The Free Meal launches with celebrity chef Miguel Maestre and Finish detergent

Celebrity chef Miguel Maestre from The Living Room teamed up with Finish dishwashing detergent to launch a one of a kind pop-up restaurant on Thursday 5 March 2015.

The menu consisted of dishes including Flamenca style eggs, Miguel’s world-famous Paella a la Maestre de Marisco and Churros con Chocolate.

The cost for the meal was free except patrons were asked to put Finish to the test – by doing their own dishes! Patrons filled a dishwasher and loaded it with Finish Quantum dishwashing tablets or washed the dishes by hand using New Finish Hand dishwashing gel.

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March into Merivale launches fried chicken and noodle pop-up bar In Sydney CBD

Hospitality company, Merivale, launched a fried chicken and noodle pop-up bar at their Sydney’s CBD venue, Work in Progress, on Thursday 26 February.  The brainchild of this pop-up bar is Patrick Friesen, Papi Chulo’s brilliant head chef. The pop-up opened its doors as part of March into Merivale, Sydney’s signature Food and Wine Festival featuring 50 events over five delicious weeks.

Inspired by many of the late night supper spots he enjoys with fellow chefs after service, Patrick has designed a short and punchy menu of Asian fried chicken, Hong Kong noodles and tasty snacks. Dishes like fried chicken with ginger nuoc cham and pnomh penh wings with lime white pepper take the lead, together with Sichuan duck and tofu lo mein and pork & prawn wonton mein with egg noodles. The food will be matched by a fun and fresh cocktail menu, alongside a smashing selection of wine and beers. 

Hailing from Canada, Patrick first joined Merivale at Potts Point hangout Ms.G’s, where he led the dynamic kitchen for nearly two years. In 2013, he joined forces with fellow Merivale chef, Christopher Hogarth, to open Papi Chulo, the much-lauded smokehouse and grill on Manly Wharf. The formidable duo have won the hearts and taste buds of Sydneysiders with their succulent spice-rubbed meats and grilled seafood. 

Located at 50 King Street, Sydney CBD, ‘Work in Progress @patrickfriesen’ is the perfect spot for a quick and easy solo lunch or to enjoy with friends and colleagues. The pop-up bar is open from 12pm-late, Monday-Friday (kitchen is open 12-3pm and 6-10pm). For further inforamtion, go to www.merivale.com/wipbar or www.marchintomerivale.com.au

SoCal Neutral Bay celebrates their first birthday

On 9 December 2014, SoCal at Neutral Bay, the southern Californian inspired restaurant and bar celebrated their first birthday with an exclusive birthday bash attended by 100 people consisting of top media, locals and celebrities. Notable guests included Tom Steinfort, Dan Churchill, Caroline Groth, Arrnott Olssen, and North Sydney Council Major, Jilly Gibson.

Guests were greeted on arriving with two classic SoCal cocktails, the Margarita (Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, lime, a dash of sugar & a half salt rim) and the Garden Party (Blueberry-infused Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, spiced blueberry syrup, rhubarb bitters & basil).

Head Chef Zac Smart provided a selection of dishes especially for the event, which included Lamb, ricotta & raisin empanada, Grilled vegetable empanada, Ceviche lettuce cups, Sriracha chicken quesadillas, Chicken & sopressada sliders, Spiced eggplant tostadas, Flank steak & chimichurri, Southern fried chicken and slaw, and Spiced vegetable cous cous.

SoCal is owned by the boutique hospitality group, Applejack Hospitality, which also owns Bondi Hardware at Bondi, The Botanist at Kirribilli and the recently opened The Butler at Potts Point

With quality southern Californian food and drinks, matched with exceptional service and a large outdoor terrace, SoCal is the perfect Neutral Bay venue during the warmer months.

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SHUK – North Bondi’s very own market place

Shuk, the bustling food hub at 2 Mitchell Street North Bondi, has become a favourite meeting place for locals and tourists alike. It is a corner café, bakery and deli, which offers the freshest produce and dishes from Isreal and the Mediterranean. On Thursday 20 November 2014, Shuk celebrated their first birthday party and I got invited me to sample a variety of their impressive dishes.

For 40 years this location served the area as the local corner shop, but the new owners transformed the space into an elegant 80 seat establishment, offering an incredible array of Israeli/Mediterranean delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week.

“The food we offer is inspired by what we grew up with in Israel, where the cuisine available is one of the largest melting pots on the planet, with food coming from a variety of cultures that migrated to the country from 130 different countries in the past 50 years. The menu is directly influenced by Arabic, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines,” says co-owner, Yoni Kalfus. Together with business partners, Erez Beker and Ariel Hefer, the trio are bringing their passion of food to life, sharing traditional Israeli dishes they learnt from their families back home.

A central feature of this establishment is the bakery, so everything is made fresh daily on the premises; bagels, pastries, muffins, pasta and, of course, their signature bread loaves including country sourdough, rye and fruit bread. The bread is stacked in abundance, in rustic boxes for all to see and choose from.

SHUK’s breakfast and lunch menus are bountiful with many delicious dishes to choose from, ranging from the traditional Middle Eastern speciality, shakshuka, eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chilli, peppers and onions ($16), to the sweeter beghrir, cinnamon and almond meal pancakes with honey-lemon glaze and halvah ($15).

Lunch favourites include the signature Lamburger with charred eggplant, harissa aioli served with chips and sage salt ($18) as well as house made gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, fresh mint, oregano and ricotta ($19).

SHUK is definitely making itself known to the Sydney dining scene, promising a treasure trove of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours.

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