Lotus @ The Galeries
From slickly modern private dining rooms, to texture-rich ceramics and stone, highlighted by natural light flooding into what must have been a difficult u-shaped space, DS17 have taken the lessons of Alpha and outdone themselves. Equally so, in Head Chef Chris Yan’s hands, the now-extensive menu builds upon the ideas germinated in Lotus’s initial Walsh Bay outlet, but far surpasses them.
Sweethearts Rooftop Barbeque
You climb seemingly millions of stairs and erupt onto a rooftop. You’re handed an order pad and sharpened pencil. That’s not to say you’re left entirely to your own devices – sparkly, vivacious Keystone crew are everywhere, attending to your every need. The first brings drinks that take me back to my teenage years - scoffing a packet of Samboy BBQ chips then reaching for a (warm), sandy bottle of beer. It’s called the BBQ Shandy ($8) and while it won’t be to everyone’s taste, it certainly put a smile on my dial.
With so many people driving north these holidays, I thought I’d offer up my favourite Pacific Highway food pit stop. It’s called the Salty Dog Seafood Café and Gallery, and after travelling the highway between Sydney and Taree numerous times, I can attest to it being pretty much the best food on the highway. It’s located in Coolongolook (just north of Bulahdelah) and has a focus on locally caught seafood - including excellent Wallis Lake Oysters. For a clever leftfield choice, try their prawn and bacon loaded potato skins – perfect with a bottle of Matilda Bay’s Minimum Chips.
Pies Aren’t Square
Buoyed by my recent enjoyable pub experiences at The Norfolk and The Abercrombie (two of Jaime Wirth’s babies) I was excited to take on the Coopers Pie’n Pale Challenge last weekend. To give my adventure legs, I decided to take in three pubs in one day, in three different Sydney suburbs. Steering clear of my local favourite, 3 Weeds Rozelle, was hard though. Leigh McDivitt is cooking at the top of his game right now, so I’m sure his picturesque pie, The Boozy Boar, will be the best twenty bucks you’ve ever spent on pub grub and a Coopers Pale Ale.