Bistro Mekong – Castlecrag, Sydney Review by Lucy Collins  *Images courtesy of Bistro Mekong/additional images Lucy Collins We arrived on the early side at Bistro Mekong in anticipation of our Sunday evening meal, greeted with a smile which is always a promising start! The menu offered plenty of options: ten different entrees and twenty-one different mains. … Read more

North Sydney’s Holy Duck!

Holy Duck! – Castlecrag, Sydney Review & Images by Roswitha Schleicher Compared to its trendy, Chippendale-based mother restaurant, Holy Duck!’s North Sydney extension embraces more traditional flavours, along with abundant visual appeal. Tucked away in Quadrangle Shopping Village at Castlecrag, founder Dr Stanley Quek exchanged Kensington Street’s trendy wall décor with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, and a … Read more


Another Holy Duck! for Sydney Get ready to go quackers – Holy Duck!, Kensington Street’s go-to eatery for fresh fusion eats, are bringing their mouth-watering magic to Castlecrag. With a funky new location at the Quadrangle Shopping Village, Holy Duck! will serve up the best of modern Chinese cuisine with all the atmosphere of a … Read more

Bar Patrón by Rockpool Brings Innovative Mexican Dining Experience to Sydney

Bar Patrón by Rockpool opens to public Thursday 8th March from 5.30pm

Bar Patrón by Rockpool_preview

Rockpool Dining Group and Patrón Tequila have collaborated in an innovative concept to bring a sophisticated, modern Mexican restaurant and bar to Sydney’s iconic Circular Quay.

Bar Patrón by Rockpool is the latest establishment in the Rockpool Dining Group portfolio, with ultra-premium tequila producer Patrón curating a bespoke spirits collection, including exclusive and special edition tequilas, for this stunning destination.

Opening with an exclusive launch party on Wednesday, 7 March, and welcoming the dining public from 5:30pm on Thursday, 8 March, Bar Patrón by Rockpool combines authentic Mexican flavours, the finest Australian produce and the world’s highest quality, artisanal tequila and tequila-based cocktails by Patrón.

Rockpool Dining Group Culinary Director Neil Perry oversees a menu of quintessential Mexican favourites, which are bold in flavour and approachable in price. Lunch, dinner, pre-theatre and late-night dining options include snacks such as empanadas, tamales, quesadillas and tacos; soups and small plates of esquites and tostadas; tortas and traditional sandwiches; and larger plates of enchiladas, enmolada con pollo and shared taco platters. A delightful range of pastries and desserts are hand-made on site daily.

Grant Cheyne’s breathtaking interior design delivers hints of elegant Mexican haciendas, Caribbean and Creole bungalows and sub-tropical Queenslander timber homes. A simple white palette is complemented with lush greenery and soft Italian leather upholstery in warm orange and red tones. Retro bronze and glass light fittings, and some antique furnishings, add to the residential and colonial vibe.

Diners can sit at intimate or larger tables, as well as a huge, window-side Carrara marble bar that offers magnificent views of Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge.

Keeping with the theme of the concept, Patrón is the exclusive tequila on the drinks menu. A core range of Silver, Reposado and Añejo tequila is enhanced by the Roca Patrón and Gran Patrón luxury collections. Five limited and numbered barrel select tequilas have been distilled exclusively for Bar Patrón by Rockpool.

The menu also features the rare Patrón en Lalique Serie 1 and 2. There are just 500 bottles of Lalique Serie 1 worldwide and only 299 bottles of Lalique Serie 2. Each limited-edition crystal decanter costs over AU$10,000.

A signature Margarita is available with Silver, Roca or Platinum tequila, while high flyers may indulge in a ‘Millionaire Margarita’, which is custom-made tableside and features Gran Patrón Platinum tequila, freshly squeezed citrus juice and a salt and sugar-laced rim.

Cocktails deliver a refreshing take on classic Mexican drinks, such as the Paloma, Cantarito and Ponche de Granada. The wine list is focused on the Iberian Peninsula, including Spain and Portugal, as well as classic wine regions such as Argentina, Chile and the United States. Australian wines feature strongly, as does Champagne.

