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Jordi Kretchmer

Jordi Kretchmer

Articles (54)

The best ramen in Sydney

The best ramen in Sydney

Ramen, more than any other soup, will divide people. Are you after an opaque tonkotsu or a brighter chicken shoyu broth? Firm hand-cut noodles or soft squiggly noodles? Do you add in some intense black garlic or keep it simple? Would you like your chasu extra fatty or thinly sliced and lean? Each ramen house will have its own distinctive broth, but toppings (mushrooms, eggs, seaweed, bamboo and corn) and seasonings (soy, miso, salt) let you cater to your own tastes. Need a winter challenge? Find your favourite ramen in Sydney the old fashioned way – try them all. We did, and regret nothing except that we now need to buy bigger jeans. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Sydney right now

Where to find dog-friendly pubs and bars in Sydney

Where to find dog-friendly pubs and bars in Sydney

Nothing says 'who's a good boy' quite like a lush beer garden and a big silver bowlful of water. So, to treat yourself and your pooch, we've compiled a list of the most dog-friendly pubs in Sydney. Bonus points: even if you don't own a hound, you're likely to run into a few of them at these joints. So if you're desperate for a bit of canine bonding, here's where to come to play with other people's pets.  Want more? Here's our guide to Sydney's best dog-friendly beaches.

The 19 best things to do in Bali

The 19 best things to do in Bali

What are the very best things to do in Bali? We’ve put in the hard yards to narrow the list down to a concise number, sweating our way through hours and hours to provide you with the best of the best in this magical place. What, lazing about on the island’s beaches doesn’t count as hard work? We’ll agree to disagree there. Bali is one of the world’s great tropical hideaways, one that manages to be an adventurer seeker’s paradise and spiritual sanctuary all at once, a destination that appeals to families as much as it does young hedonists. Bali is beautiful, that much is true, and the best things here are more than willing to embrace that beauty while keeping adrenaline junkies and culture vultures more than happy.  Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

The ultimate guide to Sydney's Royal National Park

The ultimate guide to Sydney's Royal National Park

Sydney's Royal National Park is less than an hour's drive from the CBD, yet so many Sydneysiders haven't stepped foot in the pristine 15,091 hectares of bushland that lines the coast south of Sydney. Whether you want to swim, trek, picnic, swim, bike ride, swim or just GTFO of Sydney for the day, the Royal National Park will provide an outdoors, adventure-filled day out. For details on where to find parking and what facilities are currently open, please visit the NSW National Parks website. RECOMMENDED: Check out these other beautiful national parks within 100km of the city.

The best costume shops in Sydney

The best costume shops in Sydney

With Sydney opening back up on October 11, the city's best costumiers are geared up to get you all ghouled up for spooky season. Yep, small gatherings and house parties with up to 20 people will be allowed just in time for Halloween! Whether you want to swing back into the ’20s in a bedazzled frock, rock some '80s fluro vibes, or scare the bejesus out of your mates with a gory mask, these local costume experts will make sure you’re dressed to the nines. But if you're looking for regular fabulous daywear rather than something fearful, head to the best antique stores or best op shops in Sydney. Not sure about the rules? We've covered the state's three-phase plan to exit the pandemic over here.

The best delis in Sydney

The best delis in Sydney

If the mark of a good fruit and veg shop is just-picked freshness, then the surest sign of an excellent deli is almost the opposite. These places are all about preserving, salting, brining, pickling, fermenting, curing and drying some of nature’s most interesting offerings, and celebrating the world’s most complex and compelling flavours. That means funky blue cheeses, slices of fatty porchetta, briny green olives, bobbing blobs of burrata, rich oils and astringent vinegars, along with everything else you never knew you needed.  Delis preserve more than just food – they’re cultural snapshots, community hubs and flag bearers for age-old traditions. They’re also just darn good places to pop in for a look around, for grabbing a bargain continental sandwich, or to assemble a winning snack platter. With picnics taking over as the new summer festival, you're going to want your snack game to be on point and made-to-travel deli goods are front and centre of Sydney's food/park scene. We've rounded up some of the town's absolute best delicatessens for your snacking pleasure.   Looking for more picnic inspiration? These are the best picnic hampers available in Sydney right now. Need something to keep you occupied this week? Check out our favourite things to do in Sydney.  

