Non-Alcholic Wines – Australia

Baby Bellini
Peach Bellini

Peach Bellini

Combine 1 part peach puree with 2 parts Edenvale Alcohol Removed Sparkling Cuvee and stir gently. Delicious!

Sparkling Fruit Sangria


1 orange, thinly sliced

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

10 large strawberries, sliced

1 cup orange juice

1 750ml bottle sweet white wine 

1 750ml bottle your favourite bubbly


Place all fruit and orange juice in a large pitcher or bowl, add wine and allow to sit in the refrigerator for 3 – 24 hours. Right before serving, add the sparkling wine. Taste; if you’d like it to be sweeter, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar, honey, or agave. Serve and enjoy!


 Lemon & Lime Mocktail


1/2 Lemon, 1/2 Lime and Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee


1. Cut lemon and lime into small rounds

2. Pour desired amount of Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee into glass

3. Add lemon and lime rounds

4. Stir and enjoy!

Lemon & Lime Mocktail
Lemon & Lime Mocktail

 Cucumber Cooler

1 cucumber

Mint leaves

Peel cucumber and  blend in a blender to create a smooth consistency

Add mint leaves (muddle, bruise mint leaves with a wooden spoon)


Add 2 cups of Edenvale Sparkling Cuvee



Cucumber Cooler
Cucumber Cooler


Mimosas are synonymous with Sunday brunch. So, if you’re planning a festive season brunch at your place, why not try a DIY mimosa bar! Place a few bottles of Edenvale Alcohol Removed Sparkling Cuvee in an ice bucket, and arrange alongside different types of juice (orange, pomegranate, grape fruit, pear), bowls of chopped fruit for garnish (orange, lemon, lime, strawberry) and champagne flutes. Then let your guests create their own mimosas and experiment with unique flavour combinations.


**Information & Images Supplied by Evil Twin PR

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events



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Chilled Orange Juice

Chilled Orange Juice


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The Butler family -
 Meon Springs farm house

Whitewool Farm – Hampshire South England

Words by Sindy Chan

Images courtesy of Troy Nam with Hasselblad 

DSC03875 Shepherds’ hut Hawthorne


I woke up to the sound of morning birds’ after a sound sleep in my ’wagon train’ at Meon Springs.

The ‘wagon train’ is one of the six lakeside shepherds’ huts purposely-built for fly fishing lovers and holiday makers coming to stay Meon Springs, aka Whitewool Farm, in Hampshire South England.

Shepherd's hut - 'Hawthorne'
Shepherd’s hut – ‘Hawthorne’

A Fish Called ‘Rainbow’

Meon Springs has a four-acre fly-fishery, comprising of four spring-fed lakes.

I strolled down to the fishery lodge to watch early-rise fishermen making good catches of rainbow trout from the lakes, immediately tempted by a strong desire to taste fresh trout.

Meon Springs fishery lodge & resident swans
Meon Springs fishery lodge & resident swans
An early-rise fisherman with his rainbow trout catch
An early-rise fisherman with his rainbow trout catch

The Shepherd’s huts are well-equipped with kitchen facilities for guests to cook or barbeque. I was privileged to have Mrs Alison Butler of Whitewool Farm, cook me a freshly-caught rainbow trout .

The flesh of the rainbow trout is firm and chewy, with a notably distinctive taste. I ate half the trout in Alison’s ‘Meon Springs’ recipe – a fish so fresh that only salt and pepper seasoning (not even lemon), is needed to bring out the flavour. The other half I tried with a Japanese soya sauce which  added an appetising twist.

DSC03673 My rainbow turned gold

My rainbow turned gold!
My rainbow turned gold!

Meon Springs Cappuccino

When asking for fresh milk to make coffee at my hut, I was generously offered a 4-pint bucket.

“We have a herd of 430 dairy cows and plenty of milk,” said Tim, member of the fishery and huts management team.

I used my sumptuous supply to make cosy drinks such as “warm milk with honey”, and my ‘Meon Springs cappuccino’, created by slowly heating up 2/3 of a mug of milk and mixing with instant coffee.

It was time for a walk along the Meon Springs ‘milky way’.

