Cheap eats

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Social Spy** Just Desserts – March into Merivale



Last night Sydney Social 101 was invited to Establishment Main Bar last night as it was transformed into a sweet tooth’s heaven for ‘Just Desserts’, a sensational sweet event as part of March into Merivale.


We were greeted with over 400 dessert lovers arrived at the historic bar to enjoy mouth-watering dessert stations from est., Mr. Wong, Ms G’s and Lorraine’s Patisserie, alongside delicious dessert wines and espresso martinis.


Multi-award winning chef Peter Doyle, acclaimed pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark and Ms G’s head chef Paul Donnelly served up tantalising treats including Hazelnut parfait and apricot honey compote; Hot banana, nutella and salted caramel spring roll; strawberry ice cream with jasmine yoghurt and black sesame; and Swiss meringue roll served on banana and passionfruit confit.


It was a great evening, even if you don’t have a sweet tooth!



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March into Merivale, Sydney’s signature Food and Wine Festival, and one of Sydney Social 101’s favourite food festivals, returns for its sixth sensational year from Wednesday 12 February to Friday 11 April. Inspired by the first and favourite food memories of Merivale’s talented chefs, the eight week culinary feast will feature over 60 mouth-watering events across an unrivalled range of restaurants, bars and pubs, from the hatted est. and Mr. Wong to local hangouts Papi Chulo and The Fish Shop. Tickets are on sale Wednesday 22 January from

This year’s March into Merivale theme, ‘Born to Cook’, draws on the chefs’ first, favourite and funniest food experiences, inviting diners on a delicious trip down memory lane. Their memories are as diverse as the chefs themselves and reveal the variety of influences and talent that lead Merivale’s award-winning kitchens. Dan Hong, for example, owes his cooking prowess to the early influence of his mother Angie who would often spread newspaper and sit on the kitchen floor, cutting up whole chickens with a cleaver. For Palings’ Christopher Whitehead, it was the ‘Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook’ that first inspired his love of food and he remembers smuggling a torch into bed to pore over the pages of recipes. Felix’s Nathan Johnson recalls the English Summer and the unmistakable sound of the local ice cream van while fellow Brit Jeremy Strode reminisces about his daily childhood job of collecting milk straight from the source. Papi Chulo’s formidable duo, Patrick Friesen and Christopher Hogarth, might be joined at the hip now but their childhood food memories couldn’t be further apart – Tasmanian raised Chris loved to fish with his brothers and throw the catch straight on the BBQ while Canadian born Patrick had an unusual taste for butter, eating chunks straight from the fridge and earning the nickname Phat Pat as a result.

March into Merivale will officially kick off on Wednesday 12 February with the annual Launch Party at ivy. Showcasing the best food and drinks from over twenty Merivale venues, the Launch Party will see more than 3,000 food lovers take over Paling’s Kitchen & Bar, The Den and Terrace, Ivy Ballroom and Ash Street. Guests will be able to meet their favourite chefs, bartenders and sommeliers as they’re served up signature dishes, cocktails and wines, all while enjoying the roving entertainment. The event ticket, priced at $35, comes with eight tokens to redeem at the various stalls, with top-ups available on the night.

Turning kitchens and bars into culinary playgrounds, Merivale has created over sixty amazing events to tantalise the tastebuds. ‘Around the World with Eighty Whites’ will take guests on a global expedition of white wine discovery, curated by Merivale’s Master Sommelier, Franck Moreau, on Wednesday 5 March. Dessert lovers can keep their sweet tooth sugary with ‘Just Desserts presented by Foxtel’s LifeStyle FOOD’, a dessert extravaganza at Establishment on Monday 10 March. Manly’s hotly-tipped Papi Chulo crosses the bridge for the ultimate urban barbeque party ‘Where There’s Smoke’ at ivy on Wednesday 19 March before Ash Street is again transformed into a twilight street fair for ‘European Laneway’ on Wednesday 9 April. est. is ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ with an elegant high tea, Uccello embraces Frank Sinatra with a special ‘mafioso’ dinner and London’s Brick Lane comes to Bistrode CBD for a one-off Indian feast.

