Bodega 1904 – NYE Dinner

As of the past couple of years, we have booked to go to a nice restaurant on New Year’s Eve, rather than face the multitudes of crowds in Sydney Harbour. We did a little research and found a dinner menu at an amazing price at Bodega 1094, in the Tramsheds facility in Glebe.

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Tramsheds is a large dining facility in an industrial building, the former Rozelle tram building. One of the numerous restaurants is Bodega, 1904. This restaurant and wine store has been brought to us by the team at Porteno and Bodega.

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For $65, we received a glass of bubbly and 5 courses including dessert. For an extra $50 we could do the matching wines. The menu is predominately Latin American and Spanish inspired tapas and the menu arranged for New Years was pretty much everything we love to eat. Food is made using fresh produce from local suppliers and prepared in tapas style dishes. On New Year’s Eve, you were aslo able to do Ala Carte.

We received a glass of NV Cruzat Premier Extra Brut champagne on arrival. The staff were kind enough to top us up with another as the previous dining timeslot was still being served. We appreciated this.

The first dish were 2 Sydney rock oysters each with a Yuzu mignonette as well as a Crudo of scallop and finger lime. This went perfectly with the champagne.

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We very much enjoyed the butterflied wood grilled king prawn and smoky capsicum butter, served with NV Alma Negra Sparkling wine.

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We then tried a super soft steamed bun, with soft pork belly and a super crispy crackling, served with a tasty flavour of roasted sesame, wombok and salted peanut, served with the 2017 Amalaya Torrontes Riesling.

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The standout of the dinner was the incredibly delicious. It was the ricotta gnocchi, with zucchini flowers, chervil and a buttery sauce. We could have had a few dishes of this. This dish was paired with 2016 Alpamanta ‘Estate’ Chardonnay.

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The final main meal was a lovely Hanger steak with kohlrabi, xo. This meat was like a brisket and nice and smokey. Accompanied with a 2015 Tikal ‘Natural’ Malbec Syrah.

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To end of the meal was a refreshing strawberry granita atop a coconut sorbet. This was lovely. This came with the NV Cumbres Andinas Moscato, a very sweet drink to end on.

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We very much enjoyed all the food here and look forward to returning, especially for that gnocchi!

We sat at the bar, just beside the little wine store for our dinner, but the restaurant does fit larger groups. The wine menu is predominately Spanish based and the Sommelier can assist you to match your dishes. You can also purchase a bottle or two to take home.

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Bodega 1904 also does a great lunch menu and brunch on the weekend. We thoroughly recommend a visit, whether it be brunch, lunch or dinner.

Bodega 1904

http://bodega1904.com/

1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge NSW 2037

Bodega 1904 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mordeo – in the heart of the CBD

Mordeo. It could be described as a hidden gem, being holed in between some city high rise work buildings off Philip St in the Sydney CBD. However their name is obviously out there and known in the city community, as it was pumping with crowds enjoying a few after work drinks and what looked like an incredible Espresso Martini. They also brew their own beer.

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We were at Mordeo for dinner though, and headed inside to the small bistro area where they have table service for diners. Quite a solid menu, with numerous Italian dishes including some pizzas that were being ordered in the plenty by surrounding diners.

We, however decided to go for some more hearty dishes, the market steak with peppercorn sauce, butterflied prawns with lemon and herbs and a side of broccolini with gremolata.

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We enjoyed all dishes and polished them off in no time. On this occasion we were too full for dessert. But, there’s always next time.

Our waiter/host for the eating, a French man was suitably charismatic and extrememly competent and his job. Orders were taken quickly and food came out without too much wait.

The ambience is sophisticated, yet still casual, the venue is dimly lit has an inviting feel. Outside, the oversized lampshades make for some cool decor.

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We recommend Mordeo for a bistro style Italian dinner or simply a few drinks after work.

