Future Classic and Le Coq Sportif present The Reissue Project

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Have you ever wanted to dress like a Flume remix? Future Classic have teamed up with Le Coq Sportif to make this dream a reality!

Future Classic is the Sydney based record label that has released countless modern classics from good folks like Touch Sensitive, Ta-ku and Seekae. Le Coq Sportif is a billion year old sportswear label from France. Both labels have collaborated in the past and released records and bags to put said records in. They’ve come together again for a new collection called The Reissue Project.

Future Classic have gone through their back catalogue and updated some forgotten classics with new remixes, and Le Coq Sportif have delved into their archives and picked six new designs to bring back, including a tracksuit, a bucket hat, a jacket and some tees.

The bright and sophisticated new range goes great with Future Classic’s overall sound. It’s a great match, like electronic music and well groomed facial hair.

REVIEW: Rupert & Ruby

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Since Kickstarter launched I have personally help crowdfund a book I haven’t read and an iPhone gaming accessory that I crammed into the back of a drawer with my least favourite socks after about 30 seconds of trying to make it work. Rupert & Ruby is a new cafe on Stanley St, and the first instance of crowdfunding that hasn’t made me seethe with regret.

Rupert & Ruby is the latest occupant of Icon Park, the space that use crowdfunding to finance new tenants, raising the necessary funds needed to open a new restaurant or bar space. The Rupert part comes from Bondi restaurant Fat Rupert’s, while the Ruby comes from Ruby’s BBQ, an American barbecue pop up named after the wife of the Fat Rupert’s head chef, Eli Challenger. Eli has a passion for barbecue and Southern cooking, and Rupert & Ruby is a cafe where almost everything on the menu has a little nod to the South.

There’s a smoker at Fat Rupert’s, and much of the menu at Rupert & Ruby utilises that cast iron flavour machine, with the smoked chicken salad and the smoked vegetable gratin both benefiting from a welcome hit of schmoke. Even the Big Poppa burger gets a little fire – the meat in the patty is a mixture of chuck and smoked brisket. It’s a completely different texture to what you’re used to in a burger – it may have been even better with a little more fat through the patty. You can easily make up for that lost fat after your meal with dessert – a maple cheesecake with chocolate bacon and popcorn – or even before your meal with breakfast, waffles with fried chicken and ice cream. You might want to crowdfund a bigger belt after eating here though.

REVIEW: Bowery Lane

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

Deep inside Suitsville, where parking costs $75 an hour and holding your phone in front of your date for the entire meal is totally ok, sits Bowery Lane, a sprawling, vaguely American complex comprised of a coffee counter, a takeaway sandwich nook, a bar and a restaurant, which is now open for dinner every night of the week.

The fit out is welcoming, long tables for larger groups and intimate booths perfect for dating couples or a romantic reviewer/photographer duo. The American inspired menu mostly lives up to the detailed descriptions, the enormous and meaty share plates definitely being the highlight overall, with a number of diners looking longingly at the neighbouring tables tucking into wagyu short rib or pork collar while they contemplate their soft shell crab burgers.

Bowery Lane’s forays into more trendy, “fun!” dishes is less successful, their decision to serve rare tuna on a tough brioche bun is confusing, although far less confusing than serving their best dessert, cookies and cream, in a jar and then on a huge plank of wood. If there was an award for the most 2014 presentation of food ever, we would have a winner.

Where Bowery Lane stays true to its name is behind the bar. There’s an impressive list of New York’s finest beers, from Brooklyn Lager to Sorachi Ace, both rarely found at any of Sydney’s Americana hotspots. All beers are served in a glass, not a jar, and without a plank of wood beneath them.


Originally published by Two Thousand in 2014

I tried baking my own bread once. As I ate it, a solid 400 hours after I started the recipe, I thought to myself “I will never try this again”. As much as I love home baked bread, I love the spare time that comes with not baking it myself infinitely more. This embarrassingly lazy philosophy applies tenfold when it comes to making my own pasta. I would sooner eat the thick dust layer which has accumulated on top of my never-used pasta maker than I would even consider opening its box.

Thankfully there are people in the world who are really doing their bit, making pastas of all shapes and sizes from scratch so that losers like you and me can live the luxurious life we don’t deserve. One of these good souls is Mitch Orr, who you’ll find in the kitchen at ACME, the newest restaurant on the last corner of Bayswater Road.

ACME is a joint venture, an acronym started by four friends (Andy, Cam, Mitch and Ed) who you’ve probably seen behind the bar, in the kitchen or serving you coffee at various restaurants and bars around Sydney. Mitch in particular has jumped from kitchen to kitchen since his days at Duke Bistro, honing his pasta skills during stints at 121 BC and Buzo, where his monthly pasta degustations became the stuff of stomach-aching legend.

