13 March 2012

Taste of Sydney 2012: Food Festival Restaurant Dishes and Stands, Centennial Park (10 Mar 2012)

Brazilian Fields, Centennial Park, Sydney NSW 2000

A celebration of food & drink

Thanks to Ashley Gatte from Stellar* Concepts for inviting me to the VIP Gala Night launch for Taste of Sydney 2012 which unfortunately was cancelled due to torrential wet weather on Thursday but I managed to visit on the sunny Saturday to check out the restaurant dishes and meet the chefs. Firstly I wanted to check out the New Zealand stand which had impressed me the previous two years with their free samples. Sadly no sign of Kohu Road Ice Cream this year but NZ Regal King Salmon had decided to put together a Smoked Salmon Tasting Plate ($5) with 4 kinds of salmon — the pastrami version remains my favourite. I was impressed with the Blue River well-flavoured Vintage Feta and Omega Seafood were again promoting their precooked mussels and clams. The Wine Barrel Smoked Mushrooms from Aromatics was worth trying. Full of flavour which would work so well with some pasta I think. I wish I had more time to try the Giesen wines as I’m a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir but more food was calling me.

Next stop was City Tattersalls Club which again generously provided lots of complimentary food and drinks with enthusiastic and friendly service to all that visited their stand — you guys seriously rock! Their Crisp Sumac Spiced Prawns with Tomato & Capsicum Relish was a favourite which I'd happily eat a whole tray of. I managed to visit all 15 restaurant stands but sadly run out of time to visit the new sustainable pop-up restaurant stand that was represented on different days by Fish & Co, Three Blue Ducks, The Veggie Patch and Agapé Organic Restaurant & Bar. I thought the overall quality of dishes served looked pretty good and my favourite savoury dishes I was offered to try by restaurants were Flying Fish Prawns served with okra sambal ($10), Efendy Kadayif wrapped king prawns, walnut capsicum muhammara ($10), Quarter Twenty One Fried Hawkesbury School Prawns, Prosciutto and Rouille ($10). My favourite desserts sampled were The Montpellier Public House Pepe Saya Buttermilk and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Poached Fruits ($10) and Otto Ristorante Meringue filled with Passionfruit Curd, Honeydrew, Rock and Watermelon ($10).

Apart from the main restaurant stands there was plenty of exhibitor stands providing free tastings. Preshafruit and Nudie are two juices I tend to buy regularly for their great tasting 100% Australian made fruit juice. I loved the cheeky packaging of the Foxy's Frozen Yoghurt and for tasty caramel coated nuts I'm glad I discovered Morish which is proudly Australian grown, owned and made with no preservatives, artificial flavours or colouring. I had the opportunity of sampling a Pure Pops given out in the air conditioned HSBC VIP Lounge which is 100% natural — the ginger beer one was really nice. As always there's lots of chef talks and demonstrations going on but again I simply didn't have enough time to visit any which I would have loved to do. I seriously think with the amount of things on offer and the few hours you get per session it's simply not enough time to do it all. I'd love at least a full day to fully appreciate and get around to everything I wanted to see and do.

Other visits to Taste of Sydney:
March 2012 / March 2011 / March 2010

PROS: A taste of some of Sydney's hatted restaurants, Meet the chefs in person, Free taste samplings to be found especially at City Tattersalls Club stand, Free parking
CONS: Weather dependent, Time limit per session, Can sometimes get crowded so might to line up for food, Parking fills up quickly nearby, Can get expensive depending how much you want to eat
MUST TRY: Visiting the restaurants that impressed me the most with their dishes

(S) = Sampled and tasted

The Montpellier Public House Chef Matt Kemp and team

(S) Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Polenta and Green Sauce ($12)

(S) Crisp Brisket of Pasture Fred Beef with Creamed Wild Mushrooms ($10)

(S) Pepe Saya Buttermilk and Vanilla Panna Cotta with Poached Fruits ($10)

