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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

Mum’s Table

“Pho is a beef noodle broth,” says Mylisa Nguyen (ex-LuMi Dining) emphatically, before continuing: “there’s nothing vegetarian in Vietnamese food.”

Food News – New Dining Options

Despite the colder weather inclining us to stay indoors, Sydney’s restaurateurs have been busy diversifying our dining options this winter. I recently popped into Walsh Bay’s Lotus Dumpling Bar for a steamer basket of prawn dumplings and scallop shumai, only to hear they’re kicking things up to the next level with Lotus Galeries opening this month in the heart of the CBD.

The Devonshire

Affable Restaurant Manager Craig McCall tells me to think of this spot as my “neighbourhood fine diner”. And, after I finish scraping the last skerrick of Devonshire Crème Brulee ($16) with scone ice cream and decadent cherry jam, out of the dainty teacup, I muse he’s exactly right.

This Week’s Food News – Madame Truffles

What do truffles smell and taste like? Mushrooms, old socks, male pheromones, forest floor, umami and sex were all thrown about during my visit to Madame Truffles.

Mama’s Buoi

Salty, sweet, sour and... not. Fried Chicken Ribs ($10) with chilli-lime glaze were touted as the entrée to choose if you like it hot, but they lack any sort of real chilli kick.

Fix St James

The gentleman at the next table is wooing his date with stories of ICAC. He gestures to another table explaining that they’re barristers, working on a three-week case.

Food News – Izba Russian Treats

While I know my pirozhki (filled Russian buns) from my blini (pancakes) I must admit to being a bit lost with Russian cakes. Olga Rogacheva from Izba Russian Treats in Newtown helped me get up to speed, ahead of her new store’s grand opening in Broadway Shopping Centre.

Food News – Nissos Craft Beer

After meeting personable founder of Nissos Craft Beer, Alexandros Kouris, I was keen to give his beer a whirl. What I found was a lovely, clean and refreshing pilsner, with enough flavour not to be boring.

Alpha Restaurant

During his recent visit to Australia promoting Nissos Beer, founder Alexandros Kouris, told me Alpha Restaurant produced the best Greek food he had in Sydney. Sliding into the stately restaurant, that simultaneously summons monumental history and lazy days by the seashore, I start to see why.

Barrel Bar & Dining

Twenty-six year old Zac Stanning​ (ex-Public Dining Room) has been a head chef for six months. Teaming that with a triumvirate of owners - Stephen Thompson, Tony Binning and Alex Searle – “all sommeliers by profession”, and you have what could be a recipe for disaster.