Time Out 2019 Bar Awards

Time Out Sydney announced the winners of its 2019 Bar Awards at its 11th annual awards event held at the Oxford Art Factory on Sunday afternoon on 10 March 2019.

And the winners are:

Bar of the year – Old Mate’s Place

Best new bar – Old Mate’s Place

Best cocktail bar – Bulletin Place

Hot talent award – Sarah Mycock of PS40

Best wine bar – Wyno

Bartender of the year – Evan Stroeve from Bulletin Place

Best bar food – Love Tilly Devine

People choice award – Redfern Surf Club

Legend award – James Bradey and Warren Burns

Best beer bar – Odd Culture

Best bar team – Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern

Everyone celebrated afterwards to the beats by DJ Mowgli May and Rainbow Chan.

Throughout the night they were served food by fried-chicken experts Butter and drinks such as Kahlua Espresso Martinis on tap, Malibu Piña Coladas, Altos Tequila cocktails, beers, and a bespoke cocktail from Perrier. As if that wasn’t enough, they also got to sample Riot Wines’ wine in a can from McLaren Vale, Mismatch Brewing Co beers, and ciders from Hills Cider Co.

At the end of the night, everyone received a hot-off-the-presses copy of the new Bar Awards issue of Time Out Sydney.

For more information, go to: https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/bars/time-out-bar-awards-winners

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney Grand Ballroom Renewal

Enjoying Sydney’s premier 5 star hotel location at George St, Sydney, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney reopened its’ Grand Ballroom with a spectacular event on September 7th, 2017.

The renewal opening of the Grand Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, promised much, and delivered on every level.  The food and beverage selection were spectacular and the atmosphere electric.  Natarsha Belling from Network 10 was on hand to oversee proceedings, while Rudolph van Dijk, General Manager Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, unveiled the highlight of the evening…the brand new, state of the art LED big screen entertainment system.

Food highlights included freshly shucked oysters, blackened prawns and wagyu beef.  The “edible garden”, resplendent with chocolates, ice creams and honeycomb, enveloped the free flowing cocktail fountain.  Even the garden “stones” were tasty!  The Four Seasons cake wall delighted the visual senses and taste buds in equal measure.  Champagne, gin cocktails and strawberry mojitos added to the decadence.

And then on to the main event…the centrepiece of the new ballroom is without doubt the cinematic LED big screen entertainment system.  It is impossible to accurately describe the spectacular sound and stunning 4k picture quality.  All that I can recommend is that you go and see it for yourself.  The short promo featured a montage of landscape photography from Australia and beyond, all in crystal clear high definition.

The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney have made no secret of their desire to create the premier ballroom space in Sydney.  With the legendary service levels that we have all come to expect, combined with the state of the art digital entertainment system, they are well on their way.

Available for small VIP gatherings, seated dinners of up to 520 guests and cocktail functions up to 1,000 patrons, for your next event, visit www.fourseasons.com/sydney, email catering.sydney@fourseasons.com or call +61 2 9250 3100.


Top of the Lake China Girl premieres in Sydney

Nicole Kidman, Director Jane Campion and Jane Campion’s daughter, Alice Englert (who is also Nicole Kidman’s real-life god daughter) drew in the crowds at the Sydney Opera House for the premiere of new TV series, Top of the Lake China Girl, on Tuesday, 1 August 2017.

Top of the Lake: China Girl stars Elisabeth Moss, who is Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, and Nicole Kidman. It is a crime mystery about Detective Robin Griffin (Moss) who recently returned to Sydney from New Zealand and is trying to rebuild her life. When the body of an Asian girl washes up on Bondi Beach, there appears little hope of finding the killer, until Robin realises “China Girl” didn’t die alone.

While working the case, and trying desperately to restore her professional standing, Robin also deals with meeting her own biological daughter, given up at birth and raised in Sydney by her adoptive parents (including Kidman as mum, with an unconventional lifestyle of her own). The interaction and tension between Moss and Kidman are highlights that will live long into memory.

