Firedoor Restaurant | Surry Hills

LuMi Bar & Dining | Pyrmont

An experience at Pyrmont's LuMi Bar & Dining is like a box of Swiss chocolates - you're not entirely sure if what you'll get, but you know it's damn good.

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Firedoor Restaurant | Surry Hills

Firedoor Restaurant | Surry Hills

Through the fire and flames Lennox Hastie bursts. His restaurant Firedoor in Surry Hills, like the eponymous flame, is here, and blazes in brilliance.

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Sokyo Ramen | The Star, Pyrmont

Sokyo Ramen | The Star, Pyrmont

Picture the look of glee on my face when, after months of ramen experimentation (teased via his Instagram account), he finally announced the Sokyo Ramen popup at The Star for the next three months. I didn’t walk, nor did I run. I flew.

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En Toriciya Cover

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 Cover

Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar | Surry Hills

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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Aubergine Cover

Aubergine Restaurant | Griffith, Canberra

A restaurant named after an eggplant, that doesn’t serve the eponymous on the menu. What gives – I ought to be incensed! Even The Fat Duck wouldn’t dare not put duck on its menu, right?

But then, when every table in sight is covered for the night, I knew that Canberra’s Aubergine restaurant is doing something right!

Date Last Visited: 31/10/2015
Address: 18 Barker St, Griffith ACT 2603
Recommended Dish(es): wagyu rib & black garlic, brown butter ice cream w/frozen verbena milk

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Neil Perry's Burger Project Cover

Burger Project by Neil Perry | Sydney CBD

Grand lesson in life tend to come from trusted sources of wisdom. My parents? Fair enough – they’ve got years of experience on me. My teachers? Same deal. My boss? Yeah, I’m seeing a pattern here. A burger joint – wait, what?

And yet, a profound lesson is exactly what I received from Neil Perry’s Burger Project. Unfortunately, it was an education at his expense: don’t visit a new establishment in its first month of operation. Ouch, but true. The details are in the second part of this post, but suffice to say – I was not a fan of Burger Project when it opened late in last 2014. It was a 5/10 experience (using current scoring), and I saw very little reason to return. Those milkshakes sadly did not bring me to the yard.

Time passed, and I recently caught wind about Burger Project’s plans to expand to Martin Place (MLC food court), five stores in Melbourne, and even internationally. Positive feedback from burger fiends had been accumulating at some length now. Staff had begun to listen, and before I knew it, here was a phoenix of a burger joint before me. Burger Project has been reborn, so here I stand, in its yard once more.

Date Last Visited: 25/8/15  (four extra visits) 2/11/14
Address: (TBC – November 2015) MLC Centre, King St & Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000Shop 1106 644 George St Sydney, NSW 2000 (adjacent to DTF)Recommended Dish(es): the double, the bacon project, spicy fried chicken burger

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Bar Luca Cover

Burgers of Bar Luca | Sydney CBD

Right now, Bar Luca is possibly one of the hottest names in Sydney burger scene. Once upon a time, it was JAB – Just Another Bar. More so, JAB in Sydney’s CBD. It’s a crowded market. One day, it got the attention of a group known as the Fatties Burger Appreciation Society, which itself grew from a mere handful of members to over 20,000 as of this week (congrats guys!). This group has burger clout, and definitely has an influence on Sydney burgerdom. The rest is as they say – AN EXPLOSION OF POPULARITY.

Here’s a true story: I’ve been to Bar Luca for burgers more than I have been to any other burger joint in my life. No Maccas, you don’t count. The thing is, head chef & owner Sarah Robbins knows how to flip a darn good piece of meat and put it between buns. The burgers at Bar Luca are one of Sydney’s standouts, and it’s only an eight minute walk from where I work. Suffice it to say, I’m not going to be burning off those burger calories on the way there.

How many times have I been, you ask? Try twelve. The holy trinity of quality, proximity, and BURGERS. Let’s deep dive.

