Taste of Sydney 2013: Chefs, Restaurants & Taste Menu

Taste of Sydney returned to the Centennial Park for the fifth year in a row. Sunshine and clear skies saw Sydney-siders flock to the Brazilian fields for a taste of Sydney’s restaurants, and some of the best in food and drink.

Taste of Sydney 2013
Taste of Sydney 2013

The opening night featured the Best in Taste Awards held at the VIP Miele tent as well as the Malaysia Kitchen opening night with dancers and cooking demonstrations.

Fourteen restaurants participated in the event, with three more “destination dining” restaurants such as Biota Dining, Jonah’s and Muse Dining. Crowns, the currency used at the festival where $1 = 1 Crown, came in the form of plastic cards scanned by vendors in lieu of paper. “Icon dishes” returned this year, some with a higher price that the previous year, of up to $40.

Below are some of the highlights of the restaurant dishes, including destination dining.

Kitchen by Mike with Mike McInerny

Taste of Sydney 2013
Kitchen by Mike Team with Mike McInerny (middle)

Winner of the Best of Front of House, Kitchen by Mike brought a fun element to the festival with sweet corn on the cob with Jalapeno Salsa,

Taste of Sydney 2013
L-R: Mike’s Pluto Pup, Sweet corn with Jalapeno Salsa

and Mike’s Pluto Pup, German style sausage. The snow cones proved very popular on hot days.

Efendy with Somer Sivrioglu

Taste of Sydney 2013
Chef Somer Sivrioglu, Efendy

Sydney’s favourite Turkish restaurant returned to Taste of Sydney with the most memorable icon dish.

Taste of Sydney 2013
Efendy’s Deboned roasted Sheep Head with local garlic and cherry tomato tandir

Sheep head? Yes please! Efendy’s deboned roasted Sheep Head with local garlic and cherry tomato tandir was tender, spicy and flavoursome, with none of the texture one often associates with eating tongue, brains and cheek.

Taste of Sydney 2013
Cha Begendy, Kebap on charcoal spit

Taste of Sydney 2013
Trio of Baklava with traditional clotted cream and kadayif

And to complete the Turkish experience, the first bite of the baklava is a reminder that is too long between visits to Efendy in Balmain.

ArgyleXchange: The Cut Bar & Grill and Sake Restaurant and Bar

Recently launched, ArgyleXchange featured dishes from The Cut Bar & Grill, Sake Restaurant and Bar, Ananas Bar and Brasserie and The Argyle in the Rocks.

Taste of Sydney 2013
The Cut Bar & Grill: Braised Beef Short rib with anchovy gremolata and cauliflower puree

Taste of Sydney 2013
Sake Restaurant and Bar: Panko fried pork belly and spring onion bites served in lettuce cups

The Woods Restaurant with Hamish Ingham

Taste of Sydney 2013
Chocolate Swiss Roll with Cherry and Native Mint Ice cream

The Woods Restaurant of the Four Seasons Hotel was one of the newcomers to Taste of Sydney serving up favourites such as the Chocolate Swiss Roll and an icon dish of BBQ WA marron with black garlic butter.


Taste of Sydney 2013
Fregola alla Zafferano con Ragu di Maiatino

Third place winner of the Best in Taste awards, the Saffron infused toasted fregola pasta with suckling pig ragu was described as getting a hug from your Mum.

Four in Hand with Colin Fassnidge

Suckling pig on a spit beside a large pan of mussels simmering in sauce were a major attraction to the Four in Hand stand.

Taste of Sydney 2013
Four in Hand

Taste of Sydney 2013
Spring Bay Mussels with Chorizo and Prosciutto Broth

Plump mussels never tasted so good with chorizo and prosciutto broth, a dish worth having at the restaurant with crusty bread for the delicious sauce.

Taste of Sydney 2013
Four in Hand Roast Suckling Pig

Taste of Sydney 2013
Roast Suckling Pig with coleslaw and hot sauce

It was difficult to pass up the Roast Suckling Pig after watching it spin on a spit but ordering this dish close to opening time meant the meat was cold and a little dry but tasty nonetheless.

Porteno with Ben and Elvis

Taste of Sydney 2013
Jack the Ribber for Porteno

The queues to Porteno at Taste were just as long as the restaurant, yet arriving early on a Saturday ensured minimal wait for the number one dish as voted at the Best in Taste Awards.

Taste of Sydney 2013
First in Taste Award

Taste of Sydney 2013
BBQ Wagyu Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce and Pickle

The BBQ Wagyu Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce and Pickle was worth the wait if not deserving of an encore, if the queues weren’t so long.

Biota Dining

Taste of Sydney 2013
L-R:  Croquettes & Charred local spatchcock

Hailing from Bowral, Biota Dining was one of the Destination Dining restaurants serving up delicious fare on Thursday and Friday. Delicious croquettes made with southern crayfish with Paleta and Biota garden onions were a good choice. The charred local spatchcock was finger-licking good unfortunately they had run out of the black garlic farro with garden sage and bush lemons component.

Three Blue Ducks

Taste of Sydney 2013
Three Blue Ducks

Bronte’s favourite Three Blue Ducks who were part of last year’s Taste of Sydney pop-up dining were a popular stand with dishes such as the duck with snow pea sprouts, green mango and chilli jam.

From all the dishes that were tasted, the favourites were Popolo’s fregola, Porteno’s brisket, Four in Hand’s mussels, Kitchen by Mike’s sweet corn and although an acquired taste, Efendy’s sheep’s head.

Other participating restaurants were Claude’s, Longrain, Peter Kuruvita’s Seafood BBQ and Australian Pears Restaurant with Maggie Beer.

Coming up in Taste of Sydney 2013 series:
Best in Taste Awards
Taste of Sydney: Bars, Cocktails and Spirits
Taste of Sydney: Exhibitor Highlights (includes Malaysia Kitchen, Tasmanian Pavilion & others)
Sake and Champagne Masterclass with Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine
Wine Tasting with Exclusive Vines and Pizzini Wines
Photo Gallery on the Gourmantic Facebook page

Gourmantic attended Taste of Sydney 2013 as media guests.


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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.