The Montpellier Public House Eton Mess ($12)

Flying Fish Chef Peter Kuruvita (right)

(S) Seared Petuna ocean trout with ginger, chilli, shallot sauce, served with carrot sambal & basmati rice ($12)

(S) Prawns served with okra sambal ($10)

(S) Laveria: Fresh coconut & palm treacle pancake with cardamom ice cream ($8)

Four In Hand Chef Colin Fassnidge (top middle) and team

(S) Smoked Salmon, Chorizo and Mozzarella Croquette ($10)

(S) Roast Suckling Pig, Coleslaw, Onion Rings and Hot Sauce ($12) - tender flavoursome meat, hot sauce works well with it

(S) Licorice Braised Beef Brisket with Carrot and Cherry Purée ($10)

There's nothing quite like a pig on a spit

Saké Restaurant & Bar
Saké Restaurant & Bar Chef Shaun Presland (middle)

Hiramasa Kingfish Double Crunch Sushi Roll ($10)

Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche ($8)

Pan Seared Ocean Barramundi ($12)

The Cut Bar & Grill Chef James Privett (left)

Charcuterie Tasting Plate with Cornichons and Mustard Fruits ($10)

Sher F1 Wagyu Meatball, Gremolata and a Salad of local and Italian Cabbage ($10)

Vanilla and Blueberry Cheesecake with Chestnut Crumble ($8)

Salt cod, potato and truffle fritters with tarragon mayonnaise ($10)

Traditional house made casareccia pasta with slow cooked veal, pork and chicken ragu ($12)

(S) Amedei gianduia chocolate crema, salty caramel gelato, Italian meringue ($8)

Efendy Chef Somer Sivrioglu - winner of best dish at Taste of Sydney

(S) Traditional charcoal BBQ lamb and veal kebap, smoked eggplant and Chobani Greek yoghurt ($12)

(S) Kadayif wrapped king prawns, walnut capsicum muhammara ($10)

Pan-fried Lamb Testicles with Almond Tarator ($8) — for those who dare and are quick enough to get as they've been very popular to try

Pistachio dessert trio of traditional Baklava, Dolma and Kadayif

Ormeggio at the Spit & Spiedo Chef Alessandro Pavoni (right)

(S) Smoked veal rump, vegetable ash and radish ($12)

Salmon crudo, lemon dressing, manadrin, squid ink mayo ($8)

(S) House made Frusili (Strozzapreti?), zucchini, prawns, saffron ($10)

(S) Deep fried fontina cheese in buckwheat batter ($8)

L'etoile Chef Manu Fiedel and team

(S) Chilled Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese Crème ($8)

Murray Valley Pork Belly with Prunes and Char-grilled Silver Beet ($12)

(S) Apple and Cinnamon Donuts ($10)

Longrain team, customers and DJ

Ginger Rogers ($12), Stickmata ($12)

Ping Pong ($12), Acapulco Gold ($12)

Crisp pork belly, pickled daikon & chilli jam in a sweet roll ($12)

Yellow curry of lamb with cucumber relish ($12)

(S) Watermelon, young coconut & tapioca ($8)

A Tavola Chef Eugenio Maiale (right)

(S) Ravioli of Sliced Pickled Beetroot with Goats Curd, Pistachio & Horseradish ($10)

(S) Pasta with Lightly Smoked Lilydale Chicken, Carrot Puree and Parmesan ($10)

(S) Meringue filled with Passionfruit Curd, Honeydrew, Rock and Watermelon ($10)

Otto Bar

(S) Aperol Splice ($10), Mandarino Sundowner ($10), Vivo ($10)

Charlie & Co. Diner

The Burger: Charlie wagyu beef & cheese slider ($10)

The Dog: Miniature artisan frankfurter chilli dog ($8)

The Quesadilla: Spicy bean, cheese and jalapeno quesadilla ($10) + Grilled chicken ($12)

