Our ‘best of’ foodie experiences 2018: Sydney and Surrounds

2018 has been a busy year, we have been fortunate enough to travel much of this wonderful world and all over this beautiful harbour city. We’ve written over 200 blogs, as well as reviews on multiple platforms and are appreciative of all venues for having us well as the support provided from our friends and loyal followers.

We are very lucky to have such a multi-cultural influence in Australia which makes Sydney rich in culture and it also means we are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options. We have compiled our ‘best of’ list, reflecting the range of cuisines on offer. We hope this list will provide some guidance when you are sitting at home in the new year procrastinating about where to go for breakfast, a coffee, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner or something sweet.

Whether looking for a coffee on the run or somewhere to catch up with friends for brunch, Sydney certainly delivers, with most Sydney suburbs having quality offerings.

Coffee

Our favourite way to start our day is with a good cup of coffee and there are plenty of places that come to mind. At the top of this list is Artificer on Bourke St Surry Hills and this humble little corner shop is a specialist coffee roaster which does only coffee and no food, so they have to be good.

A new one up there in the coffee stakes is Ona Coffee. Having opened their cafe in Marrickville this year, these guys have gone from strength to strength and they do offer food too. We also continued to enjoy Mecca, which always do a quality coffee roast and have a great selection of interesting food. We will also have to give props to the quality Baristas at our local Panivore in Pagewood who pump out the Mecca coffee and do it justice. There is also Coffee Alchemy in Marrickville, so popular, even David Beckham paid them a visit when in town.

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Image – Ona

Cafes

For good cafes in Sydney, there are so many to choose from and you pretty much see a new one open up every other week. However, at the top of our list is Edition Coffee Roasters, who have a sleek new space, close to what was once the Entertainment Centre. Edition do a nice cup of coffee and a sophisticated Japenese inspired cafè menu. The Sokyo Breakfast at the Star was very impressive and we suggest doing the double, ordering a la carte and the buffet. We also enjoyed At Neutral and also  5 loaves 2 fish in Neutral Bay for a quality breakfast offering, the Mews in Mosman also putting out a creative Breakfast menu. Girdlers stores in the Northern Beaches producers some great healthy food options. The Reuben bagel at Lox, Stock and Barrel and in Bondi also impresed. Buku, a new opening in Zetland also up there, with coffee by Artificer, quality pastries and a top notch food menu.

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Image – Edition coffee roasters

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Image – 5 loaves 2 fish

Cheap eats

For cheap eats under $20, you must venture west to the Casula Power House and go to Bellbird dining. The quality of meal on offer is amazing comparative to price, food fresh from their garden and great technique on display. Forever at the top of our list is Suzuya on Devonshire St Surry Hills. This place serves quality Japanese, with fresh ingredients, big portions and reasonably priced. For Thai, Spice I am is a great option with interesting dishes and the spice levels are through the roof. Charcoal Kingdom in Rockdale is geat for your fix of Lebanese Charcoal chicken with garlic sauce and across the road is an awesome Lebanese Patisserie called Ibrahims, making for a great dinner and dessert combo. We also love a good pie and sausage roll, so Bourke St Bakery are on the list. You simply cannot do a cheap eats list with out Bahn Mi and there are two that rise above the pack, Hong Ha for their chicken Bahn mi and Marrickville Pork Roll for their Pork Roll. Butter in Surry Hills great for some fried chicken booze and their cinnamon doughnut is simply ridiculous. We will also add some sweet – Gelato Messina always has a special place in our heart and we have now added Ciccone and sons to that list.

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Image – Bellbird

Dining

There are also plenty of great eating experiences around town. Sashimi Shingensumi was an amazing experience in Crows Nest. A small restaurant run by a husband and wife team, serving a beautiful sushi and sashimi degustation feast with masterful knife skill on display all for $70 and, it is BYO too. Although it is very difficult to secure a spot, the phone only open for booking once every three months, it is worth the wait.

Another great experience was the Basque Club Gure Txoko, which we found out about this gem through SBS food. This social club in Darlinghurst representing an ancient culture from the North of Spain and South of France, rich in culture and famous for their cuisine. Open every Sunday, putting on a delicious 3 course lunch for $30. There is also a good selection of booze and it is super cheap too.

There are also plenty of great reasonably priced meals to be had in Sydney. Peppercorn at the Civic being the pick of the bunch, you’d be hard pressed to find a meal with more flavour and it is a great fusion of Laotian and Thai cusine. Da Mario’s is good for some authentic pizza and Pino’s Vino e Cucina for some great pasta. We will also include Ho Jiak for some quality Malaysian food.

