Enlightenment – Vivid Sydney’s opening night cocktail party

Enlightenment – VIVID Sydney opening night cocktail party at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney on Saturday 26 May 2018, consisted of light, curated food and drinks, artisan performers and deep conversation.

The  Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual movement which advocates freedom, democracy and reason as primary values of society. It developed mainly in France, Britain and Germany in the 18th century when great thinkers such as Rousseau, Diderot and Voltaire started to look at the world in a different way. They used science and reason to shed new light on traditional ideas and the way of doing things. This philosophical, cultural and social movement spread out of Europe and changed the world. Three hundred years later, we still ask the same questions.

The evening at The Calyx explored curious things from existence, aliveness, being human and the very essence of enlightenment – probing the mind and soul to think about difficult questions – and their answers. Guests also enjoyed exclusive access to the VIVID Light Walk to end the evening.

Those attending the evening listened to speeches by Fiona Kerr, Neural and Systems Complexity Specialist who explored the wonders and possibility of our brain, Entomologist and Collaborative Memory and Intelligence Specialist Tanya Latty, Collective Mind Expert Derek Leddie and Philosopher and Writer Tim Dean. Never before did I guess that ants have transport systems far superior to humans, although their collective approach to society does result in a barbaric disregard for the weak.

One of the highlights of the night was the Enlightenment cocktail which was made from gold leaf, St Germain elderflower liqueur, vermouth infused with herb de Provence, Belvedere single estate vodka, and a dash of dandelions and burdock bitters

If you thought you missed out on a great night, or if you were here but have room for further enlightenment, there will be an Enlightenment Immersive Dinner on Saturday 2 June 2018 at the Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

The immersive dinner will include a three course shared feast, artisan performers and a selection of engaging speakers. Kerr, Leddy and Lattie will speak again and will be joined by Dan Goods, the Visual Strategist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and founder of the Museum of Awe, who reminds people of the gift and privilege of being alive. Philosopher Matt Beard will also take to the stage, bringing old philosophical concepts of ethics, meaning and purpose into the modern world.

What: Enlightenment Feasts: Immersive Dinner – three course meal with matching wines, speakers and performances

Where: The Calyx in The Royal Botanic Gardens

When: Saturday, 2 June 2018, 6:30 pm – late

Price: $250

To buy tickets to Enlightenment at Vivid Sydney, go to:  http://www.hardthingstotalkabout.com/enlightenment/

The Squire’s Landing launches in Sydney

James Squire has launched The Squire’s Landing, a two-storey restaurant, bar and freestanding fully glazed microbrewery, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

The space, formerly occupied by Doyles Restaurant, is right next to Campbells Cove, where convict and Australia’s first brewer, James Squire, first set foot in Australia as part of the first fleet in 1788.

 

All nine beers in the James Squire’s core range are available on-tap. Plus, there’s an ever-changing selection of limited-edition releases, concocted by head brewer Peter Merrington, both at the brand’s brewery in Camperdown and the new microbrewery on-site. The menu is modern Australian, using fresh local produce and designed to be paired with the beers on tap.

   

At the venue launch, James Squire also launched The Wreck Preservation Ale, the world’s oldest surviving beer. It is made with 220-year-old yeast which was discovered still alive in bottles recovered from The Sydney Cove, a merchant ship that wrecked at Preservation Island, near Tassie’s northeast coast, in 1797.

The Sydney Cove had 31,500 litres of alcohol (including sealed glass bottles of grapes, port and beer), which were preserved due to the secured corkage and the cool ocean temperatures.

The Wreck Preservation Ale is a smooth porter-style brew that is dark, malty, spicy and stormy.

 

The Squire’s Landing is now open at Circular Quay Way, The Rocks.

It’s open Sunday to Thursday from 10am till midnight and Friday and Saturday from 10am till 1am.

For more information on The Squire’s Landing: https://www.jamessquire.com.au/brewhouses/the-squires-landing/

Mr G’s Bar and Grill celebrates their 1st birthday

Mr G’s Bar and Grill Double Bay celebrated their 1st birthday and International Whiskey Day with an intimate cocktail event on Tuesday 27 March 2018.

