Mama Mulan for your next event!

Having opened it’s doors in June, an elegant interior of free form art provides an irreproachable setting for celebration and purlieu.

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The vision of their menu is one that triumphantly reimagines Chinese cuisine.  The impact on classic dishes many have come to know and love as staples in this food is subtle, yet compelling.   Second generation restaurants you could call them, as the palette  of the multi-ethnic Sydney dining culture is ever evolving.

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(Mud Crab)

 “Mulan” meaning wood orchid or magnolia blossom, said to represent femininity, power and strength in Chinese culture.   Mama Mulan, therefore a place of warmth, love and passion setting the tone of what to expect in your dining experience.  Chef Marble Ng (ex Lotus) has created a menu focused on the Shandong regions of northern China.

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(Signature Dan Dan Noodle soup with pork, chilli and peanut sauce)

The ingot shaped dumplings are preserved in their usual crowd pleasing form.  An appropriate introduction to the Mama Mulan dining experience while saluting the old belief of wealth and prosperity, the handmade pot stickers of pork and cabbage, spicy wontons with pork and watercress and pork xiao long bao set the standard of what to expect. 

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The setting for our dining experience takes place in Mama Mulan’s Den – the largest of its private dining spaces easily seating 16-20 guests.  It attracts alot of natural light and has it’s own private balcony.  

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In contrast, the Magnolia and Blossom Rooms have a roundtable configuration for 8-10 people.  Great versatility in the number of functions and gatherings the space (total capacity 180) can accommodate as we enter the peak planning season of Spring/Summer celebration.

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Offering a range of banquet menus and dishes, expect to spend anywhere between $41-$100 for a three course experience.

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There are some very interesting ideas in Chef Marble’s menu.   The sashimi is available only in lobster, the unexpected salad pairing of pear and cucumber, the use of rockmelon in duck pancakes and mushroom as the hero in their spring rolls,  in its ambition to make its mark and cement itself as the definitive in north shore Chinese, they’re definitely playing a different game to many in the area and making us re-think our ideas on this cuisine.

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Location:

The Concourse, Level 1 above Willoughby City Library, Chatswood NSW 2067

(02) 9157 1488

reservations@mamamulan.com.au

Online Reservations:

https://www.opentable.com/r/mama-mulan-reservations-chatswood?restref=53168

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

images supplied

Mama Mulan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to find the best locally brewed beer in Darling Harbour? All hands Brewing

Open since December last year, not sure how we’ve missed this spot at destinationsville – Darling Harbour. There’s a nice Inner West kind of vibe to this place which is uncharacteristic of the standard King Street Wharf venues.

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A growing mainstream awareness of craft beers, they offer a unique and rare experience joining local mircrobreweries, Endeavor Tap Rooms at The Rocks and Circular Quay’s Squire Landing.

There are five permanent taps with another four that alternate depending on the demand. Despite production having to rely on demand, it provides a creative space for Head Brewer, Sam Clayman and his team to refine and retweak seasonal releases. This is a win for beer lovers, enabling Sam to experiment with different yeast strains and play around with fermentation temperatures.

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The microbrewery acts as a backdrop to the bar entry housing five vessels which can produce over 5600 schooners. Exposed piping and mesh gating accentuate the timber setting giving an urban edge to a casual night out.

For the laymen out there like myself, the IBU measure indicates the hop content in the brew – impacting flavoring and stability of the beer.

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We lined up 7 from their taps. It was like a rainbow of beer showcasing some very distinct styles of lager and ale:

From Left to Right (man that was hard work):
HUMP DAY I.P.A. (Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV • 45 IBU)
It’s an inviting copper toned schooner of trickery. iThe artist paints and you see exactly what they want to express, one of the more abstract styles in the All hands repertoire, if you’re bitter – this one’s for you! They tell me it’s an acquired taste for the refined palette.

WOOD DUCK CREAM ALE (Alcohol Content: 4.7% ABV • 18 IBU)
It’s the signature and crowd favorite. It uses nitrogen to replicate the foamy tops of a cask ale but there are other carbonating/oxidising factors to it also. The only thing you need to know is there’s a nice comfortable sweet spot of vanilla and speckles of spice that come through.

BUNNY HOP LAGER (Alcohol Content: 5.0% ABV • 30 IBU)
It’s a radiating straw colored brew that answers the legacy of the original Pilsner. Crisp, bitter, snappy with a backbone and is always a good safe choice.

LONGNECK BEST BITTER (Alcohol Content: 4.1% ABV • 22 IBU)
The deep amber elixir with its caramel malt, coppered toast and spicy rye. Using two species of Hop plants for stabilization there are whispers of conflict in each sip of citrus and spice that are quite alluring.

IRISH SPORT STOUT (Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV • 51 IBU)
We enter the realms of fruity-dry, top fermenting ale with this basic black concoction. It’s thick, it’s dry with punch packing hues of coffee and chocolate. It’s their unique house blend and not for the light hearted.

This was recommended in a pairing with the Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye also on offer during the event from their pop-up station. Surprisingly, one of the most memorable of the evening.

HOUSE CIDER – This golden wheat beer of cloudiness sits on the fruitier side if you’re after something light and easy.

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SCORCHER IMPERIAL SUMMER ALE (Alcohol Content: 9.0% ABV • 25 IBU)
It sits on the fruitier side with hints of passionfruit, lime, papaya and berries. It’s the strongest in terms of alcohol content in their repertoire and dangeorously smooth.

KING’S TIPPLE KOLSCH (Alcohol Content: 4.6% ABV • 16 IBU)
Light copper tones of pear and apple which is where I comfortably sit in terms of beer.

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Photo – Supplied 

It’s a southern style menu put together by Group Execuitive chef Graeme McLaughlin and chef Michael Acevedo. It takes the casual pub menu up a notch with a focus on sharing plates, smoked meat, with a strong focus on locally sourced seafood both in their salads, mains and platters.

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Photo – Supplied

Unlike many around the harbour, All Hands provides a very different experience to many of its neighbours and definitely worth a visit. For a family catch up, birthday celebration, or an after work drink, it’s the perfect venue.

All Hands Brewing House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor

Whitewater Restaurant – Cocktail Masterclass & Spring Preview

Their new menu officially launched on Thursday 30th August with a huge ‘End of Winter’ party to celebrate and showcase the exceptional range of authentic, international and local cuisine which has seen seafood delights, pastas and prime meats added to its offering.

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Key Sydney media and influencers descended on the venue for the evening, soaking up the food and beverage delights whilst a live saxophonist entertained the crowd during the evening and an expert mixologist delighted guests by teaching them how to make their very own Whitewater cocktail.

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Whitewater’s cocktail classes are perfect for any occasion, birthdays, hen parties
or even corporate events. At $85 per person, guests in a group of at least ten people are shown the art of three different cocktails.

A preview of the new spring menu was given and this will eventually feature fifteen new sharing plates including:

The Tuna Tataki, which consists of rare thinly sliced tuna served on chopped broccolini salad tossed with soy sesame seed dressing. It also included: Garlic prawns, Salt and pepper squid, Grilled octopus, mushroom melody. Spinach arancini, Fried cauliflower; and a Tomato bruschetta consisting of fresh tomatoes tossed with diced red onion and basil, on top of toast finished with a balsamic glaze.

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The menu will complement the ocean views of Manly beach with a freshness essential to the warmer season ahead.

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credit: Ashley Marr

Handcrafted using 4 ‘W’s’ @ Makers Mark

Maker’s Mark and its seal of quality are famous the world over. A family business specialising in Bourbon, a type of whiskey from the US and are proud of the artisan skills that go into making the product and the brand. Kurt is a huge whiskey (whisky) fan and with it being Kurt’s drink of choice, he was over the moon to be invited to the Maker’s Mark immersive pop up highlight the 4 W’s that make Maker’s Mark. The event was held at the old Copper Mill in Alexandria. A great venue, the Copper Mill is a converted industrial space, with much of the old character retained. The walls are thick cement, as were the doors, which were super impressive, as they opened with ease everytime, into a new room with it’s own character and feel.

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We were visiting for a Maker’s Mark Event and were greeted at the door with a refreshing welcome cocktail of Maker’s Mark ginger and lime. We met their brand ambassador who was to guide us on this interactive Maker’s Mark experience to show us the four W’s that make Maker’s Mark.

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We are first provided with a leather apron to look the part. Then we are led up stairs into a room where bread is being baked. Baking bread was how Bill Samuels Sr perfected the recipe for the bourbon that is still being produced today. The process explained and we also sampled some quality sourdough.

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We are then led into the next room where water is the ingredient championed. Maker’s Mark pick their distillery site with this factor in mind. In this room we sample the product neat (straight up) and also on the rocks (over ice) this also demonstrating how a little water from the ice can change the flavour and intensity of the Whiskey. We are also shown a demonstration of some magnificent ice carving by Ice carving master Kenji. We also stamp an ice cube with the Maker’s Mark seal, pretty cool!

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We are then ushered to another room, where it is explained where the famous Wax seal originated and how a woman’s intuition named and shaped the design of the bottles. Margie Samuels inspired by the Maker’s Mark on English Pewter she collected is how the name was inspired, Margies designing of the bottles and labels to make Maker’s Mark stand out in the market. In this room we get hands on making our own cocktail, the old fashioned. This cocktail is a mix of sugar, Angusturo Bitters and of course the Maker’s Mark Whiskey.

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The final W is wood, and we enter another room where the barrel making process called coopering is demonstrated. Wood iis  another important component as the wood from the barrel instills flavour into the bourbon. The American Oak provides subtle vanilla notes to the sweetness of the bourbon. In the Maker’s Mark 46 bottling they also age it in French Oak which adds some spice to the bourbon.

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Makers Mark a quality product and a great drink to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail. A great event put on by Maker’s Mark and thanks to the FCBA crew for providing a ticket which we won in a competition.

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Wayward Brewing Co team up with The Oaks

What an absolute pleasure to experience an event of Wayward Brewing Co teaming up with the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay for a four course meal matched with beers. With our foodie friend where_do_i_eat_pete, this was sure to be something right up our alley. This is a great venue in the Oaks, a comfortable space indoors with a beautiful outlook on the iconic oak tree.

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Wayward head brewer Shaun Blissett and beer brigadier Jackson Davey were fantastic in hosting and narrating the Wayward Brewing journey, as well as how each of their beers tasted on the evening were created.

Of the four beers, two of the beers were limited releases, and all of them matched perfectly by the sumptuous menu prepared by the chefs at the Oaks Hotel.

 The starter dish was the beef cheek slider with rocket and vegemite aioli, which matched with the Acre Pilsner with Yuzu. The slider provided a slight, however beautiful vegemite after taste, and I think it took only a few minutes to easily down the Pilsner. This Pilsner was 4.5% ABV (Limited Release).

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For entrée, we were served the irresistibly refreshing and delicious king fish ceviche with jalepeno, dried shallots, coconut cream, ponzu and lime, and this dish matched with the Sourpuss raspberry Berliner Weisse. If the ceviche were served at a fine dining restaurant, I would be very happy with it, even more so at a pub! The coconut and lime brought out incredible flavours. The sourpuss beer was interesting as it neither tasted like a beer or a cider, and with its low 3.8% alcohol content, made it a very easy drinking beverage. 

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The main dish was absolutely outstanding with the smoked lamb shoulder with roasted potatoes, heirloom carrots and brussels sprouts, shared amongst 4. Perfect for this style of event. This was matched with the Charmer India Red Ale. The lamb just melted off the bone, and the India Red Ale had incredible “hoppy” content with great flavour. 

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By the time dessert came, I was quite content and full, however there is always room for dessert, especially when it included Messina gelato and a soft centred chocolate pudding, matched with the limited release Slapshot stout beer. 

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A warm thank you to Amy Fourro at The Oaks for the invitation to attend this food and beer matching master class. As well as a big thank you to Shaun and Jackson of Wayward Brewing Co for hosting an informative and entertaining evening.

For those considering attending in the future, The Oaks always have superb events at good prices

 

Sydney’s Biggest Backyard turns 50!

Sydney’s Biggest Backyard on show is a public celebration to commemorate its 50th Anniversary. Stretching over 27km from Blacktown to Liverpool and Fairfield, we spent the day exploring Bungarribee Park and some of the many free activities open to the visitors until the 4th August

It was great to see the recent $15m dollar conservation and redevelopment project bustling with locals bringing about a sense of community sometimes forgotten in high density urban spaces.

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A morning coffee from Lord of the Beans, we started off on the 3.1km off-leash dog walking trails.  It was a great way for our puppies, Richard & Bolt to enjoy the sunshine.  Alternatively, you can take in nature’s surrounds on one of the cycling trails. 

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Throughout the area, there are 20 barbecues, making it the perfect setting for treasured family outings.  

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Part of the Open Day celebrations included an animal visit from some of the reptiles and furry friends soon to be moving into the new Sydney Zoo currently being constructed on site!

A green corridor to the Western Suburbs, the community were able to partake in tree planting which is part of the long term conservation plan to restore the Cumberland Plain. 

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A recreational space to enjoy, some of the new features include flying foxes, swing sets, a climbing tower for little kids and big kids alike to enjoy.  

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Black Bear BBQ recharges the batteries from all the exploring. A local area Blacktown restaurant provided lunch for the day at their pop up food truck.  

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A roll full of slow cooked beef brisket or pork belly was the order of the day, leaving such an impression that would lure us back to their flagship restaurant on our next visit!

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A surprisingly warm Winter’s day, and our afternoon sugar craving is satisfied with desserts from Mikey’s Ice Cream Van.

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The rest of the program included the more relaxing Aboriginal Stargazing at The Dairy and bird watching at Plough & Harrow, to the high-intensity Spartan Workout Tour in the great outdoors, there is a plethora of events and special offers to suit all walks of life.

For pooch loving folk, visit one of Sydney’s biggest off-leash dog areas, the Warrigal Dog Run. Grab your four-legged friend and be dragged along on a Street Paws two-kilometre amble through the beautiful pathways at Bungarribee as a warm up for the WSP Street Paws Festival in late winter. A small registration fee of $8 will be donated to Pet Stock Assist, which helps local rescue groups foster and adopt out animals in need.

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Parkland lovers can also take advantage of one of the special offers available throughout the program.

Joining in the celebrations, Sydney Motorsport Park will open its gates for people to take the family car on a free ‘dawn patrol’ around the iconic circuit. In addition, Sydney Zoo will provide a sneak peek at the soon to be world-class zoo, exhibiting a wide range of animals in a safari-like experience, due to open in early-2019 at Bungarribee.

Get your Tarzan on and hang out at TreeTops at Plough and Harrow with a buy-one-get- one-free offer. Climb, weave and fly through magnificent gum trees on a self-guided rope course and experience the iconic Australian bush like never before. People from as young as three years and up can monkey around in total safety at the multi-award- winning adventure land.

The Parklands provides a home for popular tourist destinations such as Wet’n’Wild and Sydney Dragway, as well as legacy Olympic sites, such as the equestrian, baseball, softball and shooting venues.

Bookings essential for most events and to redeem special offers view the full program via:

https://www.westernsydneyparklands.com.au/about-us/celebrating-50-years/

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor