BOOZE

My Bad… Valentine

Transvision Vamp sang it best: “I guess it never really ends, it just comes around again.” Another year is over and we’re back in the lead up to Commercial Exploitation Day er… I mean Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I’m anti-love - really! I just happen to think that ANY night is a good night to take the one that you love to a restaurant. Truth be told, any night bar Christmas night is probably a better one to dine than the 14th February, 2011. However it is on the social calendar, and if you need an excuse to re-energise your love life like a little chocolate/flower envy at the office or a saucy dinner invitation, who am I to dissuade you?

Helm Bar & Bistro *UPDATED*

With the school holidays in full swing, the Darling Harbour precinct was packed with families! The beer garden bistro on the lower level of Helm Bar seems just the spot to combine a spot of 'please-everybody' lunch with a visit to one of the neighbouring attractions - Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife World and the National Maritime Museum are all within cooee.

Braza Churrascaria

The maddening aromas of charcoal and meat captivate me every time I drive past. It’s taken me a while though, because Brazilian places are often a festival of meat without much else going on. I will now eat humble pie.

Charlie & Co. Burgers @ Opera Kitchen

Finally the Sydney Opera House gets the food it deserves – fast, casual dining suited to a pre-theatre dinner or a post-theatre snack.

Student Friendly Eats

This week I have turned my column inches over to Matthew Blakely, a media student from the University of NSW. As you will be able to see, Matthew is passionate about both food and writing; and he’s keen to channel both into a professional food journalism career. The mission I set him was to uncover some student friendly eats in time for the first semester back in 2011. I’ll let you be the judge of his endeavours…

Manly Pavilion

Against the imposing backdrop of South Head, white sails dance. The sun is still setting, but this elegant, coastal space is full. The crowd tonight is mostly successful tradies and their ladies, sporting healthy tans and the odd tattoo.

Foodies’ Diary: Provisions, Concoctions, Libations & Reservations

If you’re keen on a bit of a barbeque over summer you might need to follow in my footsteps to Alexandria for Establishment 218. After leaving the family wagon in the plentiful parking, you’ll don a thermal jacket and step into the massive cool room to select your vacuum packed beef at a whopping fifty percent cheaper than most butchers!

The Norfolk

While everyone’s a-quiver over Duke Bistro, those in the know have followed Thomas Lim to his ‘other’ new hang.

House

Reckon you’re bored with Thai food? Take your palate on a trip to North East Thailand as you sample the spicy chillies, fermented anchovies and sour tamarind notes of authentic Isaan food at Sujet Saenkham’s (Spice I Am) newest restaurant.

Silly Season Survival Guide

As the year rumbles to a close I’d like to thank you for following my rambling journey from plate to plate. Since you’ll be without my dining guidance for the next couple of weeks I thought I would end my year with some tips for surviving the silly season. See you on the other side!