Wednesdays at The Cuban Place

You can never go wrong with having a $1 burrito in one hand and a glass of $12 classic mojito in the other- only available at The Cuban Place every Wednesday!

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“Since The Cuban Place opened in Sydney, on the 26th of April 2011, it has developed a reputation as a destination restaurant and bar for live music, great food and the best mojitos in Australia. We have taken inspiration from the vibrant heydays in Cuba’s1950’s and have put a little slice of Havana in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.”

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Situated next to the QVB on the same street as Abbeys Bookshop is The Cuban Place: a quirky and fun bar and restaurant with a quite a hipster vibe.

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Walking inside and up the stairs, you’ll notice that the walls are plastered with messages from all over the world- I miss travelling and read random messages!

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There are two sections: the restaurant and the bar. When we approached the friendly staff, they offered us to sit at a table at the restaurant and voluntarily told us that there were $1 burritos on the menu if you order at the bar! Talk about supportive and caring staff! #winning

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Dim lights, framed pictures, sofa pods and the casual paintings on the wall sets a comfy ambience. I absolutely love it!

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Next to the toilets is el salle de miembros = hall for members..and one of the staff members politely told us that it has a rude meaning too..whoops!

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The bar section is gorgeous! It’s like a whole array of lights came together and had a disco party. The writing on the glass and walls really set a scene.

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The arrangement of photos in clusters was pretty cool. I’m not sure what the typical ‘Cuban’ vibe is but to me, this made it quite vintage and trendy. I think it’s quite similar at Coco Cubano?

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Sitting down, we ordered an original mojito $12 and a mai tai $18. The classic mojito was yes, a classic although I would’ve liked a bit more mint muddled in the cocktail. The mai tai was soooooo tasty with its hint of orange liqueur. The service was fast!

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The burritos came a bit later. Ummm… so this counts as two burritos! I must say I was expecting a whole burrito but you know what? It’s only $1 -so whatevs. There was only one choice so if you’re vegetarian and have any dietary requirements, it’s a bit unfortunately in this case.

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Nevertheless, the burrito was very carb-y with a massive deal of rice, beans, cheese and chicken. It wasn’t ah-amazing but it was still satisfying for its price. My favourite was the crispy tortilla that wrapped it all together. It was toasted and crunchy!

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To be honest, I would’ve expected more people to be here on a Wednesday night. There were the regular office workers but compared to The Soda Factory, which offers $1 hotdogs on Tuesdays, this place was not busy at all! We arrived there at 6:30 and there were at least half a dozen tables available. There was music and I loved how we could enjoy the atmosphere.

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So if you’re looking for a nice cocktail bar with cheap as chips food, head to a The Cuban Place- you won’t be disappointed!

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Wednesdays at The Cuban Place): 4.5/5

Ambience: 4.5/5

Service: 4.75/5

Value: 4/5

Would I recommend going to The Cuban Place? If you’re up for a cocktail for a mid week drink, this is the place to go. My original mojito was $12 but you could add a Cuban touch to it for $15 or more.

Highlight: Totally didn’t expect the waiters come I and accommodate us. I was thinking that perhaps they’ll just serve us the burritos but they exceeded our expectations. Water In our glasses were filled, they gave us menus, served us, answered our questions…restaurant service quality. The other favourite was the display of the whole bar. The lights worked really well and I loved the deco around us!

Suggestion of improvement: Thumbs up for the $1 burrito that was served. Crispy outside and very filling insides. Having a bit more vege could’ve been better instead of the jam-packed rice and beans. It would be even better if there were a couple of options, but I’m still not complaining!

Occurs: every Wednesday from 5pm. This deal is not displayed on their website but on Facebook only.

Linkhttp://www.thecubanplace.com.au/

Angela Bee

Brewery Yard Markets – The Living Mall

Brewery Yard Markets launched last Sunday under the blue sky and blazing sun, where shops from The Living Mall and beyond came together to showcase their trendy products.

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“Held adjacent to Chippendale Green every second Sunday from 10am to 4pm, you will be delighted by street art, quirky crafts, jewellery, local designer threads, acoustic music and live entertainment.

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My oh my was it a beautiful day! Couldn’t really ask for better whether, aye? If you haven’t been to The Living Mall, it is a $2 billion urban village in Sydney, designed by the world’s leading architects to the highest standards of sustainable urban living. They’ve bought innovative shopping to Sundays with their newly launched markets and it was fabulous seeing so many people checking it out! So let’s cut to the chase.

