Solander Dining – honouring Australian flora and fauna

Solander Dining is set within the West Hotel, a boutique designer upmarket Hotel by Hilton, situated close to Barangaroo.

Solander can be aptly described as suave and sophisticated with art deco styling, complete with velvet lounge chairs, oak tables, tan leather menus, herringbone marble floors and unique lighting fixtures. The dining space is designed around a long fully stocked bar and even an indoor feature palm garden. This, combined with a dimly lit room oozes style and class.

The space is further enhanced by a live music set infront of the well lit bar. As you enter the room, the music warmly greets and soothes you with classic jazz tunes provided on the night by skilled musician Michael Duchesne, who happened to front our wedding band a few years back. It is perfect to provide a chilled atmosphere during your dining experience. If you aren’t there for the full dining experience, you can also order a cocktail, spirit, wine or beer and a few bar bites to enjoy with friends.

Solander Dining was named after 18th century botanist Daniel Solander, a explorer who travelled to Australia on the Endeavour ship with Joseph Banks and was a key individual in researching and documenting Australian flora and fauna. This restaurant explores Australian flora and fauna, but in a culinary sense. The menu is split into flora – vegetable dishes and fauna – protein based.

The chefs, led by executive chef David Vandenabeele have done their research to locate and source the freshest native produce, incorporating the ingredients into their menu. Using banksia, acacia, salt bush, Karkalla leaves, lemon Myrtle, native finger line, Kakadu plum to flavour the dishes, makes for lovely flavour combinations. For the proteins, the menu highlights some amazing meats such as wallaby, rib eye and venison. From the seafood list, you can try Sydney rock oysters, kingfish or the amazing bugs.

You can easily do the 6 course tasting menu for $110 to explore the menu if you aren’t sure but we ordered a number of dishes a la carte so we could try lots of dishes.

We always judge restaurants on the bread. For it to be quality, it simply has to be fresh bread made in house. The bread here is an absolute highlight. The delicious fresh bread is baked in a flowerpot with hints of Banksia and Acacia flavours. Just amazing.

On to strarters and we ate the best dish we have come across this year! A stunning plate of charred bugs cooked in chilli butter with bush tomatoes. This seafood offering is perfectly cooked with the flesh sliding out of the shell with little encouragement, and even less encouragement once we had a taste. Even better, this dish can be ordered as a main. We will most certainly be back specifically for these bugs.

The entree list has many great options, including the gin cured salmon which is another inspired offering, well seasoned and served with pickled cucumber and native karkalla leaves and lemon myrtle.

From the main list, the mountain pepper spiced venison rack came deboned, cut into small slices, and well prepared. Beautifully plated with butternut squash, the venison topped with the tartness of the Davidson plumb and finished with lovely jus.

We also decided on a fish dish of seared king fish, skin very crisp, served in a silky lemon butter and served with delicate champagne poached oysters, a uniquely decadent plate of food.

If you are hungry enough to order some sides, do yourself a favour and order the Warrigal greens, they are something to savour, with sweetness of the fermented black garlic.

The desserts all very intriguing, especially with the use of native ingredients. The strawberry plate immediately grabbed our attention, with strawberries prepared in many ways, fresh, caramelised, in a short cake and served with and earl grey jelly and pearl barley, which gives a nice toasty flavour and texture, as does the delicate chickpea meringue.

There wasn’t anything delicate about the acacia chocolate fondant, and with good reason, it’s indulgent and very rich with intense flavours and a bold blackberry sorbet, a powerful dessert indeed.

Solander Dining and bar is such a sophisticated venue, well suited for a drink and some live music, in stylish surrounds. The restaurant is great for a bite, be it small or a degustation and the food is extremely high quality. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also love that they hero ingredients native to Australia. Impressive on all levels, be sure to place this high on your bucket list.

Solander Dining & Bar

West Hotel Sydney, 65 Sussex Street, Sydney

Ph: (02) 8297 6500

Solander Dining and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stanton and co turn 1

Stanton & Co is a stunning new venue in a revived warehouse in The Cannery, Rosebery. The space has an industrial feel to it, and the team of designers took inspiration from New York’s Meatpacking District. You certainly get that vibe with its exposed brick walls and pipes, velvet chairs and deep cedar tables. It’s a huge space and can seat 240 guests, so it’s also perfect for an event. There’s a large bar, open kitchen and outdoor space to enjoy your dining experience.

