The Soda Factory, Surry Hills

I love discovering little pockets of Sydney. Just when you think you know your city, it surprises you in more ways than one. From the sunny beaches to the dark, mysterious corners – I’m really proud to be living in what I believe to be one of the best cities in the world. True, rent is steep and the public transportation needs much improvement, but I wouldn’t trade my lifestyle for anywhere else in the world.

Surry Hills is probably one of our most favourite places to visit for anything: our most loved pastime (brunch), cycling through the heavy tree lined Bourke St, braving the crazy Gelato Messina queues, and catching the odd one or two plays at the Belvoir St Theatre.

The Soda Factory is just around the corner from my favourite bar, Golden Age Cinema & Bar. Spot the kooky hot dog stand impersonator, “Bobby’s Boss Dogs”, through the big, pseudo-Coke vending machine red door on your right, and you’re instantly transported into the Soda Factory bar. It is more bar than restaurant, but still serves some pretty decent food and quite punchy cocktails. A little confusion with our reservation, but eventually managed by our host. Soon after we were ushered to our table, menus were given, food and drinks were ordered, and the meal was served. Enjoyed with a little bit of observing around this beautifully retro-decorated space that seems to take you back to the 1950’s rock and roll nostalgia.

Thanks to Cardinal Spin and The Soda Factory for the invitation and the warm welcome, dinner, and drinks. Sugarlace & Mr J dined as a guest of The Soda Factory.

Pink French Musketeer: Belvedere vodka, fresh lychees, and pink grapefruit juice spiced with sage
Mac and Cheese (macaroni and brie cheese)
Texan BBQ bite sized pork ribs
Mac and cheese spring rolls
Mac and cheese innards
Shoestring fries
Bobby and the Boss Dogs… oh yeah!
Sweet Gal’s Blush: Fresh strawberries and kiwi fruit shaken with Tanqueray Gin, cranberry juice
Doctor Claw’s Lobster Roll (fresh lobster dressed with lemon juice and tarragon mayonnaise)
Chicken and waffles with clarified butter maple syrup
The pulled pork burger (9 hour slow cooked pork with coleslaw)

The Soda Factory

16 Wentworth Ave Surry Hills

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Miss Peaches, Newtown

And so the search for the best fried chickens in town continues. Those who know me well knows that the way to my heart and stomach is through a good fried chicken and finish off with awesome ice cream. This time, the search takes us to King St, Newtown. A 2km stretch of what I like to think of as a United Nations of different cuisines and cultures, serving a delicious array of the Australian favourites of Thai, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese to the more adventurous West African, Nepalese and others. Into the rather colourful doors and hallways of Miss Peaches we went, welcomed by their Southern hospitality much thanks to Cardinal Spin & the staff at Miss Peaches Newtown for the wonderful dinner, drinks & great hospitality.

Beer – Sierra Nevada for the mister and cocktail of Mississippi Sour for me.

Made with Love…

The Mississippi Sour is a tangy drink with a bite, perfect for those looking for a sour kick (like me!)

The peanut butter and jelly cocktail is a playful drink, drink it however you want while twirling the spoonful of peanut butter and the cherry.

Whole cream stuffed chillis stuffed insides

Jalapeño poppers with blue cheese sauce – what a way to kick start your taste buds and set your tongue on fire. I have a very low chilli tolerance, but the blue cheese sauce somehow tames the peppers. The batter and creamy stuffing inside the peppers adds another layer to the spiciness.

House smoked beef brisket po’boy with sauerkraut hillbilly caviar and red pepper tequila sauce – this is an entree sized ‘po’boy’, on a hotdog shaped bun with a colourful array of beef brisket, corn, beans and sauerkraut. It was a tad dry for me, but Mr J liked it (he’s a fan of beef brisket and pulled pork!)

Sarsaparilla glazed fried chicken – need I say more? Fried chicken enthusiasts like me are always on the hunt for amazing fried chicken. This one in particular does not disappoint. The sweet and salty combination (thanks to the sarsaparilla and maple syrup) always works well. Dip these babies in chilli sauce for an extra kick.

Blackened fish – a beautiful dish of spiced barramundi, excellently cooked and flavoured. The fresh, tangy, pickled cucumber and pepper salad works so well with the fish.

Banana and chocolate pie was a great finish.

Miss Peaches
201 Missenden Rd Newtown (upstairs the Marlborough Hotel, enter through a small side door at Missenden Rd)
Open from Wednesday to Sunday 5pm – 12mn


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The Tilbury Woolloomooloo

Summer in Sydney is so, so fabulous, and more.

A leisurely 1.5km walk from the heart of the CBD to Woolloomooloo, through the hustle and bustle of Market Street, down Macquarie Street and through Domain, and then suddenly you find yourself at Woolloomooloo, just inches away from the water and yet you feel so far, far away from the city already.

It’s a part of town that I don’t venture out to much, but I must admit in the last few months I have been slowly finding my way around the area. A cool summer lunch at Kingsley’s, a brunch stop at Flour & Stone for my lamington fix, and now a beautiful, casual dinner at The Tilbury.

Sydney, and all its beauty and charms, never ceases to amaze me.

Like I said, summer in Sydney is so, so fabulous, and more.

Thanks to Jenna of Stellar Concepts & Chef Elton Inglis of The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo for the invitation to the dinner & masterclass.

Chef Elton Inglis dazzled us with a beautiful menu using fresh Australian produce but incorporating his English learnings from working at Jamie Oliver’s and Gordon Ramsay’s kitchens back in London.

The canapes were what he described as “ice breakers” – and oh they were wonderful!

Crab arancini with lemon aioli

The crab arancini was the smoothest, softest crab meat sandwiched inside and in between morsels of rice, and encrusted in this crispy coating. Topped with the tiniest lemon tang aioli. I wanted more.

Mackerel rillette on toast with pickled beetroot and caper raisin puree

A delicious combination of mackarel and the sweetness of beetroot, with the caper raisin puree just cutting it – I think I inhaled this in one go.

After the ice breakers, Chef Elton and Jenna from Stellar had this brilliant idea of letting us run loose in the kitchen to prepare our own entree. We were given 3 pieces of scallops, and free rein of all the other ingredients in the kitchen. Oh, you smart cookies.

Getting the low down from Chef Elton. We promise to behave in the kitchen!
Running loose in the kitchen…

How wonderful was it to experience first hand how it’s like cooking in a proper kitchen! Thanks Chef Elton for letting us get a bit creative & trusting us with your beloved kitchen! Some of our creations…

The Gook’s scallops creation
Another blogger dish by Paddy from The Jugernauts
Scallops ala ratatouille – by yours truly

My dish? Pan fried scallops with ratatouille-inspired vegetables of eggplant, grape tomatoes, pancetta, chilli & parsley.

Afterwards, Chef Elton sent his own creations and obviously, it blew all of our creations aside. How can you compete with these?

Scallops, Confit Kipfler potatoes, Truffle mayonnaise, Truffled egg yolk


Pan Seared Scallops, Roasted Watermelon, Pickled Daikon, Parma Ham

The mains arrived soon after…

Cootamundra Lamb Rump, Smoked Eggplant Puree, Broad Beans, Trussed Tomatoes, Persian Feta

What a beautiful dish. Lamb rump that is cooked to blushing perfection, with a beautiful combination of smoked eggplant, beans, tomatoes and a salty yet creamy Persian feta.

Spanish mackerel with crushed peas, fresh almonds, grape vinaigrette
Kipflers, Rosemary & Garlic
Pear, Rocket & Parmesan Salad

The wines paired with the dishes were perfectly selected as well for the evening.

Soon, it was dessert time. Oh, how can you go wrong with a chocolate pudding with molten centre, cinnamon ice cream, raspberries & honeycomb?

Belgian Chocolate Fondant, Honeycomb, Raspberries, Cinnamon Ice cream

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo is such an amazing find, with the casual entrance to the pub for the drinkers, the beautiful open restaurant for the diners, and the cool beer garden for everyone.

Sugarlace dined as a guest of The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo and Jenna of Stellar Concepts. My warmest thanks.

The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo
12-18 Nicholson St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Phone: (02) 9368 1955

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