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Heading the escalators, past Woolies and out into the open area, I noticed that all the outdoor restaurants had white fenced greenery with sun umbrellas for their customers to enjoy the summer sunshine. #winning

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There were so many stalls! I only expected a couple but it seems like everyone was willing to contribute!

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Say hello to the Museli Man!

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I have a feeling I totally agree with this sign..

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Since I last came to Central Park, there have been a few more cafes/restaurants that have popped up, one being Autolyse. The name itself doesn’t say much but the display of breads just made my mouth water. Did I mention that there were croissants and danishes to sample? Loved the crunch on the pastries- it was French-quality (and Angela approved) and I’ll definitely going there again!

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A good ol Aussie BBQ is an all-time favourite at the markets. You can’t go wrong by having one of the burgers for lunch!

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Work-Shop Gallery had a massive display including someone drawing live. I guess I’ve always liked my so it was fabulous seeing it come to life.

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Coco Cubano’s stall saw the virgin Mojitos and iced Granitas. Read my previous review of Coco Cubano here. For a sunny day like this, ice granitas are the perfect way to cool down.

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I love how Raw Eats aimed to educate passer-byers. They had a sign explaining what it means to eat ‘raw’ and its benefits.

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Speakeasy Co. are hand cut, hand brewed and hand poured hand-made candles.

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Pigeonhole had their quirky jewelry,  fun polaroids, and other fun stuff displayed.

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I love cactus’s. I’m not the best at watering plants and Huddle Co’s potted plants are definitely on my list of things I would love to buy.

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Have you tried Marysol’s Haberno and Ghost chilli sauces? I tried it and it aint for the faint-hearted!

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Remedia’s soaps were a specialty! How pretty are they? Check out the Orange Blossom and Organic Coconut, or perhaps the Black Forrest?

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I was so close to buying one of these Growing Books! Basically its a cactus planted in a book! I would totally put this on my work desk.

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After having a look at all the stalls, I settled at the back and joined the small-ish crowd listening to the tunes. #chillaxing

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Brewery Yard Markets, it was a pleasure visiting you on your first day! For me, these markets add a bit more fun and it’s really nice to go ‘outdoor shopping’. There were a lot of bits and pieces and this would be the place I would go to get presents for friends and even a bit of deco here and there.

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (Brewery Yard Markets): 4/5

Ambience: 4.5/5

Service: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Would I recommend going to Brewery Yard Markets? Like the outdoors? Maybe looking for some nice presents to give to a friend? Perhaps you just want a place to chill in the sun… head down to the Brewery Yard Markets and you’ll be delighted to a range of quirky arts and crafts, cool tunes and a diverse range of delicious food!

Highlight: Having a place where you can sit down and have a tan. Often markets are packed and too crowded. There’s no space to move, sit down and enjoy your freshly made lunch. Central Park has a massive open space so after you go around seeing all the stalls, you can sit back, chill, then go around again!

Suggestion of improvement: I loved the variety here and it wasn’t just stalls from The Living Mall but beyond that! It’s actually quite rare that so many shops in one place got involved but what I could suggest is maybe getting the public involved as well. Perhaps the talent from UTS or even USyd students? There are heaps of students around so they can definitely leverage on that.

Link: http://www.centralparksydney.com/shop/brewery-yard-markets

Official hashtag: #breweryyard #bymcomp

Angela Bee

Vogue Fashion Night Out 2014

The most crowded Thursday late-night-shopping night of the year is by far the annual Vogue Fashion Night Out, held from 5-10pm  at Pitt Street Westfield to Martin Place on September 4, 2014.

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”A global Vogue initiative, this one-night-only shopping extravaganza is Sydney’s largest retail event, attracting more shoppers than the Boxing Day sales!”

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To be frank, I’m not too sure about the “more shoppers than Boxing Day sales” part is accurate, but it is indeed one of Sydney’s biggest shopping evenings. But how did this year’s night out compare to previous years? Let me walk you through it.

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The weather was really nice at 5pm (although I didn’t get there until 6:30pmish) and then it started to sprinkle a little.. so the first half of the evening was nice. I made my way from Wynyard, briefly stopping at Martin Place.

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There were a few things going on: a British double decker where you could enjoy some drinks and nibbles, a lovely flower display where you could take Polaroids, a tent to try on foundation, and a series of food trucks with plenty of space around to have a sit and chat.