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Image – Ho Jiak

Bars

Big Poppa’s is a great spot for a drink with a bite to eat. Then there is Mjolner for a hearty feed and a great whisky list. The GPO cheese room for both their cheese and wine experience. Our favourite new bar is Redfern Surf Club for their party vibe and creative cocktails.

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Image – Mjolner

Fine dining

For something fancy, and on those special occasions, Fujisaki was a favourite with their classy display of Japanese cuisine and it is also great value. We revisited LuMi and it again makes the list, we love the sophisticated flavour combinations. Cirrus at Barangaroo is a great new addition, keeping up to those hats with a high quality seafood dishes by the water. Aqua dining in Milsons Point another great waterfront dining venue and we love that it is BYO. A classic, Macleay St Bistro has made the cut with a great offering of classic French food, done very well and some charismatic service.

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Image – Fujisaki

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Image – Cirrus

Out of Town

Out of town there have been a few standouts. A late visit to Canberra really suprised us. We knew they had some great cafès, however the number of quality establishments is understated. In fact, Canberra could quite possibly challange Sydney in this regard. We had a beautiful brunch at Urban Pantry, a great atmosphere and so many top menu items. It has been one of our favourite cafes of the year.

Image – Urban Pantry

We also had a wonderful meal at Raku, a phenomenal Japanese Restaurant with a Robata grill and a top class sushi and sashimi station. Raku is a classy establishment and has a great Japanese drinks list.

Image – Raku

We also ventured to Wollongong on a number of occasions and quite enjoyed Lily J cafe, they had quality coffee on offer and some great healthy brunch items.

The Press cafè in Bowral was another revelation with good coffee and quality cafè fare was elegantly presented.

We also headed North to Newcastle Habesha Ethiopian restaurant was a pleasant suprise, the food and atmosphere were equally excellent.

Image – The Press Cafe

We hope this list helps you to also enjoy some great dining!

Kurt and Sarah

 

International Eats – Best of 2018

This year, we were fortunate enough to have a few months off travelling the world. Whilst we primarily tried to do this on budget, we feel that travel is also about the whole experience, tasting local cuisine and restaurants. Thus we budgeted and kept some money aside for some top dining memories. We’ve arranged our highlights below in their respective countries.

Peru

Lima

The top of our dining experiences to date (ever) comes from none other than Centrale Restaurant, one of the top 10 restaurants in the world. It is a Gastronomy standout in South America, offering a 12 or 17 course dining experience. This place amazingly reflects Peru’s altitudes and microclimates on a plate. The entire menu was creative and flawless.

Astrid y Gaston made the list for the World’s Top 50 restaurants. Offering a tasting menu and ala carte menu, we chose the latter. We loved all the dishes, in particular, the chocolate dessert ball. A thin tempered chocolate ball, which, when cracked reveals a dessert full of beer ice cream, caramel and more surprises. You must pay this place a visit if in Peru.

Ollantaytambo

The highlight of our visit to Ollantaytambo was our visit to El Albergue and experiencing the Pacahamanca lunch. This was a farm to table experience, learning from the ground up, cooking the meats underground under heated rocks, producing a simple yet exquisite meal. Served with potatoes, salad and breads and we ate in the surrounds of the Andean snow covered mountains, it was fabulous all round.

Argentina

Buenos Aires

Argentina is known for a few things: futball, wine, steak and Dulce De Leche. We certainly experienced these things in spades.

La Cabrera is a steakhouse with a range of amazing meats at superb quality. Massive servings at inexpensive prices kept us going back for more. Accompanied by plenty of sides and red wine, it was easily one of our favourite places in Argentina.

Don Julio is another winner on the steak front. An upmarket steakhouse with the best steak we had in South America, maybe ever. The beef ribs were a tasty option, but the rib eye was out of this world. We could eat here everyday.

You absolutely have to visit the cafe Pani for their phenomenal dulce de leche desserts. The dulce de Leche cheesecake with Oreos is an absolute winner.

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USA

New York

New York probably has some of the best restaurants and cafes going around. However, since we were only there for 2 nights, it’s a bit hard to see much at all. Milk bar is always a must visit for their birthday cake ice cream, but their alcoholic shakes (found at the Brooklyn store) are superb, in particular the “Russian” – cereal milk ice cream and vodka.

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Dominique Ansel is also high on our list. A patisserie where people line our the doors all morning for their Cronuts, we preferred their frozen s’mores on a stick and chocolate chip cookie shot with milk.

You also can’t visit NYC without getting a Reuben sandwich on rye at Katz deli – loaded and filled to the brim. You’ll struggle to eat it size wise, but you will because it’s so damn tasty.