Meon Springs mascot - 'Cowie'
Meon Springs mascot – ‘Cowie’

Follow the ‘Milky Way’

The farm’s ‘milky way’ begins at the fields where forage crops are grown to feed the cows, then I headed to the dairy to visit the herd, including calves. Cows are milked twice a day and all milk is supplied exclusively to Sainsbury’s.

Whitewool Farm is a traditional mixed dairy and arable farm owned by the Butler family since 1930. Arable farming is managed by Will Butler, brother of farm manager Jamie Butler.

Whitewool Farm dairy calves
Whitewool Farm dairy calves

Farm Breakfast with Neighbour

We experienced a contrasting weather change after arriving on a calm day which then turned wet and windy, and discovered just how resistant our little accommodation hut could be in such conditions. At dawn I drew the window blind to find Meon Springs covered by snow.

View from our hut
View from our hut

A neighbour staying at ‘Hawthorne’ offered to share a cooked breakfast with us – sausages with mustard and toast, neatly plated. What a heart-warming treat in this beautiful winter wonderland.

Share-cooked breakfast treat
Share-cooked breakfast treat

The story began …

I was most fortunate to speak with Nicholas Butler, father of Will and Jamie, who talked about the family farm from its early beginnings.

Nicholas Butler was 20 years’ old. One morning he was having breakfast with his father in their family farm in north Hampshire when they received a short-notice resignation from the then Whitewool Farm manager.

“My father said to me, you’d better go down and see. I came and have stayed ever since.” Nicholas recalled with a smile.

“There were sheep, cow and pig in the farm. Number of pigs had once grown. The pigs have gone, followed by sheep, and now we only have cows.” Nicholas said.

View to Whitewool Farm from Old Winchester Hill
View to Whitewool Farm from Old Winchester Hill

With Jamie Butler taking over as farm manager, the farm business has since diversified to include hospitality (shepherd’s huts & authentic Mongolian yurts), the fishery, corporate events, self-storage, as well as pheasant & clay shooting.

I was particularly touched by the idea of the Meon Springs Celebration Wood to encourage and facilitate people adopting trees for their loved ones.

Meon Springs Celebration Wood
Meon Springs Celebration Wood

Like Father Like Son

Nicholas and his wife are passionate about farming and sailing.

“We took our 13-metre-long wooden boat “Saluki” on a 3-week vacation sailing from England to France, Spain, and Portugal or as far as we could go”. Nicholas told me.

Seems to me that Will has more of his parents’ farming genes and Jamie has more of his parents’ travelling genes!

Jamie travelled around the world, working from farm to farm, to gain global experience.

“People like Jamie because he knows farming,” remarked proud dad Nicholas.

An Australian Connection

Over the years, the Butler family have embraced global agricultural interns to work at the farm. Peter Carter from Australia was one of them.

“Peter was to work in Whitewool Farm for several weeks but he ended up staying for three years.” Nicholas told me.

“Peter owns a big sheep station near Perth, Australia. When a mineral resource was found on his farm, Peter had to surrender the mining rights to the government according to Australian law, but he used his water rights to enter into a mining collaboration with the government.”

“When Jamie was travelling in the north of Australia working from farm to farm, he stayed at Peter’s farm.” Nicholas said.

Responsible Agriculture

Morning of a thousand dews
Morning of a thousand dews

Meon Springs fishery bailiff and fly-fishing coach Roger Greentree is a bird expert.

I asked Roger which bird species sang in a high pitched, clear voice each morning.

“Could be a Chaffinch, a Blue Tit or Great Tit. Or may be a Robin – very territorial little bird with a bad temper, ready to fight or kill any bird intruding its territory.” Roger told me.

There is a bird feeding corner outside the fishery which serves as habitat for winter migrating birds – a way that English farmers contribute to responsible agriculture.


SYDNEY – Tim Tam Margarita or Vegemite Pizza Anyone?

Rockpool Dining Group’s casual restaurants are super-sizing Australia Day with extended celebrations that include BBQ snags and steins of beer and limited-edition menu items, including Tim Tam Margaritas and Vegemite pizzas.