We were lucky enough to attend celebrations for Stanton and CO’s first birthday with a bunch of foodies and we certainly had a great time.

Photo – supplied

The night kicked off with cocktails, wine and beer from Frenchies out in the spacious bar outside on the balcony of Stanton and Co. The ‘Bramberry cocktail’ with Roku Gin, yuzu juice and blackberries is a must try – very refreshing and a nice accompaniment to the food.

Photo – supplied

As we were at the first birthday, it was appropriate to to have a variety of party style food that could be shared canape style. We tried some beautiful oysters; both smoky and soy on arrival as well as the spanner crab mini taco, served with avocado and tobiko was super cute and a great little dish to share’.

Photo – supplied

We sat down and were kindly greeted by the staff who served drinks and started to bring out entrees. We shared a variety of small plates including the highlight – some deliciously crispy Jamon mozzarella croquettes with aioli.

We’re always fans of Salmon ceviche and the Stanton and Co. version was great, served with creme fraiche and potato crisps, this was a great starter. We can also thoroughly recommend the creamy Burrata, green tomato and salsa verde.

If you plan to visit, it’s great for a dinner date or a group catch because you can share with small, medium, or large plates. In particular, from the large plates, they have a twice-cooked chicken, slow cooked lamb shoulder, 800g dry aged T-bone, or what we tried: the absolutely incredible 1.2k pork knuckle. This was incredible. A moist inside, crispy crackle, served with seeded mustard.

Photo – supplied

If you’re ordering a meat to share, be sure to order some sides too – some charred seasonal vegetables, fried kipfler potatoes with spiced rosemary butter, shoestring fries and house mayo or like on our visit we had a super flavoursome and creamy truffled mash. Another highlight of the menu.

For our dessert, we were grateful to try the butterscotch mousse with cherries and banana ice cream. This was super nice and certainly would pair well with a dessert liquor. You can also order a number of other desserts, including chilled pineapple parfait, chocolate crumble, cheese plate or affogato. There’s even a dessert plate you can share.

Photo – supplied

We’d like to thank all staff at the venue for their hospitality and to original spin for the invitation

Opening hours

Wed-Fri 5pm-6pm for $1.50 oysters

Happy hour 4:30-6:30

Closed Monday & Tuesday

Wednesday to Saturday 12pm to late

Sunday from 12pm to 5pm

Stanton and co.

34 Morley Ave, Rosebery 2018

Level 1 of The Cannery

02 8339 0580

Stanton & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Arnott’s Sundaes now at Event Cinema Gold Class

Out goes the choc top for us as we now yearn for more Arnott’s biscuits sundaes at our next movie date. 

We had the pleasure of attending a screening of ‘What men want’ at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction in their Gold Class cinema to celebrate Event Cinema turning Arnott’s Biscuits into ice cream sundaes! And it’s not just what men want, everyone wants these sundaes.

The iconic biscuit brand, that has been in operation over 150 years now features as one of the key ingredients in a new range of sundaes available to purchase for those heading to Gold Class cinemas.

Arnott’s teamed up with the cinema, working with each other to identify most popular ice creams and biscuits to develop a range of biscuit themed sundaes.

Image – original spin

Featuring the ever popular Tim Tam, Mint Slice, Monte Carlo and Caramel Crowns, you can purchase a mouthwatering sundae for $25 and have it delivered to your reclining couch before, or during the film. This sundae is served in a glass almost bigger than ourselves. The glass is filled with three scoops of creamy ice cream carefully placed, topped with the Arnotts biscuits, in house made hot fudge sauce topping, whipped cream and waters or dried fruit (depending on the option selected). The favours and textures certainly work well together and the sundae has brought back a feeling of nostalgia where you can share your ice cream sundae over a movie and it has brought our favourite biscuit classics to the fore. 

Whilst they may not be good for your waistline, they are certainly good for your tastebuds and level of happiness upon consumption. You’ll love the richness, decadence and texture of the sundae and we’re sure that this will satisfy that sweet craving.

