primal pantry Australia

A paleo cafe where you can have your cake and eat it too!

Primal Pantry has been on the radar of foodies and health advocates throughout Brisbane since its flagship store in Tenerife opened two years ago. It has successfully integrated a clean-eating, paleo-based lifestyle into a unique café and grocery store. It’s now so popular that two more cafes have opened up in Nundah and Toowoomba – proving that its trendy riverside location is only a small part of its success.

As the name suggests, the food at the Primal Pantry is 100% paleo, which means “all food is free of any gluten, grains, dairy, soy, refined sugar and preservatives”. It’s also vegetarian- and vegan-friendly. But according to its head chef, Tracy Hirst, most of the cafe’s clientele are everyday locals without food allergies or restrictions – they simply want a good, healthy meal.
That’s because this passionate and creative chef serves up everyday favourites with a primal twist – appealing to those who don’t necessarily follow a strict paleo lifestyle.

On the menu you can expect to find everything from hot cakes to burritos, slices and brownies. It’s one place where you truly can have your cake and eat it too!

If you just stumbled past this popular place and hadn’t heard (or tried) it yet, its funky setting would be enough to get you through the door. In fact, its natural and earthy vibe begins way before you even look at the menu thanks to the timber tables and faux green grass. Whether you’re looking for a takeaway lunch or place to meet friends, its over-the-counter service means it’s quick, easy and perfect to split bills.

Finally, those who have already converted to the paleo way of life will love being able to pick up important items in the grocery section. If you’re not already paleo when you first arrive, you just might be tempted by the idea by the time you leave.

Primal Pantry
t: +61 7 3252 5960
a: Teneriffe Village, Cnr Florence & Macquarie Street, Teneriffe, QLD 4005


The latest Salt Meats Cheese brand extension delivers the goods, yet again.

Once upon a time two handsome and charming cousins, Edoardo Perlo and Stefano de Blasi, moved to Australia from Italy and laboured in the hospitality industry. Keen to work for themselves, they began importing top-shelf food from the motherland to sell to nostalgic European migrants and discerning foodies.

Eventually, they opened a shop on a site in Alexandria, which was at that point a light industrial wasteland. But the site, called The Grounds, and their shop, called Salt Meats Cheese, soon become insanely popular. The cousins started hosting events, running weekend cooking classes, and finally decided in the evening they’d put out some tables and chairs and turn their store into a restaurant – The Pizza Box.

The result is pretty much what you’d hope for if a top-notch providore decided to open up a pizza joint. You can dine on the signature Black Lobster Pizza, which has a base dyed squid-ink black, or wolf down a range of pizzas made using only the finest imported Mutti tomatoes, Caputo flour, truffle oil, goat’s cheese, mozzarella, gorgonzola, fromage blanc, San Daniele prosciutto and caramelised Spanish onion all mixed in the best electric pasta maker. As an added bonus, if you take a fancy to any particular ingredient, you can buy it on the spot and enjoy a 20% discount when you do.

If you’ve got room, there’s an elegant selection of entrees – cured meats or cheese platters served with sweet and spicy jams and pizza dough breadsticks, beef meatballs, arancini, Caprese salad – and a decadent bounty of comfort food desserts: Nutella bombs, tiramisu and mixed berry pastry with Chantilly cream. As would be expected, there’s a wide selection of delightful Italian wines and beers to accompany the authentic food.

At some point, Edoardo or Stefano will wander by and check that you’re enjoying your meal (you will be) and, if you’re interested, expound on what you’re consuming, perhaps explaining how the pizza you’re drooling over is a fusion of thin and crispy Roman-style pizzas, and the thicker and somewhat soggier Neapolitan ones.

If pushed, they might also confess that their venture, only a couple of years old, has been so successful that they’re already considering franchising options. So with any luck it soon won’t just be Sydneysiders who can enjoy their five-star casual Italian cuisine.


Zumbo, eat your heart out!

Meet Chef Dev, a pâtissière who’s studying primary-school teaching; the perfect combination of skills needed for the person in charge of today’s experience at The Classic Cupcake Co. Academy.

Enter the magical world of cupcake Narnia and you’re faced with a delightfully overpowering scent of melted Belgian chocolate. Head further into the cupboard to find a world of sparkles, shimmer dust and food colouring.

Today, The Classic Cupcake Co. Academy is running its CakePOP Essentials class, but there are so many other courses available – Buttercream Flower Cupcakes, CakePOP Roses and even Butterfly CakePOPs, to name a few.

