28 February 2010

Sydney Mardi Gras Pre Drinks, Canapés and Parade (27 Feb 2010)

Oxford and Flinders Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Drinks, Canapés & Milk Crates

One of the most colourful and gay-friendly events in Sydney is the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. If you're crowd phobic, or homophobic for that matter, then it may not be your cup of tea but for those who join the festivities it can be an interesting and fun night. Finding a spot to view the parade is usually the biggest challenge but this year I found the crowds along Flinders Street across from The Local Taphouse less crowded and thankfully much easier to see the parade. Pre drinks and yummy canapés at a friends place nearby was a blessing to fuel the stomach for the lengthy standing ahead. The Prawn sandwiches were a clever and simple idea which I'll have to remember for my next catered party. The Bruschetta was packed with delicious garlic, basil and vine-ripened tomatoes from Fratelli Fresh. Homemade Spinach and Ricotta pastries were a fantastic treat and taste so much better than prepackaged ones. I've noticed over the years the floats have become smaller and less creative but the passion and energy of the spectators and participants remains proud and highly vocal in their support for the event. Sydney's milk crates are also left behind in their hundreds after the event as well.

PROS: Free entertainment, Colourful, Gay-friendly
CONS: Crowded, Drunk people, Limited parking, Long time standing
MUST TRY: Making tasty bruschetta for my next dinner party

Bombay Gin & Tonic with fresh lime


Cheesy puffs with Brie and Pesto, Chef Topher

Smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumber, Chef Topher

Prawn sandwiches with rocket and aoili, Chef Topher

Spinach and ricotta pastries, Chef Nigel

Bruschetta, Chef Nigel

Chicken satay skewers

Mardi Gras Parade 2010

Flinders Street crowd opposite The Local Taphouse

Bobby Goldsmith Foundation stand

Milk crates galore after the parade

View Larger Map

26 February 2010

Matsuri Japanese Restaurant, Surry Hills (24 Nov 2009)

614 Crown Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Unfortunately No BYO

On this particular night I was keen to have Japanese at ever so popular Sushi Suma on Cleveland Street but the lineup outside at 7.45 pm was way too long to bother waiting. So I ended up trying Matsuri on Crown Street with my friends for the first time. There were plenty of seats available so we were quickly seated. All the dishes were OK and freshly cooked although I worry when I see rocket as a side garnish in a Japanese restaurant — is that authentic? The fresh Mixed Vegetable Salad had a nice soy dressing and the tempura dishes had a good crispy batter. The gyoza was more crispy fried but I generally prefer the soft version. The Teriyaki Tuna was pretty generous for the price and quite nice. You get four small pieces on the Soft Shell Crab Tempura which go quickly. In hindsight I would have not ordered the salad because you get enough salad with the main dishes. I'm suspecting it's not as popular as Sushi Suma because there's no BYO and from memory Sushi-Suma works out cheaper because portions are more generous.

PROS: Friendly service, Quiet, Fair amount of seating
MUST TRY: Lining up earlier for Sushi-Suma

Mixed vegetable salad with soy dressing $8

Vegetable Tempura $8.50

Prawn Tempura $12 for 4

Age Gyoza $8.50 for 4

Soft shell crab tempura $12

Teriyaki Tuna $10.50

Chicken Katsu $18

Dining area

Outside Matsuri Japanese Restaurant

Sushi-Suma line up so full at 7.45 pm

View Larger Map
Matsuri Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

The Spot Food & Film Festival: 7 March 2010, Randwick

Cnr Perouse Road and St Pauls Street, Randwick NSW 2031

Street Festival at The Spot

While passing Randwick Racecourse I noticed this bus shelter poster advertising The Spot Food and Film Festival. It's the first time I've actually heard of this event but it's now in its third year and sounds pretty cool promoting an international feast of food, live entertainment, market stalls and activities for kids including a jumping castle. Road closures on St Pauls Street and Perouse Road will allow for local businesses to take stalls and offer specials on the day. The open-air stage will offer a range of entertainment throughout the day. To conclude the day two Australian actors, Claudia Karvan and Steve Bisley, will be inducted into the Australian Film Walk of Fame, cementing their place in Australian film and television history.

I’m told food lovers can expect Spanish, Thai, Moroccan, Dutch pancakes, sweets and strudels. Food Connect Sydney will be giving food demonstrations on how to make a quick and delicious lunch with local produce and people will be able to buy food boxes of fresh organic produce. There will also be special performances by Randwick Girls High School’s multi-award winning Rock Eisteddfod group, Latino beats and a finale that will get everyone moving to some ABBA favourites.

When: 7 March 2010
Time: 1 pm - 7 pm
Location: 'The Spot' - St Pauls Street and Perouse Road, Randwick
Fee: Free event
Bookings: Not required

PROS: Free entertainment, Food stalls, Family friendly, Jumping castle for kids
CONS: Limited parking, Weather
MUST TRY: Checking out all the food stalls

View Larger Map

25 February 2010

Adobe Photoshop Cook By Lait Noir (25 Feb 2010)

Lait Noir

Cooking made easy

I first came across this video on swissmiss. It's sooo cool I had to share it with you all. I wish my Photoshop could do this. Cooking would be so much easier, quicker and cleaner :-)

Adobe Photoshop Cook from Lait Noir on Vimeo.

A video made in stopmotion for competition AdobeYouGC. The simulation of a tutorial which shows how to make the lovely butter cookies with the new Adobe Photoshop Cook! Whole set was made with cardboard and with kitchen utensils.

23 February 2010

Fair Day: Official Launch of Sydney Mardi Gras, Victoria Park (21 Feb 2010)

Victoria Park, City Road, Chippendale NSW 2008

A great day 'out'

The sun was shining bright for this community event that officially launched the start of Mardi Gras Festival in Sydney. If you're a dog lover then there's plenty to check out including adorable ones in the dog shows. I can't believe how many competing Turkish Gozleme stalls I came across — six in total! That's ridiculous — they are literally taking over the festival world for sure. I decided to try the Seafood Paella instead for $10 a bowl which was promoting the Spanish Terrazas Restaurant. Was quite nice for festival food and somewhat filled me up for the day. I came across some interesting and well designed cakes by Gay Cakes. They are running a competition until 31 March 2010 to win a $500 voucher — check out the details online. Dykes on Bikes were showing off their amazing looking bikes and there were fun rides throughout the park being enjoyed by the crowds. The official after-party was at the Bank Hotel in Newtown.

Happy Mardi Gras!

PROS: Fun day out, Cute dogs on show, Free entertainment, Friendly colourful characters, Fun rides
CONS: Limited parking, Limited food options, Weather
MUST TRY: Remembering to put sunscreen on

Colourful characters

Gay cakes

Dogs on show

Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella $10

Turkish Gozleme on mass
Stall number 1

Stall number 2

Stall number 3

Stall number 4

Stall number 5

Stall number 6

Dykes on Bikes
Ride with Pride with Dykes on Bikes

Victoria Park

ANZ stage – free entertainment

Enter by Donation

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map