Small Bites

THE Brewery Bar and Restaurant – the home of beer in Vanuatu – has a special all weekend with Tooheys New on tap for VT 400 a pot (330ml glass). And there is plenty of sport on the big screens there all weekend.

Tooheys NewTooheys remains the last of Sydney’s long-running mainstream breweries still currently operating.

Founders James and John Toohey were Irish migrants and cattle farmers before they entered the beer game, buying the Darling Brewery (it stood on the corner of Dixon and Harbour streets in Darling Harbour) in 1869.

Five years later they bought the site of the former Albion Brewery in Elizabeth Street and built an entirely new complex, with impressive stone buildings spread over almost a hectare, including a 25-metre brewing tower and a deep well sunk into solid rock.

They named it the Standard Brewery and it operated from 1875 until 1978; by 1902 the business had been floated as Tooheys Limited.

During the 20th century Tooheys acquired other breweries, including the Grafton Brewery (1961) and Miller’s Brewery (1967); they also built the Hunter Brewery at Newcastle (1971), but in 1978 they transferred all the company’s brewing operations to a single site at Auburn, which continues to operate to this day.

In 1980 Tooheys Ltd merged with Brisbane’s Castlemaine Perkins Brewery; in 1985 the company was taken over by the Bond Corporation and, subsequently, by the New Zealand-based Lion Nathan Group (1990).

Tooheys acquired the Hahn Brewery in 1993 and relaunched it five years later as the Malt Shovel Brewery, specialising in premium beers.

Tooheys New was launched in 1931 as a crisp, lighter flavoured lager alternative to the ‘old’ ales that were the norm until refrigerated lager brewing arrived on the scene.

The brewery’s darker ale, in time, became known as Tooheys Old or ‘black’ and is one of the few surviving ales from this earlier era of colonial brewing.

Confusingly, the company’s marketing people decided to re-badge New as Tooheys Draught in the late ’80s, whether it referred to the brew in bottle, can or off tap.

Whatever, it’s the face of NSW Rugby league and is now on, cold and lovely, at The Brewery (opposite the Grand Hotel) in downtown Port Vila.


Winter escape... Iririki Island Resort awaits.

Winter escape… Iririki Island Resort awaits.

THE Iririki Island Resort & Spa is extending its super long Sunday Buffet Breakfast until the end of June 2018.

It costs VT1400 per adult and VT700 per child and is available from 7am to 1pm every Sunday until July. So you can enjoy eggs Benedict or eggs how you like from the egg station, with lashings of bacon and loads of other yummy offerings. For those don’t know where the name eggs Benedict comes from, well Bites will rectify that.

In 1894, Lemuel Benedict, a Wall Street broker, who was suffering from a hangover, ordered ‘some buttered toast, crisp bacon, two poached eggs, and a hooker of hollandaise sauce’ at the Waldorf Hotel in New York. The rest is history.

So Bites suggests you head over for breakfast and then the bonus is that you can enjoy the facilities of the island for the rest of your Sunday. This could mean lying poolside and enjoying a refreshing drink from the bar. Or lying on the beach watching the passing parade of boats through Port Vila Harbour. Or perhaps having a flutter in the Jewel Casino and maybe changing your luck on the financial front.

It’s all there for the taking after a wonderful Sunday brekkie.

And for those who don’t want it to end, then maybe stay and enjoy the full ambience of Iririki.

For those of you reading this in Australia, New Zealand or elsewhere, especially as the winter chill is starting to set in (we know it’s gray and cold in Melbourne at present), then consider the following specials.

Iririki's pool deck is a great spot to enjoy the sunset.
Iririki’s pool deck is a great spot to enjoy the sunset.

If you book before the end of May you can get 30 per cent off an Iririki Ocean View room for a minimum seven-night stay with a bonus $50 spa voucher. Again, if you book before the end of May, there will be a 20 per cent discount on an Iririki Island Fare (pictured below) for seven nights and that also comes with a bonus $50 spa voucher.

Island_Fare_exterior-iririkiThere is also their Pacific Island five night package with 15 per cent off all accommodation. And then finally, the one Bites really fancies is the couple’s island getaway. For $2499 per person you can have five nights in a beautiful Ocean View room with a romantic balcony dinner for two, a Meriden Sunset cruise including drinks and finger food and other great extras.

All these specials are for travel from now until March 31 next year (for some there are blackout times). Bites suggests you check Iririki’s website for more details.