This mod-thai eatery is cranking up the volume serving Instagram-worthy fare washed down with cool ‘rocktails’
ROCK SUGAR: REVIEWED BY DAN STOCK
IT’S the loudest thing to hit sleepy Hawksburn village. It’s certainly the brightest. And, judging by the full house this cold, midweek night, right now it’s also the hottest.
Rock Sugar is the latest venue adding to the growing canon of funky panAsian diners that have taken the city by storm. Here, with Kam Mcmanamey on the woks, it’s a mod-thai, share-plate affair bathed in neon purple. The Spotify mix gets the party started with Mariah Carey’s Emotions, while the bubble cup machine helps it along with #rocktails making boozy heroes of lychee, coconut, ginger and pandan.
Mcmanamey (ex-bangpop and Botherambo) is a dab hand at turning chilli-fired Thai flavours into cooler zingy versions that keep the crowds coming back for more.
Dishes such as the massaman spring rolls, where Flinders Island lamb cooked down into coconut-sticky submission is wrapped in a thick pastry blanket, might not be authentic, but they’re most certainly tasty and highlight a focus on prime produce worlds away from the streets of Bangkok.
Chilli caramel-drizzled chicken ribs fried to a crunch make good friends with a frosty Singha beer poured on tap, while one-bite wonders to start include vibrant smoked ocean trout spiked with kaffir lime and dotted with roe on a betel leaf – ready to wrap and roll.
Mcmanamey’s massaman curry is generous with chunks of slow-cooked beef, his red duck even better for those seeking some heat, but it’s the baby snapper, crunchy coated and standing to attention baring its fangs for the camera, that’s the menu’s real Insta-hit.
When your martini is frocked up with fairy floss, or comes as vodkadrizzled chocolate sorbet spiked with scud chilli, you know Rock Sugar has fun times writ large, which the bubbly staff help deliver. It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s full. Hawksburn is rocking.
LA DOLCE vita, Italian for “the sweet life”, is not merely the name of Silvia Colloca’s new cookbook, but a seemingly accurate way to sum up her life.
The opera singer, actor, food blogger, author, TV host, wife to acclaimed actor Richard Roxburgh and mother of two young boys is what could be described as the ultimate overachiever. Her quiver of talents is so vast that it could render some people envious – that is, if she wasn’t so damned likeable.
“Everybody is made of so many million things that they do. I think I just made it a point to let everyone know that I do them, which wasn’t very humble of me,” the raven-haired Italian beauty says with a coy smile.
“But I just want to do more and to be given the opportunity to do them professionally and I never want to choose.”
Refreshingly honest, sidesplittingly funny and bracingly authentic, Colloca could bring a buzz to anything.
No doubt it is her effervescent nature that has led to a string of new projects of late.
She’s just finished starring as the Wicked Queen in an Opera Queensland production of Snow White at Brisbane’s La Boite theatre, wrapped filming on her new ABC food series, Silvia’s Italian Table, and released her third cookbook, La Dolce Vita, which hits shelves tomorrow.
But the 40-year-old admits that having her fingers in so many pies means, occasionally, one of those digits gets burnt.
“It doesn’t always translate to a very sweet life because I lose it quite often,” the mum to Raphael, 9, and Miro, 5, says with a giddy laugh.
Home for the family is Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The couple met on the set of 2004 movie, Van Helsing. Roxburgh played Dracula and she was his bride.
“Both Richard and I, we think we’re the worst school parents ever,” she VINO PARADISO Silvia Colloca does it all – cook, TV presenter, actor, singer, author and mum.