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
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
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,
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
Chef Somer Sivrioglu, Efendy
Sydney’s favourite Turkish restaurant returned to Taste of Sydney with the most memorable icon dish.
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.
Cha Begendy, Kebap on charcoal spit
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
The Cut Bar & Grill: Braised Beef Short rib with anchovy gremolata and cauliflower puree
Sake Restaurant and Bar: Panko fried pork belly and spring onion bites served in lettuce cups
The Woods Restaurant with Hamish Ingham
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.
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.
Four in Hand
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.
Four in Hand Roast Suckling Pig
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
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.
First in Taste Award
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.
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
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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