) is turning out a menu of pan-Asian favourites using fresh Aussie produce. Expect to find Chinese, Thai, Singaporean and Japanese influences.

We tried the prawn toast, the jasmine tea smoked duck dumplings, the crispy pork crackling salad, the Singapore chilli blue swimmer crab, the master 24 hour braised pork belly and the banana wrapped in crispy egg noodles with ginger ice-cream. The Singaporean chilli crab was my favourite and only consisted of the legs (unlike in Singapore where you would get an entire crab covered in sauce).

The drink menu did not fail to impress either. The talented Michael Chiem of CBD bar PS40 has designed mocktails and cocktails that suit the menu.

So don’t be put off by its location in a food court above the train station. Ascend the escalators and head straight to the bar with huge blue mural of elegant Asian woman for a drink and a great meal in the seating area.

General Chao is located at District Dining, 436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood.

It is open from 12pm–10pm Monday to Wednesday and Sunday, 12pm–11pm on Thursday and 12pm–12am on Friday and Saturday.

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