Published in the Bondi View and City News.
Rest and recuperation are the orders of the day for me, so it’s lucky I have a big week of launches, lavish lollies and even a live musical event to rabbit on about…
Tip Top Tucker
If you’re going to eat meat, the ethical way to do so is to care about provenance. Supermarket giants have neatly anesthetised us from the reality of meat consumption, so it’s now time to jolt yourself back into using a more old-school form of butchery. I can think of no better place to do so than the Parsons Factory Feast Day, this Saturday 12th November, especially since the day includes the Coles' national pork buyer debating the ethics of pork production with a free-range pork farmer. Bring your esky and stock up on prime produce whilst watching butchering, fish filleting and live cooking demos.
I recently was lucky enough to join the food media glitterati at the luxurious launch of Restaurant Arras. Sipping on a 1999 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill I took in the clever recreation of a space that even the designer (Liz Boyd of Colourmark Design) refers to as a “white box”. It’s definitely an improvement from the formality of the old Becasse. Splashes of colour in the décor including an Az One graffiti wall are replicated in the eye-grabbing, candy-catching palettes that diners fill with petit fours from their truly ridiculous range! Bread service is also a highlight - be sure and sample the Happy Goblin beer bread, made in-house (like everything else). You’ll find Adam and Lovaine Humphrey are cooking a more expansive selection of modern European dishes. I was most taken with the Junee lamb with spring vegetables, mostly for the lollipop of lamb cutlet left on the bone - finger lickin’ good!
Sip, Slurp & Sup
If my tales of terrific dinners are tending to be torturous, gather up some mates and get yourself to a fancy do! There’s a ripper Sake Degustation on at one of my favourites, Restaurant Atelier, on Saturday 19th November. It’s ten courses and includes one of my most memorable palate pleasers, a free-range hen’s egg filled with foie gras and Per Se caviar. With sake matched to each course you’re sure to roll out of there satisfied even at $220/head. Less pricy, but no less exciting on the booze front, is the Thursday 17th November launch date for 2011 Beaujolais Nouveau. You’ll be able to taste it in French restaurants all about town (if you book ahead) but if you taste at La Mint in their 4-course $79/head menu, you’ll also get some Vietnamese touches too.
The Burgers Are Better
Would it surprise you if I told you this bangin’ board of baby burgers was available in a cinema? Going Gold Class just got that little bit more attractive, with Event Cinemas revealing a new and exciting menu this week overseen by Chef and Director of Culinary Operations Adam Petta. We’re talking real food cooked with top-notch produce, like Sonoma and Brasserie Bread’s excellent loaves, King Island Cheeses and Maggie Beer condiments. I predict pulled pork and slaw sliders will make it easier to lure your man to a chick flick.
Prince of Pub Pies
If you follow my columns avidly, you’ll recall me tasting a number of entries in the Coopers Pie’n Pale competition running last month. While I was most taken by the London Hotel’s classic ham hock entry, it seems you lot liked Pyrmont Point Hotel’s Nepalese Billygoat Pie. The ‘experts’ Mikey Robins, Joanna Savill, Colin Fassnidge (Four in Hand) and Glenn Cooper, the Coopers Chairman disagreed with us both, making The Arthouse Hotel the new home of the prince of pub pies, a Northern Territory Buffalo pie. Here’s hoping it stays on the menu for a while!
It certainly sounds like something shonky is going down in the toxic tug o'war over naming between Misschu and the new Madame Nhu reported in this week’s Short Black. Minh Nguyen’s newest restaurant Madame Nhu joins his stable of Xage and Summerrolls, who as I can attest won Best Vietnamese for their rice paper rolls back in the 2008 Best of Sydney edition I edited for this newspaper group. Frankly I think there’s space enough for more rice paper rolls in my diet, so I’d like to see both expanding empires succeed. In fact, the only Toxic I’d like to write about in this column is the one on Christa Hughes’ new album (and a corker of a Britney Spears cover it is too) launching this Friday night at The Basement. I’ll be taking my pre-launch bite as a dinner and show package - naming wars don’t win diners!