Out of town


Diary of a food festival: day 3

Saturday 0830 Attend Barbeque Madness at Sydney Morning Herald Grower’s Market at Pyrmont Park. Join David Tanis of the legendary Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California, and a stellar line up of 10 Sydney chefs including Kylie Kwong. Sessions are held every half an hour.
 We all stumble down to breakfast about 10ish before stumbling on to the BBQ. It’s all pretty chaotic but we get our seared meat just as they start packing-up around us. I take a look […]

Restaurants, Sydney, Travel

Diary of a food festival: day two

View from the Steyne Hotel. Not bad eh? Enjoy breakfast in Cafe Opera, Level 1. Breakfast is available from 6:30am -10:30am daily.

 As a hotel breakfast it ain’t bad. Passable (just) scrambled eggs but best of all streaky bacon and decent sausages. A highlight is the honeycomb, yoghurt and fruit. Nice filter coffee. 0845 Meet with your Destination NSW host Lauren Zoneff and make your way on to the Harbour Master Steps for your Manly Fast Ferry. 

 Myself, Kerry […]

Sydney, Travel

Diary of a food festival: Day one

1540: Flight DJ849 arrives into Sydney Meet your Astra Limousines driver for your transfer to the InterContinental Sydney. Delays! The storms in Melbourne means that I don’t arrive until after 5pm for a drinks party at 6pm. 1800: Meet Destination NSW in the lobby of the hotel for transfer to the Hilton Hotel for the Crave Sydney International Food Festival Official Launch Party I meet David Lebovitz in reception together with Helen from Grab your fork and Chocolate Suze and […]

Melbourne, Sydney

Burger dynamics 101 and the Angry Anus

Hungry Jack’s Angry Angus that arrived with “ANUS” written on it. The gourmet burger is now mainstream. Even Hungry Jacks has its own salt and fat packed version dragging down the reputation of Angus beef. It’s the latest trend in food, knowing the provenance of your ingredients – with Maccas being the first mainstream brand to name Angus beef as a selling point back in August. The recently launched Hungry Jacks version, the Angry Angus, is masked with controversy particularly […]

Restaurants, Sydney, Wine

My Sydney wine fix

Fix St James: Funnily enough very close to St James station, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 2 9232 2767 There must be something about Fix St James to make me return. During the last two of my trips to Sydney I have visited, three times – twice in the past week. And it is a place now popular with bloggers and twitterers @reemski, @felixexplody and @carmr. But also it is popular with the ACP crowd, including the editors […]

Cheap eats, Sydney

Slippery, furry and cold, I also ate terrific little scrotums of flavour at Din Tai Fung

This is one of the most memorable and best value dishes I ate while briefly in Sydney – the $6.80 Tofu with pork floss and 1,000 year old eggs – at Din Tai Fung at World Square. I think it was even better than the Shao-long bao, which has become so fashionable at Yum Cha nowadays. I was eating with Shelley from SBS Food who was far more adept at eating these punchy little bags of flavour, using a technique […]

Burgers, Restaurants, Sydney

Plan B for burgers. Not Rockpool Bar & Grill

Ever since I first ate the Wagyu burger at Rockpool Bar and Grill I’ve been touting it as the best in Melbourne. Each time I’m nearby, I drop in to the bar and sit silently munching burger in hand, sandwiched between blokes doing exactly the same (although I thought it was a bit dodgy that last time that two blokes in town for the rugby were drinking a NZ sauvignon blanc with their buns). Apparently, the Sydney version is even […]

Restaurants, Sydney

Mark Best’s Marque makes its mark on Surry Hills and Masterchef

Beetroot and foie gras macarons. How decadent is this? It’s 9 pm on Monday night and we put ourselves in the hands of chef Mark Best at Marque for the 14 course degustation plus matching wines. It ends at Midnight with plate licking, my plate licking, leaving me some $250 lighter for what was a sensational evening. I was egged on by Mel and Reem. But also I was trying to outdo somebody I’d met earlier that evening, Chocolatesuze, who […]

Cheap eats, Gold Coast, Japanese

Shimbashi: finding gold on the coast

The best and best value food in Surfers Paradise has long been the tiny Korean and Japanese joints hidden in its low-rent 1970s shopping malls. But it is also worth escaping the main tourist drags for Chevron Island where soba Master Yoshinory Shibazaki & his wife Keiko are bringing Japanese food on the Gold Coast to a new level. The restaurant Shimbashi Soba on Chevron is a local manifestation of the well-known and reviewed (even by those who really know […]

Gold Coast, Restaurants

Charlie’s fingers aren’t what they used to be

As far as the culinary history of the Gold Coast goes the pineapple, bacon and cheese (you might add banana to the mix) fingers at Charlie’s should be icons. When Charlie’s opened on Cavill Avenue in 1976 I’m told it didn’t look as smart as it does now but the fingers were a favourite. And just as the cafe – restaurant is too strong a word – has been made over so have the fingers but for the worse. When […]