Originally from Brisbane, Julia Mellor has made a name for herself in Seoul as an expert of traditional Korean alcohol through her business The Sool Company (sool meaning alcohol in Korean).
Together with her partner Daniel McLaughlin, Mellor is now offering various tours for visitors travelling to Seoul, particularly for the upcoming Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Among the tours are Makgeolli (traditional rice wine) brewing classes, a hands on experience where visitors can learn about brewing their own Makgeolli, and the Insadong Taster, which takes guests on a three-hour traditional Korean alcohol tasting spree visiting three Makgeolli bars.
The Master Brewers tour offers a chance to taste some of the finest Korean alcohol available on the market or experience the full spectrum of Korean traditional alcohol in one tasting and dining journey, tasting makgeolli, takju, cheongju and soju paired with an exquisite array of local delicacies.]]>
Set to open in January 2018, brasserie and bar Bert’s will be a more upmarket addition to laid-back feel of The Newport, which Merivale has run since March 2016.
Bert’s will draw inspiration from the grand hotel dining rooms of the 1930s with elegant interiors, an open kitchen fitted with charcoal ovens and basque grills, and views over Pittwater.
Executive chef Jordan Toft (Coogee Pavilion) will craft a European menu that will be broken up into the open kitchens within the dining room. Guests can choose from the raw bar’s classic offerings of natural oysters, dressed crab and toasted brioche canapés followed by salads and charcuterie from the larder. For mains, there’s a selection of beef, whole fish or lobster, which guests can choose straight from the tank.
“We want to create that sense of relaxed indulgence you experience on a coastal European holiday; to capture that feeling when you decide to order the fresh lobster or relax into the afternoon with champagne and oysters,” said Toft. “It is very special, yet completely fuss-free – beautiful, fresh produce, served simply and elegantly.”
Master sommelier Franck Moreau has curated a list of Australian wines, as well as European wines and emerging labels. The Bert’s Bar will serve snacks from the main menu and cocktails created by Sam Egerton, such as the classic Royale, with Absolut Elyx vodka, ginger cordial and champagne, finished with finger lime caviar.
“The Newport has always held a very special place in the hearts of the Northern Beaches community; it is a truly magnificent site, in an incredible location,” said Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes.
“Our long-term vision for the venue is to create a destination that genuinely has something for everyone – all occasions, ages, budgets and tastes.”
What was the driving force behind opening Fish Dining?
We wanted to open a flagship seafood restaurant for the Central Coast with a menu that is seasonally driven and dishes which reflect the Australian climate. We might have a beautiful warm fish pie or a Spanish seafood stew in winter and then in summer the menu will lend itself to more grilled seafood dishes using fresh salsas. The entire menu is driven by Australian seafood; we’re not using anything that’s imported and we’re sourcing some of the best seafood Australia has to offer. In saying that, we’re using local seafood and there is a lot of seafood in New South Wales but that’s not the entire picture that we’re trying to paint here. We have such great seafood all around Australia so it’s important for us to use it all. We might get mud crabs from the Northern Territory or Cone Bay Barramundi from Western Australia, salmon roe from Yarra Valley and kingfish from South Australia.
Was it easier opening a restaurant the third time around?
It’s a lot easier because we have incredible support and networks. At Bombini we have incredible staff there, so we have a good foundation which we can build upon. It was different the first time around because we had fresh staff and Hayley and I were doing a lot of it ourselves. We had support from family and friends but now we’re set up in a way where we have a good network of contacts so we can get things moving a lot quicker and more efficiently.
How has the Central Coast’s dining scene evolved over recent years?
I’ve been here since 2007 and since then there’s now so many more great venues here on the Coast. Back then if you wanted to go for an incredible night out to a great restaurant, you had to go to the city. For us opening Bombini, then Bombini Woodfired Pizza and now Fish Dining we’ve filled some of those gaps. Ultimately, these are the sorts of restaurants we want to dine at. That’s sort of our inclination of thinking – what do we feel would sit on the Central Coast really well and what does the Coast need to make it a reasonable dining destination – that’s our driving force in doing this.
Did winning the 2016 Electrolux Young Restaurateur of the Year drive you to open Fish Dining?
It was an incredible achievement, it was a lot of hard work and I was up against some incredible competition. Hayley and I, we had a [restaurant] name before I started the competition to open other venues on the coast. I think winning the Electrolux Young Restaurateur gave us more drive in setting our goals and to make them come into fruition a lot quicker. If anything I think it reinforced our values as business leaders on the Coast and what we are able to do. It wasn’t a driving force but it definitely gave us incredible support networks to make us do more, quicker.
More venues in the pipeline?
Yeah, definitely. For us, it’s about creating a network of businesses that can support young individuals and couples who want to establish themselves on the Central Coast instead of moving to Sydney but also creating places that can help people grow in the industry as well. They’re the two driving forces for us to open more venues. And we want to help other people who are opening venues on the Coast to make it a great regional dining destination of Australia. Without the help of all our great customers and employees we’re unable to do it. Hayley and I can’t just open these venues; we need all these people to come along on the journey.]]>
Bare Naked Bowls in Sydney and Shoku Iku in Melbourne have already put hemp on the menu and have seen an increase in customer demand for more hemp dishes.
Both cafes use products from Lariese Purely Hemp, one of Australia’s largest and longest running suppliers of hemp in Australia and across the world.
Josh Porteous from Bare Naked Bowls, with cafes in Manly and Bronte, said his customers frequently requested hemp products before became hemp consumption became legal on November 12.
“We’re delighted that it is now legal to use hemp in our dishes” he said. “We have seen customers switching to dishes including hemp, in fact two of our most popular dishes both include hemp. We now serve Lariese Hemp products in many of our Bare Naked Bowls and in dishes on our new summer menu and we’re sure this will increase.”
Lariese Purely Hemp is anticipating 500 per cent growth in sales this financial year, following the new legislation.
“Now we can legally sell our Hemp products to cafes, restaurants and retail outlets in Australia, we are confident that Hemp will soon become the staple ingredient for consumers wanting to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet,” said Lariese Purely Hemp managing director Lloyd Williams.
Hosted in partnership with American Express, the Q&A saw Ross Lusted, chef and owner of The Bridge Room, and Josh Niland, chef and owner of Saint Peter, discuss their culinary journeys in front of 70 TAFE and William Blue Hospitality College students and teachers.
Niland, who began his career at 14 years old, confessed to going through difficult patches in his career.
“The industry is evolving very quickly and we’re modifying our businesses to suit the lifestyles of younger guys coming through,” he said.
“There are so many chefs out there that have done the hard yards and are trying to create better environments now where you have a part of your life back and you can have a weekend off every now and again. When it’s hard it’s bloody hard but you have to stick with your guns because good things will happen. There’s so much potential in the hospitality world, it’s exciting.”
Lusted said travelling and exploring different flavours and cultures influenced his cuisine and can be very inspiring for young chefs.
“I cooked Thai food with David Thompson for four years but only really understood it when I went to Thailand,” he said. “Its culture and its history and it’s something you can’t learn just cooking in a restaurant…you can only learn it if you’re immersed in it.”
According to a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics, Australia is experiencing a staggering chef shortage. More than 38,000 chefs are needed across the country, meanwhile 50 per cent of budding chefs drop out of TAFE apprenticeships.
Mangan launched the Inspired Series in 2015 with Richard Branson in hopes to address this issue, by giving students access to the knowledge of some of the best chefs and hospitality professionals in the country.
“Mentoring programs like these are an integral part of our industry’s future and act as a fantastic support network for the next generation to lean on for advice and guidance both professionally and personally,” said Mangan.]]>
Menulog and UberEATS were the tied winners in the annual ratings, both earning five-star reviews from customers.
Both services received the same results across the board, scoring five stars for overall satisfaction, delivery reliability/timing, website/app navigation and variety of meals available. They both received four stars in the value for money and customer service categories.
Eat Now, which is owned by the same parent company as Menulog, received four stars for overall satisfaction, delivery reliability/timing and website/app navigation. It earned three stars for value for money, customer service, and variety of meals available.
Coming in fourth was Deliveroo earning three stars for overall satisfaction, delivery reliability/timing and value for money and four stars for customer service, website/app navigation and variety of meals available.]]>
Following last year’s white spot outbreak in South East Queensland, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources introduced a temporary ban on raw imported prawns. Since the ban was lifted on July 6, new import conditions have come into effect, which includes new testing measures at the border to support the safe resumption of trade in uncooked prawns and prawn meat.
Australian Prawn Farmers Association (AFPA) president Matt West said it was very concerning to see three consignments test positive to the disease but said it is heartening to know the government has stopped them from passing through Australian borders.
“APFA believe the only way to reduce the risk and keep crustacean diseases out of our country is to continue testing 100 per cent of all consignments at our borders,” he said.
“One year on from the disease outbreak, our industry has responded to, and continually responds to, an extreme crustacean disease event. Although not their fault, the Logan farms have unselfishly and voluntarily shut down for a fallowing period to drive the disease out of the country.”
West called on the Australian public to support the industry by buying Aussie prawns this Christmas.
“We are working hard to build our industry back up so that we can continue to supply top quality, locally grown Australian prawns to the Australian community,” he said.
“We call on Government to do everything possible to protect the Australian prawn industry.”]]>
Launching today (December 1), the partnership also allows Qantas Frequent Flyer members to use their Qantas Points to cover the full cost of the bill or use 4000 Qantas Points for each $20 they take off their transaction.
As a special offer until May 31, 2018, members can earn double points across all 60 Rockpool Dining Group venues. Members can earn four points per $1 spent (usually two points per $1) on premium dining restauarnts such as Rockpool Bar & Grill, Rosetta, Saké, and Spice Temple, and casual venues such as Fratelli Fresh, The Argyle, The Bavarian and Munich Brauhaus.
At Rockpool’s fast casual restaurants (Burger Project, Fratelli Famous Pizzeria, Saké Jr) Qantas members can earn two points per $1 spent (usually one point per $1).
Rockpool Dining Group CEO Thomas Pash said the partnership is a great way to reward customers across both businesses.
“It gives our valued customers even more incentive to visit any of our restaurants across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth,” he said.
The new partnership extends the 20 year Qantas relationship with Rockpool Dining Group culinary director Neil Perry.
“Qantas and I have many miles together under our belts and I’m thrilled we’re able to give our mutual customers a reward for their loyalty,” said Perry.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a Qantas Points-earning credit card can “triple dip” on purchases, earning points on their bill, their card, and their reservation if they book via Qantas Restaurants.]]>
Deliveroo has opened Australia’s first ‘dark kitchen’ in Melbourne that will focus entirely on delivery menus from a number of local restaurants.
Currently servicing Baby, Kong, DiDi Dumpling, Yubi, 8Bit, Up in Smoke and Messina, the concept of kitchens dedicated to delivery menus only has been successful in other countries such as the UK and Singapore, where revenue has jumped by more than five times for Deliveroo.
With plans for up to 70 Deliveroo Editions in Australia by 2018, the concept could also see Aussie chefs expanding their reach to international markets.
While we wait and see what the ramifications are for borderless menus, there is no doubt that food delivery has been a boon for many operators who have embraced the concept early.
Researcher IBISWorld has forecast revenue growth of 2 per cent for the restaurant industry in 2017/18, with the combined takings of 28,252 businesses to reach $21 billion. That growth is expected to reach 5.8 per cent in 2018/19, and revenue to surpass $30 billion in 2021/22.
Senior IBISWorld analyst Bao Vuong says food delivery apps have changed the way time-poor customers dine, and how restaurants are run. Customers now have many more opportunities and control over how and when they dine, based not just on menus, but on price and speed of delivery.
However, revenue for fast food establishments is forecast to rise by only 1.2 per cent in 2017/18, to $19.5 billion, while growth for cafes is forecast to be 0.8 per cent, to $8.1 billion. IBISWorld found only a quarter of fast food restaurants have integrated new ordering and delivery platforms, with low revenue growth a result of their slower response to the new business methods. But they are playing catch-up with KFC jumping on the delivery bandwagon and securing a partnership with foodora in June.
“More and more people are experiencing the convenience of home delivery,” said Peter Prado, foodora’s country head of operations. “Home delivery has grown significantly in the last two years, it is here to stay and grow even more.”
Competition is fierce though, with the foodora battling for market share along with the likes of Deliveroo and UberEATS.
“Players in the market need to show distinctive value and growth beyond an increase in orders,” said Prado. “The key is to show profitable growth as a company, or investors will decide to channel their money elsewhere.”]]>
What is your inspiration behind the menu at Buffalo Bar?
American style of cooking with a high amount of smoking, from BBQing the sauces, cheeses and vegetables as well.
What are the ingredients you couldn’t live without?
At the moment it would have to be dill, sour cream and wood chips.
Have you noticed more of a trend towards hot food?
Yes definitely. You see more and more hot sauces on the shelves in supermarkets and on the tables in restaurants with the rise of the American food trend of cooking.
How do you incorporate Tabasco sauce into your cooking?
I love to use the whole range of Tabasco Sauces to enhance the flavour of sauces and proteins in my cooking at Buffalo Bar. Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce livens up almost any dish and I recently used it with freshly shucked oysters and smoked sour cream. I’ve also experimented with Tabasco Sauce in a dessert, making a brulee banana split with Tabasco Chipotle Sauce resulting in a rich smoky flavour.
Jerk spice (see recipe below)
200g chicken breast
Jug XXXX Summer beer
10g chipotle chilli
20g sour cream
Original Tabasco Sauce to taste
Dill to garnish
Beer batter ingredients:
250ml XXXX Summer beer
10g corn flour
50g garlic powder
30g cayenne pepper
30g ground black peppercorn
30g dried thyme
30g dried parsley
100g demerara sugar
30g onion powder
20g ground allspice
15g ground nutmeg
30g ground cinnamon
3 dried chipotle chilli
Dust chicken breast in jerk spices, then place in Cryovac bag, seal. Place in sous vide at 67oC until required. Place camembert in Cryovac bag and, using the hand smoker, smoke the chicken in the bag and then seal tight. Smoke for a couple hours then open and place on a tray, glaze with Original Tabasco Sauce and finish in the oven until ready. Portion cauliflower into bite size pieces, then smoke in the smoker for 1 hour. To make the XXXX Summer batter combine flour, egg, corn flour and turmeric and slowly pour in beer, whisking constantly until smooth. Place smoked cauliflower in batter then deep fry until golden brown. Mix sour cream and chipotle using hand blender until smooth.]]>