Where to enjoy Good Food Month out west? Parramatta Lanes

In 5 years, this event has grown from a turn out of 6000 to 100,000 last year! We’re sure crowds would have been just as big, if not bigger. This year, Parramatta Lanes, organised by the City of Parramatta alchemises 8 lanes, carparks and spaces into a radiating light show and creative canvas for creatives.


Image credit: city of Parramatta


Boasting 45 food outlets, 6 bars and rooftop rollerskating rink, the four day event running from 9 to 12 October every night from 5pm provides a playground for the city’s creatives in a massive showcase of culinary comforts and performing arts prowess.


Explore the maze of laneways and immerse yourself in abstract art installations, groove to the sounds of DJs and live entertainment while snacking on the gourmet street foods, cocktails and craft beer on offer.


Image credit: @mattaparra


Aird Street:
Flipp Burgers, Espresso Warriors, Mr Black, Katerin Sabbath, Archie Rose Distilling Co.


St John’s Cathedral
Diego’s Donuts, Adora Handmade Chocolates, Good Food Union, Balls, Frencheese

Centenary Square
StroopBros, Nutie  Donuts, Sacred Seed, Eat Art Truck, Happy As Larry, Sofrito, Braza, Churrascaria, Middle Eastern Street Food

Parramatta Mission Cafe
Daisy’s Milkbar Pop-up

Horwood Place
Superior Burger, Little Lagos, Lat-Dior African Eatery, Jamaican Delight, Uncle Kurt’s

The Rooftop Eat Street Carpark
Gelato Messina, Pimp My Donut, Butter Sydney, BL Burgers, Two Good Co., Mitch Orr pop-up, WatsOn Events Bar


Image credit: city of parramatta 


Image credit: city of Parramatta

Roxy Carpark
Chilli & Grains, 2 Boys In Saris, O!momo, Chatkazz, Temasek Restaurant


Shiso Fine, Korean BBQ, Koi Dessert Bar, Kensington Street Chippendale, Duo Duo Ice Cream, Arisun Restaurant, Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart


Image credit: city of Parramatta 

Dirrabarri Lane                                      

The Nighthawk Diner, Sweethark Diner, 2 Smoking Barrels, Waroo Lamb, Torch Me Creme Brulee, Park Royal, The Carter Sydney

Erby Place
The Coffee Emporium Australia

University of New England
Callan Smith pop-up
A range of party spaces ranging from chilled to wild, the City of Parramatta’s commitment to sustainability couches the event with no single-use cups, plastic straws or drinking bottles throughout the festival


Image credit: city of Parramatta

The final night is on tonight, October 12, so make sure you get down there and don’t miss out.

Parramatta Lanes

hosted by City of Parramatta
Tuesday 9 October until Friday 12 October from 5pm

Download the map here:
Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

Poultry, Sultry, Booze and fun when Whirly Bird turns one!

Whirlybird is the name and fried chicken is their game. This bar and restaurant specialises in poultry, booze and a touch of sultry.


Image credit: Ashley Marr

Whirlybird recently turned one and we learnt that they can also throw one hell of a party. Their large Cabaret styled venue accomodating a large crowd embracing the celebration.


Image credit: Ashley Marr

With a large number of people congregating around the bar, the bar tenders were on point keeping up with demand. Their fully stocked bar busily pumping out a range of beer, wine, champagne and a range of quality cocktails.


Image credit: Ashley Marr

There was also some incredible chicken to nibble on, served with some tasty sides. There was a disappearing act with the mini burger pyramid stacks. They were crazy popular, now you see em and now you don’t.


The food and drinks were perfect for this party, allowing you to take in the entertainment and socialise. There were plenty of food and lifestyle folk enjoying what the evening had to offer.

Image credit: Ashley Marr

The entertainment was going off, the band did a good job to engage the punters. Having said that they were upstaged by the Burlesque performance, the ladies putting on a classy striptease that drew the crowd in with a magnetic like pull.

Image credit: Ashley Marr

Good news – the venue transforms into the Birdcage on a Saturday night, with an adult’s only evening filled with fun, food, booze and burlesque.


Image credit: Ashley Marr

Whirlybird and the Society Group sure know how to throw a party. A great night had by all, enjoyed in cool venue, with drinks flowing and some finger lickin chicken. Check into this sultry, poultry, bar and restaurant.