 Fratelli Fresh has a limited-edition Vegemite pizza ($16) available at all seven restaurants from Monday 22nd January to Sunday 28th January. The crust is smeared with Vegemite and topped with smoked mozzarella and buffalo mozzarella. It’s a ripper!


 Munich Brauhaus, Bavarian Bier Café and The Bavarian are hosting true blue, four-day Australia Day celebrations from Thursday 25th January to Sunday 28th January.

Swap snags for bratwurst, tinnies for steins of beer, and pucker up for the limited-edition Oz Day Schnitzelmeister – a 1kg schnitzel with bacon, three eggs and cheese ($100, serves four diners), which is available over the long weekend.

Oz Day Schnitzelmiester

 The Australia Day weekend kicks off at all Bavarian restaurants on Thursday 25th January with happy hour (Munich Brauhaus 5-7pm, The Bavarians 4-6pm, Bavarian Bier Café check website for various times) and house DJs in all venues from 6pm.

 On Australia Day, the line-up includes live music from 3pm, a free BBQ snag with the purchase of a stein between 3-6pm, and Aussie Pale Ale on tap all day (excluding Bavarian Bier Café Entertainment Quarter). The Australian Open Women’s Doubles Final and Men’s Singles Semi Final will be screened live, and the customer dressed in the best Australia Day outfit will score a $100 voucher.

 On Saturday 27th January enjoy all that the Bavarian venues have to offer while listening to the countdown of the Triple J Hottest 100 from 12pm (excluding The Rocks, Entertainment Quarter, York Street and Penrith venues). Tennis enthusiasts can catch live screenings of the Australian Open Women’s Singles Final and Men’s Doubles Final.

It’s family day on Sunday 28th January, when kids under 12 can eat for free and there are face painters on site at Munich Brauhaus and The Bavarians. The Australian Open Men’s Singles Final will be screened live.

 The Bavarian portfolio of restaurants include Munich Brauhaus The Rocks, Bavarian Bier Café (Entertainment Quarter, Parramatta, Bondi, Chatswood and Miranda) and The Bavarian (Manly, Penrith and World Square).

 El Camino Cantina is celebrating Australia Day with an extended four-day Weekend Fiesta that will showcase limited-edition BBQ chorizo fajitas ($30) and frozen Tim Tam Margaritas (15oz – $16, 24oz – $19) all weekend. Or enjoy a la carte Tex Mex favourites, including chipotle BBQ kangaroo fajitas, buffalo wings and 1kg chilli smoked BBQ beef ribs, paired with Sydney’s best Margaritas, frozen and on the rocks, in classic, strawberry and mango flavours.

 El Camino’s celebrations start on Thursday 25th January with happy hour from 5-7pm and live band The Bedlams from 7pm.

On Australia Day relax in the Cactus Bar and watch the Australian Open live, with an optional food and drink package available ($137, serves four diners). A DJ will play classic Aussie hits from 7pm.

 On Saturday 27th January enjoy Tex-Mex flavours and Sydney’s best Margaritas while listening to the countdown of the Triple J Hottest 100. Tennis enthusiasts can tune into the Australian Open.

 On Sunday, take advantage of El Camino’s bottomless brunch from 12-5pm, with brunch dishes from $15 and a bottomless drinks package for an additional $19.

 **More information and bookings: Munich Brauhaus, The Bavarian, Bavarian Bier Café, El Camino Cantina, Fratelli Fresh

*Information & images Courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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DSC09982 The Belmond Royal Scotsman formal dinner

‘Taste of the Highlands’ Train Journey

The Belmond Royal Scotsman Bagpiper
The Belmond Royal Scotsman Bagpiper

Words by Sindy Chan:

Images: Troy Nam with Hasselblad

Boarding The Belmond Royal Scotsman

Home of Aberdeen Angus

Ballindalloch Castle, the much-loved family home of the Macpherson-Grants, was the last sightseeing itinerary of our 3-day-2-night The Belmond Royal Scotsman “Taste of the Highlands” train journey.

On day 3, before departure for sightseeing, Headwaiter Marx shared the daily menu, informing us that Aberdeen Angus beef was to be the main course of our formal dinner that night.

