Let’s eat: what’s happening in hospitality

26th March 2021 | Eativity editors

From vegan treats that’ll take you back to those sweet memories of your childhood and a swanky brunch that comes with a side-serving of fine art to a government boost that will help to address to current skills shortage in the hospitality industry, there’s lots to feel positive about on the foodie scene right now. We’ve also got some great news for Japanese cuisine lovers, and we’ve found a bundle of bargain meal deals for those in NSW looking to make the most of their Dine & Discover vouchers. Have you got yours yet?

Sydney’s first vegan sweet treat bar to open this weekend

After returning from a stretch overseas and becoming vegan, Nicole Wright found it hard to find tasty treats in her hometown of Sydney. She missed the Wagon Wheels, Cherry Ripes, Picnic Bars and Iced VoVos of her childhood. At the time, she found the vegan offerings available were often dry and tasteless, or sugar-free and “raw”, which just wasn’t her thing. So she decided to try putting her own vegan spin on those favourite childhood treats.

Wright began experimenting, and the results were so promising, she began to sell her treats at local markets. Soon she was selling out every single week. Opening her own sweet treat bar seemed like the next logical option, and so Fresh + Frosted will open its doors this Saturday, March 27, in the Sydney inner-city suburb of Mortlake.

Originally concentrating on cupcakes, Wright has since expanded her range to include truffles and traditional slices. She only uses high-quality ingredients, including Fairtrade organic Madagascan vanilla beans and Callebaut chocolate, and also uses only compostable and biodegradable crockery and cutlery that won’t end up as landfill.

To find out more, head to freshfrosted.com.au

Lunch is served at the Art Gallery of NSW

The Art Gallery of NSW’s new restaurant concept, Art Gallery Restaurant Crafted by Matt Moran, opens today. The restaurant launches in partnership with newly appointed culinary advisor Matt Moran, who’ll sit across the development of restaurant and catering menus and work with food and beverage partner The Fresh Collective to execute his vision.

Taking advantage of the impressive location in the former Chiswick at the Gallery site, Crafted by Matt Moran will provide a unique all-day dining experience for gallery guests or those looking for brunch or lunch in one of Sydney’s most stunning dining rooms. Reflecting Moran’s signature style, the restaurant will showcase locally-sourced produce and premium Aussie meat and seafood through a Mediterranean-inspired menu guided by the seasons.

Crafted by Matt Moran will open five days a week for brunch and lunch, beginning today. For bookings and further info, head to craftedbymattmoran.com.au

Apprentice boost delivers for restaurants, cafes & catering

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has welcomed the federal government’s Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program, which will provide a 50 percent wage subsidy extension through to September this year.

R&CA President Con Castrisos says that the announcement – which was so popular it became oversubscribed prior to the end of the program – will continue to support businesses in the restaurant, cafe and catering industries and encourage them to take on more apprentices as the sector recovers from COVID-19.

“Extending this program delivers certainty for businesses who seek to hire employees, especially as the subsidy will be available for 12 months for all apprentices and trainees signed up in October last year,” he says. “The acute skill shortage in our industry because of the pandemic will be an ongoing problem for thousands of hospitality businesses across the country. Seeing the next generation of skilled chefs and managers coming through will give our sector renewed hope of a strong recovery.”

R&CA is encouraging its members to consider taking on apprentices, and hopes the program’s extension will help to increase take-up. To find out more, go to dese.gov.au

Get ready to grill everything

Yakimono, a contemporary inner Melbourne eating house, is set to open later this year. The collaboration between restaurateur Chris Lucas and chef Martin Benn will be located at 80 Collins Street, next door to the pair’s also soon-to-open SOCIETY.

Yakimono will offer a Japanese-style grill menu with a pared back, modernist take on Japanese inner-city dining. The name hints at the offering: the word “yaki” means “grill” in Japanese, and “mono” means “everything”. The menu will focus heavily on cooking over charcoal, and the food – while respecting age-old methods of cooking over fire – will also bring Benn’s creative ingenuity to ingredients and techniques.

Yakimono will open in June/July. Follow their Instagram or Facebook page for updates.

Rockpool Dining Group venues’ Dine & Discover offers

Rockpool Dining Group’s casual restaurants have created a series of two-course menus that are great value for money and will give NSW residents extra bang for their buck when they spend their hotly anticipated $25 Dine & Discover vouchers.

The Dine & Discover scheme, aimed at helping the hospitality industry recover from the impact of COVID-19, is rolling out this month. Each NSW resident is eligible for four $25 vouchers, two of which can be redeemed at hospitality venues.

Rockpool Dining Group customers can spend their vouchers on any food and soft drinks across their menus – including at the higher-end Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Saké Restaurant & Bar – or you can take advantage of $25 multi-course menus at casual restaurants Fratelli Fresh, El Camino Cantina, The Bavarian and WingHAÜS by Bavarian.

Rockpool Dining Group Food & Beverage Director John Sullivan says diners will get “a big bang for their buck” if they spend their vouchers at one of Rockpool’s casual eateries: “We urge everyone to make the most of their vouchers, which will not only help the industry, but provide financial support and fabulous dining experiences to NSW residents,” he says.

To find out more about the Dine & Discover program, head to service.nsw.gov.au

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