Cocktail devotees can be taught how to shake and stir by Merivale’s Group Bars Manager, Paul Mant, with ‘Mixology 101’ at Palmer & Co throughout March. Beer enthusiasts can indulge their love for a ‘cold one’ at ‘Beer at Beresford’ on Saturday 8 March and those with a penchant for Pinot can taste eight international Pinots in a master class at ivy Bottle Shop on Tuesday 8 April.

It wouldn’t be March into Merivale without the incredibly affordable $33 meal deals. Available for lunch or dinner, Monday to Friday, a meal and a glass of wine or beer can be enjoyed at all eleven Merivale restaurants throughout the festival. Merivale pubs have their own take on the $33 deal, offering two meals and two drinks for only $33. The menus will change frequently, leaving no excuse not to try them all.


Justin Hemmes, Merivale CEO, said: “Now in its sixth year, March into Merivale continues to grow bigger, better and more delicious than ever. This year, our talented chefs have taken a step back in time with the memories that first ignited their passion for cooking. Along with our wonderful sommeliers and bartenders, they have created over 60 amazing events that prove exactly why they were born to cook”.

March into Merivale Food and Wine Festival
12 February to 11 April 2014
For tickets and bookings, visit

Celebrate Australia Day in True Blue Aussie Style

This Australia Day long weekend, from Friday 24 to Monday 27 January, W. Short Hotel Group is celebrating the best of our nation with some true blue Aussie events across their iconic venues in Sydney and the mid north coast.

The Group owns and operates some of NSW’s most iconic pubs and hotels, including The Australian Heritage Hotel and The Glenmore in The Rocks, The Royal in Leichhardt and The Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks.

The Australian Heritage Hotel will of course be the place to celebrate all things traditionally Aussie over the long weekend with over 130 Aussie beers, a special Australia Day menu including their famous pizzas (anyone for a Coat Of Arms pizza?), and live entertainment.

Up the road at The Glenmore’s iconic rooftop bar, the beers will be flowing from 10am on Sunday 26 January with the Triple J Hottest 100 played all day, followed by a local DJ after the countdown. The pub’s mouth-watering food menu will also be available all day.

At The Royal in Leichhardt, Aussie beers, tunes and a special mixed grill will be the order of the day on Sunday 26, bringing some traditional Aussie style to Sydney’s ‘Little Italy’.

For those looking to get away for the weekend, the Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks will be the perfect spot to celebrate on the coast with face painting for the kids, crab racing, a prawn shelling competition and live music from local artists Paul Clement and Mark Wells. The Seabreeze also offers a wide range of comfortable and spacious rooms, all at an affordable price, making it the perfect long weekend getaway.

For further information on any of the venues or events, visit

Rekorderlig Cider to unveil their Beautifully Swedish Bar & Gazebo at Sydney Festival 2014

Rekorderlig Cider Sydney Festival Night


Rekorderlig Cider returns as the official cider sponsor for iconic Sydney Festival in 2014, creating a beautiful themed outdoor bar to feature at Festival Village, the new day-to-night highlight of Sydney Festival.


The Rekorderlig Bar will feature a striking, wooden deck with Rekorderlig bean bags and comfortable deck chairs for festival goers to relax as well as long wooden share tables to get together with friends and enjoy the range of Rekorderlig flavours on offer. Open from 4:30pm, the Rekorderlig bar will offer jugs of your favourite cider flavour to share in its perfect serve, including fresh garnishes and tasty fruit additions.

Rekorderlig Cider Sydney Festival

Located adjacent to the Rekorderlig Bar, the Rekorderlig Gazebo will be the ultimate weekend music and party destination. The unique location will showcase exciting Sydney DJ’s throughout the duration of the festival. You can find the DJ line-up here –


The annual Sydney Festival event kicks off 2014 with a bold cultural celebration of music, quality art and performances. This exciting, cultural, summer celebration in Sydney, Hyde Park, will occur from 9thJanuary – 27th January 2014.