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I must admit the lines were shorter than expected, but as always, lines are always never ending. What I really like about Martin Place was that it was less crowded and cluttered, everything there was beautifully displayed. The food trucks looked a little out of place but there was plenty of room for people to eat.

Walking on Pitt Street towards Westfield, there was obviously a bigger crowd. The big bright light bulbs on either end of Pitt Street welcomed everyone and were probably the Instagram landmark of the night.

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Ok, I just want to give a heads up that I am no superwoman and did not go into every single store to check out the sales. Below is just a select few shops I came across that were worthy of mention.

H&M made a classy appearance with their exclusive store. I can’t wait til next month when it comes to Macquarie Centre!! #northwestpride

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Sportsgirl lived up to its expectations, with drinks, photobooth, nail art station and music! It’s pretty much the same every year so you’ll know where to get the party started!

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Review took a unique approach in interpreting what life-size poster looks like. Two women dressed in really cute dresses shared high tea with shoppers! #nailedit

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– I forget which clothes shop this was in Westfield but they had the most gorgeous orange and yellow arrangement of flowers with jars and jars of candy! It was definitely my favourite!

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Sambag had a fancy ice cream cart and let me tell you there was a reaaaaallly long line for it! I guess the scoopers were quite slow and paced it out but it would’ve helped if the line was inside the store so customers could have a look at their products?

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Swarovski had the best dressed man and women. Let me call them golden mermaids handing out chocolate.. heaven in a nutshell!

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.. whoops, lets segment to a bit of stuff happening on the stage…

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Vogue did an amazing job with the bright pink globes that look like Christmas decorations. I must admit, I actually kinda love it but the line was horrendously too long for a photo opportunity! It was starting to sprinkle too..

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Mimco was being a bit fun with these gaming machines!

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Very unexpectingly popular but I can see the novelty in them. I also got a bar of chocolate wondering around the store! #winning

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Secrets Shhh is a jewelry shop and the lovely harp mesmerised us inside. How beautiful. I’m wondering how they got it in the store! #sillyme

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Looking around this year, I must say that there weren’t as many people as previous years. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the timing, but nevertheless I always have a brilliant time coming here and checking out all the sales. It’s sales bonanza but I still wouldn’t say it would’ve been busier than a Boxing Day sale…

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Rating Review: (1-5, with 5 being exceptional)

Event (VFNO14): 4/5

Ambience: 3.5/5

Service: 3.5/5

Value: 3.5/5

Would I recommend going to Vogue Fashion Night Out? Love to shop? Love a sale? This is the event for you! Shopping is not just about looking for clothes, it’s about the whole experience- from the time you step into the store, to the moment you leave.

Highlight: I liked how some of the stores thought outside of the box. I remember last year I was absolutely sick of cake cake cake, lollies, lollies, chocolate, chocolate, sugar, sugar. Sometimes simple is best and even doing nail art is fun. I must say, savory/real food does help. I also liked how stores like H&M studio was designed so that it could still run if it was raining. Vogue was the same as well!

Suggestion of improvement: Sometimes its great getting lost and stumbling upon treasures you would never normally find! What I would’ve liked more is probably signs directing us to where shops are, or even a program telling us what time and where fashion shows were. It’s always a question and everyone wants to get involved!

Official hashtag: #VFNO

Link: http://www.vogue.com.au/fno

Angela Bee

 

Free ferry to Glebe Island – Sydney International Boat Show

Anyone heard of Glebe Island? Free entry to Glebe Island from Darling Harbour for the Sydney International Boat Show on July31- August 4, 2014 was pretty cool.

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Funny story. I was casually walking to the Growers Markets Pyrmont from Townhall, passed through Darling Harbour, and saw this.

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Yup, this got the ball rolling and so my friends and I decided to hop on board. Where was Glebe Island? Does Glebe Island exist? How come I’ve never seen heard of it before? We decided to line up and find the answers.

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“While the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre undergoes a major upgrade over the next three years, the Sydney International Boat Show will move its undercover exhibits to the interim facility that has been specially built at the historic working port known as Glebe Island”.

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OK. So it is something according to the Sydney International Boat Show website.

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We lines up in the massive line and only waited for 5 minutes before boarding a Captain a Cook Cruise ship. Today was very windy and if you were in the sun, it was a nice spring day. The double decker boat was huge and everyone filed in pretty quickly.

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A ferry ride to normally costs around$12 return. Leaving the harbour, it was perfect.

