GOOD TASTE: Cook without shopping

Hello Fresh Thai beef salad and recipe cardFORGET the chore of trawling supermarket aisles for dinner ingredients. Instead, plan meals with online recipe and grocery delivery service Hello Fresh.
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The service, which launched in Sydney last year and is now also available in Newcastle and the Central Coast, offers weekly deliveries of recipes along with the fresh ingredients needed to make the dish in 30 minutes or less.

All you need in your pantry is staple items like white wine, tomato paste, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt and pepper to cook dishes such as Thai beef salad, prawn saganaki, chicken waldorf salad and lentil and cauliflower dahl.

Hello Fresh is the brainchild of founder, chief executive officer and 2011 MasterChef contestant Tom Rutledge.

“While cooking is fun and relaxing, grocery shopping can often be the opposite,” Rutledge said.

“We wanted to introduce a service that makes cooking a quick, healthy meal with great ingredients much more accessible, whether you’re a busy professional trying to keep in shape, or a mum concerned about your family’s nutrition.

“Hello Fresh makes cooking simple, enjoyable and quick, allowing customers to skip the car parks, carrying and queues by receiving a constantly evolving variety of recipes and fresh seasonal ingredients delivered straight to their door.”

The service offers meal plans for three or five nights of the week, for two, four and six people. The average cost per person, per meal works out at just under $10, including delivery.

The classic box includes at least two meat-based recipes and there is also a vegetarian service. A small classic box (three meals per week) for two people costs $64, for four people $119, and six people $179. A large classic box (five meals per week) for two people costs $99, for four people $189, and six people $279.

The cost for a small vegetarian box for two people is $59, four people $109, six people $159; a large vegetarian box for two people $89, four people $169, and six people $239.

Visit hellofresh上海夜生活m.au for more.

See Free Lunch on opposite page to win a Hello Fresh delivery.

Ex-Morpeth duo reserve spot

RESERVE Wine Bar – which is set to open within weeks in the central business district (on the corner of Hunter and Bolton streets, Newcastle) – has welcomed chef Jose Miguel and front-of-house manager Joshua Anlezark, both formerly of Arnott’s Bakehouse restaurant, Morpeth, to its team.

Look forward to playful and innovative dishes from the talented chef and knowledgeable service from Anlezark.

The bar is set to open within weeks

after having its liquor licence approved last week. Visit facebook上海夜生活m/ReserveWineBar.

Meanwhile, Le Passe Temps (73/75 Hunter Street, Newcastle) opened this week, offering amuse bouche, cheese and charcuterie platters and old-fashioned French classics. The wine list will feature exclusively French and Hunter wines. Visit le-passe-temps上海夜生活m.au.

Rum from around globe

THE Rum Bar at The Honeysuckle Hotel (Lot 31, Wharf C, Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle) opened last week.

Choose from a selection of 90 rums from around the globe, including cachaca,

which is used to make the famous Brazilian caipirinha.

The Rum Bar is on the hotel’s second level and features live Brazilian and Latin style entertainment. It’s open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 6pm. Visit facebook上海夜生活m/honeysucklehotel.

Warners Bay earns its Crust

PIZZA lovers rejoice, Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar has opened in Warners Bay.

It can be found at Shop 9, 34 John Street, Warners Bay, and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch, and seven days for dinner from 5pm to 10pm.

For further details, go online to crust上海夜生活m.au.

Child abuse inquiry: Whistleblower’s credibility questioned

The credibility of police whistleblower Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox came under prolonged testing in the NSW inquiry into whether the police covered up child sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in the Hunter Valley.
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Counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan SC, quizzed Chief Inspector Fox on Tuesday as to why he doubted an “extraordinary” alleged admission by one priest, Father Des Harrigan, that he had owned and subsequently destroyed gay pornography.

The policeman has given evidence that he suspected videos and magazines found in a presbytery at Lochinvar in 2003 had belonged to Father James Fletcher.

Ms Lonergan put it to Chief Inspector Fox that he had no evidence that the material belonged to Fletcher. She also suggested Chief Inspector Fox had not kept an open mind when speaking with Father Harrigan, and as a result did not believe the priest’s admission.

Chief Inspector Fox agreed with both suggestions.

The inquiry has heard that the existence of the pornography came to light while Fletcher was awaiting trial for sexually abusing an altar boy. The priest was subsequently convicted of nine charges and died in jail in 2006.

Chief Inspector Fox agreed that the destruction of the pornography by Father Harrigan was not “important” if it had nothing to do with the investigation of Fletcher.

“I want to suggest to you that you made up the answer [yourself] that the pornography was destroyed because it belonged to Fletcher?” Ms Lonergan said.

The policeman said he was not discounting the possibility that the material belonged to Father Harrigan, “but I still at the same time can’t discount the possibility that the material might have belonged to James Fletcher”.

Chief Inspector Fox’s allegations that the church destroyed evidence relating to sexual abuse allegations are among the inquiry’s terms of reference.

The inquiry continues.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

The Mercantile put on the block

The oldest Irish pub in the country, The Mercantile at The Rocks in Sydney, is set to be auctioned on Thursday.
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The pub is leased on a long contract from the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, (SHFA) by a private syndicate, of which the former NSW police minister Paul Whelan, and businessmen Terry O’Neill who is the licensee, and Laurence Coy are all partners.

In 2005 the same investor syndicate raised about $19.5 million when it sold the 40-year leasehold on the Orient pub, just down George Street from The Mercantile.

The sales agent for The Mercantile, the director of hotels at Knight Frank, Mick Wheatley, said recently the pub sector has been one of the busiest in the past year with private investors, syndicates and larger funds all competing for a foothold in the assets.

