|Taste of Sydney 2011, Centennial Parklands, Sydney|
|The well-stocked Kronenbourg stand|
|Lots of fun at the Sagatiba stall|
|Whisky Galore stall|
|Cocktail fountain at the Green Fairy stall|
|Patron Tequila stall|
|Bob the buffalo at the Buffalo Trace stall|
|Angostura - clever with the cold, non-alcoholic drinks|
The winner in my books had to be Craig Cooks Prime Quality Meats for their mouthwatering, smell-from-a-mile-away barbequed meats, especially a bit of very tender, juicy and flavoursome sirloin I tried.
|Craig Cooks Prime Quality Meats stall|
|The City Tattersalls Club stall – at it again with freebies|
|Gorgeous marshmallows at the Sweetness The Patisserie stall|
|Frozen pearl meat at the Paspaley stall|
Thin slices, rather like very tender abalone meat in a tangy, dill-spiked dressing, this was one delicacy that seemed to polarise tasters – I, for one, loved it.
|Whisky tasting at the Johnnie Walker stand|
The sample of a whisky-based cocktail was manageable, followed by three tasters of Johnnie Walker Black, Green and Gold that weren’t so, even with a few drops of water to “open up the whisky”.
Tasting partners of vanilla, dried apricot, orange peel and dark chocolate were supposed to help enhance the flavours though for me, were more like tools to kill the taste of all the blended whiskies.
|Taste of Sydney crowds|
I saw Jared Ingersoll of Cotton Duck and Danks Street Depot briefly at the GT Chef’s Table though didn’t manage any Taste Kitchen sessions – reminding me how much planning and scheduling is really necessary to make the most of a Taste day.
|Chef Jared Ingersoll at the Cotton Duck/Danks Street Depot stall|
|Day's most popular use of the complimentary HSBC hessian bags|
|HSBC hessian bag hat #2|
|Inside the HSBC VIP tent|
|Slow cooked fillet of ocean trout, 'French onion soup' puree, peppered |
oxtail 'croustillant' from Berowra Waters Inn/Ad Lib Bistro
The white foam was in stark contrast to the intense flavour of the French onion soup puree, which was caramelly sweet and savoury, pairing well with the subtle but so beaitufully textured fish that nearly melted on the tongue.
The golden-skinned ‘crisp’ roll filled with fall-apart oxtail meat was small but punched above its weight with rich, beefy flavour – almost too much with the puree but harmonious with the ocean trout.
|Black pepper and curry leaf prawn skewers with lime and fresh coconut |
from Flying Fish
The small tail-on prawns were just cooked, and fresh-tasting for it, with fresh coconut shavings and lime giving the dish a tropical air while the garlicky sauce couldn't quite hold on to the crisply fried curry leaves which blew away in the wind.
|Spicy French sausage on sourdough with relish from Victor Churchill Meats|
Rather miniaturised in a small, crunch white sourdough roll, the thin sausage was shrouded in a deep red relish of onions. The French sausage was substantially meaty, with what seemed like chunks within rather than a processed texture. And it was certainly spicy.
|Paella a la Maestre from Aperitif|
Its slight dryness was helped along by a squeeze of the lemon wedge all over, which added a sweet, tart note to the filling dish.
|Stracci with smoked veal ragout , eschallot puree, bresaola and parmesan |
from Otto Ristorante
The stracci pasta (translates as ‘rags’ in Italian) were beautifully thick and wide pasta pieces with a cute ruffled edge. How the kitchen maintained a state of al dente for such mass cooking is a wonder.
Paired with the only lightly smoked minced veal ragu and topped with slivers of bresaola and grated parmesan, the flavours and textures were comforting as too the great value, well sized dish.
|Dark chocolate Snickers from Four in Hand|
The dessert delivered these ingredients and more. The centre scoop of ice cream was a little overwhelmed by the other flavours, so I’m not even sure what flavour it was. A mousse-y chocolate moat hid caramel peanut halves (I think – I dunno, it was all covered in chocolate).
We devoured this one quickly, scoffing spork-fuls that had a bit of everything, especially the unknown flavour ice cream. The plastic spork made it a bit difficult to scrape the emptied bowl of all the chocolate and caramel.
|Hazelnut, peach and nougat, and yoghurt and berries gelato from Gelato Messina|
After Four in Hand’s take on the Snickers, the heat made more ice cream a must, although I couldn’t handle any more nutty richness in the peanut butter and chocolate gelato.
With free scoop at the Gelato Messina stall thanks to HSBC, we instead go a little fruity with peach and nougat, yoghurt and berries, and my ever-favourite hazelnut gelato.
Lolling about on the dry grass with an empty gelato cup, I faintly heard the announcement that Taste was coming to an end – though much clearer when told by the security guard.
Waddling out the gates, I admit I had to have another sit/lie-down before heading home, just to let the all the food and drinks settle somewhat.
|Dinner post Taste of Sydney including Milawa Cheese Company Cow’s Milk |
Camembert, Huon Hot Smoked Salmon and water crackers
scored from Huon Aquaculture
The Milawa chevre was a taste sensation, sampled at the stand and sitting in the fridge currently. But for dinner, we polished off half the cow’s milk camembert along with half a fillet of hot smoked salmon (which is cooked in the smoking process, unlike cold smoked salmon) and other bits from the fridge.
The salmon was a revelation – savoury, dry-ish pale orange flesh that flakes at the touch; full of salt and smoke goodness, and divine in a pasta dish. And to think it was cheaper, and quite possibly more versatile, than the cold smoked stuff.
|Taste of Sydney 2011 comes to an end|
So that’s Taste of Sydney for another year. The organisers have to be happy with themselves – it really is an event that is getting bigger (literally) and somewhat better as a result.
One can only wait till next year to see what new restaurants, sessions, exhibitors and innovations that Taste of Sydney will bring to Centennial Park.
Thanks to Stellar* Concepts for the general admission tickets to Taste of Sydney 2011 - and the opportunity to spend so many dollars/Crowns on a great day out!