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It was calm and relaxed and everyone seemed to enjoy the ride. It was really windy at the top but we weren’t going that quickly.

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We sailed under the Pyrmont bridge..

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…I love calling this city my home.

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Thank you big red boat!

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and arrived at Glebe Island.

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We walked past the Life Jacket Lounge, where there were lounges, meals, a bar..

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and ended up at the entrance of the temporary Sydney Exhibition Centre!

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Oh $21 adult admission fee no thank you! I do like an occasional ride on a boat but no super keen to own one.

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Here’s a glimpse of it inside before we jetted back.

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Thanks for the unexpected ride and wow! The line was pretty long towards the afternoon! #partycrashers #festivalcrashers

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Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (free ferry ride to Glebe Island): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend going on the free trip to Glebe Island? If you’re going to the boat show, this is the best way if transport. I mean, how often do you get somewhere via boat? Normally it is quite pricey and if you’re here in Sydney for the first time, then this would’ve been the perfect opportunity to see more of the harbour! It’s stunning!

Highlight: #datview #enoughsaid #mysterytrip

Suggestion of improvement: it would’ve been nice if we received some brochures about where we were going and what it was specifically for!

Ends: August 4, 2014, occurs annually

Link: http://www.sydneyboatshow.com.au/

Angela Bee

Eat Think Save Sydney event by OzHarvest

Using produce that would’ve been wasted, OzHarvest served up free hot meals to thousands at Martin Place during lunch time on Monday 21 July, 2014 thanks to VirginMobile.
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OzHarvest is the first perishable food rescue organisation in Australia collecting quality excess food from commercial outlets and delivering it, direct and free of charge, to more than 500 charities providing much needed assistance to vulnerable men, women and children across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Newcastle and the Gold Coast“.
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This was my ultimate challenge: I had a 1 hr lunch break so I had to get from North Sydney to Martin Place and this is what happened.

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I waited for 2 minutes for a train, hopped on, waited 2 stops, got off at Wynyard and power walked to the top end of Martin Place. There was a massive panel going on talking about food and its wastage.
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There were so many people (and totally did expect this because this is 100% office zone).

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I spotted some delicious lemon cups supplied by Cocos Table so I had a sip before I headed to the long line.

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Apparently it was absolute chockers when it hit noon but I was there at around 1 and it went quite quickly! Loved the little decorations even when we were lining up!

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Guess what? For all the Masterchef lovers, Matt Moran was here and serving up the delicious vegetarian curry.

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Just before getting the meal you were also reminded to hashtag #mealforameal so that for every photo taken,  meal will be provided to someone.

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After getting the curry from the enthusiastic yellow shirted volunteers, we headed towards the chapati station where we got our chapati and dips!

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Here’s my #mealforameal photo!

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There was even a cute station to add a wedge of lemon and garnish.

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For dessert, Brasserie Bread used their leftovers to make apple/fruit crumble and there was even cream to go with it!

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What a fancy meal!

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After getting all my food and taking these photos, I listened to the panellists for a bit. On the way, I passed the OzHarvest tree

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And OzHarvest shop

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What a great cause and I’m so glad I got back to North Sydney within 45 minutes of leaving the office #winning. Use leftover produce and don’t waste food! Thanks Richard Branson for such a great initiative!

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Rating Review: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Think.Act.Save Sydney event by OzHarvest): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to volunteer/going to an event for OzHarvest? It was crazy busy but seeing everyone excited and willing to learn about food was amazing. You honestly don’t need to do much so get on your phones and hashtag #mealforameal to fill a belly!

Highlight: walking up Martin Place and seeing the huge crowd! I didn’t think there would be so many people coming down, the media, the amount of food…yum! It was so tasty and it reminded me of India and Nepal.

Suggestion of improvement: it would’ve been awesome if the queue to the food went past some of the stalls that were there because I didn’t have enough time to have a proper look at everything but then again I was rushing through it. It was such a relaxed vibe and well organised.

Ends: Monday, 21 July 2014

Link: http://www.ozharvest.org/events/think-eat-save/

Angela Bee

$29 Chocolate High Tea with Cocktails – Swissotel

Chocolate High Tea with Toblerone cocktails for $29 at the Swissotel was money well spent for a fancy day out.

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Crossroads Bar is located within the 5-star Swissotel Sydney. A place where traditional ideas and impeccable service unite with modern designs. Vibrant blues, purples and oranges pop against the dark wooden floor boards and elegant beige couches. Intimate pods provide exclusive entertaining spaces and an atmosphere of sophistication is evoked with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Market Street allowing natural light to flood the area.”

