BOOK REVIEW: KARLY LANE – TALLOWOOD BOUND

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Karly Lane’s latest novel, Tallowood Bound allows you to immerse yourself in some good, ol’fashioned romance as well as spend some time away in the country. The book is an Australian, rural romance novel that also spins together elements of historic fiction and contemporary, chick lit. The novel is ultimately a pleasant and engaging one about three generations of women from the Macalister family.

The story begins with Sydney-based girl, Erin Macalister leaving the big smoke behind in order to care for her gran, Evelyn, who lives in Tuendoc, a small rural town in Queensland. Evelyn has had a bad fall and is also suffering from severe memory loss as a result of having dementia. The only way Erin can still get through to her grandma is to bring in some old photographs. But these pictures also unlock a series of long-lost memories and family secrets that have been buried for decades.

The other major arc to this novel is about Evelyn’s life as a young woman living in Townsville and working for the Red Cross during the Second World War. She is engaged to a close family friend named Roy and he in turn has struck up a friendship with an American serviceman named Jimmy while the two were stationed in New Guinea. When Jimmy is allowed some leave in Australia he goes to meet Evelyn and her family and this sets off a series of events that had long remained a mystery and this is all slowly revealed to the reader.

After Erin returns to Tuendoc she also meets up with an old love of her own named Jamie McBride, who also happens to be her grandma’s neighbour. The latter is keen to rekindle his relationship with Erin but she is weary and still wounded by her recent marriage breakdown as well as several ghosts from the past. Lane does an excellent job of writing realistic characters and creating authentic and complex relationships complete with feelings like emotion, loss and heartbreak.

Tallowood Bound is a vivid, romance tale set in the country but it’s also a story that is far bigger than that. It successfully draws together multiple generations of a family and shows the long-lasting impact of some key decisions. In all, this was an enjoyable and predictable dramatic tale that has one big, old heart at its core.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-tallowood-bound

BOOK REVIEW: SARA FOSTER – ALL THAT IS LOST BETWEEN US

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All That Is Lost Between Us will have you transfixed and wanting to rush to the very end in order to figure it all out. The novel is the fourth one from England-born, Perth-based writer, Sara Foster. It’s an intense, psychological drama that is brimming with secrets, lies and deception.

The story has four alternating narrators. The main one is 17-year-old Georgia Turner, a girl that is harbouring a dark secret. She’s also one of the victims in a hit and run incident that sees her cousin, Sophia placed in an induced coma. Questions are swiftly asked about whether the driver deliberately sort out these two teenagers or whether they were subject to a horrific accident.

Another key narrator is Georgia’s mother, Anya, a school psychologist who is juggling distant children and a marriage that is crumbling around her. Anya’s chapters are unique in that they’re told in the first person, which lends the prose a more intimate feel to the other storytellers; because Georgia, her computer game-playing brother, Zac and their selfish father Callum’s stories are all told in the third person.

All That Is Lost Between Us covers just 48 hours in the lives of the Turner family but it also packs a lot of things in. This is a weighty and nuanced tale that poses some important questions while also hooking the reader in as it slowly drip-feeds different clues and lobs a few curveballs into the mix. Foster has done a good job of constructing this world out of so many different parts and vignettes because in the end, this novel still feels like one cohesive whole.

Sara Foster’s latest novel is a beautifully-written family drama and thriller that is set in England’s atmospheric, Lake District. It’s a modern-day domestic drama that shows how relationships that were once close can become frayed and distant. In short, this is an immediate and emotional tale filled with sensitivity, pathos and depth.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-all-that-is-lost-between-us

LIVE REVIEW: ALBERT HAMMOND JR. & GUNNS @ OXFORD ART FACTORY, SYDNEY (19.02.2016)

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Albert Hammond, Jr. arrived for his debut solo headline tour in Australia, despite it being a decade since his first record was released. The Strokes guitarist had a fair swag of material to draw on – with three albums and an EP to boot – and his band played a tight set to a largely lethargic crowd, with a sound eerily reminiscent of the group that made him famous.

The support slot was filled by young Fremantle quartet Gunns, who sound like they should be wearing paisley shirts and mop tops. The group performed a series of pretty, psychedelia-tinged tunes with an added rock punch. ‘Death Of The Sun’ and ‘Who’s Gonna Be Your Dog’ from their new EP were aired during a promising set, in addition to ‘Live By The Sea’.

