Food News, September 29, 2011

September 2011

News just in: Our picks of the Sydney International Food Festival; the wind finally gets beneath Sails’ wings; a taste of Macau at Four Seasons hotel; and experimental dinners at Claude’s. Oh -- and some little-known facts about eyebrows.


A little bit of SIFF

It will be hard to ignore the Crave Sydney International Food Festival in the coming weeks — not that we’d want to. Once again, it’s a fat program bulging with too much to do, too much to eat and too many — in my opinion — exxy offerings. So we’ve cherry-picked the program for a few that come in at a more reasonable level, or at least offer something special.

Oyster Festival: As always at this time of the year, the oyster festival is on at Manta (6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo, Ph 9332 3822). The best oysters of the season are available, from $3.50 each, with either a glass of wine or Chandon or — because the festival this year has a South American accent — a Pisco sour. I had to look Pisco up: it’s a sort of a Peruvian Chilean grappa/oruja named after the conical pot it was originally aged in. Check it out on Wikipedia, fascinating story.

Details: Oyster Festival lunch, Sunday October 16 from noon. Better book.

Sustainable seafood night: Not so cheap but definitely good nosh will be the sustainable seafood night at Fish & Co (41 Booth Street, Annandale, Ph 9660 5575), with a five-course meal prepared by owner Tom Kime, along with organic wines and Tom offering yarns from his latest book Fish Tales.

Details: October 12 at 7.30pm, $140 a head, all inclusive.

GreenUps gab: How about $10 to get in on GreenUps night of discussion and idea-sharing in the courtyard at the Beresford Hotel (354 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Ph 9357 1111). GreenUps is a group of city dwellers with an interest in and concern for the environment and sustainability. The food will be from the pub and for that night (and we hope forever more) from a green and sustainable menu.

Details: October 4 from 6pm — ring to book. Keep up with Greenups here

Artsy dinner: And not at all cheap, but worthwhile, is the Sydney Dance Company’s Arts Table for 1000 at Pier 2, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, at $1500 a table or $150 each, which includes food by Ventuno and Summer on the Bay and wine by Nepenthe and Scotchman’s Hill et cetera again; plus a short performance from the company. It’s all for a good cause:  raising money for the truly fabulous SDC.

Details: Book on 9258 4833 or email


Sails full

Neil Perry had, I think, his first-ever job as a waiter there and for years it was known as the restaurant with one of the best views and some of the most boring food in Sydney. I think I went there years ago but, to be honest, if I did, I’ve completely forgotten. I’m talking about Sails on Lavender Bay (2 Henry Lawson Avenue, McMahons Point, Ph 9955 5998) and, boy, has it changed. After several attempts at a rebirth it’s going off bigtime. Chef Nathan Darling is serving seriously good food and the service is impeccable. I went there on a recent Monday night and it was packed. Not a Cheap Eat but put it in your book for a special-occasion outing. Whatever question you pop at Sails, you’ll get a yes.


Macau munchies

Despite numerous trips to Hong Kong, I never made it to Macau, the old Portuguese enclave a short ferry ride to the southwest. Maybe because it seemed to be about gambling; maybe because there was too much fun to be had in Honkers. But wait long enough and it will come to you. October 14–21, at Kables (Level 2, Four Seasons Hotel, 199 George Street, Sydney, Ph 9250 3306) there’ll be a Macanese Food Festival with Four Seasons Macau chefs Gary Wong and Alex Lim whipping up dishes such as Macanese prawns with chilli and garlic; Bacalhau a Bras — shredded codfish with scrambled eggs, onion, French fries and parsley;and Macanese egg custard tarts, which look suspiciously like Portuguese tarts — probably because they are. I’m interested to see the crossover between Chinese and Portuguese — and to ask why one of the dishes is called African chicken. Best book.


The Mighty Bouche

Hands up fans of The Mighty Boosh. Maybe the wildest, weirdest and occasionally filthiest television show ever. The vain and shabbily suave Howard Moon once offered to take even vainer Vince Noir out for a meal “with Mr and Mrs Pain, order up some violent quiche”. We’re pretty sure this is not what Chui Lee Luk and the team at Claude’s (10 Oxford Street, Woollahra, Ph 9331 2325) have in mind for their Tuesday night experiments named after the show and in the tradition of Tony Bilson’s dinners at the late, lamented Fine Bouche.

What Chui is doing is taking the starch out of Claude’s and these dinners will be experimental and will be taking inspiration and direction from her recent decision to come out of the pagoda and get back to her Chinese/Asian roots. The food will be complemented by a changing gallery of contemporary Chinese art from the Ray Hughes Gallery; for the first dinner, the witty and food-obsessed Li Jin. The experiment kicks off on September 27 at a very reasonable $75 a head.


Raising eyebrows

I had to do a bit of research to get this on a food e-newsletter. Driving along Frederick Street in Ashfield recently, I stopped at the lights at Thomas Street and saw a large banner announcing INTERNATIONAL EYEBROW SHAPING CHAMPION on the Paris Pearl beauty salon on the corner. Wanting to share this with you, I Googled “food” and “eyebrows” and came up with some useful stuff. If your eyebrows are too thin, you can fill them out by making sure there’s sulphur in your diet — or by taking dietary supplements with sulphur. You can also pat your poor old thin eyebrows with extra virgin olive oil, salmon oil or castor essential oil to thicken them up. And eat plenty of meat, beans, lentils, peanut butter and tofu. Then, when they’re thick but unruly, go and see the world champion shaper, Jan Miles at Paris Pearl. I do hope ex-PM John Howard is reading this; his eyebrows were threatening to take over his face. 

Article Tags: Sydney International Food FestivalClaude'sFish & CoMantaSails on Lavender Bay

Sydney International Food Festival, Claude's, Fish & Co, Manta, Sails on Lavender Bay
  • OR

Join our Newsletter!

Join other Sydney foodies and sign up for the Eatstreets Newsletter

Subscribe Now

The guide reviews each restaurant, lists some of the more memorable dishes and provides a sample of their prices.

Buy Now!