First Night Out in LA!
July 2nd, 2013
Restaurant Review: Resto Bar
October 28th, 2012
I’m so pleased that Sydney’s newest Argentine restaurant Resto Bar has changed the way I eat Spanish food in Sydney. Being Spanish myself, and having lived in Spain, I find it very hard to find good, authentic Spanish food in this city – till now.
With the new addition of effervescent Spanish-Australian chef Gloria Lombardo, the food could not be more authentic, mainly because of the fact that Gloria is from Cataluña, a provence of Spain.
It takes a real Spaniard to understand Spanish food and Gloria has been the force behind Sydney’s best tapas restaurants for more than 20 years. She has developed a menu that is a unique combination of classic Spanish tapas with modern Argentine dining. Using only the freshest seasonal produce, the authentic dining experience that made Café Tapas in Bourke St, En Casa and Casa Asturiana so popular is now found at Resto Bar.
So enough about Gloria as sweet as she is, and lets move on to the food.
Wow… Was I impressed! The food and the service combined with the company I had for the night, I couldn’t have had a better experience. The very hospitable Sebastian from Sitges, a town outside of Barcelona welcomed and seated us, quickly attending to our needs.
After opening a bottle of wine and getting settled with my great and gorgeous friends Kate, Nikki, Nataša and Carmelena, we looked over the menu and ordered everything that Sebastian and Gloria recommended, as well as the typical Spanish dishes.
For me, the stand out dish was definately the wild mushrooms and prawns. Succulent and fresh, this dish is my recommendation. But it was the typically Spanish dishes that caught my attention, the paella, the tortilla (Spanish omelette), gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) and patatas bravas (fried potato cubes). Eating these dishes all of my life has made me a critic, and I can tell you I’ve had some pretty shocking ones, but my goodness – these were all absolutely outstanding!
The grilled calamari and the chorizo – amazing! The milanesa a berenjenas (crumbed and fried eggplants) – amazing! This is something my mother and grand mother have always made, so great to see it on a menu and taste it.
Unable to eat much more, I did try the typically Argentine BBQ meat. I don’t normally eat large amounts of meat, but this was irresistible. It’s a mixed charcoal grill of meats; chicken, short ribs, chorizo, black pudding & wweet-bread plus Matambre de Cerdo (grilled pork flank steak) + salad & bread.
I really could go on about everything on the menu because we pretty much ordered everything on it! The food is filling and you feel absolutely content – these are great portions. The service was great and with the wide open kitchen, it’s great to see Gloria cooking away with her love for authentic food.
I can’t tell you how impressed I am with my experience here – as well as my great friends.
Resto Bar really impressed us, tucked away in a quieter part of town and having a really edgy urban style inside, I will be back here in a heartbeat.
Pros: Great, authentic food, authentic service, authentic attitudes with authentic views on how Spanish/Argentine for should be presented. BYO alcohol. Charming and relaxed space, easy parking.
Cons: No real cons to be honest. I was so thrilled with my experience that even if something wasn’t right, I wouldn’t have noticed it.
Pricing: Tapas meals from $5 to $26. A large range of paella, meat grills and other menu selections. Website is detailed with pricing and everything is translated to English.
Final say: A clean, friendly and hospitable group of people bringing a pleasurable experience to life with great food. I love this place and it’s great for groups. I’ll be back again and again – and the other reviews on UrbanSpoon completely back me up on this review – a seriously impressive place!
65 McLachlan Avenue, Rushcutters Bay - 02 93603121 – Open Tuesday to Saturday
Sydney Kings Basketball Team Launches New Season In Style
October 14th, 2012
WHAT AN EVENT!
This was definately the one of the week… Perhaps the one of the month!
Sydney based basketball team, The Sydney Kings, threw a star‐studded cocktail event to celebrate the launch of their up‐coming season. My oh my, what an event it was!
‘The Night Parrot’ on William Street glowed to the passing traffic and pedestrians, as the exterior of the heritage‐listed building was lit with the Kings colours, purple and yellow with light installation projectors. As we came down William Street, we knew exactly where the party was at.
The path outside the building was lined with large white plinths, leading to the front gate and venue entry where the vibe was electric. Through the gate and down the ‘purple‐carpet’ we were greeted by a media pit that had every celeb, A-list to D-list getting interviewed.
As we left the purple‐carpet and moved inside, we were greeted by welcoming wait‐staff serving incredible hand crafted canapés and drinks. The large space was decorated with floating purple lights hanging from the rafters, elegant purple and gold tablecloths over high cocktail tables and music flowing from the resident Sydney Kings DJ, Jordan. The ambience was that of a sophisticated cocktail party, and every single one of us were immediately impressed.
The delightfully gorgeous NATARSHA BELLING greeted us as the official host, announcing the give‐away of two, business class return tickets to Los Angeles from UNITED AIRLINES. As soon as I found my spot with my friends, the gorgeous wife of LARRY EMDUR, SYLVIE, ran over to me asking what I was going to tweet for the chance to win the business class airfares. Why do I love The Sydney Kings and what I would do in LA, with the hashtag #UnitedHoops was all I had to do to enter! But sadly, I didn’t win. Natarsha announced the very lucky winner of the return tickets to Los Angles. Tweeting, ‘@TheSydneyKings Go shopping JuliaRobertsPrettyWoman style and see if they’d serve me in the Lion suit #UnitedHoops’, the lucky winner was Holly Kagis!
After the formalities were concluded, Natarsha announced the performance of COSIMA DEVITO, the first independent Australian artist in history to have a debut number one single, ‘Right Here, Right Now’. Cosima put on an outstanding, rock-solid performance, proving she is going to be a come-back! Following Cosima was the new talent from Sony Music MIRACLE performing his new single ‘Party of the Year‘, and then finishing the night off with WHAT ABOUT TONIGHT performing ‘Year 3000’ and ‘Pay Phone’, contestants from the current season of the X FACTOR on Channel 7.
After an evening of great Alizè cocktails, champagne and delicious food, my group left very happy with a heavy gift bag containing a heap of treats to spoil myself with. You can never leave feeling empty when you’re leaving with a bag this full!
Other guests included the very sweet SKYE LECKIE, JOHNATHAN NOTLEY from Bliss n Eso, Editor ROS REINES, singer and dancer TIMOMATIC, ‘I Will Survive’ contestants TOM SHARAH and STEPHEN MAHY, Model and DJ ROCHELLE FOX, ‘The Morning Show’ on Seven co‐host LARRY EMDUR, DR NIKKI GOLDSTEIN, gorgeous SHELLEY HORTON, Home & Away star DAN EWING and his delightful fiancé MARNI LITTLE, Breakfast on Ten co‐host MAGDALENA ROZE, BARRY DU BOIS and my favourite Spaniard MIGUEL MAESTRE from Channel 10’s The Living Room, Home & Away stars LINCOLN YOUNES and NIC WESTAWAY, star of ‘Underground’ ALEX WILLIAMS, JORDAN FINLAYSON and JIMMY REILLY from Channel 7’s Beauty and the Geek, actor and model JUSTIN MELVEY.
This was a star studded, food flooded, cocktail covered event which had the biggest and whitest smiles on everyone’s faces. A truly memorable time…
I must give a huge credit to the fantastic effort Running Romeo PR put in to make this event a success. It’s not often the people who actually organise and run these events on the night get a mention or credit, but these guys did an AMAZING job! Well done!!
ECOYA Flagship Store Launch in Woollahra
August 1st, 2012
I’ve been to many events in Sydney, around Australia and in Europe. Most of these events are perfectly orchestrated, catered and entertained. But I haven’t been to an event for a very long time that was a total invasion of my senses.
Hearing. Seeing. Smelling. Tasting. Touching.
It was the very exclusive opening of Australian candle and bodycare company ECOYA’s Flagship Store on Thursday evening that had me worked up and noticing that every single little detail was covered.
ECOYA candles lined Queen Street, Woollahra and flowers by Grandiflora wrapped lamp posts and street signs and hung from the store’s awning creating an exquisite entrance into the flagship store.
Saskia Havekes of Grandiflora created a decadent arrival to the store, with flowers and lighting hanging from the perimeter of the stores awning – it was simply magical. The colours and textures she used complimented the environment perfectly.
As I arrived, I was cheerfully greeted and given an ECOYA fragrance themed buttonhole flower arrangement before walking into another world that was was music to my ears – literally. Hanna Oblikov and Eliza Morrison of classical music group ASTON entertained us with contemporary songs including Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Sneaky Sound System and Coldplay played on the Cello and Violin.
The ECOYA store/interior designer Megan Morton created a very organic and decadent space, with gorgeous 180 test tube chandeliers filled with seasonal flowers. The long wall of mirrors was also a stand out, which had Neale Whitaker of BELLE and many others admiring it. Treated with battery acid, it made a very interesting, yet slightly morbid and distressing look to the space – which all tied in just perfectly.
There were heaps of familiar faces, including Kirstie Clements (below), Donna Hay (above), Adam Ashley Cooper and gorgeous partner Pip Edwards (below), the effervescent Dr Nikki Goldstein, the distinct BELLE Editor Neale Whitaker (above) and lovely Stylist David Novak Piper (above).
We sipped on flutes of Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2002 Champagne, MOA and Steinlager Pure Beer and Santa Vittoria sparkling, but it was the catering that was exceptional. ‘Katering’ put together the excellent combination of canapes, including Salt and pepper barramundi with fresh lime, steamed Peking duck crepes with shallots and hoisin sauce, steamed chicken dumplings with shallot and ginger relish, peppered beef on a potato roesti with truffled aioli and rocket, smashed broad beans, pecorino and mint on charred bruschetta (below) and mini banoffee pies as something sweet to follow. The food was to die for and had every one in the room taking more then what event etiquette would allow.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the wife of ECOYA founder, Lisa Schweighoffer who was easily recognised in her bright yellow Sass & Bide pants! Just like the products ECOYA make, Lisa is a genuine and down to earth person and really in touch with the way people live and lead their lifestyles.
I can’t rave on about this event enough. Everything was perfect and everyone invited was approachable and great to chat to.
Well done to the team at ECOYA.
74 Queen Street, Woollahra.
An Intimate Night With Dame Edna for Jenny Craig
April 28th, 2012
I had the pleasure of spending a very intimate night with entertainment royalty – Dame Edna.
It was in the basement at the Civic Hotel in Sydney where I got to see the very endearing Dame Edna on stage speaking about Jenny Craig and how she, along with her Manager, Barry Humphries will strive to achieve their weight loss goal of 15kgs each.
In hysterics for much of the night, I can’t think of a time I have felt more privileged to have been graced by one of Australia’s greatest living treasures in this very private and rare opportunity. A good 45 minute session with Dame Edna was exactly what everyone in the room needed. Allowing questions from Trevor Ashley, Peter Everett, Mike Goldman and Glen-Marie Frost, Dame Edna answered with quick witted and supremely detailed answers, all with the poise and elegance of a legend.
It wasn’t just Dame Edna who kept the photographers on their toes, the moment the scary Spice Girl Mel B and husband Stephen Belafonte arrived, the sound of flashes and murmurs “Mel, Mel, look here, Mel”, “Oh my God, Mel B is here”, “Wow, it’s Mel B, she looks incredible” filled the room. And it was true. She looked incredible. With a body to salivate over, Mel B lost 15 kgs in 20 weeks after being ambassador for Jenny Craig.
I’ve met many international and local celebrities and I must say, I was a little star struck seeing Mel, but then I actually got to meet her and spend much of the evening with her and her hilariously extroverted husband. Mel B was so much fun, coming out with the funniest one liners, but also being an absolute sweetheart.
Other guests included my long time friend Peter Everett, Channel 10′s Breakfast presenters Andrew Rochford and Kathryn Robinson, Dr Nikki Goldstein, Trevor Ashley, Mike Goldman, Chucky Klapow and the gorgeous Glen-Marie Frost. Below are some photos of the silliness Dr Nikki and Peter Everett got up to with the crazy couple.
What an amazing night – but if you want the X-Rated uncensored version of the night… Contact me privately!
See more photos below courtesy of Esteban La Tessa of La Tessa Photography (including photo of Dame Edna) - www.latessaphotography.com