Eastside Sydney Media Famil

Dear Sainte Eloise

Dear Sainte Eloise

Last month's dining walk with various media guests of Eastside Sydney was epic!

We kicked-off at Ovolo Woolloomooloo with a sneak peak behind the scenes and front of house of Trip Advisor's current No 1 hotel in Sydney. Everyone loved the quirky decoration of each rooms - that included bright retro style furniture and the latest in technology - including a voice-activated system of all the rooms functions in the ACDC tribute room. We were lucky to receive a gift of the Biology brand skincare from our hosts, which is included in all the guests bathrooms.

Smoking Gun Bagels

Smoking Gun Bagels

Next we headed down Bourke Street to the very funky and minimalist interior of Smoking Gun Bagels on Cathedral Street. The super-friendly Mark - one of three co-owners - explained how they had a Canadian oven specialist come out to Oz and build the oven in the space. An imported bagel chef then gave the team extensive training in the Montreal technique of bagel making. Which consists of creating a crusty outer which includes a short boil as part of the process.. With names like 'Bitch Peas' and 'Kim Got Beef' this is not your average bagel cafe experience. Our guests enthusiastically wolfed down all the bagel flavours placed in front of them.  I tried to warn then to leave space for the dishes still to follow!

Johnny Fishbone

Johnny Fishbone

We then jumped in cabs to speed up William Street to Kings Cross where we headed down Llankelly Place to our current favourite wine bar: Dear Sainte Eloise. We enjoyed the French speak-easy style ambience of this intimate space whilst co-owner Matt described the flavours in the light French wine being served and spoilt us with Salmon Roe, smoked mussels on char- grilled Iggies bread and Burrata with mint pesto.

Rosie Campbells

Rosie Campbells

We then legged it along Darlinghurst Rd to Johnny Fishbone - the latest venue of the Buffalo Mozzarella crew. Wood paneled walls and a honeycomb moscaic floor make this space feel slick & elegant. As we sat on high stools at the marble topped bar Bruno - the beautifully mostaschedwaiter - ran us through the ingredients included in the Spanish tapa feast placed before us. Including padron peppers, ceviche, Anchovies & pickled onions and slow roasted brussel sprouts - all delicious and quickly devoured.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

A quick walk through the back streets that connect the two ends of Darlo and we were at the colourful Rosie Campbells, our last stop for the day. Welcomed with a decadent Rosies Coco Colada - a new version of the classic Pina Colada. Super yummy and refreshing! Our guests left sated and excited about the dining possibilities on the eastside. Big thanks to to Ovolo Woolloomooloo Smoking Gun Bagels Dear Sainte Éloise Johnny Fishbone Darlinghurst Sydney Rosie Campbell's for hosting us so generously. TSCx

A Night with Dear Sainte Eloise

We popped out for a ladies night on Saturday at Dear Sainte Éloise and it was buzzing! Dark & sexy with warm reds, dark stained wood and a touch of velvet the space has been transformed from it's previous incarnation as Waterman's Lobster Bar. The name Dear Sainte Éloise was taken from George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London, in which the writer prays for "just enough to buy some bread and a bottle of wine". (see the photo below for a partial view of the bar's black board with the chapter scrawled across it).

Attracting an elegant crowd imbibing in delicious wine and rustic food, this is the place to be on a cold winters night.

We tried the celery hearts w/ with burnt onions, goats curd and marjoram , smoked mussels and the burrata & mint served on char-grilled bread. All very tasty & moorish dishes. Accompanied by a glass of Luneau - a lovely dry sparkling and Dumarcher - from the extensive lists of reds for our friend The Jam Alchemist. Be smart and get there early though - the small space fills up fast. Congrats to Matt, Jazz, Nate & Ben on the successful re-branding.

One2One Ponsonby

Re-discovering Ponsonby Rd on this trip back to our hometown of Auckland.. One2One Cafe is where the original Atomic cafe used to be and next door to our favourite Magazino store.

Co-owner Chris Priestly has put the focus back on the beans and the food - with his former chef from Kerouac days the gifted Mark Nicholson in the kitchen. The is an amazing coffee bean wall art piece above the counter made of thousands of coffee beans and inlaid with paua shell. We loved our papaya salad with raw coconut topping which is part of the short but good menu for breakfast & lunch diners.

Priestly's strong interest and background in the jazz & folk music community is the reason behind the weekly open mic sessions and guest performers.There is even an impressive CD collection at the top of the staircase. No Spotify playlist to be found here.

There is a restful courtyard out back with a glimpse of the city skyline and a healthy garden.. We look forward to seeing this place thrive again!

Sokyo Love

We had the rare pleasure of dining at Sokyo at The Star last week, before attending a performance of the fabulous Ladies in Black as part of Sydney Festival in the Lyric Theatre.

What a dynamic environment in which to enjoy contemporary Japanese cuisine! At 6:30 on a Wednesday evening the place was buzzing with date-night couples and little families. Situated in the foyer of the stunning Darling Hotel with minimalist Japanese screens dividing the sexy bar and restaurants spaces, we started with a refreshing mock tail of Hibiscus, apple, mint and lime. Sydney is experiencing 40 degree days right now so this went down a treat after our walk over the Pyrmont Bridge from the city.

We started with the very colourful creation of Usuzukuri - snapper in a soy & lime vinaigrette covered with micro herbs & ediable flowers.sasaddsa. Followed by some very well-dressed Hokkaido Scallop Yuzu Honey, onion, capers, crunchy miso, yuzu honey which was a total taste bomb in the mouth.
We also tried a Robarta each of Corn-fed Chicken, Shallots, w/ yakitori jus and the Queensland Sushi Roll w/ Spanner crab, spicy aioli, avocado wrapped in soy paper.

Being on a restricted diet for the start of the new year we really appreciated the good, clean flavours that Sokyo's menu delivers on both counts. The service was also knowledgeable, efficient and friendly. A perfect pre-show dining experience.

Henry Lees - Redfern

Finally checked out Henry Lee's Redfern on the weekend, thanks to a girlfriends suggestion. We had seen the street art on Insta' but didn't click that this was where it lived! Always a fan of Lynes & Co - this one designed by the talented Gemma O'Brien (also known as Mseaves). If you like your cafes well-hidden and designed this is the place for you. However you may want to take a cushion for the metal rung chairs if your on the bony side and have a bit of time up your sleeve.

Although the service was friendly and welcoming there was a #@:* up with our order which resulted in having to wait an hour for our food. They made-up for it with complimentary drinks and lots of nice words,  but on a hot Saturday when you just want to get to the beach it was a big ask. Fortunately the food was worth the wait. Our Club Veg Paradiso - basically a vegetarian platter - which was textured and tasty. Think lots of super foods and good layout. The GF's Pork Burger was exceptionally fresh and well-put-together.

Our melon juice and The Little Marionette flat white were also up-to-scratch. By the time we left just after 1pm there was a growing line out the door. Currently up for Best New Cafe awards from all three street press magazines Broadsheet Sydney Time Out Sydney and Concrete Playground Sydney these guys are in for a busy summer!

I would love the chance to view the fireworks from this unique Sydney vantage point and share a decadent evening with a friend. Fingers crossed!