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Ecuador

Galápagos Islands

Whilst you might not visit the Galápagos Islands for food, but being on the water, good food, in particular, the seafood is in abundance. On San Cristóbal, the Kioskito puerto lobo is a great local joint set up in a small hut and here you can try some tasty seafood including lobster. The langosta (lobster) is well priced between $15 and $20, for a whole lobster, depending on the flavours and toppings of the dish. The Langosta del marisco, which is lobster served in its shell with a seafood sauce containg fish, octopus and prawns is delicious.

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Chile

Santiago

99 Restaurante – “I got 99 problems but this restaurant ain’t one”, especially if you’re dining here for lunch. Their three course lunch, which will set you back roughly AUD $25 is extraordinarily good value. The lunch menu consists of 6 items, you have the 6 item tasting menu or a half serve. We had the three dishes; a potato and yam foam, served with an egg yolk and crisps as well as the beef tongue and cheese sandwich/slider. For the main, we both opted for the papada de Cerdo y lentejas. This was essentially Jamon and lentils. The desserts were a standout including the peanut butter brownie nicely presented with a chocolate mouse and a sorbet and the Bavaroise frambuesa y marscapjone.

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Hong Kong

Michelin star restaurants are all over Hong Kong, and many of them are at next to nothing prices. Try Yat Lok for their famous roasted duck, Tsim Tai Chi for their wonton noodle soup and Lee Kum Kee for snake soup with duck liver sausage and rice.

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A Michelin star was also awarded to I love you dessert bar for their incredible Soufflé pancake. One of the most incredible pancakes we’ve ever had.

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Whilst our Hong Kong experience was mostly on the inexpensive side, we also tried the other end of the spectrum. Whilst Mizunara the library has cocktails that will set you back over $50 a glass and almost every whiskey under the sun at similar prices, it’s definitely worth a visit. Winner of the World Championship Cocktail competition at the all world Open Cup of 2015, this cocktail was super impressive and thus making our best of list.

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Rolling Stones Exhibitionism

Attention all fans of the Rolling Stones! Australia is lucky enough to have an exhibition of the famous, brilliant and influential British band that is the Rolling Stones.

Known as a band that were pushing the boundaries in a Beatles dominated period, they evolved into somewhat of an “anti-Beatles” image, with music and lifestyle that was a bit edgier, breaking from the pop field of the day.

Held in the ICC, Darling Harbour, the exhibit features so much of the pop culture: fashion items, movie posters, instruments and full replicas of their original apartment and music studio.

With over 500 pieces, it really is a superb demonstration of their life and career.

They’ve got a range of their clothes and costumes made by iconic designers such as Alexander McQueen and Gucci to name a few. These are on display so you can see a range of designs from their years of performing.

It’s a fully immersive exhibit and we loved the interactive components where you can mix their songs and heighten or lessen instruments featuring in the song, being your own producer in the recording studio. You can then enter the 3D space and feel like you’re at their concert with your 3D glasses and dance away!

It has really been done very well and extremely educational and interesting to visit.

Buy tickets through Ticketek and it is on display until Sun 3 Feb 2019.

Exhibit Times:
Sun-Wed: 10am-5pm
Thu-Sat: 10am-8pm

https://m.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=ROLLINGS19&utm_source=RSE&utm_medium=Organic&utm_term=&utm_content=&utm_campaign=ROLLINGS19&USER_ID_=

ICC – 14 Darling Drive, Darling Harbour

Hurricanes – waterfront venue @ Brighton Le Sands

Hurricanes is a bar and grill famous for their ribs and BBQ meat selection. The Hurricanes menu is that popular, they have a number of venues around Sydney, including the original venue in Bondi, and newer venues in Chatswood, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. They also have a stores in Qld and a couple of express stores around Sydney.

We visited Hurricanes at their Brighton Le Sands location. Brighton Le Sands is one of the lesser known waterfront dining areas in Sydney. Hurricanes has a prime spot there, right on the waters edge, boasting views of our historical Botany Bay. It also has views of the airport and aeronautical enthusiasts can enjoy watching the planes taking off and landing over the bay.

Hurricanes Brighton Le Sands is spacious venue with floor to ceiling glass to take advantage of the views. It is extremely large with plenty of tables, 2 bars and open plan so you could easily host a large party. We were informed they were booked up with 350 people for New Years Eve.

We arrived right on noon and it was just opening. We were promptly taken to our table, right at the windows with a lovely outlook. We perused the menu and staff updated us with the daily specials.

