Sydney's 2014 Chinese New Year Festival, running from the 24th January to the 9th February, is set to be the biggest in our 18-year history, with over 80 events scheduled. Fashion designer Claudia Chan Shaw, one of the City of Sydney’s festival ambassadors, says: “For us, Chinese New Year has always been about getting together and sharing wonderful food with family and friends.”
Dragons Den Food & Wine Bar
A new Asian tapas cocktail bar in the vein of Mamasan has emerged on Bondi Road. Although the darkness inside suggests late night cocktails, the weekend yum cha from 12pm-4pm also lures in curious passers by. I'm a sucker for no-fuss a la carte yum cha and the Den does it well.
Royal Albert Hotel
If you’re not into cavernous pubs that aim to cater to everyone (and sometimes end up making nobody feel at home) check out this back-street local. Sure, it was quick to jump on the dumpling train, but with the dust having settled on the proverbial hanging birdcages and bike; it shines brightly as an intimate public house where beer lovers unite.
The Flying Squirrel has flown the nest and a new bar named after a ravenous dog has moved in. Although the décor is the same, Rupert’s menu is more sophisticated. They’re still in teething stages with a changing menu based upon customer feedback: the Mini Yeezy Burgers are making a comeback after public outrage.
The hipness of the flaming, nightclub-style fit-out belies the seriousness of the cooking - so don’t be put off by overhead aphorisms, the food is definitely less glib. Cocktails will ease your passage into pretentious - the Strawberry Blonde ($18) is fizzy, fun and feminine; while the Warsaw Club ($18) throws off a girly facade with masculine Védrenne fig liqueur stiffened by egg-white foam.
I don’t know about you, but I fancy myself as a bit of an ethical shopper. I buy ethical produce; I care about provenance; I shop at Farmers’ Markets; and I even remember my canvas bags every now and then. Why is it then, that the humble co-op is such a sticking point for me?