Beating ’round the bush

'Rapid' rotary egg beater, c1950s.

'Rapid' rotary egg beater, c1950s. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

We’re all aware of food fads and trends, especially these days on our quest for anything new, different or with newly identified health attributes (hello kale!). But sometimes food trends are the result of changing technologies, enabling a particular dish or cooking technique to be widely accessed rather than be reserved for restaurants with commercial equipment, trained chefs or a fleet of kitchen hands (or servants as the case may have been in centuries past). Continue reading

Quong Tart’s famous tearooms – and scones!

Quong Tart teapot detail

Quong Tart teapot (detail). Private collection. Photo © Jamie North for Sydney Living Museums

Quong Tart, celebrated in the Celestial City: Sydney’s Chinese story exhibition currently showing at the Museum of Sydney, played a significant part in Sydney’s colonial history. The exhibition explores many aspects of Quong Tart’s life, but he is famously remembered for his tearoom establishments, which helped revolutionise casual dining in the city in the late 1800s. Continue reading

I dined this day with relish

Oil painting of Tarmons in a landscape with blue and pink sky.

Tarmons, Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Residence of Sir Maurice O'Connell (detail), George Edwards Peacock, 1845. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: ML 148

June 29, 1846
I dined this day with my respected chief, Lieutenant-General Sir Maurice O’Connell, at his beautiful villa, Tarmons… there were brisk coal fires burning in both dining and drawing-room, and the general appliances of the household, the dress of the guests and the servants, were as entirely English as they could have been in London… Continue reading