Some of the dishes from those degs have made their way onto the ACME menu, which contains seven pasta mains, each using a different type of perfectly made pasta. Stand outs include linguine with black garlic and burnt chilli, which tastes like an homage to mi goreng, clearly the height of luxury that all noodle dishes should be compared to. Also fantastic is the rich goat, nduja and olive ragu with wholemeal bucatini, and the malloreddus, which makes up for how hard it is to pronounce by being paired with prawn and old bay seasoning.

Before you even get to the pasta, make sure you order a few pieces of rockmelon and prosciutto, which elevates a simple Italian staple by coating the rockmelon in a dehydrated prosciutto crumb. It sounds fancy, but you still eat it with your fingers, just like you do the baloney sandwich – a fresh baked potato roll stuffed with mortadella and a terrific relish – and what is probably the best dish on the whole menu, the asparagus with brown butter. Just try not to lick the plate once you run out of asparagus. At the other end of the menu are three desserts, one has bacon, another hazelnut and the final a nashi pear sorbet, covered in rosemary meringue and the perfect cleanser after a heavy meal.

The drinks menu keeps it simple too, a few beers and champagnes, a changing selection of well chosen local and imported wines and four cocktails, one sweet with yuzu and shiso, another heavy with mezcal and lemonade. Best is the refreshing celery with rye whiskey and soda.

Service is friendly and personal, open like the ACME space itself. You can see right in to the kitchen and watch Mitch check Instagram as you eat your meal. The fit out is simple and stylish, welcoming and clean.

ACME is the perfect place for those of us who can’t be bothered to make their own pasta from scratch. Unfortunately, for those of us who can’t even be bothered to go out, they don’t offer home delivery yet.

60 Bayswater Rd, Rushcutters Bay

Tues-Sat 5-10pm

How much
$12-$24 for a bowl of incredibly good pasta

02 8068 0932

Related links
Acme website

REVIEW: McClure’s Pickles

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

It’s a coming of age thing. When I was a kid the first thing I’d do after buying a Macca’s cheeseburger was take the pickle off and banish it to the furthest depths of the wrapper. As a teenager I worked out that if you put the pickle disc in the middle of the wrapper and then tugged at the edges it would shoot into the sky and get perfectly stuck to the ceiling. Now when I get a cheeseburger I’ll ask for extra pickles and then complain that there’s not enough of them on there.

If there is a hierarchy of pickles in 2015, McDonald’s thin circular efforts are pretty close to the bottom. At the top though? The king of modern day pickles has gotta be McClure’s. A few years ago they were just another infinitely better version of a thing that you could only get in fancy delis across America, but now the Brooklyn / Detroit based jars of greatness are pretty easy to find here.

These pickles are addictively crunchy, the kind of pickles that you can eat an entire jar of in one sitting without having just endured a painful breakup while living in a sharehouse with no job. The Sweet & Spicy pickles in particular are a quite life changing – the sweet smelling brine is alluring enough to convince even the lamest pickle sceptics to try one, who will then be rewarded with a mouth full of HOT HABANERO FIRE! Suck it, pickle sceptics! You’re the worst! Go order a McChicken!

Where McClure’s really shines is in their range of potato chips. The Garlic Dill Pickle flavour legitimately tastes like you’re eating a pickle with each chip – and if you go so far as to eat an actual pickle with your pickle flavoured chip it tastes like you’re eating TWO pickles with each chip! Science! For the ultimate pickle experience you can then dip your double pickled chip into a jar of McClure’s relish and wash the whole thing down with a bloody mary made with McClure’s considerably spicy bloody mary mix. Cheers to you and your now non-stop garlic vinegar breath. Who needs pashes when you got pickles?

How much
$17.95 a jar

Related links
See the full list of Australia retailers here

REVIEW: Redfern Continental

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

Menthol ciggies. Hours of brand new Joyride demoes. A paper bag half filled with mini cheeseburgers from Hungry Jacks. These were just a few of the great reasons to visit Dixie’s apartment, which up until a month ago was the hottest venue on Redfern St. A stone’s throw from Railz, Dixie would welcome all guests with a living room filled with mattresses and a PS3 filled with must-watch Don Bradman’s Cricket replays. It was the ultimate late night Redfern destination, until Redfern Continental opened up across the road.

