Style Craft x Toki Italian

Crafty Dining East Sydney

This October we are present our third Crafty Dining experience as part of Sydney Craft Week and Good Food Month.

This time we are heading for East Sydney, showcasing the rich variety of contemporary furniture design, vintage fashion and dining options on the streets of East Sydney and Potts Point.


In a past life we worked in the interior design business, selling furniture, ceramics and glassware to interior designers and their clients. When your in an industry you always want to know who your competitors are and what they are up to. So Stylecraft was on our radar and never failed to impress with it’s modern approach and vast showroom on Liverpool Street.

Since those days they have moved to a new and even bigger space on William Street. To us it has a sophisticated seventies vibe with sophisticated Italian designs mixing with local design names.

Stylecraft has introduced an inspiring showroom in Sydney & Melbourne. From the largest pieces to the very smallest, StylecraftHOME isn’t so much a place you go to buy furniture, as you do to experience it.

With every visit rich in sensory experiences and bristling with contemporary charms, you’ll discover new spaces, stories and ideas at every turn in a living showroom that’s ever-changing, day and night.

Be inspired by collections from local designers together with ranges from Europe and Japan. Immerse yourself in pieces for the indoors and out, rugs and homewares, each with a story for you to uncover.

Toki Italian

We first discovered Toki Italian Inspired a small but impressive restaurant thanks to our boss at the day job, who lives around the corner in downtown Darlo and recommended we check it out.

Post an art opening - across the road at the Australian Design Centre - we popped in for mushroom arancini and a chicken schnitzel and were very impressed at the quality of the food and the warm welcome we received.

This is a great example of a neighbourhood restaurant serving-up great food at a good price. A quick, tasty dinner with friends and family in a clean-cut minimalist interior with an open kitchen for the delicious smells to waft over you while you catch-up with each other.

Toki opened in January 2015 by Chef Toki and wife Cherry. This is a place to sit down, relax, and enjoy a traditional Italian menu with Asian influences.

Chef, Toki, has over 20 years experience in contemporary Italian cuisine. He is inspired by the cuisine of various cultures such as Italian, French, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and Modern Australian. His passion for cooking has also been influenced by his grandma's authentic Thai cuisine from the "Thai Royal Kitchen". Most recently, Toki worked as a Sous-Chef in a busy hatted Italian/Modern Australian restaurant located in Mosman. During his impressive career he has also worked alongside many acclaimed and talented chefs.


Toki Italian | Mushroom Arancini made with: Carnaroli rice | mushroom | garlic | mascarpone | mozzarella cheese | breadcrumbs

Wine match: Brown Paper Wine Pinot Grigio & Farriers Yard Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon

New Player | The Bistro at Manly Pavilion

The Bistro at Manly Pavilion

Discover one of the jewel's of the Northern Beaches hospitality scene: located on the first floor of the stunning white heritage building, The Bistro at Manly Pavilion is one of the best Italian restaurants in Sydney.  With an amazing outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the harbour, you could not ask for a more beautiful place to dine al fresco in Sydney.

Built during the interwar period when Manly was a favourite and fashionable seaside resort. The largely intact exterior retains the ambience of the interwar Mediterranean style; white painted rendered brick, decorative ceramic tile insets and arched colonnade.

Manly Pavilion

The Pavilion is a short stroll from Manly Wharf, where you can take in spectacular quayside views. Offering an Italian-inspired menu that caters to a broad variety of tastes. From the antipasto plate to the suckling pig, each dish features the freshest of ingredients from local Sydney providores.

Seasonal Ravioli

A popular venue for weddings - with that view why wouldn’t you - and other large events the space easily converts to a sophisticated restaurant and bar of a beautiful Sydney summers day.

We are looking forward to introducing our guests to the mains menu and a glass of matching Australian wine on our new Manly Long Lunch walk launching this summer


Australian Design Centre x Lankan Filling Station

Crafty Dining in East Sydney

This October we are proud to present our third Crafty Dining experience as part of Sydney Craft Week and Good Food Month.

This time we are heading for East Sydney, showcasing the rich variety of contemporary furniture design, vintage fashion and dining options on the streets of East Sydney and Potts Point.

Australian Design Centre

We first discovered the Australian Design Centre in the early 2000’s when we a started attending various design shows at the original gallery. Situated in the beautiful circular space - which was formally the chapel of St Margaret’s hospital -and once the third largest maternity hospital in Sydney. We loved the colourful stain glass windows and parquet floor designed and built by Ken Woolley in 1958.

In those days the Object Store was downstairs from the gallery space, save for the very special ceramic & glass pieces installed on the shelves in front of the stained glass wall. The office was housed in a separate building next door to St Margaret’s.

Now the Australian Design Centre is on William Street on the border of Darlinghurst and Wooloomooloo and is the leading centre for contemporary craft and design in Australia.

Playing a critical role in building a significant design culture for Australia by nurturing a nation of innovative makers and thinkers and inspiring audiences to use design in their lives.

ADC celebrate the work of Australian artists who embrace the highest degree of craftsmanship and who continually explore material, process and ideas to advance contemporary design practice. Their program features more than 200 designers and has generated over $1.2m in revenue for designers through artist fees and the sale of work in the last five years. Through their creative programs and partnerships, ADC reach an audience of more than 390,000 people nationwide each year.

