This post is not for vegetarians


Was incredibly excited browing the #grillmates tag on my way down to the blogger event last night at The Willoghby Hotel. McCormick‘s had booked the upstairs aread, and filled it with delicious meats and bbq smells, thanks to their Grillmates range and the skillz of award-winning BBQ-er Eric from The BBQ School.

menu #grillmates

Meet and greet over a nice Shiraz, drooling over the menu and staring at the meats in awe.

all the meat parts

Then it was all hands on deck, I got to rub spices into meats, and others got intimate, pulling pork:


We had sliders and quesadillas for entree…. after being lecture that we REALLY shouldn’t be putting eggs and breadcrumbs into our burger patties, that it is a travesty, and all they need is mince, onion, spices and sauce. And being learned on how breast chicken is dry because it has no fat, fat equals flavour being the night’s cult mantra, and being reassured it’s GOOD to turn your meat every 30 seconds on the barbie because then the fat stays in it. JUST NOT SQUISHING!

Jalepeno and cheddar bbq chicken and spinach quesadillas

We were being constantly reassured that, while it’s a noble goal to learn to cook a traditional American BBQ, the sauces and spice rubs we had on hand could go a long way to recreating that smokey flavour without the smoke and time! Lazy noms!

tiny pale ales

Tiny Pale Ales to go with the entree, IPAs with the mains, and Stout for those who do beer with their dessert.


A million hours cooked beef brisket, wrapped in baking paper and aluminum foil, and in the smoker for 6 hours. Reminded me of mum’s lamb, falling apart!

Ribs and Pulled pork

The sticky ribs were finger-licking good, and the pulled pork is one I really need to try at home!

mm ribs

And yes, there were a couple of salads, one made by yours truly that tasted like bahn mi, and using Pukura Estate oils and vinegars that we had been tasting earlier in the night (Muswellbrook, represent!)

Winning friends with salad
(how PINK am I???)

Quinoa salad

Unfortunately not much salad was eaten!

Then we hit dessert… Somehow! A chili, ginger, chocolate brownie!

Chilli ginger brownies.

I did manage a few bites, and the ginger was a nice addition!! :)

Great night, great company, and great presenter – seriously if you wanna learn more about BBQ-in American style, The BBQ School is the place to go!

swag #grillmates

food coma fiona

The train ride home was a series of well-times connections and much food-coma-ing. *grins*

Let’s BBQ!

Okay, so we really went down for Cirque du Soleil Ovo, but the highlight of any Sydney trip is gorging on decent Chinese food… mmmm…. At two of the Emporer’s Garden locations, and yummy as usual :D

Chinese BBQ
BBQ Duck and Pork

Chinese BBQ
BBQ Pork with rice noodle

Yum cha dumplings
Garlic and Prawn

Yum cha dumplings

Yum cha
Cha sieu pao

Yum Cha coconut jelly
Coconut Jelly

Yum Cha tea
Contemplating my tea

Aaron's Hotel Haymarket

We stayed the night at Aaron’s hotel, Haymarket, which I think about $120 for the night on Wotif. An older hotel, with a rickety lift, step in odd places, a skylight in the room that let light in WAY too early, and a fire alarm that got us all out of bed before we wanted to be because it goes off sometimes with the steam from the showers.

Aaron's Hotel

But the shower was hot and the bed very comfortable.

Aaron's Hotel

Aaron's Hotel

Aaron's Hotel

I’d stay there again, it’s amazingly located right next to Market City, but this time with an eye mask. And maybe earplugs so the fire alarm wouldn’t wake me :/

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