As the lift zoomed up to Level 36 of the swanky Shangri-la and I set foot into the New York-inspired Blu Bar, I was greeted by the image of the man who designed the 2014 official Oscars cocktail giving a fellow bartender a bollocking over a mishap with a whipped cream canister.
“It’s like meat butter,” my dining companion exclaims, gesturing with half a two-bite Cannolo alla Mortadella ($4/each) in her hand. It’s crude, but apt: the balsamic cannoli come rolled in pistachio and filled with imported Italian mortadella that has been fashioned into pâté.
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.
Raw, organic and vegan are three words that I tend to ignore in my day-to-day life, unless I’m at Pana Chocolate in Alexandria, where it’s literally impossible to do so. But why turn down an opportunity to broaden my horizons and satiate the appetite of my vegan best friend?
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.
It doesn’t feel like a food court restaurant inside a shopping mall, in fact it doesn’t feel like you’re inside at all. Mrs Mi in Chatswood Chase brings the authentic taste of Northern China's Shanxi region into what appears to be a bustling and vibrantly coloured street-side location.
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.
I approached this month’s Smooth Festival of Chocolate like I would if I were shopping while starving: I literally threw anything that looked remotely delicious into my trolley (aka: mouth). After avoiding breakfast, so I could have as much room available for edible decadence as possible, I started my cacao journey at Chocolate Del Mondo, where I dived face first into a Volcanic Chocolate Eruption ($10).
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.
There is a wonderful elegance to the brand new Yayoi Teishoku Japanese Restaurant, and it’s all about balance. Light wood panels divide up the space, surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, with iPads on every table.