* Rekorderlig Cider at Festival Village will be located at Hyde Park North, entry near the Archibald Fountain.

In addition aaward-winning Swedish Cider, Rekorderlig, has launched their first brand film in cinemas nationwide including the St George Open Air Cinema this January 2014.

The Rekorderlig Cider brand film features the four Beautifully Swedish Collective members, following the ambassadors doing daily activities that are unique to each of them. These individuals are rising stars in trendsetting and unique in their field, representing inspiring aspects of the Beautifully Swedish lifestyle. The film highlights each Collective member including; stylist and fashion blogger Caroline Blomst on a fashion shoot among the spring blossom, professional snowboarder and thrill seeker Chris Sörmancarving down snow-capped mountains, professional kite surfer Erika Lindberg riding the waves and talented artist and lifestyle photographer Agnes Thor capturing an Autumn moment.


The brand film captures the fun-loving spirit of the Swedish people and the Rekorderlig Cider brand, shot in various locations across Sweden and Barbados. From kite surfing in the sunshine to snowboarding high in the Swedish mountains, the film highlights the Beautifully Swedish lifestyle worldwide and Rekorderlig’s versatility throughout the seasons.

Directed by: Adam Alexandroni, The Apartment A

Soundtrack: Sweetness Alive by Goldroom feat. Say Lou Lou


Social 101** Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan go fishing

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North Bondi Fish opens December 17
Bondi locals will have another reason to stay beachside when North Bondi Fish, the highly anticipated, casual restaurant and bar by Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan, opens on December 17.
Located a few short steps from the sand and surf in the old North Bondi Italian site, North Bondi Fish is Bondi at its best. The restaurant is a relaxed space, which personifies beachside chic and is the perfect spot for lunch, dinner and everything in between. The kitchen opens at midday and the full menu is available all day and late into the evening.
A nod to the waterfront location, North Bondi Fish interiors are playful and welcoming and take inspiration from the Mediterranean seaside, suiting the relaxed vibe perfectly. Think a mixture of communal, casual wooden benches and tables, light shades with pops of colour throughout the inside spilling onto the outdoor deck.
The North Bondi Fish menu features fresh, simple, seafood dishes using the best quality produce. The focus is on casual dining with light, fresh food. The menu offers a selection of small bites, summer salads and simple grilled fish dishes charcoal-grilled on the kitchen’s Inka Grill. Some of Matt’s favourites include yellowfin tuna ceviche; sweet potato scallops; prawn roll; grilled snapper with asparagus, pea shoots and avocado; and his own take on fish fingers. Of course, it wouldn’t be Bondi without a choice of several indulgent ice cream sundaes for a soothing end to a day in the surf.
The unique wine list, designed by Matt Dunne, features crisp aromatic whites and lighter reds, a mix of Australian and European wines with Champagne and prosecco among the 20 different wines served by the glass or carafe.
Lovers of a good G&T will be pleased to see their tipple is offered a variety of ways; Hendricks with fresh cucumber; Tanqueray Ten with fresh pink grapefruit; or Bombay Sapphire with fresh lime and orange. There are also a couple of North Bondi Fish specials such as a North Bondi Crush (Fresh watermelon and Campari served in a jar) and N-B-C (North Bondi Colada: Havana Club, passionfruit pulp, coconut syrup, fresh lime and pineapple juice) as well as the ultimate summer beachside drink, an Aperol Spritz (Aperol, soda, prosecco and fresh orange).
Well acquainted with the eastern suburbs, Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan began their restaurateur partnership 21 years ago at Paddington Inn Bistro and now own ARIA in Sydney and Brisbane and most recently opened CHISWICK in Woollahra in 2012.
Matt Moran says the duo is thrilled to be opening North Bondi Fish in this fantastic beachside location.
“North Bondi Fish is for the locals. It’s relaxed, it’s fun and it’s no fuss. It is the kind of place you head to for something good to eat anytime of the day, even while still in your thongs and boardies,” says Moran.
North Bondi Fish
120 Ramsgate Avenue, North Bondi
P: 02 9130 2155 / E: 
Instagram & Twitter: @northbondifish
Tuesday to Sunday, all day dining from midday.
Booking enquiries from December 17, 2013
Reservations will be taken for a limited number of tables with some kept available for walk-ins.




