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!

From Germany with Love

Remember our lovely German family from a couple of months ago? Well they very kindly sent us some fabulous shots of our evening out in Potts Point.

Kicking off Waterman's Lobster Co. for a refreshing Australian sparkling and crunchy school prawns after a long day of touring. Our guests told us all about their adventures around Australia for the past three weeks.

We then popped over to The Roosevelt, a well-dressed dining room lined with shelves of vinatge glass decanters and whisky bottles from all over the globe. Whilst awaiting our entrees we were amused by the constant parade of fancy cocktails going past the table. Smoking 'guns' , mini-gardens in a glass and other innovative creations. We indulged in the cured salmon with cucumber foam & juniper berries - a dish created by Chef Adam Lord for our Llankelly Place Degustation a few years back - fresh Sydney rock oysters and super tasty zucchini flowers.

For Mains at Monopole on Macleay Street our guests had requested Australian only food that they could not find in Europe. so we delivered with Kangaroo tartare, Kingfish sashimi & Morton Bay Bugs. There were lots of ohs and ahs at the table when the bugs arrived, definitely not something you come across in Europe. Matched with a lovely Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir thanks to our knowledgeable waiter Glenn..

Our trip to Good Times Artisan Ice Cream finished us off completely, with decadent lashings of Ziggy Stardust natural soft serves. They were even able to provide a dairy-free option on request. We were so full we went for a mid-evening walk down to Fish Park in front of Elizabeth Bay House to check out the harbour view and digest..

All in all a wonderful evening in our hood of Potts Point.

Llankelly Long Table - Kings Cross Festival

Photo Credit: Andy Lowe

Congratulations Llankelly Place on a fabulously successful Long Table event as part of the recent Kings Cross Festival.

Big thanks to all participating restaurants, bars, the locals,  Flowers by Mill & Co Mansion Lane DJ's and of course our client Potts Point Partnership for whom we curated the food for the evening. You should all feel very proud of yourselves!

Nine of the laneway restaurants showcased their specialty cuisine for our street food menu for the evening. The 2000 strong crowd lapped it up with most of the food sold out by 9pm. We peaked at around 7:30 with lines outside most restaurants as people waited to order and pay in the currency of the evening: pink tokens! People ate, drank and danced their way through the evening.

Kings Cross rocks!

Sydney Mardi Gras -Surry Hills Walk

Thanks to our guests and restaurants for last weeks Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras  Festival dining walk of Surry Hills. We were a small but enthusiastic group.of food lovers who loved all our courses. Very international too with a Sydney-based couple originally from LA, a Hamburg resident - who is currently globe trotting and a Chinese/Australian plus the (originally) Kiwi guide!

We enjoyed a vigorous discourse about Sydney's lockout laws - consensus: needs a major re-think! And discovering new cocktails - rum seems to be the flavour of this summer.

Thanks to Golden Age Cinema & Bar Longrain Sydney Baccomatto Osteria and Rosie Campbell's for hosting and feeding us so well.

Next up is Darlinghurst this Thursday. Limited tickets still available.

Eatdustry - Woolwich

We journeyed to Woolwichon the weekend for a Saturday night dinner at Eatdustry Thai cuisine. When you live in East Sydney going in this direction for food feels like a big deal. But in this case it was well worth the trip. Co-owner /Operator Toby Oat Thosapol has a strong background in hospitality including some years on the floor Sailors Thai.

His partner and Co-owner Goff is the chef who produces beautiful, clean and fresh flavours in all the dishes we try. Toby matches each dish with a variety of light white wines from NZ and Australia.

The decor is a refined mix of elegant Thai style with classic restaurant touches of white linen and good-looking ceramic serving plates. There are lots of exotic flowers and lush green plants lining the outside and inside area. the mirrored wall at the back of the small space makes you feel like your in a much bigger room and the private dining room to the side has a rich decadence that would suit a special occasion.

The restaurant has been in business for almost a year and the guys have plans for opening a second premises when the right location becomes available. All we can say is Woolwich is very lucky to have premium Thai on it's doorstep!

Disclosure: Toby is also our local Barista and makes us the perfect flat white on a daily basis. But even if we did not know him we would say his food is fabulous!

The Pig & Pastry - Petersham

Our weekend discovery: The Pig & Pastry Petersham the cutest cafe in the inner west! With a china collection to rival your Nannas and a selection of baked goods to match. The coffee, service and food were all fabulous.

