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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

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

Crafty Dining: Seasonal Concepts x Isaac x Moya's Juniper Lounge

Crafty Dining: Seasonal Concepts x Isaac x Moya's Juniper Lounge

Seasonal Concepts opened its doors in 2009 and is the collaboration of Ken Wallis and his partner TR Keller. Wallis and Keller initially wanted to create a florist unlike any other in Sydney. “We wanted to marry fresh in-season flowers with the contents of Grandma’s kitchen and Grandpa’s shed and present it with all the wonder that I experienced as a kid in the country,” says Ken.

Crafty Dining: Studio Enti + Embers Mezze Bar

Crafty Dining: Studio Enti + Embers Mezze Bar

Studio Enti is the design practice of ceramicist Naomi Taplin, producing porcelain tableware, lighting and home decor. Leading restaurants Nomad & Lotus at Barangaroo use Studio Enti's dinnerware. Each unique piece of handmade porcelain is made to be used and enjoyed.  A strong belief in the necessity of good design and concepts of longevity and sustainability are the major driving forces behind the work of Studio Enti.

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!