Noma Australia Cover

Noma Australia | Barangaroo, Sydney

Rene Redzepi. A man who can be described in a series of soundbites that are as truthful as they are extraordinary and hype-generating: the most influential chef in the world; a pioneer in sustainable methods of foraged cooking; one of the greatest cooks in the world, a man for whom legends like Ferran Adria draw inspiration; the master of Noma in Copenhagen, a restaurant that has won more accolades than any other on the face of this planet. Two Michelin stars, four-time best restaurant in the world, it’s probably somewhere you’ve wanted to go. It’s hard to believe that Redzepi managed to reach such a level of reverence at only the age of 37.

Now here’s the problem – Noma is in Copenhagen. It’s not easy to organise a trip halfway across the world just to eat at a restaurant (though I’ve certainly done that before), and with news of Noma’s closure at the end of 2016, I had to accept the fact that I would miss out on this golden nugget of culinary history.

At least, until I scored a reservation at Noma’s 10-week pop-up in Sydney’s Barangaroo. Let’s just say confetti was involved.

Date Last Visited: 28/1/16
Address: 23 Barangaroo Rd, New South Wales 2146

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The Kettle Black | Melbourne

It’s not every day when a cafe is known more for their stunning architecture than their food. I don’t want to judge a cafe by its cover, but my is it pretty at The Kettle Black. Indeed, its fitout is no less than the best of the best – taking out first prize in Architecture AU’s best cafe design. The mosaic floors, the juggling of the old and the new (the left: a rather confrontingly modernist build, the right: a bleached Victorian terrace) and the wide open spaces within exudes beauty even through incongruence.

Of course, then there’s the food too. There’s the signature Kettle Black bun, delicious hotcakes and an array of savouries that has yet to lose its lustre. It’s no wonder why The Kettle Black’s one of Melbourne’s hottest cafes right now, and perhaps will continue to be for some time.

Date Last Visited: 5/12/2015
Address: 50 Albert Road,South Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): king island crayfish roll, KB hotcakes, pulled pork benedict

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Koi Dessert Bar by Reynold Poernomo | Chippendale

In Japanese, Koi is a verb meaning “come”, or via another written form, (romantic) love. It also happens to denote the carp fish, which is a common tattoo seen on the backs of Japanese Yakuza members. Yeah, it’s lovey-dovey, as well as badass.

Masterchef 2015 contestant Reynold Poernomo has mostly-aptly named his long-awaited dessert bar after this versatile word – this is a dessert with a fresh attitude. For the sugar lovers – there is no question but to come to Koi Dessert Bar!

Date Last Visited: 10/1/2016
Address: 42-44 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): chocolate mousse sphere, coconut panna cotta

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Minamishima | Richmond, Melbourne

Stepping through the ostensibly ho-hum glass doors that guard the entrance to Minamishima, you could be forgiven for holding an incredulous attitude at claims that this is Melbourne’s best sushi restaurant and indeed, rivals even the best Sydney has to offer.

Of course, despite the back-street entrance to what appears more to be an innocuous block of apartments than a restaurant, you wouldn’t turn back now. Be glad you didn’t, because Minamishima is everything they say it is, and quite possibly a bit more.

Say hi to my favourite sushi restaurant in Australia!

Date Last Visited: 4/12/2015
Address: 4 Lord St, Richmond VIC 3121
Highlight courses: aburi flounder, ootoro nigiri, anago nigiri, sakura ice cream & adzuki yokan

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The Paddington Cover

Merivale’s The Paddington | Paddington

Any chef within Merivale’s environment is already a name to be talked about amongst Sydney’s food enthusiast circles, that much is for sure. But Ben Greeno resounds louder than most – the man behind the (then) three-hatted Momofuku Seiobo, he is commonly described as one of Australia’s best chefs.

It would be expected that a man of such talent would strive for greater heights with each career change, perhaps one day taking to the world stage. Instead, off he went to Merivale, to work at The Paddington – a pub. Well, that’s a bit of a plot twist.