I realised later that we had encountered the Aberdeen Angus cattle in their homeland – the Ballindalloch Estate in Speyside of the Scotland Highlands, in a riotous profusion of season’s colours.

The black, hornless castle, a breed noticeable for its meat quality and easy rearing, are descended from the herd first started by the 3rd Baronet of Ballindalloch, Sir George Macpherson-Grant, in 1860, and are now the oldest surviving bloodlines of Aberdeen Angus in the world.

Guy Macpherson-Grant of Ballindalloch Castle received us at the coach park. Ian Gardiner, our Host on The Royal Scotsman Train said that Guy and wife Victoria always received Belmond guests upon arrival, personally taking each group around the castle.

Guy Macpherson-Grant personally receiving guests of The Belmond
Guy Macpherson-Grant of Ballindalloch Castle
Seasonal splendour - Ballindalloch Castle
Seasonal splendour –
Ballindalloch Castle

Wining Before Dining 

DSC09773 Welcome back drink

DSC09961 Cocktails & canapes before dinner

Belmond Royal Scotsman Formal Dinner

I was so delighted to have Paupiette of Scottish oak-smoked salmon, my favourite poached langoustine, tomato & chive dressing as starter; and fully enjoyed the main course Roast fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef in the Highlands of Scotland.

From what I learnt from steak gourmands, Aberdeen Angus breed is rich in flavour, juicy with a hint of sweetness from the grass. The smaller conformation allows for a thicker steak with the resulting contrast in textures – caramelised outside and buttery, melt-in-the-mouth inside. The short fibres, exquisite marble-textured Aberdeen Angus produces tender meat with excellent nutritional balance.

Paupiette of Scottish oak smoked salmon, poached langoustine, with tomato, chive dressing
Paupiette of Scottish oak smoked salmon, poached langoustine with tomato, chive dressing
Pairing wine - Bacchus, Offida, Le Merlettaie - Ciu Ciu, Italy 2015
Pairing wine – Bacchus, Offida, Le Merlettaie
Ciu Ciu, Italy 2015
Roast fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef
Roast fillet of Aberdeen Angus beef
Chocolate Cremeux, lime caramel sauce & hazelnut ice cream
Chocolate Cremeux, lime caramel sauce & hazelnut ice cream
Cheese and coffee in the Observation Car after dinner
Cheese and coffee in the Observation Car after dinner

First dinner on board

Isn’t that amazing

The Royal Scotsman’s very fine culinary “Taste of the Highlands” are delivered from a two-chef’s kitchen?

Starter – Honey Roasted Duck Breast, Beetroot Chutney, Toasted Hazelnuts & Orange Reduction reminded of a little of Oriental flavour; pairing wine Wachauer, Rainer Wess, Gruner Veltliner Austria 2014.

Honey Roasted Duck Breast
Honey Roasted Duck Breast

Main Course – Oven-Roasted Halibut, Fondant Potato, Wilted Spinach, Crayfish & Chervil Veloute and pairing wine Montagny 1er cru, Les Grappes d’Or, Feuillat Juillot, Burgundy, France 2014 was a perfect match.

Oven-roasted Halibut
Oven-roasted Halibut

Who doesn’t like Champagne Jelly?

Dessert – Timbale of Seasonal Berries in Champagne Jelly, Raspberry Sorbet & Marshmallow 

Timbale of seasonal berries in Champagne jelly
Timbale of seasonal berries in Champagne jelly
Pairing wine Montagny 1er cru, Les Grappes d'Or, Feillaut Juillot - Burgundy, France 2014
Pairing wine Montagny 1er cru, Les Grappes d’Or, Feillaut Juillot – Burgundy, France 2014

Risotto perfectly cooked

I always have problem with chewy, half-cooked Risotto. On the Royal Scotsman train, I discovered the perfectly cooked Roasted butternut squash Risotto.