Housed in the iconic Opera House, and with unprecedented access to the show’s stars and creators, the event was a mesmerising mix of fashion, entertainment and insight.  Most notable during the screening was the mix of shock and laughter from the audience. Campion and her team’s ability to find humour in such dark subject matter is not only a credit to their renowned talents, but also vital in allowing the audience to experience the journey without getting overwhelmed by the harrowing nature of the events under investigation.

A Q&A session followed the two-episode screening, with Campion, her co-writer and the director all exploring the creative process as if they were having a chat in their own front room, rather than having a theatre full of patrons hanging on their every word. It is clear that exhaustive research went into the project, from understanding the seedy world that is presented to us, to the detailed recreation of the police station and crime investigative process.

Our evening concluded with drinks and canapes, with several of the actors and creative forces staying until the bitter end. Kidman had quietly slipped out by that stage, but after making herself available for more than three hours, we can forgive her an early night!

Catch Top of the Lake China Girl on BBC First on Foxtel, starting from Sunday, 20 August 2017.


Campari Red Nights is turning the Streets of Barangaroo red this winter

Campari Red Nights is turning The Streets of Barangaroo red this July and August, and launched with an event at its flagship venue, Bel & Brio, on Thursday 20 July 2017.

From 20 July-20 August, a selection of Barangaroo venues (including Bel & Brio) will be styled with red velvet armchairs, brushed-gold bar carts, red neon lights and iconic Campari artworks, transporting you to the stylish centre of Milan.

On Thursday and Friday evenings, Wulugul Walk will be illuminated red from 4pm for Aperitivo Hour. The drink of choice will be the Campari Tonic (made with 45ml of Campari, 90mls of tonic water, one lime wedge and ice). Then the red lights continue on Barangaroo Avenue for a Milanese-inspired Campari art installation.

Bel & Brio will be the home of a Campari bar take-over for the ​whole month; and on Scotch Row and Shipwright Walk, the fashion and lifestyle venues will be getting in on the fun by hosting Aperitivo Hour, and serving complimentary Campari Tonics from brushed gold bar carts.

The venues offering complimentary Campari Tonics including: Brown Lux; The Standard Store; The Collector Store; The Waiting Room; Belance; David Jones Barangaroo; Oscar Wylee; T.M.Lewis; and The Daily Edited.

Other retailers have created limited edition products which will be available during the Campari Red Nights period including:

  • OH!Boo Chocolate – A limited edition glossy red Campari chocolate praline
  • Riva Reno Gelato – A limited edition Campari ice-cream
  • Oscar Wilde – Limited edition Campari sunglasses with Campari red lens.

Campari is also creating Campari and Tonic lounges and brand immersive experiences with special visits from the Dream Team at Olio in Chippendale, Prosecco in Pyrmont and QT Sydney in Sydney CBD.

For a more info, go to: https://thestreetsofbarangaroo.com/articles/campari-red-nights

The drink pictured is a Milano Sour made with Espolon Tequila, agave syrup, lemon juice, egg white, tawny port spray and basil leaf. This drink is available for purchase at Bel & Brio.

The Mad Hatter’s High Tea Party at Sir Stamford, Circular Quay

The Mad Hatter’s High Tea Party at Sir Stamford Circular Quay transformed the hotel into a magical world of Alice in Wonderland on Saturday 15 April 2017.

Sir Stamford is an elegant hotel with a lot of old world charm, but for Easter it was transformed into the whimsical world of Alice in Wonderland filled with wonderful sweets and treats including a lolly station and a chocolate fountain.

Children came dressed as Alice, the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat and While Rabbit, and competed in the dress up competition. Kids were also kept entertained with a chocolate-laden Easter egg hunt, face painting and colour-in fun by Nette Hilton.

