Tag: Food

Manfredi at Bells, Killcare NSW

Manfredi at Bells, Killcare NSW

The purpose for perfection.

I was in a meeting the other day in which the theme was focused on Motivation. What is your motivation to get out of bed every day? What is your motivation to do the work you do? I sat there, contemplating, and just like everyone else, could not come up with an answer. If you are within a Leadership team, in which you feel like you don’t belong, what are you doing there? If you cannot find your motivation to be a part of that meeting, are you in fact, not wasting that moment in time?

Moments in our life time are simply too fleeting. If you love your life as much as I love mine, there are no moments to waste. What are you doing sitting in a meeting for which you have very little care for, when there are moments out there just waiting for you to find them?

Every moment of your life should be about love. Love for that moment, in some way or another. Love for the person you are with at the time and of course, love for what you are experiencing. When was the last time you were sick with longing? I can truthfully say that every day that passes and I am not doing what I love, it is not only a moment missed but a moment I am beyond doubt, sick with longing. Longing for what was. Longing for what could be and longing for a moment when time stands still and all is right with the world – if not just for a moment.

This is what its like to be at Manfredi restaurant.

Located within the beautiful grounds of Bells at Killcare, Manfredi Chef’s Hat restaurant shines like a diamond in an area where even gemstones are rarely found.

Having worked in many fine dining establishments over the years, food to me is not simply a means to an end. Food is to be smelled, sincerely tasted and enjoyed for all its complex layers. Great kitchens and chef’s, create dishes that are more an art-form rather than food and should be appreciated slowly and sensually so that your taste buds are aware of every single flavour the chef has lovingly infused.

Ask yourself… what are you eating for? When dining at Manfredi, the answer should be nothing less than an orgasm. Have you ever had a culinary orgasm? If the answer is no, then you haven’t eaten at Manfredi.

From the moment the maître’D seats you at your table, the dance begins. Fine dining at its best is represented here from the crisp white linens, to the wine list you could and should, swim in for days. You will never get through it all, so don’t even try and simply buy the best bottle from their epic wine room money can afford. It’s the only way to do it.

If I could win a competition to spend a day in their kitchen observing the art come to life and figuring out at least some of the tricks that takes food and turns it to magic, I would do whatever it took. Just to stand quietly at the back of the ultra-clean kitchen and watch the magic unfold, would be a dream come true. If by chance, the sommelier would then take me into their wine room and explain the food and wine paring, I think I honestly just might die. Is it possible to die of happiness? I would be willing to find out if that was indeed the moment to test the theory.

If one eats simply to be satisfied, ask yourself what is your level of satisfaction? Should it not be more than just to have a full stomach? Why do we so often rush through our meals without ever fully appreciating what actually went into it in the first place?

Manfredi Restaurant is the quintessential orgasm on a plate. And being a Chef’s Hat Restaurant, they may not be happy with me describing them this way. However I cannot think of a better compliment than this. There are chef’s that strive their whole lives to be this good. And there are chef’s that will work their whole lives to simply try to be in the same league. But whatever magic Mandfredi has, is firmly locked within the stainless steel walls of the endlessly spotless kitchen. I have tried many a time to stand at the pass and get a glimpse of what goes on behind. But just like magic, all the tricks are hidden from the naked eye and the waitresses seem to direct you to your table so the chef’s never reveal any of their supernatural powers.

Please don’t go to Manfredi if you don’t care for the food. Don’t go there if you don’t care about the obvious love and attention that goes into each and every bite. And please don’t go there if you are not going to appreciate the staff – each and every one of them. This restaurant knows how things are done and there is a reason why they are rated so highly amongst their peers.

This is a one-of-a-kind experience and you should value such a culinary sensation. When we waste so many moments in life not caring about what we are doing or where we are, take yourself to a place where every single morsel of life matters. Oh and try the steak – not a morsel – its massive – and I guarantee you will enjoy every single bite and never want the moment to end. There, is savouring a moment!

Manfredi at Bells Restaurant
107 The Scenic Road,
Killcare Heights NSW
P: 4349 7000

Moneypenny, Newcastle NSW

Moneypenny, Newcastle NSW

Sexy Solace with a little ‘tude!

If you want romance, you call Holly Golightly. If you want adventure you call Lara Croft. If you want strength you call The Bride. But if you want solace, you always call Moneypenny.

