Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tag Team @ Taste of Sydney

Editors note: Before anyone gets over excited, this is not a blog of The Taste of Sydney 2: the Encore Event. Yes the Taste of Sydney was 3 weeks ago but it was so good we thought people would love to revisit the event that was so eloquently reviewed by many other bloggers. So enjoy this walk down memory lane and prepare to salivate again. Lobo.

Taste of Sydney 2010, Centennial Park

It's the first time Yaya's Yumyums is attending Taste of Sydney. To try and cover most of what the menu had to offer Lobo, Bisycl, La chouquette sucree and I formed an eating tag-team. With crowns (the events currency where $1 = 1 crown) in hand we were unleashed into the realm of Sydney's finest.

Team Shanks didn't start off too well. My inner city navigation skills are not as good as they used to be - man I'm so suburban these days!!

Plan B's Wagyu Beef Burger (12 crowns)

After a quick scout of all the stalls our first stop was to try Plan B's infamous wagyu burger. I had been warned that it cost $2 more than what it normally would in the cafe, but I just had to try it. The legends are true... the wagyu was super moist, juicy and bursting with flavour. The sauce and cheese blended well on the crispy bun. Of no fault of Plan B's I inhaled a rogue sesame seed off the bun choking and gasping for air for the next 2mins, knocking the rest of the bun out of the W's hands. I painfully resisted the 30 second rule, and left what I tried of the legendary burger as a blissful memory in my belly - mmmm!!

Restaurant Balzac's Saddle of Suckling Pig with sweet peas and bacon jus.
(12 crowns)

Next stop was to try Restaurant Balzac's suckling pig with peas and bacon jus.
I love it when pork is cooked to perfection, and Restaurant Balzac know what they're doing when it comes to pork. It was beautifully moist and forked apart with ease. The pork melts in your mouth with every bite. The bacon jus had a hint of bacon flavour but tasted very buttery.

How on earth do you make bacon jus?? is it just the fat left from the bacon?

Mini B's Distraction/Reward (Messina's strawberry sorbet)
(4 crowns)

By now Mini B had been sitting in the car + pram for over an hour. So to try and prolong pram/eating time we rewarded/distracted her with Messina's strawberry sorbet (plus a promise to feed the ducks after). You should of seen the look on her face when she found out the whole tub was for her - priceless!!

Dank Street Depot's Beef Ribs smoked in Watermelon (12 crowns)

With distraction in play we dash over to try Dank Street Depots Beef Ribs smoked in Watermelon, a dish that had me really intrigued. The beef rib was flaked open and was quite smokey (which I prefer in a beef rib). You could taste a subtle hint of watermelon in the meat and I think it works well. However I don't agree with warm avocado and watermelon.

Assiette's Fig and Ricotta Pizza with Honey Ice cream (8 crowns)

Dessert was now beckoning and with rapidly depleting crowns we had to cross a few off the list. I'm usually not a fan of figs but for some reason this dessert stood out over the others. Figs and honey have got the be the basil-tomato combo of the dessert world, it just works. The ice cream didn't have much honey flavour to it but went well giving moisture to pastry base.

Jonah's @ Whale Beach's Vanilla panacotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate (12 crowns)

And finally, this was a no brainer and I put aside crowns especially for this dish. The most talked about, most entertaining, famous dessert of Taste of Sydney for the past two years.... Jonah's wobbly, nippley boob. Stature and novelty aside this is a seriously impeccable dessert. The flavours just work soooooo well and the panacotta is so smooth & creamy, hands down the dish of the event!!

Taboo's Chocolate Shot (2 crowns)

Having used up all distractions, Mini B was well and truly ready to see the ducks in the park. We quickly use up our remaining crowns on Taboo Chocolate Shots. A thick rich dark chocolate shot that was even too rich for our chocoholic, the W.
We leave the Taste of Sydney really enjoying our first experience, leaving my fellow bloggersiers to cover the rest of the dishes, over to you guys.... I'm off to feed the ducks!!

Till next time...we eat Shanks.

Greetings readers, Lobo here.

Dear o dear where does the time go? I'm just walking into the Taste of Sydney and am already behind schedule! It didn't help that I got distracted by the Melbourne booth right at the entrance. Yeah I know, I know it's the taste of SYDNEY but I must say Melbourne put on a good show. Their circular display ranged from wines and beers to cheese and jams and to taste them all was a measly 2 crowns! That was a no brainer and in a flash my first crowns were gone.