Whether presenting dynamic and high quality exhibitions, publishing, retail, digital or educational activities, we’re determined to give craft and design the best and brightest voice possible. ADC are a catalyst for new thinking and offer a design interface for our communities.

Most importantly, ADC inspire people by stimulating their curiosity and encouraging those around them to believe in the power of design.

Lankan Filling Station

We have loved the magic of O Tama Carey cooking since we first discovered Berta - a very glamourous Italian dining room - in the back streets of Surry Hills.

These days Tama has her own place with Lankan Filling Station, which was warmly received by industry and punters alike, when it opened late last year at the Darlo end of Riley Street. The kitchen team are equally obsessive about the flavours of Sri Lanka as the owner once was in her previous job creating amazing and innovative Italian dishes.

Everything from condiments to curries is served in handcrafted ceramics whose contents you are encouraged to encase in hoppers - bowl-shaped pancakes made from a two-day ferment of coconut and rice flour. This is definitely an eat-with-your-hands dining room.

Lankan Filling Station believe in sustainability in all areas of their business and constantly aim towards this ideal. Whether from Sri Lanka or locally sourced our criteria is the same, they want their ingredients to be grown, raised, sourced or fished with a conscience. Some of the people LFS is proud to work with. include:

Randall - who supply LKS with their stone-grind rice to make the flour used for the hopper batter.

Feather & Bone - supply LFS with their meat which is of the highest standards.

Rural Returns - A not-for-profit company in Sri Lanka, they run a program helping small-hold farmers grow and supply largely forgotten heirloom rice varietals. They have a variety of red and samba, or village, rices available all with specific healthful Ayurvedic properties.


Lankan Filling Station | Mukukku, Cashew Nuts & Pan Rolls - beef & vegetarian

Wine match: Brown Paper Bag | Brown Paper Wine Prosecco & Brown Paper Wine Sangiovese

New Player | Bartolo

Aperitivo at Bartolo

Introducing Bartolo from Jared Merlino - one half of the team behind Big Poppas and Kitty Hawk - as one of our new hot spots for summer in Surry Hills.  Embracing traditional Italian ingredients, flavours and hospitality, and pairing them with a creative, dynamic approach.

This contemporary restaurant and bar has been designed to reflect the timelessness of Southern Italian coffee and wine bars. Think blue velvet banquettes and low lights with beautifully framed famille photos from the old world lining the walls.

Bartolo Dining Room

Ragu at Bartolo

The menu entwines the taste of traditional Italy with contemporary preparations, world class cocktails and a sophisticated wine selection. We are sure our guests are going to love the decadent decor and divine food.

Bring on summer!

Manly Long Lunch


Our newest dining walk is in Manly - a laidback beachside suburb situated on the Northern shores of Sydney.

Home to surfers, famous authors & actors and many Sydneysiders who are happy to commute to the city daily in exchange for ‘living the dream’ by the beach.

We jump onto the Manly fast ferry to reach our destination, discussing the key features of Port Jackson whilst on our sea journey. To begin our long lunch enjoy a fun cocktail & seafood at a local laneway favourite. Next-up is a swanky coastal restaurant for decadent mains and a refreshing glass of wine. Pop into a seaside art gallery to view the latest contemporary Australian art.


Discover a Palm Springs-style bakehouse on a hidden laneway, that creates a daily ever-changing bottomless batch of innovative and delicious pastries for our cheeky arvo treat.  Why not try a Cherry Ripe Twice Bake, Beetroot Cheesecake or crème brulee Croissant?

Amazing filled croissants at Rollers bake house

Or you might want to stay for a quick swim and sunset tipple, at one of the many small bars popping-up in this beach side destination. You can reply on us for a good recommendation.

Sparkling Sydney Goes Off!

Sparkling Sydney Goes Off!

Pyrmont is the precinct where The Sydney Connection first began, with our progressive dinners as part of the Pyrmont Wine & Food Festival in 2013.

A new Sydney festival dedicated to all things effervescent and a first of its kind, Sparkling Australia went off recently in Pyrmont. With many different varieties of bubbles on offer, good food matches and an enthusiastic crowd. Food provodores included Goose on the Loose amazing salamis; cheeses from La Bastide; Tar10’s gourmet condiments and Hunter Valley Cheese tasting plates.

New Festival: Sparkling SYDNEY

New Festival: Sparkling SYDNEY

We are excited to announce a new event Sparkling SYDNEY happening this weekend in Pyrmont - the precinct where The Sydney Connection first began with our progressive dinners as part of the Pyrmont Food & Wine Festival in 2013. This event has been created by the original PWF team and promises to be a winner!

Sydney’s sparkling celebration of all things effervescent is a first of its kind wine festival, Sparkling SYDNEY promises a program jam packed day with fun, set against the shimmering harbourside Pirrama Park.

Hello Auckland!

Hello Auckland!

On our recent trip to Auckland we were pleasantly surprised to find that the city is now divided into 'precincts' resulting in a lot of new additions to the dining out mix.

Such as the former industrial area of Morningside which now features several warehouse space cafes including Crave, KIND and even  a bar The Morningside Tavern , amidst the new apartment developments. Feels a lot like Alexandria in Sydney but on a smaller scale.