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DUKE BISTRO

Monday, October 27, 2011

Food better shared. Dishes $10 - $28 each.
Must try - the Bread Rolls, Radishes and Dashi Butter.

1 Hat.

The first time I went to Duke, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that there was a buzz about it being the newest, coolest place in town and I simply had to go see what it was all about. I’ve since been four times within the last six months.

The d├ęcor is eclectic, shabby-chic-cool with hog’s heads on the walls and chandeliers made from empty bottles of Veuve. Combined with the dimly lit room and dark green walls, you feel like you’re in some kind of magical, mad-hatter’s den. The food is undeniably good – quirky, surprising, fun and delicious! But I guess that’s what you’d expect from the “all-star kitchen” being Thomas Lim (ex-Tetsuya) and Mitch Orr (2010 Young Chef of the Year). Growing up, I was always told not to play with my food. At Duke, the food plays with you. Expect to find strange and  delightful flavour pairings and unexpected twists and turns (I particularly enjoyed the 'vegemite on toast' on last Tuesday's tasting menu - not what I was expecting, but I can't spoil the surprise for the rest of you...).

The cocktails pack a punch, although the Tatanka ( Zubrowka, lemon, autumn spices & apple) that I had last night was a little too alcoholic (yes, I said too alcoholic) and a tad over acerbic to be completely appreciated.


As for the vino, the general wine menu has some excellent selections to chose from, however the matchings with the Tuesday tasting menu I had last week let the team down and frankly, I’m not brave enough to go there again. The staff don’t seem to be terribly savvy with the recommendations, there’s definitely an ‘I’m-going-to-make-it-up-as-I-go-along’ vibe, so if you know a little bit about wine, I’d recommend choosing your own.

Last night marked my fourth time at Duke; and the second time that I’ve been subject to questionable service by the wait staff. I’m not entirely certain whether it’s simply that I’ve raised my expectations after they received a hat at this year’s 2012 Good Food Guide Awards; or whether they’ve dropped the ball. When I went for the tasting menu last Tuesday, one waitress in particular bumped my chair every single time she walked past. Not a slight brush, not an accidental sweep through – but a brutish, solid push each time. The cutlery at Duke is fantastic, but I don’t want to poke it through my eyeball. Nor do I wish to knock my teeth against the glass that I’m trying to drink out of. It wasn’t just inconsiderate, it was unacceptable.


Lamb, Loquat, Garlic

Certain that my last experience was simply a glitch in terms of the service, I took my brother along last night with the promise of it being a trendy new venue that he could impress his girlfriend with. Of course, I made sure that neither of us sat with our backs to the thoroughfare. The food, as anticipated, was delightful. The service –again, was a let-down. Our waitress was very friendly but didn’t take our order down correctly. I hate it when that happens. We ordered the radishes, dashi-butter, bread rolls (an absolute must) and the bacon jam, egg, toast to share and ordered two serves of the lamb, loquat, garlic (which was on special – and it was truly special). However, we got one serve of the lamb (which takes some time to prepare, naturally) and when I asked the waitress if she placed one or two orders, she said we ordered one of the lamb; AND the veal shortrib pancake party. WTF? NOoooooooo. She dutifully went back to the kitchen to check, and when she returned, she proclaimed that it was OK, she’d just ordered the one serve of the lamb. Not ok – but lucky, as we were starting to get full by that stage anyway. Later in the evening, my brother wanted to order sake and asked our waitress for her recommendation. Mistake. She informed us that two of the three on the menu were served warm and one cold. He opted for one of the ‘warm’ ones – for the very reason that it’s served warm. 5 minutes later, cocktail maestro Luke Ashton brought out the sake – cold. I was starting to get pretty annoyed by this stage. I HATE bad service. I explained to Mr. Ashton that we’d been given the wrong sake. As it turns out, he gave us the sake that we did in fact order – it’s just served cold. My waitress fuck-up metre nearly exploded.

Duke is a noisy, throbbing epicentre for adoring locals and seriously loud groups of yuppies (noise is considerably amplified by the wooden floor boards). Service get’s the thumbs down, but it’s the food that sings and will lure me back again in good time. I wonder if they’ll maintain their hat next year.

C. x


Email. reservations@dukebistro.com.au
Phone. 02 9332 3180
65 Flinders St. Darlinghurst (on top of The Flinders Hotel)
Sydney, NSW 2010

(Images courtesy - Duke Bistro)

September covers

Friday, August 5, 2011


It's no secret in the publishing world that September is the big month for everyone.  I mean, there is a reason there is a movie out there called "The September Issue" for crying out loud.  

Notoriously heavy (thanks to big advertising spends) and often with some of the best features all year (I have my suspisions they save the good ones up), it's also when the editors pull out their big covers so I thought I would post a few of the best for the month so far.   One thing you will notice here especially is that Australian Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Australia have really come to the table this year and both bought their A-Game. 






Dave and Laura

Friday, July 8, 2011


Tommy Ton's photo for Style.com of Dave and I in Paris for the couture shows...haha jokes!  It's actually Olivia Palermo and her boyfriend but whatever...same same.
L x

Beautiful people

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in "Barefoot in the Park"

Creativity

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Matchbook magazine is always full of wonderful amazement, but this month I was particulalrly interested in their "50 classics for the office" page.  Yes they are all American products but it is a great inspiration for my soon to be home office.




Magazine Madness

Monday, July 4, 2011


I read ALOT of magazines....I literally consume so much mind numbing editorial with skinny pretty girls on the cover that I actually had a moment last week where I was getting Skyler Morison confused with Suri Cruise!  God forbid!  So it takes alot to grab my attention these days and thank goodness for Vogue Brazil who have come up with the goods. 

They couldn't decide which Patrick Demarchelier shot of Gisele they liked the best so they ran all four!  They also couldn’t decide which fashion images they preferred either – so inside you’ll find a whopper 32 pages more of the cover star.



The Big Issue

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


In the last few weeks, the weight debate and the size of models has once again been hauled to the front page of many a mag.  This time, the debate was sparked over the current issue of Italian Vogue which featured 3 plus size models on the cover - looking spactacularly and rediculously hot.  Frockwriter wrote a great story about it here.  So when I was asked to attend a breakfast for Ezibuy's plus size range, Sara I was quite interested to find out more. 


Vogue Italia, June 2011 cover shot by Steven Meisel

Our breakfast was hosted by Ljubenka Milunovic - if you haven't heard of her you probably should have....she is the plus size model equivalent of Miranda Kerr.  One of those genetically blessed human beings that is perfectly in proportion, great hair, flawless skin but unlike Miranda...she is actually interesting to listen to when she talks (Sorry Miranda).

Ljubenka (pronounced Lu-ben-ka) started modeling when she was just 13 years old after she was spotted in a dance class, however when she hit 16, her agency promptly turned to her and told her she was too fat!  To me, this in itself is completely ludicrous and if I had of been in her shoes I probably would have burst into tears.  Anyway, the modeling fell by the wayside for a few years when she didn't have the time to loose the weight and put herself through university instead.  Told you....smart girl.

Long story short, a friend mentioned she should try plus size modeling.  A few days later she met a boy who was planning on moving to NY, she sent a bunch of photos to different agencies and within hours she was getting calls from all the top American bookers trying to sign her.  She signed a contract with Ford, moved to NY, married the boy, had 2 children and is now one of the busiest working models in the industry.  Not bad for someone who was told she was fat at 16. 


And now Ljubenka is the face of Sara for Ezibuy - Australia's answer to fashionable plus size clothing.  Yes, she does make the clothes look good, but they have some great basics in the collection including some lovely striped tees that would look great with a little black blazer, jeans in every wash and cut imaginable, cute swimming costumes and surprisingly some fantastic bras for women who have a "fuller bust". 


Sara for Ezibuy available at David Jones stores nationally and for purchase online via their website

Home office - the beginning

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Finally, after many, many years, my boyfriend is moving in with me!  Yes it is a momentus step in any relationship, however I'm more concerned about the wardrobe issues that I am forcasting. And at the same time as moving in together, we are both making the move back to studying.... (insert doom like music here)  So not only do we need to condense our shoe collections, but it is also necessary for us to turn the spare room in my apartment into a home office.  So out with the bed and in with the desk and onwards and upwards for room inspiration.  Mood boards here I come! 



 

Wonderful amazement

Friday, May 27, 2011


Miss Moss is one of my favouritist blogs ever - it combines my two first loves of art and fashion and I highly reccomend you check it out right NOW.    However one of her recent posts particularly grabbed me so I wanted to share it with you.  Her discovery of a fantastic photographer by the name of Long Bach Nguyen helped me spend my Friday afternoon dreaming of photography purchases and travel and after some serious time dreaming I had such an overwhelming sense of gratitude - it's a veritable bird's eye view of the world.

