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Restaurant Review*** Food Society has it all

On Friday night I had the pleasure of being invited to Food Society to experience its cuisine and of course, vodka! Not only has the Sydney restaurant/bar become synonymous with exceptional food and the place to head to when you’re in need of a tasty morsel with European flair, and a good dash of cool ambience, it now boasts a new chef in Ali Bahmad, and a vodka bar which offers as comprehensive a vodka range as anything you’d experience in its native Poland.

The vodka specialists

I had walked past the venue before and thought how quaint it looked and how I’d like to go there one day! It’s located next to another of my favourites, Cafe Pacifico on Riley Street in Darlinghurst. If you’re ever in the area there’s lots of places ‘off the beaten track’ in the surrounds of the area.

Back to the case in point, ha! In addition to Food Society priding itself on educating Sydneysiders on the merits of enjoying vodka on its own, they also work closely with a Melbourne mixologist to incorporate these interesting flavours into a new cocktail list!

After we had been escorted to our seats, our waiter for the evening, Matt told us about the imported vodka range, which he advised is over 70-deep, and will eventually boast 100 variants of the spirit! Impressive!

Some of the quirkier flavours include: honey, orange and clove, raspberry, quince, apple, cucumber, burnt caramel, peanut butter, jelly and coconut!

The Czech and Polish beers were yum!

My favourite was the honey vodka, it is tradition to drink the vodka as a shot with your guests at the table. We of course invited Matt to join us! In addition to the vodka, Food Society of course places equal importance on the fare it serves, which is created esteemed chef Ali Bahmad and his team, who says: “I’ve always had a passion for all things artistic, whether it is theatre, movies, music or art. Food and cooking is my outlet to showcase my artistic side and talent.”

The starter – ‘cigar’ – Spinich, mint and feta

Ali hails from Aqua Luna Bar and Restaurant, La Sala, Sake Restaurant & Bar, and now, head chef at Food Society – impressive resume hey!

Fried Cauliflower – Surprisingly amazing! Like healthy wedges

Matt explained to use that Food Society opened its doors in August 2011, and that they had recently celebrated their first birthday! Many happy returns I hope!!

The slow cooked lamb ribs were out of this world! The best I’ve ever had – The meat literally fell off the bone

The venue itself takes you on a trip back in time to the 1950s – it was like stepping into grandma’s comfy lounge, where an eclectic mix of modern European fare awaited. We went on a journey that involved a love affair with good food and exceptional vodka [and other spirits], it definitely didn’t disappoint and I’d go as far to say that it was one of the best meals I’ve had in Sydney!

Equally the duck was phenomenal!

Starting the first weekend in Spring Food Society is launching “Secret Women’s Business” which is “kind of high tea, kind of naughty”… a canapé sort of degustation and amazing flavours in vodka “sippers”, it’s not your average high tea…. bookings only, it’s a great afternoon with the girls… Get it booked in! Ha!

 About The Food Society team

The Food Society was established by long-time colleagues, Brendan Lloyd and Sonia Stanojevic. With a combined experience of over 30 years, both Brendan and Sonia were young entrepreneurs in and out of the food industry, having set up businesses at a very young age. Brendan’s food experience commenced with commercial cookery, working his way into the sales and event management area. Sonia started her own food business early on, then moved into hotels, starting at the front of house and moving into all areas of sales and marketing for high profile events. Brendan and Sonia met through managing a catering event business in Sydney together.

Executive Event Chef Khalil Perazzo and Head Restaurant Chef Ali Bahmad lead the Food Society kitchen team.

All of the Food Society menus are designed by our Executive Chef Kahlil Perazzo (ex, Tetsuya, Balzac, Quay, Rockpool – the list goes on, he’s very accomplished) and while his primary focus here is the Special Event Catering and bespoke menus, his creativity has heavily influenced the restaurant and our Head Chef Ali;

On the service side, Robert Kania, head staff trainer and event manager has a background which stems from personally looking after the board of Directors at Merryl and Lynch, New York. Head Event Manager Darius Grygo has worked running events at Wall Street’s Cipriani’s and served loyal clients including legendary band, U2.

Food Society has just also been nominated for an award in the ‘Caterer at an Event’ category, in the 2012 Restaurant and Catering Awards.

For more information visit; opening hours are Monday and Wednesday to Saturday, 5.30pm to 12.00am, Sunday 5.30pm to 12.00am, closed on Tuesdays, phone the venue for restaurant bookings on (02) 8090 3462. Address is 91 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010.

** Sydney Social 101 was invited to Food Society as a guest – However all views expressed in the post are the honest opinions of the author

About sydneysocial

One twenty-something year old girl who has been living in Australia since Jan 2009.

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