Mr G’s Bar & Grill is an authentic American grill that focuses on preparing the best steaks in Sydney as well as quality seafood and fresh produce. It was nominated as the ‘Best New Restaurant’ at the 2017 R&CA Awards for Excellence.

Mr G’s Bar & Grill was the first venue in Australia to use the MIBRASA grill, a wood fired, charcoal driven oven that doesn’t use gas or electricity. It allows food to be cooked retaining their natural flavours and bringing out a unique smoky taste.

Mr G’s Bar & Grill serves American craft beers on tap from the best breweries in the USA. The bar also has over 100 whiskies, including rare and unique brands, along with a full selection of spirits, liqueurs and aperitifs.

Canapes served on the night included: oysters paired with cucumber and lemongrass sorbet;  fish tacos with ginger, black sesame, ponzu and wasabi fish roe and eggplant tacos; buttermilk hot chicken wings; Little Joe eye fillet with creamed corn; classic New York cheesecake with graham cracker dust; and chocolate brownies.

Attendees included: the business owners Patrick and Angela Gallagher; plus-sized model and Biggest Loser host, Fiona Falkiner; Nutritionist and TV host, Lola Berry; Australian Olympic gold medal swimmer, Leisel Jones; highjumper and model, Amy Pejkovic; dancer and Dorothy the Dinosaur actor from the Wiggles, Lauren Hannaford; Australian singer and red Wiggle, Simon Pryce; Style Editor for Men’s Health Magazine Jeff Lack; founder of online website D’Marge, Luc Weisman and more.

Mr G’s Bar and Grill is located on the ground floor of the Intercontinental Hotel Double Bay at 33 Cross Street, Double Bay.

Mr G’s Bar and Grill is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 am till late

For more information about Mr G’s Bar and Grill, go to: www.mrgsdoublebay.com.au

 

Learning to cook aperitivo dishes using Zonin prosecco

Learning to cook can sometimes be daunting, but with celebrated chef, Giovanni Pilu, there to guide you on how to prepare aperitivo dishes at the Sydney Seafood School using Zonin prosecco, the task can be made a lot easier.

Sydney Seafood School offers a diverse range of cookery courses, all from their state of the art auditorium style kitchen theatre.

Giovanni Pilu, celebrated head chef at his eponymous Pilu at Freshwater, provided a step by step guide on how to prepare Italian style snacks – otherwise known as aperitivo dishes.

In Italy, an aperitif is an alcoholic drink usually served with a selection of aperitivo dishes at around 6pm before a meal to stimulate the appetite. The aperitif used in the cooking class was Zonin prosecco.

Francesco Zonin, a seventh generation member of the Zonin family, was also on hand to share the rich traditions of prosecco in the Veneto region.

The menu, consisting of four light snacks, was designed to showcase the versatility of Zonin prosecco, as both a cooking ingredient and when matched with a specific dish. The menu comprised of:

  • Mozzarella en Carozza (mozzarella and anchovy fried toasties)
  • Hiramasa kingfish, radish and fennel with Zonin prosecco
  • Herb baked ricotta with roasted grape tomatoes on crostini
  • Zonin prosecco zabaglione with mixed berries

Following the expert demonstration by Giovanni, came the daunting task of cooking in front of him!  Divided into teams of four, we set about recreating his sumptuous dishes in the adjoining kitchen benches (think Masterchef challenge).

And the results?  Our four creations did not quite look like Giovanni’s but, for the most part, the taste was there.  And therein lies the secret to Italian aperitivo culture; quality, fresh ingredients, simply prepared and celebrated with a luxurious glass of prosecco!

Using the Glera grape, Zonin prosecco has been made in the north-eastern Italian region of Veneto by the Zonin family for over 200 years and seven generations.  Zonin is Italy’s largest privately held wine company and produces prosecco from the largest Glera vineyard in Italy. It is a dry sparkling white, with subtle almond notes.

Zonin prosecco is perfect as an aperitif or as accompaniment to most dishes such as kingfish, anchovies, oysters, and classic Italian desserts such as zabaglione.