Once your pops have set, it’s time to decorate them. This is where the real fun starts. With the dunking and the melted Callebaut chocolate in pretty pastels and the… *drool*. Basically, if you can resist grabbing that whole glass full of delicious Callebaut and pouring it down your throat, you’ll be taught some very handy techniques. Favourite moments of the two-hour class include crafting chocolate roses from moulds and decorating the pops with those signature Classic Cupcake Co. lines.

At the end of the day, there’ll be so much shimmer dust on your camera it’ll be ready for Mardi Gras, and a workspace full of sprinkles that’s waiting to be licked clean (though doing so is frowned upon).

There are so many baking secrets one could spill from this class, but then you won’t get to experience the wow factor for yourself. I will leave you with this one little insider tip, though: Less is more.

The Classic Cupcake Co
t: (02) 8091 5222
a: Shop 1, 167 Avenue Road, Mosman NSW 2088


The classiest girls’ day out is taking over Australia!

Step right up to receive your free glass of sparkling wine upon arrival at The High Tea Party. Your next move? That’s entirely up to you ­– but it’ll be tough to wait all day for the delectable chocolates, cakes and scones waiting for you in the ballroom.

So let’s say you start with the high tea (seatings are at 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4.30pm) ­– that way you’ve got the rest of the day to play.

The ultra-feminine event, which began in 2006, welcomes more than 25,000 women every year. It’s promoted as an all-day event and, ladies, it really is. Don’t make the mistake many others do when they don’t set aside an entire day to experience everything that’s on offer; you won’t want to miss out on the free makeup and hairstyling workshops or even a massage.

Not to mention personal stylist Jo Blankfield’s fashion tutorial. This styling superstar throws out the rule book of traditional body shapes and instead focuses on breaking down each body to create your own individual shape. We always tell our friends “everybody’s different” – well, Jo forces us to listen to our own advice, and the results are inspiring.

In the interest of enticing you even more (not that you need it), it’s time to namedrop… Jacob’s Creek, Fayreform, The Liquor Baroness, Joh Bailey, Guylian, The Jojoba Company, Margaret’s Nails – they’re just a few of the brands that make an appearance. Plus, you’ll leave with a gorgeous gift bag filled with the latest and greatest products to have hit our shores!

The High Tea Party’s whole aim is to keep us – the fabulous women of Australia – looking and feeling great. We lead such busy lives and look after so many other people, so it’s easy to forget to nurture numero uno. If this sounds like the life you lead, do yourself a favor and set aside one day for pampering, luxury and style – you’ll come out of it feeling happy, relaxed and ready to take on the world.

The High Tea Party
t: (02) 9572 7455
a: Hilton Adelaide (May 30-31); Sofitel Melbourne on Collins (July 18-19);
Parmelia Hilton Perth (August 29-30); Hilton Sydney (October 31 to November 1); Hilton Brisbane (March 5-6, 2016).


It may be located in the heart of Smith Street, but a few floors up, The Panama Dining Room has an atmosphere all its own.

It’s a great date place. It’s also an excellent venue for a business lunch, a dinner with mates and loads of other occasions. The reason? The menu is diverse and creative, and the ambience has just the right ratio of classy-to-casual.

You get to the restaurant by walking up a few nondescript flights of stairs. Get to the top, head towards the warm glow coming through the doorway and you’ll start to hear the murmur of diners’ voices.

You’ll notice the floor-to-ceiling arched windows with views of Melbourne City as soon as you walk in. That coupled with high ceilings and exposed brickwork gives this place a New York warehouse vibe.

There’s a decent wine and cocktail list, which reflects the venue’s ability to be just as good as a place for a few quiet drinks as it is for a meal.

The varied food menu includes some creative dishes incorporating unique ingredients. For example, the starter of prawns with whipped cod roe, fennel, pollen and avocado is covered in a blanket of potato crisps – the prawns are succulent, the avocado medley is creamy and the potato crisps are crunchy.

For main course, the beef with sea urchin and wasabi butter, parsnip, ponzu and shiitake mushrooms comes highly recommended. The sauce is flavour packed and perfect for mopping up with slices of tender beef.

Rather than being an afterthought, the sides are well-thought-out mini dishes in their own right. To add some greenery to your meal, go for the peas with ricotta, torn mint, lemon and radish. Or for a more indulgent twist, get the dutch cream potatoes with cabbage and bacon gratin.

