Review: Taste of Sydney Festival20

Posted on March 15, 2009 by ChristieEvents

Gundooee organic grass fed Wagyu beef burger
[Plan B: Gundooee organic grass fed Wagyu beef burger – Dillon loved this!]

Taste of Sydney Festival: A triumph of flavour and style!

Quick! Get down to the Taste of Sydney Festival – today is the last day! Read this review on your phone while you’re driving there to get you even more excited. Well, not literally while you’re driving, get your better half to drive while you check this out. OK, you’re strapped in? Let’s go…

FIRST THOUGHTS:

The first thing I notice is how neat and tidy all the stands are (it was the first night, Thursday, but still). Being someone who loves cleanliness this immediately impressed me. The stands are all white, sturdily erected and neatly set out in rows that are super easy to navigate.

Dillon and I weave our way through the stands looking for the Wine Theatre tent where we’re meeting Lorraine and her husband Mr NQN. When we get there we also briefly bump into more Sydney food bloggers Suze, Helen and BillyTaste is obviously the hottest foodie ticket in town this evening!

We get Dillon and MR NQN to score one of the few tables and guard it while we run off to get supplies. Note: Make sure you grab a menu brochure from one of the friendly girls selling crowns (the currency for the event) or print it off the website.

Lela Radojkovic
[Restaurant Balzac: Left: Saddle of Suckling Pig with crackling and baby garden peas, Right: Lela Radojkovic and Wagyu Beef Bourguignonne’ with Truffled Cauliflower and Onion Rings]

Roast Kurobuta Pork Neck with fennel and witlof salad
[Centennial Parklands Dining: Left: Hiramasa King fish in citrus oil, fresh peas and crème fraiche, Right: Roast Kurobuta Pork Neck with fennel and witlof salad]

THE FOOD:

Ah yes, the food. One word – delicious! It was such a wonderful novelty to have all the chefs walking around at arms distance. More importantly though, that there was such direct access to the most innovative flavour combinations and first class cooking.

Of course I had my favourites though. Restaurant Balzac’s saddle of suckling pig was absolutely divine. Crisp flavoursome crackling with tender meat, a light pan juices gravy and pop in your mouth peas was a magical combination.

I also adored the Centennial Parklands Hiramasa king fish. The marinated and lightly ceviched fish had a soft buttery mouth-feel and the citrus oil and creme fraiche added the perfect amount of freshness and creaminess. The pork neck was a generous serve and Dillon and MR NQN loved it. Lorraine and I found it a bit tough although the flavour was good and the salad was a very fresh accompaniment.

We also tried the truly delectable Moussaka of Eggplant, Sea Scallop & Taramosalata from Civic Dining. The lovely Peter Conistis even posed with his dish for me (see picture below left). I would never think to pair scallops with eggplant / aubergine but it works incredibly well and then the taramosalata added another layer of complexity and sophistication. Outstanding.

It was shame I didn’t get to try anything from Longrain as it’s a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for ages. If you go to Taste, can you please order the Spicy pork sausage betel leaves & pickled ginger, because it sounds delicious! They’ve also got a cocktail stand and the Ping Pong Cocktail with Lychees and passionfruit would go down a treat.

Peter Conistis
[Left: Peter Conistis from Civic Dining with his dish of Moussaka of Eggplant, Sea Scallop & Taramosalata, Right: Sabor Portuguese Mousse, absolutely deliciously light and creamy!]

Morning Glory Cupcake Flvaour
[Morning Glory cupcake from Sparkle Cupcakery stand]

THE PRODUCE:

Other than all the gorgeous restaurant quality food there are also loads of fresh produce stalls. I think I was almost more excited about these stalls because there’s nothing better than chatting to people who are passionate about the products they produce.

Greek yoghurt from Barambah Organics: Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know I’m a big dairy lover (not milk!) and that cream is at the top of my most loved foods. You might also remember the post when I first discovered Barambah at the Australian Organic Expo last year.

I go totally ga-ga over Barambah Organic cream and became extremely excited when I saw their stand. Alas they didn’t have any cream to sell, but I did grab a beautiful tub of their Greek yoghurt which has some of their cream mixed in…. yum! Highly recommended.

Cheese from Paesanella: I got a tub of cherry bocconcini, mascarpone and ricotta. Because one type of cheese is not enough. Hehe. It’s gorgeously creamy cheese.