With four indulgent flavours to choose from: 

•Classic Tim Tam: scoops of creamy vanilla bean and chocolate obsession ice cream, warm chocolate fudge, waffles, malt crispy bits, Tim Tam biscuits, whipped cream and a cherry on top;

Image – original spin

•Minty Mint Slice: scoops of choc mint and chocolate obsession ice cream, warm chocolate fudge, Mint Slice biscuits, chocolate malt crumble, choc coated wafer crumble bits and whipped cream;

Image – original spin

•The Full Monte Carlo: scoops of creamy vanilla bean and berry ice cream, Monte Carlo biscuits, raspberry crumble, strawberry coulis, vanilla malt crumb, fresh strawberries and whipped cream;

Image – original spin

•Salted Caramel Crowns: scoops of rock salted caramel ice cream, salted caramel popcorn, malt crumble, Caramel Crown biscuits, warm caramel fudge, whipped cream, honeycomb, classic wafers.

Image – original spin

Arnott’s Sundaes are available now at all Event and BCC Gold Class Cinemas across Australia.

Image – original spin

Whilst you’re there, you’re also able to order popcorn, food and drink and candy. The food and drinks are delivered to your chair and Gold Class makes for a luxury cinema visit. 

Thank you to original spin for the invitation to attend, to Event Cinema for hosting and Arnott’s for the collaboration.

Celebrate the ‘month of love’ @ The Ternary

Valentine’s Day is on February 14, but we all know it’s more important to share the love each and every day.

Do you have plans for a romantic outing during this season of love?

Why not visit The Ternary, In the Novotel Darling Harbour for their “month of love”, as they hold a $75 three course meal, designed to share with that special someone. To add to the experience you could even book a room.

The location is wonderful and if you come early, you can see sweeping views of the harbour panorama from the the main dining room windows. At night, the harbour is beautifully lit up and fireworks visible on weekends.

The space has high ceilings and white washed walls and modern simplistic features forming the Ternary. There’s also a lounge by the fireplace to get you in the mood for romance.

We were here for the month of love dinner and were seated at the open kitchen, designed to create an interactive dining experience where you can watch the chefs at work. We enjoying watching them and talking through their recipes.

The unique menu begins with a glass of Taittinger Champagne each and a special Cocktail ‘Mi Amor’, created by the bar staff – a four pillars shiraz gin based cocktail to set the tone of the evening.

The champagne pairs perfectly with the beautifully fresh seafood including prawns, oysters and calamari.

For your main course, you can select from a choice of Slow Cooked Beef Rib, or a whole Baby Barramundi. The beef rib falls softly off the bone and absolutely melts in your mouth. Served atop a creamy mash with sweet potato crisps and asparagus.

The whole baby barramundi has been lightly grilled and then baked in the oven, creating a soft, flavoursome flaky fish that is super tasty. This came with a wilted spinach and roast vegetables. It’s such a great fish dish, you may not want to share.

Image – The society group

We simply could not say no to the amazing dessert platter! A beautifully presented plate with a gooey chocolate fondant, the cinnamon covered chocolate filled churros are what dreams are made of and even better, they are served with chocolate dipping sauce. There was also the Eaton mess which sure to have you feeling the love. All desserts were great for sharing (or not) !

We had a few wines to pair with our food, such as a Shaw & Smith Savingnon Blanc with the entree, a Clare Valley Rose with the mains and a Bleasdale sparkling Shiraz to accompany the dessert. All wine matched perfectly, what better way to spend Valentine’s day with your perfect match.

We would like to show our gratitude to the wonderful chefs, hotel & restaurant staff and in particular the food and beverage managers Veronika and Tim. Their personable nature embodies the Ternary’s positive ‘can do’ attitude. They were so warm and hospitable and took time to get to know us, chat about the food and drink. We’re sure this high quality staff team would be a reason why the venue is so popular.

We thoroughly recommend the month of love dinner, or any other visit (we did note the 500g Balmain bug dish!!). We suggest you make a booking to avoid missing out. They are still offering their regular A’la-carte-menu as well.

The Ternary

Novotel Darling Harbour

100 Murray St, Pyrmont NSW

Seafood buffet brunch on every Sunday @ Hyatt Regency, Sydney

Sailmaker Restaurant can found on the ground level of the Hyatt Regency Sydney. Pass through the grand lobby with marble floors and high ceilings past the bar and up the stairs.

