Good Food NSW's 100 Good Things 81-100: DRNKS, 'New Classics', beers in the sun

Blue mackerel, cucumber, rhubarb and miso soy custard at Flotilla, Newcastle.
Blue mackerel, cucumber, rhubarb and miso soy custard at Flotilla, Newcastle. Photo: Supplied

Instead of the Good Food Guide, this year we bring 100 Good Things to the table: a collection of people, places, moments and mementos that best represent 2020.

81. Novocastrians' new favourite restaurant

On the fringe of a run-down industrial estate in Newcastle's west, Flotilla is the most exciting Steel City restaurant since Subo dazzled the Good Food Guide in 2012. Flotilla is a bright and breezy space that encourages relaxed drinking and snacking (try the pickled blue mackerel with cucumber and miso soy custard) before visiting nearby bars such as Rogue Scholar and The Rum Diary. CB theflotilla.com.au

Colombo Social is one of a number of Sydney restaurants giving back to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are providing free meals to vulnerable people through their #PlateItForward initiative. 2nd April 2020. Photo: Edwina Pickles / SMH

The Colombo Social team delivering free meals. Photo: Edwina Pickles

82. Changing lives with crab curry

Colombo Social has spent the past nine months cooking for people experiencing food insecurity and providing employment for asylum seekers in the process. More than 40,000 meals donated is a huge achievement for the Enmore Road Sri Lankan restaurant, and co-founders Shaun Christie-David and Peter Jones-Best aren't slowing down. Their not-for-profit venture, Serendib Social, has just launched a culinary training program designed to empower vulnerable people with professional kitchen skills. CB colombosocial.com.au

83. Help out Lebanon by baking for Beirut

The world cried for Lebanon after a devastating explosion rocked Beirut in August. This e-book, Bake for Beirut, full of recipes by chefs such as Tulum's Coskun Uysal, Nomad's Jacqui Challinor and Gerard's Bistro's Adam Wolfers, is an initiative from Rose Adam and Jad Nehmetallah to raise funds for the Lebanese Food Bank and Steps of Hope charity. GC sohope.org.au/bake-for-beirut

Marron, coconut curry broth, pumpkin and karkalla at Pilot, Canberra.

Marron, coconut curry broth, pumpkin and karkalla at Pilot, Canberra. Photo: Supplied

84. Capital time

Canberra's best new restaurants of 2019 have only gotten better over the past 12 months and a weekend in the capital should be on everyone's to-do list. Start with coffee-spiked breakfast negronis and a Basque omelette at all-purpose eatery Rebel Rebel, before hitting Sandoochie in Braddon for a cold-cut-filled focaccia from chef Lucy Holmes. Bar Rochford still rules for knock-out cocktails and wine, while Malcolm Hanslow's tasting menu at Pilot is a masterclass in refined-casual cooking – the marron with coconut curry broth is a contender for dish of the year. CB rebelrebeldining.com.au; barrochford.com; pilotrestaurant.com

85. The future of wine is online

Once upon a time, the concept of ordering wine to be delivered at home was the territory of call centres and catalogues pushing mixed dozens. Now, it's the tightly curated domain of passionate sommeliers and wine professionals such as Joel Amos and his digital wine store DRNKS, Giorgio De Maria's Fun Wines and two new wine delivery services, Laneway Liquor from the Love, Tilly Devine crew – offering a mix of accessible and hard-to-find wines – and Built to Spill, by P&V Merchants' wine-slinger Tai Tate. Their tag is "wine chosen with love, to be enjoyed with good music and nice people". We'll drink to that. MR drnks.com; giorgiodemaria.com; lanewayliquor.com; builttospill.wine

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Feather and Bone's traditional bone-in. $174-$268.

