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This Week's Column - Hold Off Hibernation



Published in the City Hub and City News.

With each passing day, winter draws nearer. The inevitable arrival of the cold always fills me with a sense of desperation; an urgent need not to waste any sunshine that happens to flow my way. So do use the merry month of May to hold off hibernation and fatten up on foodie pleasures to survive the long winter ahead. After all, bikinis rarely look quite so far away…




Positively Pyrmont

Area-specific festivals are a great way to uncover the hidden delights of a dining area you don’t visit very often. With its proximity to both the city and waterfront, Pyrmont is one such area worth exploring. It will be turning it on for twelve days from the 3rd-15th May with the Pyrmont Festival 2011. One thing I personally like about Pyrmont is that it eschews the parking problems you’ll find on the other side of Darling Harbour; which is why you’ll find me at my favourite little Harris Street haunt, Sushi Club, at least once a week!
www.pyrmontfestival.com



Last week I also visited one of the neighbourhood’s most acclaimed restaurants, Blue Eye Dragon. Not only is it housed in a quaint and spacious church school, it’s a stone’s throw from Star City, perfectly placed for a decent, pre-theatre bite. While you can check out my review for the complete low down on their stellar pork dumplings and mouth-watering salt and pepper soft shell crab, I’d like to mention their event in this year’s festival. In partnership with some lovely Mudgee drops from Mongrel Vineyard and Lowe Wines, they’re offering a fully inclusive ten-course banquet for a mere eighty bucks. It’s a bargain (and one you might need to book quickly if you wish to take up) and a chance to see one of Pyrmont’s top-notch eateries in action.
www.blueeyedragon.com.au



Race Around The Rocks
If you need more incentive to dive into a different dining area, how does a hundred dollar gift voucher sound? If you take a race around The Rocks and Circular Quay, stamping off restaurants in your Tour de Foodie passport whilst enjoying a twenty-five dollar meal with a drink, you can collect the voucher to spend in your favourite! I suggest you gather a few mates, have lunch at Searock Fish Café then take in the cool anti-establishment Salon des Refuses exhibition of artworks that DIDN’T make the Archibald Prize's final cut, on at the National Trust of Australia until the 19th June. Afterwards head on down to the Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café for an essential post-art chocolate fix, and another little stamp. I took a trip down there myself, purely for research purposes, so keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming review of their heavenly shakes.
www.bestfunctions.com.au



Punish a Piñata
May is also the month to go to Mexico, with the traditional Mexican festival Cinco de Mayo falling on Thursday 5th. If, like me, your finances can’t stretch quite that far, get your ass into a Beach Burrito, Montezuma or Taco Bill and throw down a Cuervo Margarita. Once sufficiently buzzed, you can then don a blindfold and punish a piñata in the hopes of extracting Australia’s one and only ‘Golden Ticket’! Only the winner (and their lucky partner) will be able to tell us if Oompa-Loompas are indeed employed to make tequila in the Cuervo Distillery, in the town of Tequila, Mexico.
www.cuervo.com



Planning Your Winter Escape
Now since we’re talking hibernation, let me mention that I’ve always been partial to liberal smear of cream cheese on my blueberry bagel. So my interest was piqued by the new Philadelphia Cream for Desserts (RRP $3.69). It’s a double cream alternative that manages to do the job with only half the fat. It’s got complexity and tang, which makes it a little bit like sour cream, a little bit like cream cheese. So if you’re planning a winter escape, making your next bikini moment a little closer than next summer, maybe you might like to check it out? Just sayin’…
www.loveitshamelessly.com.au