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  1. Barbecue King has been king in name only for many, many years. In Chinatown Emperor's Garden Barbecue and Noodles (the one on Thomas Street next door to a butchery) has been the favourite for char siu and roast pork for at least a decade.
  2. I'm biased, but I thought it was really good, especially for a bigger event. The wagyu sirloin pie with bits of seared wagyu steak, pumpkin puree and 'slaw from the Circa stand rocked, as did the vine leaf-wrapped quail leg from Three, One, Two (as seen at Cumulus Inc., too), the souvlaki with chips from The Press Club, the Muslim-style chicken curry with cucumber and the tapioca pudding from Longrain (not to mention the Thai-spiced Bloody Marys), the slow-poached egg in bacon broth with puffed rice from Interlude ... there was lots of great stuff there. The wagyu burger from The Bot was totally caning it. I was especially pleased to see all the chefs themselves turning up not just to strut their stuff at the chef's table and Gourmet Traveller demo kitchen, but actually manning their stands, doing the hard-yards cooking and talking to all the punters. Nice to see how much trouble they'd taken over their stands, too - Three, One, Two, Longrain, and the Stokehouse got my vote, though Jacques Reymond's stand was very classy too, and the Press Club guys went all out with musicians - the works. Looking forward to the Sydney event. Hopefully we'll be seeing a bit of an exchange program with some of the Melbourne chefs coming up and vice-versa.
  3. Quay was named the number one restaurant in Australia in the new Gourmet Traveller awards. Bistro Guillaume took out best new restaurant, The Royal Mail got regional restaurant of the year, and the guys at Bogega got best new talent. The rest are in the September issue of the mag and online here: http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/austral...uide_awards.htm
  4. Gourmet Traveller magazine has announced the nominations for this year's national restaurant awards: New Restaurant of the Year Giuseppe, Arnaldo and Sons, Melbourne, Vic Sassi at Balé, Port Douglas, Qld Bistro Guillaume, Melbourne, Vic Universal, Darlinghurst, NSW Berowra Waters Inn, Berowra, NSW Sommelier of the Year Lok Thornton, The Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic Emma Sputore, Must Winebar, Highgate, WA Lara Caraturo, Pilu at Freshwater, Harbord, NSW James Erskine, Auge, Adelaide, SA Nicole Reimers, Rockpool, Sydney, NSW Regional Restaurant of the Year Pacific Dining Room, Byron Bay, NSW Appellation, Barossa Valley, SA The Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic The Tea Rooms of Yarck, Yarck, Vic Sassi at Balé, Port Douglas, Qld Maitre d' of the Year Peter Marchant, Restaurant II, Brisbane, Qld Terry Soukoulis, Auge, Adelaide, SA Enrico Carnevali, Zafferano, Crawley, WA Liz Carey and Paul Guiney, Universal, Darlinghurst, NSW Simon Denton, Verge, Melbourne, Vic Best New Talent Adam Liston, The Melting Pot, Hyde Park, SA Dan Hunter, The Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, Vic Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz, Bodega, Surry Hills, NSW Hadleigh Troy, Restaurant Amusé, Perth, WA Pierre Roelofs, Interlude, Vic Bar of the Year The Lark, Paddington, Qld 1907, Perth, WA The Bayswater Brasserie, Kings Cross, NSW The Bowery, Fortitude Valley, Qld Gerald’s Bar, Carlton North, Vic Wine List of the Year The Royal Mail Hotel, Vic Balthazar, Perth, WA Pilu at Freshwater, Sydney, NSW Appellation, SA Belle Epoque, Brisbane, QLD The details are here: http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au/gourmet...rd_nominees.htm What do you reckon?
  5. Your best bet for a combination of recipes and up-to-date national restaurant reviews is probably Gourmet Traveller: http://gourmettraveller.com.au/
  6. AC Butchery in Leichhardt have it, and you should be able to order it from Vic's Meats and Pino's in Kogarah. The best I've seen lately is from Tony Sgro at Quattro Stelle - he's on the web and his salumi and sausages are generally of a very high standard.
  7. Gourmet Traveller has an excerpt from Turquoise and a round-up of the year's best books in their new Christmas issue. They've also just re-launched their website, and it has quite a lot of recipe content: http://www.gourmettraveller.com.au
  8. The bar has been raised: the NSW government has announced its intention to reform the Liquor Licensing Act to make it easier to open small bars and for restaurants to serve alcohol without food. See The Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/cautio...4329224837.html and The Daily Telegraph for details: http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/stor...5001021,00.html And watch www.raisethebar.org.au for further details.
  9. I ate at The Bulldog for the first time at the end of April, and I can confirm that it lived up to the sky-high expectations that must plague such a restaurant. The things that impressed me particularly, beyond many of the dishes already described (the spherical olives, beetroot meringue, yuzu sponge cake, haricot bean puree in Iberico, the raisins of PX accompanying, in our case, the anchovy with cardamom brioche, the wool and the butterfly were standouts among an almost flawless meal) were those moments when the kitchen pulled back from the technique a bit. The snail's eggs ("snails 'a la llauna'") and the asparagus in different cooking times were among those moments (I loved the tiny balls of frozen yolk with the asparagus) but "The Sea" was my favourite. It was really just eight or nine types of seaweed, presented very simply around a little waft of what I like to think was sea foam. No liquid nitro, not calcium chloride (as far as I know), just a brilliant idea resulting in an inspired, startling, thoroughly absorbing dish. Has anyone else had it since or can anyone shed more light on its composition? I think I can identify maybe three of the weeds/sea vegetables on the plate, tops.
  10. And where else do we eat while we're in Girona?
  11. Thanks for those recommendations - they're great, and I didn't realise elBulli opened Sundays. I've been sifting through the boards and various friends' recommendations, and I'm thinking this is my hit-list, weighted for a balance between local flavour and more out-there stuff: - Cal Pep (the tapas icon) - Mondo (the seafood kings) - Bar Mut (upmarket tapas) - Comerc 24 (and Tapac 24, Abellan's new place - breakfast?) - Bar Pinotxo (old-school Boqueria favourite; again, breakfast?) - Inopia (Albert Adria's tapas joint) - Alkimia (kooky, complex, Michelin-starred) - Cinc Sentits (Canadian Catalan) - Quim (another Boqueria favourite) - Ca L'Isidre (contemporary Catalan) - Abac (cool room, avante-garde food) - Lasarte (Martín Berasategui's BCN restaurant) and - Cacao Sampaka (for chocolates) - Jamonisimo (for jamon Iberico)
  12. I'm in Barcelona for a week at the end of April, trying to make the most of my time and kick the no Bulli-reservation blues. I've gleaned some great suggestions from the board here and elsewhere, but I still don't know where I'm going to eat on the Sunday of my stay, as it appears that everywhere will be closed. Does anyone have any bright ideas?
  13. Just what are these world-class restaurants in Sydney that are escaping the attention of the various guides?
  14. I saw the Fast Food Nation movie at a preview screening a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say that as a fan of the book and Mr Schlosser's writing in general, I was very disappointed. The tone is all wrong. The rationality, the freshness and the (relatively) unbiased voice, the things that made the argument in the book so strong are largely missing from the film. There are a couple of okay performances in there (Bruce Willis in a particularly good cameo), but they're generally playing clangingly to type. Ethan Hawke as a slacker with a heart of gold? Greg Kinnear as Mr Middle America? Hold the front page! (And Avril Lavigne? Let's not go there.) It doesn't work as a piece of entertainment (think after-school special with snacks) and it doesn't work as "factional" documentary. The preachiness and the thudding, predictable manner in which the director pushes his message reminded me of Michael Moore at his hamfisted worst, doing more harm than good in the eyes of an audience that likes a well reasoned argument, though, like some of Moore's films, it might be the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-walnut approach needed to get through to some of the dumber, more burger addled-masses.
  15. (And yes, the one in the Hunter Arcade - Malaysia Food House, I think - is definitely on my list. Has anyone tried any of their daily specials? I can't ever bring myself to order anything but the lemak.)
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