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Lifestyle : Pubs and Clubs 2012
1HERSA1 E017 AG4978519AA-170412 m 4143 is your local bistro and bar at Alexandria Creative Park Our funky factory space is a vibrant backdrop for social drinks, a hearty meal or functions We look forward to seeing you soon! Mon-Tue 10.30am-4.30pm Wed-Fri 10.30am-Late Sat 12.00pm-Late 2 Huntley St Alexandria Phone 02 9690 8400 www.99onyork.com.au 99 York St, SYDNEY 9290 1155 99 on York practices Responsible Services of Alcohol Beer Tasting Evening with the Beer Diva, Kirrily Waldhorn Come along for a beer tasting experience like no other... Taste boutique beers, ciders, gourmet snacks & experience the intriguing universe of beer. Everyone in attendance receives a gift. Wednesday 2 May 2012 5:30 - 6:30pm FREE for members | $10 per person at Zabou Bar & Lounge The Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, April 24, 2012 17 good living special report pubs & clubs A step up in class Changing tastes . . . gambas al ajillo (garlic prawns) and grilled chorizo at the Epping Club; (above right) chef Bikky Ahluwalia. Photos: Simon Alekna Chicken parmigiana is making way for more sophisticated fare, writes Sue Williams. A dozen fresh oysters served in mango with coriander, chilli and lime. Lamb noisette stuffed with truffle-infused mushrooms, rosemary roast potatoes, broccolini and roast garlic cream. And for dessert? How about a tiramisu ice-cream terrine with savoiardi and honeycomb? Sydney's clubs have come a long, long way from the standard steak and chips and a cheap Sunday roast. ''We now cater for a much more cosmopolitan clientele,'' says the marketing manager of the Epping Club, Melissa Gillooly. The executive chef at the club, Bikky Ahluwalia -- who used to cook for the Queen when she visited India -- has just introduced a new tapas and oyster bar. ''People's tastes are changing and we have to make sure we keep up with that,'' Gillooly says. At the club, there is also a fine- dining restaurant that serves a range of wagyu of varied marble scores and cuts; fresh seafood, often cooked Spanish style; a boulangerie and private dining room for up to 14 people. Itisatasteofthekindof sophisticated fare that many clubs now have on the menu. At the Fairfield RSL, where the Italian fine-dining restaurant La Tratt won last year's Restaurant & Catering national award for best restaurant in a pub, club or tavern, there is also a Vietnamese eatery, Pho@Fairfield. Started by acclaimed chefs Luke Nguyen and Nhut Huynh, it is now run by Van Nguyen. ''We're offering high-quality food in good surroundings, the equivalent to what you'd find in any good restaurant,'' the marketing manager of the Fairfield RSL, Paul McMahon, says. ''We're out to change forever the image of nasty, cheap club dining, where you can eat a lot for not much money.'' Further south, Campbelltown Catholic Club is another standout, with food underpinning the club's success. ''We've always had a big food culture; it's our biggest driver,'' the chief executive of the club, Michael Lavorato, says. The club has just started a promotion hinged on food, called Whose Kitchen Rules, in which the executive chefs compete with their signature dishes. There is a lobster mornay from Paul Rifkin of the casual Samba Cafe, a one-kilogram tomahawk aged wagyu steak from Loic Lemaitre of the fine-dining Infusion, and a giant steak ciabatta from Darren Neate of the golf course restaurant Fairview. ''We're very proud of our food offerings, from fine dining to budget family offerings,'' Lavorato says. ''And we like to have fun, too.'' In the city, Tattersalls Club Sydney has overhauled its dining options, moving from outsourcing food to making everything in-house. The club, which once offered fine-dining options only, has simplified the menu to include more casual, populist fare. ''Usage has almost doubled since,'' the secretary of the club, Des Mulcahy, says. At Abbotsford, the Sydney Rowing Club boasts the award-winning Dedes Restaurant. It is part of the Dedes Group, which also owns Flying Fish at Pyrmont and the Deckhouse at Woolwich. The signature dish at Dedes is the hot and cold seafood platter for two, which includes marinated octopus, baked barramundi and salt-and- pepper crayfish tail. There are plenty of options outside Sydney, too. The Tweed Heads Bowls Club supplies its restaurants from its own on-site butchery, bakery and brewery. ''They give us the chance to provide a different product to the other clubs,'' says the executive chef of the club, Brad Whittaker, who runs back-of-house restaurant tours that are booked out months in advance. ''I think everyone is now much more interested in food and they want to eat well.''
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