The Grain Store offers cheers and biers | NIBBLES

CHEERS: Will Corey Crooks stick with tradition and pull on the lederhosen at the Grain Store's annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 7 and 8?  Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

CHEERS: Will Corey Crooks stick with tradition and pull on the lederhosen at the Grain Store's annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 7 and 8? Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Newcastle’s award-winning Grain Store is stocking up on biers in readiness for its annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 7 and 8.

A dozen imported Oktoberfest biers will be on tap as well as top-notch drops from independent Aussie brewers. Bavarian bier hall favourites will be added to the menu.

The venue itself is being transformed into a Munich bier hall with extra-long tables and bench seating, and there will be live entertainment from Rockordion.

There is no need to book, owner Corey Crooks told Food & Wine, as there will be “plenty of space for large groups”.

Kebabs to go

Food & Wine has been hearing good things about Mayfield West Kebabs & Charcoal Chicken, a firm favourite with locals for more than 40 years now. The family-owned and operated takeaway store has updated its menu and now offers a choice of three sizes when it comes to their popular “snack packs”. They also sell a halal snack pack. You can find the store at 420 Maitland Road, Mayfield West. It’s open every day except Sunday. 

The food issue

If you're looking for a new place to eat, this Saturday's edition of Weekender in the Newcastle Herald may be the most helpful guide you've seen in a long time. Along with stories on dining trends, top operators and memorable moments, there will be a compilation of more than 50 restaurant reviews and some provocative "Best Of" lists. 

Here's the scoop

The Junction continues to attract foodies. Scoop Wholefoods is opening soon, offering a range of bulk goods as well as vegan and organic items. The Essential Ingredient, Doughheads, The Pickled Pig and Pickled & Pressed have all set up shop in the suburb in recent months.

Road trip

The ever-popular Newcastle City Farmers Market will be held at Speers Point Park on Sunday, not Newcastle Showground. 

Fresh is best

Slow Food Hunter Valley is bringing a Spring Pop-Up Produce Stall to Maitland’s The Levee on Thursday, September 22. From 7am to noon you will be able to buy fresh produce direct from the farmer – peas, beetroot, kale, silverbeet, pumpkins, citrus and Oakhampton eggs. 

Beat Club

Madame Mo’s at Islington is now open on Saturday nights, 6pm to 9pm. Also, Madame Mo’s Beat Club on October 13 and November 10 will combine music, dumplings, tea and imported beer. Phone 4965 4841.

New tea room

A family-friendly tea room is opening at Lambton Park, Newcastle City Council says, at the Memorial Baby Health Centre building which has been vacant since 2014. Memory Lane Antique & Decor owners Nevine and Bruce Adlam will open an old-fashioned tea room seating up to 30 diners and serving salads and baguettes. 

Express lunch

The $12 express lunch menu at Basement on Market St is value for money. On offer are tasty dishes such as the pulled lamb burger, falafel wrap, quinoa and goat’s cheese salad, schnitzel sandwich, crunchy chicken salad and Israeli meatballs. Tuesday to Friday, dine in or takeaway, phone 4906 1386.

All you can eat

Felici Mi at Toronto is now Nabo’s Kitchen & Bar. The restaurant, at 24 Victory Parade, offers a $12 all-you-can-eat pasta night on Tuesdays, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.   

Beachside cafe

The Kiosk Newcastle Beach is opening soon, a venture involving three couples. The menu will combine fresh cafe items, kiosk favourites, coffee and, of course, a view. Meet the people behind the new venture in an upcoming edition of Food & Wine. 

Schnitzel joint

Harrys Schnitzel Joint is opening in Marketown, Newcastle West, on the Coles side. Rumour has it Thursday might be the big day.

Beer and cider

Warners at the Bay’s 10th annual beer and cider festival will take place on November 27. Tickets are on sale now in the bottle shop. 

Street festival

Newcastle China Week will conclude with a Pop-Up Chinatown Street Festival at Hamilton on Sunday, September 25. A Shanghai-inspired marketplace will be set up on Beaumont Street from 10am to 3pm featuring a mix of live performances, food stalls and interactive cultural activities.

Get Gutsy Gala

The Get Gutsy Gala is on October 1 at  Maitland Leagues Club to raise money for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Troy Kemp will perform and there will be a charity auction. Tickets are $45 and include appetisers and a glass of champagne or beer on arrival. Phone Danielle Schultz on 0421 758 172.

Useful advice

The Restaurant & Catering Association is holding an information session on Monday, September 26, at Table 1 Espresso, Merewether. Media expert Tracy McKelligot will provide advice to members and guests on how to manage to media during a crisis; the best ways to respond to positive and negative reviews on Facebook and TripAdvisor; and how to work the media to gain positive coverage. The cost is $45 (members) and $60 (non-members). RSVP by Thursday, September 22, to Michelle O’Toole on 0421 556 859 or Afterwards, enjoy a wine tasting, courtesy of Peterson House, and cocktail food.