Taste of Sydney: Flashbacks

I hope that this entry didn't come too late. But for all those who love a bit of food-porn in the mornings, this couldn't be more timely. I promise to keep the documentaries short. Scroll on folks...

Before reaching the grounds, torrential rains greeted us as we alighted the bus, we contemplated heading back for a drink at the pub but decidedly stayed put waiting for the showers to simmer down. Thank goodness for being unfazed, because in a short half and hour, we were to experience some of the best times this year has got to offer.

Taste of Sydney occupies some huge ass grounds right smack in the center of Sydney's Centennial Park. As you approach the glistening green fields, soothing wafts of savory smoke awakens your senses and teases your tastebuds into submission. You realise that you're famished. It's cold out, all you want is to dig into some good food.

Not to worry there, Taste of Sydney features an enviable line-up of Sydney's hottest restaurants with over 60 mouthwatering dishes to try. So we took a quick spin of the vicinity and drew our conclusions quick, our stomachs as our guides. First up,  Costoletta D'agnello Siciliana from Popolo. Here, a hefty lamb cutlet is crumbed and fried, perched on a soft pool of eggplant puree and accompanied by some pink tinted pickled onions. Cooked on the bone, the lamb was tender and juicy, the smoky breathe from the eggplant save this dish an unexpected depth of flavor.

lipsmacking goodness...

the scandalous teasing that goes on while waiting in line at Porteno

Enfin, the Charcoal Grilled Entrana from Porteno. Definitely the highlight of the night, the wagyu skirt steak was tortured to a quivering tender pink, the swaddling of green chimchurri, like kryptonite. It's a delicate undertaking, that the meat be cooked to perfection over such blasting heats. I wanted more. The barbecued peppers imparting a dash of smoky mild sweetness to the dish.

After a cider or two, our ears perked up from the heart-pounding beats coming from the ICONPARK tentage. Home to 6 online restaurant concepts vying for a place at IconPark's East Sydney location, we were attracted to the unique variety of food on offer. First up, Sedgwick Ave's De-boned free range wings, grilled watermelon and light blue cheese sauce. Delish. It may sound like quite a hard act to pull off but the freshness of the ingredients and punchy flavors worked so well together. The grilled watermelon acquired a sort of sashimi like texture, smooth and slippery whereas the drizzle of blue cheese sauce highlighted its natural sweetness. intriguing indeed.

The next better contender was British India Trading Co's Cardamon and Ginger Spiced Short Rib, Mustard carrot butter, okra and tamarind sambal. Unassuming in appearance, the short rib was achingly beautiful, shredding to bits with the prodding of a harmless plastic fork. The crispy bits of tamarind sambal complimenting its robust fatty flavors and the vibrant spot of mustard carrot butter echoing the concept's emphasis on India's vibrant usage of aromatic spices and imbibing tonics. Definitely a magic carpet ride kind of dish.

Wandering along, we made a stop over at the spinning pig station over at 4fourteen. (Read about my subsequent visit after here). The piece de resistance was the Suckling Pig, the plate shows up, tantalizing with mounds of fatty pork, sweet with crushed apple and jazzy with a side of smoked potato salad. The pig didn't need any distractions, however, the villainous carbs stole a little of the attention with its mysterious depth of flavor from its smokiness and lush dressing. The dessert offering fizzled in a shy attempt to keep up with the pork, Peanut Butter Popsicle with honeycomb crunch and dulce de leche was very one-dimensional, the Popsicle in itself carrying very minimal peanut butter flavor.

Our last stop of the night saw our tired feet carrying us to the Taste Kitchen where Alice in frames from Masterchef Australia was playing host to a myriad of famous chefs from various famous local restaurants as they demonstrated some of their signature dishes. We had the honor of witnessing Sake's Chef Shaun Presland at work as he wielded his magic knife on the tables.

And what's a demonstration without samples after?

kingfish jalapeño yuzu soy, jalapeño slices & coriander

Taste of Sydney was an ultra fun event to have attended and I am definitely looking forward to next years edition. Cheers.

Taste of Sydney
13-16 March, 2014
Centennial Park


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Meet Sihan

Snap Eat Love is Lee Sihan. 27 going on 28, she is a dessert enthusiast, food nomad, wanderer of lands and a pastry chef currently working in Sydney. Fueled by a lifelong addiction to all things sweet, and a burning desire to travel the globe follow her as she embarks on delicious escapades both in and out of the kitchen

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