Taste of Sydney, March 09

Welcome back lovely reader of my recently neglected, but dearly loved food blog! In the next few weeks/months, I’ll be rampantly posting a huge backload of posts, in an effort to clear out a ballooning WIP folder, sync my computer with my little external hard drive (a trusty friend in the last few disjointed months) and basically make more time for my love of food/blogging. Well that’s the plan anyway:P

Well, to start, my recent interludes into Sydney have been fortunate enough to coincide with some fun food events, one being the Taste of Sydney festival. An outdoor festival held last month in the serene Centennial Park. Being lucky ticketholders of the Saturday night session, the girls and I were offered not only the gourmet delights of Sydney, but as a bonus (and for free I might add), we were was treated to a night of torrential rain, gale force winds and plastic ponchos. Mother Nature sure knows how to add some atmosphere.

So, after arriving at 5pm on the dot, the clouds descend and suddenly a storm in upon us. We dash to the nearest pavilion, finding a wine tasting class ready to begin – How Convenient! I generally prefer to eat before/while drinking but really, between a choice of first class wines and cold, soul drenching rain….it’s a pretty easy decision isn’t it?

Beautiful wines; I loved the tasting, Sindel loved finishing my spread, Madam Saucy loved the fact there was no spittle bucket and H perfected her wine musing look – all in all, a fun way to begin our night.

Berowra Waters Inn – Arancini of truffle risotto and buffalo mozzarella, spinach and fennel sauce

After the wine tasting we are 4 ravenous women - our plan of attack: Sharing is Caring. The rain has stopped and to start we head for a vegetarian option, so all of us can dive in. The arancini is piping hot, with a moreish centre, I wish it was bigger.

After this little nibble we meet up with Herr Mouttard, JJW and Snow White, who point us in the direction of Restaurant Balzac.

Restaurant Balzac – Wagyu Beef “Bourguignonne” with Truffle Cauliflower and Onion Rings

A fancy spring roll - a damn good fancy spring roll. The beef melted in my mouth (as expected) and the crunchy outer contrasted nicely with the cooling cauliflower cream.

Restaurant Balzac – Saddle of suckling pig with crackling and baby garden peas

I look up to notice our resident vegetarian looking hungry, next stop Danks St Depot. As we arrive, we’re greeted by Jared Ingersoll, who emerges to reassure us his food tastes as good as it looks.

Danks St Depot – Pastrami of Kingfish with Smoked Oysters and Cucumber and Apple Salad

Danks St Depot – Ham steamed in Hay served with buttered suedes

Danks St Depot - Poached Strawberries with a chocolate and hazelnut meringue with whipped cream

Suddenly, the urge for wine overcomes us, fortunately the girls at the Wyndham Estate stall are more than happy to oblige. We meander through the side stalls drinking wine, tasting cheese, sweets and olive oils among many other mouth watering treats.

At this point, I’m getting hungry again and can feel the Crowns (the festival’s currency) in my bag calling out to me. Next stop – Jonah’s at Whale Beach and Bécasse. Being men who love meat (let’s face it, most of them do…), JJW and Herr Mouttard are almost physically pushing us towards the Plan B Wagyu beef burger. We trek over to the stall and find a massive line waiting for said burger. Generally, we found the crowd and lines quite small in the festival, but this beef burger was pulling in a huge crowd, by far the most popular dish of the night.

Plan B – Gundooee Organic grass fed Wagyu Beef Burger

We waited patiently… and were rewarded with this awesome baby! Apologies for my amateur photo, this is a truly unflattering shot of a truly delicious burger. I found myself in my own little world, groaning with satisfaction as I was eating it and oddly, paranoid that someone would ask for a bite. If you have never experienced a foodgasm, I’m sure this will do it for you, (pending meat eating status).

Speaking of non-meat eaters, resourceful Sindel joined Herr Mouttard next door to grab some fish action.

Jonah's at Whale Beach - Sesame seared yellow fin tuna, crisp spring onion rings, red radish and watercress

Jonah’s at Whale Beach – Tempura ricotta filled zucchini flowers with basil pesto sauce

I grabbed a bite of these and again wished I had the courage to deep fry in my own kitchen.

On our way to grab some champagne (I’m a sucker for the bubbly at the moment), Madam Saucy and I were distracted by seafood.

Assiette – Sydney rock oysters with Vietnamese dressing, crispy shallots and baby coriander

Not sure where the alleged crispy shallots and coriander have gone but that didn’t stop us enjoying these slurpy little mouthfuls. We tried to save some for Sindel and H (Group motto had changed to Divide and Conquer by this point) but with no luck finding them we took it for the team and finished off the plate, it’s the thought that counts?

It’s time for dessert and with our few remaining Crowns, we find:

Lindt Café

Being the predictable chocoholic that he is, Herr Mouttard instinctively veered towards the Lindt stall to finish his night with this gooey concoction. The icecream was a bit melted by the time I’d gotten to it but still good nevertheless.

Jonah’s at Whale Beach – Vanilla Panna Cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate

I know panna cotta is a cinch to make at home but I still gravitate towards it when I’m out. This wobbly baby really hit the spot that night, it was sweet yet light, and it’s provocative vanilla seed peak was a was fun to watch – until I ate it!

Mother Nature has incredible timing and as we polish off our last bites the rain returns with renewed vigour. Suddenly the only thing I can think about is how fat, cold and hard the raindrops are on my head and how grateful I am that I didn’t end up wearing that white top that seems to be on high rotation in my wardrobe at the moment. Turns out I go home in a white top of a completely different kind – an unbecoming white plastic poncho which renders me devoid of any womanly shape and is irritatingly much too long, but keeps me (somewhat) dry as I walk what seem to be miles, out to Oxford St to get a cab. That poncho providing man must have been everyone’s hero during the night. Now, if only someone would organise a food festival for me every weekend.


Arwen from Hoglet K said...

It's marvellous to have you back with us Miss Honey and I hope you're feeling better. I'm glad you made it to the Taste festival, although the weather sounds like it was a pain. You've tried a great range of food!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back ^^! Ahh that was a good night soo hungrryyy nooww haha

Howard said...

Welcome back, looking forward to your backlog of posts ;)

TenshiWings said...

yay! Back from your long hiatus =)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said...

Woo hoo!! You're finally back, you have no idea how happy I am. I LOVE reading your descriptions of things. What a wonderful way to jump back into the blogging, taste of Sydney must have been awesome, all those dishes, all that wine and not to mention the rain. And a very clever way to try alot of things at the festival, take bites from other peoples dish's! Keep the posts coming Miss Honey!

P.S. Glad you liked the Banana Cake, it is by far one of my favorites!

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