Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's eve solution: Jungle Fever @ Tonic Lounge

Every year (end) the "the what am I going to do for new year's that isn't lame and overrated" conundrum never fails to annoy me.

The last couple of years I've been overseas so I haven't really had to think too hard, the sheer fact that I was in London (08/09) and in Beijing (09/10) was exciting enough.

But this year I am back in Sydney and the thought of struggling to get a good vantage point for fireworks and then the crazy lines and exorbitant entry fees to some wanky clubs isn't exactly my idea of a great way to greet 2011.

What I wanted for New Year's Eve, was to party with friends and like minded peeps, have yummy cocktails, dance the night away to some great music and possibly wear an Afro wig.

So the solution? Throw a party with mates, have some excellent tunes at the funky Tonic Lounge, and call it Jungle Fever. (Yes I loved the movie)

The Tonic Lounge is such a sexy little venue, one of Sydney's original small bars. I have had so many great nights in that terrace listening to some of Sydney's finest musos that it made sense that Jungle Fever should be there.

Great venue, check, delish cocktails double check.  

Next on the list was secure girl crushes and hot Sydney band ALPHAMAMA to play tunes- lucky for us they agreed and suddenly Jungle Fever is not only alive but so so exciting.

ALPHAMAMA- Sydney's funkiest band

So if you're still at a loss to what to do for NYE, come down to Tonic, Afro or no Afro, for Jungle Fever. Great tunes, cool cats, yummy cocktails and a strict no wanker policy- its going to be great night.

Jungle Fever Featuring ALPHAMAMA
62-64 Kellet St
Kings Cross
$50 at the door

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rochester Ginger- Ginger beer for grown ups

When the Chief and I headed to Master Chef Live a few weeks back all we did was eat.

What else were we going to do right? There was food everywhere and I certainly can put it away when it comes to free food.

We also spent a whole stack of cash on things to take home and try later- we both get very excited at food stands and buy stuff that we wouldn't usually do in real life (flavoured salt and kilos of beef jerky are recent examples)

But something I tried and loved and now I am obsessed with is Rochester Ginger.

By the time we got to the Rochester stand, we'd pretty much eaten ourselves sick and I wasn't really keen to taste any more- and a ginger drink that promises to be like "A kick from two angry mules" didn't really grab me at first.

Couldn't find a pic of two angry mules but did find this cute one instead

But as it was free, I couldn't resist and I was literally gobsmacked by it.

I was shocked its really spicy and kind of burns (in a good way) Rochester is made from a recipe dating back to 1870 and contains 14% raw ginger root, crushed with elderflower, cowslip and raisins. Yep its non alcoholic, although it tastes like it could be.

I've gone through two bottles in two weeks and I am on my way to purchase more. Its a shame that it isn't available widely, if you want to try some for yourself click here for a list of stockists- it very very yummy in a very grown up way.

Rochester Ginger
Around $23 Retail
Available in selected delis and health food stores 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heartbreaker: A delicious french comedy

I love all things French- although in summer time I do think Paris can smell a lot like pee but other than that I adore it all.

I actually prefer French films over Hollywood ones, the humour, drama and romance is always amped up to the max, but some how never too crass or camp impressively.

And director Pascal Chaumeil's film Heartbreaker or L'arnacoeur certainly delivers on the romance, comedy and gorgeous French eye candy.

Heartbreaker, stars Mrs Johnny Depp, Vanessa Duris as Julliette, an independent and soon the be married wealthy heiress. Duris, as Alex, a smarmy ladies man and professional relationship wrecker sent to break up Julliette's engagement.

The film is like a delicious French meal, indulgent, beautifully presented and in some parts a little too sweet.

From Morocco to Monaco the scenery is as beautiful as the two leads. Besides all the visual stimulation there are some great comedic moments punctuated by 80's classics WHAM! and Dirty Dancing.

The supporting cast in brilliant as well and will have you smirking and giggling at some of the brilliant and cheeky moments and by the end of it you will be able to recite Alex's break up monologue word for word in French and English.
Brilliant fun and possibly useful if you need to dump someone soon.

See Heartbreaker from December 26 at:
Cremorne Orpheum
Palace Verona
Palace Norton
Hoyts Cinema Paris

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Sydney Kings: A reintroduction to a good time (and basketball)

When I was little, my parents decided that out of all the sports I could play as an uncoordinated, short, clumsy and short sighted seven year old, basketball would be the one for me.

