Drinks

Everything you need to know about eating out in Joburg

Everything you need to know about eating out in Joburg

It’s like I’m a Martian in a strange land where, if I want a coffee, I drive 6.4km with the help of a GPS though the sprawl of Johannesburg, the world’s largest urban forest. Roads twist, turn, rise and drop through the rocky outcrops and ravines that make the landscape of this town. While there are a few urban villages in the suburbs of one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the world, most people rely of shopping […]

The new venues shaping St Kilda

The new venues shaping St Kilda

You’ve probably noticed that everything hip that is happening is in Fitzroy, Collingwood or the CBD. And perhaps Northcote or Yarraville. People are also doing things in St Kilda and somebody has to tell the story. St Hotel Imagine what the illegitimate love child of the Royal Saxon and The Prahran Hotel would look like. It would probably be very much like the St Hotel, the reimagined Saint nightclub in St Kilda, which is almost finished and may open very […]

Croce via di Stasio – the beautiful bar next door

Croce via di Stasio – the beautiful bar next door

It’s 4.38am. My mouth is dry. My head is sore and I have hangover insomnia (as I call it). Last night I dropped in for a quick bowl of pasta at the new Bar di Stasio. And that’s where I went wrong. There has never been any such thing as a quick bowl of pasta at Cafe di Stasio nor will there ever be such as thing at Bar di Stasio, which last week celebrated its 25th year. I know […]

Follow the McConnell brothers’ golden trail

View The McConnell trail in a larger map It’s no secret I hate progressive dinners. Although all to often post dinner I find myself and a few pals progressive drinking. But my regular trips from Collingwood to St Kilda and back has taken me on the newly trodden McConnell trail, taking on the new eateries from brother Andrew, Matt and cousin Jason. It makes me wonder if there are possible anymore culinary wunderkinds to come out of this family’s kitchens? […]

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

I’m not going to do FebFast this year because I suspect giving up alcohol altogether isn’t going to do anything for Australia’s economic progress. Let’s face it, the economic impact on restaurants and bars of Febfast is horrendous. Most hospitality venues are doing it fairly tough and the fact that the economic model is based on selling alcohol, February is about to become a lot tougher. And let’s not forget, outside of the resources sector, the contribution winemaking and restaurants […]

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Wine in the groove at Cibi. Picture: Adriane Strampp Cibi is rapidly defining itself as one of the most interesting cafes (or should I say happenings) in Melbourne as I have written before. Not only does it serve a terrific Japanese breakfast at weekends, have a quirky shop of Japanese design objects but it also treats itself like a gallery with its regular opening nights. Then there was the recent pop-up store in the Aesop store in Flinders Lane and […]

The cult of the wineglass

The cult of the wineglass

Consult a financial adviser before drinking from a Riedel. Dishwasher tablets erode your glasses and crockery. Use liquid instead. Decant heavier reds at least 8 hours before drinking. If you want to drink champagne (usually a blend of chardonnay pinot pinot meunier and pinot noir) rather than sip it, use a pinot noir glass. I’ve spent my whole life avoiding scrapes with cults. There was the incident in London on the Tottenham Court Road where, bunking off school aged 14, […]

The Everleigh: ice cool on Gertrude St

The Everleigh: ice cool on Gertrude St

For a very hot country, it is remarkable how little care we give our ice. Sure, you can buy large bags of ice pretty much anywhere, but it’s the kind of ice to stick in a bath or an Esky and chill beer and sauvignon blanc; not the kind of stuff to put in a cocktail. A while back the shiny Japanese ice machines at Match Bar were a revelation. And now The Everleigh, which sits atop the old Dante’s […]

Start queueing for Bar Americano

Start queueing for Bar Americano

Like its name, the fit out of this latest Der Raum spin-off is very slick and let’s say Americano. That’s slick tiling and panelling. The narrow bar inset with copper. And the fact it’s very very exclusive, allowing only 15 people in at once. That means while you are there sipping you hanky panky (above) behind the shut gate, late coming friends have to wait in the cold with nothing but Melbourne’s smallest artspace, the Twenty by Thirty gallery, to […]

Q: Does Fairtrade matter in Australia?

Q: Does Fairtrade matter in Australia?

A: It didn’t used to but increasing in Australia we are buying into the idea of Fairtrade, as these charts show. This week Harriet Lamb director of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK is visiting Australia, a leader in certification of the ethical sourcing of products. The fact is that Europe has been leading the world in sourcing Fairtrade goods for some 18 years while in Australia in the past five or six years we have only come to buy […]