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Peroni Nastro Azzurro, number one premium Italian beer, will takeover popular Elizabeth Bay venue, Gazebo Wine Garden for the month of November for the inaugural Peroni Piazza.


Internationally loved by premium beer drinkers, Peroni is renowned as a symbol of style, and takes pride in working with brands that share its values of quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail.


The Gazebo Wine Garden is the perfect fit for the premium Italian brand, echoing the class and effortless refinement of Peroni, making it an impeccable venue for the Peroni Piazza.


Gazebo Wine Garden welcomes guests to the Peroni Piazza throughout November to enjoy special deals on Collezione Peroni and accompanying Aperativo, in the newly decorated outdoor terrace at the venue in true Peroni style.


Friday the 1st of November saw the launch of Peroni Piazza with the exclusive event kicking off at 5pm. Gazebo served Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Peroni Leggera, as well as samples of traditional Aperitivo to special guests.



What’s on – The Bucket List Pop-up – Sculptures by the Sea

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It’s no secret that Bucket List in Bondi is one of Sydney Social’s favourite haunts for a night out/ day by the beach! We are pleased to reveal that as part of this years Sculptures by the Sea, The Bucket List will be holding a POP UP Bar – a first for both.

BucketList_0058 Queensland prawns photo cred Nick Hudson[1][1][1]

Head chef Tom Walton will be whipping out crab po’boys during the evening, there will be jugs of Pimms all served in true Bucket List style, they are even bringing their milk crate seats with them!

Crab Po Boy 2[1][1][1]

The night will commence with some great tunes to celebrate all things food and Bucket List fun! The POP UP will be held for the two weekends (Fri – Sun) during Sculptures.

Here is a sneak peek at the venue:

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What’s on: The Cottage Bar & Kitchen Launches Its Spring Menu

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The weather is warming up and The Cottage Bar & Kitchen in Balmain has launched its new spring menu just in time – it’s perfect for sharing with friends and family on long, hot, sunny days. Designed by head chef Ellen Young, dishes include baby corn with lime oil, parmesan and micro coriander; arancini with lemon, mint, pea & haloumi; snow pea salad with red onion and cabbage, carrot, and orange oil; seared scallops with rocket, fresh fruit vinaigrette and prosciutto; and pork ribs with guava BBQ sauce and jicama salad. The menu also boasts an extensive selection of the finest cheeses from the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

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The restaurant is a wine bar that feels like grandma’s farmhouse, with a mismatch of kitsch and vintage furniture and a newly opened courtyard for alfresco dining. The menu is inspired by ‘share-style’ food and pizza’s cooked in the huge pizza oven – one of the centre pieces of the venue – and an extensive wine list is comprehensive yet approachable with some quirky twists, along with top notch cocktails and craft beers on offer.

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Working with renowned designers Luchetti Krelle (of Momofuku Seiobo, Hinky Dinks and Sake fame) the owners put together the concept for the venue, creating a warm and friendly space which complements Balmain’s rustic heritage. The Cottage Bar & Kitchen is a charming venue which food and wine lovers will relish, and locals will want to make their regular hangout.

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The Bucket List, chef Tom Walton and Fishtales are throwing on a Seafood Festival to highlight local seafood purveyors. As part of Good Food Month, it is a chance for locals to taste and eat their way through mini stalls whilst talking with the purveyors. Pepe Saya butter and Brasserie Bread will be served to complement all the seafood dishes to complete the experience.


“This festival is an exciting opportunity to showcase some of our producers in the local seafood industry. There’s nothing better than a weekend of great food, sharing a few of my favourite seafood preparation methods and dishes in the Masterclass so that people can walk away with new inspiration to add to their repertoire,” says Chef Tom Walton.