Image credit: Ashley Marr

Whirly Bird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to get Vegan food in Melbourne @ Melbourne Vegan Food tours

Everyone knows that Melbourne is the place for eating and drinking. There’s countless cafes and bars for you to choose from. And, with the rise of the Vegan movement, this means more restaurants opening to cater to Vegan diners. How do you know where to go? You can spend hours scrolling through Instagram or google to choose a place that inspires you. Now, by joining a food tour, you can get readily available information about new places to visit with all that research done for you!


Melbourne Vegan Tours, the brainchild of Jessica Ivers and Dan Pinne take you on the journey of your palate through the streets of Melbourne, in particular, Fitzroy.

For $89, each tour will take you on a 3 hour journey down Brunswick street, stopping at 4-5 locations and sampling food at places such as Vegie Bar, Tahina, Vegan style, Fina’s and the Cruelty free shop. Your ticket price includes starters, shared main meals, dessert and a drink.


You will hear the story behind each business and being a small tour, it is in a personal setting.


It’s not just about the food. You can meet other likeminded people, socialise and share the journey with.


What an enjoyable way to spend your Saturday!

For information and bookings:

Email – jess@melbournefoodtours.com
Email – dan@melbournefoodtours.com
Instagram – melbvegantours
Website –  https://melbournevegantours.com

Western Sydney Beach @ Macarthur Beach Club

So you thought you would need to travel into Sydney for a taste of the beach! Now you can get a beach club vibe in the heart of Campbelltown, Western Sydney at Macarthur Square.


Image credit Ash Marr

Macarthur Square is a huge entertainment precinct with shopping, bars, restaurants, ten pin bowling, the cinema, and now it has been transformed into A BEACH. Macarthur Beach Club has launched and it is open daily until Sunday evening of the 14th October.


Image credit Greg Fonne

Take the kids down for fun school holiday activities such as a huge bright blue ball “sea” pit, sandpit and deckchairs. What a unique way to have fun in your own “backyard”, western Sydney siders.


Image credit Greg Fonne

When you pay a beach a visit, you also must order an icecream, right? Well here, everyweekend you can find one of 200 “credit cards” buried deep within the sandpit. These credit cards are redeemable for a free ice-cream from the ice cream ATM. How cool is that? From “The Scoop Gelato” you can get that sugar fix on your summer escape!


Image credit Ash Marr


Image credit Greg Fonne

Worth a visit too for those wanting to snap a new insta pic!

This Saturday 6th will be a beauty event hosted by Michelle Crossan to get us ready in time for summer. On from 3pm-4:15, get down for some beauty tips.

On the final weekend of the beach, on Saturday 13th, there’s also a giant sand sculpture reveal so don’t miss out on that.

Macarthur Square Shopping Centre

Kellicar Lane, Macarthur Square


Where to make your own chocolates? Class Bento!

Instead of just taking a seat and enjoying the fruits of another persons’ labour, today we popped on an apron and got our hands dirty, or should we say “chocolatey”. We took on the challenge of making our own handcrafted chocolates with a chocolate class in the heart of Lilyfield at Kimberley Chocolates, organised through Class Bento.

We were warmly greeted by Joseph, the chocolatier, who, with over 20 years experience would be leading us in our chocolate making adventure. We begin our workshop with a brief overview of the ins and outs of chocolate and how it came to be the popular delicacy we all enjoy today.


Each participant was given a unique chocolate mould ranging from lips, roses, leaves, love hearts, even an Egyptian Tutankhamun. From there, we shown how to line the mould with liquid chocolate from what was every chocolate lovers dream, a chocolate waterfall!


We then filled our chocolates with different flavoured ganache and coated our chocolates and played the waiting game to see if our treats would set in one piece.


During this time, Joseph took us on a journey through the history of chocolate, being derived from the cacao bean and processed until it turns into the chocolate we love and enjoy today. We then enjoyed a traditional hot chocolate infused with rose and chocolate fondue with strawberries, marshmallow and traditional Turkish delight.

By this point, the waiting game had come to an end, our trays of handcrafted chocolates came out from the fridge ready to be assessed. We stood anxiously waiting for our turn to de-mould the chocolates by literally smashing the chocolate tray onto the bench.