The best outdoor gyms in Sydney

The best outdoor gyms in Sydney

Many people are asking: "Are gyms open?" Indoor facilities are shuttered across Greater Sydney, but unlike during the city's first lockdown in 2020, when outdoor gyms were off-limits, the City of Sydney has announced that public playgrounds and outdoor fitness areas will remain open during the current lockdown: "We're cleaning these facilities regularly. We recommend you wash your hands and wipe down the equipment before and after you use it. Stay 1.5 away from others at all times, practice good hygiene and don't train or use the equipment if you have any symptoms." Outdoor fitness groups in Greater Sydney are limited to a maximum of 10 people who must all be wearing a mask. Want more outdoors fitness options? Get a run in along one of Sydney's most scenic running trails.

The best sandwiches in Sydney

The best sandwiches in Sydney

Sandwiches? Well, they're the best thing to come out of slicing bread. The criteria is pretty simple: very good things in between two very good slices of well-sliced bread. No burgers, bagels, buns or scrolls. No half-hearted strings of romaine here, no siree. We also bypassed toasties (because that’s a whole other list) and bánh mì (they’re a league of their own). Here are the 12 best sandwiches (nothing more, nothing less) in Sydney. Want more cheap eats? We've picked out 45 snacks around the city under $10.

The best things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

The best things to do in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Escape the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and journey to the country's red centre, where the skies are clear, the stars are out and the landscapes are spectacular. Whether you're looking to learn more about our Indigenous ancestors, spot some native flora or explore the depths of the outback, you'll be able to do all that and more in this corner of the Northern Territory.  Looking for more getaway ideas? Have a read of our guides to Adelaide and Launceston. 

The best places to go kayaking in Sydney

The best places to go kayaking in Sydney

Now that we're allowed out again, we can't wait to explore the city from every angle. One you may not have tried yet? Out on our city's gorgeous, blue waters, from a kayak. Sydney's got plenty of places to hit the water, from deep gorges and dense bushland to sandy beaches and wandering creeks – you're spoiled for choice. If you're anything less than a seasoned expert, we recommend booking a guided tour to see get the most out of the sights on your journey – but also so you're aware of the safety precautions you need to be taking. If you are going it alone, why not hire a kayak and venture out to Sydney's harbour islands or wander down the Hawkesbury and Nepean Rivers. Otherwise, turn a kayaking trip into a weekend with our guide to the best campsites near Sydney. RECOMMENDED: Go out safely by following Sydney's social distancing rules. 

The best regional Chinese food in Sydney

The best regional Chinese food in Sydney

For a long time, “Chinese food” in Australia didn’t venture far beyond shiny fried noodles, sticky char siu pork and dumplings, dumplings, dumplings. Delicious as they are, reducing the wildly varyied cuisine eaten by 1.3 billion people from 56 ethnicities to a few usual suspects was selling us all short. Fortunately, lately we've seen an exponential boom in the depth and diversity of what’s available, with myriad options for both cheap eats and sprawling banquet feasts now on the table. Cumin-dusted lamb skewers from Xinjiang, dazzlingly spicy hot pots from Sichuan, and steamy breakfast baos from Tianjin – here's how you can eat your way around China (and neighbouring Taiwan) with nothing but a loaded Opal card. If your tastebuds need a change of region, why not try Sydney's best Malaysian restaurants, or our best Korean fare? Or tick off something from the list of the 50 best restaurants in Sydney.

The best toasties in Sydney

The best toasties in Sydney

Nailing the comforting combo of two bread slices and hot, melted innards might seem easy, but success isn’t always a guarantee. We’ve searched the city far and wide for the pans and presses responsible for making the most delicious toasties – think creative fillings, quality bread, the ooziest cheeses, and good coffee to go along with ‘em. From Rockdale right through to Lane Cove, here’s where to find the best golden sangas in Sydney. Hungry for more handheld goodness? Scope out the best burgers and best sandwiches in Sydney, or if you prefer to ditch the bread, have at some of the city's best fried chicken. RECOMMENDED: The best Sunday sessions in Sydney.

Listings and reviews (57)

Northside Produce Markets

Northside Produce Markets

These North Sydney markets stake the claim for being Sydney’s longest continuously running produce market (we can’t verify it, but we won’t disagree) and the quality and range of the vendors makes this evident. Snaking through the seemingly small parklet on the northern CBD’s fringe, this bimonthly produce fair brings stallholders peddling orbs of creamy burrata, blood sausages, double-fist-sized heirloom tomatoes, salted caramel meringues, fresh egg pasta, free range eggs and soda bread. A seeming theme here is that many of the stallholders are also chefs, like Luca Ciano, whose jarred pasta sauces and Italian olive oil dressings are excellent Italian treats; or Martin Teplitzky, who will fry you up a golden croque madame, with Iggy’s bread and ham off the bone. This is a market where you go to invest in the good stuff – you’re paying a bit extra for the handcrafted goods, but a quick chat with the passionate stallholders (or better yet taste testers) will have you sold and walking out with a canvas bag packed full with produce and snacks for the week.  

