November 14th, 2012

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Bar Fly

IWI-151112 Bar Fly
Published in the City Hub, Inner West Independent and City News.

Here are two more bars from the resident Bar Fly, Rebecca Varidel. Catch more of her musings on Inside Cuisine.

WEBThe Newtown Hotel

174 King Street, Newtown (02) 9557 6399
Keystone Group has really surprised us with its latest gig. It’s neon glitzy and sequinned glamorous without the feel of a big group operator. The wait has been worth it. Somehow they’ve retained something of Newtown in their sexy update. Head upstairs to The Animal (named for party animals bartender Amanda tells us) for even sexier stuff. Cocktails ($15 - $18) all have a story: Florodora Sextette (Tanqueray gin, raspberry, rose, lemon, orange bitters, ginger beer), Janis Joplin (based as you would expect on Jack Daniels), Bigger Than Jesus or Keith Richards Coconut Incident. We love how the wines are listed / glass / 500ml carafe / 1 litre carafe / or bottles by price. Great cider range. Funky music. What’s not to love? Oh yeah, weekends are crazy busy: totally give a weeknight the first hit.

The Animal on Urbanspoon

1 Harris Street, Pyrmont (02) 9571 5503
You’d be forgiven for thinking that all eyes would be on the wonderful wine list (Australian and international - all cracking good I might add, and all hand picked from Fine Wine Partners by passionate Zebra Lounge owner Craig Jarman) - or on the black and white zebra stripes inside - if you haven’t been here. Yet, those who have know: Zebra Lounge has 180 degree water views. Better still, it faces west – meaning water and sunset views. Now that they’re opened after dark, Chilean Head Chef Eric Neira has introduced a tapas delight, by way of stunning food from his mother Maria’s ceviche through to blueberry soufflé for dessert. Wines and food change weekly. Craft beers are good too. Sounds expensive? Well it’s not. They’re keeping it real. Don’t let the locals keep this night-time secret to themselves…

Zebra Lounge on Urbanspoon
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Food News

IWI-151112 Food News

Published in the City Hub, Inner West Independent and City News.

All signs are pointing to some scorching summer days ahead, so right now I’m road-testing beverages to find my perfect summer drink. I’m pretty taken with the new Bulmers Ginger (RRP $6.50/500ml) – it’s got a hefty ginger bite, a hint of lemon, and goes down very easy over ice. It screams barbeque to me, particularly if you like Asian flavours on your barramundi. I’ve also been getting into the start of the seafood season accompanied by light, citrusy Cascade Blonde (RRP $15.99/6-pack); and I’ve even given Strongbow Summer Fruit Ciders (RRP $14.99/4-pack) a whirl. They’re fruity and fun – the Mango and Passionfruit was my favourite – and they're nothing like the Strongbow of old that might have you turning your nose up...

Yoghurt has never really been my thing. I cook with it, but would never reach into the fridge and enjoy it as a snack - until I discovered Ruby & Roy’s that is! It’s so thick and creamy, now I’ll even scoff it plain! So when Chobani Greek Yoghurt came along, you could say I was already primed. Sure it’s not quite as creamy as my favourite brand, but it is a good Aussie-made plain yoghurt. Chobani also bury some pretty tasty pureed fruit at the bottom of their 170g (RRP $1.99) tubs – the pineapple and mango both get my kiss of approval. You can pick up Ruby and Roy’s at Leichhardt Fresh, and Chobani from Pyrmont SupaIGA.

As I write this, the Rosé Revolution is launching nation-wide. It’s a time to celebrate drinking dry, textural Rosé wine. You can participate by choosing a Rosé wherever you happen to buy wine, and if you’d like to tell others about your drink of choice, use the hash tag #roserev on Twitter. You should also remember, drinking pink is not just for women! My male companion loved the 2010 Chateau la Mascaronne Cotes de Provence Quat'Saisons Rose (RRP $34) I brought home as much as I did. With a beguiling salmon pink hue, raspberry aroma and clean, dry finish, it’s basically a poster-child for the kind of Rosé I like to drink. Consider it Sunday afternoon in a glass, and with it now imported by the crew at Global Grapevine, you can experience a little ‘Sunday afternoon’ on any day of the week...

While I’ve diligently been road testing wine and summer beverages for you all, I’ve also been cooking at home. I’ve been getting into Angelo’s Foods Piri Piri Sauce (RRP $9.90). The medium to me seems to pack the right amount of flavour to kick ratio, though (heathen that I am) I find myself longing for a hint of sweetness. As a result I’ve been teaming it with ham and pineapple as a zesty pizza sauce – otherwise known as the perfect excuse to crack open a beverage! If you’re feeling lazy, they also make a Mushroom Sauce (RRP $12.90) that doesn’t need ornamenting – just throw in some cream and pasta is on the table! Better yet, you’ll only find their range in independent stores like Rozelle’s Essential Ingredient.