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About Jackie McMillan

I'm counting my blessings in being the Dining Editor for the Alternative Media Group. It provides me with countless opportunities to dine out in new and exciting restaurants every week. It's a tough job - especially on the waistline - but someone has to do it (and I'm very glad it's me). First and foremost I love good food and wine. I'm an intrepid explorer where it comes to good produce, and I will drive to the ends of the earth to meet primary producers, and to buy produce that excites me. I'm trying to be an ethical consumer, and (where possible) I buy local, pesticide, hormone and chemical free. But I admit that for me, taste is the final arbitrator, so yes, I eat foie gras. I love getting tips from fellow 'foodies' about good restaurants, and good new products - so drop me a line to jackie @ alternativemediagroup.com (remove the spaces) if you have tried something you think should feature in the Eat & Drink section of our publications. Regards, Jackie McMillan

Newtown Sushi Train

The words ‘sushi train’ don’t always fill me with the greatest of confidence. Too often I’ve been burned with boring, lack-lustre offerings. The first clue that this Newtown stalwart (opened in 2004) is different, is a glass cabinet featuring beautiful batons of sashimi-grade fish.

Food News – Korean Banquet

Alongside the Consul-General of Korea, Whie Jin Le, and a host of chefs and food media personalities from Danny Russo to Lyndey Milan, I attended the Korean Cultural Centre for a fabulous multi-course Korean Banquet Showcase. We were treated to an array of dishes, including seasonal hwe (Korean-style sashimi) of abalone, salmon, kingfish and cuttlefish, and Korean pancakes (jun) with flavourings like zucchini, mung beans and oysters.

Indu

Tantalising glimpses of working chefs through a George Street window box; a well-dressed hostess highlighting the way into the basement off Angel Place… restaurateur Sam Prince sure knows how to generate excitement and intrigue. Switching out guacamole for Tableside Coconut Sambol ($14) and milk buns, Prince harnesses what he did for Mexican at Méjico to give South Indian a much-needed face-lift.

Food News – Xmas Tipples

When I want to drink Japanese whisky I head to Tokyo Bird. And this Surry Hills small bar is making it hard not to want to drink whisky on Tuesday 22 December with their inaugural Christmas Whisky Dinner ($135/person).

One Ford Street

Some restaurants manage to slide effortlessly into the fabric of the Sydney dining scene, simply by encapsulating the type of food we want to be eating right now. One Ford Street, tucked in behind the Cricketers Arms, is one such restaurant, serving up fresh and unfussy, modern Italian food.

Food News – Hereford Red Beef

Nutritionist and cattle farmer, James Bjorksten, is producing some of the best grass-fed beef I’ve eaten under the name of Hereford Red Beef. The cream coloured fat is simply magnificent, leading to a super-tasty steak that literally melts in your mouth.

Gelatony

When I arrived at Gelatony, Antonino Lo Iacono was making gelato. This might not sound surprising, but with so many places buying in product or importing the base, it’s important. When we sit down over a Flat White ($3.50) he brings me the smoothest gelato I’ve ever tasted.

Zilver Bondi

Granted you could view this new Westfield Bondi Junction opening simply as an excuse not to schlep into the city from the Eastern Suburbs for your regular Cantonese fix, however if you scratch beneath the surface, there’s more than meets the eye.

Food News – Elijah Holland

The Powder Keg has so far been my favourite bar of the last twelve months, mostly for the cooking of Elijah Holland. His foraging for edible flowers and beach plants even prompted René Redzepi to meet with him on his recent trip to Australia.

Otto Ristorante

“John Laws had lunch at Otto today,” my UberX driver informs me when he sees my destination. I’m apparently his second trip to this famous waterfront spot - operated by The Fink Group, who also have Quay, The Bridge Room and Firedoor in their stable. With its reputation preceding it, I was surprised to find an accessible menu of every-day food, starting with vibrantly green asparagus, broad beans and peas hiding Buffalo Ricotta ($27).