Date Last Visited: 11/11/15
Address: 52 Phillip Street, CBD, Sydney,NSW
Recommended Dish(es): usually the special of the week, else the cheeseburger/wagyu beef burger

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Muse Restaurant Cover

Muse Restaurant @ Hungerford Hill | Hunter Valley

I ought to be hitting myself over the head with a bottle of nice shiraz. In all of over ten visits to the captivating Hunter Valley region, I have never considered having a meal at Muse Restaurant, situated at the Hungerford Hill winery.

What a longstanding mistake that has been – it’s time I corrected it.

Date Last Visited: 26/9/15
Address: 1 Broke Rd, Pokolbin, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): Muse Coconut, 70 hr slow-cooked wagyu 

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Jack's Burgers Newtown Cover

Jack’s Burgers | Newtown

You’ve got to love a click bait headline – Good Food knows how to drive traffic when it outs an article called “Is this Sydney’s Best Burger?” Probably not, but ask the question anyway and the traffic will come. However, in burgerland, the words “Shake Shack” is legendary, and by no means is it click bait to say that Shake Shack is the inspirational fuel behind newly opened Jack’s Burgers.

But why is an American fast food burger joint so revered? It’s difficult to pin it down to just one aspect – but the sourcing of high quality beef & applewood smoked bacon, the variety of delicious milkshakes on offer, crinkle cut fries and a sense of just plain effective & cordial service are just some of the reasons offered by devotees.

So when Jack’s opened up in – you guessed it – Newtown, channeling the Shake Shack philosophy and raining it down on our very own Sydney, we parted with our collective rational minds. Read on to see if you also need to part with your money!

Date Last Visited: 29/10/15
Address: 170 Missenden Road, Newtown, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): you should get a burger

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MLC Food Centre Cover

MLC Food Centre | Martin Place, Sydney

Food courts: the quick feed, the sole choice for fickle diners, the option of last resort? Is this the kind of rap they get? Nobody’s expecting hatted dining here. Food courts are great – there’s usually something for everyone, prices are generally reasonable, and most importantly, they’re a quick option. They have their place.

Of course, like everything else, food courts (or food centres if you want to get all schmancy on me) must roll with the times. Indeed, one of the biggest shifts in food hall renovation has been occurring a mere two-minute walk from my workplace.

Of course, I speak of the MLC Centre food court. AKA my local, and I could barely recognise it post-facelift!

Date Last Visited: 25/9/15 (multiple visits)
Address: Corner King St & Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000

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Sydney Night Noodle Markets 2015

[Continuously Updated] Sydney Night Noodle Markets 2015

Folks, it’s that time of the year again. It’s time to get your slurp on for Sydney Good Food Month’s highlight event!

Although, if you’ve read my coverage on 2014 & 2013‘s iterations on the Sydney Night Noodle Markets, you’ll quickly pick up the irony at how few noodle dishes I actually consumed. Thing is, the NNM is all about three things: atmosphere (company), variety, and last but just as important – novelty. With that in mind, my coverage will try and cover primarily whacky/must-try dishes that may not be easily obtained elsewhere.

Naturally, I will still pay lip service to a few old favourites –  nothing wrong with a little bit familiar comfort! Now, let’s get reporting – your unofficial but hopefully super-comprehensive guide to the Night Noodle Markets – to be frequently updated!

Date Last Visited: 17/10/15
Address: Hyde Park, Sydney
Recommended Dishes: see post for highlights

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Silvereye Cover

Silvereye Restaurant | Chippendale, Sydney

Wow, where do I even begin? Perhaps with a geographical bent. Here goes:

Copenhagen: home Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants. You may have heard of this place. Or if not – Rene Redzepi? Possibly the most influential chef in the world right now.

Chippendale: the trendiest food suburb of 2015. I could list many examples, but Automata & Reynold Poernomo deliver more than enough rep.

What do Copenhagen and Chippendale have in common? Nothing….except Silvereye. Welcome to Noma alum Sam Miller’s take on world-class cuisine, right here in our own backyard.

Date Last Visited: 2/10/2015
Address: L1, The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Highlight Dish(es): parsnip, beetroot & blackcurrant, cherry blossom & pumpkin, milk tart

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