Albert Hammond, Jr.’s set gave his Australian fans the chance to see the guitarist step out of The Strokes’ shadow and play frontman. The songs sound a lot like The Strokes, and Hammond has a nice voice, but he is no Julian Casablancas. Some of the songs had a great idea, tone or riff, but there were other moments where the tracks sounded far too repetitive and familiar.

‘Everyone Gets A Star’ was a fun and exuberant way to start and ‘Rude Customer’ was a slice of dance-worthy rock that could have been a Franz Ferdinand cut. Hammond’s newer material certainly has a more mature and wistful air, and that was particularly evident in ‘Losing Touch’ and ‘Side Boob’. They were performed well, but the crowd was rather sedate, which could have been chalked up to the evening’s stifling heat or because some punters wanted Strokes songs (there were none).

The set was instead filled with upbeat tunes from his AHJ EP as well as some material from his debut album. ‘Blue Skies’ proved a nice diversion from the more energetic pacing elsewhere, a slower and stripped-back piece of balladry, before the night closed with ‘Holiday’. It had been a show that often hinted at a retro sentiment packaged up in a jaunty, contemporary feeling, and while it had been fun to party with Hammond, some punters were left hungry for a Strokes show.

Originally published on 22 February 2016 at the following website: http://thebrag.com/music/albert-hammond-jr-oxford-art-factory

Visit The Brag’s homepage at: http://thebrag.com/

BOOK REVIEW: AMANDA ORTLEPP – RUNNING AGAINST THE TIDE

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Running Against The Tide is the second novel from Sydney-based writer, Amanda Ortlepp (Claiming Noah). It’s also an intense mystery that stars a strong woman named Erin Travers. She is a lady that has packed up her life and two teenage sons into a car and travelled from NSW to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia in order to leave an abusive relationship. It’s a relevant and timely story that offers some real food for thought in our contemporary society where prejudice is common and domestic violence figures are high.

Ortlepp has done an excellent job of creating a complex story that is almost like an onion. It’s a slow and nuanced tale that reveals Travers’ narrative little-by-little as well as the troubling events that occur in the small and sleepy close-knit town of Mallee Bay, which is known for its oyster farming. Ortlepp writes well and offers very descriptive prose and rich characterisation of the Travers family and their neighbours, Jono and Helen. But while there is some darkness and drama to the story, there are some points where it is a little too slowly paced to retain the reader’s attention and the ending was far too rushed.

Running Against The Tide is a realistic book that will have readers wanting to know what actually happened and who’s responsible for some troubling events in the town (like arson and theft). It’s a story that will keep you on your toes and leave you guessing as prejudices and fractured relationships are the order of the day. It also means the reader’s own prejudices will colour their view and interpretation of this Aussie whodunit. Clever stuff.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-running-against-the-tide

THEATRE REVIEW: ALL MY LOVE @ RIVERSIDE THEATRE, PARRAMATTA (17.02.2016)

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Henry Lawson and Dame Mary Gilmore (nee Cameron) are famous Australian authors who appeared on Australia’s old paper $10 note. They’re also the subject of an intense period drama and romantic play called All My Love. It’s a story that asks a number of “What if?” style questions and hints at what could have been a great love story.

The play is written by Sydney writer Anne Brooksbank, who also penned a book on the same subject around two decades ago. The Riverside Theatre in Parramatta played host to the first professional production of the show and it was directed by Denny Lawrence. It was a deceptively simple piece of theatre in terms of how it was rendered but it was also one that pulled a number of emotional punches.

All My Love is mostly told from Gilmore’s perspective. It begins with her being a wide-eyed and progressive young woman making the journey from Broken Hill to Sydney and contemplating a career as a teacher. Her mother was friends with Louisa Lawson, a feminist writer and publisher. Lawson was also the mother of the then fledgling writer, Henry Lawson. The pairing of Gilmore and Henry Lawson seemed like a match made in heaven but life had a habit of intervening.

The play threads together a series of vignettes where Lawson and Gilmore’s paths cross — from their initial meeting and courtship to their break-up and Gilmore’s departure to Paraguay. There are also some fleeting intervals the friends share before Lawson’s untimely death at age 55. Brooksbank has done an excellent job of telling the story and connecting together some separate episodes with the pair’s letters to each other and the haunting prose from their poems and stories. There are two scenes in particular that hit you in the guts and they are when Gilmore reads the poem Never Admit The Pain poem and Lawson is confined in gaol in One Hundred and Three.

