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  • Victoria Pearson


News and views from across the world

Photography by Steven Woodburn.

Hot off the grill

Casa Esquina, meaning “house on the corner”, has found its home in a historic Victorian mansion at the intersection of Elliott and Darling Streets in Sydney’s Balmain. The restaurant draws inspiration from Argentina’s Mendoza region, serving upscale street food via mouth-watering small bites and share plates. Don’t skip the torched bonito, the extensive list of flamed protein from the parrilla grill or the kangaroo empanada with maraschino cherries (trust us).

Between the Vines

Planning a trip to Victoria’s Yarra Valley wine region? Be sure to book a table (or a stay) at Helen & Joey Estate’s newly opened Re’em restaurant and boutique hotel. Celebrating Chinese flavours and premium Australian produce, the menu is a reflection of the estate’s new world wines and includes signature dishes like Hainanese chicken on a crispy rice cracker and Sichuan beef tartare. The 80-seat dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows and intimate booths offer cinematic views of the vineyards, complemented by 16 luxurious hotel rooms, a relocated cellar door and a private tasting room.

Retro Revival

In the mood for a time warp? Slink into Swillhouse’s new Sydney CBD watering hole, The Caterpillar Club. The late-night live music bar, with its blink-and-you’ll-miss it Pitt Street entrance, features a bar running the length of the venue that’s lined with 10,000 funk, soul, R&B and jazz vinyl records, and staff ready to shake up ’90s-style cocktails (think: pina coladas, lychee martinis and on-tap Zombies). Works by lino artist Allie Webb adorn the walls, the booths are fitted with red leather seats and the kitchen slings finger food such as cheeseburgers, fish fingers and spinach-and-cheese pies. Lose yourself … or find yourself — The Caterpillar Club can help with both.

Colour Me Happy

Does a beautiful vessel enhance the taste of a beverage? We can’t offer scientific proof, but we’d argue anything sipped from Gather’s Miami wine glasses is bound to hit the spot. Inspired by Dutch still life paintings — with their intricate shapes and fantastical narratives — the brand’s founder, Phoebe Stubbs, hand-blows each piece in her London studio. No two glasses are alike, with their candy colours mismatched within each pair and every glass varying subtly in size and stem. A unique gift for a loved one — or yourself. From $496 for two.

Trust the Chef

Take your tastebuds on a culinary tour of Japan at Sydney restaurant Ora, where the renowned executive chef Nobuyuki Ura offers a traditional omakase (translation: “I’ll leave it up to you”) dining experience for up to 10 guests every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Served in kaiseki style — with nine ritualised courses — the menu features Ura’s hand-picked selection of seasonal meat, seafood and vegetables. Opened by chef Sergio Perera, the industrial-chic venue also delivers vast à la carte and cocktail offerings.

Festival of Food

Satisfy your appetite this month with the event-packed Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, which spans 10 days. Billed as its most extensive program in years, the 2024 line-up boasts more than 400 diverse experiences across the city, including the iconic World’s Longest Lunch (hosted by hospitality legend Andrew McConnell), a celebration of wine at Huge Moves 7 and an exploration of bioart in Art Meat Flesh at the Science Gallery at the University of Melbourne. March 15–24.

This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our eleventh edition, Page 72 of Winning Magazine with the headline: “Taste - News & Views”. Subscribe to Winning Magazine today.  


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