Sydney Bar Week: Drinks Fest

Thanks to the generosity of the event organisers, I attended the Drinks Fest afternoon session at Sydney Bar Week today. Held at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour, it was absolutely the best place to be with the warm weather, the sun reflecting off the water and unbeatable views.

I got to meet a number of representatives from various alcohol companies, and did a bit of taste-testing at each stand. Some of my personal highlights included:

  1. The Vok Chocolat liquor range is amazing. The Rich Cocoa blend was particularly great, and would give a nice kick to a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night.
  2. A five minute neck and shoulder massage at the Monkey Shoulder stand. With my near-constant back pain, any massage is always warmly welcome!
  3. 1883 syrups – a great lychee flavoured syrup which would work well with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
  4. The Boysencider from Old Mout Cider – fresh and fruity, perfect for a warm summer’s day.
  5. Some Rekorderlig cider flavours which are hard to find in a usual liquor store. I ended up going home with a bottle each of: Winter Cider, Mango-Raspberry and Apple-Blackcurrant.
  6. A tasting of Bulleit Bourbon, followed by a shot of pickle juice and a dill pickle. It was surprisingly tasty, though it sounds strange!

Well done to the Bar Week organisers – there was a great range of exhibitors there, and a good schedule of special classes and tastings. I look forward to the Fashionable Drinks event tomorrow!

Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour

This past weekend, I joined Lauren of Travelicious Tours for the Saturday Fresh Food Markets half-day tour. As a small family-run business, the vibe of Travelicious Tours was very different to other food tours I’ve attended, as the tour group was much smaller with seven people and much more personal and intimate as a result.

Note: I joined this tour as a complimentary guest for review purposes.

We started out at 9am on Saturday, meeting at Central Station. Our small group of seven was made up of four older ladies, a younger couple in their late twenties, and myself – promoted by Lauren to the others as a blogger who was there to review the tour. I’ll take that label, and wear it with pride.

Jumping into the Travelicious minivan (chauffered by Lauren’s husband Shaun – I told you it was a family-run business!) we headed towards the Eveleigh Farmers Market, with Lauren giving the group a short history and profile of the markets along the way.

Eveleigh is the type of farmers market where the average stallholder holds numerous awards for the excellence of their produce and products. Built on what used to be former estate in colonial times, the market owners have the strictest standards in order to maintain this level of excellence, ensuring that all their stallholders are small growers who sell produce or items that are organic, local, and sustainable in nature.

Eveleigh markets

As soon as you arrive at Eveleigh Markets, you can absolutely see exactly how prestigious it must be to hold a stall there. I’ve shopped at markets before – however they have always prided themselves on quantity over quality. This is definitely not the case at Eveleigh with under 50 stallholders selling produce that looked so good that your mouth would start watering as soon as you stepped into the market hall. This actually made it quite difficult for Lauren to keep our small group together as people were constantly lured away by the promise of some tasty produce to take home.

The two hours we spent at Eveleigh Markets were designed to give us a personal connection and conversation with some key stallholders and some exclusive taste testing, while also giving us half an hour to shop to our heart’s content for organic produce. Continue reading “Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour”

Review: Moo Gourmet Burgers, Crows Nest

wagyu burgerMy colleagues and I have eaten a few times at Moo Gourmet Burgers (Crows Nest branch) for what we have dubbed our Moos and Booze lunches. I tag Moo on Twitter whenever I eat there. This week before we went for lunch, I tweeted them to let them know we were coming, and they offered my group a discount on drinks with $2 beers and mango bellinis (rather than $10 drinks!). Score!

This week I also took advantage of their Wagyu Wednesday special where you can get a Wagyu burger for the price of a classic cheeseburger. This meant I paid $14.50AUD in total (instead of $24.50AUD) for a gourmet Wagyu beef burger and a mango bellini – an amazing deal by anyone’s standards!
The caramelised onion is probably the best bit of the burger, as it really hit the perfect degree of sweetness. I’m not normally much of a red meat eater, but the onion set the wagyu off perfectly.

In the past I’ve also had the Greek Lamb Burger and the Chicken, Avocado and Bacon Burger – both delicious. I recommend a basket of the cheesy bacon fries (so decadent), but it’s wise to share them with a group of friends because the burgers are so large that it’s a struggle for a single person to eat a burger and a side of fries.

Props to Moo Burgers for their active engagement with their audience through social media channels. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and start a conversation…who knows where it may go?

NB: I was not paid to write this review, but I did get a pretty good deal!
Moo Gourmet Burgers  on Urbanspoon