The Mad Hatter’s High Tea Party Buffet including savoury treats such as: ham cheese and mustard sandwiches: cucumber and cream cheese on wholemeal bread; pastrami and Branston pickle; roasted chicken pinwheel in tomato bread; smoked salmon on baguette; prawn and avocado on tart shell; tomato and bocconcini skewers; Stamford signature curry puffs; Mediterranean vegetable and pine nuts on goat cheese wafer; and spinach and ricotta fillo.

The sweets on the buffet included: whisky logs; strawberry and lemon cheesecake; white chocolate green tea slice; mango and pineapple cube; assorted macaroons; lemon scones with clotted cream and mixed berry jam.

The kids had their own buffet menu which included curry egg, turkey and cranberry, ham, and tomato and cheese sandwiches. For dessert they had lots to choose from including: chocolate brownie; coconut panna cotta; mango and pineapple cube; cupcakes; blueberry cheesecake; and lemon scones with clotted cream and mixed berry jam.

As a special treat, the Mad Hatter’s High Tea Party had Easter cocktails which included: The Queen of Hearts (Absolut vodka mixed with fresh pressed grapefruit and cranberry juice served long over ice); The Cheshire Cat (Chivas 12 YO mixed with elderflower and fresh pressed lime and apple juice served long over ice charged with soda); The White rabbit (Havana Club rum served pineapple and coconut cream cocktail mixed to perfection and served chilled); and Alice (Avion tequila, Blue Curacao liqueur and lime juice served in a martini glass with a salt rim).

Sir Stamford at Circular Quay serve a range of high teas daily from 11am to 4pm with prices ranging from $79 to $32 (for kids).

Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is located at 93 Macquarie Street Sydney.

For more information or to make a booking, go to: http://www.stamford.com.au/sscq/restaurant–bar/sydney-high-tea


Learn to cook like the French at Vive Cooking School

The best way to learn how to cook like the French is to do a French cooking class lead by a French chef. This is exactly what I did on Sunday 26 March 2017 where I joined the French Marseille cooking class at the Vive Cooking School.

VIVE Cooking School is the new kid on the block in terms of cooking schools. It is located in a glasshouse in the middle of Saporium, Rosebery’s latest food precinct. Passers-by can peer through the windows and watch the cooking while they shop.

The class was led by Chef Julien Vasseur, whose experience includes Switzerland’s top kitchens, a private chef to a number of elite families in Los Angeles and Head Chef of Sydney’s Williams-Sonoma’s cooking school. He talked fast and had so much valuable advice to offer in terms of how to identify the freshest produce, where to buy them from, what are the best utensils (and their cheaper alternatives) and how to avoid many mistakes that people usually make when cooking.

In the class we learnt how to make one of the most famous dishes from French street food, Pissaladière, how to cook France’s delicious seafood soup, Bouillabaisse, and how to bake the perfect Lavender Crème Brulée.

The Pissaladière is something I had never heard of and if I had not baked and tasted it for myself, I would never cook it. Julien told us it is a great meal that you could easily put together with ingredients from the pantry and fridge. These ingredients would commonly be found in a French person’s pantry and fridge but I‘m not French and do not have anchovy fillets in my pantry. The ingredients are simple: one sheet of puff pastry, brown onions, anchovy fillets and black olives. You could also sprinkle oregano, rosemary and/or parmesan cheese to add some extra flavour at the end, but it is not part of the traditional recipe.

Slice and cook the brown onions for ten minutes until tender and golden. Make sure they are seasoned generously with salt and pepper. Spread the cooked onions evenly over a sheet of puff pastry that you have pierced with a fork to stop it from puffing. Place the olives and anchovies over the onions and bake in a preheated oven of 200 degrees Celsius for 15 to 18 minutes.  Let it stand for three to five minutes before cutting it into squares. The flavours went so well together and it was so addictive that I kept on returning for more.

The Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provencal fish stew originating from the port of Marseilles. Fishermen would make it from the fish they could not sell. There are many Bouillabaisse recipes but Julien tells us his is the best. It is traditionally made with three types of fish (a firm-fleshed fish such as cod, a tender fleshed fish such as red snapper and shellfish such as mussels, prawns and crabs) and the type of seafood changes depending on what’s in season. The other ingredients included onions, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, orange zest, saffron and white wine. We were shown how to fillet fish, and prepare the crabs, mussels and prawns. We made our fish stock fresh from the seafood that was not part our soup and it was surprisingly quick to make compared to chicken and other stock. The vegetables were cooked first in the pot and the fish was added later for the amount of time they needed to cook. The soup was full of flavour and the fish was cooked perfectly. Julien boasted about the health benefits of the soup.

The Lavender Crème Brulée is an old time French favourite. My previous attempts at home to make it resulted in it tasting like sugared baked eggs. I had the same experience with making a crème caramel which I was not surprising to find out that they both have a similar recipe. Again, the ingredients are simple: thickened cream, egg yolks, caster sugar and whatever flavour you wish to add such as lavender or vanilla. The cream is heated over medium heat in the saucepan with lavender or vanilla. Once you bring it to scalding point, discard the vanilla or strain the lavender and pour the cream over the whisked egg yolks and sugar you have already prepared. Then pour the strained mixture into ramekins (removing any air bubbles on top with a blow torch or spoon). Carefully place the ramekins in a deep roasting pan lined with a folded towel and pour boiling water into the pan until it is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Once they are ready, set them aside to cool. Sprinkle some demerara sugar evenly on the surface and use either a blow torch or grill to caramelise the top.

VIVE Cooking School Boutique is located at 18 – 61-71 Mentmore Avenue, Rosebery NSW 2018.

For more information about cooking classes at VIVE Cooking School, go to: http://www.vivecookingschool.com.au



The inaugural Royal Croquet Club launches at Bondi beach

The weather at Bondi beach was perfect on Thursday 24 November 2016 for the launch of the inaugural Royal Croquet Club – an 11 day lifestyle festival of food and music.

Celebrities, VIPs and media gathered for drinks and a game of croquet on opening night at the Pol Roger Champagne Garden and Pimms Bar.

Celebrities that attended included: Home and Away star Nic Westaway; The Saddle Club actress Sophie Hensser; My Kitchen Rules winner Steve Flood; Big Brother’s Aisha Jade and Lisa Clarke; The Bachelor’s Keira Maguire and Kiki Morris; The Bachelorette star Matty Johnson and celebrity make-up artist Michael Brown.

Food was served from the pop up restaurants on site which included: Southern fried chicken from Butter; Frying Nemo burgers from Milky Lane; fried fetta balls, falafel and kefta from Old City Kitchen Bar; fluffy filled steamed buns and duck fries from Bao Stop; chicken satay skewers and roti from Mamak; bbq meats from Hoy Pinoy, and ice-cream served in look-alike Campbell soup tins from Gelato Messina. This food will be available for purchase for the duration of the festival.

There will also be a number of music acts during the festival including: Bag Raiders, Dope Lemon (Angus Stone), Electric Fields, Hayden James (DJ Set), Hugo Gruzman, Jarryd James, Jimmy 2sox, Kilter & Klue, KLP (DJ Set), San Cisco, Thandi Phoenix, Tom Tilley, and Wealth.
The 11 day festival will take over North Bondi from 24 November 2016 until 4 December 2016.
For more information, go to: https://royalcroquetclub.com.au/

sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-steve-flood sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-keira-macguire sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-21 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-20 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-19 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-18 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-17 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-16 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-15 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-14 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-13 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-12 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-11 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-10 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-9 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-8 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-7 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-6 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-5 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-4 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-3 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-2 sydney-event-blogger-royal-croquet-club-1


Enjoy an endless Aussie Summer with Australian Pineapples

Sydney locals experienced the first taste of Summer on Saturday 10 September 2016 when Australian Pineapples came to the Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park with live cooking demonstrations, Q&A sessions and free pineapple tastings.