The show doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles but the stage is realised to its full potential and the dim lighting adds to the overall sense of melancholy. A screen displays some old, black and white photographs and these are used to denote different passages by ship and other set changes. The couple’s eponymous theme by Jack Ellis is a recurring motif that is also rather dark and the costumes by Sophie Woodward are appropriate for the period. One thing that is very striking about this show is that while there are only two actors on the stage at any given moment, the characters of some of the key players (namely Louisa Lawson and Henry’s ill-matched wife, Bertha Bredt) seem a palpable presence. This is likely due to the fact that everyone has done such a fabulous job of capturing the essence and sentimentality of Lawson and Gilmore.

All My Love is an important story that is very sad to watch, especially as it poses questions about what might have been and the regretful ruminations this famous pair of writers had. It’s a significant, historical story that still has meaning today. It shows a strong and inspirational woman and how she becomes wise. In short, it’s a great play that will hopefully inspire a new generation of readers to go out and enjoy the collective works of the immensely talented Dame Mary Gilmore and Henry Lawson.

Originally published on 18 February 2016 at the following website: http://arts.theaureview.com/reviews/theatre-review-all-my-love-riverside-theatre-parramatta-performances-to-20-february/

Visit The Au Review’s homepage dedicated to the arts at: http://arts.theaureview.com

FILM REVIEW: TRUMBO

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Trumbo always had big shoes to fill but this film doesn’t quite fit. This biopic is based on the legendary, Hollywood scriptwriter, Dalton Trumbo but the script fails to have the same power and gravitas as the man’s actual work (the Oscar-winner wrote Spartacus, Roman Holiday and Exodus, to name a few).Trumbo is ultimately an overlong, political biopic that is pleasant at times but is also let down by the fact that it tries too hard and isn’t quite sure whether it wants to honour the man or simply tell his story.

At one point Dalton Trumbo meant big business. The brilliant and prolific writer was one of the highest paid in Tinseltown. But in the aftermath of World War II, America experienced a state of political paranoia, especially when the Soviets were concerned. This proved a real problem for Trumbo who was a principled and outspoken member of the Communist Party.

In 1947, Trumbo and nine other men became known as the “Hollywood 10” and were questioned about their political affiliations by the House Un-American Activities Committee. The proceedings smelt of a witch-hunt and the group decided they would not name names. They were then thrown into gaol for contempt of congress and upon release were blacklisted from working in Hollywood. But this made Trumbo more determined and ambitious than ever and spawned his career as a talented ghost-writer.

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston stars as the eccentric and eponymous creative. He does a fabulous job of capturing Trumbo’s mannerisms and strange penchants (Trumbo often wrote scripts in the bath while sucking on a cigarette and grasping a glass of whiskey). The film is directed by Jay Roach who is known for his comedy films, Austin Powers and Meet the Parents. The script is written by John McNamara and based on Bruce Cook’s biography. It seems like the ingredients were all great ones but there was a little something lost in the process, meaning this is at best a “good” film.

Like the recent Molly TV series, Trumbo weaves together archived footage and re-enactments of some famous people (like John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger). Some viewers will enjoy watching the brief excerpts from Spartacus and Roman Holiday but these do serve as a reminder that this film fails to reach those lofty heights. Trumbo also includes some great cameos by Helen Mirren (as a villainous gossip columnist), John Goodman as Frank King, a B-list film producer and Diane Lane and Elle Fanning as Trumbo’s long-suffering wife and daughter, respectively.

Trumbo is based on some very weighty historic material but it is told in quite a flat and straightforward manner. This means that it is quite detailed and informative but it is certainly not as entertaining as it could be. Trumbo is ultimately a well-acted, timely and relevant film about a dark chapter in Hollywood’s history, it’s just a shame that it lacks the raw power to be considered a “classic”.

Originally published on 15 February 2016 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/trumbo-film-review/

Visit Impulse Gamer’s homepage at: http://www.impulsegamer.com/

BOOK REVIEW: DANI ATKINS – OUR SONG

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Dani Atkins may not be the world’s most famous author but her third novel, Our Song, looks poised to change that. This emotional, family drama is a slow-burning and nuanced tale that looks at fate, friendship, love and other dilemmas. It’s a poignant tale that will give you cause to sit back and reflect and this will happen long after you’ve finished the book’s final words.