Hurricanes are famous for their ribs and steaks and they use a unique basting sauce to provide a lovely flavour to their meats. Meat cuts are all halal certified from their suppliers and can have no sauce upon request. They may not be known first and foremost as a seafood restaurant, but there’s plenty of seafood options too.

Our visit to Hurricane’s saw us try some of these seafood options, beginning with the scallops. Perfectly cooked, the scallops were served in the open shell, atop sweet potato purée, resembling the look of roe. We thoroughly enjoyed this start to the meal.

Following on from this, we ordered one of the specials, the grilled whole barramundi. It was soft and flaky, with the flesh falling from the bone. We enjoyed this with lemon and a side salad.

We couldn’t go past ordering a steak, which Hurricanes are notorious for. There’s numerous meats and cuts to select from. Whether it be the rump, strip stirloin, fillet tenderloin or T bone, you will find your perfect match. Wagyu, dry aged or long fed beef, Hurricanes sure know their meats. We went for the dry aged beef, aged for 21 days, served as a strip loin on the bone (400g), the flavour was lovely and it was cooked spot on to our request. Meats come with your choice of fries, salad or baked potato and you can order a sauce to accompany it.

Hurricanes also serve other main menu items like beef cheeks, lamb cutlets, pork knuckle, grilled chicken, burgers and more. If you are super hungry or a couple wanting to share a meal Hurricanes have a number of combo deals like steak and ribs or meat or seafood platters. There’s desserts and cocktails to top off your dining experience. The menu is certainly extremely approachable so we imagine it would satisfy any dining party.

We enjoyed our visit to Hurricanes Grill and would like to thank the restaurant and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia and Food Shot Sydney for the invitation to dine.

https://hurricanesgrill.com.au

95 The Grand Parade, Brighton-Le-Sands NSW 2216

Hurricane's Grill Brighton-Le-Sands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

 

Dining at Six Senses, Uluwatu

If you are staying at the Six Senses or visiting The Bukit Peninsula or Uluwatu, this resort has a number of options for your dining pleasure. In keeping with their sustainable vision, ingredients are mostly sourced from their own private garden or local producers if needed. Thus, menus change seasonally according to what is available.

In terms of dining choices there is Rocka Restaurant which is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is primarily an Indonesian restaurant for dinner, showcasing the authentic flavours of the Indonesian Archipelego. It has amazing views and you can sit inside or out. Rocka also host’s a ‘chef’s table’ on their small terrace, called ‘Rocka Edge’, where you can dine in a more intimate setting by the wine cellar and up close with the chef and special menu.

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Crudo is a fusion of South America and Japan, with chefs following the Robatayaki philosophy, simply grilling the ingredients and adding light flavour of sea salt or sauce to enhance the natural flavours. Cliff Bar is as it sounds, set at the cliff, offerings panoramic views of Uluwatu, its beaches and the incredible sunset. The menu here runs until 7pm, serving sushi, salads, burgers and sandwiches and woodfire oven baked pizzas. There are plenty of cocktails on offer at each of the bars too. Cliff Bar will be even more perfect when their open air cinema comes to fruition.

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If you’re keen to stay in for the night, then Rocka serves breakfast from 6:30 -10am in the Villa, Ala carte daily food ( a smaller selection of meals from a few of the restaurants) for the rest of the day and all night 11pm-6am.

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You’ll also be please to note that free gelato and sorbet is on offer just outside Crudo restaurant and the boutique from 12 noon – 6pm. We are good authority on this being outstanding, with us trying guava, yoghurt and berries, coconut and you’ll be pleased to see salted caramel and rocky road making an appearance. Flavours change daily.

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If you’ve got kids, there’s kids menus at each restaurant and in the villas as well.

Rocka Restaurant

We visited Rocka Restaurant upon arrival for a drink and a wonderful sambal demonstration, learning how to make different types of sambal such as sambal tomat, kacang, dabu dabu, nyuh, matah and embeh. These differ in the additions of chilli, tomato, sweet soy, shrimp paste, coriander and more.

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Dinner

We returned for a dinner meal and were impressed by the food at Rocka. They have a number of mains from tuna to pork belly, roasted chicken, pork ribs, king prawns, Balinese pork sausage, baked duck and more. We selected the ‘Pepes Ikan’ or fish with green tomato, blimbing wuluah and Gado Gado – an Indonesian green bean salad. They are all super creative dishes with interesting flavours and showcasing proteins from different regions of the Indonesia. Your much loved Nasi Goreng is also on offer. If you are on a special diet, there are Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, sugar free options. There is also a special vegan menu.

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Rocka restaurant also have western options if some of your party aren’t up for the International foods. These options include salads, sandwiches and burgers. Desserts are a mix of Indonesian and International options. They’ve got an amazing list of sodas and cocktails too, and they differ slightly bar to bar.

