The best things to do in Sydney this weekend (Easter Special: 25th-28th March)

One of the most anticipated holidays of the year, Easter, is coming this weekend, and even for those who aren’t big on the reason behind this faithful day, it’s hard not to embrace the extended weekend and penchant for spreading chocolate throughout the city with open arms, but there’s so much more than just chocolate to eat around Sydney this Easter. You’ll be doing just that this weekend if you follow the below, with pop-ups and exclusive weekend-only specials across the city.

Once Upon a Time: Easter at The Grounds

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The world famous Grounds of Alexandria will be transforming into a spectacular themed scene this long weekend, fashioned as a storybook for anyone looking for something really dramatic for their Easter celebrations this year. Various activities will feature during the pop-up from a Golden Easter Egg Hunt, a Humpty Dumpty Wall which has been build for selfies, roaming storybook characters, and Australia’s largest chocolate Easter Egg which will be sitting proudly in The Cafe. Free Easter arts and crafts workshops, balloon twisting, live music, and more will be spread throughout the weekend.

On Easter Sunday there will be a ‘community cracking’ of the three-metre, 300kg egg as well as a tasting for all those who participate in this delicious demolition.

The Grounds of Alexandria || 2A Huntley Street, Alexandria || www.thegrounds.com.au

Get Sacreligious at Milk Bar by Cafe Ish

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Redfern staple Milk Bar by Cafe Ish have created a limited edition, monstrous “Sacrilegious”. Just check this description, ’nuff said: 3 beef patties, Roast beef, Crumbed sausage, Artisan bacon, Triple cheese, Horseradish, Grilled onions, Pickles, Ketchup. There will also be a Barra Burger and a Jerk Chicken Burger on offer, but if you’re really brave (and completely gluttonous) then getting the Sacrilegious is the way to go. We had a preview of this and let’s just say that you this is the only meal you’ll need all day.

Milk Bar by Cafe Ish || 105 Regent St, Redfern || www.themilkbarbycafeish.com

Sake Tour Their Famous Dragon Egg Dessert

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Saké Double Bay has become famous for one particular dessert that seems to pop up in Instagram almost everyday now. Their large Dragon Egg dessert has caught the attention of many a discerning diner in the area and has become a tradition for some. It’s not hard to see (or taste) why. That Valrhona dark chocolate shell is filled with toasted chocolate crumble, edible soil, and passionfruit yoghurt crispy chips with chocolate mousse, passionfruit curd, and mango caramel; “indulgent” doesn’t even begin to this magnificent creation justice, and it’ been in high demand ever since Sake Double Bay introduced it to their menu, so much so that now Urban Purveyor Group have decided to take the dessert on a little road trip for this coming Easter Weekend, which means the Dragon Egg will be available at salle Sake restaurants across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane

The Dragon Egg takes three days to make. On the first, the chocolate shells are made, which involves carefully tempering a large amount of chocolate. On the second day, all the components which fill the egg are made, and on the final day, they are all assembled inside of the egg, which is gently sealed with a shiny chocolate glaze. A light dusting of gold cust is the finishing touch to the outside of the egg.

Once delivered to the table, the Dragon Egg is served under a pouring of liquid nitrogen, which makes the egg brittle enough to break open with a spoon, presenting a slightly theatrical edge to dessert. Around about 400 of these are sold each week, with ingredients used slightly changing with the seasons.

Over the Easter Long Weekend (Friday 25th March to Monday 28th March) around 50 Dragon Egg desserts will be available at each restaurant as part of the Chef’s Signature Menu, which costs $110 per person. Venues are: Saké Hamer Hall (Melbourne), Saké Eagle Street Pier (Brisbane) and the original Saké at The Rocks.

Sake || www.sakerestaurant.com.au

Waterman’s Lobster Co. x Young Henry’s Pop Up in Newtown

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Heard of Waterman’s Lobster Co. and their Maine and Connecticut style lobster rolls but aren’t keen on leaving the inner-west bubble? We’ve got some good news for you. The increasingly popular Potts Point joint will be bringing some of their delicious rolls for a little two-day pop-up towards the end of this month, setting up at Newtown brewery Young Henry’s.

Usually it’s Young Henry’s popping up all over Sydney, but this time the lobster-focused brand will be serving mini versions of their popular rolls for $12 each (with crisps) out of the inner-west staple on Good Friday (25th March) and Easter Saturday (26th March). You can get two for $20 or some Egg Rolls with chips for $8 and wash it all down with Young Henry’s beers, set at $5 a midi.

