One of celebrity chef Luke Mangan’s newer ventures is the trendy wine and tapas bar called mojo, located at his new headquarters in the vibrant Danks Street area. mojo’s spacious warehouse setting gives it a much more laidback vibe compared to Luke Mangan’s sleek Glass Brasserie restaurant at the Hilton. The casual atmosphere is enhanced by the bright, playful and modern decorations which pay homage to the functional nature of the warehouse, with large wooden signs indicating the destination of the crates of Luke Mangan products hanging above the bar and a working test kitchen hidden up the back of the space too.
After almost 2 years of documenting our food adventures in Sydney and abroad, it’s clear that we have definitely developed a taste for eating out at restaurants…but we must admit that there are some days that we just feel like staying in and cooking some homemade favourites or trying out new recipes. The cold, wet and miserable winter we’ve been having in Sydney has been the perfect excuse for me to gather our family and friends to road test a couple of new recipes paired with 2 exclusive wines from the Wine Selectors Chef Series range. These wines are hand picked by some of Australia’s most well-known chefs to match with their signature cuisines and are only available through Wine Selectors and the chefs’ restaurants.
Spanish food was a late discovery of mine, I had no idea there was an entire cuisine based on garlic and olive oil – two of my favourite things, and from the first time I tried it, I knew that it was a match made in heaven.
Encasa is an established tapas restaurant near Central Station, near all the backpacker lodges and Thai restaurants on Pitt Street and they are always busy, which is a pretty good indication about the quality of their dishes.
Tonight I am out with my high school friends, bonding over food as usual and we decide to order a bunch of tapas to share and a pizza to fill us up, as well as some sangria, naturally.
We start with patatas bravas, a dish I order at every Spanish restaurant that serves it because it is the perfect blend of crunchy diced potatoes, smothered in spicy tomato salsa and aioli. It’s like a fancier version of wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli, and its a fairly decent serving for 6 girls to split as we wait for our next dish.
Let me share a little secret with you…Did you know that if you take the escalator up one more level from the gleaming new Westfield Sydney food court on Level 6, there is a whole range of proper restaurants to choose from?
The other week I was going to go to Burgerman to have dinner as I heard that they had awesome burgers. But when I got there, I found out they had actually closed down and had a giant “For Lease” sign up on their door.
And so my friend and I walked further down the block and saw Li’l Darlin, a restaurant we had never seen before. Outside it was a friendly staff member who showed us the menu, told us it only opened in the last week of August and as an opening special they had $4.50 pizzas . SOLD!