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Tea and coffee is also on the menu, and the coffee is made using Tanamera medium roasters espresso blend, which is 100% organically sourced from Indonesia. We tried the espresso, cappuccino and a flat white – it was a nice light coffee flavour, complete with latte art.

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Breakfast

The breakfast buffet is incredible. Everything is homemade – the pastries, granola, yoghurt, juices and even down to the Nutella. I’ve never seen anything like it. Starting fresh with fruits, homemade yoghurt; fruit yoghurt, fresh and also coconut. Add this to their house made granola, and you’ve got a great start. Moving onto the cold dishes, I was impressed to see a whole iberico jamon, cured meats and fish and these were brilliant.

The hot menu boasts sausages, an amazing beef brisket, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes and Indonesian specialties.

They make freshly baked pastries in house such as brioche and multi-grain breads, cinnamon scrolls and chocolate croissants. Gluten free and vegan selections are also available.

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You can also order from the special made to order menu, including a crab omelette, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, avocado on toast or any eggs to your liking.

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The drinks were lovely and they have small juice hits like the ‘detox booster’, ‘trim and fit’ and ‘Kintamani’s tangerine’. For a thicker smoothie style, there’s a few more options for cleansing and resilience.

We were also recommended to do the floating breakfast where you are served your breakfast in a floating basket to enjoy in your infinity pool in the villa. This would be amazing for a very special occasion, coming at a 600 000 + price point per person.

Crudo

A mix of South American and Japanese influences, you will find tacos, ceviche’s, sushi, sashimi, udon and more. There’s quite a large vegan offering and plenty of dishes for those on a trim and fit wellness program. We enjoyed a smaller meal here, a few plates of sushi and tacos but there’s plenty of substantial dishes like steaks and a couple of sides if you’re hungrier.

Staff are absolutely delightful and are incredibly hospitable and do their best to provide you with amazing service. The dining space is sophisticated and has a wonderful outlook of the hotel and the sweeping views of the ocean.

Salamat Makan, or Bon Appetit.

https://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/uluwatu-bali/destination

 

Six Senses Resort Uluwatu

When it comes to holidays, we love finding brilliant places to stay with great facilities, beautiful views and lovely staff to make it an all-round enjoyable experience. Thus, we spend hours researching to find that place that really pops out. Whilst scrolling Instagram, I saw that Six Senses, a luxury resort chain, had opened up in the destination of our holiday, Bali, and knew this was the place to go. This particular resort is located on the southern-most tip of Bali in Uluwatu, about 3o – 45 minutes (pending traffic) from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Set on a cliff top of Uluwatu, offering uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean.

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Upon arriving, we are greeted by the lovely General Manager, shown to a lounge and offered fresh towels, a welcome drink, snacks of home-made cookies and granola to enjoy as we took in the breathtaking outlook of the site and ocean beyond the resort. Whilst it has been open only 6 months, it is making waves as not only as a beautiful luxury hotel, but also encouraging purposeful travel with its many sustainability features.

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We are met by a GEM, or Guest Experience Maker who will look after you during your stay. He (or she) shows you around the site and can help to book restaurants, arrange activities around the island (like windsurfing or island hopping to name a few). They also can arrange your golf buggy to transport you around site.

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The site has 2 restaurants (to be discussed in more detail here) with ingredients sourced from their own organic garden, there is a cliff top bar, cinema under the stars, boutique shop with local crafts, gelato cart, fully equipped fitness centre and spa. They offer signature therapies and wellness programs, adapted to suit the individual. Onsite are two large pools, including one super infinity pool looking out into the wide ocean, complete with lounges and day beds for you to sun tan or enjoy a book with a beautiful outlook.

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The site and rooms

With 103 suites and villas on an enormous property, you often feel like you’re holidaying in isolation as it is so peaceful and quiet, fitting with its vision of tranquillity and wellness. Select your room of choice, whether it be a one bedroom suite (with or without a pool) or the one bedroom villa. We were lucky enough to stay in the one bedroom villa, complete with its own outdoor swimming pool, deck, outdoor shower and cabana lounges.

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Inspired by Balinese architecture, it’s like you’re in a luxurious version of a traditional hut, with its interior wicker roofs. The rooms brought into the modern day with their design features. As you enter the villa there’s stepping stones to your room, and each villa complete with traditional offerings. Our room was in a twin configuration, as I was staying with a friend. The room was set with two beautifully arranged beds that were super comfortable, complete with a mosquito net. We also had a lounge, study area, fridge, use of a kettle, pod coffee machine and a welcome chocolate fondue set.

