You’ve probably noticed kombucha popping up at farmers’ and organic markets across town. It’s a fermented tea beverage, popular among a range of cultures (Chinese, Japanese and Russian to name a few) for thousands of years.
On Tuesday 20 October, the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce held their third Seafood Spectacular to launch Where the Locals Go—a guide promoting the best of the Pyrmont Ultimo precinct.
Our understated country waitress is effortlessly beautiful. She gestures casually out one window to show where the 2014 Logan Sauvignon Blanc ($12/glass) comes from, then the other to indicate the origins of the Pressed Duck ($36) with lentils and heirloom carrots.
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.
In the realm of adult soft drinks, richly red Sin-kō-nah Tonic Syrup [RRP: $24/200ml] is right up there, and what’s more, it’s Australian. In fact, owner Sarah Robins tells me, Sin-kō-nah “will soon be the only Australian-made tonic syrup as Blood Moon Tonic is closing down.” Expect a bittersweet edge from this drink, which contains about a third less sugar than other tonic waters.
I spent 24-hours in Orange last weekend taking in some key events at the 2015 Orange Wine Festival. The highlight of my visit was the Barrel to Bottle Chardonnay masterclass at my favourite winery in the region: De Salis Wines. Winemaker Charlie Svenson was incredibly candid and generous with both his winemaking techniques, and with pouring his museum release wines.
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’.
What type of person would pass up the opportunity to ingest copious amounts of vodka, wine and caviar whilst listening to Dan Aykroyd ramble on about the significance of Crystal Skulls and how they somehow relate to large-scale quantities of vodka and en masse marketing techniques?
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.
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).