Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Taste of Sydney Festival 2012

It had been a pretty crappy few months in terms of the weather in Sydney but fortunately the sun decided to come back and give us a fantastic time at the Taste of Sydney Festival. My hubby and I were at the Sat 11am-4pm session and were able to thoroughly enjoy the food and the sunshine :)

Walking around, we were drawn by the fantastic aromas in the air and the crowds of people surrounding various tents. My hubby was being super nice for the day and let me make most of the choices on what foods to get :) One of the first tents we got to was the one for 'The Montepellier Public House' (Chef: Matt Kemp). They had also offered lamb and panna cotta but I opted for the beef brisket. The beef brisket was served as golden brown crispy sticks but the pasture fed beef inside was soft enough to just fall apart at the fork. What more was the creamed wild mushroom sauce. It was soooooo shroomy in flavour and so deliciously creamy! It went very well with the crunchy stringy tender beef.
Crisp brisket of pasture fed beef with creamed wild mushrooms - 10 crowns

The next tent we stopped at was for Sake Restaurant & Bar (Chef: Shaun Presland). They offered an awesome looking pan seared ocean barramundi, a hiramasa kingfish 'double crunch' sushi roll and a hiramasa kingfish ceviche. I could not go past the ceviche. We got chunks of kingfish coated well with citrusy, chilli ish sauce and tossed with onion, cucumber, tomato amongst other herbs (coriander I think?) It was quite tasty but maybe would have been better if it was a touch more delicate in the flavours.

hiramasa kingfish ceviche - 8 crowns

Quarter Twenty One (Chef: Justin North) won my heart with their slow cooked caramelised short rib with bone marrow persillade. It was OMG so tender and so flavoursome and so smooth and so silky and so everything! Absolutely melt-in-your-mouth moment, not to mention the smooth rich mash that came with it. How did beef taste so good?

Slow cooked and caramelised short rib with bone marrow persillade - 12 crowns

I had to atleast let my hubby pick one dish - and he went for the pork belly skewers from L'etoile (Chef: Manu Feildel). Manu was actually at the tent when we were there and a massive crown gathered as he took photos with people and did a bit of a 'happy dance' with his staff at the tent. The pork belly was tender and juicy but really quite fatty. I think more than half the cube might have been pork fat - which makes for a fantastic flavour but also sets alight the guilt-trip in my mind going ' this is going to kill me'. The pork cubes were separated with prunes and served with a small portion of char-grilled silver beet.

'murray valley pork belly' with prunes and char-grilled silver beet - 12 crowns

In my mind, the smoked salmon, chorizo and mozzarella croquette from Four in Hand (Chef: Colin Fassnidge) sounded delicious but my hubby was eyeing their roast suckling pig plate. Hence, I was nice enough to opt for the pig instead. I was not disappointed - stringy yet tasty pull-apart suckling pig was served with super tasty coleslaw and a puffy onion ring. The 'hot sauce' on top of the pork wasn't really hot, but it added a good flavour to the pork.

roast suckling pig, coleslaw, onion rings and hot sauce - 12 crowns

As we were walking around, we saw people with burgers and hot dogs everywhere. And so I couldn't resist either the chilli dog or the classic wagyu beef and cheese slider from Charlie & Co Diner. Hubby decided on the burger over the dog. Compared to previous years, the burger was less succulent and more 'meaty' in texture. I preferred previous burgers but hubby liked this one. The bun was super soft and somewhat sweet tasting, making it just dissolve in your mouth. The chips were quite impressive. Golden brown sticks of potato which were perfectly crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. YUM!

Charlie wagyu beef and cheese slider - 10 crowns

Last but not least, dessert time! I was hunting for my favourite icecream that I get to eat once a year from the New Zealand tent (Kohu Road Ice cream) only to find that it wasn't exhibiting this year!!! Full of dissappointment, I had to hunt down a substitute. I settled for Duccio Gelato (Five Dock) - coffee flavour and that was nice and all that... but I still missed my Kohu Road!

Duccio Gelato - 4 crowns

All up, Taste of Sydney Festival was a pleasant experience (as always), full of wonderous foods and yummy freebie taste tests offered by lots of exhibiting stores of wine and juice and salmon and bread and olive oil etc etc. If you are a HSBC customer, you also get free access to their lounge where you're treated to a free drink, live music and unlimited complimentary water :)


missklicious said...

Agree that the Q21 beef rib was so good! I wasn't a fan of the Four In Hand pig dish though :(

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bbsnoopy said...

Yeh - the coleslaw on that dish was yummier than the pig, but my partner seemed to love the pork and defended it by saying that "it's meant to taste like this" hehe :)