Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Zeus: a Greek street food phenomenon

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Souvla filled pita (Photo: Courtesy of Zeus)

What do you get if you combine a restaurant named Zeus, a co-owner called Costa and skewers of meat, or souvla, slow-roasted over hot flames? Answer: an innovative Greek street food venue that has customers queuing outside and the intoxicating aroma of char-grilled meat wafting along nearby suburban streets.

Zeus opened just four months ago and already has a cult-like following. The sleek interior, where just about every table is full and an infinite queue of customers order souvla to go, says this is not beginner’s luck. Continue reading

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Coffee with a dose of attitude

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Dose: serves damn fine coffee and sandwiches

When a chore as mundane as buying light shades leads you to an cafe with gutsy coffee, great sandwiches and a street smart attitude you’re allowed to think that somebody, somewhere is looking out for you. Dose is hidden behind shops and cafes on High Street in Sydney’s Willoughby. You have to seek it out, but it’s worth it.  Continue reading

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Notes from the inner sanctum of Momofuku Seiobo

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The inner sanctum of David Chang’s Momofuku Seiobo

Who would think of burning watermelon rind, then blitzing it into a blackened emulsion with  grapeseed oil to serve topped with a hillock of paper-thin slices of raw radish, jewels of grilled watermelon, and a sprinkling of fermented black bean? David Chang would. The result is a slightly gritty, faintly ashy paste that perfectly offsets the peppery freshness of radish and sweet bursts of diced watermelon. Idiosyncrasies like this — and including donuts filled with a wicked pork fat caramel — intersperse the menu at Momofuku Seiobo, Chang’s digs at The Star casino and entertainment complex in Sydney. Continue reading

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Afternoon tea at London’s Athenaeum Hotel: don’t mind if i do

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A hotel that doesn’t charge for items taken from the mini bar (excluding alcohol), and stocks a superb range of chocolate and chips, is a good sign. A hotel that stocks an ample supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the mini bar is even better.

So it was shame that i visited the Athenaeum hotel in London’s leafy Mayfair during the British winter when ice cream wasn’t really on my “to eat” list.

However, afternoon tea was on that list — unashamedly right at the top — so that’s where i started once i’d checked in and checked out my fabulous suite overlooking Green Park, which leads straight to Buckingham Palace. Continue reading

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Labancz patisserie, a French treat

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A selection of Pierre Labancz’ baked treats. Photo courtesy of Labancz.

When you see and hear a tousled haired, strong French accented baker in the kitchen from the front counter of Labancz Patisserie — with shelves crammed with bread, pies, and pastries around him — you can’t help thinking that you’ve hit the right spot for lunch.

Pierre Labancz opened his small patisserie about eight months ago on Darling Street, Rozelle. He bakes everything fresh daily, which accounts for the glorious smell and visual feast that greets customers.

They come in for organic sourdough loaves, takeaway coffee, or to grab a seat at one of a hotchpotch of traditional French tables with cast iron bases and tiny circular tops. In true French style the tables spill from the cafe’s interior onto the sidewalk where customers can sit under a deep awning sipping well-made coffee and nibbling one of Labancz’s lovely baked treats. Continue reading

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