Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Oro Rosso Luncheon, Osteria Balla Manfredi

The recent Oro Rosso Luncheon held at Osteria Balla Manfredi (Stefano Manfredi’s Italian masterpiece in Sydney’s Star Casino) saw a culinary collaboration from some of Sydney’s top Italian chefs, showcasing the humble Italian tomato in all its canned, sundried and fresh forms.

Organised by the Italian Trade Agency, diners were privileged to taste a five-course degustation crafted by the collective talents of Francesco Spartaro (Aperitivo), Eugenio Maiale (A Tavola, Besser), Giovanni Pilu (Pilu at Freshwater, Pilu at Akuna Bay) Gabriele Taddeucci (Osteria Balla Manfredi) and Danny Russo (Russolini).

Creative dish highlights included Pecorino Tortellini in a tomato broth and bottarga and a very left of field Tomato Cannoli with saffron cream gelato. With the event all about paying homage to the big red, this was a rare opportunity to try some truly inventive dishes that demonstrated artistic finesse.

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Manjit’s @ The Wharf- Sydney – Restaurant Review

For over thirty years, Manjits has been bringing classic North Indian cuisine to the tables of Sydney, with restaurants in both Balmain and Corrimal. Their latest venture has opened its doors on food meccas King Street Wharf. It is modern and elegant in style, with patrons treated to a stunning backdrop of the harbour as they devour exuberant flavours of the motherland.

 

Meals are presented in contemporary shaped pieces of dinnerware, complimenting the heritage inspired menu. Coming from a pedigree of family chefs spanning over a hundred years, head chef Varun Gujral injects a life of freshness and creativity out from his inherited recipes.

 

Fish Malai arrives from the kitchen innovatively served on a ceramic plate which has been crafted as an artist’s palette, embellished with splashes of brightly coloured infused oils resembling a montage of edible stained glass. The delicate balance of flavours created in the Kochin bug curry sparingly employs the punchiness of green chillies and cloves, mellowed by the creamy coconut milk sauce and sweetness from the Balmain bugs.

 

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Rich coloured curries

 

Dessert is no exception from the artistic influences found throughout the Manjit creations, as a spire of layers arises from the crisp white bowl, creamy mango ice-cream on top complete with a base of crunchy pistachios the kulfi with falula, it is a fruity textual delight.

 

This is sophisticated Indian dining right in the heart of Sydney, luxe and modern in furnishings but as warm and inviting as a New Delhi family dining room.

 

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Inside Manjit’s @ The Wharf

Happy New Year from Best Restaurants!

2015 has been an exciting year! We have not only relaunched Best Restaurants but have also launched Australia’s first dedicated gift card website called Best Gift Cards – which now has both restaurant and spa cards which is already proving a huge success.

Best Gift Cards is where you’ll discover Australia’s best luxury gift cards. Choose from the ever-popular BEST RESTAURANTS GIFT CARD or a BEST SPA GIFT CARD for a friend, family member or colleague.

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Best Restaurants Gift Cards are currently accepted at over 800 restaurants Australia-wide. Best Spas Gift Cards are welcomed at over 300  luxury day spas, beauty / hair salons, 5 star Day Spas, Wellness Retreats and Resorts throughout Australia.  We are adding new restaurants and spas regularly so the list to choose from is constantly growing.

The cards are available from selected stores across Australia including Australia Post, Woolworths, Coles, Australia Post, Officeworks and Big W. Our Gift Cards are also available to buy online with a fast track delivery option and you can also choose to purchase an elegant gift box, to make your present even more special.
GIVE THE GIFT OF INDULGENCE AND LUXURY AT BEST GIFT CARDS OF AUSTRALIA

Maureen

Wolf Wine Bar – Sydney CBD – Restaurant and Bar

Once upon a time and not so long ago, at nightfall the streets of our city were a ghost town. In the blink of an eye however, Sydney’s CBD has transformed into a bustling food and drink oasis, with new venues and restaurants opening weekly and in the heart of our financial district, just a short stroll from Martin Place is The Wolf Wine Bar. Run by Chef Peter Varvaressos, who you may know from his other venues Contrabando and Barrafina Tapas, has created yet another all-day venue that seamlessly transitions from café to hip bar and restaurant.

