Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wildfire Fast Festival Feast: Dinner with a view

After a huge Festival First Night last weekend, I’m back for more of Sydney Festival with the Fast Festival Feasts across a number of Sydney restaurants. One or two courses at $30 or $55 respectively at set times, with a glass of McGuigan ‘The Shortlist’ wine and a bottle of Tasmanian Rain water isn’t too shabby.

Tasmanian Rain sparkling mineral water at Wildfire, Overseas
Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay
Ahead of a show at the Sydney Opera House, options for the two-course deal in the vicinity are limited (Aria is only doing Fast Festival Feasts at lunch) so we find ourselves seated outdoors at Wildfire in the Overseas Passenger Terminal, facing the show venue.

It’s a curious dining location that I’ve rarely been privileged to, populated by couples dining alfresco and business dinners inside the restaurant, and many a passing, inquisitive tourist.

Booked in for the Fast Festival Feast, I was a little surprised that we weren’t offered the regular menu as well, should we have wanted extras like bread or sides with our meal. As part of the deal, we each get a glass of the McGuigan ‘The Shortlist’ Chardonnay and a bottle of Tasmanian Rain sparkling water.

Yellowfin tuna sashimi with smoked eel parfait, buttermilk ‘snow’,
dashi, cucumber and dill emulsion
I wasn’t aware that Wildfire has a rather modernist approach (they also have a churrasco menu, which frankly baffles me). The presentation of the entrée confirmed this with the presence of fairly flavour-free buttermilk “snow” atop the perfect ruby discs of raw tuna.

Thin rolled lengths of cucumber added to the subtle flavours, while the verdant dill emulsion and the caviar topped quenelle of creamy smoked eel parfait were highlighting flavour matches.

Kurobuta pork belly with spherical yoghurt, compressed watermelon,
liquorice, prosciutto and baby fennel
The pork belly main dish was very well sized and topped with a gloriously golden, bubbly layer of crackling. The block of meat wasn’t overly fatty and had great flavour, enhanced with the uber sweet rounds of watermelon and slivers of candied peel (possibly grapefruit), but not helped by the extremely sour grapefruit segments.

The spheres of natural yoghurt were much fun to play with and eventually burst, adding a sauce of sorts, albeit mostly flavourless against the salty shaved fennel. A strike of liquorice added to appearances, but didn’t do much for the sum of all parts in terms of overall flavour.

We ditched the eventually-quite-full restaurant and dessert menu in favour of a quick gelato before blazing back up the other side through the crowds to the Opera House, just in time for an 8.30pm performance. Thank you, Fast Festival Feast.

Wildfire Sydney on Urbanspoon


Mel said...

The food looks nice - that slab of pork looks mouthwateringly good. I do like the location too...looking out over the harbour.

hollypop said...

amazing tina!
i need to check these offers out myself- i love a harbour view but sometimes the food by the harbour just isnt worth the $$$$

Dumpling Girl said...

Haven't been to Wildfire in ages, but that pork belly looks smashingly good. I'm with you in relation to the churrasco menu too, I just don't understand how it fits in with the place, but I've been told by others it's quite good.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

I haven't been myself, but I've always thought of it as a BBQ meats/churrasco place as a friend had his buck's night there and I heard of all the meat sweats stories afterwards!

Anonymous said...

That's a sexy-looking piece of pork. The rest of the dish sounds great but looks a bit small compared to the meat.

missklicious said...

That looks like a nice slab of pork - it almost looks like a cake!

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

I've never been here either, but the view is great.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I went to another festival feast dinner last night. They're so much fun aren't they! I love festival time.

Anonymous said...

beautiful backdrop to some tasty looking food - especially that glistening pork belly!

Tina said...

Hi MissPiggy - I could barely wait to pounce on that chunk of pork. So good too!

Hi hollypop - Yup, deals like this are probably the only time I'll ever eat fancy-pants style by the harbour.

Hi DumplingGirl - My first time and I daresay I would return if I had someone else's credit card..!

Hi Rita - Ah, a perspective from the other side! With a name like Wildfire, I guess it's not too much of a stretch.

Hi lateraleating - It was a good sized piece of pork, but I think I've obscured most of the fennel salad and a few of the other bits and bobs. It was fairly well balanced overall.

Hi missklicious - Fatty pork cake, with crunchy crackling? Sure! :)

Hi joey - It sure is! There's a bar alongside too, I think, so you don't necessarily have to eat even!

Hi Lorraine - Definitely, and the shows, of course! Can't wait to see your review :)

Hi excusemewaiter - It did feel like a bit of a special dinner :)

Corinne @ Gourmantic said...

The pork dish looks very appetising, and I'm not usually a fan of pork!


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