January 4th, 2011

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Column - Provisions, Concoctions, Libations & Reservations

Published in the City Hub and City News.

Barbeque Bonanza
If you’re keen on a bit of a barbeque over summer you might need to follow in my footsteps to Alexandria for Establishment 218. After leaving the family wagon in the plentiful parking, you’ll don a thermal jacket and step into the massive cool room to select your vacuum packed beef at a whopping fifty percent cheaper than most butchers!

Next to me in the queue was in fact a butcher who said: “This is the future.” I asked him whether it would knock him out of business, but he was of the opinion that anything that gets people interested in eating more meat is a good thing for the industry.

The Establishment 218 model certainly knocks out the middleman. It also means you’re not paying for expensive Himalayan salt brick walls.

Instead you are buying meat directly from the abattoir – they own Bindaree Beef in Inverell (northern NSW). You’ll also find pork, lamb and game, plus grass fed and organics in their cool room, and butchers on hand to cut any of the pieces to your exact specifications. All you need to is make space in your freezer!
29-31 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria (02) 9690 0979

Darlo Ice Creamery
Does Darlinghurst like ice cream enough to support it’s own ice creamery? Jeromy Last is hoping the answer is yes! He recently left his career as a soldier in Surveillance and Target Acquisition which included tours in Iraq, for something a bit more smile-worthy – a Cold Rock store right on Oxford Street. During my visit last week, a mere three days in, he candidly agreed: "It's definitely a risk.” For those not in the know, Cold Rock is a chain of ice-creameries based around the idea of blending premium ice cream with a range of fruit, nuts, biscuits and confectionaries by smashing them together on a frozen slab of granite. You’ve done it in a bowl at home – now you can pay someone to mix them for you! My partner thinks their donut-flavoured milkshake is the bomb.
147 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst (02) 9360 0996 www.coldrock.com.au

Cold Rock & Pretzel World on Urbanspoon

Island Hopping
Make your next drink an adventure with a trip to The Island Bar on Cockatoo Island. Nothing spices up a cocktail like a waterfront destination that you arrive at by boat – it’s a twelve-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. Once there you’ll admire the funky industrial look of the bar (nicely in keeping with Cockatoo Island’s naval and maritime history) then settle yourself into a deck chair on the lawn to partake in ‘aperitivo’. The food and drink will be in the capable hands of mixologist Marco Faraone (Bacco, Chifley Plaza) – the weather of course is anyone’s guess. You might even catch an intimate acoustic set from someone fabulous. I’ve got my eye on a big bowl of Blind Beggars Punch ($24)… will report back!

Get With The Times
If you don’t make your restaurant bookings online now, you’re falling behind the times. Kingsley Smith rammed this home to me in a story about a 75-year-old lady who had been dining at the Bayswater site for the last 25 years. She recently surprised him when she wandered in waiving an email confirmation after jumping online to make a booking at the new Smiths on Bayswater, Australia’s first restaurant to only accept online bookings. Feeling a little passé, I went and had lunch with Dimmi founder Stevan Premutico. According to Stevan, Dimmi puts “a new customer in a restaurant every thirty seconds!” Being hip is not the only reason to use Dimmi – it’s also great for avoiding the inevitable restaurant phone tag game as you wait for a call back; and you can book online at any time, even at two in the morning! Better yet, Dimmi is free to use and if you use them often, they now reward you in dining vouchers ($50 every eight bookings you make). Might be a nice perk if you’re the company secretary making bookings for lunch? If granny can do it, so can I!