Friday, 16 July 2010

designer sydney

This week, I PR'd a media launch for Spence & Lyda, a much-loved client of mine and to make matters larger, we flew in renowned British furniture designer Matthew Hilton in from London to especially for it. Unfortunately, 24 hours worth of plane delays later, he arrived in Sydney with just 36 hours to fit in client dinners, interviews, a huge party...and some sightseeing.

With his official thumbs up, I thought I'd share my top picks for places to eat in Sydney if you've never visited before.

The hot restaurant: Flinders Inn
160a Flinderst Street, Paddington
(02) 9331 0208

After our 150-strong media event at Spence & Lyda's fabulous showroom in Surry Hills - an event that celebrated all things Cool Britannia (including canapes by Brit chef Tom Kime, served with Tom Collins and Bramble cocktails by Mitchel Bushell) - we thought we'd shake it up by celebrating Bastille Day at local Paddington bistro and perenially cool French restaurant, Flinders Inn.

17 people, including the Spence & Lyda team, Matthew Hilton, De La Espada genius Luis De La Oliviera, packed into the chic though compact space. Suffice to say, several bottles of wine and plenty of great French bistro fare were consumed, including confit of duck with lettuce, peas and aniseed jus, classic steak pomme frites, crêpe suzette and other quitessentially French specials crafted for the day. The hip hop playing in the bijou bathrooms and Molton Brown toiletries isn't too shabby either.

A special thanks to Lotus Bistro in Potts Point for another fabulous client meal, too.

The tourist centre respite: Number One Wine Bar
1 Alfred St, Sydney 2000
(02) 8252 9296

When you're walking around The Rocks as a tourist, there are plenty of traps set to help you part with your converted dollars. The restaurant trade has picked up somewhat in the past few years with establishments like Wine Odyssey, Sake and Baroque opening, but if you're starting out in The Rocks and heading around to the Sydney Opera House, one of the best stop-off points has to be Tony Bilson's Number One Wine Bar. Around half way between The Rocks and The House, it's the perfect place to pull up a chair and the bar, chat to the friendly staff and have a glass of great wine and a bite to eat, before setting off again. High on the list are the salt-cod croquettes and the duck liver pâté with cornichons and toast. 

The newest Thai establishment: House 
202 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills

Near the original Spice I Am on Wentworth Avenue, the guys have extended their management empire to include Issan-skewed Thai food - think hotter, more sour flavours, sticky rice, ofally bits and lots of spice. The site, once an Italian restaurant, has indoor and outdoor seating, depending on how much sun and/or carbon monoxide you want served with your lunch or dinner, House is a welcome addition to the often pricey or crappy nature of the some of the food in this's open till 2am on weekends, too. Try the duck salad.