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Let the doorman tip his hat and salut you at the entrance before hopping on the escalators to level 7.

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It felt extremely clean and spacious and the restaurant and bar is cleverly closed in with the grey and red pods of seating – making it slightly romantic and secluded.

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The big red lanterns hanging from the ceiling definitely stood out.

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I showed my voucher and even requested for some candles for a friend’s birthday! The area was just simple and classy and I felt like a real lady sipping on my water in my (normal) cup.

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Our Toblerone cocktails came first and they were delicious. They tasted like chocolate milkshake with a tad of alcohol. Yuuuuum. Highly irresistible and I could’ve gulped it all in one go but no, I savoured it one sip at a time!

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Then the waitresses came with the high tea sets in a very professional manner. Ie professional attire and etiquette. However, I requested for a vegetarian option both in the email and I even double checked at the counter when I gave my voucher to them and still, there was no offer of replacement when we asked if there was supposed to be no meat not the tiers. All that effort for nothing! Urgh!

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Anyways, on the bottom there was a nice salmon bagel, cucumber sandwich, egg wrap, and the best was the mayo chicken on multi-grain baguette. Creamy and delicious! The savory was amazing.

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Scones should be the highlight of every high tea. There was a plain and chocolate one. Although I took the plain one, I thought it was very tasty, a bit fluffy and the jam was a very nice compliment. I loved how the top rises- let’s just say I love muffin tops!

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On the top, it was absolutely jam packed with chocolate. The chocolate cake was sooooooo chocolatey. It was like eating a block of soft chocolate. I’m not a fan of cream but the profiteroles were a nice touch with crushed pistachios on top. Again, the chocolate tart was dense and extra sweet with the cream and white chocolate flake.

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The best was the berry compote with the layer of chocolate mousse! A mixture of slightly sweet and sweet n soft textures!

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Girls love to talk and indeed we did until the coffee came. We were choc-ed it and could not order a hot chocolate haha! I had a skimmed cappuccino and by the way, you get a bigger glass if you get the latte. I don’t know why.

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One of us ordered the T2 tea and got a large fancy teapot.

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Loved the high tea here and it was definitely worth it’s money!! Chocolate high tea and cocktail for the chocoholics out there is like living a dream at Swissotel!

Review Rating: =D =) =| =(

Product (Chocolate High Tea and cocktails at Swissotel): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =D

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Chocolate High Tea with Cocktails at Swissotel to a friend? Straight out- Yes. How can you refuse high tea AND cocktails for only $29? Normally a cocktail at a cocktail bar is around $20 and a high tea could be up to $50pp. This is crazy amazing so if you like chocolate this is definitely where you should be heading!

Highlight: Oh the toberlone cocktail was such a sweet treaat!! I wish we could’ve ordered more!! Who says you can’t drink in the middle of the day? The place was really cute.. shame there weren’t any pods available to sit in so we had a spacious table and couch.

Suggestion of improvement: I was quite disappointed with the vegetarian option not coming out. I always take care when people have dietary requirements and in this case it was my vego friend’s birthday. Communication needs some improving!

Ends: July 25, 2014

Link: http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/swissotel-2/718443774

Angela Bee

$5 noodles – Stix Noodle Bar

Get your noodle fix for only $5 at Stix Noodle Bar, Darling Harbour – can eating out get any cheaper? And it’s no surprise that this OurDeal sold out with 3000 sold!

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“Make it a great night with Stix Noodle Bar. Our special menu includes BBQ Chicken, Egg Fried Rice, Chilli Coriander, Pad Thai, Ramen Noodles, and many more Thai entrees. And don’t forget our steamed and fried rice specials, salads, and soups.”

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The noodle bar is next to MadMex at Harbourside. If you’re enjoying Vivid by the water, walk up the stairs from Pancakes on the Rocks and then take a left.

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I know many of you are pretty skeptical when it comes to super cheap deals like this. Alice’s Tea Cafe in Chatswood was the worse but surprisingly, this little joint does really good noodles!

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There was only one table when I got there with a friend and Vivid Sydney Aqualights is on every hour so we decided to takeaway. Shame that the view isn’t as great as you’ll be facing Pyrmont Bridge. At least there’s an entertaining flower pot with red chilli!

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The kitchen is open so it was great to see that everything looked clean. None of that messy Asian kitchen nonsense at this place.

