Mercado – Sydney

‘Mercado is about the revival of the old mixed with the new. Our passion in food derives directly from a love of reviving forgotten kitchen skills. Through whole animal butchery, meat curing, cheese making, bread baking & preserving we aim to continue these traditions by hand with a great respect to the way cooking was and how we can use each method in the modern kitchen. We work with many small farmers, growers and producers to source the finest ingredients. These tireless people work as we do with the love and care for producing only the best. Just like in a marketplace our menu changes with these people, one day its here the next day it’s gone.’ from Mercado website

I thoroughly enjoyed the meal I had here with the standouts being the ravioli & cauliflower. The porchetta lacked something and was far from amazing and at $50 not worth it. Spanish doughnuts for dessert a nice dish to finish off with.


Turkish style pumpkin ravioli, yoghurt & burnt butter $27

Spit roasted porchetta & mojo rojo $50

Spanner crab bocadillo, rocket & chilli – $16 each

Iberico jamon, figs & marcona almonds $26

Spiced cauliflower, pine nuts, pomegranates & labne $27

Donuts & coffee – Spanish doughnuts, coffee granita & custard $16

Mercado – 4 Ash St, Sydney
Mercado Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hotel, Travel

Ritz Carlton – Shanghai Pudong


The Ritz Carlton is located on the top floors of the IFC tower in Shanghai. The lobby is on the top floor with the guest rooms being below the lobby. So to get to your room you need to take a lift up to the lobby then down to your room. The extra time taken to get to your room is made up for by the amazing views of Shanghai. The other skyscrapers seem so close when looking out.

I was booked in a standard king room but was offered a twin Bund view room at check-in which I was very happy to receive. It’s essentially the same room but with a much nicer view and can be sold for a few hundred $AUD more than a standard deluxe room.

Rooms – Large and well appointed with everything you would expect from a Ritz Carlton even a Nespresso machine. My room had a panoramic view of the Bund & Pearl Tower very nice to just sit in bed and look out at Shanghai. The bathroom is very grand, marble floors with a large freestanding bathtub, sperate shower.

Service – Staff were very professional whilst being friendly and helpful. I have always found Ritz Carlon service excellent however I felt this hotel, in particular, to be on the next level.  I was always greeted by name and staff seemed genuinely happy to assist.

Facilities – The pool area is great with a larger cold water swimming pool and a separate warm water spa.  There is also a full gym and Ritz Carlton Spa. Also on site is the Michelin Starred Jin Xuan restaurant & Flair bar which is the highest bar in Shanghai.

Location – Pudong is primarily a business area so for this purpose it’s excellent, a leisure traveller might be better staying on the other side of the river.

Overall –  Excellent all round hotel, with great service and amazing views.


Ritz Carlton – Shanghai Pudong Bund View Twin Room

Ritz Carlton  Shanghai Pudong – Nespresso machine


Ritz Carlton Shanghai Pudong – View from room

Pool area


Change room

The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong

Modern Australian

Automata – Chippendale

“Automata serves a five course set menu which changes regularly. The menu utilises the best ingredients possible at that particular time with minimal fuss. ”

I like the styling of the restaurant space industrial look, concrete floors,  large open kitchen.  Automata were awarded a solid two hats in the 2018 Good Food Guide however it’s still very reasonably priced with a  5-course set menu costing $88 with an optional cheese course $12. 

The food was good, creative dishes well presented but some of them lacked that wow factor and I could have done with another course to leave feeling totally full. Considering the price this place its worth a try but I don’t think I will dine here again anytime soon. Not because it is bad just so many other places to try…

Starter snacks

House-made bread & butter

Bug tail

Scallop, fennel, squid ink noodle, vinegar

Roasted celeriac, ginger & pickled celery, wild tyme

Brack Angus tri-tip, garlic chive, dill pickle & mustard oil

Roasted grain parfait, bergamot curd, black sesame, dried plum

Automata Restaurant -5 Kensington St, Chippendale

Automata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato