Da Boyfriend and I met at Centennial Park after sneaking out of work early so as to avoid the inevitable queues. We were glad we did as we had our tickets and our crowns pronto as well as securing a table, and didn’t have to line up for a single thing..which was a relief, as by the time we left there were many, many lines…The first thing that impressed us was how well organised it was, large lovely tents where food prep was obviously being done out the back, clear signage and very good toilets. I judge a lot of things by the quality of the toilets and these were good.
So what first!? Da Boyfriend made a beeline straight to Becasse and Etch and wolfed down a Wagyu burger so fast I didn’t even get to see it, smell it or taste it let alone photograph it! Not to worry, after establishing where everything was we divvied up our crowns and went on our mini missions.
First up was the Wagyu Beef Bourguignonne with truffled cauliflower and onion rings by Restaurant Balzac…I have to say we did feel a little hard done by with these, they were so good, but for $10 we expected more. But this would be the theme for the festival, though we found the desserts to be much better value. I only say this in light of the entry fee which significantly bumps up the price and as a couple we did spend over $100 and it would have been much, much more if we had paid to enter. But, conversely, the opportunity to try dishes from restaurants we normally wouldn’t get to, such as Jonah’s at Whale Beach or Berowra Waters Inn certainly makes up for the cost, as just getting to them would take more time and much more money! On this round we also grabbed the Braised Beef Cheek, roasted onion & jerusalem artichoke pie with red wine jus from Bird, Cow, Fish…we had two of these…yummo!
I was very keen to get my hands on more of the delicious little betel leaf morsels from Sailors Thai. I loved the zingy flavour and perfect mouthful proportion. The combination of sweet prawns, peanuts, lime, ginger, roasted coconut, chilli and caramel meant that I could have snacked on these all evening. We went for the arrancini from Berowra Waters Inn, as at the launch these were to die for. Sadly for us, again for the price (just one ball for $10), we were disappointed. It was cold, and not very tasty, and seemed to be missing the stringy mozzarella filling. Surprising as I thought we were there early enough to avoid cold/old treats..
Ooh, what next!? My lovely boyfriend found me one of my favourite alcoholic drinks! Pipsqueak Cider from Little Creatures Brewery, who were exhibiting. I was so happy to have a little taste of my holiday in WA back home.
To round out our meal, we decided we better have something more vegetable based and went for the tempura ricotta filled zucchini flowers with a rich pesto sauce from Jonah’s at Whale Beach. What bliss! These were so tasty, fresh and light. I was so impressed with the lightness of the tempura batter and lack of oiliness, and wished there were more! I didn’t want to share! Particularly impressive in light of the mass production which can often leave these type of dishes sadly lacking…George Francisco you are so good!!!!
Oh, dessert! We were already looking forward to what I like to call the “Porno Panacotta“, but went through the menu to choose other desserts. We settled on the chocolate tart with berries and mascarpone sabayon from Berowra Waters Inn and the Eton Mess from Becasse.
One of the things I loved about the Taste of Sydney festival was seeing all the chefs working, hanging out, and catching up with each other. It’s not often you get served by the head chef, if ever!
This is the very nice Mr Dietmar Sawyere from Berowra Waters Inn and Forty One handing over my delicious chocolate tart…
We did end up having bonus dessert as Da Boyfriend was still hungry, and even more so when we passed by the Lindt tent and saw the waffles with chocolate sauce and ice cream!
All in all, we had a wonderful evening wandering the stalls and stuffing our faces with oh so tasty food! Thanks Prue for the opportunity to attend…Can’t wait until next year!
Taste of Sydney was held on 12-15 March 2009 at Centennial Park, Sydney