The new venue from the team behind Arcadia Liquors boasts little in the way of cricket simulation gaming (not even Shane Warne Cricket ’99 gets a look in) but it has finally brought a decent schnitzel to the streets of Redfern, available in both the veal and chicken variety, the chicken being the juicier and therefore better of the two. The whole menu has an ‘Eastern Europe comes to Redfern’ vibe, where bratwursts with sauerkraut go hand in hand with a must-try lamb parpadelle.

You can see Dixie’s apartment from the street seating out the front and reminisce about the time that you bundled up his piles of unopened mail from the S.D.R.O. and threw them over his staircase – or you can head out the back of Redfern Continental for a drink in their awesome kind-of-secret cocktail bar. Dixie’s apartment may have a secret second bathroom that’s filled with cardboard boxes and without working lighting, but behind a plain door at Redfern Continental is a bar that drunker visitors may not even realise is there until their third or fourth visit. While the main restaurant is open, bright and busy – the bar out the back is dark, cool and has been described by writers who never went to Eastern Germany in the 1980’s as having a ‘1980’s Eastern German feel’.

I once got felt up by an Eastern German man in his 80’s at Dixie’s apartment, and while that never stopped me from coming back for many a kick-on at 4:30am on a Monday, Redfern Continental’s mix of weissbier and pasta might become my new Redfern St local.

180 Redfern St, Redfern

Mon-Sat 7:30am-12am, Sun 7:30am-10pm

How much
$20 for a schnitzel n sides

Things on sticks at the Easter Show

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

A typical interaction between my mother and I while at the Easter Show in the early 90s:

ME: Mum, can I please have a Dagwood Dog?
MUM: No.
ME: What about a Pluto Pup?
Mum: That’s the same thing!
ME: Well can I have one?
MUM: No!

Cue a young me crying into my sick new Coca-Cola tote showbag.

When you mention the Easter Show to me, two smells come to mind: the smell of ‘farm’ (a weird combination of hay and horse poo) and the smell of deep fried hot dogs on a stick. Both of those smells belonged to objects I had never tasted, the former I was fine with, but the latter was something I was desperate to eat for the first 15 years of my life. When I finally went to the Show sans parents, it was on. I ate a sticked hot dog from every stall I walked past and they tasted like sweet rebellion.

Hot dogs aren’t the only thing with a stick shoved up them at the Royal Easter Show in 2015. In fact, it’s simple to give yourself an on-stick-only degustation, complete with starters, mains, dessert and an amuse bouche of a toffee apple.

Here’s a small sample of the sticks on offer at this year’s Show:

Hot Dog on a Stick

Call it a Pluto Pup, a Dagwood Dog, a corn dog – if you were to eat one from every seller this year you’d have over 30 of them in your stomach plus two to three tapeworms. I choose to eat my sticked hot dogs from The Original Cheese on a Stick, who only serve dagwood dogs and cheese on a stick, deep frying them to order. Never get one from the spots with over 20 things on their menu, those dogs have been sitting soggily for a good 6 hours and even the longest re-dunk in the deep fryer won’t kill the ebola that’s been festering inside them.

Cheese on a Stick

It’s a scientific miracle! A long cylinder of battered cheese with a stick in its bum. The cheese is completely tasteless, so what you get is a stick of batter that tastes like all the hot dogs that’s it’s shared the oil with.

Chips on a Stick

One of the greatest things to happen to festival food in the last decade is also prominent at The Easter Show. A sprialled potato, lightly battered, deep fried and coated with a vaguely flavoured salt. Break a circle of potato off one by one or eat the whole thing like a corn on the cob.

Cake on a Stick

The newest stick to the Show is a deep fried ribbon of cake batter. It looks like shit and tastes like an unemployed doughnut.

Waffle on a Stick

Nothing special here. A long waffle, which is actually pretty easy to eat with your hands, is made slightly harder to eat by being stuck upon a stick. Some spots were selling these with some cool toppings though.

Waffle Dog

Instead of eating a delicious deep fried Dagwood Dog, these jerks decided to encase a frankfurt in a waffle stick. It’s only good if you get a fresh one! Otherwise you’ve got a floppy warm frank in a soggy shit cake.

Choc dipped banana

There’s always money in the banana stand.

Choc dipped strawberries

These lose points for not being deep fried in any way but they’re almost the Easter Show’s take on a salad so eat a few of these when your stomach starts to hurt. The sprinkles will make you feel better.

Oreo on a Stick

An Oreo, covered in chocolate, on a stick. The stick is as redundant as covering something that already tastes like chocolate with chocolate.