Vanilla icecream soda float ($6)

Becasse Chef Justin North and Quarter Twenty One team

(S) Fried Hawkesbury School Prawns, Prosciutto and Rouille ($10)

(S) Slow Cooked and Caramelised Short Rib with Bone Marrow Persillade ($12)

(S) One Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Sandwich ($8)

(S) Quarter Twenty One stockist: Maya Sunny Honey

(S) Applegarita and Cuban Iced Tea

(S) Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango & Lime Compote

(S) Crisp Sumac Spiced Prawns with Tomato & Capsicum Relish

(S) Mini Moroccan Lamb & Eggplant Burger with Cucumber & Mint Raita

(S) Loukomades Greek Honey Puffs with Vanilla Sheep's Yoghurt

New Zealand stand
(S) Blue River cheese — Vintage Feta was my favourite

New Zealand products

(S) New Zealand Regal Smoked Salmon Tasting Plate ($5)

Giesen wines

(S) Omega Seafood — mussels and clams

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Goodie Bag


HSBC VIP Lounge — Nice place to be when it's hot

(S) The Victoria Room Tea Salon scone tastings

Exhibitors stands

Patisse Chef Vincent Gadan and desserts — (S) Pear dessert

(S) Foxy's Frozen Yoghurt

(S) Preshafruit

Bavarian Bier Cafe

(S) Nudie

(S) Gingerbread Folk

(S) Sunshack Cider

(S) Morish nuts — macadamias are their most popular

(S) Nespresso

(S) Chang Beer

Sweetness The Patisserie

Two Italian Boys

Ketel One Vodka cocktails by Eau-De-Vie

(S) Pure Pops


(S) Original Juice Co Black Label Chilled Juice

(S) McGuigan wines, Kemenys and ELK join forces

Beach Bar

Infinity Sourdough Bakery

Wine Selectors

Chobani Greek Yogurt

Arrogant Frog


HSBC — A friendly smile from the sponsors

Taste Kitchen

Sensology: The art of cocktail making


Brenda said...

Oh my goodness what a mammoth effort and maybe mammoth stomach ;) You are awesome!!!!!

Annie said...

Thank you so much for posting this up! I think the unknown dish might be Ormeggio+Spiedo's smoked veal rump, vegetable ash and radish dish :). Quote me if I'm wrong though.

muppy said...

What an amazing coverage!! i am so incredibly excited an envious all at the same time to see all the beautiful food, hoping next year i can budget better and make it there :)
i really loved the look of Efendy, will have to look into eating there.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

You didn't eat/drink all that, did you?!

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

How on earth did you manage to eat so much? Really? I always love your recap of things Simon :D

Adrian (Food Rehab) said...

geeze louise! My hand got tired from the scrolling! Great post Simon and awesome pics. I am so hungry now

Vivian - vxdollface said...

Whoa! How did you manage to consume everything!? Nothing from the pop-up store?

jenny@atsteoftravel said...

Fabulous post. I feel as though I have been there. Shame I missed out on the taste sensations!

Simon Leong said...

hi brenda, i hope i was able to showcase a few dishes for those going on sunday.

hi annie, thanks so much for the dish confirmation. i must have had a brain freeze.

hi muppy, let me know if you end up trying Efendy. hope it's a nice experience for you.

hi tina, i've now marked which things I did try. I could have tried all the Saké, The Cut and A Tavola dishes as well but was getting way too full.

hi tina, i just kept going. i guess walking around so much does burn off a few calories but i didn't real feel like dinner that night that's for sure.

hi adrian, hehe i try and not do mega posts like this because i'm sure it would make iphone and ipads have a fit but it just seemed easier to do as one post than split it up.

hi vivian, by the time i got around to the pop up restaurant the session was coming to an end. maybe next year.

hi jenny, there's always next year :-)

Dolly said...

wow the food looks amazing... too bad i missed out :(

yay your number 1 again!!!

congrats simon!

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