Barbecued calamari with quinoa, lemon, chilli and ginger

Barbecued calamari with online casino quinoa, lemon, chilli and ginger

For fear of pigeonholing, the menu takes cues from across the globe. Fat, twice-cooked fries get dipped in a fragrant Middle-Eastern Harissa mayo while plumply ripe figs are baked and paired with blue cheese and prosciutto, taking a nod to Italy. Quinoa dishes can be a little lacklustre but this, speckled with toasted nuts, a generous glug of olive oil and scatted with chilli and topped with barbecued calamari, is deliciously intriguing.

Braised lamb, burnt eggplant, feta, olives and mint

Braised lamb, burnt eggplant, feta, olives and mint

I could have inhaled a bowl of fried broccoli with shaved parmesan but sanity prevailed and instead I dip into a familiar yet fresh yellowfin tuna ceviche. With a wood fire pizza oven in the works, start with an after-work tipple at Wolf Wine Bar and stay for a tapas-inspired meal or (coming soon) a slice of old-school pizzette.

Anna Lisle Follow Anna”s foodie adventures here 

Wolf Wine Bar

Michelin Star dining in Sydney at The Langham

We may not have the internationally renowned Michelin Guide Star System in Australia but The Langham, is giving Sydneysiders a taste of Michelin-standard dishes. You would have seen the billboards with Bradley Cooper, looking sharp in his chef whites, promoting his new movie “Burnt” so to celebrate, The Langham, Sydney, challenged their Executive Chef, Thomas Heinrich and Head Dessert Chef, Miguel Jocson, to deliver three Michelin star dishes from recipes that inspired the concept behind the film.

Tomato tartare created by Executive Chef  Thomas Heinrich

Tomato tartare created by Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich

While not known widely in Australia, the consultant chef for the film was Marcus Wareing, an English celebrity chef who is currently Chef Patron of the two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Marcus (formerly The Berkeley), in Knightsbridge. What’s the connection between the movie and The Langham, Sydney? Burnt was shot at The Langham, London. The hotel’s restaurant, The Roux at the Landau features prominently throughout the film.

Mascarpone, blood orange and streusel, created by Head Dessert Chef Miguel Jocson

Mascarpone, blood orange and streusel, created by Head Dessert Chef Miguel Jocson

The Langham, Sydney’s five- course degustation menu ($149 per person) now features two of Wareing’s dishes, Game Farm quail, heirloom carrots and corn bread and a dessert of mascarpone, blood orange and streusel.

Anna Lisle

Kent Street Kitchen at The Langham Sydney

Biota comes to the city, for a unique collaboration with Bombay Sapphire

 

After two sold-out seasons in Melbourne, Bombay Sapphire’s Project Botanicals pop-up is coming to Sydney, but with a unique twist.  Held at ‘The Old Rum Store’ warehouse building in the newly established lifestyle precinct, Kensington Street in Chippendale, this event is open for three weeks only.

Young celery - soured creme made from local milks & the freshest green peas. Paired with The Coriandrum Cocktail

Young celery – soured creme made from local milks & the freshest green peas. Paired with The Coriandrum Cocktail

 

Launching on Wednesday 18 November, the distinctive cocktail and dining experience will feature one of Australia’s most respected and awarded regional chefs, James Viles of Biota Dining, Bowral. The incredible five-course menu has been designed around the ten botanicals found in each bottle of Bombay Sapphire and will be matched with a Bombay Sapphire cocktail created by the Bombay Sapphire team and some of Sydney’s best bars, including local favourites The Barber Shop, Eau De Vie and This Must Be The Place.

Guests can choose between two menus – ‘Plants & Roots’ and ‘Berries & Bark’. At a special media event, we were fortunate to sample ‘Plants & Roots’ which was a selection of some of the most beautifully presented and perfectly executed dishes we have experienced. A tribute to the seasons, Chef Viles has a unique flair for pushing culinary boundaries while still ensuring his food is accessible and enjoyable to the humble diner.