The story is about two women and former friends who are suddenly hit by individual tragedies. Ally is the mother of a gorgeous, seven year old boy named Jake and wife to the kind-hearted and sweet, Joe. The latter finds himself in a sticky situation early on. Joe discovered a young boy in distress who had fallen into a frozen lake while attempting to save the family pet. Joe is an admirable man and he saves the kid and the dog but he also falls into the frozen water himself and is rushed off to intensive care.

David is Ally’s old flame and a jet-setting, rich man who is now married to the equally ambitious, Charlotte. The former is about to surprise his wife with a surprise trip to New York but he is struck down with a mysterious illness in a department store. David winds up at the same hospital as Joe and the doctors soon discover that David has a very serious heart condition.

Our Song has a great premise- it throws two strong women in the same waiting room as their husbands are in intensive care, lying in limbo with different ailments. Atkins has done an excellent job with the characterisation and telling of the story. She expertly weaves together flashbacks and scenes in the present day, which cover Ally and David’s courtship and break-up as well as when David and Charlotte get together and when Ally meets and falls for Joe. The story is a little simplistic at times but it is not lacking in sentiment or feeling. There are also a lot of rich details offered in the prose so the reader gets a good sense of the different individuals, especially when the same scene is retold from the other person’s perspective.

This novel is a well-told, beautiful and moving one but it does have some minor flaws. Part of the plot is predictable (but thankfully there are enough twists thrown into the mix to keep things interesting). The other issue is that sometimes the level of coincidence will require a major suspension of disbelief, which is a shame as the characters themselves feel rather authentic. But despite these small quibbles, the story is a veritable rollercoaster that is jam-packed with different emotions and lots of drama and tension. In sum, it will ultimately tug at your heartstrings and make you stop and realise how important your own loved ones are in the grander scheme of things.

***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-our-song

BLU-RAY REVIEW: LIFE

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James Dean was one interesting character and legend. But the biopic, Life doesn’t always manage to convey this. The film focusses on a brief interlude in the famous actor’s life and while it’s beautifully shot and feels authentic thanks to a fabulous jazz soundtrack and great costumes, there are other parts where it all feels a tad hollow.

Life is directed by photographer, Anton Corbijn. He is best known for having shot Joy Division, U2 and Depeche Mode and for making the outstanding biopic Control about Joy Division’s tragic front man, Ian Curtis. It is pretty obvious that Corbin enjoys looking at the relationship between photographers and their subjects and that he is influenced by some of the iconic James Dean snaps that are portrayed here. But an appreciation for some excellent stills does not make a great film.

The script is written by Luke Davies, who wrote Candy. It focuses on the meeting between an ambitious, freelance photographer named Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson (Twilight) in his best and most mature performance to date) and a young, evasive and elusive star named James Dean (Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spiderman 2)). The pair each wrestle with their own unique set of issues- Stock has an estranged wife and young son that he hasn’t seen in ages, while Dean is a reluctant star who is grappling with doing things for art’s sake or for monetary gains.

Dean would eventually make three classic films East of Eden, Giant and Rebel Without A Cause. He would forever be immortalised as a movie teenager because his life was tragically cut short by a car crash when he was just 24. The images and movies are the only things that survive and keep his legacy alive. These also add to the mythology and the enigma and while “Life also attempts to add to all of this, it’s too slow to really cut through. It also takes liberties with the truth and fails to address some important issues (like Dean’s sexuality).

Life is a pretty, drama film about the time a photographer met an actor and created a phenomenon. It’s pleasant enough but the story is far too brief and inconsequential to sustain such a long movie. Life attempts to capture the complex and enigmatic spirit of the inimitable James Dean but one can’t help but think that his true essence was left on film that is yet to be developed.

 

Originally published on 13 February 2016 at the following website: http://www.impulsegamer.com/life-blu-ray-review/

Visit Impulse Gamer’s homepage at: http://www.impulsegamer.com/

INTERVIEW: DIRECTOR DENNY LAWRENCE TALKS ABOUT ALL MY LOVE

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Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore are two famous, Australian writers. But what people may not realise is that the pair were also lovers and secretly betrothed. This information has only come to light in the couple’s surviving letters and in Gilmore’s memoirs and forms the basis of a new play titled, All My Love. It’s a show adapted for the stage by Anne Brooksbank and promises to be an intense and tragic love story.

The AU Review sat down with All My Love’s director, Denny Lawrence to talk about the play, Australian history and famous couples from yesteryear.

Can you briefly introduce yourself? How long have you been working in the arts industry?

