One of the best dining deals I’ve seen lately is the Ship-In-Port Tasting Menu at Circular Quay hot-spot, Ocean Room. Simply time your visit to coincide with a cruise ship being docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal and $65 is all you’ll pay for eleven courses of innovative Japanese cuisine and a champagne cocktail. There won’t be a view, but it’s pretty hard to drag your eyes away from Head Chef Raita Noda’s beautifully plated dishes like the Tuna Creation anyway. Ships ahoy on March 10-13th and 18th so book your berth today!
Most seafood-loving CBD-ites will already know about Bungalow8’s great ‘All You Can Eat Mussels’ Tuesdays, but I wonder if you’ve discovered that every Monday can also be a BarraMonday? Diners will enjoy a fresh barramundi fillet and a house beverage for only $24.50. Their kitchen will cook it whole, grill it as a fillet, or even steam it in a bag for you.
Late Night Noodles
The foodie set was out in force last week for the launch of Fat Noodle at Star City. Rubbing shoulders with Masterchef’s Matt Preston, Sydney Magazine’s Guy Griffin and food blogger extraordinaire Helen Yee from Grab Your Fork, I sipped on excellent Tamarind, Maple and Cinnamon Cocktails and supped on future menu items including tasty Byron Bay Organic Pork Neck Skewers and fragrant cups of Fat Pho Noodles based on a ‘20-hour broth’. Cheeky celebrity chef Luke Nguyen’s pan-Asian offerings will be available until six am on Fridays and Saturdays, right by the Baccarat tables.
Eight, Nine, Ten…
Eleven Kitchen & Cellar also grabbed my attention with Alaskan Snow Crab on Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho tasting spoons at their recent King Street Wharf launch. Food is in the experienced hands of Jeffrey Schroeter (Eat City, Bistro Moncur) – think inspired European shared plates somewhere between the size of an entree and a main that the social dining experience. David Murphy, whose own pedigree includes Rockpool and Ash Street Cellar, manages front of house and compiles their excellent wine list.
Chef and sustainable seafood guru Tom Kime was kept busy prepared divine canapés at the recent launch of The Essential Ingredient. They’ve moved back to the south side of the bridge into the space previously occupied by The Barn in Rozelle. Expect to find gourmet ingredients, culinary books and cookware, including those sexy cherry red KitchenAid Stand Mixers that taunt me from their window display each time I drive past. The new store’s only a stone’s throw away from their 1989 birthplace in Camperdown; and all those years of trading mean they know their stuff.
Nutritionist and internationally trained chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin is a vibrant and informative guide and dinner companion, as I found during a recent healthy lunch class at Rozelle’s About Life. If you’re itching to do something with the girls, but trying to lay off the booze, this is an excellent and fun alternative, and you might even learn a trick or two. I was delighted to cook with quinoa, a South American whole grain, and pick up some tips on better nutrition. Classes run for two hours, and include a nifty About Life apron and a sit-down meal for $100/head.
Zoe’s Tip: Throw back a small shot of apple cider vinegar every morning to stimulate your pancreas, helping it cope with the sugary excesses of our modern diet.
Learn To Cook Lebanese
You can also learn to cook Lebanese cuisine like felafel, baba ghannoush and tabbouleh from Norma Dakhoul in Bondi Junction. Her time honoured recipes are steeped in authenticity and culture and you’ll learn five separate dishes per class, with classes held Saturdays beginning March 27th. The price of $120/head includes a full sit down meal.