Yes, it’s time for Taste of Sydney again! I was lucky enough to win a double pass to Taste of Sydney this year – woohoo for competitions! This is the place to be to sample dishes from Sydney’s finest restaurants, try some food and drink from the exhibitors and also do a bit of celebrity-chef spotting. It’s always good to go with a bunch of people so you can share dishes and be hand models for each other hehe.
The setup is much the same as last year with the restaurants around the perimeter of the outdoor venue and the exhibitors scattered around the edges and in the centre.The currency for the restaurant dishes is in Crowns where 1 Crown = $1 and the dishes range from 8-12 Crowns. You can purchase Crowns in books for $30 or $10 from the Crown Stands or from the roaming sellers (look for the bright pink shirts!). The exhibitors accept cash as well as Crowns and it’s a good way of using up any leftover. The slow cooked fillet of ocean trout at Berowra Waters Inn and Ad Lib Bistro was without a doubt one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was succulent and though it looked cooked through, it had the texture of rare fish and was an absolute pleasure to eat. The oxtail croustillant was amazing with a super crisp pastry shell encasing rich oxtail meat and accompanied by a puree of caramelised onions.
Bird Cow Fish put up an amazing beef cheek pie last year and this year they had extraordinarily tender slices of boned and rolled roasted chicken. The chicken was topped with some oyster mushrooms and served alongside a creamy smooth potato puree.
If this dish looks a little familiar it’s because it’s the same as the one from last year! El Toro Loco is no more and now Miguel Maestre is co-owner/chef of Aperitif and has brought his Spanish influences with him.
One of the desserts I was looking forward to trying was the Dark chocolate Snickers at Four in Hand. It was gooey and chocolately with an almost mousse-like texture though personally I could have done with a little bit more peanut.
Aside from the restaurant stalls there are sweet things to be had elsewhere. There are several places selling ice cream (including Gelato Messina) but I had my eye on the creme brulee at Victor Churchill. Yes, not only do they do smallgoods and cured meats but they also have a fully stocked dessert cabinet!
The creme brulee had a dark burnished top with a thin but sufficient toffee layer on top. Underneath was a creamy custard strong on vanilla and even though I took this back home with me for later I couldn’t help digging into it as soon as I got home!
For the cheese lovers there are stalls around offering samples of cheese for a few Crowns and Berowra Waters Inn and Ad Lib also offer a cheese dish.
And I couldn’t leave without getting myself a packet of marshmallows from Sweetness the Patisserie! Seriously these marshmallows are the best, like pillows of marshmallowy heaven!
Taste of Sydney runs from 10th – 13th March 2011 in Centennial Park, with 5 more sessions running Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and Friday and Saturday night. If you haven’t got tickets already you can still purchase them at the door. See the Taste of Sydney website for more details.