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It was hard for me to choose the noodles because e variety was so wide. Egg noodles, hokkien noodles, vermicelli…then choose your sauce and topping! It reminds me of Stir Crazy in Castle Hill, except is was a lot cheaper and in the city.

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The interior was black and simple with touches of orange.

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The tangled red wired lights added a bit of funkiness to the house.

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We didn’t wait long at all for our filled takeaway boxes!! I love Aqualights. They banned fireworks in Peru and use Acqualights instead. That was the first time I saw large light projections reflected on water en masse.

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We opened up our takeaway and it smelt so dam good! I chose the glass noodle with peanut sauce and chicken. Rather than having the peanut sauce stir fried together, it was more on the top. I love peanut sauce so I could eat it any day. Delicious!

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My friend got the spinach noodles with oyster sauce and chicken and that was a stunner too. Like most coloured noodles, it tasted slightly healthier. I remember making spinach pasta from scratch and I put in 1 small packet of spinach which was 300g for 1 cup of flour and 1 egg of pasta.

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All done and not as full as we thought! I guess we were both starving after work! Great little place and shame about the view but yummy noodles!

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You can also order online and get 10% off your first purchase.

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($5 noodles from Stix Noodle Bar): =D

Ambience: =|

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend Stix Noodle Bar to a friend? If you’re looking for a cheap meal for $5 then this is the spot! It doesn’t get any cheaper! It is located next to popular stores such as MadMex and Grill’d so I guess it’s not too great for them. The portions are good so if you feel like Asian at Darling Harbour give this place a go!

Would I donate the money saved towards a charity? Look, I would even pay $10 normally for a cheap dinner meal at Darling Harbour. It’s a bit expensive there if you go outside of happy hour. $5 towards a charity.

Highlight: the noodles! Couldn’t stop eating! I don’t think you can go wrong with cooking Asian noodles. I mean, pasta can be either too soft or too hard but noodles I feel are easier. Maybe because I’m Asian. Anyhow…yes. Peanut sauce a bit sweet and I love that!

Suggestion of improvement: the restaurant itself is quite simple. I know it’s the general vibe of it but there wasn’t anything that told me to ‘come in NOW’ unlike the other restaurants around it.

Ends: June 15, 2014

Link: Our Deal

Angela Bee

Pyrmont Festival of Wine, Food and Art

Pyrmont Festival has brought the delicacies of the famous wine region of Mudgee to Sydney from May 16-25, 2014 to celebrate wine, food and art. Included was a free festival on May 17-18 at Pirrama Park where festival goers had a chance to sample 120 wines from 50 stalls.

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“The ultimate event to experience a fabulous blend of city and regional produce and creativity, guests can enjoy wine dinners and tastings, photographic exhibitions and art displays without having to leave the city. Iconic Mudgee wineries participating include Huntington Estate, Burrundulla Vineyard and Lowe Wines. Winemakers and Pyrmont eateries will expertly select wines to match lunches, dinners and tastings across the 10 days.”

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It was a pleasant walk from Townhall station all the way past The Star and to the harbour view amongst the piers. If only I had the money to buy a house here..

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#datview

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The park was picnic-rugged with people when I arrived, all in the sun shine and thank goodness for that!

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The food stalls were close to the stage and the first things I passed. People were lining up but I wanted to see the wine and food first!

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Firstly you had to buy some tokens – $20 for a souvenir glass and 5 tokens, which is pretty good considering that a normal glass of wine these days in a restaurant is $7-8? Just keep in mind that these are samples though.

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Ok, this tomato, pesto, olive, chilli varieties of feta are divine. Buy some if you like feta. Has anyone tried Persian feta? That’s amazing too. #cheeseloversdiet

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There was plenty of wine on sale by the case and who wouldn’t be tempted to indulge in some on a gorgeous day like this?

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Some varieties of oil were also on sample which brought a touch of Italy to the park.

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You could definitely see the passion in the people who have been breathing and drinking wine at their homes #meetthemaker

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To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been to Pirrama Park. It’s delightful. There were seats and enough space for everyone to chill.

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Check out the bottles and even barrels of wine!

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Has anyone tasted Chardonnay Chilli and Garlic Jam? or perhaps Cabernet and Cracked Pepper Wine Jelly? #experimentalflavours

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There were also racks of artwork where people could vote for People’s Choice. The theme was ‘Small is Beautiful.’