A revolving line-up of DJs from Thursday to Saturday combine with mixology, cocktails and exquisite food to create a sophisticates’ playground that exudes the Mexican estilo de vida – or way of life: fun-filled, flavour-packed and effervescently charming.

Bar Patrón by Rockpool is an extraordinary private event space, accommodating up to 150 guests for cocktail gatherings, including a semi-private VIP area for up to 20 guests.

Address: 2 Phillip Street, Sydney, 2000

Telephone: 02 9259 5624

Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, midday-late


**Information & Images Courtesy of Bar Patrón by Rockpool/Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan

Beets by Patrón
Beets by Patrón

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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Fratelli Fresh Launches ‘Speciale’ Pizza Range Featuring Whole Lobster

Fratelli Fresh – Sydney Is this Sydney’s most decadent pizza? Fratelli Fresh has created The Lobster, which boasts a whole steamed lobster, brushed with garlic butter, sitting atop rich Fior di Latte that is accentuated with garlic and parsley. A combination of two gastronomic classics, lobster and pizza, it’s a little bit of luxury, a … Read more


CHEFS GALLERY SERVES UP DOG FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR  SYDNEY – 12th to 25th February You read that right, but don’t fly off the leash just yet! Chefs Gallery is celebrating the Year of the Dog by adding dog to the menu… hot dogs, that is! Available only from 12 – 25 February, the Sichuan … Read more



GPO-Building (29)-modee

GPO Grand’s Personal Restaurant Butler is a world first service that promises to truly wow your significant other.

The bespoke system makes GPO Grand the leading location for Valentine’s Day this year, by enhancing your dining experience and allowing for patrons to astonish their dates with an array of indulgent surprises. Choose to lavish your beloved with long stem red roses, Champagne on arrival, a personalised hand written card, or a box of hand crafted chocolate truffles when booking. GPO Grand will do all of the hard work for you with the service provided free of any additional fees or charges, promising a spectacularly memorable experience at every step of the way.

Postales Restaurant
Postales Restaurant

Indulge at Prime Restaurant and share a 1.5kg grain fed Tomahawk steak with your lover or enjoy a three course cheese and wine pairing experience at GPO Cheese and Wine Room. Valentine’s Day has its origin in Italy and our romantic al fresco dining options at Intermezzo will make you feel like you’re in Rome, or soak in some Spanish flair at Postales guaranteed to impress your special someone.

Peter Petroulas, Managing Director of GPO Grand commented, “The Restaurant Butler service was a world first when it was introduced in 2016. It remains an inherently special experience, unique to GPO Grand Restaurants. We are very proud to offer this service which has become an integral part of what we do”.

The Personal Restaurant Butler service is available across all GPO Grand Fine Dining restaurants which include Prime, Intermezzo, Postales, GPO Cheese and Wine Room and Subterranean, accompanying the various special Valentine’s Day Menus on offer, which make GPO the perfect venue to enjoy a uniquely exceptional evening.

Prime Restaurant
Prime Restaurant


Single Long Stem Red Rose $35

Half Dozen Long Stem Red Roses $70

Dozen Long Stem Red Roses $98

Personalised Card $5

Box of 4 Chocolate Truffles $12

Box of 12 Chocolate Truffles $30

NV Gosset Champagne on arrival $24 glass / $135 bottle

Subterranean Restaurant
Subterranean Restaurant

About GPO Grand

GPO Grand is an award-winning collection of 14 restaurants, cafes and bars located at Sydney’s premier address, 1 Martin Place. GPO GRAND | No.1 Martin Place | Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone (02) 9229 7700 | Online & Restaurant Butler Booking: | Email:

**Information & Images Courtesy of GPO Grand 


Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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SYDNEY – Tim Tam Margarita or Vegemite Pizza Anyone? Rockpool Dining Group’s casual restaurants are super-sizing Australia Day with extended celebrations that include BBQ snags and steins of beer and limited-edition menu items, including Tim Tam Margaritas and Vegemite pizzas.  Fratelli Fresh has a limited-edition Vegemite pizza ($16) available at all seven restaurants from Monday … Read more


