09 March 2011

GourmetRabbit Issue 2 Launch at Harts Pub, The Rocks, Sydney (8 March 2011)

Corner of Essex & Gloucester Street, The Rocks NSW 2000

Congratulations on Issue 2

Thanks to Denea Buckingham from GourmetRabbit for inviting me along to her well-attended launch of the Issue 2 magazine. There's no stopping this self-driven and highly energetic young woman who can bedazzle most foodies with her extensive knowledge of food, wine and beer, including myself. The upper floor of Harts Pub was divided into four tasting areas plus the bar which provided beer tastings and fried nibbles of Kaarage chicken, Cajun spiced crocodile, Goujon (battered fish) and Chorizo sausage. Service was accommodating and friendly and Marnie did an excellent job in providing me all the matching sauce details. I fondly remember the Cajun spiced crocodile from my last visit.

Bartender Sam created lethal tasting Americano and Martinez cocktails made with DIY Sweet Vermouth — I hope the recipe will be coming my way soon as promised. I had to try three to make sure I really liked them so much. Joseph Raineri's table of extremely good cheeses and Italian fine foods was probably the most eagerly visited section. The eye-catching Popcorn with truffle was subtle in flavour but became more noticeable with the more you ate. Nice tasting crushed green olives, grilled artichoke and mixed mushrooms were soon overshadowed by the large barrels of cheeses on display to try. I really enjoyed the lovely tasting Asiago cheese from north Italy. The exotic Truffle pecorino, sharp tasting Parmigiano-Reggiano and flavoursome Testun Occelli al Barolo were all very popular and distinctive in flavour. The smooth and creamy Arnoldi Valtaleggio was noted as a great one for melting. Wafer thin slices of Proscuitto melted in your mouth and a combination of Bresaola with crushed artichoke and white truffle honey was a rich delight of flavours.

New Zealand King Salmon were at Taste of Sydney last year and will be there again this week. Tonight Michael Grinyer and Markus Gerlich prepared a couple of light tasting canap├ęs of the Smoked Salmon Pastrami straight from the packet (how easy is that) and a delightful looking Salmon Tartare with pickled cucumber, salmon crackling, salmon caviar and micro herbs. The balance of flavours worked well and the salmon crackling was apparently made from the skin which added a light crispy crunch. The team from Ettason importers showcased a range from their extensive selection of products including different flavoured Dragon Heart Candy which had a super flaky coating like fairy floss and some Instant Seasame Dessert served with ice cream. To help finish on a sweet note Harts Pub served up some mini Apple turnovers and freshly baked Melted choc chip cookies which were devilishly good.

Other blog reviews:

Denea officially launches GourmetRabbit Issue 2 alongside Lisa from SpicyIceceam

Beer tasting to start the night off

Americano cocktail: Gin, DIY Sweet Vermouth, Soda

Martinez cocktail: Gin, Luxardo, DIY Sweet Vermouth, Bitters

Bartender Sam

Harts Pub: Kaarage chicken with sesame soy dipping sauce, Cajun spiced crocodile with remoulade, Goujon (battered fish) with homemade tartare sauce, Chorizo sausage with tomato cider chutney

Raineri Italian Fine Foods, Five Dock

Serving up the cheese

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Asiago cheese, North Italy

Truffle pecorino sheep milk, Sardinia (instead of Tuscany)

Arnoldi Valtaleggio, North Italy, Good for melting

Joseph Raineri shaving proscuitto super fine

Bresaola with crush artichoke and white truffle honey

Proscuitto — wafer thin and melt-in-your-mouth

Popcorn with truffle

Crushed green olives, Grilled artichoke, Mixed mushrooms

White truffle honey

New Zealand King Salmon Regal table

Salmon Tartare with pickled cucumber, salmon crackling, salmon caviar and micro herbs

Smoked Salmon Pastrami

Ettason importers table

Ettason table team

Dragon heart candy Yuhin Icy Crispy

Inside a Dragon Heart Candy Yuhin Icy Crispy

Instant Seasame Dessert served with ice cream

Some Ettason samples of Chicken Powder and Jimmy's Sate sauce to try with my home cooking

Harts Pub: Mini apple turnovers

Harts Pub: Melted choc chip cookies

Launch party crowd


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Ahh, Knorr chicken powder, also known as MSG city. :-) Tasty though of course!

john@heneedsfood said...

Was a great evening if munching and sipping! The bresaola was divine!

spicyicecream said...

Thanks for coming along last night, it was lovely to see you! Hope you enjoyed the food and the magazine. I'm still thinking about all those cheeses! By the way the DIY vermouth recipe is in the Sipping section :)

Sandra @The French Wench said...

Nice review, I wish I could have made it, it looked like a fun night with awesome food! Beverages don't look half bad either :-)

Denea Buckingham said...

What a beautiful post Simon - thank you for coming and for all of your support. You are by far and away the fastest poster in the West, this was a treat to read after last night's launch.

See you soon!

Richard Adamson said...

Looks awesome. Jealous I wasn't there. I featured the Truffled Pecorino paired with Rogues Chocolate Stout at a Beer & Cheese matching night last year. There was silence in the room...easily the favourite of the night.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Oh cheese envy!

And packaged loong su tong - interesting :)

Tony Hollingsworth said...

Hey Simon,
Great post, I felt like I was there, noticing many friends in the crowd, just sorry I couldnt be there to taste that food and congratulate Denea in person. What an inspiration she is, showcasing great produce and sharing her passion and talent with us all so freely. Look forward to the next event!


Gastronomy Gal said...

I really wish I could have come!! Denea is all of those things, and I don't know Lisa very well but she is very talented.

Simon Leong said...

hi joey, i haven't tried it yet but i'm sure i'll have to keep it to a low dose. i'm scared of it.

hi john, good to see you there.

hi lisa, thanks for the extra info about the vermouth recipe

hi sandra, would have been good to see you again. hopefully next time.

hi denea, hopefully fastest blogger in the East too ;-) i forgot to get a goodie bag though :-(

hi richard, indeed a great cheese.

hi tina, the cheese lovers where in heaven

hi Gastronomy Gal, wish you could have been there too :-)

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