Macca's home delivery kicks off in Newcastle | FOOD NEWS

Head to Charlestown’s Pearson Street Mall this Thursday, November 30, to enjoy a bite to eat and see what Lake Macquarie City Council has planned for the once thriving thoroughfare. You can even have your say on its future.

FUTURE PLANS: Food is a focus of Thursday's ChIPfest at Pearson Street Mall, Charlestown. Be there from 5pm to 8.30pm for live music and art, too.

FUTURE PLANS: Food is a focus of Thursday's ChIPfest at Pearson Street Mall, Charlestown. Be there from 5pm to 8.30pm for live music and art, too.

The plan is, council says, to create a new and inviting smart space which will form part of the Charlestown Innovation Precinct (ChIP). A pilot precinct will test technologies such as “plug and play” outdoor digital kiosks, virtual graffiti walls and live bus maps with real-time timetable updates.

Thursday’s ChIPfest pop-up event will feature food trucks, technology, art installations, live music and more from 5pm to 8.30pm. It is a free event and all are welcome to attend. Newy Burger Co, Bao Brothers Eatery, El Poco Loco, Cafe 53 VW Kombi Cafe, CHOUX Patisserie and Rogue Scholar Brewing are all on board.

The council has committed $2 million to the revitalisation of this public space and has received additional funding from the federal government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The transformation is set to unfold over the next 18 months.

Maccas delivery

It’s the morning after the night before and you are craving salty fries, a burger and sugary drink – but you just can’t get moving. 

McDonald’s has just made it a lot easier to get your fix.

McDelivery has launched at five Newcastle McDonald’s restaurants this week. A collaboration with UberEATS, McDelivery allows your favourite menu items to be delivered right to your door. 

If you live within a 10-minute drive of McDonald’s at Broadmeadow, Kotara, Mayfield, Industrial Drive and King Street, Newcastle, you can access the McDelivery service. A delivery booking fee applies to each order.

McDonald’s NSW market manager Cameron Newlands told Food & Wine “delivery has long been one of the top requests we receive and, with a growing number of people using UberEATS to get their favourite foods, they are the ideal partner for McDonald’s as we launch this service in Newcastle”.

Susan Anderson, UberEATS General manager (cities), said Newcastle locals “regularly search for McDonald’s in the UberEATS app and we’re thrilled to respond to that demand and bring even more choice to Newcastle locals”.

Tinder for food

Newcastle’s own “tinder for food” – Crave – made the “top five essential apps for busy (or lazy) cooks” in a Good Food story published last week. Author Caterina Hrysomallis was impressed by the dish-based focus of the app and said she looked forward to it rolling out nationwide in the near future. 

Festive market

It’s the biggest event of the year for The Olive Tree Market and it’s taking place this Saturday, December 2, from 9am to 3pm at Newcastle’s Civic Park. 

The annual Christmas Market Festival will feature art, design, music, free children’s activities, more than 200 market stalls and, of course, food. Get your Christmas shopping done while enjoying handmade artisan goodies – or buy ahead for the festive season. Stallholders will include Billy Goat Brew, The Cheese Riot, Bacco’s Bakery, Pudding Lane, Baked Uprising, Station Street Picklery and Arolyn Grove.

Hidden gem

Tucked away in a Gateshead back street is The Box Coffee Bar, owned and run by Dave Geise and Luke Baker. They pride themselves on their coffee, acai bowls, chia cups, vegan sweets, milkshakes and toasties and specialise in vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free as well as guilt-free products. You can find them at Shop 2, 30 Metro Court, Gateshead.

New workshop

Heritage Gardens Nursery sold out its first Kids Christmas Gingerbread House Workshop so are holding another at 1pm on December 16. Book now through trybooking.com. 

Staff changes

Lesley Taylor no longer works at Hobarts Restaurant, upstairs at Wests New Lambton’s Level One Dining precinct. A spokesperson said she left to “pursue other opportunities”. Food & Wine is trying to get in contact with the talented chef to see what she plans to do next – and where.

Pop-up bakery

Covered in Crumbs will be “popping up” at The Locomotive on December 23 – just in time for you to grab some unique, quality bakery items for Christmas. The brainchild of Restaurant Mason’s head pastry chef, Gareth Williams, Covered in Crumbs sold every last crumb at its first pop-up event at Sherwood Coffee Bar on November 18.

Poke bowls

Lulus Cafe & Poke is now open and serving healthy poke bowls. Their full breakfast menu kicks off on December 4. You can find them at Suite 1, 3-5 Crown Street, Newcastle. 

Mulga Bill back

Chef Harry Callinan kicked off Mulga Bill’s at The Edwards on Monday. Food & Wine ventured in to check it out. It was interesting to watch his unique barbecue in action and the resulting slow-cooked, wood-fired meat was both tender and flavoursome. There are vegetarian options, too, and each menu item is served with a tasty slaw. Live music from Dane Fitzsimmons was a nice touch and the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. Harry was run off his feet but had a smile on his face. Pop in and check it out for yourself on Mondays from 11.30am for lunch, and from 5.30pm for dinner. It’s something different for a Monday night when many restaurants are otherwise closed. A raffle ticket is served with your meal – or your beer.

Harry Callinan, aka Mulga Bill. Picture: Lisa Rockman

Harry Callinan, aka Mulga Bill. Picture: Lisa Rockman