Prince of York

Prince of York

4 out of 5 stars

Are you one of those folk who let the dust settle on their dancing shoes? Maybe the only time you’ve cut the rug since 2014 was when you were a little loose at a wedding reception, or in your mate’s lounge room to the beat of a blaring UE Boom. We’re not here to admonish you, but instead introduce you to the perfect party-transition bar to warm you up. Enter the Prince of York, in all its dancing glory. Calling it nothing more than a ‘party bar’ would be to overlook the slick plates they’re slinging, the extensive natural wine list, the solid service and the talented team behind it all: Paul Schulte (former Keystone Group creative director), Ed Loveday and Andy Emerson (of ACME and Bar BrosĂ©) and chef James Elliott among them. Get past the headset-sporting hostess at the door, and you’ll find yourself in a sprawling, low-lit warehouse of a space with metres of exposed brick and geometric prints that at first might seem a little disorienting. Take a lap, and you’ll figure out that upstairs is geared for eating and drinking, while the downstairs cellar and Pamela’s (more on that later) are engineered for late-night hijinks. One look at the inclusive mod oz menu lets you know this isn’t simply bar food. Start with a precursor for the long haul and order the Vanella Dairy burrata, where the perfectly gooey soft cheese is juxtaposed with fresh fig and black pepper.  While there’s lots of serviceable charcuterie, cheese and snackable seafood as well, we’re here for the spaghetti in

Coogee Wine Room

Coogee Wine Room

Venue openings in Coogee are pretty few and far between, so when a slick Mediterranean-leaning wine bar and restaurant opens, heads turn – and in this case, for good reason. Coogee Wine Room boasts talent both in the kitchen and on the floor, helmed by head chef Sandro Di Marino from Bondi favourite A Tavola, and venue manager Brooke Adey (formerly of Bea, Yellow and Chiswick).  The 400-strong label wine list navigates much of Europe and Australia, and the seaside location just up from the beach on Coogee Bay Road means you can drop in for a bone-dry rosĂ© or an elegant nebbiolo with sand between your toes before the sun goes down. Approachability is what they're going for here with around 25 offerings by the glass and carafe, and almost half the impressive list sits under the $100 mark. You can keep it classic with cheese and charcuterie if you're down for simple snacking in the front bar, or go hard and follow some freshly shucked rock oysters with pork cheek and cavolo nero sliders. Those keen for something a bit more substantial should head upstairs for an intimate date-night dinner from the menu of share plates that might include the likes of kingfish crudo or grilled octopus, or heftier dishes like ricotta ravioli, market fish with gazpacho or a hearty lamb rump. If you’re feeling indecisive, they’ll take the guesswork out and sling you five courses for $45 with the option to add on matched wine for $45 more. From ideas to conception, CWR's been about ten years in the ma

Eden

Eden

Plant-based eateries continue to pop up faster than wild parsley in a lush herb garden, and there are no complaints about that, especially in Bondi. Given the sunny 'burb’s health-conscious lifestyle, it makes sense that another wholly vegan eatery has appeared on its shores. Brought to life by Bondi locals – plant-eating podcaster Simon Hill, Conscious Feast founder Tanya Smart and head chef Claudia Pantoja (ex-Alibi) – the 80-seat restaurant specialises in a mix of produce-packed salads, bowls and bento boxes, as well as more playful renditions of popular snacks (popcorn cauliflower, salt-and-pepper “squyd”), fast-food favourites (burgers, hot dogs) and a line-up of dairy-free pizzas with housemade bases. The interior design brief is big on pale pink, tropical prints and plants in a retro, Beverly Hills Hotel kind of way, but grab a seat outside and you’ll find yourself in a courtyard strewn with fairy lights and giant white umbrellas. It’s a perfect spot, in other words, for a glass from the compact vegan-friendly wine list or one of the cocktails that combine organic booze with juices, housemade sodas, herbs and plenty of fruit.

Auvers Café

Auvers Café

After conquering Rhodes with an ambitious brekky menu, Auvers CafĂ© now has an outpost in Haymarket. The day-to-night cafĂ© offers French-inspired brekky fare with Japanese flavour profiles – think eggs benedict with ponzu hollandaise; smoked pulled pork, onsen eggs, pork floss and a toasted croissant; or a traditional omelette, with crab meat and bonito mayo. They're all about the sweet and savoury combos – French toast comes served with honey ricotta, caramelised bacon, yuzu grape jelly, pork floss and vanilla ice cream. Matcha enthusiasts can get their green tea hit via matcha glazed pancakes with raspberry sorbet, hojicha tea or matcha lattes. Inside you'll find a striking Gillie and Marc mural (the pair behind those dog's head/man's body bronze sculptures you'll have spotted across Sydney and the world), and the art-edged theme continues with cocktails named after Van Gogh. Bending the elbow isn't time sensitive here, with tipples being served from 10am into the evening. After dark, the cafĂ© switches to restaurant mode, plating up the likes of Japanese-style steak tartare served with soy cured egg yolks, confit duck with potato dauphine and a yuzu purĂ©e, and escargots with edamame, bonito and caviar. 