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There were even some funky balls where kids could roll around and a inflatable slippery dip for the kids!

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This was definitely a wine-lovers weekend retreat without needing to drive 3.5 hours to Mudgee!!

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Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Pyrmont Festival – Pirrama Park): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Pyrmont Festival to a friend? If you’re a wine-lover and the outdoors this is perfect for you. It’s my perfect match too!

Would I donate the money saved to a charity? I love markets like this because you literally get to meet the makers. Although it is a long drive for them and they have to wake up before the sun rises, I think markets like this really promote their commitment and passion. You won’t need to buy from supermarkets anymore.

Highlight: I was amazed at how many stalls there were! The more I walked, the more varieties of wine there were! Shame I only did a quick walk around but I would love to do a day-trip to Mudgee soon!

Suggestion of Improvement: There was only one wine token station which was right at one end of the festival. I wished there were two stations just in case I casually decided to buy some cheese and crackers to go with my wine and have a nap in the greenery.

Ends: May 25, 2014

Link: http://www.pyrmontfestival.com.au/

Angela Bee

 

$15 Pizza or Pasta for Two – Dulcis Domus

Pizza. Pasta. Pizza. Pasta. The Italian choice is yours for $15 for two varieties with a soft drink or juice at Dulcis Domus, opposite UTS.

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“Dulcis Domus translates to ‘sweet home’ in Latin, and it’s this type of comfortable environment that the team aim to bring to diners. Centrally located in Broadway, diners can expect Mediterranean fare as well as cafe-style snacks and beverages for smaller appetites. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dulcis Domus is a licensed venue and specialises in wood-fired pizzas, and a range of pasta, meat and seafood options.”

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You know that place we used to call The Clare? Right next to that is a restaurant that opened up earlier this year and the place looks fancy compared to the cheap Vietnamese roll and pho place, or even the Broadway Bar next door. I guess it aims to attract all those new business people at the Living Mall, right?

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Anyways, the staff seemed pretty casual and I spotted some home made pasta not the side.

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The room has a dark but classy vibe to it. Modern and clean. We got seated  and were handed over the Groupon menus to look over. There were soft drinks or apple or orange juice as an alternative. I love the lights at the ceiling!

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.. as well as the nice hints of vintage here and there. I don’t know why but I realised that we were listening to the coffee machine go off whilst waiting for our meals. #needingtowakeup #coffeefix

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Firstly, we ordered the Cappello di Napoleone. Essentially, it was half a calzone and half margherita. Holy crap the calzone was delicious! I wished we got a whole one because the generosity of the ricotta, ham, salami and peppers was to like cheesey goodness poured into my belly.

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Because I used to work in a pizzeria, I’m not too sure the base was up to my standards but it wasn’t burnt or anything. Give me more!

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The ‘Ravioli Alla Casereccia’ was drowned in olive oil and tomatoes so that made the dish very filling. I think I ate 2 pieces and I was full but I kept on powering on because the pasta was amazing! Although there wasn’t as much pasta as I wished, it was still quite tasty with the mushrooms and tomato.

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My orange juice came in a jarred jar but I think it was just fro me bottle. I would’ve expected freshly squeezed since the normal price is $4!!!! You could buy 2-3 litres of juice at the local supermarket! Ohwell what can you do when its only $7.50.

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Great classy place and I hear that they have one metre pizzas! Keep Calm and Drink Wine #lifelessons

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Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product ($15 wood-fire pizza or pasta for two with drink): =)

Ambience: =)

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend Dulcis Domus to a friend? For this deal, it is really hard to beat. I don’t know how big their profit margins are on this one.. especially the pizzas with plenty of toppings. Definitely buy it if it comes up again and I guess the prices there are standard prices at normal pizzerias ($15 for small, $25 for large).

Would I donate the money spent to a chosen charity? Yes. I would shout someone from OzHarvest.

OzHarvest is a non-denominational charity that rescues excess food which would otherwise be discarded. This excess food is distributed to charities supporting the vulnerable in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Gold Coast and Newcastle.

Highlight: Calzone pizza! Fresh out of the oven is the best time to have a piping hot pizza! MM!!

Suggestion of Improvement: It would’ve been nicer if the waitress gave us our drinks to have before we got our meal. We kinda forgot about the drinks because the food was delicious! Could have some improvement with the drinks and probably less oil in the pasta and have more actual pasta on the plate please!