The Hyatt is an expansive hotel, just off Sussex Street on the CBD side of Darling Harbour. Under the Hyatt banner for approx 2 years, it is a sophisticated hotel with amazing dining locations including Sailmaker restaurant and also Zephr rooftop bar. Sailmaker, named after the original purpose of the building, creating sails for boats in the 1800’s has a long history in the area and we love that whilst dining, you can look out over Darling harbour and all of the boats. Sailmaker restaurant has a large open dining area sectioned off into two areas.

Sailmaker Restaurant are offering a new Sunday Seafood Brunch with limitless Chandon sparkling wine. It is available every Sunday from February 3, from 12pm – 2pm for $78 per person. There was also some great live music adding to the ambience, with the duo playing an excellent selection of songs.


There was a great spread on offer. The cold seafood bar immediatly took our interest, it was stacked high with amazing oysters, mussels, marinated baby octopus, smoked salmon and fresh prawns to gorge on. The seafood accompanied by a variety of dressings. This is certainly somewhere you can get your seafood fix.


They have a egg station with the staff cooking made to order omelettes, with additions of your choice including prawns and crab. They also do a great salmon benedict.

For those with a sweet tooth, the chefs can also make you waffles and pancake to order and there are also plenty of delicious pastries on offer.


It’s not all seafood, head over to the main buffet, for an impressive selection of hot food to insatiate your appetite; A huge succulent roast pork was pefectly cooked with crisp crackling and the impressive lamb pie is a must.

Fill up your plate with some of the roast vegetables and fresh salads; eggplant and bocconcini, kale or cauliflower, as well as bacon, hash browns and more.

There’s an overflowing cheese platter, charcuterie and breads, honestly we were in food heaven.


We thought we were finished, there was the dessert buffet to explore, we did have to channel our dessert stomach. The offering on display included; Brownies, lemon tarts, marshmallows, coconut slice, macaroons, a few beautiful cakes and a fruit platter.

It’s honestly best to try everything! Accompany this with a coffee and it’s the perfect end to a fabulous meal.


We would like to thank the Hyatt Regency for the invitation to dine and the hospitality provided.

Sailmaker at Hyatt Regency

161 Sussex Street, Sydney New South Wales 2000

Phone: 02 8099 1234



The Sailmaker - Hyatt Regency Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Quality Indian fare @ Manjits King St Wharf

Manjits Indian restaurant is a Sydney dining institution and a family run business which was established in 1984. Manjits has since branched out to include a number of locations including Balmain, King Street Wharf Darling Harbour and further south to Wollongong, and one of its northern suburbs, Corrimal.

We visited Manjits King Street Wharf and were informed that this location is known for its innovative menu, building on traditional classics to create modern masterpieces.

Manjits King Street wharf, as the name suggests is a waterfront restaurant with a cool outlook over the vessels on display at the Maritime Museum. This restaurant is large with classic white linen set tables and private dining spaces enclosed by curtains. It is a fully licensed venue which is great for a seaside beverage, as well as a meal.

The entrees at Manjits were all exceptional. The masala prawn pakora bites, crispy fried in chickpea batter and spiced with dried chili and curry leaves were incredibly moreish.

The Bharrah lamb kebab was perfectly cooked and spectacularly flavoursome, these cutlets disappeared very quickly off the plate. All of the meat dishes were done very well; the fish malai and the baniare chicken both vibrantly colourful in appearance and taste.

At Manjits Lime Street Wharf, innovation is on display with a twist on the street classic – the gol gol gappa, a crispy pastry shell, filled with spiced chickpea and potato and pomegranate. Pour in the tamarind sauce and this will certainly further target the taste buds. This was also the case with the amazingly tasty crab uttapam (rice lentil pancake). The pancakes topped with sweet blue swimmer crab meat, cooked with green chilli, corriander, split peas and topped with orange beads of fish roe.

It is a must to order Naan bread when enjoying Indian cusine. OMFG Manjits produced the biggest NAAN we have ever seen. Even better, it was a combination of plain and garlic. This was perfect to accompany the mains and soak up the delicious curry sauce.

We love the bold flavours that are associated with Indian cooking, in particular the curries. The Kochin Balmain Bug Curry, a highlight not to be missed. This dish is a Southern Indian curry having a bit of heat, but it combines well with the coconut milk and seafood sweetness of the balmain bugs and the meat will pretty much melt in your mouth.

The next dish was a bit of a suprise it looked like a pot pie, but when the pastry top was removed it revealed the Dum Ki Biryani. A traditional fragrant spiced rice dish with sweet sultanas to counter the spice, dig to the bottom of the dish and you will find tender cuncks of nicely spiced chicken to gorge on.