I started as a child actor in theatre and did some television in early adolescence. Then I applied to NIDA out of high school and after my time there worked as an actor in theatre and television before starting to direct in theatre. After a few years, I decided to move into directing film and television, so I applied to AFTRS and was accepted. Since graduating I have worked in all three media as writer, producer and director.

Can you briefly describe All My Love?

This is a poignant story of two of Australia’s iconic literary figures: Mary Gilmore and Henry Lawson and their little-known secret betrothal.

All My Love tells the untold love story of two famous Australian writers, Henry Lawson and Mary Gilmore. Does the show feature many quotes from their actual, individual works? Are there any famous ones in particular that you’d like to discuss for us?

They were both so prolific it was hard to include very many of their poems (let alone Henry’s short stories) but writer Anne Brooksbank has cleverly used some of Mary’s poems as a kind of ‘sub-text’ in the narrative and it is especially evocative to hear the passion Mary expressed in her work.

Why do you think audiences should come and see All My Love?

The story is historically significant yet quite relevant to a contemporary Australian audience. It is great getting to know more about these highly regarded cultural figures – and most of all to experience their relationship, which continued throughout their lives until Henry’s premature death.

Do you have a favourite scene in the production? What’s it about and why did you choose this one?

There are so many but perhaps one favourite is the scene where Mary and Henry meet after he has been away at the West Australian goldfields and she believes (wrongly) that he has not written to her. It reveals the key turning point in their relationship – and the tragedy of their never getting together. Anne has written it with tremendous insight, as well as humour. Henry’s weaknesses come out, so he is seen as more than just the great artist: he was also a flawed man.

Do you have a favourite piece of text or a favourite quote from either Lawson or Gilmore? Why did you pick this particular one?

Again, there are so many – but possibly this piece of Mary’s that so well sums up her strength of character, her stoicism:
Never admit the pain
Bury it deep,
Only the weak complain,
Complaint is cheap.
Cover thy wound, fold down
Its curtained place,
Silence is still a crown,
Courage a grace.

The show stars Kim Denman (Neighbours) and Dion Mills (It’s A Date). How did the actors prepare for their roles?

They both did a massive amount of research. I think they each read everything their characters ever wrote! They also read historical accounts of the time, and Kim was able to listen to some extensive radio interviews that Mary did late in her life, which were a great help to her.

All My Love sounds like a sad romance tale. If you could invite any couple from history to dinner who would it be and why?

What an interesting question! And another one about which it is hard to be selective. I have actually co-written a play about the weekend that Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier had Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller to stay. That would be a great dinner!

The play is taking place at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres. The suburb itself was in the news fairly recently because they had found some historic relics buried there. Does the location of the play have any sort of impact on the show? Does it produce better performances in the actors?

Parramatta is one of the few places in Sydney that still has some sense of history. I know that both Kim and Dion are keen historians and will react to that find with interest. As to affecting their performance, I think it is all about responding to the live audience as they enter the imagined world we have all created together. That is the great thing about theatre.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell The AU Review about “All My Love” or any of your other upcoming projects?

My next two projects are both for HIT Productions: Educating Rita, starring Colin Moody. Great play, great actor. And then I direct Always Patsy Cline – about another real person, the wonderful Country singer of the title. I believe that show will be playing at Riverside.

Originally published on 12 February 2016 at the following website: http://arts.theaureview.com/interviews/all-my-loves-denny-lawrence-talks-about-the-tragic-relationship-between-writers-henry-lawson-and-mary-gilmore/

Visit The Au Review’s homepage dedicated to the arts at: http://arts.theaureview.com

FOOD REVIEW: THE TERNARY, NOVOTEL SYDNEY ON DARLING HARBOUR

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Both Sydneysiders and visitors to this great city may know the large, salmon-colouredNovotel building in Darling Harbour. What they may not realise is that this hotel also houses a great restaurant called The Ternary. This is the brain-child of Executive chef, Anthony Flowers and the perfect place to experience a memorable dining experience, which we were fortunate enough to do.

The Ternary is just about to turn a year old but it is a place that runs like a well-oiled machine. The restaurant takes inspiration from its name and is split into three separate kitchens including the Asian, Grill and Charcuterie Wine Bar. It’s all light, airy and open plan meaning that diners can be fully immersed in watching their dinner being prepared and seeing it go from pan to plate.

