Published in the City Hub and City News.
Foreign Foodie Flick
According to writer Christian Lander, it is “required by white-person law that you publicly declare foreign cinema to be better than Hollywood movies” so you better go watch some, at the 14th Japanese Film Festival. Flavor of Happiness on Thursday 25th November at 6.30pm includes mouth-watering delights like crab dumplings, steamed sea perch and Chinese deep-fried chicken in a picturesque Japanese seaside town. One mouthful can bring happiness at the ‘Little Shanghai’…
This year’s Cruelty Free Festival on Sunday 7th November includes a few new tasty reasons to visit Belmore Park in Haymarket. As you graze your way through a variety of stalls designed to tempt you into a more cruelty-free existence, keep your eyes peeled for a stall by Nourishing Quarter run by Lam Dinh. His new Cleveland Street restaurant is full of quirky furnishings and food that blends Latin American, South East Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. You’ll also find soy burgers from Bounty Burgers; juices from the Earth Vegan Café at Newtown’s Samadhi Yoga; and great vegan pies from Bondi’s Funky Pies. Plus there are chances to adopt a pet, and a load of entertainment set on two stages.
There’s nothing like the juice of a young coconut to quench your thirst on a hot day. The Pacifikans have known it for years, and now Nudie have brought out a range perfectly timed for the warmer weather. They’ve got the nutritionist’s tick of approval too. Zoe Bingley-Pullin says: "Coconut water has phenomenal hydrating properties, making it the perfect natural hydrator for an Australian summer.” You can drink it straight up, or with flavours like lychee and lime, or pineapple, orange and passionfruit at independent retailers across Australia for a RRP $3.50. Personally I prefer it with vodka - each to their own. Since we’re talking all things Nudie, did you know they’re now also producing the perfect 'take-home' size - a two-litre bottle - with nothing but 21 Australian oranges or 20 apples squished into the bottle? Don’t expect to find any nasties, concentrates, sugar or water in there with them either – just pure, natural juice. Find them for a RRP $5.99 at places like BI-LO.
Speaking of fruity beverages, I tried an excellent range of Swedish ciders from Rekorderlig over the weekend. They’re a new import and they knock most of the pear ciders I have tried (and I’ve sampled a few) out of the water! If you’re drinking in the sun, nothing goes down easier on a hot day than these puppies. Their new Strawberry and Lime cider probably needs a few mint leaves to take the edge of the sweet, but chuck them in and you’ve got a quaffer. The apple’s pretty good too… but for me it was all about those crisp, juicy, green pears – a squeeze of lime tarts it up a treat!
Yeah, all right I’m starting early, but my desk is groaning with great book ideas for that hard-to-please colleague. While I was getting into the book below, I was munching on some cute Christmas cupcakes from Sparkle Cupcakery in Surry Hills. For the whole month of December you can enjoy super-moist spiced cupcakes filled with gooey brandy butter cream; or mouth-refreshing peppermint chocolate cupcakes topped with smashed candy canes. They come in glam black boxes tied with red ribbons, so why not take an Xmas Dozen ($33) to your work do? You’ll make friends and influence people…
The Cook’s Bookshelf
Heart & Soul (RRP $39.95) by Graeme Lofts.
This book is laid out like a magazine article and reads like advertorial in Gourmet Traveller Wine, or a corporate mission statement for the top families of wine in Australia. You’d have to be a dedicated student of the history of the Australian wine industry to get much out of this, beyond some pretty pictures (of which there are many) and the occasional interesting nugget of information. Frankly it gets a bit old testament in places with Jacob begat Johann begat Thomas etc. Genealogists may enjoy, but at forty bucks, you’d learn more about good Australian wine by spending it on a bottle of Shaw and Smith M3 Vineyard Chardonnay.