Date Last Visited: 26/12/2015
Address: 380 Oxford Street,Paddington, Sydney, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): the chiggen

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Cooh Cover

Cooh Organic Cafe | Alexandria

The only way you’re ever going to get me to learn geography is through food. That’s how I went cooing for Cooh Cafe – originally from the suburb of Curl Curl. The heck? I suppose as a resident of Sydney’s South, it’s just a little bit out of reach for me, just like 20kg bicep curls.

My horrid experiences with weight training aside, Cooh is a cafe that’s anything but. And even better, you don’t even have to make the trek to Curl Curl any more – because these guys have recently moved to a newly renovated warehouse location in Alexandria, dishing up a variety of fare that you won’t readily find in every corner cafe down every other street. Cooh’s got its own spin on things, and it’s worth a shot!

Date Last Visited: 8/11/15
Address: 90-96 Bourke Road,Alexandria, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): tuna steak burger, Moroccan lamb salad, vegan gelato

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White Taro | Surry Hills

I’m taroble at intros, so I’m just going to tell you to try taro.

White Taro, specifically. It’s the newest cafe to pop up in Surry Hills, serving up reinvented Vietnamese cuisine with a Western twist. Cringing already? Don’t, because you’ll throw that authenticity badge you so proudly wear out White Taro’s kitchen window before you can say “bo kho”. Don’t believe me? Read on to find out!

I jest, one can never get tired of taro milk tea. If you do, your tastebuds are broken.

Date Last Visited:
Address: 67 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): any dish with White Taro’s grilled chicken in it

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Dinner By Heston Blumenethal | Melbourne & London

Dinner (noun)
The main meal of the day, taken either around MIDDAY or in the EVENING.
A formal evening meal, typically one in honour of a person or event.

This is a post on an establishment that could be considered an experience of the highest order, a world-class gem. Food that delights the palate, boisterous on flavour with genteel service to match. But then, when you’re talking about Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, you expect nothing less. Read on for all the culinary delights to follow!

Date Last Visited: 27/11/15 (Melbourne) | January 2014 (London)
Address: Level 3, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank (Melbourne) | 66 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London (UK)
Recommended Dish(es): marron & cucumber soup, rice & flesh, meat fruit, chicken & lettuce, tipsy cake, brown bread ice cream

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En Toriciya | Crows Nest

The Japanese dining scene in North Sydney can best be described in one word as abundant. I am very envious of Northern Sydneysiders that can, within a short drive, have their fill of yakiniku, JBBQ, ramen, sushi, soba and tempura and be guaranteed a quality feed. One restaurant adding its own version of Japanese charm to the Crows Nest precinct is En Toriciya (煙とりしや), sister restaurant of Cammeray’s Toriciya. But, as mentioned, Toriciya’s in crowded territory, so Chef Fukada’s not just going to slap some fish on rice and calling it a day. If you’re going to stand out, you’re going to go all out. I’m liking this attitude already.

Date Last Visited: 18/11/2015
Address: 104 Willoughby Road
Recommended Dish(es): Tasmanian sea urchin sashimi, assorted yakitori, charcoal grilled miso cod, dashi chazuke

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Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar | Redfern

I’ll just put it out there: I’m out qualified to review newly-opened Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar. I don’t regularly visit bars, and I’m about as authoritative on tea as I am on cooking. That is to say, I a murderer in the kitchen. So I should probably stop here, and cut my losses before I make a fool of myself.

But where’s the fun in that? Besides, if something’s going to get me to up my intake of a healthy beverage, it’s got to be good. Besides, did you know that they serve food too? Man, there’s just no shortage of surprises here. Who knows what I’ll find, down the Rabbit Hole we go!

Date Last Visited: 7/11/15
Address: 146 Abercrombie Street, Redfern, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): tea marbled egg & kimchi topped toast

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