SYDNEY’S CHEFS PASTRY – A PATISSERIE WITH A PAN-ASIAN TWIST Chefs Pastry, an innovative new bakery combining centuries-old French pastry techniques with bursts of vibrant pan-Asian flavours, has recently launched on Sydney’s hippest eat street, Kensington St. Chefs Pastry flips notions of what patisseries can be – classic pies are packed with succulent Beef Rendang and … Read more

Wine Island 2017

Wine Island – Sydney Harbour

Words & Images by Rose Schleicher


Barely quarter after nine on a Friday morning and we’re at the steps of the ‘Man O War’ pier at Sydney Opera House, keen to board the three-deck ferry along with a large ensemble of wine enthusiasts. Wine Island. It sounds like a magical place, and Dionysus, Greek God of vino and ecstasy, would quite possibly agree. We’re bound for Clark Island, just a 20 minute boat ride from Sydney Harbour, to a popular event now in its third year. Understandably so; who doesn’t want to be stranded on an island with views of Sydney’s iconic skyline while savouring refreshing beverages under blue skies? Exactly. Me too.

Island View

As the ferry pulls up to the the island’s wharf, the sun is blasting in full spring glory, so there’s plenty of appreciation for the island staff who present each guest with a fresh bottle of water. Excellent thinking! ‘Holidaymakers’ rapidly disembark and fan out left and right to secure one of the highly-sought-after sun loungers by the water, and of course get first taste of more than 100 new waves and classic wines on offer. Whether you prefer a full-bodied red, a light white or something with a little more fizz – here, you can be certain there’s a hut for it.

Cured Meats & Cheeses
Cured Meats & Cheeses by @churburgersurryhills

Meanwhile award-winning kitchen guru Warren Turnbull from Chur Burger Surry Hills, whipped up some scrumptious bites to go with the liquid diet. The menu featured freshly shucked oysters, assorted cheeses, Hawaiian poke and fish tacos, amongst other delectables. For those who were craving a heartier meal, succulent spit-roasted lamb pitas, plus Turnbull’s signature Chur burgers were on offer too.

Spit-roasted Lamb Pita
Spit-roasted Lamb Pita by @churburgersurryhills

Hawaiian Poke Bowl
Hawaiian Poke Bowl by @churburgersurryhills

If you were looking to fill your stomachs as well as educate your senses, Wine Selectors offered a range of entertaining Masterclasses. You could put your wine knowledge to the test at ‘Vino Trivia’, expand your expertise on Cold-blooded Reds, or dance to Daft Punk and other alluring beats at ‘Silent Disco Drops’. The Dessert Masterclass was a exceptional treat, pairing a selection of curated desserts from the pastry wizards at Barangaroo’s 12-Micron with matching semi-sweet dessert wines.

Dessert Masterclass Wines
Dessert Masterclass Wines

Peanut Butter , Rosella, toast ice cream
Peanut Butter , rosella, toast ice cream by @ashcamsmith 12 Micron

While we could feel our hearts sink a bit when boarding the Luxe Bubbles boat for the inevitable return trip, it’s fair to say that it was for the best. After all, all good things come to an end. However, a few bottles of our favourite rosé made their way home with us, and will undoubtedly help us cherish this day for some time to come. Or at the very least until the very last drop has been savoured.

**Sydney Food/Wine/Events writer Rose Schleicher was a guest of Wine Island/The Modern Society PR

Paleteria Sydney ice cream
Paleteria Sydney ice cream

Paleteria Sydney ice cream
Paleteria Sydney ice cream

  • Wine Island 2015 was awarded the title of Best New Event 2015 by Concrete Playground (
  • Wine Island 2016 won the Experiential Award for Best Festival by the Plus Ones & The Socialites

Pyengana Cheddar, Milk Chocolate, Plum, Honeycomb
Pyengana Cheddar, milk chocolate, plum, honeycomb by @ashcamsmith 12 Micron

Peanut Butter, Rosella, toast ice cream by @ashcamsmith 12 Micron
Peanut Butter, Rosella, toast ice cream by
@ashcamsmith 12 Micron

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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