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Rooms have European standard sockets and USB ports with plenty of outlets, as well as a portable speaker for you to listen to music in your room. The rooms also feature an electronic safe to store your personal items. Plenty of products are also available in the room for use such as hairdryers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, vanity kits, razors, nail files and more. In the bathroom, there’s a dual vanity, internal and outdoor shower, there’s a deep soak bathtub and high tech toilet, you are staying in absolute luxury. Rooms have air conditioning, ceiling vans and remote operated technologies.

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If you need more, you can always call their guest services. The hotel also has baby-sitting services, laundry services, and in house doctor.

The rooms are serviced twice each day and there’s also an evening clean and turn down service. You are certainly well looked after.

Sustainability focus

The hotel has a strong vision with a series of initiatives and a commitment to sustainability and supporting the local community. This is at the core of their vision and brand, and something that really aligns with our personal vision.

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Some of the sustainability features including the removal of plastics. There are no plastics on sale for purchase, including straws. They even have their own on site water bottling plant, where water is purified and mineralised for drinking. You will find numerous bottles of this in your room and if you purchase any on site, 50% of water sales go towards local projects. There are also some products available for sale, focusing on community crafts, and sales going towards local artists.

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In the rooms you will find all your products in refillable ceramic containers, recyclable coffee capsules and an encouragement to save water. Products such as sandal, hairdryer and washing bags are all made from linen rather than plastic and the site also uses compost for their organic waste.

Six Senses has a strong focus on the community and social equity, with a commitment to employing local Balinese staff, work experience students and internships. They aim to raise awareness amongst staff and guests of being environmentally responsible.

These aspects of the hotel are wonderful and it is great to see that a resort is doing what they can to reduce our carbon footprint.

Spa and Wellness

It is important to focus of your own wellness, to find a clear sense of purpose, relax and find where you’re at your best. Six Senses have a set of practitioners, offering a range of therapies to support improving your personal wellness. From personal training to yoga, and sleep experts, nutritionists and beauty therapists, they can craft an experience for you and you can certainly leave feeling your best.

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Wellness – they offer wellness screening to build you a personalised program for your stay. You can sign up to 3,5,7 night wellness programs that include yoga, meditation, massage, personalised food and exercise programs. Price wise, for a wellness screening, 3 spa treatments, 3 fitness sessions and nutritional guidance, it is approx. 9, 700 000 IRD pp. Their fitness centre is also top notch!

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Sleep – Six Senses offer personalised programs that begins with a sleep questionnaire and then your bedroom is prepared to ensure positive sleeping conditions, combined with a sleep tracker so that the experts can determine the best set of arrangements to enable you to have quality sleep.

Nutrition – Six Senses offer a nutritional plan that suits each person and when dining at the restaurants, the menu highlights appropriate offerings for those on each program, whether it be for a cleanse and detox to improve your digestive system and mind, or the trim and fit to aid toning the body, sleep and resilience to gain energy and rejuvenate.

Yoga – Six senses offers a range of yoga in an air-conditioned yoga pavilion. There’s daily complimentary meditation and intro to yoga (30 minutes each), pilates and Pranayama Yoga. If you’d prefer more intensive yoga for 45-60 minutes, such as Yogic intestinal cleanse, Yoga Nidra (lying down, or sleep with awareness) or a longer Traditional Yoga session, you can request this at an extra cost to yourself. Meditation, combined with a yoga session aims to help improve flexibility, relax, release stress and improve your overall wellbeing.

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Beauty– we all love a good massage and there’s certainly plenty on offer here. Whether it be detox, holistic, tension soother, deep tissue or simply a head or foot massage, there’ll be one that suits your needs. A few more specialised choices are also on the menu. There’s a number of facials including a special crystal healing face therapy, body scrubs and wraps. If you’re prone to getting sunburn, there’s a natural sunburn soother.

Weekly Activity Schedule

The room highlights their weekly activity schedule and during our visit, they offered daily complimentary meditation and intro to yoga (30 minutes each), pilates and Pranayama Yoga. For a small price, there were TRX suspension classes, Aerial Yoga, stretch and mobility.

For families, kids were able to participate in cooking, learning Balinese dance, making tie-dye shirts, basket painting, making soap, dreamcatcher making and more.

This changes weekly, so keep an eye out for the timetable in your room.

Dining at Six Senses

Six Senses have a number of options for your dining selection. In keeping with their sustainable vision, ingredients are mostly sourced from their own private garden or local producers if needed. Thus, menus change seasonally according to what is available.