Full as a goog, relax, enjoy the view and peruse the dessert menu. The food is hearty and the potions generous, you will need to summon your dessert stomach. But it will be highly worth it, for a dig at the mango and pistachio kulfi. Served in a cone shape this frozen yogurt dessert was great to cool down on, after a spicy meal.

For something a little different, try the rasmalai, a traditional dessert consisting of condensed milk dumplings soaked in saffron and cardamon milk and topped with a pistachio crumb. This dessert has a subtle sweetness and the saffron and cardamon hit the sense of smell with their exotic aromas.

Manjits is a restaurant that ticks all of the boxes, great service, location, views and most importantly great food. Such gracious hosts, this family run restaurant, has been well established for over 30 years. This alone is proof enough that Manjits are producing the goods, to further re-enforce this, the Good Food Guide has awarded Manjit’s with a chef’s hat.

We would like to thank the restaurant and staff for their hospitality and Spooning Australia for the invitation to dine.

 Manjit's @ The Wharf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

XS Espresso @ Prestons

The new XS Espresso store is in a large space in a shopping complex featuring a new Woolworths off the Camden Valley Way.

It is styled similarly to the other stores and an open coffee window for people ordering take aways.

The young girl front of house was lovely and took us to a table. It it was extremely busy and buzzing with diners so took a while to get our order taken and served. However the manager was extremely helpful and generous. On our visit, it was only a few weeks old so they’re understandably busy and learning the ropes.

The menu is pretty much the same as the other stores, known for their freak shakes, over the top sweet dishes like pancakes and waffles, and a number of burgers. Don’t come here if you’re worried about your waistline. It is certainly a place to indulge.

We shared three dishes between us: The New York, New York – normally 250 g sirloin, but they had run out so we got the lamb – with roasted chat potatoes, asparagus, tomato and sweet potatoes with chimichurri. A super big serving and all components were very tasty.

I’m always keen for a healthy dish and there was only a handful of this category, so we ordered one of them. The “Happy Bowl” was bright and colourful and filled with nourishing goodies like quinoa, mashed sweet potato, kale, beetroot hummus, boiled egg, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and radish. We added some chicken to it for the protein and polished this meal off quickly between us.


The other members of my party wanted a sweet option, and so opted for the absolutely beautiful ricotta hotcake. Extremely light and fluffy, it’s one of the better ones we’ve had. Topped with summer fruits and vanilla cream – we’d thoroughly recommend this.

They have Campos coffee, which we enjoyed, as well as smoothies and shakes. We tried the lovely banana smoothie and it was presented so nicely too.

You can’t visit XS Espresso without a freakshake. We opted for the XS Surprise / a Nutella and crunchie base, topped with fairy floss and a waffle cone, complete with a kinder surprise and covered with honeycomb and hundreds and thousands. Your family will go crazy for this! (And afterwards 😉

When you’re keen to indulge, pay XS Espresso a visit – it’s in a convenient location and very spacious. Enjoy!

XS Espresso

Shop 5/1975 Camden Valley Way, Prestons NSW 2170, Australia

XS Espresso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go for a casual catch up with mates @ Howard’s Cantina

It’s been just over a year since Howard’s Cantina first launched their bar and fine dining space on the upper levels of the Rose of Australia. There has been a few changes to the menu since then, but the charm we remember is still there.

Howard’s Cantina is a cool spot named after the patriarch of the Leach family who have been at the helm of the Rose for over 20 years.  It’s now under the leadership of son, Scott.  Tactful accentuation with art pieces and minimal work has been done to the space allowing the brickwork and fireplace to emanate the 86 year old history this art deco building has with the community.  Greenery creates a whimsical setting reserved for the fine dining area which is cleverly sectioned within the main relaxed areas of the cocktail bar.   Long share tables, casual stools and outdoor settees fill the main area that were entertaining a number of large group functions at the time of our visit.

The culinary prowess of Executive Chef Chris Bell shines through with some elegant deconstructed desserts and modern fusion flavor bombs that have creeped in from the fancy dining side of Howard’s menu.   It’s quite interesting as there are two very different experiences on offer here with very distinct menus.