When each of the chocolates came out unscathed, we realised we were successful and were on the way to becoming chocolatiers ourselves. Joseph was a great teacher who made the class informative, enjoyable and gave us plenty of opportunities to challenge ourselves and learn something new. Not to mention giving us plenty of chances to enjoy some chocolate along the way. Probably best for people with limited cooking experience.

This was a great course run by Class Bento at a cost of $80 It’s easy to sign up to a course online. Pick what suits you regarding price and duration and interest. There’s crafts such as terrarium making, candle makings, teapot making, flower arranging, screen printing, pottery making and more. Or in the food sector you can make macrons, or attend cocktail classes. They offer free coffee classes at Roastville too. Class bento offerings are great for yourself, date night, for a group of friends or even a hen’s night or corporate work function!

Thank you to Class Bento for the invitation to join the class.

Class Bento


Chocolate class



Mama Mulan for your next event!

Having opened it’s doors in June, an elegant interior of free form art provides an irreproachable setting for celebration and purlieu.



The vision of their menu is one that triumphantly reimagines Chinese cuisine.  The impact on classic dishes many have come to know and love as staples in this food is subtle, yet compelling.   Second generation restaurants you could call them, as the palette  of the multi-ethnic Sydney dining culture is ever evolving.

mud crab

(Mud Crab)

 “Mulan” meaning wood orchid or magnolia blossom, said to represent femininity, power and strength in Chinese culture.   Mama Mulan, therefore a place of warmth, love and passion setting the tone of what to expect in your dining experience.  Chef Marble Ng (ex Lotus) has created a menu focused on the Shandong regions of northern China.


(Signature Dan Dan Noodle soup with pork, chilli and peanut sauce)

The ingot shaped dumplings are preserved in their usual crowd pleasing form.  An appropriate introduction to the Mama Mulan dining experience while saluting the old belief of wealth and prosperity, the handmade pot stickers of pork and cabbage, spicy wontons with pork and watercress and pork xiao long bao set the standard of what to expect. 


The setting for our dining experience takes place in Mama Mulan’s Den – the largest of its private dining spaces easily seating 16-20 guests.  It attracts alot of natural light and has it’s own private balcony.  

room shot

In contrast, the Magnolia and Blossom Rooms have a roundtable configuration for 8-10 people.  Great versatility in the number of functions and gatherings the space (total capacity 180) can accommodate as we enter the peak planning season of Spring/Summer celebration.


Offering a range of banquet menus and dishes, expect to spend anywhere between $41-$100 for a three course experience.

IMG_8614  IMG_8622

There are some very interesting ideas in Chef Marble’s menu.   The sashimi is available only in lobster, the unexpected salad pairing of pear and cucumber, the use of rockmelon in duck pancakes and mushroom as the hero in their spring rolls,  in its ambition to make its mark and cement itself as the definitive in north shore Chinese, they’re definitely playing a different game to many in the area and making us re-think our ideas on this cuisine.




The Concourse, Level 1 above Willoughby City Library, Chatswood NSW 2067

(02) 9157 1488


Online Reservations:


Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

images supplied

Mama Mulan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to find the best locally brewed beer in Darling Harbour? All hands Brewing

Open since December last year, not sure how we’ve missed this spot at destinationsville – Darling Harbour. There’s a nice Inner West kind of vibe to this place which is uncharacteristic of the standard King Street Wharf venues.


A growing mainstream awareness of craft beers, they offer a unique and rare experience joining local mircrobreweries, Endeavor Tap Rooms at The Rocks and Circular Quay’s Squire Landing.

There are five permanent taps with another four that alternate depending on the demand. Despite production having to rely on demand, it provides a creative space for Head Brewer, Sam Clayman and his team to refine and retweak seasonal releases. This is a win for beer lovers, enabling Sam to experiment with different yeast strains and play around with fermentation temperatures.


The microbrewery acts as a backdrop to the bar entry housing five vessels which can produce over 5600 schooners. Exposed piping and mesh gating accentuate the timber setting giving an urban edge to a casual night out.

For the laymen out there like myself, the IBU measure indicates the hop content in the brew – impacting flavoring and stability of the beer.