Feather and Bone's traditional bone-in ham. Photo: Alan Benson

86. Revolutions start beneath the ground

Getting nerdy about soil is the logical next step after caring where your meat comes from. Grant Hilliard and Laura Dalrymple are behind sustainable butcher Feather and Bone in Marrickville, where you'll find big, beautiful Sommerlad chickens, Burraduc buffalo mozzarella, eggs from happy hens, bone broths from happy cows and of course beautiful Christmas hams to dress this year's table. Feather and Bone sells meat that has fine flavour but Hilliard and Dalrymple are also concerned about what happens under the soil. "We start at the very start, which is soil microbes and if that's looked after, then the end is straightforward," says Hilliard. "So if you look after your farm properly, you don't need to worry about your animals. It's an extension of your practice." MR featherandbone.com.au

87. The best kind of stamp collecting

With actual passports gathering dust this year, beer lovers at the Reschs Appreciation Society have been collecting a different type of travel stamp. Aiming to support pubs and clubs affected by bushfires and COVID, the grassroots group has released a Reschs passport, encouraging punters to visit venues across the state pouring the cult beer. Anyone who obtains a passport stamp from all 75 venues listed (from Surry Hills to Inverell and beyond) will receive an Order of Resch medallion at a one-off ceremony in 2021. CB reschsappreciationsociety.com.au

S MAG: Sunshine Inn 180 Redfern Street, Redfern. 2nd October 2020, Photo: Wolter Peeters, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Warm vibes at the Sunshine Inn. Photo: Wolter Peeters

88. Redfern lets the Sunshine in

When Redfern Continental shuttered in June, we shed a tear. Farewell, Euro-style sausages and backroom discos. But by September, the site revived thanks to certified top blokes Dynn Szmulewicz and Dan McBride, who opened The Sunshine Inn in Continental's place. Like the pair's other bar, Leichhardt's Golden Gully, Sunshine Inn is all about smiles, fresh wine and Aussie spirits, while proving plant-based bar snacks can be damn tasty, too. Smoked potato croquettes with miso mayo, booyah. CB thesunshineinn.com.au

89. Getting jiggy with local ingredients

If you only buy one cocktail-making kit this Christmas, the party pack of wild, foraged and ethically sourced ingredients from the mobile bar kings at Trolley'd is our pick. Designed to create three seasonal cocktails using native goodness, the hamper is fragrant with Tea Craft's "Egyptian Ice" tea, Alto martini olives, Urban Beehive honey, Olsson's salt flakes, lemon myrtle, Illawarra plums and many other nice things to mix with booze for $129 plus postage. Santé to shopping local. CB trolleyd.com

90. Good Food for your bookshelf

In case you missed it, Good Food released New Classics in November, our second cookbook full of readers' most-loved and requested recipes. That means Neil Perry's chicken Kiev in all its garlic-buttered glory, Kylie Kwong's deep-fried duck with plum and orange sauce, and an updated salad Lyonnaise from Danielle Alvarez, starring mustard greens and perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the year. Simon & Schuster, $40. CB booktopia.com.au

*** EMBARGO - 28 JULY 2019 ***
AFR Magazine - July 2019 - Palisa Anderson of Chat Thai restaurant/s and Boon Luck Farm, Tyagarah, north of Byron Bay. Photographed at Boon Luck Farm for AFR Magazine by Mikey Andersson.

Palisa Anderson's Boon Luck Farm. Photo: Mikey Andersson

91. Water, Heart, Food

Palisa Anderson, the powerhouse behind Chinatown's Boon cafe, Byron hinterland's Boon Luck Farm and guardian of her mother's Chat Thai restaurant empire, has just released her first TV show. Water, Heart, Food tells Anderson's life story through the lens of cooking around Thailand, Sydney and Byron Bay, guest-starring chef identities such as Christine Manfield, Peter Gilmore, Paul Carmichael and Martin Boetz. Now streaming on SBS On Demand. MR sbs.com.au

Dinosaur designs platter

Dinosaur Designs' covetable platters. Photo: Supplied

92. A platter guaranteed to make everything on it look better

Dinosaur Designs, the reigning champions of resin work, have released this season's collection of jugs, salad servers and highly covetable platters to make even the most mediocre lunch spread look a million bucks. MR dinosaurdesigns.com.au

New Quay Dishes

Quay's all-star ramen. Photo: Nikki To

93. A bowl of ramen with million-dollar views

Quay restaurant is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think, "I'm really fanging for a bowl of ramen." But if anyone can turn soup noodles into a fine-dining phenomenon, it's Peter Gilmore. Here on his latest tasting menu, discover a tangle of handmade koji-enriched wheat noodles, tiny octopus tentacles, seaweed, sesame and anchovy. MR quay.com.au

The Nighthawk Diner's Miami Cuban sandwich with citrus pork, maple-smoked bacon, house-made pickles, American cheese and chipotle mayo on a hoagie roll.