Still giddy with excitement, I completely forgot to take photographs of the first few stalls. Pizzini Winery grows some Italian grapes and produce light reds that go nicely with the Australian summer. Favourites were the Sangivose for it's sour cherry undertones and Nebbiolo for it's depth of flavour that seems to hit every taste bud. Milawa Cheese Company had 4 cheeses on offer. The best in my opinion being the Milawa Gold a wash rind cheese that packed a punch.

At this point I'm feeling a little heavy, surely the cheese and wine samples weren't that filling. Then I look down an see the 1kg camera around my neck, oh that's what I was feeling. Better use it. First picture of the show:

The Topaque was a sweet dessert wine with more of a caramel/butterscotch taste to it than say a Muscato. In the background there was the Seriously Pink which I couldn't get the mulling ladies away from long enough to grab a decent photo. Seriously Pink is a rose liquer that they whipped up into a couple of tasty cocktails. (Thus the mulling ladies).

As I was taking a picture of the wines I hear someone behind me say "Hey you're the lady on the poster". I look up and sure as sure, she is. Jen Pfeiffer, obviously very passionate about the wines and very intimate with the whole process, not afraid to show her wine stained hands to the crowd. "My feet are the same colour as we still squash the grapes with our feet" she quips.

Anyway onto the main attraction. The food.

Balzac: Crispy Wagyu Beef with Wild Mushroom and Truffle Foam (10 Crowns)
One of the best dishes of the day and a great way to start things off. Juicy soft beef and an intense flavoured foam went well but not far. It was gone in seconds.

Pilu @ Freshwater: Suckling Pig Panino on Sonoma Sourdough (10 Crowns)
It was a nice mix of flavours but the term suckling pig had me hoping I would be receiving the head of a baby pig on a plate with cripsy skin for all. Honestly couldn't tell the difference between this suckling pig and a regular oinking pig.

Buon Ricordo: Braciolette Napoletana (12 Crowns)
It didn't win any awards for presentation. Sorry to say it looked like a turd in a toilet, with the white paper plate (aka the toilet seat) not helping with the imagery. I would had named it a Veal Muddle. Presentation aside, it tasted quite pleasant the herb innards packing a punch. Maybe a hint more seasoning required?

Jonah's @ Whale Beach: Fries with Eyes
with a Spicy Cajun Remoulade (12 Crowns)

Gotta love the Jonah's brothers for their inventive food as well as their up beat, pop rock rhythms. (Wait a minute, wikipedia may be mistaken on this one). Deep fried crunchy little suckers with a firey sauce. The only other time I've eaten prawn shells was at a Tepanyaki restaurant where the chef skillfully extracted the flesh with this paint scrapers and served up the meat. Then he left the shells on the hot plate to crisp up and served them up too. 2 dishes out of the one prawn. Japans response to Peiking duck.

Marque: Sauternes Custard with Carmel (8 Crowns)
Wow, the Sauterne is really the big hit in this dessert. It made a big distinction to what was really just a creme caramel. There are some cheaper Australian Sauterne rip offs now starting around $30, so may have to try making this one myself.

Four in Hand: The 4's dark chocolate Cherry Ripe (8 Crowns)
Dark, dark, dark chocolate mousse with a cherry sorbet. Need I say more? Ok maybe a little more, alcoholic too! p.s. dark.

Pilu @ Freshwater: 'Zippulas' - Sardinian donuts with citrus sugar
(aka boobie-n
uts) (8 Crowns)
Is this a dessert or is the Muffin Man (the one that lives down Drury Lane) creating a girlfriend for the Gingerbread Man in Shrek 4? Eye popping, but doesn't take the title of 'Most Giggles in Show' from Jonah's panacotta.

St Germain Elderflower Liqueur (10 Crowns)
Made from the Elderflower, hand picked in the Alps and free samples! They had cocktails available but I was luckily enough to taste it straight. Flavour is hard to describe but I think I could taste hints of pear, peach and grapefruit (kinda helped that the gentleman told me that was what I was supposed to be tasting).

New Zealand Whitestone Windsor Blue

The poor lady must have spent all day swatting greedy hands away from this wheel of blue cheese. It was like a game of Whack-A-Mole and yes I did get whacked, 5 points to the cheese maker. Hey, if you leave toothpicks next to a giant wheel of cheese, what else are people going to do???

TAG! La chouqette sucrée here reporting for duty …

I’m representing Bisycl too since she only has one picture’s worth of food that hasn’t been represented already… The next one actually!

