The fact that I haven’t blogged in what seems like forever should have pointed to the fact that a BIG post was coming up. It’s so typical of bloggers to give their readers a clichéd excuse as to why they haven’t been updating but at the end of the day – we are all people and people have jobs and lives outside of blogging. So forgive me and please enjoy this long-winded post on my favourite foodie festival of all time.
I’ve been visiting Taste of Sydney in Sydney’s luscious Centennial Parklands for 4 years now! How crazy that I never thought to write up on it before (I never bothered to snap pics whilst gorging myself on food samples etc).
This year was as good as ever, and the small tweaks that occur each year is one of the reasons I love it so much. The atmosphere at Taste is hard to explain – the love of food among visitors is somewhat overwhelming and everywhere is always hustling with hungry foodies (and the occasional restaurant snob).
A friend of mine and I arrived on a sunny Saturday afternoon, suffice to say we were already late in my eyes, as there were lots of demonstrations I wanted to see but missed out on. Ah well. Such is life eh?
Fancy Little Pies – Tasmanian Pavilion
First up we visited the Dilmah Chef’s Skillery where Peter Kuruvita was discussing his adventures in South America – whilst advocating Sri Lankan tea plantations and why they are much more beneficial than tea grown in China which is high in pesticides. A shout out to Simon from Simon Food Favourites for recommending some places to visit around the fest. Hello fellow blogger!
Time to eat! So after wandering around for a bit trying to find out what was where, we headed off to the pop-up Chur Burger where I had my mind set on the Kinakawooka Mussel Fritter with Spiced Remoulade and Dill Pickled Cucumber ($6). The cute little burger (see me making an effort to avoid trendy words like ‘slider’?) was pretty darn delicious, with all flavours and textures working well together, but I would’ve loved a touch more mayo to moisten the brioche and creamy fritter.
Ankit – the chef who created Eat Me Chutneys.
There were so many amazing samples and producers – both new and upcoming – and it was so inspiring to hear the stories behind their names. I fell for Eat Me Chutneys and the charitable way they go about running their business. Their adorable jars of homemade deliciousness, in the form of pickles, chutneys and condiments, are made by local refugee women and are either organic, rescued and where possible, fairtrade. Do you realise how amazing that is!? We definitely need to put all our support behind awesome businesses like this! As you know I arrived from a trip to India only a month ago and can I just add that these gorgeous flavour combos are actually authentic? I mean like, southern village restaurant authentic. The rescued Eggplant + Curry Leaf ($11) pickle was sweet with a punchy tang from the curry leaf and would go perfectly on a good slice of sourdough with some crumbled feta..mmm. The Tomato + Ginger ($11) – also delightful – had an intense whack of ginger and a mellow sweetness from the tomato.
If I went into that much depth for each supplier that inspired me, you’d stop reading ma blog. So all I have to say is, go out there and discover local businesses that deserve your time of day.
Coffee Cupping – not as fancy as it sounds.
I finally went to a coffee cupping session too! The guys from Reuben Hills in Surry Hills have clearly got their coffee knowledge down pat and described in detail how coffee has a bunch of different tasting notes. Upon tasting, I didn’t get notes of cherry, chocolate and whatnot but when he was talking about the ‘fruitiness’ or ‘floral qualities’ of good coffee, you really start to notice these things!
Before the next cooking demo, we rushed off to newbie Popolo from Rushcutters Bay for a modern take on traditional Italian. Omg. My Costoletta d’agnello Siciliana ($8). Say what? Crumbed Lamb Cutlet, Eggplant Puree and Diced, Pickled Onion, was the dish of the day for me. You get two big hunks of good quality, juicy lamb cutlets which are crumbed with a swish of puree which is at once smoky and sweet. What’s not to love?
My friend ordered the Ceci e Tria Alla Pugliese ($10) – pasta strips cooked two ways, chickpeas, pecorino mousse – and although delicious, was chickpea-d out by the end of it. Time Out called the Cherry Ripe ($6) – chocolate sphere, coconut, cherry – the dessert of the festival but upon tasting, it’s a great ice cream but The Cut Bar & Grill’s version didn’t exactly evoke the classic chocolate bar combo we have all come to love. Well I do, anyway.
We wandered some more and picked up some maple tea from The Canadian Way, ultra-creamy peanut butter from Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter, a beautifully bottled extra virgin olive oil from Ginahgulla Olive Oil of the Margaret River region, the most decadent triple berry and not-so-hot chilli jams from Hank’s Jam and a trillion samples of concoctions of every sort. Including an exceptionally moist banana bread I could probably make at home so try to avoid buying every year!
Are you still awake? If you got this far, awesome work! And that’s a wrap up! Will I do another post on Taste ever again? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Taste of Sydney, Centennial Parklands NSW 2021.