Nutella on a Stick

Surprisingly, this is not just a paddle pop stick that’s been dipped in a jar of Nutella, rather it’s a waffle filled with Nutella on a stick. Sold from the Italian spot that was playing a playlist of songs that they had found on YouTube by searching “Italian music”.

END VERDICT: These ten things on sticks went downhill after the Dagwood Dog. You could sample all that the sticked food world has to offer, or you could just eat ten Dagwood’s and puke in a Bertie Beetle Bag for just two extra bucks. Best Easter Show ever!

REVIEW: Subcontinental

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

Shortgrain, the bar space beneath Surry Hills’ Thai restaurant Longrain, shut its doors at the start of the year. Situated 90 seconds around the corner from the Two Thousand offices, we poured out a little liquor as we mourned not being able to buy the fried chicken wings / greens ten dollar lunch combo, then waited anxiously for the new restaurant to open inside the space.

First of all, the bad news, relevant only to cheap Two Thousand writers and their interns: the new restaurant doesn’t do lunch. They’re working on a takeaway dinner menu to launch later in the year. The good news? Pretty much everything else about Subcontinental, the new restaurant and bar beneath Longrain is good news!

While Shortgrain offered snackier versions of the Thai dishes served upstairs, Subcontinental changes it up pretty drastically with a South Central Asian menu, as the name suggests. While decent Indian food is hard to come by in the inner city, so too is decent (or any) Sri Lankan, Bengalese or Nepalese cuisine, and it all gets a look in on the Subcontinental menu.

The space hasn’t changed much, save for the portraits of smiling turbaned men which hang over each of the booths, watching you fuck up the pronunciation of half the dishes. The house made pappadums are great for snacking on as you sip on a G&T, something you’d never consider ordering before a round of curries, but after learning that there’s a different G&T on each night at Subcontinental, you get on board. Which begins a theme of realising what the restaurant is trying to do and just going with it.

The crisp Pani Puri aren’t quite as exciting as the ones you’ll find in Harris Park but, they’re probably the only ones you’ll find in the city. Filled with tamarind water at the table and eaten in one gulp. Ever seen buratta on an Indian menu before? You’ll see it on your plate with a light green sauce and herby orange salad and it’ll be gone before you even work out if it makes sense. If you order the pork belly curry expecting a soft brown mess, you’ll be surprised by an excellent piece of roast belly, complete with crackling, half-submerged in a dark and spicy broth. Order a Tandoori lamb cutlet and try your hardest not to pick the thing up and eat it with your hands.

While there’s a good deal of decadence on offer, it’s just as easy to keep things cheap and classic with a simple vege curry, a bowl of basmati and a chapati to eat it with. The addition of fresh, sweet pineapple to the raita makes it a must-order, and the biggest misstep on the menu (a beetroot pickle that tastes like little more than raw beetroot) is very easily remedied (there’s a classic mango & chilli pickle which is ten times better).

Subcontinental is a welcome addition to the series of Surry Hills streets that are forever half-closed due to road maintenance. It speaks volumes that the Longrain team were able to close and open an entirely new restaurant in about one tenth of the time that it’s taken the Sydney City Council to install a flowerbed.

8 Hunt St, Surry Hills

Tues-Sat, 5:30-10:30pm

How much
Mains from $24

REVIEW: Taj Indian Sweets & Restaurant

About ten years ago, at an Indian Home Diner, or some other similarly terrible franchise on Enmore Rd, you could get an off menu item called an ‘Indian kebab’. Thinking back, it probably wasn’t even on the off menu, but at 11:30pm one night I watched in horror as my drunk friend ordered the man behind the counter to make him an Indian kebab, forcing him to wrap two pieces of chicken tikka in naan bread and cover the whole thing in curry sauce. My friend then announced that this would cost him seven bucks and he inhaled his creation within 30 seconds of paying. For many years, this experience summed up Indian food in Australia for me.

Obviously, there are much better Indian food options than a drunken mistake in Sydney, hell, there were probably much better Indian food options on that takeaway store’s menu, but in Harris Park, there are streets filled with the best Indian food Sydney has to offer. The choice is like staring into a servo freezer, trying to decide which of the 50 Magnums you want. There are some 20 Indian restaurants in Harris Park, and they all look (and smell) pretty good.

My father-in-law took me to Taj’s Indian Sweets, right down the end of Wigram St, four years ago and since then I have trouble venturing inside any of the other restaurants around it. I’m sure they’re good too, but remember that year you first had a Magnum Ego and were then able to confidently select it again and again from the freezer in a heartbeat, free from the fomo that comes with not trying those colourful new ice creams? Taj’s Indian Sweets is my Magnum Ego.