Fresh Wasabi from Coppers Folly NZ: Woah this packs a punch! If you want clear sinuses and watery eyes, this brand is for you. Grown in beautiful New Zealand and eaten right here in Sydney by me. Wasabi mayonnaise you are about to be born… better go buy myself some soft shell crab to tempura and serve it with! (Remember the one at Crazy Bear? Amazing!).

Chocolate Mousse from Sabor: This man (pictured above) was the nicest stall owner there! His delicious Portuguese style chocolate mousse was to-die-for. There’s also hazelnut and mocha flavours too. We got chatting and he said it’s beautiful spread between layers of coffee soaked biscuits like tiramisu. I’ve definitely got to try that. (Although I’ve eaten the whole tub, so I’ll have to get some more).

Cupcake from Sparkle Cupcakery: Dillon loves cupcakes. He chose the flavour Morning Glory in homage to our company Morning Copy. It was a cinnamon cake with a hint of apple and dusted with cinnamon sugar. It satisfied his sweet tooth and he deemed it very good.

THE VERDICT:

I think the above speaks for itself! A first class set up and a superstar chef line up equals an absolutely fantastic festival that Sydney can be extremely proud of. Can’t wait to go again next year :)

Go on, get down there! Christie x

Don’t miss all the tasty action. Click here to get the Fig & Cherry RSS Feed!
Want even more yummy chat? Follow me on Twitter.

  • What a delicious sounding event! I love going to food festivals as they’re a great way to learn about different regional and local cuisines!

  • I agree with you Christie a so incredible festival at Sydney that might be reproduced here very soon to enjoy all these delights with lovely foodies :)

    All the best!
    Gera

  • Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  • I could go for some of that Beef Bourguignonne right now! Sounds like so much fun!

    Thanks for all the links for me to explore!

  • Oh what can I say Christie. Reading your post makes me long to be there. *SIGH*…it sounds WONDERFUL! Thanks for the virtual connect!

  • Sadly, I missed this! But thank god you did a wonderful job with the reporting Christie…very informative!

  • It’s always fun exploring an event with you dahlink! xxx

  • yumm…. i am looking forward to next year Taste already! :)

  • Waygu burger!! once you go wagyu you can’t go back to just regular ol ground beef!

    ;-)

  • I just ate, but all of the sudden I am starving and salivating. Why do you have to be half a planet away? Glad you had a great, tasty time! Todd.

  • Those Sabor mousses are the best. I’m so jealous or your cheeses and yoghurt. They sound beautiful.

  • oh… so much good food (and not enough stomach to try it all with)! i didn’t see the mousse at all… pity :(

  • Y

    Terrific post, Christie! I enjoyed reading every bit of it! :)

  • wOOt was great fun and great post! The Sparkle cupcakes guy scared me thought (the one that was in drag and in the photo)

  • @Hugging the coast – I love trying different cuisines too! It was a fabulous showcase of Sydney talent.
    @Gera – It was amazing! :)
    @Chris – Thanks very much, drop by again soon.
    @Michelle – I wish I’d tried that beef dish! It’s such a tease that I now have a photo of it ;)
    @Deeba – You’re welcome! Taste Sydney through your computer screen. Better than not at all!
    @Peter G – Ooh, such a shame. You would’ve loved it.
    @Lorraine – Et tu mama :)
    @Billy – Me too! A year is such a long time to wait.
    @Jaden – Absolutely! It’s a shame there’s such a price difference :P
    @White on Rice – Next time you can fly over, OK? :)
    @Arwen – You’ve tried Sabor! They are amazing mousses aren’t they? Yum!
    @Shez – I agree. My eyes were much bigger than my stomach on the night…
    @Y – Thanks mate! Glad I could make your day a little brighter.
    @Ffichiban – Haha! I didn’t see him there.

  • LOVE food festivals!

  • Wow, I thought I was excited about the NZ Food Festival…the Sydney one is hardcore! Looks like an amazing time. Last year when I went and took photos and said I was a food blogger most of the stall owners looked at me like I was crazy…

  • Pingback: Mango and basil breakfast parfait | Fig & Cherry()

  • Pingback: Sydney Royal Easter Show 2009 Review | Fig & Cherry()

  • Pingback: Win Tickets to Taste of Sydney Festival! | Fig & Cherry()

Design + Copy © Fig & Cherry 2011