I squealed with delight when I found out that ex West Juliett head chef Sarah McWilliam opened a new cafe with ex The Counter owner Mariella Traina. I had sweet delusions of awesome coffee, beautiful breakfasts, and gorgeous reincarnations of that salty chocolate chip cookie (best cookie in the universe, in my humble opinion). One Saturday morning, with hungry stomachs and a nose for that first drip, we made the short trip from one side of Sydney to the other (ok, from Pyrmont to Alexandria…), found ample parking at Gerard Street, and zeroed in on that unmistakable Sydney cafe scene: chairs and tables flooding out the cafe, and a colourful combination of people, children, and dogs eagerly waiting for a table, their coffee, or just hanging out.
I love the interiors at Meet Gerard… a well balanced, clean, light atmosphere buzzing with people, grinding coffee, chitchat, and clattering of plates and utensils. The food is even better: an odd mix match of good old brunch favourites, with exciting, not-your-average breakfast food that somehow magically works together (I’m looking at you, Milk & Honey yoghurt panna cotta! Why are you so amazing?).
You go there to feed, to catch up with friends, to enjoy the coffee and cakes. It’s my kind of place, and one that is already becoming a Sydney favourite.
Spring means new beginnings, stripping the sleeping, dormant self, an awakening.
And so, I come bursting out of my winter slumber and into the spring sunshine. The last few winter months have been cold, hectic, brutal, and yet the hiatus was much needed. I feel revitalised and energised (and yes, thanks to some flu-fighting medications, lots of Vitamin C, and a newfound sense of mindfulness).
What better way to come back to the blogging scene than to feature a fabulous Filipino food festival at Cafe Mix in Shangri-la Sydney? Thanks to the teams both here in Sydney and in Shangri-la Makati, Philippines, we were treated to an epic banquet of food, glorious Filipino food. There’s nothing more nostalgic than going back to your roots – think rice, pork, fish, vegetables, coconut, ube (purple taro), soups, mango, kakanin (sweet dessert rice cakes), and the star of the show: L E C H O N.
For one week only, Cafe Mix at Shangri-la Sydney is dedicating its buffet menu to everything Filipino, thanks to the dream team of chefs from Shangri-la Makati: Rico Celdo Venzon, Athena Blanche Tan Oropesa and Erma Balaquiao Palanca. I felt back in the Philippines again and rightly so… tastes, smells, and sights of the Philippines were everywhere. Dish upon dish upon dish were like hugs from the mother country, and it was so welcoming, so nostalgic, and oh so delicious.
The Philippine Food Festival is presented in partnership with Philippine Airlines and The Philippine Department of Tourism. To honour the 70 years of collaboration between Australia and the Philippines, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney will donate $2 for every person who dines at the festival to Operation Restore Hope.
Thanks to Shangri-la Sydney for the generous lunch at Cafe Mix to try the scrumptious Philippine Food Festival. Trish and Mr J dined as guests of Shangri-la Sydney.
The Philippine Food Festival is on until Sunday 25th September 2016 at Cafe Mix, Shangri-la Sydney. The buffet lunch is available from noon to 2:30 p.m. at $57 per person. The buffet dinner is available from 6 to 10 p.m. at $82 per person. For bookings, call (02) 9250 6000 or email email@example.com.
Being half Chinese, I grew up celebrating Chinese New Year the Filipino-Chinese way: eating lots of tikoy, seeing the relatives, and getting lots of red packets.
Chinese New Year in Sydney is one of the most colourful, lively and fun times in my events calendar. This year, I was fortunate to have been invited by the Festival ladies with a few other bloggers to check out the newest event in the Festival calendar: Lunar Markets at no less than Pyrmont Bay Park (my ‘hood!). Armed with an empty stomach and a dumpling craving, Mr J and I marched to the park and immersed ourselves in familiar scents of Chinese fair with a side of Filipino Hoy Pinoy bbqs. Just follow the smoke (and the red everything).
PS. Have you been to Sky Terrace at The Star? No? You should. I live in Pyrmont, but was still awestrucked by the lovely rooftop bar with Bridge and harbour views. We celebrated the launch here with a few drinks and nibblies while soaking up the lovely summer sunset.
Thanks to Liquid Ideas and NSW Food & Wine Festival for the invitation and the fun and filling market afternoon. Trish & Mr J dined as guests.
Can we adopt Hoy Pinoy from Melbourne to Sydney please? Please? PLEASE?