Pineapples are an aromatic and delicious fruit that originating in South America but are grown commercially in Australia. They are available for consumption all year round, not just during summer. Consumers can add some sweeter varieties of pineapples to their dishes during the cooler months for an endless Aussie summer flavour.

The event was hosted by Australian Pineapples ambassador,  Martyna Angell, who is also the author of The Wholesome Cook. Martyna Angell’s cooking demonstrations occurred at 10am and 12 midday and market goers got to taste two of her creations: spicy pork tacos with pineapple salsa and caramalised pineapple fruit salad.

Recipe cards were also handed out for other dishes Martyna created such as: kingfish and pineapple carpaccio; grilled pineapple teriyaki chicken salad; caramelised pineapple, cinnamon and lime skewers; and pineapple and turmeric crush.

For more information about Australian Pineapples, go to: www.aussiepineapples.com.au

_mg_1288 _mg_1249 _mg_1301 _mg_1290 _mg_1274 _mg_1270 _mg_1262 _mg_1260 _mg_1256 _mg_1254 _mg_1245 _mg_1238

Tokonoma Sydney opens at Sydney CBD location

Sydney’s foodies, fashionistas, sportsmen and members of the media gathered at the basement level of 44 Bridge Street Sydney on Tuesday 3 February 2015 to celebrate the official opening of Japanese eatery Tokonoma Sydney, the CBD sister to Toko Sydney.

It has been two and half years in the making for this restaurant that was originally located next door to Toko Sydney in Crown Street Surry Hills to open its doors at this CBD location. This narrow historic space has been transformed to resemble an ancient Japanese structure. The interiors are a result of the artistic collaboration between esteemed architect Matt Darwon and Tokonoma Sydney proprietor Matt Yazbek, The concept, inspired by the ancient Japanese text ‘100 views of Edo’, is distinctly styled composition of sandstone, polished timber and concrete punctuated throughout by stunning murals by Ando Hiroshige.

Tokonoma’s traditionally inspired Japanese menu matches its venue. With a menu inspired by ‘shun’ (the essence of the seasons). “The word ‘shun’ describes the exact moment that a vegetable is at its very best, a fruit at its most succulently sweet, and fish at its most flavourful. In Japan, chefs take great pride in the celebration of shun. It is central to the Japanese culinary world and central to the philosophy of Tokonoma Sydney,” says Group General Manager Paul Birtwistle.

Guests included Sydney Roosters player Mitchell Pearce, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Brett Stewart, Parramatta Eels player Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle Watmough, ABC’s Rake co-writer Peter Duncan, Sydney Confidential reporter Briana Domjen and former Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements and her twin sons: Samuel and Joe.

Kirstie Clements also officially launched the restaurant, “I am honoured to be here as a longtime friend of Toko and now Tokonoma Sydney and to announce this beautiful new space officially opened,” said Ms Clements. “What I love about Tokonoma is the elegance. It is somewhat of a hideaway, so beautifully discrete, and the service and food is unrivalled.”

During the launch party, DJ Tobias Gilbert’s rocking tunes set the tone for the launch. Guests drank Tokonoma Sydney’s signature cocktail, the Rhubarb and Pink Grapefruit Paloma, while feasting on their ‘izakaya’ style menu of tasty morsels of Popcorn Shrimp, Oyster Tosazu, Spicy Tofu. Salmon Tartare, Spicy Tuna Maki, Kingfish Wasabi Maki, Eggplant Miso, and their mouth watering Wagyu Beef Gyoza.

Tokonoma Sydney is an elegant space convenient for corporate lunches and post-work or pre-theatre dinners. It is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations and walk-ins accepted. For reservations please call 02 9251 8185 or email reservations@tokonoma.com.

IMG_3530 IMG_3442 IMG_3468 IMG_3470 IMG_3481 IMG_3506 IMG_3508 IMG_3513 IMG_3514 IMG_3517 IMG_3520 IMG_3521 IMG_3523 IMG_3524 IMG_3527