Marque: Cured Ocean Trout with Coleslaw, Lemon & Dill Jelly (10 Crowns)
This was exactly as you would imagine it; soft and tender, ocean trout flavoured lightly with it’s dressing .. the coleslaw provided a nice crunch! Very fresh start to the taste-testing.

Bird Cow Fish: Braised Cape Grim beef cheek and Glazed onion pie in a Sour cream & Puff Pastry case (12 Crowns)
The meat inside was full flavoured and melted in the mouth right along with the puff pastry. According to the bf, maybe lacked a bit of seasoning, but overall a dish.

Guillaume at Bennelong: Wagyu Daube with Paris Mash (12 Crowns)
I have to admit, I have had this a long time ago at Guillaume. I’d almost forgotten it until I had my first bite! The meat didn’t resist the fork at all, some light prodding made the meat come away in slivers and was accompanied perfectly with the mash. Gorgeous! I hardly had to chew!

Danks Street Depot: 'Saucy Tart' with Chocolate Mousse and Liquid Raspberry Centre (12 Crowns)
Yum! Dessert is my favourite and this didn’t disappoint. The shortcrust pastry had the perfect crunch, the chocolate mousse fluffy and rich, the liquid raspberry tart enough to balance the super sweetness of the other elements.

Whilst I have been to the Taste of London a couple of years ago, this just happened to be my first Taste of Sydney. And I’ve got to say, we’re not too far behind in the international foodie stakes - I had a good day out!

Sugar and spice and all thing nice
La chouquette sucrée


  1. Rather comprehensive coverage of Taste. I didn't know that they had the chocolate shot, otherwise I so would have gotten one!

    Amazing what you can miss out on, even when you're there.

  2. it's a pity it's not on more times a year. there was so much to see and try :-)

  3. Okay guys, you've convinced me, I shall brave the crowds next year if only to hear your wise and witty comments on the food - my monitor is now bespattered with Vietnamese iced coffee due to such descriptions as "nippley boobs" "turd on a plate" "boobie nuts" "whack-a-mole" and "saucy tart". Bring it on!

  4. My stomach started growling as I read through your reviews. Great strategy to divide and conquer, I haven't read anyone else's review as yet but I feel like I was there and like Yaya, love the descriptive comments. Lobo, I want to know what the cheese supplier was thinking. Did they serve any cheese if not the main wheel? Top marks to bisycl for the trout shot.

  5. erm, what happened to my dish of risotto parcels and pea mash?

  6. aww looking at your photos, i'm so sad I didn't get the opportunity to go to Taste this year. Lol your tag teaming, means you covered the majority of the food available, great team effort. Howard who went to Taste did get me a take away Assiette Ocean Trout, it was so good, but unfortunately portion too small.

  7. Woowww you guys sure covered a lot about this event! I do wish there was an encore event tho hee hee (those watermelon ribs were sooo good) and dw I still haven't done my post yet...

  8. Fantastic roundup there! It's amazing how much you covered-very impressive! I wish I had seen that elderflower liquer! :)

  9. Great post. It was a good event. I think you got to eat all the good dishes except one, the Wagyu Daube from Guillaume was a real corker.

  10. Ah, memories..... Great roundup! I like how everyone (it seems) went to Taste of Sydney but the experiences are all different. Though the appeal of Jonah's panna cotta is universal :)

  11. Hi Simon@The Hof: I didn't see the chocolate shot either. Luckily Shanks was on the job. 4 hours definitely isn't enough to see everything.

    Hi Simon@FF: Great idea going on a scouting mission first. May have to do that next year.

    Hi Yaya: Yay! More yummers means more coverage.

    Hi GummiB: They were using a cheese knife to dig out chunks from the wheel to give to people. I just got over excited and went straight at the wheel with my toothpick. Saw someone else do the same thing as me later. =)

    Hi bisycl: Photo must have been lost somewhere. Was that the quail dish? If so it was so yummy it was probably all gone before we could take the shot.

    Hi Linda: Definitely go next year if you can. Yes portions are small. Hope Howard got reprimanded for not smuggling more food out for you. I think a visit to Assiette is in order.

    Hi FFichiban: From the positive reviews I reckon they could easily hold 2 each year. Looking forward to your write up and re-living ToS for the 3rd time!

    Hi Lorraine: imports the elderflower liquer. They are charging $70 for a 750ml bottle, at ToS it was going for $60.

    Hi Mark: We did try the Daube, second last picture. Yes it was amazingly tender and highly rated.

    Hi Belle: Yes it's great to read everyone's different experiences. Youtube needs more videos of the pannacotta ala chocolate suze and ninja review. =)