Taste of Sydney 2010, Centennial Park

The Taste of Sydney food festival is unlike any other outdoor event. Where else can you have the best of Sydney’s dégustation, sampling some of the best cuisines from talented chefs all under the same tents.

Now in its second year, the event is set in the Brazilian Fields at Centennial Park.  This foodies’ delight gives you the chance to go from one chef’s kitchen to the next and indulge your culinary senses in whatever takes your fancy.

Entry tickets are $30 at the door. Crowns are the official ‘currency’ of the festival and can be purchased in books of 10 or 30, where $1 = 1 crown. Dishes range from 8-12 crowns, and drink tastings start from 2 crowns.
Taste of Sydney 2010

Although the queue to buy crowns seemed long, it moved very quickly. Roving crown sellers approached people in line who were able to pay in cash, ensuring there was no time wasted in lines.
Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste of Sydney Menus

We took a quick walk around the park to get oriented with the stalls and restaurants. We paused for a few moments and talked to chef Mark Best from Marque Restaurant. As long time regulars, we opted to return to his restaurant soon rather than try his dishes on the day, although I nearly caved in to the favourite Sauternes Custard with Caramel.

Some restaurants put a sample menu on show, tempting the eye before the palate, which made the choice a little easier.

Etch: Entrée – Prawn cocktail
Plan B: Main – Organic grass fed Wagyu beef burger
Bécasse: Dessert – Chocolate soufflé
Taste of Sydney 2010

Jonah’s at Whale Beach Menu
Entrée  – Alba white truffle popcorn
Main- Fries with eyes crisp school prawns with a spicy Cajun remoulade
Dessert – Vanilla panna cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate
Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste of Sydney Entreés

Aria – Cured ocean trout with cucumber and horseradish
Taste of Sydney 2010

Longrain Restaurant – Fish cakes with sweet chilli, lime, coriander and bean sprouts
Taste of Sydney 2010

Restaurant Balzac – Crispy Wagyu beef with wild mushroom and truffle foam. (one of the favourites)
Taste of Sydney 2010

Four in Hand – Dashi, soy marinated tuna with spicy avocado puree and pickled cauliflower and garden relish salad
Taste of Sydney 2010

Bird Cow Fish – Terrine of Berkshire pork with “Grain Organic Bakery”, white sourdough and a remoulade dressed salad
Taste of Sydney 2010

Danks Street Depot – Organic chicken liver parfait with sweet vinegar raisins and dressed baby herbs
Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste of Sydney Main Courses

Four in Hand – 12 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder, minted crushed peas and fetta dressing
Taste of Sydney 2010

Aria – Slow roasted Moran family lamb, spit roast

Taste of Sydney 2010

Restaurant Balzac – Saddle of suckling pig with garden peas and smoked bacon jus

Taste of Sydney 2010

Berowra Waters Inn – Quail breast and truffled risotto croustillant

Taste of Sydney 2010

Danks Street Depot – Beef ribs smoked in watermelon with a watermelon and avocado salad

Taste of Sydney 2010

El Toro Loco – Paella a la Maestre. You need to do laps around this paella pan while cooking!

Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste of Sydney Desserts

Jonah’s at Whale Beach – Vanilla panna cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate.

By far the most visually intriguing dessert, and somewhat popular with the girls (I’m assuming the men were less vocal), the panna cotta wobbles like a breast before it settles into shape and the tip points in one direction. The combination of lavender honey and pomegranate complemented the vanilla flavour in a smooth and silky panna cotta.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Bécasse – Chocolate soufflé, served warm.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Danks Street Depot – ‘Saucy Tart’ with chocolate mousse and liquid raspberry centre

Taste of Sydney 2010

Guillaume at Bennelong – Pistachio Macarons

Taste of Sydney 2010


From the charismatic (Miguel Maestre – top L), to the culinary gods (Mark Best & Guillaume Brahimi – top R) to those with celebrity status (Matt Moran – bottom R, L), even the camera shy (Dietmar Sawyere – not shown), there were plenty of opportunities to meet and speak to one’s favourites.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste of Sydney Drinks

We enjoyed a tasting of Patrón Tequila, going through the range of Silver, Reposado and the aged Añejo.

Taste of Sydney 2010

We also tried the range of Alchemia Polish Vodka (not shown), a premium triple distilled grain vodka that would go well in a dry Martini or served neat. The wild cherry Vodka was the favourite among the other infused varieties.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Broker’s Gin with Andy Dawson

Taste of Sydney Exhibits

Food exhibits were plentiful, with the Grumpy Baker (top L), a selection of teas (top R) and the retro chic fridges from SMEG (bottom R) which could tempt me to redesign my kitchen.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Opera Bar

The Opera Bar provided a spot to relax with a drink while live music provided entertainment and background music while eating.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Indochine Caipirinha

With 40 minutes till closing time, an announcement was made that alcohol would cease to be served in 10 minutes. Naturally, we flocked to the nearest bar to try a zingy Indochine Caipirinha from the Sagatiba stand.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Restaurant Art

We loved the personalised touches that some of the restaurants have made to the decor of their stands. Restaurant Balzac (left), a long-time favourite, replicated the entrance to their restaurant complete with a chandelier, fresh flowers and the sandstone exterior. Longrain Restaurant (right) caught our attention with its side mural.

Taste of Sydney 2010

Matt Moran in the Kitchen

The illusion of Matt Moran cooking in his kitchen, thanks to some quick photo composition.

Taste of Sydney 2010

What’s food if you can’t have a little fun?

Demonstrating the wobbling bits (Panna Cotta) from Jonah’s at Whale Beach

Taste of Sydney 2010

The End

Although each session lasts for four hours, it does not provide sufficient time to try everything of interest, be it the restaurants, the drinks or the other exhibits. Entry tickets are for single use, making the $30 price a little steep if one wishes to return for more.

Taste of Sydney concludes on Sunday 14 March 2010.

Taste of Sydney 2010


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


  • So many temptations here! I’d have a hard time fitting it all in one session.
    What were the most popular dishes on the day?

    • Chris: That was my opinion as we were leaving. To enjoy such an event properly, you need to attend two sessions which warrants 2 entry fees. $30 only gets you through the door and you can’t redeem it for anything. It’s a little steep to begin with considering you’re there to spend on the dishes. At least if it allowed entry to another session, one could spend more time trying more food and drink and allowing time to learn about the smaller exhibitors.

      Burgers and sandwiches were popular. A lot of people were eating the Organic grass fed Wagyu beef burger from Plan B, Aria’s Slow roasted Moran family lamb spit roast (cut in half and shared) and the paella from El Toro Loco. I noticed the overuse of foam and peas featured in a lot of dishes. The panna cotta as mentioned earlier was a popular dessert.

  • Great shots as usual, you always manage to capture the “vibe” of these events. So the $30 admission doesn’t include the food? I  am pretty damn sure it doesn’t include the drinks!

    • Dave: Thank you for the compliment 🙂 Juggling food, drink and photography can be a little challenging!
      No food or drink included in the admission price. There are some free tastings from the exhibitors eg the Vodka tasting was free but not the Tequila. The food was reasonably priced considering you’re eating food from some of our top chefs. I would have liked the entrance fee to at least grant you more than one entry or one dish of your choice.

  • What fabulous coverage of this event.  I know how hard it is to cover events properly and do everything justice when you are juggling camera, notebook, plate and glass and trying to eat as well and I think you did an amazing job.  jealous!

    • Mardi: Thank you for the kind compliment 🙂 Maybe we can go together one day if you make it down under during Taste!