Monday, July 23, 2007


Type: White
Origin: Hunter Valley, NSW
Approx Cost: $18

I enjoy Bimbadgen’s wines for some reason. They’re never spectacular, but they’re solid for the price. Maybe it’s just my adoration for their Botrytis Semillon that causes it.

This one is quite nice. Very “alive” palate of mango, fruits from trees and grass. It’s quite refreshing and crisp and goes down well.

Lacks the depth of a quality wine, but not bad value at under $20.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

WINE: COLDSTREAM HILLS Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Type: Red
Origin: Yarra Valley, Victoria
Approx Cost: $25

This bottle sat around for fucking ages. Most of the wine I get is turned over pretty quickly, but this has sat idle in my box for two months, collecting dust. Probably because I’ve gone off Cab Savs lately, and I’m still angry at it because I wanted the Pinot Noir but they didn’t have it. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE PINOT?

But it’s all good, friends. Deep crimson purple. Nice dark, fruity aroma. Tasty palate of plums, blueberries, earth, dark chocolate and a tiny amount of oak and spice. Excellent length on the finish, the the berry flavours lingering for ages.

I think the RRP for this wine is around the $30, but it’s sold in a lot of places for under $20. At that price it’s awesome value. Coldstream Hills are a pretty steady producer, and this is no exception. My Cab Sav blues are cured.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Type: Japanese
Location: 347 Kent St, Sydney (enter via King St)
Booking Required: Rarely

With the obligatory miso soup out of the way, the was only one thing on our mind: THE SUPER COMBO ($60). The only combo that sounds better would be the AWESOME NUMBER ONE COMBO but they don’t appear to have this option at Akaneya, a mid-range Jap eatery between Town Hall and Darling Harbour.

But the super combo was a great way of sampling a lot of everything upon my first visit here. It comes loaded with sushi, sashimi, teriyaki chicken, chicken katsu and tempura stuff. You’d be a fool to order anything else! Intended for 2-3 people (closer to 3), Calypso and I powered through this, enjoying the nice tastes on offer.

The service wasn’t really there, but we didn’t need it. Our food was brought quickly and with a smile. They were right to leave us to our own devices and not bother us.

It might not be the most amazing value, but the food is definitely passable and a step above many other places. Nice décor too.

I was very unsure what to rate this, but I think I’ll settle on a…

RATING: Okay, may go back

Akaneya Japanese on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 07, 2007

RESTAURANT: Diethnes Greek Restaurant

Type: Greek
Location: 336 Pitt St, Sydney
Booking Required: Sometimes

With the amount of wine reviews lately you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’d given up on leaving the house, preferring to stay home and drink. Not quite.

I was stunned when Calypso suggested this place. Gobsmacked. We’re cursed when it comes to Greek food, you see. Every meal together at a Greek restaurant has been seriously flawed. I think we pissed off a Greek gypsy or something. Are there even Greek gypsies?

Anyway, we headed to this place with a couple of old acquaintences from way back in high school on a chilly Thursday evening for a bit of lamb and dip and bread and whatever it is that those Greeks make.

First thing that hit me was how shit the place looked. Really awful décor. Apparently the place has been going for 50 years. I don’t think it’s been done up since 1970, such was the feel of the place, that can only be described as “brown” and “faux wood”.

Getting past that, we order the banquet and hit up a nice bottle of shiraz. Off to a decent start with some nice stuffed vine leaves and tasty haloumi. The other starters were good but hardly great.

Another bottle of shiraz and we’re ready for the mains. Okay squid, nice octopus, homely moussaka and tasty but, again, homely, slow baked lamb. A pretty average dessert and a coffee round off the meal.

I really wanted to like this place. The staff seem really friendly and eager, the prices are very good, people seem to be enjoying themselves here and the food has a real homemade feel to it. But the décor and lack of spark in the food just didn’t do it for me.

RATING: Will probably not return to

Diethnes on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Type: Red
Origin: Coonawarra, SA
Approx Cost: $20

Coonawarra are doing quite well for themselves these days, with a lot of good labels producing great reds. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of them.

Some people may like the taste of stewed plums, but I do not. There’s a touch of pepper and oak in the background but it’s really nominal. Decent length on the finish, but it’s of stewed plums.

Not for me.