Ends: October 23, 2014

Groupon: https://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney/dulcis-domus/718257681

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DulcisDomusRestaurant

Angela Bee

Dulcis Domus on Urbanspoon

Hard to Swallow the Truth about Healthy Eating – Think Act Change

The Australian Museum was a hub for panelists such as Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar, Alexx Stuart from Food Revolution Day, Jess Miller from Grow It Local, Thea Soutar from Youth Food Movement and Dom O’Neill from GRUB Butchery to discuss the Food Revolution at 6:30pm on Tuesday May 13, 2014.

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“Diet related illnesses are on the rise, cooking skills are dropping and people seem more confused than ever before about what healthy eating actually means. It’s time to get back. Basics when it comes to food…”

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Last time I went to the Australian Museum was to go to Jurassic Lounge. Guests went through the side door on the left and our names were on the list from Eventbrite.

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What I loved about the ticketing was that there was a section for Students/Unemployed! Thank you!! Saved me $5 so I bought my tickets for $11.59. #unemploymentisarealstatusfinally

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Fashionably early me arrived there at 6:30 and a nice lady gave me a Mountain Goat beer. Needed it after a busy day interning at Cancer Council.
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There were a range of meatballs that included pork and beef thanks to Grub Butchery.
Think Act Change - photo 4For the nibbles like me, I enjoyed the vegetable sticks with pesto, nuts and raw chocolate in chilli, ginger, and others from RawC, Eat Me Chutney and Rawsome Chocolate.Think Act Change - photo 5

I actually knew some of the people who attended  and some at I didn’t know would attend! It was a great time to generally talk about what we thought about the movement and what we thought would happen on the panel.

At around 7ish, we gathered in a small theatre. I think there was around 120 of us.

Firstly, Avis talked about her personal experience with food and how it affects her body. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I feel like that the older I’ve got, the more people I know with dietary requirements.

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Sadly the audience didn’t really have an influence on the discussion of panellists including Alexx Stuart from Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day, Jess Miller, Thea Soutar from Youth Food Movement, Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar, and Dom from Grub Butchery.

Avis lead the discussion about knowing what gluten free means, food wastage, growing produce, how food affects health, palm oil, baby coconuts…

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Everyone can change. No, doesn’t mean that in one day I’m going to buy organically, use leftovers and possibly cook every single meal. Changes occur slowly and in my opinion, it’s a gradual lifestyle change.
My suggestion: figure out what your body agrees and disagrees with (in terms of veg, protein, carbs etc) and slowly adjust. Make going to the markets a weekly catchup win your girlfriends, do what Sarah Wilson did and collect leftover bones from meat and make it into a stew to give back to her friends, and start cooking at least once a day.

The discussion was really helpful in that every panelist was extremely knowledgeable (as expected) but they also had a real passion and are where they are out of their own experience.

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“Arm yourself with knowledge so people can’t bullshit you” – Grub Butchery

I think the quote pretty much applies to everything but it’s ever so true!

At the end of it Avis asked everyone to give a piece of advice:
Dom: ask questions and make little changes
Sarah: minimise waste and have fun, quitting sugar is a way of quitting processed food
Thea: ask yourself why you buy the produce you do now, share food with friends
Jess: grow something (preferably not from Bunnings because the gold specks in the soil aren’t ideal so it’s not your fault if the plant dies!!!)
Alexx: let go of guilt and get excited about what you can do!
Avis: be a role model and not judgemental

Great food for thought there 🙂

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Think Act Change meetup): =D

Ambience: =D

Service: =)

Value: =D

Would I recommend going to Think Act Change meetup to a friend? If you are passionate about food and wanting to make a change then this is the place for you!

Would I donate the money I saved to a nominated charity?

“YFM aims to be a nation-wide movement that brings young people together around food.   We strive to make our generation aware of their power as conscious consumers by building understanding and value for the food we eat. We also aspire to be a collective voice for young Australians so that together we can have our say in the decisions that impact our food future.”
Highlight: learning that gluten is the protein in grains. No, not in bread. It was pretty awesome having Sarah Wilson and her experience with food. She’s even been consulting for Unilever! It’s amazing that supermarkets are slowly following the food trend, hopefully!
Suggestion of improvement: I wished everyone in the audience was allowed to take part in the discussion, whether it may be collating a series of questions given by the audience like Q and A, which may make it more engaging? But other than that well organised. Oh, and I wished people stuck around afterwards. The crowd seemed to disperse quickly.
Ends: Think Act Change Meetup meets once a month