There wasn't an empty table in the place all morning. And they know how to cook their bacon: crispy and tasty. Right next to the train station so put this one on the list for your next inner west adventure.

Sydney Mardi Gras Launched

Sydney Mardi Gras Launched

Last night at Paddington Town Hall Sydney Mardi Gra launched the 2016 Festival Season! With Courtney Act - MG Global Ambassador - strutting out to perform her opening number in a fringed neon cape. Then keeping us amused throughout the speeches with various anecdotes. The festival is two weeks packed with everything from bear picnics to Underwhere parties and queer film galore.

 The Sydney Connection is staging two dining walk events in Surry Hills & Darlinghurst in our third year as part of the festival programme.


Participating bars &  restaurants include Golden Age Cinema & Bar | Baccomatto Osteria |Buster Brown Cafe | Love Tilly Devine | Embers Mezze Bar with more to be confirmed soon! Another exciting summer is on the way! HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

Tickets are now on sale for all Festival events!

Wonderful William Street!

Photo courtesy of BE Productions Photo credit - Dean Hammer

Our weekend dining walk as part of the 7th William Street Festival was huge fun! Our six guests were a fun bunch who gelled-well and got into the festival spirit easily.

10 William St was going off when we arrived - crammed with enthusiastic Italian wine drinkers. The staff were zooming from one end of the narrow room to the other. Excited Italian words thrown back and forth. What a great start to our walk! When we emerged from the restaurant the street party was still in full swing.

We made our way to the heaving The London Hotel and found our reserved table upstairs. Enthusiastic revelers from Randwick Races were continuing their day of celebrations around us. We tucked into the Ploughman's Platter and joined-in the loud banter of the room.

Then it was back-up the road to Paddington Inn where we easily found our table with "Reserved for The Sydney Connection" scrawled in chalk. Our divine mains of Rump Steak with eggplant puree & heirloom tomatoes and crispy ocean trout with beetroot salad went down a treat. The crowd was more contained than The London as they spread out over three large rooms. Lindsey - our host - was very attentive & cordial despite the chaos surrounding him. There was a great Saturday night-style soundtrack playing too - from R&B to disco.

Photocourtesy of BE Productions Photo credit - Dean Hammer

Our final destination for the evening Paddington Alimentari involved a dainty walk through the bean bagged audience of Amelie screening at the bottom of the street. A brightly lite Italian deli and charming long-term owner Larrine greeted us on arrival. We indulged in the Ricotta cheesecake and Chocolate Genache accompanied by strong cafe and a delicious Italian liqueur - Vecchio Amaro del Capo - which was a hit with everyone.

All in all a very successful first event in this lovely neighborhood.

We will be back Paddington!

Thanks to BE Productions, the William Street business community and Paddington Business Partnership for the invitation to participate in the Festival.

Menu Highlights - European Flavours

With the first of our Good Food Month dining walk events less than two weeks away we have decided it's time to reveal some of the menu highlights!

For the European Flavours walk of Llankelly Laneway we will be meeting for a pre-walk drink at the newest-kid-on-the-block: Waterman's Lobster & Co. Situated at the Orwell Street end of the laneway, with a humming summer vibe as the bi-fold windows look out onto the lane and the funky outdoor seating.

We will enjoy a refreshing glass of either Jamsheed Madame Chard Chardonnay / Bress Sparkling. Accompanied by a juicy, lightly flavoured side dish of School Prawns seasoned with lime salt & aioli this will be a great start to our evening of indulgence!


For the finale of the European Flavours Dining Walk The Roosevelt will be hosting us in the decadent Monroe Room. Decorated in high-style this is the heart of a New York-style venue. Slip back in time to an era when dames drank martinis and men boasted loudly about the number of whiskies they had over lunch. Originally owned by renowned underworld identity Abe Saffron, The Roosevelt takes its inspiration from the 50’s and 60’s and offer them up with a modern twist.

Prepare yourself for the spectacular baked pear dish created by chef Adam Lord - formerly of Wilbur's Place - port poached pear with smoked orange & ginger ice cream. Served with a dash of liquid nitrogen! But make sure you leave room for one of the Roosevelt's most popular cocktails:  the Cognac Classic.

Watch out for more menu highlights over the coming days!






BEAMS Arts Festival 2015

BEAMS Arts Festival 2015

We checked out BEAMS Arts Festival on Saturday night in Chippendale. This year's event had expanded from the cramped laneways and alleyways of 'old' Chippendale to include the park behind Central Park.  And then stretching to the all new precinct of Kensington Street situated east of the Central Park building.