And when it’s time for dessert, you can’t go wrong with a good crème brûlée. Although the soft chocolate with prunes and salted butter caramel ice cream is pretty awesome, too. Enjoy your dessert alongside one of the moreish dessert wines or fortified wines for the full experience. There’s a Hemera Estate “White Knight” fortified Semillon, or go all out with a Vasse Felix cane cut Semillon.

The Panama Dining Room
t: (03) 9417 7663
a: Level 3/231 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065


You can have a totally indulgent girls’ weekend away in Sydney and keep to a budget. Here’s how.

Sometimes you just need a weekend away with the girls. But with budget restraints you might dismiss the idea before you’ve even began. However, with some careful planning you can have a totally indulgent weekend away without over-stretching your budget. You and the girls can be wined, dined and pampered to your hearts’ content. And doesn’t that sound pretty damned good?

Lunch: Glebe Point Diner

This is the perfect place for lunch on a sunny day. Sit outside on the comfy couches surrounded by leafy green hedges, which complete the alfresco vibe. If you want to kick the meal off in style, start with some oysters and a glass of bubbly. Or for a really great value lunch that’ll leave you satisfied and within a budget, go for the three-course lunch set for just $55, which also includes a glass of wine. Starters include the likes of pâté, and fried honey bug with aioli and lemon.

A particularly noteworthy main is the lamb, which is slow roasted in a rosemary rub until extremely tender and infused with heaps of herby deliciousness. Finish off the meal with a cannolo and dark chocolate truffle, lemon ice cream or yoghurt sorbet with apple granita, granola and caramel.

Budget: $55 – for three courses and a glass of wine. Glebe Point Diner:

Pamper: Signature Day Spa

Get your swimmers on and hit up this unique luxury spa for an indulgent afternoon of pampering with the girls. Opt for the Spa Circuit to have the whole of the upper floor of this luxuriously fitted spa to yourself and a few glasses of bubbly, fruit and a cheese platter to really make the day an extra special one.

Move between top-of-the-range massage beds, which are worlds apart from the standard massage chairs you see knocking about, the detox box, and the magnesium bath to get the benefits of this powerful mineral, which relaxes and softens tight muscles – the pool also glows with a calming light so you get the added benefit of colour therapy.

You’ll have access to the spa circuit for two hours and you can choose to add on massages, facials, wraps or other treatments to take the experience to the next level.

Budget: $80 – a 2-hour Spa Circuit is a social event for a minimum of five people and costs $80 pp, which includes Champagne and use of the steam room, thermal magnesium pool, detox box and therapeutic massage beds. Signature Day Spa:

Dinner & Wine: Vinery Foods

Every neighbourhood should have an awesome wine bar where you can just drop in and have a glass or two of whatever’s being poured. Although to miss out on the food at Vinery Foods would be a real shame. The oysters are an absolute must-try. Enjoy them with one of the great wines that passionate owner and wine lover Joseph Moussa has hand picked and you’re onto a winner.

The pork belly spring rolls are far from your average spring rolls – they’re jam packed with about an inch of moist pork filling wrapped in light and crispy spring roll wrappers. If you fancy a bit of pasta but aren’t after a heavy dish, the squid ink fettuccine with Balmain bugs, chilli, capsicum and gremolata is the way to go. And onto some meaty mains: you’ve got duck with crunchy faro, porcini mushrooms, fennel, foie gras and truffle butter. It’s as good as it sounds. The meat is tender and the sauce is full of rich, earthy flavour. If duck’s not your thing, there’s always the wagyu skirt – it’s grass fed and has a marbling score of seven.

Save room for dessert here, too, because there are some real tempting treats on offer, including handmade chocolate with vanilla ice cream, Frangelico and espresso.
Budget: $59 – an average two-course meal with a glass of wine costs $59.

Vinery Foods:

Travel: Jetstar

These guys are known for offering seriously low fares, allowing you to have more money to spend at your destination. And the new SMS ticket option means you can save loads of time and hassle, too. All you have to do is check in online and select the SMS option and you’ll get your boarding pass sent to your mobile phone. Then when you get to the airport you can just go straight to the gate (or past the bag drop first if you’ve got check-in luggage). It really couldn’t get any easier.
Budget: $110 – flights from Melbourne to Sydney start at $55 (one way).



Get ready for a whole new world for your taste buds.

