Published in the Bondi View and City News.
From bars you enter by heading to the restrooms to pop-up cafes and markets, this week I’m all about delivering to you some of Sydney’s more secretive delights.
Nothing Beats A Beer
I knew I was in for an adventure when I entered the Kirketon boutique hotel and was told to go through the black doors marked ‘Restrooms’. The tucked away bar you find at the end of the corridor is quite surprising. Moody and dimly lit, it’s got the look of an apothecary. You’ll feel like you’ve joined a secret society of drinkers back in Prohibition days.
Considering how cutting edge cool Eau de Vie looks, the crowd surprises me. Rather than scene-queens and socialites, they’re relaxed and understated. They seem to take drinking seriously, and with not one but two award-winning bartenders from the latest round of the World Class Cocktail Competition serving up drinks, they’ve come to the right place.
I was lucky enough to get a mug of Luke Redington’s winning entry for Best Seasonal Cocktail called the Bloomsbury Bitter. It sums up the taste of Sydney’s summer perfectly – after all, what goes down better on a hot day than a cold beer? Well if you ask me – Luke’s wonderful concoction featuring Tanqueray No. Ten gin, an egg-white ‘head’ and beer syrup he whips up using Knappstein’s lovely lager. Maybe if you ask nicely he’ll make you one too…
Secret Sangria Society
Nestled at the end of Kings Lane, behind the Republic courtyard, Lotforty have a new enticement for the clever Sydneysiders that can find them! It’s called the Lotforty Sangria Club. With ten-buck jugs of red and white sangria made on Square One Organic Vodka, and a tapas deal for two dishes and a jug for thirty bucks, there’s reason to ask for directions one Wednesday or Thursday evening. Keep your ears open for the waft of smooth Spanish tunes and the clink of cocktails.
Saltbush & Solar Panels
As well as producing amazing sheep that graze on drought resistant salt-bush, Wellington Farm Lamb has another secret weapon against global warming - they're now a renewable energy source. Owner Tim Wood explains: “To add another dynamic to our farm’s sustainability we now have a 10kw solar system installed which on average throughout the year will generate enough electricity to cover the farm’s operating requirements. This is particularly exiting to me as we are doing our bit to minimise our reliance on the non-renewable energy sector, like dirty coal fired power stations, and subsequently reducing carbon dioxide emissions.” Nothing tastes better than lamb cutlets that save the planet!
While we’re on tasty things that are good for the planet, head on down to The Rocks this month for a pop-up design installation and waste-free café called Greenhouse. Designer Joost Bakker has come up with some great ways to employ recycled materials in a building that can also produce food organically! Sustainably produced snacks including breads, pastries, pizza and yoghurt will be produced under the power from generator that reuses cooking oil to create energy!
Malaysian Hawker Food
Also popping up this month is a chance to experience the tempting tastes and incredible aromas of a Malay hawker food market. You’ll find it magically appears in the State Theatre Laneway between the 16th -18th February, 2011. Get your fill of Malaysia’s best dishes including my favourite creamy coconut curry, Beef Rendang, as well as flaky Roti and steaming bowls of Laksa. Expect to find signature dishes from Sydney’s best Malay entries including Mamak, Jimmy’s Recipe and Chinta Ria, alongside suburban gems like Concord’s Jackie M.