Zonin Prosecco is sold exclusively through BWS and Dan Murphy for $17.00 (RRP).

For more information about Zonin prosecco, go to: https://www.zoninprosecco.com/

         

Sirocco Terrace launches in Potts Point

Some people may know the word sirocco to mean a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara, but this is about to change with the launch of Sirocco Terrace, the new open-air garden space in the heart of Potts Point that opened on Wednesday, 24 January, 2018.

The area occupied by Sirocco Terrace was formerly the smoking section outside Sirocco Restaurant & Bar, on the ground floor of the Holiday inn Potts Point. But, in just five days, the hotel transformed it into a private sanctuary with an open-air leafy garden, festoon lights and white washed timber furniture. It is now used as a place for casual drinks, a weekend brunch spot, a lunch or dinner restaurant or an exclusive area that can be booked for parties.

Diners are able to order from the Sirocco Restaurant & Bar menu or the Sirocco Terrace menu, which consists of burgers, salads, shared platters, pizzas, pastas and items from the grill. The menu also has desserts including a rooftop honey panacotta which is made with honey from the hotel’s own rooftop beehive!

The bar has a range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails. At the launch party, we were served beers from the Rocks Brewing Co. and award-wining wines from Grant Burge in the Barossa Valley.

Sirocco Terrace is located at 203 Victoria Street, Potts Point. It is open from 6:30am to 10pm, seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and casual drinks and snacks.

For more information about Sirocco Terrace, go to: www.holidayinnpottspoint.com.au/sirocco

   

Rosetta Sydney launches Aperitivo Hour and ‘Two Famous Pizza’

As the weather warms up, Rockpool Dining Group’s Rosetta Ristorante’s Terrace Bar is the perfect spot for Aperitivo Hour and Neil Perry’s ‘Two Famous Pizzas’.

Rosetta Ristorante launched on Tuesday 15 August 2017, bringing Italian coastal elegance and sophisticated dining to Sydney. The restaurant includes a panoramic outdoor terrace bar where Aperitivo Hour was launched with Neil Perry’s ‘Two Famous Pizzas’ on Friday 27 October 2017.

Neil was on hand to explain the origin of the Neapolitan Pizza; a time when Margherita and Marinara were the only way to top a pizza!  True to the originals, the toppings are fresh and simple, while the base has a deliciously chewy texture.

The Terrace Bar offers a more casual experience than the main dining area, however, the full menu is available for diners in need of something more substantial than the pizza and snack menu.  The extensive list of cocktails includes Cold Drip Café Americano, slushy Sgroppino, and various Bellinis (rotating seasonally with different fresh fruit blends). We focused our attention on the carefully selected bitters section with five variations of Negroni, classic Italian and local beers, over 30 gins and an extensive collections of whisky, grappa, brandies and rum; too much variety to sample all in a single visit and still be able to walk out the door!

As well as the ‘Two Famous Pizzas’, we sampled the warm mixed olives (grown in McLaren Vale, SA); Olive all’Ascolana (large green olives stuffed with veal, prosciutto and parmesan, then crumbed and fried); broad bean fritto (baby broad beans fried well with Pecorino); poached prawns with lemon mayonnaise; Bresaola (consisting of salumi from Pino Tomini Foresti); and Tuna crudo with salsa verde.  With the full restaurant menu also available, Rosetta Ristorante’s terrace bar is equally perfect to start your night with a selection of shared snacks or a full Italian fine dining experience, all while soaking up the Sydney sunshine with a choice of classic and modern cocktails.

Rosetta is located in the stunning Harry Seidler designed Grosvenor Place at the northern end of the CBD (118 Harrington Street, Sydney). Phone 02 8099 7089 for reservations.

Rosetta is open for lunch Monday to Sunday from 12-3pm and for dinner Monday to Saturday from 6-11pm, and Sunday 6-10pm. The Terrace Bar and Mezzanine Bar menus are available all day.

For more information about Rosetta Ristorante, go to: http://www.rosettarestaurant.com.au/sydney/home/

    

Hotel Ravesis launches new menu with a Spring Fling Party

Spring is officially here when, and only when, Hotel Ravesis hosts their annual Spring Fling Party Extravaganza!