Calla

Calla

3 out of 5 stars

‘CrĂšme brĂ»lĂ©e’, ‘aerated goat’s cheese’ and ‘terrine’ are not words you’d typically expect to find on a breakfast menu – but why not add some culinary pizzazz to your morning? Chef Max Bean (formerly of Est and the Bridge Room) figures there's no reason not to, and to that end has opened Calla, jutting off the courtyard of John Street Square. It’s a welcome addition to Pyrmont’s relatively sparse cafĂ© scene, which up until now has been serviced mostly by Bar Zini and Clementine’s.  Inside, it feels low-key and easygoing, but still a little luxe. Morning light streams through the windows, and Winston Surfshirt provides the soundtrack. You’ll catch Bean in crisp chef whites in the open kitchen, channeling his fine-dining days, but the espresso machine, a hopper stuffed with Mecca beans and the tempting offer of caramelised white chocolate cookies will remind you that you are, in fact, in a cafĂ©. Interesting brekkies often set you back more than you’d want to shell out before 10am, but plates here cap at $23; it’s pedigree without the exxy price tag, which is a real win for locals. The humble zucchini slice gets a schmick makeover, with a garlicky crumble and sliced Swiss brown mushrooms atop, a swipe of avocado below and aerated goat’s cheese that really elevates it from lunchbox mainstay to something a little fancy. The effort is there, but it’s denser and more cakey than you might expect, and somehow the whole feels like less than the sum of the parts.  Opt for the salmon ter

Charlie's Deli

Charlie's Deli

This deli's got a Portuguese and Brazilian focus (which makes sense given Petersham’s expat community). To that end, you’ll find Brazo acai smoothie packs, maizena corn starch and Delicia pre-made cheese bread and chicken coxinhas – a killer croquette-like street food snack. There's Portuguese cheese, plenty of different hot sauces and piri piri oils, imported sardines, and striking stacks of bacalhau (whole salted and dried cod). And, like all good delis should, Charlie's lets you take your pick of meat and cheese and stuff it in a roll for a few bucks. Winning. 

Gourmet Life

Gourmet Life

Strictly speaking, this is less of a deli and more of a showroom for fine imported perishables – aka fancy, delicious things you don’t come across often in Sydney. Truffles and caviar are specialties, but it’s not just these boujee goods that makes this providore special. Browse and sample Piedmontese hazelnuts (a variety with a super fragrant, nutty-sweet flavour different from the ones you’ll find in Oz), Sicilian pistachio nut creams and herb-dusted almonds. You can drop $70 on a bottle of French olive oil or $97.50 on a jar of baby artichokes. There’s also a whole table devoted to Calabrian peppers, two long shelves to tinned fish, and a stellar selection of regional charcuterie from around the world. Cheese-wise, French varieties dominate, from PavĂ© d’Affinois to Crottin de Chavignol. The French theme continues with foie gras and fresh, wild (and very rare) chanterelle mushrooms. On Saturdays you can head in for fresh pasta making demos, which you can buy to take home, including truffle pasta in season. They follow truffle season around the world – June-August locally, imported white Italian truffles from September to November, and French black truffles for the remainder of the year. This black gold ends up on some of the plates of Sydney’s best restaurants, including Aria, Mr Wong, Ormeggio at the Spit and many more.

Babylon

Babylon

4 out of 5 stars

Dining on the rooftop of a Westfield may not be the most glamourous proposal – yet Babylon manages to transport you far away instantly and with such ease that you almost forget you’re dining above a mall. Hop on to the express escalator, then up again, and you’ll be greeted by one of the better looking rooftop bars we’ve come across in this city. Even on a cool night, the open-air digs feel summer-ready, and we predict this will be a popular happy hour haunt in warmer months. Babylon is huge. Beyond the small balcony bar, you’ll find the main bar, several private dining rooms, a bustling half-open kitchen and the restaurant itself sprawled out across 1,200 square metres (or four tennis courts) of space. That’s not a guarantee there will always be space for you – it’s a book-ahead sort of place – but the waiting game could be far worse than an al fresco seat with a spiced potato gozleme and a mezcal and baklava caramel cocktail to go with it. Back inside, it’s all dusty pink and burnt orange velvet, travertine archways, lots of marble, blushy and luxe gold finishes. Despite the vastness of it all and the opulent touches, the dining room manages to feel intimate. Head chef Arman Uz (formerly of Efendy in Balmain) does a solid job of jazzing up snacks inspired by the culinary traditions of Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria and Turkey. Given the confluence of cultures on the carte, you might assume it’d be easy to get a little lost in the menu, but they’ve given it some t