The Nighthawk Diner's Miami Cuban sandwich with citrus pork, maple-smoked bacon, house-made pickles, American cheese and chipotle mayo on a hoagie roll. Photo: Supplied

94. Nighthawk finds a solid gig

Nighthawk Diner opened a ghost kitchen during the pandemic when it had to garage its fleet of food trucks. But the temporary business, built to service food delivery, is now a bricks-and-mortar eatery in Alexandria. It spruiks an expanded vegetarian menu and classic sandwiches such as the Miami Cuban, with citrus-marinated pork, chipotle, bacon, butter pickles and American cheese. A silver lining for Nighthawk's silver Airstream fleet. CB thenighthawk.com.au

Single O Surry Hills' self-serve coffee taps.

Single O Surry Hills' self-serve coffee taps. Photo: Alana Dimou

95. Single O's self-service of the future

No one denies baristas perform a noble service, but often you want a takeaway coffee minus the fuss, chat or tamping. Single O's self-serve, installed at the roaster's Surry Hills cafe, Carriageworks Farmers Market and Berkelo, Manly, is made for those times. Swipe your card, select a batch brew and place a cup under the tap. With options like honey-tinted Killerbee blend, the brew bar is a world away from those coffee machines found in hospital foyers. CB singleo.com.au

96. Artisan wheat: the next step in bread nerdery

​Did you know there's a golden triangle for wheat production? Yes! In northwestern NSW, there are farms growing single-origin wheat and grains that, once upon a time, were only available to professional bakers. Now home-bakers can get their hands on the likes of Provenance Flour and Malt's Lancer flour, designed to be as dense and nutritious as possible while still having all the easy-to-bake-with properties of white flour. In Forbes, Artisan Grains stonemills harder-to-find flours such as khorasan (think of it as the great aunt twice-removed of spelt) and whole wheat, which adds flavour and texture to anything you bake. Best of all, they deliver. MR artisangrainsaustralia.com; provenanceflourandmalt.com

Fried chicken ramen, Butter, Surry Hills, $20
Supplied pix

Fried chicken ramen at Butter. Photo: Supplied

97. Butter Ramen Club continues

Butter's fried chicken ramen was the feel-good hit of winter, but summer isn't quite the season for rib-sticking tonkotsu charged with chook tenders as thick as three thumbs. Enter Butter Ramen Club's fried chicken XO noodles instead, flavour-bombed with Kowloon Chilli Co sauce from former Queen Chow chef Patrick Friesen. The noodles, topped with a son-in-law egg and Chinese broccoli, are found at Butter Parramatta and Surry Hills. CB buttersydney.com.au

98. A very good carrot

The Hunter suffered through the drought, the fires, then COVID … and yet its restaurant scene punches on. Case in point, Troy Rhoades-Brown's fine-diner Muse, where the menu, bedded in local ingredients, continues to evolve.

The latest: a carrot served two ways (roast and pickled) with house-cured pork neck, buffalo cream and a whole lot of home-grown herbs, flowers and pollen (pictured). MR musedining.com.au

99. Seedlings to your door

Forget about battling the crowds at Bunnings. Strong, healthy vegetable seedlings delivered to your home are a click away. Take advantage of the gardening revolution of 2020 and green up your outdoor space with the help of Wormticklers Nursery, Green Patch Seeds and Austral Seedlings. Organic and awesome. MR wormticklers.com; greenpatchseeds.com.au; australseedlings.com.au

100. Beers in the sun

Barry Patenaude has many strings to his bow. Apart from masterminding the illustrations for the 100 Good Things cover, he also draws tins of beer relaxing in the sun. Buy any of the prints from his site – many from our fave NSW craft breweries, including Grifter, Wildflower and Philter – or have a gander at his Insta, @beersinthesun. MR barryp.me/beersinthesun

Words: Callan Boys, Gemima Cody, Myffy Rigby