When at Bondi Beach, you want to watch the sunset while drinking delicious cocktails and eating fantastic food, and this is precisely what we did at Hotel Ravesis’ Spring Fling party on Thursday, 26 October 2017, for the launch of their new spring / summer menu.  Sydney’s hottest party-goers grooved to the hip sounds of summer, while sampling the exciting, new food and drink menu.

The cocktails included the 321 Dance (made with watermelon infused vodka, apple juice, angostura bitters and egg white) and the Contratto Spritz (made with Contratto, prosecco and soda water).  The watermelon vodka is infused in-house, lending a creative and unique touch.  Guests were also served Heineken beer and Heineken 3, a refreshing lower alcohol version of the original, prefect for barbecue season.

The refreshed menu items included: cabasera, cracker and green tomato pickle; brandage, smoked roe and grilled sourdough; crystal bay prawns (peeled) with sherry aioli dip; Sydney rock oysters with vinegar and spring onion dressing; porcini mushroom pate, house pickles and grilled sourdough; and scallops on the shell.

Occupying prime real estate overlooking the most iconic beach on the planet, the food and drinks menu may have received a Spring refresh, but I’m pleased to say that the atmosphere and service are the same as ever.  With the long, hot summer just around the corner, Ravesis refreshing cocktails are sure to be the coolest accessories in town!

For more information about Hotel Ravesis, go to: http://www.hotelravesis.com/

   

 

Celebrate blood orange season with Solerno liqueur

Solerno, the world’s first blood orange liqueur, has joined forces with Italian restaurant, Capriccio Osteria, to offer a truly Sicilian immersive experience called Celebrazione dell’Arancia Rossa.

Solerno was launched in Australia three years ago. It is made with Sicilian sanguinello blood oranges, picked from the sunny groves on the slopes of Mt Etna. The fruit is processed within 24 hours at Agrumeria Corleone to maintain its freshness before the essential oils of the blood orange is blended with ingredients like Sicilian lemon and a neutral spirit base that has been sweetened with natural sugar.

Solerno, surprisingly, is a clear liquid that is sold in blood orange coloured bottles. On the nose, you can smell the blood orange, lemon and cream. Towards the back of the palate the liquid becomes very tart before breaking into a dry long finish with a substantial burn.

During spring, Sicilians drink Solerno to celebrate blood orange season. Like Sicilians, Sydneysiders will have the chance to celebrate like Sicilians with five specialised cocktail offerings that highlight the taste and versatility of Solerno and Redbelly Citrus blood oranges. These delicious cocktails have been perfectly crafted to complement the seasonal menu created by Head Chef, Nicole Bampton at Capriccio Osteria.

The five cocktail offerings include: Sicilian 75 (made with Solerno Blood Orange, citrus and prosecco); Solerno Serata (made with Solerno Blood Orange, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Bitters and soda); Solerno Spritz (made with Solerno Blood Orange, Dry Rose, lemon, soda and seasonal fruit); Spring Orchards (made with Solerno Blood Orange, Apple. Ginger and Citrus); and Solernoni (made with Solerno Blood Orange, Campari, gin, sweet vermouth and walnut).

The meal consisted of: a starter of focaccia of fennel, black olive and blood orange, an entree of wood-fired octopus, “Nduja’, blood orange and rocket; a pasta dish of blood orange tagliolini and pan fried scallops with Bottarga; a main of glazed pork chops with chargrilled radicchio and blood orange; and a dessert of blood orange baba with pistachio cream.

The immersive Sicilian experience will be running from 18 October 2017 to 18 November 2017 at Capriccio Osteria (159 Norton Street, Leichardt NSW 2040).

To make a booking, call Capriccio Osteria on 02 9572 7607.

Solerno is sold at Dan Murphy’s and other selected retailers for about $60.

For more information about Solerno, go to: http://solernoliqueur.com/agegate/agegate-fb.php?redirect=http://solernoliqueur.com/

       

The Golden Bar and Rooms launches at The Golden Sheaf Hotel

It was a night of glitz and glamour for the Hollywood themed launch of the Golden Bar and Rooms upstairs at The Golden Sheaf Hotel, Double Bay on  Wednesday 11 October 2017.