If you’ve never attended a whiskey tasting before, World of Whiskey, Australia’s first specialist concept whisky store, is the perfect place to start. To begin with, the whiskey industry takes itself far less seriously than the wine industry, according to host David Ligoff. Pulling his nose out from deep within the glass he happily admits ‘there’s none of this “with a hint of berries and picked by people only using their left hands” business’. The relaxed atmosphere and David’s easy humor make the What is Whiskey tasting events perfect for complete novices to fully-fledged whisky lovers.

David gives a brief history of the ‘water of life’, speaking to its Irish origins, American influences and current abundance in Scotland. One of the beautiful things about whiskey is how each cask is entirely unique. ‘Barrels are like fingerprints and no two behave the same,’ David explains. Whilst up to 80% of whiskey spends some time in American oak barrels, the style of the wood and its previous inhabitant (bourbon, sherry or wine) is where the flavors come from.

The tasting includes a selection of six whiskies, from fruity to smoky flavours and everything in between, from a range of distilleries in Scotland to Taiwan. There’s plenty of bread, cheese, biscuits and chocolate at hand to clear your palate as you go. It’s worth noting that organising a taxi for the ride home is not a bad idea, because if you finish all six tastings you will be over the limit.

As with all tastings, what you like and what you don’t is very personal. While you will be encouraged to share your opinions (which get far easier to articulate around the fourth or fifth whisky) you won’t be expected to like everything and no offence will be taken if you don’t. With some whiskies at 50% proof alcohol, don’t be shy to add water.

After a very enjoyable hour and a half, you will leave the charming boutique with a rosy glow in your cheeks, a fire in your belly and very likely a bottle of your favourite tipple under your arm – with a 15% discount available*.
David’s knowledge of whisky was truly exceptional, but perhaps his best words of wisdom were to ‘pop it in your porridge in the morning’. For those brave enough to give it a try – I doubt you’ll be disappointed.

*To receive 10% off you must sign up as a member, joining is free. An additional 5% off is given to those who attend the tasting events. Contact to book. Tastings start at $60.

World of Whisky
t: (02) 9363 4212
a: Shop G12, Cosmopolitan Centre 2 – 22 Knox Street, Double Bay, NSW


Taking the fear factor out of cooking seafood.

Eat more fish! It’s a refrain you’re probably all too familiar with but many of us lack the confidence to tackle seafood in our own kitchen. That’s where the Sydney Seafood School can help. Every year 13,000 guests attend classes at what has become Australia’s leading cooking school, located above the bustling Sydney Fish Market in Pyrmont.

Classes run year-round, covering a host of different cuisines and headed by seasoned professionals, including chefs from some of Sydney’s top restaurants. You’ll spot a handful of celebrity presenters, too – classes by the likes of Dan Hong, Christine Mansfield, Shaun Presland and Guillaume Brahimi are listed among the dozens on offer.

For those keen to master some basics they can replicate at home, the Sensational Simple Seafood class is a winner. On the menu today is an Italian seafood salad, marinated bugs, a clam and glass noodle dish, baked fish wrapped in banana leaves and Mirror Dory fingers with piquillo mayo.

The class kicks off in the tiered auditorium where each dish is prepared by the very capable Coralie Riordan. It’s a sophisticated space with walls lined in Icelandic fish leather and rich oak wood panelling. The marble demonstration bench is under cameras so that guests can enjoy close-ups of the finer details of seafood preparation on four overhead television screens.

Coralie is generous with her insider knowledge, sharing tips on deveining prawns, dehooding squid and softening banana leaves to avoid splitting. You’ll learn how to identify fresh seafood, what to substitute if you can’t find recipe items and how to time your cooking so that each dish arrives at the table in top form.

Armed with your recipes and notes, you head into the adjoining student kitchen where groups of five or six gather around the stainless steel cooking islands for some hands-on fun. Each island is fully equipped – all the ingredients are set out and the friendly staff are ready to offer help when required.

It’s surprisingly quick and easy to whip up the five dishes and in less than an hour you’ll find yourself pouring glasses of wine in the next door dining room, leaving the washing up for the obliging staff. Fishnet chandeliers and a photomural of Blackwattle Bay create a warm and inviting space to enjoy your seafood creations.

And before you head home, why not check out the markets and pick up some fresh seafood so you can practise your newly acquired cooking skills?

By Kate Farrelly

Classes at the Sydney Seafood School run for two to four hours and cost between $90 and $165 per person. A full list of classes with dates and prices is available at

Sydney Seafood School
t: (02) 9004 1111
a: First floor of the Waterfront Arcade, Sydney Fish Market, Bank St, Pyrmont


My Goodness Organics Melbourne Australia

Life only see­­­­ms to get busier as we get older and two of the most important things to many of us are saving time and taking care of our health. These days we are so lucky to have such a wide range of healthy food delivery services in Melbourne that you are guaranteed to find one to suit your needs.

Let them do the thinking for you and stop stressing about what to cook every night. We tested out four and here’s the verdict.

My Goodness Organics Melbourne Australia

My Goodness Organics

There’s something liberating about eating food that you know is 100 % good for you. And that’s what you get from My Goodness Organics. Run by Rebecca and partner Warren, their focus is on plant-based whole foods that are completely refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and wheat free.

My Goodness Organics offers four different menus on rotation with a variety of ready-made delicious dishes that are beautifully presented. These meal plans include breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks so you’re never left feeling hungry.

There is also an option for a juice cleanse for those wanting to detox.

Their meals aren’t about counting calories but more about healing the body with raw foods, but as a bonus you might find that you drop a few pounds along the way.

Some of the dishes and juices might take some getting used to if you’re new to the healthy side of life and others (like their green fig balls) will shock you with how something so good for you could taste so naughty. As if that all didn’t sound good enough, they have also done the thinking for you, labeling each item with which day it is to be consumed. My Goodness Organics ticks all the boxes.

Meal of the week: Chicken shukran salad and vanilla choc double decker
Cost: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for five days costs $280.

Clean Cut Food

The name says it all. Clean Cut Foods meal plans are dedicated to helping people achieve a cleaner eating way of life. With a range of portion-controlled meals to assist in healthy living and weight loss, these guys will have you going from flab to abs in no time.

Clean Cut Foods currently uses fresh seasonal produce, lean meats and minimal fats to make up their meals. Most of the meals include a protein mixed with good balance of carbs and greens that not only look healthy but will make you feel healthy. Be prepared for some surprising flavors like kangaroo as well as old-time favorites like shepherd’s pie and nasi goreng.

Choose between a simple clean eating menu (lunch and dinner) or one that is high protein and low carb (breakfast, lunch and dinner). They even provide you with cute little snacks like apples and celery sticks to keep you going throughout the day.

There site is currently off line though.

Meal of the week: Moroccan chicken and cous cous salad.
Cost: $149 for a 5-day simple clean-eating plan (lunch and dinner).
W: P: 1300 854 086

Five Point Four

Fitness fanatics, this one is for you. Five Point Four have designed dedicated meal plans to help you improve your lifestyle through clean eating.

Proving that healthy food can be full of flavour, 5.4 offer a range of different protein-rich dishes to keep exciting your palate. They show you how important portion control is in your quest to achieve your weight loss goals but prove that eating less doesn’t mean you have to be left feeling hungry. With a range of different choices, these guys will keep you excited about eating healthy food each day.

5.4 are currently offering meals five days a week and have tailored their meal plans to suit women and men with the option for individuals or couples. Choose between a weight loss or weight maintenance/training meal plan (or muscle gain) with the nutritional information and ingredients listed on each food item. They also provide fitness support online through their website and blog.

Meal of the week: Beef shepherd’s pie.
Cost: 20 meals for the week for $149.95 for weight loss and 15 for weight maintenance plans.
W: P: 1300 343 656

Choice Fresh Meals

Mum’s home cooked meals are usually the thing we miss most when moving out of home. Those hours spent slaving away in the kitchen to produce delicious meals that are full of flavour, totally satisfying and of course cooked with love.

Choice Fresh Meals are like receiving mum’s meals to your doorstep. Imagine comfort food that looks delicious, tastes even better and contains a wonderful balance of all the food groups. Choose from an extensive menu of different cuisines, sizes and sides, and to top it all off, the most divine desserts. And chicken lovers or beef lovers will also be completely satisfied as they only use free range organic meats for a taste that is divine.

There’s no limit to what you can order and you will have no trouble spending the minimum of $30 for delivery because everything is tempting. The perfect option for families or individuals who are after some good, honest cooking.

Meal of the week: Roast beef & Yorkshire pudding. Dessert of the week: Chocolate and pear cheesecake.

Cost: Meals average around $9-$12 for mains and it is a minimum spend of $30 for delivery.
W: P: 1300 430 488