Plastered in Phuket is a mind-blowing little minx of a drink, new on the menu at Morks in Kingston. It will have you convinced you've ordered a tom yum soup off the food menu, rather than a cocktail off the new drinks menu.
Benn and Mork Ratanakosol have given the one-hatted Thai restaurant a fresh look, with revamps to not only the interiors but the drinks menu as well.
"The bar was kind of put in as an afterthought when we moved to the Foreshore five years ago," says Benn. "But as our approach to the food has matured over the years, so too have our thoughts about the drinks menu, we wanted it to be as innovative as the food and as influenced by Thai flavours."
There's galangal, chilli and lime in the Plastered in Phuket, mixed with a vodka that's been infused with kaffir lime leaves from their parents' garden. It shouldn't taste nice but it does, and it tastes just like the soup. The interior refurb has expanded the size of the bar, there's a new ceiling and a feature wall of Japanese stone behind a glamorous red leather bench that runs the length of the wall. Nigel Hinder's menacing mural remains as a striking feature.
Benn has been working at Morks in some incarnation since he was 17, when he was in the kitchen at Florey "as part of my parents' retirement plan". "We're a very different restaurant now to the one we were when we first opened and were offering 70 something items on a takeaway menu," he says. "As we've matured, our vision and style have matured too and we wanted to take the restaurant to a whole new level."
Now the takeaway is gone and there's a big focus on share plates. "There's nothing better than sitting down with people and sharing stories and ideas and food, there's a synergy to it," Benn says.
"It's the way Thai people eat, how more and more Australians like to eat, it's how we like to eat."
A takeover to a T
The teams from Temporada and Terra are teaming up for another takeover. Terra chef Sung Son and Dave Young from Temporada had so much fun last time they're doing it again. It's more about the guests, says Young, and giving them a taste of two menus. Four courses and snacks for $65pp with wine matching options available for $30 (half) or $50 (full). Terra @ Temporada on September 3 and the swapover on September 18. Bookings essential.
Spanish at Siren
Head out to Siren Bar and Restaurant in Gungahlin for a little taste of Spain on August 17. Great food and wine and music by Mitch Canas. $60pp, bookings essential.
There's a couple of fun foodie events during National Science Week. On August 16 head to the CSIRO Discovery Centre in Acton to learn about the science of alcohol in a fun adults-only event called A Science Cocktail.
At Questacon there's a tequila night on August 16, another adults-only event with tastings and discussions about the differences between mezcal and tequila. Check out the full program of real science events at scienceweek.net.au
A nice little compact Fireside Festival this year, through the Canberra District Wine Industry Association, with an expanded afternoon of the popular tastings at New Acton. Gather at the base of the Ovolo Nishi stairs, meet the makers and sample their wines in a relaxed atmosphere. There will also be food to graze on, some tunes to groove to and you can purchase bottles to take away as well. Wineries include Contentious Character, Idyllic Hills Wines, Jirra at Jeir Station, Lake George Winery, Lerida Estate, McKellar Ridge Wines, Mount Majura Vineyard and Sapling Yard Wines. From 3-6pm.
Rutherglen in the City
Still some places left in the morning session of Rutherglen in the City out at Pialligo Estate on August 18. Tickets are $35 and include a three-hour tasting session, masterclasses and picnics and platters from Pialligo. More than 100 wines are available for tasting from one of Australia's best wine regions.