Solace can often be found in a place you least expect. When running through Newcastle recently, trying to escape the wind and the cold, relief was found in a little bar called Moneypenny. Located within the Honeysuckle Precinct the view from Moneypenny is beautiful even on a cold day and you can imagine how pumping this place would be during the warmer months.

The interior of the bar is petite, dark and sexy with flair and the slight nod to Asia adds a little cheekiness – just like Moneypenny herself – and the enclosed deck area provides a welcome relief from the wind, while still giving a stonking view over the industrial style harbour area. With heaters burning on high and a combination of the Bombay and upscale pub food warming me, it a formula that kick starts our hearts since being frozen by the winter chill.

And its not just us who have been attracted to this place. There is a hen’s party on one side and an elderly lady who has just had her hair permed on the other. I almost feel sorry for her and her new hair-do because of the weather, until I see the look on her face as the fancy cocktail she ordered arrives at her table beautifully presented like a scientist presenting a prize-winning formula. Priceless! At that point, I don’t think she cares what her hair looks like!

Two smart ladies also hide out in a corner gossiping and sipping espresso martini’s and as a young family, obviously in a hurry to escape the cold, run along the foreshore, I want to invite them in for a moment of solace and a stress-relieving beverage.

Whilst this place is known for its cocktails, don’t discount their wine list. We order a bottle of Tyrrell’s Brookdale Semillon to go with our Cheese Burger Sliders, Prawn and Avocado Taco’s and massive Cheesy Bacon Fries. All up at a cost of around $100 including drinks we consider this a bargain!

I used to live in this town and I think if Moneypenny were here then, I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to leave. Everyone needs a little solace sometimes. A retreat from life in general for a while. Moneypenny offers all that and more and let’s be honest… solace is always served best with a good, strong beverage.

1 Honeysuckle Dr,
Newcastle NSW
Phone: (02) 4926 1799


Common Ground Canteen Kitchen

Common Ground Canteen Kitchen

Nothing Common about Common Ground

Nestled in a tiny shop, on the corner of a very busy street in Long Jetty on the NSW Central Coast, you will find Common Ground Canteen and Kitchen. It seems like a strange placement for this paddock to plate style cafe, but it works for them as they are always busy and you need to fight for a table on the sidewalk.

But it is more than just their location that seems to capture everyone from a morning coffee run, to a late night pasta. It is the brilliance of Chef Nic and his wife Kath and the honesty of this place, that keeps people coming back again and again.

Opened a few years ago by this dynamic pair, the place has gotten busier but their philosophy has remained the same. Fresh ingredients, cooked on an open fire in front of you, with a no-fuss attitude and it works. This is not a place for Pima Dona’s.  common Ground Blog 3

Open every day, this Chef and his team work hard to get good wholesome food to you, presented simply, but always filling your belly. You will not leave here hungry and need to do a Macca’s run on the way home. For the reasonable prices, the plates are huge and their share plates are great if you want to try everything they have to offer.

The daily menu, with old favourites, is rustic with a modern twist and the myriad of specials changes daily. It seems like Nic buys what is fresh and inspires him on the day and the concept of the dish starts from there. No recipes required.

They are licensed for BYO and you are always welcome to take a bottle of bubbly to go with their massive breakfast. You can build your own, but can I suggest Kath’s AM Dinner. A 130gram grass fed sirloin for breakfast might seem excessive, but it’s great after a big night out and at $19.50 you can’t go wrong. This is good steak, cooked right!

Of an evening, try their pasta nights. Big bowls with steaming hot ingredients that you will want to share and pass to your partner to try. Our faves are the Grinds Burger ($12) and the Lamb Forequarter on a roll ($10). After a long day at work, we pick up an easy, breezy bottle of wine and head down to Common for some no fuss fun. This is where you go when you don’t want to cook and you want someone to do the work for you. Take a deck of cards and just sit and watch the world go by. We do this so often, that when we don’t appear there for a while, the guys are all asking us where we have been when we finally have time to return!

Common Ground Blog 2Nic and Kath want to remind you of home, and they have achieved this. Common Ground Canteen and Kitchen is definitely our home away from home.

7/328 The Entrance Road, Long Jetty NSW 2261
Phone: (02) 4333 4214