A family friendly festival, food aficionados and aspiring mini masterchefs will equally get their fix with Tom hosting two Masterclasses a day over the festive weekend. Choose to learn how to cure and smoke seafood or how to create delicious seafood salads, just in time for summer. If that’s not enough, the Godfather of hand churned butter, Pepe Saya will be joining the class and showcasing the secrets behind his famous hand churned butter.


WHAT: Seafood Festival Extravaganza & Masterclass, free face painting and live music.

WHERE: The Bucket List, Shop 1, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Pavilion WHEN: Saturday 26th October & Sunday 27th October from 12PM WHO: Chef Tom Walton & Pepe Saya

HOW: Taste tickets sold at the door $10 each or buy 6 tastes for $50



The Beresford Hotel is set for a sensational summer with the return of its much loved outdoor cinema, an exciting Chandon celebration, tasty new meal offers at the modern Italian trattoria, local art exhibitions every Thursday night and an impressive monthly line-up of quality live music.


Kicking off on the October long weekend, Beresford’s leafy courtyard will transform into Surry Hills’ own backyard cinema. As the sun sets each Monday night, ‘Summer of Movies’ at Beresford will showcase some of the best films that have made millions laugh, started illustrious careers, won a host of awards and helped us celebrate love, life and freedom. ‘Summer of Movies’ is free, with $15 lasagne and Vino Rosso available from the Italian trattoria.

The acclaimed likes of Hitchcock, Coppola and Scorsese get the season started with ‘Director’s Chair’ in October, before Beresford’s head chef Reid Hingston, artist booker and managers choose their favourites for ‘Staff Picks’ in November. December brings ‘Soundtrack Season’ showcasing films with memorable scores from ‘Jaws’ to ‘West Side Story’ while knee-slapping, head-throwing, belly laughs are guaranteed in January with ‘Laugh, A lot’. ‘Love & Cheese’ is timed perfectly in February; Beresford shows its soft side with some of the most adored love stories from ‘Notting Hill’ to ‘Dirty Dancing’. March celebrates equality and freedom with acclaimed films such as ‘Milk’ and ‘A Single Man’ before jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring action flicks like ‘The Departed’ and ‘Bourne Identity’ take over in April.


To celebrate the arrival of Sydney’s unrivalled summer, The Beresford, in partnership with Chandon, is throwing a ‘Welcome to Summer’ party on Saturday 26 October. With complimentary Chandon, a sizzling BBQ and DJs turning tracks all afternoon in the legendary courtyard, this is the place to party in the summer sun. Throughout the season, Beresford will also offer a very special Chandon package – a bottle of limited edition ‘Chandon Summer’ and Italian tasting plate for only $45, available every weekend.

The Beresford has introduced a selection of tasty daily food specials to its modern Italian trattoria and courtyard. Headed up by the talented Reid Hingston, whose rustic, fresh and no-fuss approach to Italian cooking has set Beresford apart from the rest, the kitchen offers a range of fantastic offers every day of the week. With $20 Chicken Parmigianas on Tuesday, $15 homemade pasta and Pinot on Thursday, an Italian ‘Mama’s Table’ feast on Wednesday and a $25 courtyard cucina BBQ on Sunday, The Beresford is the ideal place to wile away balmy summer evenings with great food in a warm and welcoming local setting.

Beresford is also supporting the vast amount of outstanding local talent in Surry Hills with a weekly art showcase. From 6pm on Thursdays, guests can check out a variety of local art from sculptures to illustrations and paintings while enjoying the great value dining and live DJ sets.

Each and every Friday and Saturday night, Upstairs Beresford plays host to an impressive line-up of talented live musicians and DJ sets. Delivering quality live music in a fun and intimate setting for free, the venue has become a firm favourite among music fans and artists alike and has recently enjoyed spectacular performances by the likes of Arts Vs Science, Sheppard and Prinnie Stevens, as well as a host of hotly tipped home-grown talent.

For further information on summer at The Beresford, please visit:

Echoer – Featured Blogger


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