In the past year as much as $500 million worth of pubs have changed hands as investors such as John Singelton, former Qantas director Geoff Dixon and the Riversdale Group, as well as the Laundy, Short and Bayfield families, among other smaller players, have ear-marked the sector for significant growth.

The assets are attractive for capital and land growth as much as for food and entertainment, with poker machines relegated to a small room.

According to the buyers, gaming is not main the attraction, instead the focus is a good restaurant, lively and well-presented bar, and a place to watch a sporting event.

In late May, Mr Wheatley sold the popular Annandale pub to Oscars Hotels headed by Bill Gravanis, who plans to keep it running as a music venue.

The pending auction of The Mercantile comes hot on the heels of the deal by Peter Walker, as head a local syndicate, who has bought The Fortune of War Hotel, at 143A George Street, from a private investor for $4.3 million. Andrew Jolliffe of Ray White Hotels and Mr Wheatley brokered the sale.

It was another leasehold hotel property in the Rocks controlled by the SHFA until 2028 and consisted of three businesses under the one lease including The Russell boutique hotel and The Russell Wine Bar and The Fortune of War pub.

The entire property has 30 hotel rooms and 15 poker machines.

“The property has not been on the market for 28 years and is a rare investment opportunity within a normally tightly held market in the Rocks,’’ Mr Wheatley said.

‘‘The Mercantile is another asset which hasn’t been on the market for 28 years. It is the country’s oldest running Irish pub and a popular tourist’s drinking spot,” Mr Wheatley.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

O’Brien needs time and space to sort out issues

Magpie Harry O’Brien Magpie Harry O’Brien
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Harry O’Brien has always invested himself, absolutely, in everything he has done. Before he was a footballer he was willing to pay his own way to Melbourne, train with Collingwood and do his best to win a spot on the rookie list. His persistence helped his club find a premiership player.

As a footballer, O’Brien has worn his heart on his sleeve from day one. He has always had a deep social conscience, and felt compelled to express himself. He has always wanted to go places, see things with his own eyes and bring them to the attention of others. He cares about HIV-infected orphans in Africa because he has met and spent time with them.

At times, he has been portrayed as almost too much of a good guy. As if one day he is doing things he doesn’t have to do, reminding the world that footballers aren’t all bad, and then the next day is just a footballer again. Either way, he has always done much more than merely attach his name to charities and causes. ”The only thing you can accuse Harry of is caring too much about everything that he does,” was how his teammate Dale Thomas saw things last week. ”If that’s the worst trait you’ve got, you’re going all right.”

It is for these reasons that O’Brien deserves what he has now requested: the chance to deal with what sounds like some distressing issues without constant questioning. His absence from Collingwood’s team last week became a story because he is in the best Collingwood team, because it was not fully explained and because he took time off.

It was also reflective of an industry, the media, that has grown, that is competitive, that wants to know more and more, and where an opinion that says ”just wait …” is not really considered an opinion, or enough of one. It happened at a time where social media has given many more people than those in the traditional media a voice, often a harsh one. Ironically, the question most of the speculation seemed to ask, ”He walked out over that?” That has now answered itself.

It was hard to watch O’Brien talk about the things on his mind when he turned up to train again on Tuesday. It’s sad, if inevitable, to think that this time next week everyone will be asking whether he’s going to play football again on the weekend. O’Brien is surrounded by friends and at a club that will be looking after him, and only he can judge what he should and shouldn’t be affected by.

Equally it is up to him to sort things out, because while football clubs aren’t normal places of employment, only he can know whether he can get on with things at Collingwood now or whether he needs to step away for longer.

But he is also a good reminder the footballers we watch, scream at, stick up for and boo for two hours on a weekend are just people, who have things going on in their lives that we often don’t know about.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Brad Thorn set to stay at Highlanders

Brad Thorn plans to re-sign with the Highlanders for next year, but he will take a break from rugby for the rest of this season after the team’s final game against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday night.
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While the franchise is also hoping to bring Tamati Ellison back in 2014.

The 38-year-old Thorn hopes a deal will be finalised with the embattled southern franchise in the ”next few days” that could see him round out his career in Dunedin.

”I’m keen to play some more footy. I feel pretty good, but I just need a break,” he said.

”It would be nice to have a break like everybody else. It would just be nice to feel that excitement and hunger.”

Thorn said he had been wearied by an exhausting programme since before the 2011 World Cup.

”I’ve had a crazy amount of footy, especially in the last two and a half years, and that was backed up by a lot of footy before that too,” he said.

The fatigue was as much mental as physical after playing several campaigns back to back, followed by the angst of a losing Highlanders season.

”If you think about … the Crusaders and no home games, the All Blacks and the World Cup and 24 years since we’d won it. Some guys had three months off while I went straight to Japan, then to Leinster and then back to Japan and then into a tough old season, probably the toughest of my career,” he said.

”You just need a break, it’s that simple.”

Despite the massive workload, Thorn has been one of the Highlanders’ best contributors this season, taking a leadership role within the squad and assuming the captaincy in the absence of Andrew Hore.

Meanwhile, Ellison’s future will depend on a dispensation from the New Zealand Rugby Union, with a decision due in August.

Because he remains contracted to Japanese club Ricoh, Ellison is deemed to be an ”overseas” player as he’s not available for the All Blacks.

Thorn and Fumiaki Tanaka fell into the same category this season, and English loose forward James Haskell was given a dispensation to play for the Highlanders in 2012.

His fate will be decided by the full NZRU board in August.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said the franchise hoped to confirm some key signings on Monday.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.