The Golden bar and rooms has been renovated with several seductive indoor and outdoor spaces suitable for events. The rooms decor is in a classic Hollywood style with golden colour tones..

Celebrity guests that attended the launch included actress Melina Vidler, Tess Haubrich, Yasmin Horner, and Maha Wilson; and model Monika Clarke.

The beverages for the night included: Moet champagne; The Golden Duchess cocktail (made with Belvedere vodka, lemon juice, sugar syrup, pineapple syrup, Cinzano Bianco, orange blossum water and egg white); Cape Mentelle rose; Thorn-Clark Sandpiper pinot gris;  Cake pinot noir and Goose Island Tea.

The canapes consisted of: citrus cured salmon with creme fraiche and horseradish; wagyu bresola with celeriac and remoulade; chicken and confit garlic terrine with baguette and salsa verde; watermelon with feta, olive and basil; tempura prawn skewers with nahm jim DF; lamb kofta with tzatziki and mint; green pea and siniach arancini with yogurt and harissa; pumpkin tartlet with onion jam, feta and sage; Sheaf fried chicken with chippppotle mayo; Sheaf wagyu slider with lettuce, tomato, relish, pickles and aioli; beetroot risotto with walnuts and goat’s curd; and cheese and charcuterie grazing table.

For more information about The Sheaf, go to: https://thesheaf.com.au/

Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Markets return to Sydney

BBQ pork skewers, bao with delicious pork, beef or chicken fillings, charcoal BBQ pork buns, mango sago cake, and a quirky flavoured crème brulee gelato made with liquid nitrogen are just some of the amazing dishes that will be served at Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Markets which returns to Hyde Park Sydney from October 5 to 22, 2017

 

There will be over 40 sizzling food stalls serving up the best street food from across Asia every night of the week.  

 

The Night Noodle Market’s will also feature family-friendly live music, DJs, and LED-lit dancing dragons. The always popular savoury dishes by Mr Bao. Hoy Pinoy, and Let’s Do Yum Cha will return together with the bespoke dessert creations by Gelato Messina, Black Star Pastry and N2 Gelato.

 

Mr Bao will be spoiling us with Gua Bao Trio (which will consist of crackling pork belly, Karaage chicken, Korean BBQ Beef baos), crackling pork fried, and pork belly bao-less Sanga with fries.

 

Hoy Pinoy will be lighting up their charcoal BBQs and serving up their ever so popular BBQ pork and chicken skewers. Their pork skewers are marinated in Pandan, lemongrass and garlic, and roasted for many hours.

 

Let’s Do Yum Cha will have an array of yum cha treats including Lo Mai Gai (sticky rice with chicken wrapped in lotus leaves), vegetarian spring, rolls, chicken dim sims, vegetarian dumplings, BBQ pork bun, prawn and chive dumplings and custard buns.

 

Gelato Messina will be serving up their unusual gelato creations of O-No-Giri (green tea gelato and pistachio mousse dipped in rice bubbles and white chocolate) and Kamikaze Katsu Sandwich (a deep fried gelato Katsu sandwich made with Sudachi lime gelato coated in red velvet cake and Panko crumbs sandwiched in fluffy white bread with Yuzu sauce).

 

N2 Gelato will be surprising us with an Asian flavoured crème brulee gelato made with liquid nitrogen.

 

And my favourite bakery, Black Star Pastry, will be launching their mango sago cake and their cherry tiramisu which is made with Brand’s Laira Coonawarra wine at the markets.

 

The markets will again be cash-free, so you’ll be able to spend less time queuing and more time saving.  

 

The Night Noodle will be open from Monday and Tuesday from 5pm – 9pm, Wednesday and Thursday from 5pm – 10pm, Friday from 5pm – 11pm, Saturday from 4pm-10pm and Sunday from 4pm – 9pm

 

For more information about the Night Noodle Markets, go to: https://www.goodfoodmonth.com/sydney/night-noodle-markets/