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In terms of dining choices there is Rocka Restaurant which is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is primarily an Indonesian restaurant for dinner, showcasing the authentic flavours of the Indonesian Archipelego. It has amazing views and you can sit inside or out. Rocka also can host a ‘chef’s table’ on their small terrace, called ‘Rocka Edge’, where you can dine in a more intimate setting by the wine cellar and up close with the chef and special menu.

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Crudo is a fusion of South America and Japan, with chefs following the Robatayaki philosophy, simply grilling the ingredients and adding light flavour of sea salt or sauce to enhance the natural flavours. Cliff Bar is as it sounds, set at the cliff, offerings panoramic views of Uluwatu, its beaches and the incredible sunset. The menu here runs until 7pm, serving sushi, salads, burgers and sandwiches and oven baked pizzas. Plenty of cocktails on offer at each of the bars too. Cliff Bar will be even more perfect when their open air cinema comes to fruition.

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If you’re keen to stay in for the night, then Rocka serves breakfast from 6:30 -10am in the Villa, Ala carte daily food ( a smaller selection of meals from a few of the restaurants) for the rest of the day and all night 11pm-6am.

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You’ll also be pleased to note that free gelato and sorbet is on offer just outside Crudo restaurant and the boutique from 12 noon – 6pm. We are good authority on this being outstanding, with us trying guava, yoghurt and berries, coconut and you’ll be pleased to see salted caramel and rocky road making an appearance. Flavours change daily.

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If you’ve got kids, there’s kids menus at each restaurant and in the villas as well.

Really, you are not starved for choice.

Summary

We would like to comment that the Six Senses hotel is outstanding in every way. We absolutlely loved our stay. The staff are delightful and do everything they can to make your stay the most luxurious, comfortable and relaxing trip. The sunset is also incredible. You will never forget it! We hope to visit again sometime.

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Six Senses Uluwatu

https://www.sixsenses.com/resorts/uluwatu-bali/destination

Address: Jl. Goa Lempeh, Uluwatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Healthy food and store @ Hills Organics

Hills Organics is a cafe inside an organic food store. As soon as you walk in you can’t help but go straight to the shelves and have a peek at all the various healthy products in the store. 

After we’d finished browsing the shelves, we sat down and had a look at the menu. Everything sounded so inviting. 

We decided to go for the Keto Breakfast Plate as we were quite interested to try the keto bread. This dish was (gf,df) and consisted of an in-house made macadamia keto bread (gf). avocado, kaleonaise sauce, organic mixed salad leaves, smoked salmon, cashew cheese and organic poached eggs. The bread and the cashew cheese was super tasty! 

The sunshine bowl was very refreshing and was served in a cute coconut bowl which made us feel like we had escaped to somewhere tropical for a bit. 

Staff were very friendly and looked like they enjoy working there which could be because it is operated like a family orientated business. Overall a good vibe and lots of wholesome goodness to enjoy. Although it is located in a business area, the atmosphere is so relaxed you don’t even realise that it is. 

Another thing to note is that if you’re into all things healthy and organic, you most likely won’t leave this place without a thing or two. We ended up getting some Kombucha and a few protein snacks for the road.

Hills Organics Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

South Wharf Riverside Pop Up – Yarra River

Grab your friends and family and head down to South Wharf this summer for the ultimate viewing experience with the arrival of Common Man’s Riverside Pop-Up cinema.

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Enjoy a night under the stars with a selection of all-time classics across a broad range of genres with twilight sessions running on Wednesday, Thursday, select Saturdays, Sundays and a special Valentine’s Day double screening February 14th at 5.30pm & 8.30pm.

Romance under the stars:

How to lose a Guy in 10 Days

Crazy Stupid Love

Pretty Woman

The Proposal

The Little Mermaid

Moana

LA LA Land

Forgetting Sarah Marshal and more!!!

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The Riverside Garden Pop-Up bar will also be in action, offering Kahula espresso martinis, summery cocktail jugs, Coopers beers, Squealing Pig rosé in cans and wines. A range of food and drink packages will be available for purchase online plus an endless amount of popcorn and choc tops from Common Man’s candy bar.
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Nothing beats a fun night out with friends and family by the beautiful Yarra River watching a movie under the stars.

Tickets on sale now! To view sessions
visit: www.thecommonman.com.au/pop-up-cinema-2/
For more info on the Riverside Garden Visit: www.thecommonman.com.au/riverside-garden/

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credits: Everett Collection, J. Stone, S. Bukley, Feature Flash Photo Agency

Regent Place

Regent Place, located right in the heart of the CBD, just off George St, offers a range of eateries and boutiques for you to enjoy.

