Category Archives: Food

Red Lantern On Riley Zen Feature







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Red Lantern On Riley


Last night the Zen Crew checked out Red Lantern on Riley. Celebrity Master Chef and Restaurateur Luke Nguyen’s second Red Lantern restaurant (the original still running on Crown St in Surry Hills).

More specifically we spent the entire night in the Red Lily Cocktail Bar out the back of the restaurant. A small but racy space with wooden stools and a marble bar. Our bartender Ken was an amazing man and had us exchanging pot shots all night. We pretty much tried every cocktail on the menu, all of which were amazing discoveries, we also had most of the ‘bar food’ menu which was next level and had some of us saying that it was the best bar food we’ve ever had.

We got to briefly meet Head Chef Mark Jensen who’s the co-owner and brother-in-law, and his wife Pauline (Luke’s sister) ran us through every dish that came out. Amazingly Luke was also in the house as he was serving dinner to 2 lucky winners of a competition he ran where the winners were flown first class from anywhere in the world to have dinner with Luke at Red Lantern on Riley! In between keeping the winners entertained Luke came back to the bar to hang out with us more than a few times during the night (he’s a champ, as down to earth as they come, we’re all converted!).

Ved took a lot of shots. I’ll be writing up a full feature for Zen Garage soon!

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Brewtown Newtown + White Rabbit Gallery

Caught up with Jess today, which started out sunny, but as soon as I got to Jess’ place it was grey. Jess asked if we should bring an umbrella, to which I replied “nah!” and as soon as we parked up in Newtown it came pouring down!

Jess knows where to eat. I knew I was in for a treat and boom! Brewtown Newtown did not disappoint!

Starting to get really familiar; yet another converted/industrial/rust/wood/beams/more wood space.

I love blood sausages! Could not resist. Black sausage, hash browns, canadian bacon… was sooo good!

Jess got the quinoa salad, which was tasty.

These guys make cronuts, a croissant-doughnut hybrid. They smell amazing as they bake them upstairs and a little Asian man comes down the steps with fresh batches every few minutes. I couldn’t wait for a fresh batch of the glazed ones so I opted for the cinnamon and damn it was amazing! So soft in the middle. I’ll be back for more of these no doubt.

We then dropped in to White Rabbit Gallery.

This piece was massive in size, and when you look up close…


Church of BDSM! Such a substantial piece! Love how it was suspended too.

Loved this installation! Inner robot geek couldn’t help but geek out.

Jess, she’s camera shy!

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Harry’s Cafe de Wheels





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Valentines Day @ Cafe Paci

Jess booked us in to Cafe Paci, which used to be the old Cafe Pacifico (previously open for 15 years). The building is about to be redeveloped (look closely at the picture you’ll spot a development proposal on the wall), so Cafe Paci is a pop-up store of sorts. Very smart that they just rubbed off a few letters!

The entire space inside has been greyed out, it’s a nice moody place to be, kinda feels like an art gallery.

Valentines Menu.

Complimentary Valentines Day Champers got our heads spinning!

‘Easter Egg’. Straight up, this dish reminded me of Marque. We were in for a treat.

Warm rye tacos were amazing. I would happily have had a full sized one!

Salt and vinegar fish skin, corn with togarishi and duck sandwich with pickled rose. Dreamy goodness!

Even the bread was amazing. Finnish style apparently, 3 days in the making and then covered with sticky yummy stuff.

Blue swimmer crab and plum, delish!

‘That’s Amore’. This was my fave dish. It was an angus tartare with dried tomato, parmesan, garlic and oregano but one spoonful and BAM, it tasted like a Spag Bol, perhaps the best I’ve ever tasted!

Oh, and if you’re wondering what my date looks like, here’s Jess, isn’t she gorgeous?! Not taking a selfie, just making sure her lens is clean!

This dish was interesting. Onions, lemon vinegar, mullet roe and hazelnut.

‘Photato’ – Yup, a deconstructed Vietnamese Pho. Amazeballs! The meat was next level. Loved it.

Looks like an egg, but it’s yoghurt with carrot sorbet in the middle and liquorice at the bottom. What a Heston-esque treat!

Malt, banana and parsley, over the top this dish. Super strange to me, but Jess loved it (and she hates Parsley!).

And finally, pop corn flavoured fairly floss (wild!) and pork and fennel petit fours. What a feast, Jess and I loved it. Food was awesome. Staff were amazing too!

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Chinese New Years

Lobster and Parrot Fish!

Ronnie and Kim.

Whipping out them red packets!

38 and I’m still getting red packets lol.

Jess scored a couple of red packets and chocolate!

Enter the Lion.

Gobble gobble.

The Three Sisters – Lely, Helen and my Mum!

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Mary’s Newtown

Hit up Mary’s in Newtown again. Cheeseburger with added bacon, so good. Double dipping fries into that mash. SO GOOD!

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The Fish Shop – Potts Point

The Fish Shop – Potts Point.

Great chips (always important!), yummy batter that wasn’t too oily and that tartare sauce… delicious!

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Australia Day

First stop: 212 Blu in Newtown.

Chai and Coffee. Grey cups for a grey (and rainy) day.

I went for the Boss One Hander; Shaved leg ham, poached egg and slaw. Delish!

Nyaw friendship rings!

Next stop: Carriageworks in Redfern.

Christian Boltanski’s massive installation “Chance”.

Slow Jazz and chills at Cornerstone Bar & Food within Carriageworks. Loved the building, couldn’t help but dream of a similar space for Zen Garage.

Next stop: White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale.

Such an impressive building, really loved the show too.

Next stop: Central Park.

The place was dead, but the whole mall and surrounds are nice actually, loved the Melbourne/Japan/community vibes.

Next Stop: Watsons Bay. The sun finally came out in the afternoon so Jess and I headed straight to the water.

The Hotel was packed so we settled for Doyles on the pier. Sydney Rock Oysters, fish, scallops, bliss!

Next Stop: Messina! Coconut Lychee’s my thing.

And Jess loves affogatos.

When we got back to Jess’ place her flatmate and friends were about to get anhialated on this vodka infused watermelon!

And Jess was in the mood to bake a Black Star Bakery Strawberry and Watermelon cake (SO good!).

My Mum’s B’day falls on Australia Day every year and we usually celebrate it with lots of booze and a BBQ, but plans fell through this year as my nephew Leo isn’t well.

Jess didn’t have anything planned so we hooked up and had a spontaneous day of rummaging around Sydney, which turned out to be a great big day out!

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Fender bar stool were a nice touch!



Kurt. Love. Forever.


Noms! Calabrian Pork Burger.

Crispy and soft polenta chunks, served with gorgonzola sauce.

Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.

Nanami took Krysti and I to Vasco tonight, an awesome little bar on Cleveland st. Walking into the place was like a time warp to high school/uni days. Basically looked like my bedroom! We’re talking Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth!!!! My eyes couldn’t settle! Loved the atmosphere, cocktails and food were good too!

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