Drinks

Where and what to drink in Lisbon

Where and what to drink in Lisbon

There’s a lot to love about drinking in Lisbon. First are the rooftop bars and goldfish bowl gin & tonics infused with spices (usually cinnamon) and some fruit and citrus. The wines of the Duoro are amazing. The much maligned green wine – vinho verdhi – which isn’t actually green but sharp and refreshing is perfect for a summer’s evening. Everyone loves port but do you really want to drink a rich aged deep red port mid-summer? I became addicted […]

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 […]

Should I attend Taste of Melbourne 2012?

Should I attend Taste of Melbourne 2012?

Win prizes by reviewing restaurants for Google and Zagat The good news is that after years of decline Taste of Melbourne has rejuvenated itself, upgrading the restaurants exhibiting their food and moving to Albert Park. The bad news is that if the weather turns bad – and the forecast is for showers and a temperature that won’t rise above 19C – then you’ll be damp and cold queueing for your credits and food at the MoVida and Mamasita stalls on […]

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 […]

The George Calombaris effect and surcharges

As the Christmas and new year break recedes and Australia Day approaches, once more the open wound of the hospitality game one again resurfaces: surcharges. This time though it has hit the headlines big time thanks to the perfect storm of a silly season slow news cycle and Masterchef judge and serial restaurateur George Calombaris mouthing off about it in the Power Index (where I’m pleased to see That Jess Ho rates a mention in its analysis of the Melbourne […]

How to taste an oyster

How to taste an oyster

There are only two main species of Oysters that we find ourselves gobbling in Australia, the flat and the cup-shaped. This week at the Oysters and sake event I organised with Andre from Kumo and Adriane Strampp as part of the Fringe Food Festival we had 13 varieties including from (Tasmania) Blackmans Bay, Saint Helens, Pipe Clay Lagoon, Dunalley; (South Australian) Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay, Kangaroo Island, Smoky Bay, Thevenard (Ceduna); and (New South Wales) Wallis Lakes and Tweed Heads. […]

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 […]