I was terrible, I couldn't catch the ball, I couldn't dribble, I certainly couldn't shoot a basket and I was really really scared. (Um the ball is hard and it hurts when it hits you in the face by the way)

But what I did love about basket ball was the Sydney Kings, actually let me get specific, what I loved about the Sydney Kings was Steve Carfino.

The Sydney Kings (with Steve) came to my basket ball club once and I proceeded to snot cry uncontrollably at him.

Steve Carfino around 1989- what a dream boat!

Chubby little me, with piggy tails and all couldn't believe my luck when dreamy Steve picked me up and paid some attention to me. Thus, making that day the highlight of my seven years on earth.(I also met the cast of Home and Away at Australia's wonderland too- huge year for seven year old Amy)

I had forgotten that memory until recently when the Chief and were lucky enough to be invited to a Sydney Kings game and better still got to rectify my snot cry meeting with Steve "dream boat" Carfino.

It had been many years since I'd played or even watched basketball- possibly the last basketball related thing I had got excited about was Space Jam- but heading into the Entertainment Centre or the King Dome to the sound of an excited stadium (and Rodney O's familiar baritones) my heart started thumping.

Obviously, scoring VIP tickets to the floor seats, or rather the Jack Nicholson seats, where you're actually on the court so close to the game the players sweat on you was an amazing bonus.

The only slight downside was I was sat next to Miss Universe Australia and the X Factor kids, watching mammoth athletes do their thing, so I did spend the majority of the game feeling slightly inadequate. (and wishing that I had put on some mascara )

The rest of the game however, was spent cheering and hollering for The Kings, watching the King's Lion mascot charm the crowd, hearing Rodney O hype the stadium and spying on boys who were sneakily doing a David Beckham and ogling the Kings Cheer leaders.

And I did get my second chance to impress Steve or rather not cry on him at least. And yep, he is still dreamy, the Chief chided afterwards that I was all red and flustered talking to him guaffing like a seven year old- oh well.

It was a great night and a huge sensory overload, it was so good to see the Kings back and at home in Sydney. Although the boys aren't at the pointy end of the table just yet, we are still the only NBL team that have won three consecutive NBL championships and it won't be long until we're back on top.

So get behind our team and check out a home game (you never know you might even get to rub shoulders with the Sydney who's who or at least the Sydney Lion)

The Sydney Kings

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Edible cocktails at the Zeta Bar: The cure for a bad day

I know its been a bad day for Ms Mash when she starts a phone call like this:

"Babe! f*#k f*#k f*#kity f*#k!"


"I need a drink and possibly some food."

(unfortunately for Ms Mash she came through to my reception first so the call for me actually went like this:)


"Um Ames, your cousin Jane is on the phone."


"Oh dear. Put her through."

Ms Mash:

"Oh my f*#king god! I just swore at your f*#king receptionist and then told her I was your bleeding cousin, do you even have cousins? Shit!- I hope I don't get you fired babe. F*#K!" 

So yes it was a bad day for Ms Mash and I knew just the remedy:

Booze: Check

Food:  Check

Edible Booze: Check Check Check

Where: Zeta Bar
Trio of Edible Classics $15
L-R Deconstructed Mojito, Long Island Ice Tea Wine Gum, Pina Colada sorbet
(image from The Australian)
The Zeta Bar is renowned for its extensive and awarded cocktail menu. I myself have been a big fan of Zeta for a long time and my love affair continues now that I've discovered the Trio of Edible Classics.

What a great drink/ snack/adult lolly selection/bad mood remedy it is, the trio consists of:

1. Deconstructed Mojito
(image from Ms Mash's phone)

2. Long Island Ice Tea Wine Gum
Looks like a sour coke bottle tastes like a strong long Island Ice tea- Yum! This one is my favourite.

3.Pina Colada Sorbet
Ms Mash's favourite, this creamy coco-nutty sorbet is delicious.

The only little teeny tiny problem with the trio is that you forget that you are consuming alcohol and after a few rounds there could be a little confusion on why you're feeling so tipsy. (Don't judge me)
If edible cocktails aren't your thing the Zeta has an extensive and impressive menu for you to choose from, check out a sample here

What I can guarantee is this, if you're having a bad day like Ms Mash was, the edible cocktails can certainly illicit some sort of reaction to jolt you right out of your mood:- "Oooh is it ice cream or is it proper naughty- get me another round?" as an example.

Zeta Bar (at the Hilton)

Level 4, 488 George Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9265 6070
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