Friday, 12 November 2010

shopping centres go gourmet

If you haven't heard about the latest developments rocking the Sydney City shopping district, then you've probably been living under a rock for the past few weeks. With phase one of Westfield's uber shopping complex just open, it's not just shopping that's lifted its game in this part of town.

Last night, I was lucky enough to be asked to MC the re-opening of one of Sydney's favourite yum cha restaurants, Sky Phoenix (gentlemen, prepare to queue), but that's not all that's worth visiting. Here are three places you should check out if you happen to require retail refreshment.

Charlie & Co

Justin North - he of Becasse, Etch and Plan B fame, has opened his latest food venture, Charlie & Co. We already know this many knows his way around a good burger (Plan B's version winning hearts and stomachs across the city), and now he's branching out.

Selling over 600 burgers in its first weekend, you'll not only find his famous Wagyu version but an entire range of gore-met varieties including a Hand-crafted Chilli Crab Burger, featuring a Thai infused crab cake with Asian salad, lime mayonnaise and sweet chilli jam on a sesame bun. You can also meet  Hamburger Charlie, filled with Italian meatballs, tomato salsa and olives on a toasted Parmesan bun. They're not cheap, but with produce this good, it's worth the $13-17 price tag. Read up on the menu here.

Cloudy Bay Fish Co

The 'Co's don't stop at Charlie. Seafood industry legend John Susman brings his own brand of humble fish & chippery to the people, with flippin' fresh seafood sourced from quality Australian and New Zealand sources, prepared simply so you can appreciate the calibre of the produce. Try the plank-roasted New Zealand king salmon or go all retro-like with a classic prawn cocktail.

Sky Phoenix

Back in its lofty perch at the top of the new retail mega-mall, everyone's favourite city yum cha hang is back, with a brand new 500 seater restaurant (Less waiting? Or will it just be more popular than ever?).

Grab a table by the window and watch shoppers scurrying around below, while you chow down on dim sum like nobody's business. All the regular favourites are here, including plump steamed har gao and crisp, salty spiced squid. It's good to see an old friend return.

Check out the schmick website.