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 or

Bondi Hardware celebrates their annual end of summer party and third birthday

Over 150 guests packed the hardware store turned trendy restaurant and bar called Bondi Hardware for their annual end of summer party which coincided with their third birthday on 24 February 2015.

Guests arrived dressed in casual summer beach wear for the ‘Point Break’ themed party. They spent the evening listening to summer tunes by local DJs and took hilarious photos of themselves in the PhotoBooth Me photobooth.

Guests sipped on refreshing watermelontini cocktails (made from Ketel One vodka elderflower liquor, watermelon, apple and lime), wines from Howard Park, beers from Endeavour and ciders from Bartlow. Head Chef Elliot Anders supplied tasty treats of: spiced tuna, avocado and coconut quinoa; pearl barley arancini with walnuts and kale (aioli); quinoa and polenta bites with romesco sauce; pumpkin, pineapple and pork belly lettuce cups; honey Sriracha fried chicken; beef sliders and Margharita pizza.

Notable guests included Bondi’s bikini queen Tali Jatali with daughter Zsa Zsa, ex-handball player turned food and yoga blogger Caroline Hogh Groth, fashion agent Phoebe Garland, model turned model agent Taryn Williams, former Popstars contestant and nightclub singer Arnott Olsen and How Strange, Innocence actor Elysia Vickas.

Bondi Hardware is owned by the Applejack Group who also own the venues, The Botanist Kirribilli, SoCal Neutral Bay and the Butler Potts Point. For more information, go to

IMG_4318 IMG_4254 IMG_4255 IMG_4261 IMG_4264 IMG_4267 IMG_4271 IMG_4273 IMG_4277 IMG_4280 IMG_4282 IMG_4285 IMG_4287 IMG_4288 IMG_4294 IMG_4300 IMG_4312 IMG_4317

Tokonoma Sydney opens at Sydney CBD location

Sydney’s foodies, fashionistas, sportsmen and members of the media gathered at the basement level of 44 Bridge Street Sydney on Tuesday 3 February 2015 to celebrate the official opening of Japanese eatery Tokonoma Sydney, the CBD sister to Toko Sydney.

It has been two and half years in the making for this restaurant that was originally located next door to Toko Sydney in Crown Street Surry Hills to open its doors at this CBD location. This narrow historic space has been transformed to resemble an ancient Japanese structure. The interiors are a result of the artistic collaboration between esteemed architect Matt Darwon and Tokonoma Sydney proprietor Matt Yazbek, The concept, inspired by the ancient Japanese text ‘100 views of Edo’, is distinctly styled composition of sandstone, polished timber and concrete punctuated throughout by stunning murals by Ando Hiroshige.

Tokonoma’s traditionally inspired Japanese menu matches its venue. With a menu inspired by ‘shun’ (the essence of the seasons). “The word ‘shun’ describes the exact moment that a vegetable is at its very best, a fruit at its most succulently sweet, and fish at its most flavourful. In Japan, chefs take great pride in the celebration of shun. It is central to the Japanese culinary world and central to the philosophy of Tokonoma Sydney,” says Group General Manager Paul Birtwistle.

Guests included Sydney Roosters player Mitchell Pearce, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles player Brett Stewart, Parramatta Eels player Anthony Watmough and his wife Elle Watmough, ABC’s Rake co-writer Peter Duncan, Sydney Confidential reporter Briana Domjen and former Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements and her twin sons: Samuel and Joe.

Kirstie Clements also officially launched the restaurant, “I am honoured to be here as a longtime friend of Toko and now Tokonoma Sydney and to announce this beautiful new space officially opened,” said Ms Clements. “What I love about Tokonoma is the elegance. It is somewhat of a hideaway, so beautifully discrete, and the service and food is unrivalled.”

During the launch party, DJ Tobias Gilbert’s rocking tunes set the tone for the launch. Guests drank Tokonoma Sydney’s signature cocktail, the Rhubarb and Pink Grapefruit Paloma, while feasting on their ‘izakaya’ style menu of tasty morsels of Popcorn Shrimp, Oyster Tosazu, Spicy Tofu. Salmon Tartare, Spicy Tuna Maki, Kingfish Wasabi Maki, Eggplant Miso, and their mouth watering Wagyu Beef Gyoza.

Tokonoma Sydney is an elegant space convenient for corporate lunches and post-work or pre-theatre dinners. It is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations and walk-ins accepted. For reservations please call 02 9251 8185 or email

IMG_3530 IMG_3442 IMG_3468 IMG_3470 IMG_3481 IMG_3506 IMG_3508 IMG_3513 IMG_3514 IMG_3517 IMG_3520 IMG_3521 IMG_3523 IMG_3524 IMG_3527

Crane Bar celebrates its 2nd Birthday with a star-studded guestlist

The Japanese bar and restaurant, Crane Bar, located in Potts Point celebrated its ‘Age of Elegance’ themed second birthday on 16 December 2014.

Guests were treated to handcrafted cocktails, fine wines, and the venue’s sushi and sashimi signature dishes. Their Taichi chef demonstrated the cutting of a 35 kilogram tuna and guests got to eat the freshest sashimi ever.

Guests also got to see the venue’s newly renovated garden area. Superstar DJ Dem Foxes played the tunes all night.while guests danced in this garden area.

The star studded guests included: Channel 7’s The Morning Show TV presenter and 1997 Miss Australia, Laura Csortan; Singer and actress Casey Burgess who is famous for her work on the children’s show Hi-5; Out of the Blue and Home and Away actor Samara Weaving; television and radio presenter Scott Tweedie best known for his role in television series Prank Patrol and music program The Loop; MTV VJ Kristian ‘Krit’ Schmidt; and style expert Joshua Heath.

The venue decided to donate to the Red Cross Christmas Appeal to assist those affected by the Sydney Siege instead of postponing the party.

IMG_1775 IMG_1779 IMG_1782 IMG_1783 IMG_1785 IMG_1786 IMG_1789 IMG_1790 IMG_1792 IMG_1795 IMG_1796 IMG_1798 IMG_1802 IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1805 IMG_1808 IMG_1810 IMG_1811 IMG_1815 IMG_1818 IMG_1824 IMG_1825 IMG_1826 IMG_1828 IMG_1830 IMG_1838 IMG_1851 IMG_1886