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This Week in Food: The Year of the Spritz and a Secret Garden in the City

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KATE’S CHRISSY TIPS – Stuck for something to buy the food and wine love who has everything?? Well, never fear, Kate has come up with a list of gifts, experiences, and ideas that are bound to make some gourmet happy. Click the link here for the full list.

WA-HEY! – It’s had a bit of attention of late, so Scorcher and I headed in to check out Fitzroy newcomer Wa Kenbo ourselves. Headed up by chef Kenji Ito, who ran Kenji Modern Japanese in Adelaide for 11 years, it’s quite the oasis in the gritty backstreets off Brunswick Street. Chef Kenji is all about using refined Japanese technique on both Australian and Japanese ingredients, including vegetables and herbs
that he grows in his own garden. Don’t expect your average Japanese, we did a tasting menu that included Kuro-buta pork belly and tempura sea urchin, but also shitake & barley risotto and green tea and chocolate warm pudding. It was stunning.

YEAR OF THE SPRITZ – Yes, the Aperol spritz has been everywhere for a couple of years, but I am declaring Summer 2019, the year the Spritz evolved. Think Rondo, Limoncello and even Amaro, we’re going to see plenty more Italian liqueurs being spritzed. And one place to try them is the brand new Rocco’s Deli & Spritz Bar in Seddon. Roccos are well to locals for the brilliant grazing boxes, and they’ve teamed with local cocktail legends Laylow bar to open this new offering serving up paninis, charcuterie, cannoli and of course, Spritzes!

SHHHHH, SECRET GARDEN – The rooftop at QT is already stupendously popular, so imagine learning that there’s a secret rooftop garden utilised by the kitchen, and it’s now available for use for private events, lunches and dinners. It’s been carefully cultivated by Exec Chef Andy Harmer, with relatively unheard of edible plants like Fruit Salad Sage (great in a G&T!), Native River Mint; and tasty Blue Lily Pilly berries. Now, the Secret Garden can be hired for a stupendous outdoor event, be in a sit down dinner for up to 10, with personalised cooking from Andy, or a stand up “camp fire” two hour experience with a private bar for up to 25. It’s an absolute cracker and worth a thought for any special events coming up.