Paesanella

Paesanella

Serving the Haberfield community and beyond for just shy of 20 years, this small but mighty gourmet grocer is a celebration of the downright delicious. Manager Dorothy’s passion for quality foods is infectious. "Everything you see here we’ve tried and can 100 per cent back and say it’s excellent," she tells us. "We know and meet the producers and eat this food at home ourselves." Rather than endless aisles of chock-full shelves, it’s a tightly curated affair here. There is fresh pasta from Pasta Gallery (a longtime pasta maker based in Hornsby), a range of pasta sauces by chef Luca Ciano, stuffed olives from Marrickville and exceptional puff pastry by CarĂȘme (“It’s the only pre-made pastry that’s on par with making it yourself – they use real butter, not pastry butter,” Dorothy explains). You may recognise the range of vacuum-sealed deli meats up the back – it’s Paesenella’s own offshoot food service brand, which started here, and is now stocked in Harris Farm and other independent grocers. While the olives, oils, meats and everything in between are excellent, cheese here is the drawcard. Paesenella’s main factory is just over in Marrickville, where they make all their own cow and buffalo milk cheese. "Whatever they make at the factory in the morning, we get here in the afternoon," Dorothy says. Think still-warm ricotta, ultra creamy orbs of burrata and just-sweet mascarpone. If that's not a selling point, we're not sure what is. 

The Deli Erskineville

The Deli Erskineville

This sweet little shop is everything you could ever want in a local delicatessen. Owner Nick Vanos took over the deli in 2016, ditching the corporate life for a life of cheese and cured meat. His grandfather was a longtime owner of a much-loved deli in Darlinghurst, and Vanos says his pa played a big part in his decision to re-discover the family roots. You'll find Kangaroo Island free-range eggs, buttermilk ricotta, Spanish cold cuts from La Boqueria and Urban Beehive raw Sydney honey. If you’re feeling peckish, you can also wrap your hands about Organic Bread Bar sausage rolls, $8 sarnies and killer lasagne by the slice.

Russkis Deli

Russkis Deli

This Russian deli stocks fresh and frozen goods from Eastern Europe you won’t typically find on supermarket shelves. Stacks of Moscow pelmeni (Russian dumplings), pierogis, housemade borsch, blueberry blinis, Polish sausages, Hungarian speck and tins of Siberian caviar line the fridges. You’ll also find ready-to-heat-and-eat fresh khachapuri (Geogrian cheese bread), Russki’s meatballs and cabbage rolls. On the pantry side, stock up on pickled and preserved vegetables galore – more cabbage, gherkins, tomatoes, capsicums and beetroot.

News (141)

Brace for winter with the return of cheese fondue

Brace for winter with the return of cheese fondue

With winter comes the best possible excuse for comfort food, and Swissîtel Sydney in the CBD is here to warm the cockles of the city with the launch of their annual fondue experience that fulfils all of your melted cheese dreams. For $34 per person, you and a mate can get around a hot bowl of melted gruyere and Emmental (that's the holey cheese), served with bites of crusty bread, pickles, and cos salad with bacon, herb croutons and creamy parmesan dressing.  If you're feeling extra peckish you can add extras like meatballs, roast potatoes, steak, salami, vegetables or beer battered chips. You can also pimp your pot with extra fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, gorgonzola, or truffle. If you've got more of a sweet tooth, opt for the chocolate fondue, which is $25 per person. You'll get a whole pot of melted milk chocolate, served with marshmallows, pound cake, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, crushed peanuts and almond flakes.  Both fondue sets are available from May 30 until September 28 for groups of two or more, Thursday to Saturday from 6-9pm. This is definitely one that you need to book in advance. Want more warming meals? Here's our guide to the best dishes to eat this winter.

Where to score bargain cocktails during Negroni Week

Where to score bargain cocktails during Negroni Week

Orange peels and cocktail stirrers at the ready, because Negroni Week is just around the corner. The global celebration of the stirred down apĂ©ritif takes place from June 24-30, but a whole bunch of bars are getting a run-up to the week and offering cocktails celebrations already.  Want to know where to where you can get involved in the action? Right now over at the Rocks' Rosetta you can get around cut-price $10 Negronis from 4-7pm every weekday, and try rum, tequila, and bourbon variations. For extra good karma they're donating a dollar from each cocktail to OzHarvest. The QT Hotel's revamped Parlour Cucina will stir you down a Negroni for just 10 bones from 5-7pm every night, plus there's live music and complimentary antipasti. It's also right next door to the State Theatre, making it an ideal spot for a pre-Sydney Film Festival tipple Tuscan steak traditionalists Bistecca will host local artists, designers and illustrators doing live paintings inspired by the famous bitter-sweet cocktail from Jun 12-15. In Surry Hills, the Clock will serve a dedicated menu of Negronis and from Wednesday June 26 to Sunday June 30 – they'll transform the Whisky Room into a Negroni Room, pouring barrel-aged cocktails. Finally, Fratelli Fresh venues will have $10 Negronis for $7 during Negroni Week. Keep your eyes peeled for more bars slinging specials all throughout Negroni Week. Want more? Here's our guide to 39 cool things to do this winter. After more drinks? Here's our list of the 50 bes

Prahran Market now has a pop-up mortadella sandwich bar

Prahran Market now has a pop-up mortadella sandwich bar

Mortadella: it's a divisive sandwich meat for some, and for others it's a delicious, savoury snack that shines brightest stuffed into good bread, possibly with tomato sauce (don't @ us). The tasty cold cut now has its own pop-up sandwich bar on the deli arcade side of Prahran Market, by the folks from Q Le Baker. They are slicing and stuffing their own sourdough ciabatta with Gary’s Quality Meats mortadella, Pepe Saya butter and Q homemade pickles. Each sandwich is made on the spot for $12.  You'll find the sub-specific pop-up at Prahran Market on every weekend in May.  Photograph: Supplied Want more? Check out our guide to the 50 best restaurants in Melbourne or learn how to do Queen Victoria Market like a pro. 

Death Cab for Cutie’s biggest draw was nostalgia – but was it enough?

Death Cab for Cutie’s biggest draw was nostalgia – but was it enough?

It’s been over 20 years since Death Cab formed and around 12 years since they rose to the forefront of pop culture’s conscience by soundtracking some of the mid-’00’s biggest TV shows and movies. Luckily for fans, much of their back catalogue is still as emotive as the day it was released, and the Seattle band proved it across a 22-song setlist at the Opera House on Monday evening. While singer-songwriter Ben Gibbard impressed upon fans that this was a rock concert and we could stand, the Concert Hall’s seats made for the optimal spot to relax and take in moodier songs like ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’ and ‘We Looked Like Giants’. Other tracks, like ‘Title and Registration’, slapped harder when they blasted into your bedroom post break-up than it did on stage – but new tracks like ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Northern Lights’ translated beautifully live, replete with slide guitars, vocal harmonies and high piano chords. Brighter songs ‘Cath’ and ‘Crooked Teeth’ reminded us that even though Death Cab may get lumped in the indie-emo genre, they can make you smile too. A set highlight was a stirring rendition of ‘What Sarah Said’. When the song was released in 2005, a fair whack of the then-teenage audience probably hadn’t experienced the loss of many loved ones, but 12 years on and the song has new layer of meaning for many in the crowd. The restrained and emotional piece let Gibbard’s songwriting shine – detail-riddled, hyper-personal and narratively-driven, yet somehow universal. Americ

Taylor Swift sung up a storm at ANZ Stadium

Taylor Swift sung up a storm at ANZ Stadium

A huge down pour didn’t dampen spirits at ANZ Stadium on Friday November 2 with 70,000 odd fans filling out the (soon to be demolished) stadium for Taylor Swift’s huge Reputation tour. Here are seven memorable moments from the show... 1. Swift sung up a storm in a stormWhile there were giant animatronic snakes, lasers and billowing fire cannons, a huge summer storm made the already epic production even more dramatic. Some smudged mascara (she even ripped off her false lashes while singing) and a mop of wet hair didn’t stop Swift giving it her all, and if anything nature’s own show added to the evening. 2. The show’s own staging was pop production at its most epicThere was a grand water fountain, a tilting stage, glowing arm bands, a travelling snake-bone hoisted stage (really), Michael Jackson-inspired costume changes and mini intermission films. The cavalcade of extra bells and whistles added to Swift’s performance in every dimension. Photograph: Supplied 3. Taylor’s dancers are a force in their own rightSwift wasn’t quite blessed with the natural grooves of the pop princesses before her (à la Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera), but flanked by a 20-strong crew of energetic, talented dancers, she held her own. 4. There was a good mix of old and new material As the tour name says, this show was about her most recent album Reputation, but there were also excellent throwbacks chucked in for good measure. With an ever-growing back catalogue spanning her 15 year career, it