We really enjoyed wandering around discovering the various light installations, performance art and live music components of the event. The crowd was a real mix of inner city types: hipster students, little families and older arty types.  People really got into the spirit of the event: making, playing, dancing and viewing the art & multi-media on display. Full use was made of the many concrete walls for overhead projections, giant balloon sculptures and temporary art work displays.

Local food & beverage providers enthusiastically manned their stalls with everything from pork ribs to gelato available at reasonable prices. The food truck community also joined in with our firm favourite Veggie Patch Van serving-up their famous Haloumi Burger* and sweet potato chips. There were two long tables set-up - one in each precinct - for punters to sit down and eat as a community. Dressed with greenery down and hot coals down the centre this placement felt like a decadent edition to the urban landscape.

We exited via the new Kensington Street precinct which was alive with flame poi dancers, singers and pop-up sweet stalls. The old cottages lining one side provide a good contrast to the modern structure of Central Park. The cottages have been fully restored and have various homeware and design tenants as tenants. A key newly-refurbished hospitality venue sits at the Broadway end of the laneway: The Old Clare Hotel houses three restaurants Automata, Silver Eye and Kensington St Socialall headed by young-guns with impeccable credentials who are looking to make their mark on Sydney's dining scene. The front bar looks rather fun too - a very Mad Men meets old Sydney pub vibe.

So make the time to check out the newness next time your over this way. Another great addition to the inner city villages of Sydney.

*When eating this gentle giant be sure to allow for leaking fresh beetroot juice. Unlike the author who ended-up wearing a temporary birthmark on her face for the rest of the evening totally unawares!

Redfern Design Rulz!

We spent a lovely Saturday afternoon in Redfern on the weekend. This hood is going from strength to strength! Regent Street is gradually becoming a homeware & design store mecca for those who love their retro elements with a dash of contemporary.

Finishing Touches Restoration - run by Allan & Linda Graham- and Rudi Rocket arrived in the late 90's introducing mid 20th century design to the strip. It's a family affair with Graham & Graham Design owned and operated by Matthew and his wife Benny just a few doors down from his Mum & Dad. G&G specialise in mid 20th century design, furniture, ceramics, lighting and custom handmade lampshades. We had a lovely chat with Rudi too - that guy has some real stories to tell about the pieces in his store!

Then a couple of years ago the boys from Surry Hills Chee Soon & Fitzgerald bought & renovated a terrace on the other side of the road. Known for their love of MARIMEKKO fabrics, a diverse range of fine ceramics from around the world and of course Bryan's collection of vintage glass pieces. The latest arrival is the very well-stocked The DEA Store - Delicate Eye Area - owned & operated by Karin - ex-Fratelli Fresh homewares stores. Karin has a great eye for the best in beautiful & practical kitchen ceramics (both local & imported brands), exclusive textiles from local artist @SallyCampbellHandMadeTextiles NZ Men's skincare range Triumph & Disaster, quirky succulents in copper pots and many more design treats.

And if you ned a sugar hit during your design store wander check out Ciccone & Sons Pty Limited gelato & coffee store right smack in the middle of all this fabulous-ness! With new flavours every week this place is definitely a local favourite after only 3 months with both the adults and the kids. Everyone we spoke to loved their product and the boys friendly service. Move over Messina! So next time you need a design hit maybe Regent Street, Redfern should be your prime destination.Go the Fern!

Enter the Man Cave

Enter the Man Cave

Here's a sneak-peek at the recent launch of the fabulously named Man Cave - the latest pop-up from The Design Residency. Located at 72 Oxford Street in the heart of Darlo. Curated by the lovely & talented Clara of Burton Metal Depository - designer of the coolest masculine jewelry & accessories - this space is crammed with fashion, homeware textiles, grooming kits and gift ideas for the modern man in your life.

And the men certainly turned-out for the opening - no doubt lured by the complimentary whiskey, Batch Brewing Company beer and the yummy whiskey-flavoured mini-cupcakes! A room full of well-dressed lads on a Thursday night was definitely our idea of fun! With chic tailored fashion from new designers: @DeLaMotte Deadly Companions Theblacklabel; soft & gorgeous undies & sleepwear from Campbell & Hall and many other fun labels this is the place to go for your guy-shopping for the next month!

The pop-up is only on until 13th Sept so be sure to check it out soon.