Their grill items are very reasonably priced. Ranging from $15 (T-Bone Steak) to $28 (Rump & Sirloin), add-ons start from $4, mac & cheese ($5) or 3 prawns to surf your turf ($8).   For families the kids menu per dish ranges from $6-$8.

Soft Shell Tacos are packed with filling (2 for $10 / 3 for $15).   With 5 options to choose from the assembly of Japanese / asian ingredients piqued our interest. The tuna filling is cured in sesame oil adding a soft nuttiness to the fish.  This base allows for quite an interesting flavour symphony with red onion pickling offset by the iceberg crunch.  A wasabi aioli binds it all together evoking a sense of freshness which will appeal over the coming summer.


The house ribs are still there thank goodness (Half Rack $20).   Nothing unnecessarily over the top, just simple seasoning and fall off the bone smoking, having absorbed the simple flavors of lemon olive oil, chill and oregano win us over every time.


The Rajun Cajun Burger ($17) consists of a 100% angus beef patty, pickled jalapenos, house smoked jalapeños, cheddar cheese, tomato, cheese, lettuce, chipotle aioli.  Serious burger lovers should instead aim for the Tripple Bypass ($22) – Three 100% angus beef patties, three rashers of bacon, swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, stuffed with onion rings, pickled zucchini, cheese goo, rose secret sauce.


The Meringue Dessert ($13) is an art sculpture of whipped vanilla cream, anise poached pear and fresh mint. Such a delicate sweetness that’s put together here.


The great thing about their menu is the versatility in design.   The hero protein or vegetable is easily accessorised with a wide range of add-ons to suit your personal taste and a strong selection of share plates are very generously portioned.  It’s also worth noting that there is no minimum spend or function room hire fee for their private spaces for groups smaller than 40.

Function Spaces:

Vineyard: 32 people
Rose Garden: 36 people
Terrace: 30 people
Howards Bar: 34 people
Semi Private Dining: 14 people

Howard’s Cantina

1 Swanson Street, Erskineville NSW 2043

Phone: (02) 9565 1441

Contributor: Joseph Lloyd


One of the best airport lounges – Plaza Premium First Class, Hong Kong

The plaza premium First class lounge at Hong Kong International airport is a new addition. For access, it costs 700 HKD and they give you a little takeaway thermos to keep as your momento. We happened to be passing through on opening day and there was a special deal on until October 5. We are an American Express customer with a priority pass and were fortunate enough to take advantage of their 200 HKD upgrade offer that was well worth it.


As you arrive, you are provided with a lovely welcome drink, perfectly apt, called ‘wake me up’ – TWG Paris Singapore Tea with Orange Juice, Thyme and mixed spice.


You can sit at their dining room and eat from The A la Carte Menu and there is also a buffet. If you are hungry why not do both. Order off the menu, they make your meal fresh and delivered to your table.


The options all looked magnificent – we viewed them all, but went with the Maine Lobster and Capellini with a lobster volute which is quite delicious for an airport lounge meal.


If this isn’t to your liking they have a thai green chicken curry, marinated goose with egg, beef bibimbap, beef burger with sweet potato fries or an all day breakfast.


There are vegetarian options and gluten free selections too. If you’ve got kids with you, they do a few kids meals as well, like spaghetti. The staff in the dining room were absolutely superb.


The buffet has a good selection where you can make own plate of food. There’s granola and yoghurt, as well as pre-made salads or you can make your own. There’s a selection of meat to be carved, and even a bar to make burritos or nachos.


Some local food is on offer such as the fish ball noodles, chicken congee and steamed rice rolls straight from the chef.


There’s also a dessert and coffee station where you can get an espresso, latte or cappuccino, complete with some cute latte art. Grab yourself one (or 5) little patisserie items to go with your coffee – they are great.



Drink wise, there’s a huge bar. They have fresh juices, tea mocktails and barrel aged cocktails like the old fashioned. We also had a classic coffee cocktail, the espresso martini using lavazza coffee, kahlua and vodka. This bar is also a complete whiskey bar.


The whisky selection was impressive, you can order by the glass or choose one of their tasting selections. The bar staff are knowledgeable and will provide you with information on the whisky available.



The lounge has comfortable couches, complete with charging stations and the lounge is super quiet and relaxing. Entry also includes a 10 minute massage – make sure you book it as soon as you arrive. There’s also showers should you need one.


Make sure you visit this lounge when leaving Hong Kong, thank us later.

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