It’s always nice to see Aussie businesses recognised on a world stage, but it was particularly nice to see Victor Churchill, a butcher, win at the International Interior Design Awards. They beat the world's best retail stores, and owner Anthony Puharich was in New York to receive the award.

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Designer Meat
It’s always nice to see Aussie businesses recognised on a world stage, but it was particularly nice to see Victor Churchill, a butcher, win at the International Interior Design Awards. They beat the world’s best retail stores, and owner Anthony Puharich was in New York to receive the award. “It is incredible to have the hard work, passion and creativity that Dreamtime Australia, Beebo Constructions and myself, put into Victor Churchill realised, when the world’s most highly revered award is presented to us. I am still overwhelmed that a butcher shop in Woollahra has beaten some of the biggest and best in the world to win Best in Retail,” enthused Anthony. Take the time to pop in and have a gander at the store; but do us a favour and buy some meat while you’re there – those fittings cost money!
www.victorchurchill.com


Vodka & Caviar
Some things were meant to go together – summer and seafood, warm weather and waterfront dining, caviar and Belvedere Vodka, Dom Pérignon and Spanish Joselito Iberico Jamon De Bellota… So isn’t it convenient you can experience all of these at Manta Restaurant and Bar at Woolloomooloo wharf? Sit back and enjoy the balmy evening air with “a chilled Manta Martini in one hand, Caviar in the other,” says owner Rob Rubis. Or let a slice of the world’s best ham melt on your tongue between sips of Dom Pérignon as you contemplate the good life. A bowl of Manta’s famous truffled  ‘Angel Chips’ wouldn’t hurt either…
www.mantarestaurant.com.au


Christmas Cringe
Let’s face it, Xmas can be a bit… tacky. If the idea of Santa hats is more ‘cringe’ than ‘cute’, treat yourself (and your colleagues) to a festive event with style, sophistication and sterling views of the harbour at The Tea Room Gunners’ Barracks. All they’ve done is take their usual impeccable high tea, and changed the finger sandwiches fillings to include some classic smoked turkey and cranberry, and some Guinness and clove glazed ham with pickles. They’ve also added some fruit to the scones, and created a bunch of seasonal sweets including fruit mince pies and a candy cane panna cotta. In case you have trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, they’ve included a Poinsettia High Tea with sparkling wine, triple sec and cranberry juice. You can enjoy this offer any week day between 12pm-3pm for $50/head until Christmas Eve.
www.thetearoom.com.au

Unconventional
Last week I sat alongside foodie glitterati including Angus Fontaine, John Newtown, Joanna Savill and Lyndey Milan at a twilight dinner put on by the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. The highlight of my evening was chatting to architect Philip Cox about the difference between his sensitive low-rise, maritime themed buildings set under the “grand verandah” of expressways, versus the eyesore planned over the way at Barangaroo. It was a nice reminder that that this often overlooked venue has a spectacular collection of the biggest paintings in Australia, as well as glittering city views and a massive functions menu.  Perhaps some little lamb shank confit pies with blackberry relish, and a few wines chosen by Chief Sommelier William Wilson might be just the ticket for your next function?
www.scec.com.au

Your Lo-Cal Mexican
If wrapping your lips around a pliable burrito filled with chipotle marinated grilled chicken and guacamole usually inspires dietary guilt, I suggest you eat your next one at Mad Mex! Months ahead of the new regulations making it compulsory for fast food outlets with more than twenty stores in NSW to display each item’s kilojoules, Mad Mex have launched an online nutritional calculator. You and your personal trainer can log on to the website together and work out which slow-roasted grilled meat, and what condiments will best suit your nutritional needs. The website’s optimised for smart phones so you can even check it in store on your way home from the gym! Sadly I couldn’t find their Churros & Chocolate ($5.90) listed anywhere… lucky guilt isn’t a problem for me.
www.madmex.com.au