Eat Local Dinner @ Wharf One

When you say the word “hump” a few things might spring to mind…but we bet a mouth-watering serve of beef isn’t one of them.

But, that’s exactly what was served up at Wharf One’s ‘Eat Local Dinner’ prepared by former MasterChef contestant, Lynton Tapp as part of the inaugural Territory Taste Festival last week.

The special four-course dinner with matching wines featured produce sourced locally (think fresh seafood like prawns, ah-mazing barramundi, mackerel, kangaroo, citrus flavours and damper) with Lynton basically serving up his idea of the Northern Territory on a plate.

And, having grown up on a remote cattle farm, the Territory chef made the bold choice of plating up Brahman Hump.

For the non-Territorians out there, Brahman cattle is often considered the poor cousin to the Angus steak you normally carve up at your fav restaurant but you might not know that this tasty cow is actually our main cattle exported overseas.

The Brahman is easily identified by it’s stand-out “hump” over the withers at the back of their necks. Apparently, it helps the animal survive in hot, arid conditions ie. the Northern Territory.

Now, we’re not going to lie.. there were a few raised eyebrows on our table after it was revealed the Brahman Hump was on the menu and yes, a few verses of the Black Eyed Peas were sung at various points during the night…

But, it was absolutely delicious! Everyone was genuinely surprised at how tender the meat was comparing it to pulled pork. The Hump was served with blackened cucumber and fermented chilli and was hands-down our fav dish of the night.

But enough about the food … what about the wine?!

As part of the dinner, the winemakers up from down south for the Territory Taste Festival talked about each wine presented, which as you can imagine involved a fair few LOL’s (these guys do drink for a living after all). Our fav drops were the Salome Tempranillo Rosé and the Woodstock Chardonnay.

Quote of the night went to the winemaker who said he “feels naked without a Chardonnay in his hand”…

All we can say to that is… Welcome to the Northern Territory. We’ve got no beef with that here.

 

Restaurant: Wharf One Food & Wine

Chef: Lynton Tapp

More information about the Territory Taste Festival here.

Territory Taste Festival

Good food, great wine, a mojito (or two) a beer garden and sunshine were the ingredients for a perfect weekend at the inaugural Territory Taste Festival at the Darwin Convention Centre.

The size of the Festival blew us away.. it was huge! And it was just as well as the place was packed with organisers saying the Fest attracted a crowd of 10,000 over the weekend.

It was a pretty hot so thank god most of the event was held indoors in the air conditioning. There were all kinds of food on offer from scones and jam to paella to loaded fries complete with jalapenos (mmmm loooooooooooooove jalapenos).

We were also fortunate to taste some incredible barramundi cooked up by legendary Australian Chef, Matt Moran, on the big screen at one of the Festival’s many live cooking demonstrations. Needless to say it was delish.

But, the highlight for us was the wine bar hosted by Liquor Down Under.

It was literally standing room only as Darwinites and visitors gathered around wine barrels to taste test drops hailing from wineries in Margaret River, the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. In true Darwin-style, strangers became friends and things got pretty chatty pretty fast.

A couple of the winemakers on hand remarked at their surprise at how popular the stand was as they were told Territorians were “beer drinkers”.

Well, if the Territory Taste Festival was anything to go by, the beer drinkers might have to move over.

These days it seems you’re more likely to find an Espresso Martini and a glass of red in our beer gardens.

Cheers to that.

High Tea at The Pearl

 

If you’re looking for a beautiful, elegant day out with your girlfriends look no further.

We were super excited to finally try The Pearl’s Champagne High Tea on the weekend and we weren’t disappointed.

It’s intimate. It’s classy.

And it comes with bottomless French champagne.

Have we got you’re attention yet?

After a first course of oysters followed by chicken liver parfait with cognac served with a French baguette and mini pickles, out comes the prettiest tiered platter of canapés and deserts we’ve ever seen.

Smoked rainbow trout rillettes, fresh figs with feta and honey, watermelon with black olive tapenade and feta and……..

Homemade truffles and marshmallows. **DROOOOOOL

At $99 a person it’s definitely a splurge for a girls day out but well worth it.

Did we mention the bottomless French champagne?

 

The Pearl Champagne High Tea

Saturdays 12-3:30pm

More details on The Pearl’s Facebook page here.

Darwin Cup

It’s a safe bet the Darwin Cup is always a great day out. And 2015 didn’t disappoint.

The day after ‘The Hangover Cruise’… it was a slow start… (see The Hangover Cruise post and pics to understand why…) But.. Darwin Cup weekend was always going to be a marathon not a sprint. And just like the thoroughbreds set to line up in the Cup, we called on all the endurance we could, to get past the post.

Once again, we were kindly hosted in the CUB marquee (aka major sponsors Carlton United Breweries) and the photo above was taken on a new feature of the marquee this year – the Sky Deck. What a view!

This year, outfit-wise I went with a skirt-top-combo as I think there is less chance of someone wearing the same outfit! Flashback 2013… arghhhhhhhhhh!

Fashion aside, as with all good Darwin Cups the day ended dancing with friends on the lawn as the sun set… the Cup long run and won.

‘Til next year.

Crown: Gina Marie Millinery

Sunglasses: Dior

Top: Binaca Spender

Skirt: Bianca Spender

Clutch: Mimco

The Hangover Cruise

The appropriately named, The Hangover Cruise was held on the Sunday of the Darwin Cup long weekend.

This meant that most cruise-goers were a) hungover from the Darwin Cup Gala Ball the night before, b) hungover from regular Saturday night festivities c) preparing to be hungover for the Darwin Cup the following day (which is a public holiday for the main race day of the year in Darwin) or d) just hanging out for some fun in the sun.

A new event on the Darwin social calendar this year, The Hangover Cruise was pure genius by the super-talented @PippatheTrader (aka Pippa who owns The Trader cafe in Winnellie).

The style set were mostly decked out in classic white and nautical theme with more than a few reflector sunnies.

Beats were provided by DJ Christian K and was a mix of classic chill and a decent dose of ol’ skool hip hop with an impromptu performance on the bongo drums from local lads, Jed and Julian. If you didn’t get your groove on the boat did it for you.

End result: everyone was swaying one way or another.

Additional pics: Instagram/@Pippathetrader

Skirt: Aje

Sunglasses: Dior

Every cloud has a pink lining

The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets always produce stunning sunsets.. but this one was something else.

An unusually dull, overcast and cool night for smack-bam in the middle of the Dry Season, here I was walking along the beach with my Po Pia feeling robbed. Yes, robbed.

You come to the markets to see a sunset and it looked like we were going to get nada (see second “before” picture above to get my drift.. a lot of grey, right?).

Then, out of no where, this crazee neon pink glow starts to creep out from the beneath the grey clouds on the horizon producing the weirdest sunset I have ever seen in my life.

@Australia on Insta shared the pic and it got more than 70,000 likes! Which is quite a shock as it was one of my more dodgy pics taken hurriedly on my i phone.

So, dinner didn’t turn out so bad after all and it seems every cloud does have a silver lining – it just showed up pink in this case.

Adelaide River Races

Confession: Despite being Darwin-born and bred we had never been to the Adelaide River Races until this year.

Crazy huh? It is after-all an iconic event on the Top End calendar and everyone raves about it.

So, this year we decided to see what all the fuss was about and also to celebrate a 30th birthday.

We got together a big group, hired a mini bus then paid off a friend to be our sober driver (we’d heard camping gets a little cray cray so we wanted to head back into town for the night).

So, what was the verdict?

It’s quite hard to describe but it is quite literally like nothing you have ever experienced. It is extremely relaxed and laid-back – even more than the Darwin Cup and that’s saying something! But, unlike the Darwin Cup, we had no problem finding seats and tables and there was plenty of shade.

The vibes are very, very casual and the ‘cowboy-look’ seemed to be the dress code of the day. Possibly because actually cowboys attend…

Hence, for outfit deets.. trusty black ankle boots and a wide brimmed Lack of Color Spencer Boater (rather than a fascinator) were the go.

While the day is a fairly chilled affair after the sun goes down it’s a different story. This is when the band comes on and things get wild. Think: a country and western hoedown, but with Top 40 music and way more fun!

So our verdict is yes- the Adelaide River Races lives up to its reputation as a truly unique event – one you just have to see for yourself.

More info on the Adelaide River Races here.

Crop Top: Dion Lee, from Green with Envy

Skirt: Veronika Maine

Hat: Lack of Color

Sunday Sesh @ Taste Festival

The perfect Sunday Sesh was had by approx. half of Darwin at the annual Taste Food & Wine Festival at SKYCITY Casino on the May Day long weekend.

We always love going to the Taste Fest each year – the Casino lawns are one of the most beautiful locations in Darwin with ocean-views and front row sunset seats.

Speaking of seats… it was pretty hard to get some it was that busy.

Loved the live band which turned into DJ chilled beats… perfect with Vodka, cranberry and lime cocktails and jugs of Pimms (the Pimms was so popular it sold out at around 7pm…!)

Definitely one of the major highlights on Darwin’s social calendar.

We’ll be back next year.

 

Ciao Bella!

Ciao! This year’s Italian Festival was bellissimo! And double the size!

Held every two years and organised by Darwin’s Italian Association, this year’s event was moved to Civic Park to cater for bigger crowds (and avoid last year’s situ of running out of food…).

New location, bigger and better… it was a lovely afternoon sitting under the trees enjoying good company, good food and good (Italiano) vibes.

This year they even had a replica Trevi Fountain! Super cool.

All the usual Italian suspects were there food-wise: pasta, wood fired pizza, seafood, antipasto, panini and more. We had pasta and Italian sausage (Salsiccia) in sourdough by The Trader, which was delish! Love the The Trader gals, they can do no wrong.

It was great to see Civic Park turned into a sea of red, white and green and we’ve no doubt the party continued well into the night.

Grazie!

Fairy Floss Sky

The Dry Season has already delivered some killer sunsets and we’re only a week in.

This fairy floss-like delight lit up the sky recently with sweeping puffs of pure amazing-ness.

The photo in the middle we called: ‘The Ripple Effect’.

It was taken at our fav sunset-snapping spot at East Point… the colour ripple across the sky reflected in the water below to create an eerie mirror image you just gotta love.

Enjoy.