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Flowers is a seasoned professional at the hospitality game having previously worked at Berowra Waters Inn, Ad Lib Bistro in Pymble, The Mean Fiddler, Stacks Taverna and 41 Restaurant. It was his idea to open up the kitchen to the diners and have it be like an up-market, Teppanyaki experience. Flowers felt that some of the theatrics of food had been lost on patrons when things were prepared in closed, separate kitchens. In this new and novel space, the chefs speak to the customers and often exchange tips and tricks with them (especially those who are seated right up against the grill).

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When you consider that The Ternary is still a commercial kitchen having to feed lots of hungry guests, it’s amazing to see how serene it all is. The chefs seem calm, happy and immensely proud of their work and this really shines through in their food. The dishes provide a harmony of flavours, balance and texture and it’s all one sheer delight for the taste, sight and smell senses. The meals are also designed to be shared and lend things a nice, homely feel. And if that’s not enough, the restaurant also offers floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a busy, Sydney skyline. It’s also a perfect vantage point to see Darling Harbour’s regular fireworks displays (on Saturday nights and special occasions).

To start we are served a warm plain naan bread ($5), which is also available in garlic and cheese varieties, served with smoked yoghurt and mango chutney topped with pomegranate. The chutney was very flavoursome, the dark orange condiment drew together lots of different spices, which danced on your tongue while the bread was thick and tasty.

 

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The following betel leaves of smoked flaked salmon with salmon pearls and fried shallots ($15), which is also available in crispy pork for $14 had a lot to offer and not just because it was a very pretty dish. The leaves are often considered a stimulant and provide a certain woodiness when coupled with the saltiness of the fish, the delicate roe of the salmon and the crunchy shallots.

 

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The betel leaves were a little unexpected and different and the same can also be said about the restaurant’s signature, dragon egg ($18). This saw a quail’s egg coated with spicy chicken mince and fried in chickpea flower and accompanied by a tandoori yoghurt. It was also served on top of a nest of thin fennel strips which had been fried and caramelised in chickpea flour. This was one very unique combination of ingredients and flavours and was almost like an Indian scotch egg with a soft, yolk centre. It was also nothing short of exquisite. In fact, if Peter Gilmore owns the snow egg then Anthony Flowers is the samurai master of the dragon egg.

 

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The Asian influences continued with a labour of love that is known as the pulled peppered beef in crispy pastry with water chestnuts ($18). This one sees some beef slow-cooked for 12 hours in stock and is infused with black pepper paste, black pepper oil and chestnut oil. It’s almost like the beef and the pepper become one. The meat is also melt-in-your-mouth delicious and is plated up with tamarind sauce and some refreshing lime. Yum.

 

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The Thai red curry with gelatinous rice (part of the February degustation menu at $95 pp) is topped with some beautiful, rare duck that actually tasted quite lean, which can be uncommon for this kind of meat. The curry sauce also boasted some sweet lychees and pineapple and they complimented the warm heat of the sauce.

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The lamb rack ($43) is sourced from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and served with pillow-like kipfler potatoes, sliced bell peppers and eggplant caviar. The eggplant and peppers were soft and sweet and had a Middle Eastern flavour while the lamb was cooked to perfection (my guest even enquired about a masterclass, it was that good).

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The desserts included some summer fruits with peach sorbet and prosecco (the final course in the February degustation menu) and a dark chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet ($13). The latter was a light and sweet mousse accompanied by some tart, dried raspberries and some sweet mascarpone. It was heavenly.

 

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The finale featured a selection of cheese ($27) including the Brie, Camembert and blue varieties. This also included some homemade raisins (still on the stalk) as well as some quince paste and walnut bread. It was a fitting end to a gorgeous evening.

 

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The Ternary is a place brimming with different ideas. There is a fusion of lots of different flavours and some left-field combinations that work extremely well together. It is clear that Flowers and his accomplished team of chefs are experts in crafting amazing dishes that incorporate lots of different culinary techniques, which also support the excellent, local ingredients they use.

 

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The restaurant offers smaller, Tapas-like dishes and mains from the Asian kitchen (from $8.50-$39) and mains from the Grill (from $28-$55) while desserts are $13 and the cheese board is $27. There is almost a little something for everyone here. In short, Flowers wanted to bring some theatre to his restaurant and it’s fair to say he’s succeeded because his food actually sings.

The Ternary, Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour

Address: 100 Murray St, Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Contact: (02) 9934 0000
Website: http://www.theternary.com.au/

Originally published on 7 February 2016 at the following website: http://food.theaureview.com/dining/the-ternary-pyrmont-sydney-february-2016/

Visit The Au Review’s homepage dedicated to dining and food at: http://food.theaureview.com/

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