Friday, March 24, 2017

Taste of Sydney 2017

First time at Taste of Sydney! My friend had a spare ticket, so of course I put my hand up for it. It's an entry fee of $30 plus additional for food, so that's why I haven't been in previous years since as a uni student, I didn't want to pay for entry. The food there isn't cheap as well since it's a 'festival/market' where they have to transport the stuff to a park, hire fees etc, which ends up being pricey dishes for the serving size, but the quality of all the dishes we tried were good, and the restaurants there are more on the higher end compared to other markets like the Night Noodle Markets (which aren't cheap either for one dish compared to having it at the actual restaurant).

Taste credit

You load an initial amount either $30 or $50 then you can top up if you see some staff or at a money station. It's pretty convenient rather than dealing with so much change or your credit cards flying around when you are holding multiple dishes plus trying to get that photo of your food lel. At the end you give the card back and they refund back any amount remaining.

Bouche on Bridge
Wallaby skewers, spiced cashew nuts: wild Tasmanian wallaby tenderloins marinated and cooked over charcoal, served with a spiced cashew sauce

This dish won the number one spot at Taste of Sydney. First time trying wallaby and I wish more places would source wallaby for a 'gourmet skewer.' Wallaby isn't as gamey or chewy compared to kangaroo. The flavour of the meat is milder, and I liked how it wasn't too heavily marinated since you can still taste the flavour of the meat and the char. The spiced cashew sauce was so creamy and a good amount of spice to it, wished there was more meat to finish up the sauce. I also saw the head chef do a demo of this dish. At the restaurant, they serve it on a rosemary skewer, using the branch of a rosemary stalk. Looked so pretty and smelt so good. I wouldn't mind going to Bouche on Bridge just to have these wallaby skewers again. We wanted to have their Icon dish-suckling pig, but by the time we did the rounds and came back, we were too full. I guess that means more reason to go and visit the actual restaurant.

Black Swan Beta-Dips

What a fun concept! They have a sushi train conveyor belt but with dips and suggested items by the staff to dip into the dip.

- Salted caramel banana with mascarpone and walnut + waffle
- Bacon and egg with cracked pepper + mini toast
- Espresso maple bacon + waffle
- Pineapple, coconut and rum + crackers
- Black sesame seed hommus + carrots 

Yummm, loved all their dips! Favourite was probably the bacon and egg and black sesame. The salted caramel was interesting but more on the sweet side. Espresso was initially my favourite but after a few times it got quite sweet since not enough saltiness. The pineapple had a nice hint of rum. I would've bought a tub if I didn't go to Adele later that evening...I don't normally buy dips since I find them generally unhealthy, but these were delicious, and I'll make an exception and buy a tub if I see them in the supermarkets.

Lurpak Cookery School

Skirt steak tacos with chipotle butter

Passionfruit curd tart

For $6, you and your partner makes one savoury and sweet dish each to share. I love these sort of cooking classes, because everything is prepped and portioned out for you, and you don't have to wash up afterwards. Value for money haha. I did the savoury, and yay for pink beef. I don't normally cook with slabs of butter though, so might not make this at home. Passionfruit tart was nice and tangy.

Hayden from MasterChef!

Got there too late and didn't get a seat on the 'real seats', so couldn't try the ribs.

Wine tasting at The Wine Society

I love my wines. In short, the whites were average, rose had a stronger flavour, the reds weren't bold enough apart from Landhaus which was probs my fav out of them all, but still would've done with a bit more ageing. 

Truffle hunt: chicken, truffle, porcini mushroom croquette with edible truffle soil-$10

Anyone who knows me know that I lovee my truffles, so when I saw truffle, I knew I had to get this dish. It's a fun concept where you dig through the soil to find a piece of 'truffle' i.e. chicken. The dish smells like authentic truffle (rather than truffle oil). Chicken croquette was moist inside, but there were only 2 tiny pieces. There was too much truffle soil to eat and it was very, very dry unlike your chocolate soil which has some butter to make it moist. Ended up chucking out a lot of the soil since it was so dry like when people eat a spoonful of cinnamon. Breaks my heart to chuck out truffle related food stuff, but I couldn't swallow more of that soil cause too dry...

Also tasted truffle sausages and truffle cheese in the little stands by independent producers. Again, would have actually bought some goods if I didn't have a concert at night. (Truffle honey from Portobello Markets in London was also the bomb but haven't found any in Sydney yet. Too bad a glass jar of honey was too impractical to bring back to Aus...)

Little Nel.

Summer Efflorescence: strawberry sorbet, lychee, champagne mousse, crystallised rose petals-$12

This was our favourite dessert-super refreshing sorbet and perfect for a warm Autumn day. Although it was small, the flavours were really strong without being overly sweet. Everything just came together in one mouthful. The crystallised flowers were a tad bit on the sweet side, but apart from that, everything worked in this one small dish!

Wagon Wheel: raspberry, yuzu and milk chocolate-$6

The least worth item we got. All I could taste was a sweet milk choc and marshmallow. I have a sweet tooth, but not much when it comes to just milk choc. Couldn't really taste the yuzu or raspberry bits cause the sweetness in the marshmallow was too overpowering.

Gastro Park

Liquid pumpkin and parmesan gnocchi, forest mushroom tea-$12

You know something is good when they have only 2 items to choose from. So glad I discovered this liquid gnocchi! It was quite mind blowing. At first look, it looks like an Asian dessert of sweet potato balls in a sweet soup, but this was nothing like that nor like a normal gnocchi. The skin is super thin and once you bite into it, all this liquid goodness of pumpkin and fragrant parmesan burst into your mouth=liquid gnocchi. The tea was quite salty but still had a nice mushroom flavour. If there was more gnocchi or something to help cut through the saltiness of the sauce, would've drank it all. So, so good.

Seared scallop, pork crumble, crab sauce-$12

There were 4 tiny scallops (well more like 2 and they halved it) hidden under the pork crumble. Scallops cooked perfectly, and went well with that rich crab sauce. Loved having a bit of crunch from the pork crumble. Why have I not been to the actual restaurant yet? Putting it onto my list to go (too many places now on my list...)

Lavender and rose soft serve w/ red vermouth caramel and pistachio praline-$6

So many firsts at this festival, but first time having lavender soft serve! Really strong and fragrant lavender flavour with a sweet rose powder sprinkled on top. Rose flavoured things can be quite artificial, but this one had the right amount of rose/sweetness. Loved the vermouth caramel which had a slight bitterness in it to cut through the floral flavours. Good crunch from the pistachio praline as well. I didn't manage to visit Provence in France (nor was it the season), but I can imagine how amazing lavender soft serve would be after having this one. I wished this was on Banksia's menu. No idea where I can find decent lavender ice cream in Sydney.

cute chocolate with Sydney suburbs

At the end you could also take a pack go Castello blue cheese for free. So many things I wish I could buy/take, but Adele was the priority of the day lol.

Centennial Parklands

It was really fun discovering relatively new places to eat in Sydney all in one place and trying new things. Thanks for the ticket Bec! 

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