RAFW: Alex Perry

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


This week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work backstage for Alterna at Alex Perry's RAFW show so I wanted to share a few of the highlights of the day with you in pictures. 
L x

Our wonderful Alterna all stars working hard and fast backstage before the show

Julia Nobis sitting very patiently while she gets her head yanked around by the wonderful team. 

Hanging with Napoleon Perdis


I have no idea where I would wear this dress but I don't care.  I want it anyway.

Show coming to an end

Models backstage after the show.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped out on the morning.  The very early call time was worth getting out of bed for.

All images by Lucas Dawson

Missoni Love

Friday, April 1, 2011



For her latest collection, Creative Director, and daughter of the patriarch of the Missoni clan, Angela was inspired by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonley Hearts Club Band, the infamous Beatles album cover conceived by British pop artist Peter Blake. Missoni said that this particular cover “perfectly summarizes the spirit of our collection, its playful shapes, cut out and silhouetted against space. I have therefore asked the great artist to realise a big collage of portraits for our campaign, and to my great joy, he accepted.”


So Peter Blake came back to recreate his Sgt. Pepper cover with a huge cast of the extended Missoni family, and their famous friends. In this collage style shoot we see head designer Angela with her son Francesco Maccapani Missoni, daughter Teresa sitting on the ground in a 70s inspired look, muse Margherita having a laugh with friends – Brazlian socialite Tatiana Santo Domingo, and shipping heiress Eugenie Niarchos. Then we have celebrity ring in Leighton Meester riding a carousel horse, smiling and flanked in Missoni.  Gorgeous!

It all makes for a very cute scene, and a very different style of campaign to past Missoni seasons. We can't help but love the display of family values, and the enjoyment of each others company across generations.



Affordable Fashion

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


You don’t HAVE to spend bucket loads of money to purchase your favourite designer brands. The money conscious fashionista can still buy luxe goods and save for that house deposit or end of year holiday to Gibraltar.
The temptation to purchase the latest and greatest looks hot off the catwalk may be hard to defeat, but if you can find the will to wait, there are serious bargains to be had. Of course, you could always wait for mid/end of year sales and battle the crowds, OR you could shop online now and have discount designer goods delivered direct! Here are three of the best:
The Outnet is one of my favourite bargain hot spots. Sister site to netaporter.com, The Outnet displays and dispatches literally hundreds of significantly reduced designer goods to lucky buyers. I recently purchased a pair of red Lanvin sandals reduced by a whopping 80% and they delivered within the week! Impressive considering they were dispatched to Sydney from the UK.


Another favourite site is http://www.luisaviaroma.com/ which displays both the latest and discount/sale items from international designers. The best thing about this site is that they display the cost of each item in your local currency, including postage! No nasty surprises at check out thank you!


A local Aussie site joining the ranks is Cult Status where you can find a veritable trove of highly sought after must have items.


If you’re looking for a particular brand or item, many official brand websites have a section dedicated to online purchasing and will include reduced items. It’s an excellent choice if you can’t find that particular piece you’ve been scouring the shops for.
Happy bargain shopping!
C. x

I'm hoping to get some of these tomorrow.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Personalised flowers - no words but awesome!


online magazines

Saturday, January 29, 2011



The development of online magazines is a trend that I'm really loving at the moment.  Not only are they easily accessable and free but the quality of the styling and photography is the same standard as you would find when flicking through a copy of Belle at your local newsagency or Coles.  And while D&M are clearly no where near dedicated to the blog world as these talented ladies and definately have no plans to follow the trend ourselves, that doesn't mean that we can't share the love occasionally.   So here is my top 5 online magazines for your design-spiration.  But make sure you set aside some time to read them...once you start it's hard to stop





I heart Gwyneth

Friday, January 28, 2011


I love GOOP, I love her in Glee and now I'm loving her hair retrospective.  It's a full blown obsession



Everything in one handbag

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This post is a shout out to the lovely Kylie from the adorable new blog "everything in one handbag".  Check it out for daily inspiration, beautiful images and a sneaky peak into the giddy world of fashion PR. 
Much love to you Kyles.
L x

"At the end of the day, if you would rather give up than try, nothing will ever be worth it".


Emma Watson

Friday, December 17, 2010


No words are necessary




Images thanks to Gritty Pretty

We also loved her here and all the way back here

L x

Gift idea for couples

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I just saw these beautiful embroidered pillow slips in Lonny and I think it is such a lovely gift for a couple - Christmas or otherwise....maybe a good one for engagement presents.  Especially on silk pillow cases.


And that bed looks so comfy! Gotta love me some Lonny
L x