The two-day pop up follows a successful temporary venture to Bondi Beach which saw Waterman’s serve up fresh lobster rolls out of the site that used to belong to Mr Moustache. We’re willing to bet this new pop-up spawned from Young Henry’s coming on board Kings Cross Festival late last month. Whatever the reason, we’re just glad it exists and that we’ll be getting to munch on these fresh, buttery lobster rolls in Newtown soon!

Young Henry’s Newtown || D & E, 76 Wilford St, Newtown

Merivale (finally) Unveil The Newport

Merivale is set to open the much anticipated mega-venue The Newport on Good Friday as a part of the official launch of the first phase of the iconic’s landmark redevelopment. The Newport promises to be a vibrant gathering place thanks to its remarkable location, which looks out over the vista of Pittwater estuary, and the diverse range of spaces to drink, dine and socialize.

Excited about this new development, CEO of Merivale Justin Hemmes said: “The Newport is at the heart of so many wonderful memories in the local community, so it is incredibly important for us to honour this as we create the new chapter in its history. With its sprawling grounds, magnificent landscaping and team of over 450 passionate locals, this is one of the biggest ventures we have ever undertaken. We are so excited and proud to finally open the first phase”.

Executive Chef Sebastien Lutaud will head The Newport, with his promising and extensive menu reflecting the coastal lifestyle of the Northern Beaches. Guests will not be short of options as they will be presented with a diverse range of food and drink experiences. From sizzling grass-fed beef and chicken burgers with soft potato buns from ‘The Burger Shack’ to fresh seafood, seasonal salads and exceptional Australian meats, there will be something for everyone. ‘The Juice Bar’ will also be blitzing up fresh juices and smoothies and ‘The Kiosk’ will be serving freshly-brewed coffee, pastries and donuts.

The Newport will also be home to sure fire crowd pleaser Vinnie’s Pizza, where Merivale’s Vincenzo Biondini will be whipping up authentic pizza in a wood-fired oven. A specially made “The Newport” app will allow guests to make orders and simply collect their pizzas when ready.

In terms of beverages, a wide selection of wine, beers and the ultimate Sydney drinks will be on offer. Tantalizing frozen cocktails such as the Yuzu (made famous at the pop-Asian hangout Ms.G’s), Strawberry Slushies, Pina Coladas< and Miami Vices will be on offer alongside the classics; all best enjoyed while the sun sets over the peninsula.

The Newport has created an exciting programme of free events and activities suitable for all ages. Over the Easter long weekend face painting, Easter egg hunts, bunny rabbits and a petting zoo will entertain the kids. Gold coin donations will go towards ‘Mums for Mums’, a local charity group which supports families of Newport, Bilgola Plateau and Avalon Public Schools through times of distress and illness. The Newport will also have a retro-inspired games area set up, so children and adults young at heart can enjoy a game of ping pong, badminton or scrabble via a giant magnetic scrabble board.

At the heart of the entertainment experience will be the live music of local talent showcased on an alfresco stage seven days a week. Names such as Rad Dan, Rob Somatik, Gangs of Brothers and Paper Parade will be performing during the opening weekend.

As a part of Merivale’s line up of free live music series, The Newport will also play host to Sunday Sundown. Melbourne’s nine-piece soul band Saskwatch will be the first featured act of the programme and will play on Easter Sunday, followed by indie duo Gypsy and the Cat on 3 April, Tasmanian singer songwriter Asta on 10 April and synth-pop trio Mansionair on 17th April.

The re-imagining of The Newport by a team including Kelvin Ho and Emilie Delalande of Akin Creative, stylist Amanda Talbot and Justin and Bettina Hemmes is inspired and there are more plans in the process. Due to the mass scale of the property, stages two and three of Merivale’s redevelopment are set to be revealed later in 2016.

Chefs Gallery offer up Bunny Buns

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Popular CBD contemporary Chinese restaurant Chinese Gallery aren’t going to be resting on their laurels this Easter weekend, introducing a special limited edition menu item that’s sounds as delicious as it is adorable. The Bunny Buns have been introduced to run at the each of the restaurant’s Sydney locations from Friday 25th to Tuesday 29th March, meaning you’ve got five days to head on down and try force yourself to smash these adorable faces in and get to the slightly smokey black sesame molten centers.

Executive Chef Wing says “We take our food very seriously at Chefs Gallery so occasionally it’s fun to come up with cute creations that are both entertaining and delicious. This is definitely a dish we want you to play with!”

The steamed buns have obviously been designed to flood your Instagram feed, which you’ll see coming from either one of the Chefs Gallery restaurants in Town Hall, Macquarie Centre, Bankstown, or Parramatta.

Chef’s Galley || www.chefsgallery.com

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy Editor of the AU review and a freelance travel writer. You can reach him on Instagram by following @chrisdsingh.

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