We lined up 7 from their taps. It was like a rainbow of beer showcasing some very distinct styles of lager and ale:

From Left to Right (man that was hard work):
HUMP DAY I.P.A. (Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV • 45 IBU)
It’s an inviting copper toned schooner of trickery. iThe artist paints and you see exactly what they want to express, one of the more abstract styles in the All hands repertoire, if you’re bitter – this one’s for you! They tell me it’s an acquired taste for the refined palette.

WOOD DUCK CREAM ALE (Alcohol Content: 4.7% ABV • 18 IBU)
It’s the signature and crowd favorite. It uses nitrogen to replicate the foamy tops of a cask ale but there are other carbonating/oxidising factors to it also. The only thing you need to know is there’s a nice comfortable sweet spot of vanilla and speckles of spice that come through.

BUNNY HOP LAGER (Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV • 30 IBU)
It’s a radiating straw colored brew that answers the legacy of the original Pilsner. Crisp, bitter, snappy with a backbone and is always a good safe choice.

LONGNECK BEST BITTER (Alcohol Content: 4.1% ABV • 22 IBU)
The deep amber elixir with its caramel malt, coppered toast and spicy rye. Using two species of Hop plants for stabilization there are whispers of conflict in each sip of citrus and spice that are quite alluring.

IRISH SPORT STOUT (Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV • 51 IBU)
We enter the realms of fruity-dry, top fermenting ale with this basic black concoction. It’s thick, it’s dry with punch packing hues of coffee and chocolate. It’s their unique house blend and not for the light hearted.

This was recommended in a pairing with the Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye also on offer during the event from their pop-up station. Surprisingly, one of the most memorable of the evening.

HOUSE CIDER – This golden wheat beer of cloudiness sits on the fruitier side if you’re after something light and easy.


It sits on the fruitier side with hints of passionfruit, lime, papaya and berries. It’s the strongest in terms of alcohol content in their repertoire and dangeorously smooth.

KING’S TIPPLE KOLSCH (Alcohol Content: 4.6% ABV • 16 IBU)
Light copper tones of pear and apple which is where I comfortably sit in terms of beer.


Photo – Supplied 

It’s a southern style menu put together by Group Execuitive chef Graeme McLaughlin and chef Michael Acevedo. It takes the casual pub menu up a notch with a focus on sharing plates, smoked meat, with a strong focus on locally sourced seafood both in their salads, mains and platters.


Photo – Supplied

Unlike many around the harbour, All Hands provides a very different experience to many of its neighbours and definitely worth a visit. For a family catch up, birthday celebration, or an after work drink, it’s the perfect venue.

All Hands Brewing House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

Whitewater Restaurant – Cocktail Masterclass & Spring Preview

Their new menu officially launched on Thursday 30th August with a huge ‘End of Winter’ party to celebrate and showcase the exceptional range of authentic, international and local cuisine which has seen seafood delights, pastas and prime meats added to its offering.


Key Sydney media and influencers descended on the venue for the evening, soaking up the food and beverage delights whilst a live saxophonist entertained the crowd during the evening and an expert mixologist delighted guests by teaching them how to make their very own Whitewater cocktail.


Whitewater’s cocktail classes are perfect for any occasion, birthdays, hen parties
or even corporate events. At $85 per person, guests in a group of at least ten people are shown the art of three different cocktails.

A preview of the new spring menu was given and this will eventually feature fifteen new sharing plates including:

The Tuna Tataki, which consists of rare thinly sliced tuna served on chopped broccolini salad tossed with soy sesame seed dressing. It also included: Garlic prawns, Salt and pepper squid, Grilled octopus, mushroom melody. Spinach arancini, Fried cauliflower; and a Tomato bruschetta consisting of fresh tomatoes tossed with diced red onion and basil, on top of toast finished with a balsamic glaze.


The menu will complement the ocean views of Manly beach with a freshness essential to the warmer season ahead.

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credit: Ashley Marr

Handcrafted using 4 ‘W’s’ @ Makers Mark

Maker’s Mark and its seal of quality are famous the world over. A family business specialising in Bourbon, a type of whiskey from the US and are proud of the artisan skills that go into making the product and the brand. Kurt is a huge whiskey (whisky) fan and with it being Kurt’s drink of choice, he was over the moon to be invited to the Maker’s Mark immersive pop up highlight the 4 W’s that make Maker’s Mark. The event was held at the old Copper Mill in Alexandria. A great venue, the Copper Mill is a converted industrial space, with much of the old character retained. The walls are thick cement, as were the doors, which were super impressive, as they opened with ease everytime, into a new room with it’s own character and feel.


We were visiting for a Maker’s Mark Event and were greeted at the door with a refreshing welcome cocktail of Maker’s Mark ginger and lime. We met their brand ambassador who was to guide us on this interactive Maker’s Mark experience to show us the four W’s that make Maker’s Mark.


We are first provided with a leather apron to look the part. Then we are led up stairs into a room where bread is being baked. Baking bread was how Bill Samuels Sr perfected the recipe for the bourbon that is still being produced today. The process explained and we also sampled some quality sourdough.


We are then led into the next room where water is the ingredient championed. Maker’s Mark pick their distillery site with this factor in mind. In this room we sample the product neat (straight up) and also on the rocks (over ice) this also demonstrating how a little water from the ice can change the flavour and intensity of the Whiskey. We are also shown a demonstration of some magnificent ice carving by Ice carving master Kenji. We also stamp an ice cube with the Maker’s Mark seal, pretty cool!


We are then ushered to another room, where it is explained where the famous Wax seal originated and how a woman’s intuition named and shaped the design of the bottles. Margie Samuels inspired by the Maker’s Mark on English Pewter she collected is how the name was inspired, Margies designing of the bottles and labels to make Maker’s Mark stand out in the market. In this room we get hands on making our own cocktail, the old fashioned. This cocktail is a mix of sugar, Angusturo Bitters and of course the Maker’s Mark Whiskey.

IMG_3302 (1)

The final W is wood, and we enter another room where the barrel making process called coopering is demonstrated. Wood iis  another important component as the wood from the barrel instills flavour into the bourbon. The American Oak provides subtle vanilla notes to the sweetness of the bourbon. In the Maker’s Mark 46 bottling they also age it in French Oak which adds some spice to the bourbon.


Makers Mark a quality product and a great drink to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail. A great event put on by Maker’s Mark and thanks to the FCBA crew for providing a ticket which we won in a competition.


Wayward Brewing Co team up with The Oaks

What an absolute pleasure to experience an event of Wayward Brewing Co teaming up with the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay for a four course meal matched with beers. With our foodie friend where_do_i_eat_pete, this was sure to be something right up our alley. This is a great venue in the Oaks, a comfortable space indoors with a beautiful outlook on the iconic oak tree.


Wayward head brewer Shaun Blissett and beer brigadier Jackson Davey were fantastic in hosting and narrating the Wayward Brewing journey, as well as how each of their beers tasted on the evening were created.

Of the four beers, two of the beers were limited releases, and all of them matched perfectly by the sumptuous menu prepared by the chefs at the Oaks Hotel.

 The starter dish was the beef cheek slider with rocket and vegemite aioli, which matched with the Acre Pilsner with Yuzu. The slider provided a slight, however beautiful vegemite after taste, and I think it took only a few minutes to easily down the Pilsner. This Pilsner was 4.5% ABV (Limited Release).



For entrée, we were served the irresistibly refreshing and delicious king fish ceviche with jalepeno, dried shallots, coconut cream, ponzu and lime, and this dish matched with the Sourpuss raspberry Berliner Weisse. If the ceviche were served at a fine dining restaurant, I would be very happy with it, even more so at a pub! The coconut and lime brought out incredible flavours. The sourpuss beer was interesting as it neither tasted like a beer or a cider, and with its low 3.8% alcohol content, made it a very easy drinking beverage. 



The main dish was absolutely outstanding with the smoked lamb shoulder with roasted potatoes, heirloom carrots and brussels sprouts, shared amongst 4. Perfect for this style of event. This was matched with the Charmer India Red Ale. The lamb just melted off the bone, and the India Red Ale had incredible “hoppy” content with great flavour. 




By the time dessert came, I was quite content and full, however there is always room for dessert, especially when it included Messina gelato and a soft centred chocolate pudding, matched with the limited release Slapshot stout beer. 



A warm thank you to Amy Fourro at The Oaks for the invitation to attend this food and beer matching master class. As well as a big thank you to Shaun and Jackson of Wayward Brewing Co for hosting an informative and entertaining evening.

For those considering attending in the future, The Oaks always have superb events at good prices