Their name focuses on the sweets, which you can see lined up along on the counter as you enter. Those sweets are excellent, each one as different tasting as it is different looking and hard to remember the name of, but before you get to the sweets, you’ve gotta make your way through the actual menu. Taj’s is one of the few places in Sydney that serve puri – an amazing south Indian snack that comes in different variations (just like Magnums!). At Taj’s you can get pani puri; small crunchy balls filled with chickpeas, potatoes, chutneys and tamarind water, bhel puri; puffed rice with chickpeas, vegetables, tamarind and mint sauce and sev puri, crackers topped with all of those aforementioned ingredients. The pani puri are addictive and probably the highlight of the whole menu.

The curries at Taj’s aren’t amazing, best served in small amounts as part of a thali (which they offer a southern and northern variation of), or on the side of a dosa the size of your head. The food is fun, filling and great to eat with a big group. That huge menu ensures return visits to try it all as well – I’ve eaten at Taj’s at least twenty times and have only made my way through half of that wall of sweets.

91 Wigram St, Harris Park

Open 7 days, 10am-10pm

How much
A little more expensive then an Indian kebab

We review a bunch of ciders available at Newtown Hotel’s Cider Fair

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

A few weeks ago we published an article entitled ‘We review a bunch of gross craft beers‘ and felt the wrath of passionate craft beer fans from all over the country. We’ll be getting the review panel back together for our second round of craft beer reviewing in a week or two, but in the meantime, why not turn our attention to cider?

There’s a cider fair at The Newtown Hotel this Saturday where you’ll be able to sample 26 different ciders and meet the cider-makers, or as I like to call them, ‘apple murderers’. We were sent a small selection of the ciders on offer this weekend so Claire and I put our reviewing berets on and had a lil’ drinking sesh.

CIDER #1: Young Henry’s Cloudy Cider
What the label says: “Young Henry’s Cloudy Cider”.

Levins: Young Henry’s do everything well. Their lager is awesome, they make an ale you can drink more than two of and their cider might be the tastiest thing they make (although I haven’t eaten their soap yet). I could drink this for breakfast – it’s got just the right balance of sweetness and tartness and a slightly thick consistency. It’s nice out of this bottle but it’s so much better on tap. It gets bonus points for not having any waffly bullshit mission statement on their bottle, just the important stuff: the alcohol content and the amount you’ll get back if you take this bottle to a South Australian recycling depot (10c).

Claire: I don’t usually like cider, which I said before I sipped this but then I said ‘so yum!’ in a surprised tone. It’s cinnamon-y and not too sweet. Like a non-commercial apple pie with fizz. ‘Cloudy’ usually means thick and sediment heavy, but this was light and tangy (like my favourite chips).

CIDER #2: Willie Smith’s Organic Apple Cider
What the label says: “Four generations of the Smith Family experience goes into producing the very best tasting apples, hand-picked for this cider. Crafted & matured in oak to deliver a truly distinctive French farmhouse style, full of real cider character & flavour in the traditional method.”

Levins: This is refreshing, if a little perfume-y. It’s definitely sweeter than the Young Henry’s but not on the sickeningly sweet side.

Claire: Mmm, it’s sort of good. A bit musky and has kind of hand cream undertones. Sort of a bit too floral for my liking. I’m reviewing this like a perfume because it took my tastebuds to the David Jones cosmetic counters.

CIDER #3: Sidra Del Verano Apple, Blackcurrant & Cranberry Cider
What the label says: “Verano Apple, Blackcurrant & Cranberry Cider is deliciously fruity and best enjoyed over ice on long hot afternoons and summer evenings with good friends and family”.

Levins: While not as intensely sweet as the straight up cordial flavours of Rekoderlig, this tastes less like a cider and more like an alcoholic fruit fizz. When I was a kid my Mum used to buy these low sugar fizzy drinks with exotic flavours like ‘Apple & Ginger’ – this kind of reminds me of those but in a good way! I’d like to taste the their plain apple version.

Claire: Smells like Redskins! This tastes like when Schweppes released their range of exotically named gourmet sodas in the early 2000s. They were called ‘Agrum’ ‘Vista’ and ‘Plateau’ or something and had ingredients from far away lands like ‘blood orange’ and ‘lime’. So, basically this cider is a fancy soft drink. The cranberry flavour is prominent and it’s meshed with toffee apple tannins – is that a thing? Very sweet and very pink.

Newtown Hotel’s Cider Fair kicks off at midday this Saturday with 26 different ciders on offer plus coal roasted pig by the Animal restaurant and live performances by Brother Jimmy and Matt Boylan-Smith.