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?
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.
Anyone who’s known me longer than a DJ set will be aware that I’m not typically the dessert type; but who am I to pass up the opportunity to attend Anna Polyviou’s increasingly popular Sweet Street sugar festival?
Margaritas, a mariachi band and a Naked Lady in each hand... what more could you ask for on a Wednesday night? Overtaking Spice Cellar's spot on Elizabeth Street is Barrio Chino's new venture – Barrio Cellar: a late night Mexican cantina bar that trades until 3am.
Emerging from the lift into this darkened space your eyes are instantly captivated by the panoramic city view. Head Chef Darren Templeman has brought over much of what I loved from Restaurant Atelier, though his new iconic Harry Seidler-designed location means he’s obliged to paint with a broader brush.
It’s 6.30am and the first rays of sun are peeking through farm equipment and glistening spiders’ webs. A truckload of Tumbarumba Chardonnay grapes are already being unpacked by winemaker Nick Spencer, and his offsider Hamish Young. Their duelling forklifts perform a skilful ballet of weighing then pouring grapes and free-run grape juice into the destemmer.
Say the words: Pana Chocolate, and most vegans start grinning. Those in the know say, it’s quite possibly the best vegan chocolate out there, and many list Cinnamon as a firm favourite.
Pickled heirloom carrots - in Pickles, Chicken Skin, Wasabi ($12) - are a delightful way to cleanse the palate and commence your Bar H Dining adventure, especially when they’re topped with deep-fried chicken skin.