Imagine all your favourite Aussie classic dishes recreated by a fine dining chef combined with an all Australian drinks pairing experience. That’s what happened when Secret Foodies met Dead Ringer.
When you’ve been running secret dinners for more than six years you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to restaurants. During that time Secret Foodies has hosted more than 200 events, worked with countless chefs and incredible venues, eaten hundreds of desserts, sipped thousands of cocktails and lived to tell (and Instagram) the tale.
So when we sat down with legendary bartender and co-owner of Dead Ringer, Tim Phillips we knew we really wanted to create something unique and special at this new bar and restaurant. Along with fellow owners Rob Sloan and David Hobbs they have created a successful venue that has attracted a loyal Sydney following.
To describe the food at Dead Ringer as “Modern Australia” would be underselling the clever, witty and delicious menu created by former Est and Farmhouse Kings Cross chef Tristan Rosier. Both in the kitchen and the bar the focus at Dead Ringer is on local, native produce and championing Australia suppliers.
With this in mind we decided to combine three of our loves- Australian food, Australian drinks and Australian food trivia. Our Aussie Trivia Dinner promised to be an elegant evening of interactive fun with delicious food and drinks. The entire menu was focused on classic Australian dishes any Aussie would have experienced during their life with a refined twist. And it was so popular we had to release a second night to accommodate the ticket demand.
You’ll find Dead Ringer located on the leafy Bourke Street. Just look for the clusters of patrons having a great time on the open deck at the front of the restaurant. As guests arrived for the Aussie Trivia Dinner they were shown through the restaurant, past the bar to the back where an open-plan dining room was arranged with small tables waiting for trivia groups to be seated.
They were handed an Aperitif D’Ringér cocktail on arrival made with rose vermouth, botrytis and tonic. This not only refreshed their palette but hopefully mustered their confidence ahead of the three rounds of trivia they were about to play.
For starters we had what every good Aussie BBQ usually has on the table – a trio-of-dips including favourites French onion, creamed almonds & beetroot. This was served with a natural rose.
With a drink in hand and some dips in front of them it was time for the first round of trivia. With questions ranging from “what year and where did the lamington originate” through to “where in Sydney can you buy the Blame Canada burger” it proved to be a tough round for many.
Thankfully it wasn’t long before entrees were served as we tallied the scores from the first round. Everyone’s favourite reason to visit Bunning’s on the weekend was recreated into a gourmet version of the classic sausage sizzle. Unlike the Bunning’s ‘mystery meat’ snag the Dead Ringer version came with morcilla, pickled brussel spouts, and chilli yoghurt and was served with another cocktail.
Then it was time for another round of trivia with tough questions including “Which Australian pastry joint was named ‘the best croissant in the world’ by the New York Times?” And “Which country has the most three Michelin star restaurants?”.
For mains we had roast lamb shoulder with sides of chimmichuri and fennel salad. Tim paired this with a chilled Grenache explaining that we often drink our wines to warm in Australia and that some reds are best served slightly chilled.
In between mains and dessert it was time for our bonus round worth 10 points. Guests were each given a “Mystery Cocktail” and needed to write down the ingredients. Only one team out of both nights got this one correct.
For dessert it was another version of an Aussie classic, the Golden Gaytime. Tristan served toffee ice cream with malt biscuit, bee pollen and honeycomb in small bowls for everyone to scoop and enjoy. The flavours surely made everyone quite nostalgic of beachside ice creams in summer.
Our first Secret Foodies trivia event was such a fun experience, made all the better by the hospitable Dead Ringer crew. If you haven’t yet visited this absolute gem in Surry Hills do yourself a favour and check it out!
You can check out more photos from the event here.
413 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010