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Sepia Restaurant Cover

Sepia Restaurant | Sydney CBD

March 3rd, 2017 was not a great day for Sydney foodies. On this day Sepia Restaurant, considered one of Australia’s finest dining venues, announced it is moving to Melbourne. While it has been common knowledge for over a year that the humble – but immensely talented – Martin Benn and FoH Vicki Wild intend to take the restaurant in a new direction once its Sussex St lease expires, the announcement that the institution would move to Melbourne was a pure shock to the system. Good news Melbourne, bad news Sydney. With this, my fifth visit may well be my last as it exists now. Here’s to a farewell for an influential fine dining giant in Sydney.

Melbournians, read on to get a taste of the skill that’s about to hit your city. You lucky ducks.

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Brae Cover

Brae Restaurant | Birregurra, Australia

When I first wrote about Birregurra’s Brae Restaurant in 2015, the way I introduced Dan Hunter – the immense talent behind it all – was through observing the fact that he honed his skills at, among other places, the famed Mugaritz in the Basque Country.

In 2017, that introduction is no longer necessary. With its ascension to #44 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Brae has definitively cemented itself a position as one of of Australia’s best restaurants. This is world-class cooking in a town of less than 700 people folks. It’s something special.

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Minamishima | Richmond, Melbourne

Stepping through the ostensibly ho-hum glass doors that guard the entrance to Minamishima, you could be forgiven for holding an incredulous attitude at claims that this is Melbourne’s best sushi restaurant and indeed, rivals even the best Sydney has to offer.

Of course, despite the back-street entrance to what appears more to be an innocuous block of apartments than a restaurant, you wouldn’t turn back now. Be glad you didn’t, because Minamishima is everything they say it is, and quite possibly a bit more.

Say hi to my favourite sushi restaurant in Australia!

Date Last Visited: 21/1/2017 (4 visits to date)
Address: 4 Lord St, Richmond VIC 3121
Highlight courses: aburi flounder, ootoro nigiri, anago nigiri, sakura ice cream & adzuki yokan

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Cuckoo Callay Bacon Festival

Bacon Festival 2017 at Cuckoo Callay | Newtown

Tracing its roots back to 2015, Cuckoo Callay’s annual bacon festival has truly become a mainstay of the Newtown cafe, as well as for the suburb’s cafe scene in general. While perhaps not quite achieving institution status as of yet, I can definitely say they’ve pulled a hat trick. An annual homage to everything porcine might seem like immoderate flagrancy, but in the end BACON IS FREAKING DELICIOUS.

Welcome to 2017’s edition of Cuckoo Callay’s Bacon Festival!

Date Last Visited: 26/3/2017 6/3/2016 8/2/2015
Address: 324b Newtown Train Station Newtown, NSW 2042
Recommended Dish(es): Bacon Mac Daddy, Reservoir Hogs
Price Guide (approx): $25pp plus drinks.

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Sashimi Shinsengumi | Crows Nest

When March bookings re-opened for Sashimi Shinsengumi’s new Crows Nest location at 9am on February 21, the entire booking period was snapped up in 70 minutes. Desperate callers still ring chef Shinji Matsui and his wife Tomoko as late as midnight to try and sweet-talk them into securing them a spot. A restaurant that attracts this level of demand is something most Sydney restaurateurs would kill to possess, but that’s exactly what Sashimi Shinsengumi has achieved – and all Matsui-san did was to do what he’s always done: make darn good sushi. I can’t help you secure a booking, but I can show you exactly what you’ll be missing out on 😉

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Tasmania Part 2 Cover

Things to do and see in Tasmania – Cradle Mountain, Franklin-Gordon & Mt Field National Park

What, three thousand six hundred words and ninety-seven pictures wasn’t quite enough hurt for you? What’s that, you want more I hear? In that case, welcome to my Tasmania trip part 2, where I (and you!) get a load of Tasmania’s prettiest landscapes at the iconic Cradle Mountain, see way too many waterfalls, and do a helluva lot of walking. Oh, and there’s also a pretty darn nice scallop pie, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Click right on in!

Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Things to do and see in Tasmania – Launceston, Tarkine & Rocky Cape National Parks. Plus: Tasmanian Devils!

Ten thousand years ago, rising sea levels broke a bond in the south-eastern part of the Australian subcontinent. With that, Tasmania was born. It may be small – less than a tenth of the size of New South Wales, but it’s unique segregation from the rest of the mainland has allowed the development of incredible variation. If you think a couple of days here can “tick off” the state, think again. Extraordinary scenery, great food; welcome to Tasmania: I think you’ll like it here.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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ACME Cover

ACME Restaurant | Rushcutters Bay

There’s an outbreak happening in Rushcutters Bay and fortunately it’s that of ACME, not acne. Think non-conformist, feel good rockstar pan-Asian/Italian fusion and you’re on the right track. Now, they even do brunch – and there’s not a smashed avo on toast in sight. Welcome to ACME, I think you’ll like it here.

Date Last Visited: 18/2/2017 (brunch) / 17/10/2015 (lunch a la carte)
Address: 56 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): baloney sandwiches, black garlic linguine, pig’s head macaroni

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