What’s on around town
• Bondi’s new Spanish restaurant Iberica has added sangria-by-the-litre to its lunchtime menu on Saturdays and Sundays. The drink is ideal alongside a green paella or a bread and butter “candle” that’s lit up on the way to your table.
• American Express, as part of its Backing International Small Restaurants grant program, has awarded six Sydney venues $21,000 each to help boost their businesses. The restaurants are CBD social enterprise Kabul Social, Potts Point sandwich mecca [Small’s Deli], Haymarket noodle joint Iiko Mazesoba and degustation-only Thai restaurant Viand, plus two Darlinghurst cafes: Food Addict and Kaska.
• Circular Quay fish'n'chipper Costi's is doing the most in this economic climate, serving up a $4 lunch deal on Tuesday October 31. Choose from grilled pacific dory or battered New Zealand hake with a garden salad and chips or rice, to be enjoyed at that unbeatable price beside those unbeatable harbour views.
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• Free coffee alert: Industry Beans is giving away free coffees between 8am and 10am at each of its stores (except Double Bay) on Wednesday November 1. Nab yourself one of the new brekkie muffins – loaded with bacon, cheese, egg and a hash brown – and a brew will come too.
• Manly’s Sunset Sabi is celebrating its eighth birthday this Saturday October 28. There are food and drink specials, plus DJs from 2pm to 5pm. Sip the drinks menu newcomer, Madame Shuzo, where vodka mixes with shuzo melon liqueur and lemon.
What we covered this week
• First Look: Shadow Baking, the Darlinghurst bakery from a trio of Gelato Messina chefs, opens today. Gaining fans from its market stall at The Cannery, the permanent digs will have pandan-coconut brioche, riffs on old-school custard tarts, plus “Messinatella”-topped croissants.
• Khanh Nguyen, who just left influential Melbourne restaurants Sunda and Aru, has joined the Bentley Restaurant Group team as executive chef of soon-to-open King Clarence. The 100-seat diner is bringing Chinese, Korean and Japanese flavours to one of the CBD’s buzziest corners.
• Crooked Tune is the best inner-west distillery you’ve never heard of. Devoted to American spirits, the speakeasy-style venue has space for just eight, and killer cocktails like spicy peach Margaritas and smooth Sazeracs.
• First Look: Belles Hot Chicken has landed in Bondi with all its classics – exceptional fried chicken in a myriad of ways – and boozy milkshakes in a fit-out that channels a 1960s American beachside diner.
• The Bathers’ Pavilion team is bringing a slice of la dolce vita to Balmoral with Eddy’s. The summer-long pop-up is open now, with fried calamari cones, Roman-style pizza and Aperol Spritzes aplenty.
• Babs is the approachable-yet-refined pop-up diner that brings a rotating daily-made pasta, a clarified Bloody Mary and a heap of community spirit to Enmore Road. One half of the team, Bec Shave, chats two-sip Martinis, careers in hospitality and what’s up next for the duo after they call last orders in December.
• An Adelaide bar has won a prestigious international design award this week. At the 2023 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, Best Bar Design went to Art Nouveau-inspired Luma, as well as the prize in the lighting category. Three Sydney bars – Koi, Hanasuki and Tsukiyo – won regional categories.
• This week on Around Town we have an on-the-ground account of the World’s 50 Best Bars award ceremony in Singapore last week, plus our thoughts on the winners. We chat about Khanaa, the new Bengali fine diner in Surry Hills, and Liveworks, the experimental 10-day art festival returning to Carriageworks for 2023. Plus, our picks of the new film releases most worthy of a watch.