Driving through Orange NSW last month I got a behind-the-scenes peek at the Fresh Fodder factory. Max Schofield showed me through his rapidly expanding small business, and explained firsthand why his taramosalata is known as ‘the gangster dip’.
Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers.
With the upsurge of enthusiasm for pizza certified Napoli, it’s easy to lose sight of pizza styles popular across the rest of Italy. Add that Nicola Piteo slid his restaurant into an existing Italian spot, keeping the original name, and you get some idea of how his outstanding pizza has largely flown under the radar.
Last month I revisited Pastoral Smallgoods in Waterloo. Headed up by Jonathan Sankey, they were last year’s winner of the best Traditional Bone-In Leg Ham in the prestigious Australian Ham Awards run by Australian Pork Limited. A tour of their super-clean factory taught me a lot about the journey Aussie pork takes between the farm and our Xmas tables, with this busy little producer selling their award-winning hams to everyone from David Jones Foodhall to ALDI.
David Yip’s enthusiasm for what could broadly be termed stunt food is palpable. An ideas man, David is constantly thinking up new ways to make his dishes and cocktails fun. This is basically how I ended up with a rotating, dry ice billowing, Matcha Wheel ONE Tea Experience ($50/8 people) dominating my table for two.
From slickly modern private dining rooms, to texture-rich ceramics and stone, highlighted by natural light flooding into what must have been a difficult u-shaped space, DS17 have taken the lessons of Alpha and outdone themselves. Equally so, in Head Chef Chris Yan’s hands, the now-extensive menu builds upon the ideas germinated in Lotus’s initial Walsh Bay outlet, but far surpasses them.
Farmers’ markets are basically some of my favourite things. When weekend availability permits, I’ll click up the kilometres in order to check out locally grown or produced food offerings from areas including the Canberra district, the Southern Highlands and up north as far as Newcastle and Blackhead.
Bright, sunshiny colours and a cosy, welcoming interior transform this difficult corner space into the type of spot you’ll probably enjoy spending time in. Throw in a waitress with a Caribbean grandmother, and you’ll soon have the toasted coconut topped Bowl of Corn ($8) and vibrant, soupy Callaloo Greens ($8) on your table, with some idea about how to eat them.
With a convict-cum-chic menu, craft beers and views of the coat hanger, one of Sydney’s oldest pubs has reopened with a vengeance. Overlooking Barangaroo, it still has a certain quietness, with a whiff of potential; and with plans to open a penthouse bar upstairs, the owners are surely banking on this.
A woman walks into a bar, and two minutes later, she’s got her favourite Japanese beer in a can – Yona Yona Pale Ale ($11) - in hand, watching B-grade film clips, while casually eyeing off a diverse crowd venturing behind back-lit rice paper screens.