We’ve been numerous times to try the different eateries, showcasing a multicultural flavour. On this occasion we visited to watch the Taiko performance, some brilliant drummers who were playing around the centre alongside a visit from Santa.

On the lowest level, level 9 you’ll find Assembly Bar and Restaurant, Daiso store, Nail art and more. We ate at Yakinuku Yokocho and had dessert from Fujimi Doriyaki and a pearl tea from Coco.

On level 10 you’ll find lots of dessert options such as Oh! Matcha by Chamona, Uncle Tetsu and Aqua S. But there’s also restaurants like the ever popular Chefs Gallery, Yakitori Yebisu, as well as some clothing stores too.

On level 11 is a medical level with a variety of practitioners to suits many needs.

As you can see, it’s really a one stop shop!

Below are some of our favourites!

Desserts

There’s plenty of places to enjoy some Asian inspired desserts. We enjoyed the Matcha ice cream with a mochi from Oh Matcha.

There’s also the famous sea salt ice cream at Aqua S! We have popped in just a few times. On this occasion we had the white chocolate macadamia and sea salt flavour. You can also get a range of exciting add ons like popping candy and fairy floss!

We also enjoyed some delicious Fujimi Doriyaki Japanese sweet pancakes that come with a variety of fillings; Nutella, red bean, peanut Nutella and many more, take your pick.

Coco Tea have arange of milk pearl based teas with heaps of flavours. We tried the Bubble ‘Gaga’. You can select your own amount of ice and sugar to your flavour preference. The flavour of it was passionfruit which was a nice change from a milk tea.

Restaurants

We love Chefs Gallery for dumplings! You can get sweet or savoury. We especially love the emoji custard dumplings! It’s always busy so you may need to line up, but it’s worth the wait.

Yakiniku Yokocho is a great little bbq place on the bottom level of Regent Place shopping centre. You may have to wait a little while for your table but you can browse the shops whilst you wait. It’s a touch screen order menu and with a good selection of meat and sides to cook yourself on the bbq grill in front of you. You receive an array of sauces to flavour your meat, though with such good quality meat, it isn’t really needed. We ordered a few sides and enjoyed the salad as well as some sashimi. You can order highball cocktails and also beers. A great little Japanese dinner location.

Yakitori Yebisu

When you’re in Japan, it’s a must to visit Izakaya to sample all the marvellous food it has to offer. It also gives you the opportunity to taste many different things when there are small plates to pick from. Yakitori Yebisu is a taste of Japan. Japanese memorabilia adorns the walls and it feels like you’re in Japan.

We begun with a wagyu hot pot, tender beef in a beautifully flavoured soup with vegetables and tofu. We also got some ramen to go with it. This was a great meal for a cold winters night. When you’re at an izakaya, you can’t go past yakitori – pork, seafood, chicken, your choice! We had some juicy chicken thigh, nicely seasoned.

There’s plenty more to eat, do and see – so be sure to check it out yourself

Regent Place

501 George St

Sydney NSW 2000

9am til late, 7 days a week

Culture Bean, Kogarah

Culture Bean is located opposite Kogarah hospital so it’s always buzzing with visitors and public services staff. But equally you should pay this a visit for their beautiful brunch and lunch options that are as pretty as a picture.

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Its a small cafe but there is both indoor and outdoor seating available, we sat outside on a hot summers day and enjoyed the sunlight and shared a number of dishes and fresh drinks alongside our coffees.

We tried the healthy açai smoothie as well as a banana smoothie with honey and coffees, which they use Gabriel’s brand.

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Eggs your way, avo on toast or the much loved Shakshuka, you’ll find your brekkie favourites on this menu. There’s also a granola bowl and a beautiful açai bowl for those looking for a healthy start.

We shared a few dishes between us, opting for one healthy brekkie bowl, a savoury dish and and a sweet dish too.

The brekkie bowl, filled with quinoa, mashed sweet potato, kale, roasted pumpkin and tomato, edamame, avo and topped with and egg and a lemon dressing was great for those who enjoy fresh healthy meals like me.

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We also had the eggs Benedict which looked beautiful and it was on top of some lovely charcoal toast. They were kind enough to adjust to bacon instead of salmon too.

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The crumpets by Merna Taouk were a hit. You can have them sweet with coconut yoghurt pistachio crumble and seasonal fruits or savoury with chorizo, bacon, harissa and labneh. We loved the sweet version of these.

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Order at the counter but the food is brought to your table. Staff are friendly and hospitable. The cafe was efficient with their service too.

Culture Bean

15 Gray St, Kogarah NSW 2217, Australia

 

 

Culture Bean Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato