Monthly Archives: February 2012

March into Merivale

You can always trust Merivale to put on a good show and the launch of March into Merivale was certainly no exception. To kick start the month-long food festival, the de Groots team were invited to help sample signature dishes and drinks from Merivale’s 14 fabulous restaurants.


At the door, we were welcomed by none other than chef Dan Hong with his Ms. G specialty Vietnamese ocean trout and prawn crackers. Killer margaritas were on tap from the El Loco bar while Sushi e was serving up their famous spicy tuna ‘dynamite’ roll. A lamb pie from Felix and then a pavlova and mint tart from Mad Cow helped to end the night on a sweet note. A host of celebs also made appearances including Matt Preston and Adriano Zumbo.


March into Merivale, now in its fourth year, continues until 5th April – offering $33 lunch and dinner deals and more than 60 culinary events across 21 venues including; one-hatted restaurants Uccello, Felix and Bistrode CBD, three-hatted est. as well as the neighbourhood faves, Ms. G’s, El Loco and The Beresford Hotel.


For the full March Into Merivale 2012 program, visit

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Sydney Cellar Door

Sydney’s weather finally decided to behave with the start of the NSW Wine Festival this weekend. The sun came out and so did all the people – from across NSW – at the Sydney Cellar Door.

The team at de Groots Media helped celebrate, sampling some fine wines and nibbling our way through food stalls from restaurants such as Wine Odyssey and Porteno.
To share our fab weekend, here is our video:

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We’re back in action!

It has been a tough few months. Traipsing around the world, sipping exotic cocktails in chic New York bars, sampling exotic dishes from the hottest new restaurants in Tokyo and even shaking the pots and pans while learning how to cook traditional Laotian food. And all in the name of research. Yes, indeed, life is tough.

In dribs and drabs, over the coming month, we will give you a taste of our travels with reviews of some of the hottest new restaurants opening throughout the world; from Beijing, Tokyo, Kyoto, New York City, Bangkok and Phnom Penh.

But just to get the taste buds in full anticipation for what is in store for you, I want to share a few special culinary moments. I know it’s clichéd but NYC wouldn’t have been NYC if I hadn’t had lunch at The Central Park Boathouse and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Muscovy duck breast, leg confit, wild rice and apple pancake calvados sauce at The Boathouse, New York City

While the roasted duck may be the attraction at Beijing’s famous Dadong Roast Duck Restaurant (Voted best “Chinese Restaurant of the Year” and best “Beijing Duck” in the 2011 Reader Restaurant Awards), it was the green apple martini, which we sipped while waiting for almost two hours for our table, that hit a high note. Mind you, the duck wasn’t bad either. A crisp, cold cider and a few drinking nibbles at New York’s The Spotted Pig took my appreciation for gastropubs to new heights and I now fear, my standards of pub grub are certainly not what they were. Eating sashimi at 6am at the Tsukiji Fish Markets in Tokyo, after having just watched the fishermen at the legendary tuna auction, wasn’t half bad either. As I say, all in a hard day’s work.

But if you’re heading anywhere soon – send us an email at and we can give you all our tips and recommendations.

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Launch of the NSW Wine Festival Launch

It was with tremendous enthusiasm that we raised our glasses to celebrate the launch of the NSW Wine Festival last night.

The event, held at the chic and stylish new Imperial Hotel in Paddington, was a fantastic celebration of what has been a rather successful past year for the NSW wine industry, according to recent Nielsen statistics.

Imperial Social Club - level one of the Imperial Hotel, Paddington

The evening was spent sipping a selection of drops from McGuigan Wines, Audrey Wilkinson and Bimbadgen, to name a few. To match each glass, an array of gorgeous canapés including vegetarian pizzas, duck pancakes and a rather impressive charcuterie station of local jamon, olives and fresh figs. The standout dish, however, mutually agreed by all guests present was The Imperial seafood chowder. Heavenly.

Georgia Lea from Audrey Wilkinson wines, Kim Atwells and Anna Lisle

Playing the perfect role as MC, Joanna Saville, the festival director and Editor of the SMH Good Food Guide, welcomed the who’s who of the wine world to the podium. Speakers included Amanda Wilson, Editor of the SMH, Mike O’Malley, Executive Officer at Mudgee Wine Grape Growers Association and the Hon. Andrew John Stoner, Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment.

Amanda Wilson, Editor of the SMH

The program kicks off this weekend with the Sydney Cellar Door event at Sydney’s Hyde Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Hope to see you all there,

Anna Lisle

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