Add bottomless watermelon Sangria to your weekend lunch goals

Add bottomless watermelon Sangria to your weekend lunch goals

Summer is beginning to tease us with longer days, fragrant jasmine permeating the air and plenty of sunshine, and to welcome its arrival a Neutral Bay bar will be upsizing its summer drinking options. Firefly Bar and Dining is set to pour bottomless watermelon-infused Sangria so your weekends can be filled with endless glasses of fruity wine cocktail. All you need to do is book ahead for Firefly's five-course banquet, which will be accompanied by a two-hour Sangria-fuelled beverage package, all for $59. The banquet menu includes Firefly's zucchini fries; drunken chicken pancakes with coriander, bean sprouts, hoisin sauce and kewpie mayo; juniper cured ocean trout; baked pumpkin with salsa verde; and sous vide pork loin. You'll need to lock in a time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday between noon and 4pm, and you can have parties as small a two people, or as big as 122 people, making it a very well priced group outing. Also vegans and veggos can be catered for, making it a very inclusive affair.  Want more summer drinking spots? Check out our guide to the best rooftop bars in Sydney and the best waterfront bars in Sydney.   

This refreshed Bondi pub is serving half-price drinks for October

This refreshed Bondi pub is serving half-price drinks for October

After the success of June's Bottom's Up promotion – which saw all Merivale bars slash 49 per cent off drinks from 5-7pm – the group will be reintroducing the deal at the latest venue to undergo a (mini) Merivale makeover. The Royal Bondi will be slashing the cost of all of drinks from 5-7pm throughout the month of October. The Bondi Road corner pub was recently acquired by the hospitality juggernaut, but rather than gutting and re-doing it entirely, they've kept some of the venue's scuzzy charm that's kept locals rolling in since 1907. To this end there's retro maroon patterned carpets, communal pool tables and band posters splayed across the walls.  Photograph: Supplied The Merivale edge comes into effect via the drinks – the list has been refreshed, complete with Daiquiris, Boilermakers, bottled Negronis and Espresso Martinis on tap. There's even a vending machine packed with cold tins. Wine wise, they are focusing on Australian producers doing rosĂ©s and low intervention wines. All these drinks will be 49 per cent off from 5-7pm every day throughout October, making it the perfect place to pop in after a long day at the beach, or stop off to avoid the sunset squeeze on the buses leaving the beachside burb. Want more well priced drinks? Check out our guide to the best happy hours in Sydney.  

The nine most Instagrammable dishes in Sydney right now

The nine most Instagrammable dishes in Sydney right now

Your food choices shouldn't really be dictated by aesthetics alone, but sometimes photogenic and delicious go hand in hand. We've weeded out the average glazed donuts, OTT stacked burgers and monster Franken-foods to devise this list of the best dishes that'll have your 'gramming game up to scratch, without forgoing taste. 1. Hot pots at Spice WorldWhile you’d think a pastel coloured acai bowl would take out the top spot, it’s this truly quirky but ultimately delicious Haymarket hot pot spot that has us furiously snapping. A meat dressed Barbie! Hello Kitty stock cubes! Robot waiters! A sauce buffet! The story inspiration is endless here. Photograph: Anna Kucera 2. The Muffaletta Sandwich at A1 CanteenEver seen the cross section of a sandwich look so damn good it deserves its own annotated diagram? That’s how they do this dense deli meat stuffed sanga at Clayton Wells’ day-to-night eatery in Chippo. Photograph: Anna Kucera 3. SoufflĂ© pancakes at Edition HaymarketWhipped to within an inch of their life, risen in the oven like a phoenix and served with a vanilla and white chocolate ganache and strawberries; this outrageously wobbling dessert channels Tokyo vibes in the centre of Haymarket. Photograph: Anna Kucera 4. Croissants from Rollers BakehouseBehind the pastel pink wall on Rialto Lane you'll find a selection of flaky pastries that are destined for the ‘gram. From 'sushi' croissants (that's seaweed imbued pastry with salmon in the centre, topped with black and white

Devon is doing fried chicken and instant noodle sandwiches in October

Devon is doing fried chicken and instant noodle sandwiches in October

Indomie mie goreng – the noodles that got you through university, from pay day to pay day, and through your worst hangovers – are doing a special mini menu collaboration with the Devon CafĂ©s. All Devon sites (Barangaroo, North Sydney and the OG in Surry Hills) will be launching this instant noodle-inspired menu for one month.  This means that for the month of October you can get an Indo Sando, which takes white, crustless bread and loads it with Indomie noodles, turmeric fried chicken, sambal, a fried egg, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, ABC hot sauce, fried onions and a sweet soy glaze. How will two simple slices of high GI hold so much flavour? It's anyone's guess. If you're after something sweet, we dare you to try the banana split, replete with crunchy fried noodles, banana fritters, coconut ice cream, glutinous rice, crushed peanuts and palm seeds, which is then topped with a sweet strawberry coulis, gula jawa (that's palm sugar) and a pandan lime syrup.  You can get your noodle fix throughout October from Devon CafĂ© in North Sydney, Surry Hills and Barangaroo. After more bargain snacks? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats or the best fried chicken in Sydney. 

Butter is doing a veggo ramen

Butter is doing a veggo ramen

Surry Hills' Butter sets Sydney into a frenzy when they introduce fried chicken ramen to the menu during the colder months. Now vegetarians can get in on the hot soupy action, with the restaurant flipping their ramen offering to a plant-based bowl for just one more week. The thick paitan-style ramen takes six hours to cook, using a kombu stock and infusing it with charred veggies and chickpeas. It is then seasoned with cashews, shio koji, fermented bean curd and preserved mustard. It also incorporates tare, a soup seasoning made from caramelises diced leek, carrot, onion, garlic, ginger and sweet green apple, with help from everyone's favourite flavour pals, soy, mirin and sake. To complement the soup base there's a fried field mushroom on top (which would fool any fried chicken fan on first glance), plus enoki mushrooms and a half marinated egg. Executive chef Julian Cincotta claimed 'It's as good as the fried chicken ramen', and we can verify that claim – it's excellent. The soup is super dense in flavour – but not too unctuous like a typical ramen broth – and there is a surprising hum of salty umami-ness that we can only liken to a roast chook. The noodles are dense and springy, and the fried mushroom could easily be mistaken for a strip of fried chicken (although we ended up ordering a box of that too – it's an indulgent but excellent combo).  Butter's vegetarian ramen is available until Sunday September 2 at both the Surry Hills and Parramatta kitchens, so get in before

Support Australian farmers by buying dinner

Support Australian farmers by buying dinner

Currently Australia is enduring one of the harshest droughts of the decade, with 2018 being the fourth-driest winter since the Bureau of Meteorology started taking records. The entirety of NSW is now officially listed as being in drought, and considering the state produces about 25 per cent of Australia's agricultural output, the drought's effects have reverberated across communities, and many farmers are struggling to feed their livestock. Here in Victoria, our northwestern regions are now in their 15th month of below-average rainfall.   So how can you help out? The good news is you can help while also feeding yourself. The Parma for a Farmer initiative cropped up in Melbourne and has spread right across the country, with venues donating a portion or all profits from the classic counter meal to the Buy a Bale initiative. Throughout August, a bunch of venues will be donating a $1 from every chicken parmigiana sold – so you can head into the likes of Auburn Hotel, the Provincial, College Lawn Hotel and the Crafty Squire for a feel-good feed. The Retail Savvy Group (which includes venues like Father’s Office, the Shaw Davey Slum and Asian Beer CafĂ©) will also be giving $1 towards farmer assistance for every parma sold. Over at the Flying Duck Hotel in Prahran you can try one of Time Out's best Melbourne parmas while also helping farmers, with $1 from every parma going towards drought relief efforts. In the north, Brunswick beer garden-cum-nightclub the Penny Black will be dona

The Fish Butchery is coming to Carriageworks

The Fish Butchery is coming to Carriageworks

One of the best ways to spend a Saturday morning in Sydney is by heading down to Carriageworks to check out an exhibition and then follow it up with a bite to eat (or take home) at the farmers' markets. Now the warehouse-dwelling fresh food and snack party will be upping the stakes with the addition of the Fish Butchery, starting from Saturday August 11.  The stall comes by the way of young gun Josh Niland, who's behind both the Paddington-based seafood monger and the excellent Saint Peter. Much like the Paddo-based shop, the market stall will sell fresh, sustainable seafood, take-home dinner packs and saucy condiments. Fill your basket with fillets of blue-eye trevalla from Shoalhaven; vacuum-sealed Mooloolaba albacore fish meatballs in a rich tomato sauce; or house made Yamba sardine fish sauce on any given Saturday. If you're hungry on-the-spot, you'll also find a rotating bevvy of hot snacks, including pink ling pies, fish sausage rolls and trout terrine. Niland's Fish Butchery joins the already excellent and ever-changing line-up at the markets, which includes Bar Pho, Single O, Billy Kwong and Two Good. Want more fresh food adventures? Check out our guide to the best markets in Sydney or Josh Niland's guide to buying seafood.