The Mulberry goes Cuban and win a family dinner at Burger Urge | FOOD BITES

UNIQUE: Peter Stevens, founder of Gentleman's Cabinet, will be at Toronto Hotel's Viva La Cuba festival on Saturday, March 3. Book your ticket now.

UNIQUE: Peter Stevens, founder of Gentleman's Cabinet, will be at Toronto Hotel's Viva La Cuba festival on Saturday, March 3. Book your ticket now.

In today’s health-conscious world admitting to a craving for a glass of Scotland’s finest and a cigar isn’t always politically correct. 

Peter Stevens doesn’t care. He shouts it from the rooftops. The founder of Gentleman’s Cabinet, a corporate and private events agency that specialises in whisky, rum and cigar experiences, has forged a career out of an appreciation of the world’s finest spirits.

This Saturday at Toronto’s newly-opened Mulberry Bar, though, his focus will be on the unique flavour combination that is rum and cigars.

Tickets to the Viva La Cuba festival (March 3, 5pm to 11pm) cost $69 per person and include a 90-minute rum and cigar masterclass hosted by Stevens, plus tastings and music from Latino Sounds.

Grab your ticket online at or at the hotel’s bottleshop.

Lunch to go

You don’t have to devote a couple of hours of your life to dining at The Persian Place, although you are more than welcome to do so. The vegan and vegetarian-friendly dinner menu is designed to be shared – and savoured – at your own pace. But if you are in town and after a quick, affordable but tasty lunch on the run, the Bolton Street restaurant is now offering an express lunch menu. Check it out. 

Papa’s Bagel Bar on Hunter Street has also introduced a streamlined “grab and go” lunch menu. It’s being touted as a “wholesome and healthy” option for time-poor inner-city workers.

Tourist friendly

Broke’s Margan Estate picked up two trophies at the 2017 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Perth last week. They won silver in the Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services category, and gold for Excellence in Food Tourism.

They’re not in the food business but Williamtown’s Sand Dune Adventures won gold in the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tourism category.

Texan menu

If you’re lucky you might still be able to grab a ticket to tomorrow night’s Texas BBQ Beer Dinner at FogHorn Brewhouse. Chief brewer Shawn Sherlock has expertly matched the menu to award-winning FogHorn beers and will be on hand to answer questions and chat. Tickets to the March 1 event cost $69 per person. Bookings are essential by phoning 4929 4721.

Tapas time

Speaking of dinner, Bocados Spanish Kitchen on King Street is now open every night from 5pm. As an added bonus, it’s BYO on Mondays.

Pop-up people

Bubble Tea Bar ceased trading at its permanent site in Merewether last year but, as promised, they have been popping up here, there and everywhere over the past few months. You can catch them at The Olive Tree Market this Saturday, March 3, 9am to 3pm at Civic Park in Newcastle. 

Boutique market

The Boutique Food Market makes its debut at Newcastle Flower Markets this Saturday, March 3, 8am to 1pm. Already confirmed are Hungerford Hill Wines; Delikacies; Whisked Away Pancakes; Sweetwater Vineyard; Anna Bay Micro Greens and a few last-minute additions to be confirmed. 

“Gareth [Williams, of Covered in Crumbs] can’t do this weekend but is locked in for future markets along with Baked Uprising, which is exciting,” organiser Jessica Eckford-Aguilera told Food & Wine. 

“It’s all about local produce and supporting local businesses. At the flower markets we do the same, we support our Australian growers – now more than ever these farmers need our help. We are creating a community of passionate foodies that love what they do, along with flower and coffee lovers.”

Newcastle Flower Markets opened a permanent kiosk at the 1 Rural Drive, Sandgate, site not long ago. If you are keen to take part in the Boutique Food Market phone 0404 013 629.

Beer dinner

Lovedale Bar’s seasonal beer dinner is on again. Head brewer Scott Hayward and banquets chef Nathan Cooper are combining their talents to create a five-course, beer-matched dinner on Thursday, March 8. The night kicks off with a tour of the on-site brewery at 6.30pm followed by canapes – think potato and double-smoked ham croquet, green pea aioli and snow pea tendril paired with Lovedale Lager. Then there’s the “hop” smoked salmon with fennel remoulade, cucumber and lemon gel paired with Surry Hills Pilsner. 

As for the remaining three courses, go to and follow the links. Tickets are $65 per person, bookings essential. If you would prefer to leave the car at home, you can book accommodation at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley or pay $20 for a return coach transfer from Crowne Plaza Newcastle and Kotara South Football Club. Email:

Twilight fun

Don’t forget: Five Senses Twilight Market returns to Lambton Park at 4pm this Sunday, March 4. There will be food, wine, beer, live entertainment and more and the best bit is, it’s all for a good cause: The Leukaemia Foundation.

Irish charm

St Patrick’s Day is a just over a fortnight away. The Northern Star Hotel, Dudley’s Royal Crown Hotel, Shenanigans and Finnegan’s are ahead of the pack and have a huge March 17 planned. 

Bistro is open

Hotline Hoagies returns to The Newcastle Hotel at Islington this Saturday, March 3, at 5pm until sold out. 

Chat and sip

Mia Freedman is the special guest at Wests New Lambton’s annual High Tea this Saturday, March 3. The co-founder and creative director of the Mamamia Women’s Media Company started out blogging in her lounge room. The event will be hosted by NBN’s Natasha Beyersdorf and Charlestown Square’s Natalie Baker will talk about the latest in fashion. Tickets $80 at or by phoning 4935 1200. 

Seafood night

Tomorrow night (March 1) is seafood night at Morpeth’s Commercial Hotel. Grab a cocktail on the verandah and watch the sun set.

Win a family dinner at Burger Urge 

Burger Urge opened its first NSW store in Glendale last April.  Owned and run by the Schafferious family, of Largs, it has the honour of being the most successful branch in the predominately Queensland franchise in terms of first-week trading.

The Burger Urge menu can be quirky – last weekend the Big Bad Barnaby Burger proved a hit, and prior to that there was the Kim Jong Yum.

Food & Wine has a meal for a family of four to give away at Glendale’s Burger Urge. The winner can order burgers and sides to the value of $75. The prize must be claimed by June 1, 2018. To enter, send the words “Burger Urge” with your name, address and number to  Entries close on Monday, March 5, at 9am.


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