Roasted Butternut squash risotto
Roasted Butternut squash risotto
Pairing wine - Chablis, Domaine Fevre - Burgundy, France 2015
Pairing wine – Chablis, Domaine Fevre – Burgundy, France 2015
Honey & Sultana bread & butter pudding with heather honey cream
Honey & Sultana bread & butter pudding with heather honey cream


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Vegemite Burger


Vegemite is set to redefine the taste of summer today as it announces an all Aussie collaboration with one of the nation’s top chefs and burger establishments.

From Wednesday 17th of January, patrons attending the Australian Open will get the first taste of the delicious collaboration between Neil Perry, Burger Project and one of Australia’s most loved brands, Vegemite.

 The Vegemite Burger will be available at the Burger Project pop-up at the Australian Open, as well as all 12 Burger Project stores across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, until January 28. 

The iconic Aussie spread will complement a range of premium ingredients including Burger Project’s famous beef patties, which are hand-made on site daily from grass-fed Cape Grim beef from Tasmania.

 Neil Perry has created the premium Vegemite Burger in line with the ethos of Burger Project: to use premium ingredients and support local producers.

 Neil Perry said, “Vegemite is synonymous with our Australian way of life. Its unique taste, smeared on a soft milk bun, alongside our premium beef patty, mayonnaise, fresh lettuce, tomato and crunchy onions, has resulted in an intense depth of flavour we think burger aficionados will love. I’m excited to be given the opportunity to collaborate with such an iconic Australian brand and hope it’s enjoyed by all Australians.”

 Vegemite while predominately known as a breakfast spread you have on toast, has long been used in recipes including classic Christmas gravies, scrolls and even Chocolate cake!

 Adam McNamara, General Manager of Bega Foods and Vegemite believes this is yet another perfect pairing for Vegemite, and is thrilled to be partnering with an Australian culinary icon.

 “We feel privileged that such a notable and highly regarded chef has celebrated our favourite spread by incorporating it with one of his burger recipes.

 “The product’s unique and iconic flavour, paired with Neil Perry’s culinary brilliance has created a really great combo for everyone to get excited about.”

 McNamara continued, “Vegemite is still bouncing off its opportunity to fuel 350 ballkids this year at the Australian Open. We think the Neil Perry Vegemite Burger is a perfect summer lunch or dinner, whether you’re at the Open or out and about.”

Neil Perry_Vegemite Burger

Information & Images Courtesy of Burger Project/Vegemite/Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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McCudy Media-0890

Everyone’s Favourite Citrusy Spritz!

The summery good times keep rolling with the announcement of some exciting new pop-ups at two of Melbourne’s most popular venues – Riverland on the Yarra River and Bang Bang at the Rifle Club in Elsternwick. 

 In a celebration of everyone’s favourite citrusy spritz, Melbourne’s only Club Aperol is now open at Riverland. From 4 January – 19 February, visitors can head down the Riverland steps to find a hidden Italian oasis. Aperol spritzes will be available in glasses ($12) and jugs ($45), as well as $8 Peroni red cans. Snacks will be available in the form of spuntini, which are bite- sized Italian treats (think Italian tapas!) The spuntini bar will operate from Thursday – Sunday.

 Some of the spuntini on offer include: buffalo ricotta and pickled zucchini crostini; white anchovies, gordal olives and guindillas (peppers); smoked cod and potato crostini and noix de jambon with pickled cucumber and melon. These tasty treats are just $3 a pop. A selection of platters will also be on offer for those after something more substantial – seafood ($38), antipasto ($26) and cheese ($24). Belissimo!

 Club Aperol will be telecasting the Australian Open onscreen every day, as well as running an instagram competition to win ground passes each day of the major sporting event. 


 Bang Bang at the Rifle Club will be launching Sunday Spritz sessions from 21 January to make the venue the perfect spot for capping off the weekend.

“Locals have told us how much they love spending their Sunday afternoons at Bang Bang, so we decided to respond to that by launching Sunday Spritz sessions,” says Toby Waite, Bang Bang Venue Manager.

Starting from $14, there are five varieties of spritzes on offer: the much-loved Aperol spritz, Jason Mimosa (Cointreau, orange, prosecco), Sloe Down (Plymouth Sloe gin, mint, prosecco), Bank St (St Germain, cucumber, sparking) and Shrub Lyf (Strawberry shrub, prosecco).

Snacks will take the form of bao and cones, including scrumptious items such as charred lamb bao with pickled ginger and soy; avocado and smoked trout bao with pickled shallot; chicken ribs and chips with roasted shallot dressing; and the crisp pumpkin with mint, tamarind and lettuce cone.

With beautiful spaces throughout the venue from the gorgeously styled indoor areas, to the intimate backyard bar overlooking the adjacent park, Bang Bang truly is the perfect spot for a Sunday session. 

 Club Aperol – Riverland

Daily from 4 January – 19 February, from 11:00am

Federation Wharf

@riverlandbar @aperolspritzau 


Sunday Spritz – Bang Bang at the Rifle Club

Sundays from 21 January, from 11:00am

294 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick

Information Courtesy of Riverland Group/ Zilla and Brook – Maddie Garratt

Images Supplied Courtesy of  Aperol, McCudy Media/Zilla and Brook


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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Pure South Breakfast

Dine Well then Water Taxi to The Australian Open!

Pure South Water taxi

Pre Tennis Package at Pure South Dining and P.S Bar + Kitchen

 Pure South Dining has been a fine dining institution for 13 years. Following their 2017 renovation and expansion over two levels, the river level of the restaurant has now been reimagined as P.S. Bar + Kitchen.

 The Pure South Dining and P.S. Bar + Kitchen experience is driven by quality produce from the best farmers, fishermen and artisan producers in Tasmania, King Island & Flinders Island. 

  “A refined all-day diner on Southbank celebrating Tasmania” Good Food Guide 2018

 In what may be the best people-watching spot in the city, Pure South Dining and P.S. Bar + Kitchen are situated opposite the Southgate foot bridge overlooking the Yarra River, Melbourne city and promenade. Enjoy the best Tasmania produce before a scenic cruise to one of Melbourne’s premiere sporting events.

 For bookings visit the Pure South website

 Pure South Oysters

Eat.Drink.Water Taxi. Australian Open at BearBrass.

 Get ready for the most thrilling and highly anticipated sporting event of the summer. The Australian Open 2018 takes over Melbourne over two adrenaline-charged weeks jam-packed with the world’s best tennis players. 

Whether you’re a die-hard tennis fanatic or after a fun day out, start your day off in style with at riverside hotspot BearBrass before cruising along the Yarra River on board a scenic water taxi that drops you off directly in front Rod Laver Area. The Breakfast Package ($35) and Lunch/Dinner Packages ($55) include a set menu, a beer, wine or Aperol Spritz & return WaterTaxi Tickets.

 BearBrass is located at Shop G3A On the River, Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct, Southbank VIC 3006. Group bookings are advised. Call 03 9682 3799 or email


Dining at The Deck during the Australian Open 2018

 With extensive experience in delivering quality dining and service for over a decade, The Deck re-launched its European style food house on Southgate’s upper level, overlooking the Yarra River with spectacular views of Melbourne’s city skyline.

  “Pretty-as-a-postcard river views are matched by beauty on the plate” Good Food Guide 2018

 During the Australia Open, Southgate’s institution The Deck will be serving up fine food and stunning views for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 Breakfast packages will be served from 8am to 11.30am (Mon-Fri) and 2 or 3 Course Pre-Tennis Lunch or Dinner Menus with a glass of wine are priced at $45 & $55 respectively.  (11am for lunch 5pm onwards for dinner).


Melbourne Water Taxi’s departing from Southgate to the tennis, taking in the stunning city views along the Yarra (bookings essential Contact Robert on 03 9699 9544 or book online at All menus can be viewed at

Pure South Water Taxi2

Information Courtesy of Southgate Restaurants/Fuller PR – Keshia Hutchens

Images Courtesy of Pure South Dining and P.S Bar & Kitchen/Fuller PR 


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

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Burger-Project-555-Bourke-Opening-Harvard-Wang-002 (1)

New Two-Storey Burger Project for Melbourne


Welcome back from holiday Melbourne, and meet your new Burger Project, which offers the same legendary burgers, premium quality and fast service alongside enhancements that make the experience all the more rewarding.

The new, two-storey Burger Project at Bourke Street opened on 10th January, ushering in customer experiences across the group.

Spread across two floors, the new 170-seat store accommodates 100 customers downstairs, 30 outside and 40 upstairs, where a dedicated bar is the perfect spot to linger for longer and celebrate everything that is awesome about the mate-ship of burgers and beers.


The new-format Burger Project, and the fourth in Melbourne, dials up the comfort factor with the provision of GPS buzzers that combine the speediness of ordering at the counter with the convenience of having meals delivered to the table, so guests no longer need to wait counter-side for their orders.

Self-serve soda dispensers offering unlimited refills and numerous large-screen TVs tuned in to sport and music channels also augment a Burger Project visit.

The Bourke Street store launches with Burger Project’s expanded craft beer portfolio, which showcases an ever changing local craft beer menu and recommended burger-beer pairings to the menu at all 13 stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Up to four beers are expected to be on tap at each venue, including Mornington Hop Culture, Mornington Pale, and Young Henrys Real Ale and Natural Lager at Bourke Street.


The burger menu of 11 irreplaceable stalwarts showcasing 36-month, grass-fed Cape Grim beef from Tasmania, free-range Lilydale chicken, as well as a vegetarian crumbed confit mushroom option, remains unchanged at the new Bourke Street location, but it’s beefed up with a Limited Edition series of flavours that change every eight weeks.


The Limited Edition line-up of house-minced, hand-formed meat masterpieces is inspired by different cuisines and is available at all 13 stores. Burger Project Bourke Street launches with The Mexican, which is loaded with chilli salsa, guacamole, lettuce, tomato and sour cream, and pairs perfectly with the classic Mexican lager Cerveza Tecate. Korean and Japanese Limited Edition flavours are in development.


Rockpool Dining Group Culinary Director Neil Perry said the enhancements reflect the evolution of fast-casual dining with customers now expecting affordable and fast dine-in options, with better service offerings and a level of comfort that encourages them to stay a little longer.

“Burger Project’s sustainable philosophy and devotion to the highest quality ingredients is unaltered, however Bourke Street marks three years, three states and the 12th store for the business, so it’s time for a few nips, tucks and enhancements,” Neil said.

“Customers expect even more from fast-casual, whether it’s being able to watch a game, settle in at the bar to explore an expanded beer menu, or having just a little more comfort in the overall experience.”

Neil Perry_Burger Project

To celebrate the launch, a life-size model cow will be painted by a local artist and auctioned for charity.

Burger Project Bourke Street’s second level can be hired for children’s parties, events and presentations.

Hoppy Hour is now available all locations Monday to Friday from 3pm-6pm, with $5 beers and $10 burger and chip combinations.


Address: 555 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm

Instagram: @burgerproject  Facebook: burgerproject Twitter: @_burgerproject

**Information Courtesy of  Burger Project/Rockpool Dining Group – Rachel Lebihan

**Photos Courtesy of Harvard Wang

Burger-Project-555-Bourke-Opening-Harvard-Wang-018 (1)

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Fort Green – Northcote

Review & Images by Kate Taylor

The new gem northside is Fort Green, which opened its doors just six weeks ago. Offering more than a café, and much more than the healthy food fad sweeping Melbourne, the upstairs yoga studio set to open January 2018, and the beginnings of a flourishing indoor nursery, promises a nurturing hub for Northcote.

If you’re anything like me, you hear wholefood bowls and rose water and think, “Nah.” But I’m serious when I say, leave your judgement at the door and say, “Yes!” – your body and brain will thank you.

It was a lazy Sunday morning, perfect early Summer. High St was abuzz with young people tucking into smashed avocado, pups were out for their walk before the heat kicked in, and I was in the mood for bacon. Spoiler: I never did get that bacon. Stepping off the street into Fort Green is like crossing a threshold – it’s a breath of fresh air, a cuddle for body and mind, and rare treat of personal space. The walkways are wide, the walls painted a heritage green. The lights are soft and wiry, and hang from the high ceilings like curious boughs from the same wanting tree. 