Native lemon soft serve. Paired with Lemon Peel Eye Opener

Native lemon soft serve. Paired with Lemon Peel Eye Opener

As James explains, “I’m constantly challenging myself to work with new and unusual ingredients. Working with the ten botanicals found within Bombay Sapphire was really exciting in creating flavour combinations that emphasised what is at the core of Bombay Sapphire”.

With Biota Dining one of Australia’s most in demand regional restaurants, Project Botanicals is likely to sell out quickly. To avoid missing out, tickets should be purchased ASAP from: www.projectbotanicals.com.au.

  • Sittings available at 6pm and 8.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday evenings
  • Tickets are $105 + booking fee and include a five course menu matched to five Bombay Sapphire cocktails and can be purchased here.

Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence winners announced last night!

Last night, NSW’s best restaurants, caterers and cafe operators were recognised at the annual Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.

2015 marks the 17th year of the awards with PR guru and long-term industry advocate Stewart White national chair of judges for the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence. The Savour Australia HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence is a nationally recognised, independently judged awards program that recognises exceptional service and culinary talent across Australia.

We would like to make special mention for many of our Best Restaurants client – a huge congratulations to the following finalists and winners.

ASIAN RESTAURANT
China Doll, WOOLLOOMOOLOO
WINNER – Red Lantern on Riley, DARLINGHURST

BREAKFAST RESTAURANT
Intermezzo Ristorante, SYDNEY
WINNER – Kazbah, BALMAIN
Ripples, MILSONS POINT

CHINESE RESTAURANT
Chefs Gallery, SYDNEY
The Eight Modern Chinese Restaurant, HAYMARKET
Zilver Restaurant, HAYMARKET

CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT – FORMAL
360 Bar and Dining, SYDNEY
Catalina, ROSE BAY

CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN RESTAURANT – INFORMAL
Botanic Gardens Restaurant, SYDNEY
WINNER – Ripples Chowder Bay, MOSMAN
Sydney Tower Buffet, SYDNEY

FINE DINING RESTAURANT
Guillaume, PADDINGTON
WINNER – Quay, THE ROCKS
Tetsuya’s Restaurant, SYDNEY

ITALIAN RESTAURANT – FORMAL
Aqua Dining, MILSONS POINT
WINNER – Intermezzo Ristorante, SYDNEY
Otto Ristorante, WOOLLOOMOOLOO

NEW RESTAURANT
Coogee Pavilion, COOGEE
Kazbah, POTTS POINT
Saké, DOUBLE BAY
The Governor’s Table, SYDNEY
The Spice Room, SYDNEY

SPECIALTY RESTAURANT
WINNER- Efendy, BALMAIN
GPO Cheese and Wine Room, SYDNEY
Kazbah, DARLING HARBOUR 

STEAK RESTAURANT
The Meat & Wine Co, CIRCULAR QUAY
The Meat & Wine Co, DARLING HARBOUR

Waterman’s Lobster Co. – Potts Point – Sydney

Nothing could stop us from visiting Waterman’s Lobster Co. Our dining party of 10 dwindled to just four, as our group, one-by-one fell prey to the nasty cold currently engulfing Sydney. The weather Gods turned against us too, promising nothing but torrential rain and even a few spots of hail, to add to the drama of trying to find a park in Potts Point. Alas, our loyal quartet arrive, slightly soggy but in good spirits, eager to feast like royalty.

Potts Points' Waterman's Lobster Co pays homage to the Maine lobster roll (pictured), popular in New York.

Potts Points’ Waterman’s Lobster Co pays homage to the Maine lobster roll (pictured), popular in New York.

The menu’s attention is drawn towards the sea, which will undoubtedly work a treat on hot Sydney summer days. We whet the palate with an Asian-ified tartare of Kingfish, seaweed and radish which hits the spot and gets us in the right head space for our Maine-style lobster roll. Claw and knuckle meat is tossed with a decent amount of mayo, butter, flecks of celery and a squeeze of lemon. Stuffed inside a not-too-sweet hot dog-shaped bun and served with matchstick fries and a pickle, there’s nothing to criticise. It’s perfect. It seems odd to order the lobster salad but once it arrives, there’s no regrets – tossed with fennel, orange and bottarga (which we requested on the side), the only thing lacking was a dollop of aioli, which was quickly brought to the table and completed the dish. There’s sides galore and we opt for a purple cabbage slaw and a baby cos salad with smoked oyster mayo and croutons, which are happily devoured. Even with such adversity, our Waterman’s experience is flawless – we will be back with the full troop.

Anna Lisle
Waterman’s Lobster Co.

Zahli Restaurant – Surry Hills – Best Restaurants

If fighting for the last mouthful of hummos isn’t something you’ve had to do lately, it means you haven’t been to Zahli in Surry Hills. At the Cleveland end of Elizabeth Street, this Middle Eastern restaurant is a reminder that Lebanese food extends far beyond  a greasy kebab. Owner Restaurateur Mohammad Issmail says he wanted a restaurant that didn’t look like a typical Lebanese restaurant – the clean, simple restaurant displays a series of aquamarine tiles lining otherwise bare grey walls. The marble bar, waiters in white collared shirts  and industrial style lighting exudes an edgy, modern vibe. One glance at the menu, however, and it’s back-to-basics with traditional and authentic Lebanese fare, as it should be.

Kick things off with a mixed dip platter and ease yourself into a Lebanese state of mind

Kick things off with a mixed dip platter and ease yourself into a Lebanese state of mind

Kick things off with a mixed dip platter and ease yourself into a Lebanese state of mind. Creamy hummus, a dollop of tart, house made labneh (yoghurt cheese) and a smoky, textural baba ghannouj can all be soaked up with fresh pita pieces. A selection of hot mezza features falafel, light and well spiced and fried cauliflower, the perfect vessel for lashings of tahini sauce.

The marble bar, waiters in white collared shirts  and industrial style lighting exudes an edgy, modern vibe.

The marble bar, waiters in white collared shirts and industrial style lighting exudes an edgy, modern vibe.

The fattoush salad, glammed up with radish and capsicum and studded with pomegranate seeds, is decidedly moorish while the samki harra, which features a barramundi fillet, coated in a thick tahini sauce and sprinkled with nuts and herbs, is deservedly a house speciality. Unanimously, the table favourite was an iron potful of sizzling garlic prawns, doused in a rich tomato, chilli and garlic sauce that begged to be soaked up with pita.

Anna Lisle

Zahli 

Downstairs Restaurant – Darlinghurst

From the creators of The Hazy Rose, Downstairs Restaurant is situated on the ground floor on Darlinghurst”s trendy Stanley Street. The interior is decked out with quirky British paraphernalia, including bowler hats and British band posters a la The Beatles and The Who. The curtained wooden booths are cosy and intimate, while there are long communal tables available for larger groups.

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We start with chicken liver parfait accompanied with apple sauce and pickles. Liver parfait is not for everyone, but this one is delightfully smooth and flavoursome, the rich butter-like puree easily slathered onto the accompanying toast. The twice-cooked veal tongue, served with onion puree, pickled beetroot, watercress and gravy is a simple but winning dish. The veal online casino dgfev is soft and succulent, and perfectly tempered with the sweetness of the beetroot. My carnivorous self is pleased with yet another meat dish; a 250g sirloin, accompanied with crumbed marrow, relish and mustard. We are presented with other quintessential British favourites, including cauliflower cheese, and bubble and squeak. We walked in unsure as to what to expect, however it is safe to say that the menu developed by Ben Allcock (formerly from East Village) does an excellent job delivering tasty British fare with a modern twist.

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With the days getting cooler, Downstairs Restaurant offers a comforting British roast every Sunday at a penny pinching price of $20 a head. Be sure to make the most of your visit and visit The Hazy Rose for a cocktail after your meal.

Jenny Wang

Downstairs Restaurant