We booked our meal through PokitPal. As a customer, all you need to do is download the free app, upload your mastercard details to your app. You can then search through the app, and choose where to drink and dinner. The cash-back percentage varies from venue to venue and is usually around 5-15%. At Mordeo, the discount was 15%. Once you’ve dined and paid, you will notice that percentage has been refunded to your card.

https://www.pokitpal.com/

Mordeo

1/126 Phillip Street, CBD, Sydney, NSW

Mordeo Bistro & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Song Kitchen does it again

Song Kitchen is at it again. They have a great new menu and we revisited to try their new culinary delights. Easy to access, right in the city at the Surry Hills end and at the lobby of a hotel. The street frontage is a bar and head downstairs for the dining area.

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The staff are superb! In fact, the male waiter even remembered what we ordered last time. That’s incredible, seeing as though we visited 6 months ago.

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One of my favourite things about this place is that 100% of profits support the YWCA NSW – an organisation that helps women experiencing domestic violence. Eating with a conscience.

Headed by chef Charlotte Gonzales (ex Merivale), she is innovative, having designed an extensive menu, with French influence. It is clean and stylish food and packed with flavour.

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We began with the promotion which is on for Vivid – a bottle of Mumm champagne and 6 oysters. The oysters were silky and served with a side of vinaigrette and such a lovely entree to have with our champers.

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Don’t fret, they have plenty of other drinks too and we really enjoyed the passion fruit mojito.

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We had grilled king prawns, perfectly cooked and plenty of flavour provided by long red chilli, garlic, coriander, lime & romesco salsa.

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For the entree we also had a lovely winter vegetables with pumpkin, onion, sweet potato, beetroot and broccoli. Perfect for the season.

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We’d been craving the pasta, so decided on the Pince all’ amatriciana – guancial, tomatoes, basil & Percorino Romano. An interesting thick pasta, packed with flavour. It was an extremely generous serve. We also sampled the amazing rabbit gnocchi.

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After this we were so full that we couldn’t touch dessert, although Creme Caramel is always a crowd pleaser.

Visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you won’t be disappointed. The food is outstanding, and restaurant ambience is also comforting, sophisticated, yet relaxed.

https://maps.google.com.au/maps?dlnr=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&fb=1&gl=au&entry=s&sa=X&ftid=0x6b12ae4231db6c79:0xb3b3d758081d8a27&gmm=CgIgAQ%3D%

 

 

 

 

Musou Yakiniku – new Japanese BBQ

Musou Yakiniku, is a new Japanese BBQ restaurant located on Pitt Street. This restaurant occupies a large space scattered with fluorescent signs and touch screens for ordering, very reminiscent of restaurants in Japan.

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Japanese BBQ is one of our favourite ways to dine out. We love the ability to order as we wish off the touch screen, and you can do this for a la carte menu or buffet. Everything is uploaded on different tabs to select your meat, sashimi, sides, desserts or drinks.

Make sure you bring your appetite! The $85 buffet is undoubtedly the best value as for two hours, you can order as much food as you please, without wasteage. Dine the buffet menu for 120 minutes, with your last order at 90mins. The food comes out so fast, it’s really only necessary to order on the screen as you need or want it. The only benefit of al a carte is if you’re not super hungry, or there are some even more superior cuts of meat.

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The buffet does have a number of extremely varied and fine cuts or 9+ Wagyu beef, you will have a number of condiments choise from used a dipping sauce to enhance the natural flavour of the meat. Altough the high quality meat on offer needs nothing more added to it.

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We tried the Wagyu beef rib, Wagyu tri tip (our favourite) and the Wagyu outside skirt as well as flap meat. Other meats are also available like chicken, pork rib, duck breast, beef liver, pork loin, pork sausage and more.

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Seafood is also included in the buffet squid, mussel, and scallop. We tried the cooked prawns, which came in their shell. We also ordered some delicious salmon sashimi, but other sashimi options are also available.

Select a couple of fresh and healthy sides to accompany your meat. We selected a mixed vegetable plate, buttered mushrooms and corn and some butter lettuce. Some crispy lotus root chips are also great for snacking.

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There were some amazing side dishes to be selected, including a delicious cold soba salad and the most amazing wagyu tartare with a running yolk atop. Honestly, one of the best we’ve had. Some other options available include porridge, karage, curry, udon (hot and cold), takoyaki and more.

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Their mission is not only to serve quality food, but also provide outstanding service, and that they certainly did. The staff were extremely welcoming, friendly and the food came out almost as fast as we clicked ‘order now’.

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We also got some dessert, included in the buffet price – we tried black sesame ice cream and also the roasted tea ice cream.

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You will certainly leave extremely satisfied and we thoroughly recommend a visit. A great date night and the bench seat set up makes Musou Yakiniku perfect for a fun group dining experience.

Musou Yakiniku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Out and About @Cairns

Where to eat?

Waterbar and Restaurant

Located at the Marina Pier, this is a steakhouse selling different varieties and sizes of streaks. Its selling ribs and seafood, it is perfect if you’re hungry! I went for a 200g steak with baked potato and salad. You have to pay an extra $3.00 for sauce. The meat was good quality and perfectly cooked. The staff were fairly new and thus our waitress had difficulty taking the order and made a mistake or two, but is fair when people are starting out, so it didn’t really bother our experience.

Boatshed

A restaurant on the marina just by the Reef Terminal. Offering lunch specials for $22.50 with a drink or 2 courses and a drink for $35. Pretty good deal and the restaurant had good ambience. We just went for coffees which were great and service was friendly.

Tha Fish

This seafood restaurant is in the pier of the marina. There’s a number of restaurants along this pier, but this one was quite busy comparatively, so presuming that translates to it being good, we decided to go. Unfortunately it was full, but the lovely man said to put our name down and come back in 45 mins. We went for a drink and did just that.

The menu has starters, entrees, mains and a fish selection. We shared the whitebait, lightly dusted and was nice start to the evening. We all couldn’t go past the fish option where you select a fish and your choice of cooking. One of us got the trout, with a lovely Indian flavour which was the staff suggestion – incredible. I went for a barramundi which sat atop udon noodles in a broth and lotus chips, this had gentle flavours and a lovely combination. My friend also had the barramundi with a butter sauce and snow peas and potatoes. The fish was beautifully cooked and our dinner was outstanding. Staff were excellent, particularly the front of house who was extremely accommodating and friendly. The waitstaff were excellent and gave good suggestions. Prices are reasonable for seafood. Worth a visit.

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Prawn Star

Recommended by a friends, The Prawn star is a trawler that sells platters of fresh seafood; prawns, oysters, bugs, crayfish or combos. We got a plate of beautifully fresh tiger prawns and seafood sauce, as well as a glass of wine. A good option for your lunch or dinner as it is open until 8pm! Ranging from $25 – $80. You have to shell your own, but that’s part of the fun, right?

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Pier Hotel

Went here for food and drinks on a Friday night. It was pumping with customers of all ages. We had some wines and an amazing salted caramel espresso martini. One of the most amazing drinks was their ‘mini beer shot’, liquor topped with white chocolate. We also ordered food – the barramundi, a little lacking in flavour and presentation. The Caesar Wrap was excellent. Food wasn’t too pricy. They also had live music on Friday night.

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Salt House

We Went here for a couple of drinks and tapas food. Happy Hour is good as drinks were $5 and the food was 2 for 1 plates. We tried the pull apart bread, tuna sashimi, squid and fried chicken. The food was all excellent. The location is great, just by the marina and they have Trivia on a Thursday and live music on Friday nights.

Where to get beautiful?

Honey

Honey is a place to get a tan, wax, or relax with a facial or masssage. I went for a 2-4 tan which was $30. It was extremely natural and gave a nice bronze colour. I also got an eyebrow shape and the staff member did an excellent job. The lady there was also extremely nice and helpful; giving me tips about what to do in Cairns.

What to do in Cairns?

Lagoon

In the main part of town along the esplanade is a lagoon where you can swim, as there is no beach or accessible ocean in this area, plus there could be crocodiles or dangerous jellyfish. The lagoon or fake beach is perfect for a swim to cool off.

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Active Living activities

The town offers free fitness activities which some gym equipment, yoga, rock climbing, aqua aerobics or box fit. I decided to do the box fit class which began at 6:30am. 15 minutes of a warm up which included sprints, push ups, burpees etc and then boxing combinations for the last 45 minutes. It was physically hard, but you can take it at your own pace. The instructor was knowledge and friendly and i’m impressed that Cairns council offers these activities for free.

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Bungee or Bungee Swing

If you’re an adrenalin junkie that wants something exciting and fun to do, make sure to check out AJ Hackett Cairns. At 140 m above sea level, and a 50m jump, you can take a bungee jump in the rainforest! Your jump can be taken in many ways; swan dive, water touch, titanic, backwards, tandem, jump off the roof, handstand or even off the roof with a BMX. Different levels to suit you the less kenmore experienced. It’s $179 for the jump and prices are less for extra jumps.

For those looking for something a bit different, they also offer the Minjin Swing, which 1,2 or 3 people can take. In a body harness, you are taken up high (higher than the bungee) and pull the cord which drops you for a few seconds and then you’re let swinging. It drops from 45m-1 metre in 3.5 seconds at speeds of up to 120km an hour and is for those seeking thrills! I did this with a friend and absolutely loved it. Scary as you’re rising, but exhilarating! Next time, real bungee for sure.

There’s purpose built platforms for friends and family to watch and a licensed bar selling drinks and some snacks. You can buy t-shirts or media footage to remember your experience.

The company pick you up and drop you home from Cairns or the Northern Beaches.

 

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Visit the Great Barrier Reef

Visit Cairns and Mossman Gorge

Newly opened at Tramsheds @Mama’s Buoi

We visited the newly opened Mama’s Buoi at the Tramsheds dining precinct. The Tramsheds were once the location of the Harold Park Harness Racing. This venue and the quality of its restaurants is in stark contrast to the sausage sandwiches, VB and Vodka Cruisers that were served up in it’s past life.

Tramsheds hosts a range of cafes and restaurants and we visited the new Mama’s Buoi which has a cool modern set up, with an open kitchen and bar. There is plenty of colour splashed around the restaurant and some fluorescents which pop in contrast to the black steel beams and warehouse setting of the Tramsheds.

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The Mama’s Buoi brand is known for serving consistent high quality Vietnamese cuisine. A menu inspired by the founder Bao Hoang’s mum, there are a range of foods to share amongst friends. The food director comes with a wealth of experience and has designed a high quality menu and they serve their Vietnamese food at five different locations. Having visited their Surry Hills, Crows Nest and now Tramsheds location, we can attest to the fabulous food they have on offer.

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The drinks list is also tops with Mama’s Buoi always impressing with great cocktails. The frozen cocktails were on the cards, the innovative frozen kambucha was refreshing and was well suited to the food being served and great for warm days ahead.

This visit involved a banquet menu allowing us to sample a range of items on the menu, which is the intention of the restaurant. The entrees were all very enticing with some popular Vietnamese bites including; duck pancakes, salt and pepper squid, roast pork belly and our favourite entree on the list being the crispy Coconut prawns coated with coconut strips for added texture and crunch.

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The mains included a the wok tossed seafood and Mama’s beef stir fry, both having nicely balanced flavours. The home style chicken curry had delicate flavours and the chicken was ridiculously tender. The smokey eggplant was super tasty and is a good vegetarian option. The crab fried rice, something a little more special than your usual fried rice.

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For dessert we had the opportunity to try something amazing, with an old favourite: the creme brulee getting a Vietnamese twist. The Vietnamese coffee creme brûlée impressed all. diners. It was a great dessert, channelling the Vietnamese coffee which is always a favourite with the beautiful texture of the brûlée to pay homage to the French.

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It was another enjoyable visit to Mama’s Buoi in a great new location. It features attentive service and food on par with the other Mama’s Buoi restaurant’s. Make sure you pop by, grab a bite to eat and enjoy one of their frozen cocktails. You will love it as much as we did!

Thank you to Wasamedia for the invitation to dine and to Mama’s Buoi for the hospitality.

http://www.mamasbuoi.com.au/

Mama's Buoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beachside dining @Beach house Avalon

It was going to be a sunny Sunday, Kurt was wanting to go for a surf and I wanted to check out Palm Beach. We were also extremely keen to check out the newly renovated Beach House Avalon, on Avalon Beach. After doing our sight seeing we headed to the surf club at the Southern end of Avalon Beach, the Beach House easily recognisable by the fresh pink trendy signage out front.

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Whilst there’s a kiosk downstairs, make sure you head to the restaurant upstairs to dine in a perfect setting. As we reach the top of the stairs, we take in the stylish new renovation, with pastel pink and green walls, which suit the beachside location. You can see the chefs busily working their magic in the kitchen and also the bar staff concocting some amazing cocktails. You instantly are awestruck by the spectacular uninterrupted views of the beautiful Avalon beach, certainly a relaxing way to spend your dining experience. We were so close to the shoreline we could have thrown a line in to catch lunch.

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We are shown to our table by the window by the lovely Alisha, so personable, knowledgeable and passionate about the restaurant. This attitude totally makes it a pleasure to visit. We were given the menus, offered a drink as we scope the reasonably priced menu, which contains a list of appealing freshly prepared dishes with Japanese fusion elements. With most items on the menu under $25, you certainly aren’t paying for the views, which is hard to find these days.

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Before we decide on food, we couldn’t pass up the amazing cocktails, a little different than the usual with lovely combinations on offer. The Lotus martini was amazing, with a beautiful passion fruit flavour. They also looked after us having a designated driver on this visit, by preparing a virgin ginger mojito, a nice beach side drink. The cocktails are also reasonably priced, making the beachhouse the perfect venue to enjoy some drinks with a view.

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After much deliberation over all the great food options, we decided on a number of items to share including the grilled watermelon and tiger prawns with a Japanese touch in pickled daikon and ponzu dressing, a really refreshing way to start our lunch. Another great dish was the raw salmon with wasabi crème fraichè, ginger, toast, soy and ginger. The salmon had been beautifully flavoured and was extremely fresh. These items are perfect for this beachside location.

It was pretty hard to go past the green pea and cauliflower croquettes with nori crumb, pickled radish, they had a nice crisp crumb and were served with tasty yuzu aioli. The inside was so creamy with nice crispy bits of cauliflower inside. We are also suckers for anything truffle, so the ricotta and shitake dumplings with truffle oil, watercress and hazelnuts were a no brainer. Large round dumplings and a flavoursome topping.

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This amount of items were very apt to share between us.

 Whilst we were quite full, we had also seen the Beachhouse Avalon version of a choc top on the menu. In addition, it was Kurt’s birthday, so the choc top had to be done. This was a choc top on steroids, the waffle cone was huge, filled with chocolate mousse, cashew prailine, raspberry and vanilla ice cream.

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The Beachhouse Avalon met all our expectations and they’ve done the perfect job of the fit out, staffing and the menu variety is excellent and completely fitting for the location . This venue suits many occasions, from the weekend lunch to the afternoon catch up. Thoroughly recommended to add to your list of places to visit.

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Thanks to Ryan from Trish Nicol Agency for the invitation and the restaurant for their hospitality.

http://www.beachhouseavalon.com.au/

Beach house Avalon

Avalon Parade, Avalon Beach NSW 2107