Walk through the café towards the Pantry, through the nursery to the big sun-filled courtyard out the back. You’ll be greeted with large communal tables, a back gate so you can bring your pups, exposed brick, and a flurry of new plants set to attach themselves and grow up the surrounding wooden slats.

Do not walk away from Fort Green without trying the Rose Water Latte or the Golden Latte. One sweet, one savoury, both like Christmas in your tummy.


I personally couldn’t walk away without tasting the Banana & Walnut Smoothie, a combination of banana, manuka honey, walnut, coconut yoghurt, cinnamon, nutmeg and almond milk. It’s subtle and not too sweet, and surprisingly, despite how big it is, did not make me hate myself when I’d finished the whole thing. There’s something about the mix of these healthy ingredients that act like magic.

Now to the Wholegrain Bowl. I chose the Mushroom Bowl roasted mushrooms, seasonal greens, avocado, 60° egg, and a slice of wholegrain sourdough. When they say mushrooms, they’re not mucking around. This bowl is for a serious mushroom fan like myself. The egg was so perfectly poached, I watched teary-eyed as it broke and spread across the pile of crazy mushrooms, kale and seasoned broccoli!


But I didn’t stop. Oh no. I also tasted the Smoked Salmon Toast with avocado, dill and capers. The thick-cut wholegrain sourdough toast was completely covered with smashed avocado, topped with little heavenly balls of bright smoked salmon, garnished with delicate wisps of spring onion.


Feeling warm and cared for, I trod off to find the owners – eager to hear from them about their piece of gentle forest in the middle of busy High St.

Co-owner and nutritionist, Bannie Williams, shines bright with a radiance that emanates from a healthy lifestyle and all those wholefood bowls! Fort Green was designed by the other half of this collaboration, the calm, reserved Nick Cooke. From the interior to the courtyard, the branding and the menu design, he’s thought of it all.

Fort Green's Bannie & Nick Image Supplied
Fort Green’s Bannie & Nick
Image Supplied

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You can’t help but think Fort Green has taken the best from both. Given life and love, it is now starting to walk on its own. 

So go get yourself some inner peace in the New Year at Fort Green’s new yoga studio, and then grab some nourishing breakfast, carefully selected by Bannie and Nick, with love. You’ll have completely forgotten about that bacon, I swear.


**Kate was a guest of Fort Green/Michelle Campbell – Minc Communications

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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Marisa Ferraro

‘The Stiletto Woman’ – an empowering new book by Marisa Ferraro

Words by Sarah Gill – Images Courtesy of Kon Iatrou

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Mon Bijou is located in an alley way off Melbourne’s Flinders Lane. A red carpet and neon sign are the only hints of this secret little bar, evoking a ‘celebrity feel’.

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Photo by Sarah Gill
Photo by Sarah Gill

A speedy lift to level 10 and I’ve arrived at this unique penthouse venue with ‘floor-to-ceiling’ windows revealing panoramic views of the inner city skyline. Handed an espresso martini, it was hard to miss the bar with a guest lineup of martinis. Plus plenty of sparkling wine of course! The ceiling provided an interesting conversation point, with pink hexagon shapes reflecting the crowd below. It was intriguing and made for a great photo opportunity. The canapés on offer were zesty and fresh, with my favourite the moorish smoked trout mousse on a petite pancake.

Photo by Sarah Gill
Photo by Sarah Gill

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The launch of ‘The Stiletto Woman’ by Marisa Ferraro seemed the perfect fit for this luxe venue, part of the Adelphi Hotel. As the book is all about sister solidarity, Mon Bijou is certainly the place to bring the girls.

This is a book that tells it like it is. It gives you the support and pep talk you need to find your way through the issues many women face today in the dating world, and the search for the right partner. ‘The Stiletto Woman’ is about taking control of your love life and finding empowerment in that control.

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The designer crowd matched the designer venue, with guests exuding sophistication, confidence, and empowerment, ideally enhancing the themes of Marisa’s book.

“Take control of your love life and find your happiness by rediscovering the beautiful woman that is you.”

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Mon Bijou

187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC

**Sarah was a guest of Helen Reizer HRPR

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Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events




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