Monday, September 29, 2014

The Moveable Feast that is, Good Food Month

Get your good food face on – Good Food Month officially starts on Wednesday this week. From Sydney's favourite Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park to young chefs featured in the Omnivore World Tour; from Let's Do Lunches to Hats Off Dinners through to Sugar Hits – it's all back for the entire month of October for our eating and drinking pleasures.

Last year's Citi VIP tent at Night Noodle Markets, Hyde Park, Sydney
Presenting sponsor partner Citi also returns for its seventh consecutive year, and I for one am glad they're again offering the #CitiVIP area with concierge service at the Night Noodle Markets – which this year is opening on weekend nights too.

Citi VIP concierge service at the Night Noodle Markets, this year from 10-26 October 2014
As part of a progressive dinner through the city last week previewing Citi-friendly Good Food Month offerings, it showed that our city is indeed a Moveable Feast and Sydney's venues are turning it on for October.

Freshly shucked oysters from The Morrison, George Street, Sydney
We started at CBD favourite The Morrison for entrées and wine that's featured in the Citibank Dining Program, where Citi cardholders get a free bottle of wine at selected partner restaurants when paying with their card.

Delightfully and as I was hoping for, we started with a range of freshly-shucked oysters including a sample that's not yet on the menu.

The Gold Band Pacific oyster from Tasmania apparently features a gold band colour across the bottom of the shell, but I was too busy immersed in its stunning creaminess and full flavour to notice.

With as much, if not more flavour than a rock oyster, this spring season-only mollusc may be the one that turns me from my long-favoured Sydney rocks. But that's not to say that the Wagonga Inlet and Pambula Sydney rock oysters weren't briney and great as well, but they're just not the ones I'm currently dreaming of.

Crab and lettuce taco with salmon caviar and chardonnay vinaigrette from The Morrison
For Good Food Month, The Morrison is jumping into the Bar Hop with a Tanqueray gin based cocktail and a crab and lettuce taco for $20, as well as Let's Do Lunch featuring oysters then crab linguine (or mushroom gnocchi) with a Yalumba wine, Coopers beer or Schweppes mineral water.

We followed up our sensational oysters with the cos lettuce 'taco shell' filled with shredded crab meat, salmon roe, chives, chardonnay vinaigrette and a fresh chilli slice that, on this occasion, was bitingly hot.

Duck fat chips from The Morrison
And they wouldn't have us leave without sampling cones of Sean Connolly's signature duck fat chips which, served with a house tomato sauce, are about as good a beer snack as there is.

Thin hand-pulled noodles from Chefs Gallery Jamison, Margaret Street, Sydney
We toddled on over to our next venue, Chefs Gallery Jamison, for our mains with an interactive component. Head noodle Chef JPL, aka Chef Panda, was on hand for noodle stretching demonstrations as well as lesser seen knife-sliced and piped noodles.

Noodle making demonstration at Chefs Gallery Jamison
(Hi, Simon!)

Seasoned wonton crisps from Chefs Gallery Jamison
Starting with moreishly seasoned wonton skin crisps and my favourite Macanese pork chop buns, we were treated to a degustation of noodles with accompanying interactive demonstrations.

Macanese pork buns from Chefs Gallery Jamison

Pumpkin soup tureens
We also got a sneak-peek at other seasonal specials, like the pumpkin-contained tom yum soup designed as a special offering in time for Halloween.

Pumpkin tom yum soup

Pumpkin seafood tom yum soup serving
The sour, spicy tom yum soup with a variety of seafood and vegetables is served in a whole steamed pumpkin with its flesh softened for scooping out with the thin soup which is both novel and unique.

Zha jiang hand pulled noodles
The hand-pulled wheat noodles became zha jiang noodles in a tasty pork mince sauce that many likened to an Asian version of bolognaise.

Chef Panda knife-cutting sorghum noodles
Meanwhile, I was taken by the thick salmon-pink hued knife-sliced sorghum noodles that Chef Panda essentially shaved from a huge block of dough, straight into a pot of boiling water.

Sorghum knife-cut noodles
Served with a spicy Shanghainese chilli and soy sauce, it was all about the texture and al dente chew of the thick noodles, as well as the grainy flavour of the sorghum flour.

Piping fish noodles
(Hi, jeroxie!)
Lastly, the fish noodles squeezed out in single noodle formation from a piping bag into boiling soupwere completely new to me. A moussey dough of minced fish and flour, the piped noodles were served in a clean chicken soup, allowing the airy textured and delicately fish flavoured noodles to shine.

Fish noodles in chicken soup
For Good Food Month Chefs Gallery, and Chef Panda, will make nightly appearances at the Night Noodle Markets; demonstrating his craft, as well as a Chinese Food & Art night with an eight-course banquet at Chefs Gallery Jamison.

The private dining room at Sokyo, The Star, Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
Image courtesy of ChopinandMysaucepan
We hightailed it to our final destination of the night, Sokyo at The Star for desserts. Graced with a private dining room which I've never seen before, we were laden with sweet, sweet gifts from the pastry kitchen.

Mochi ice cream from Sokyo
The sweet bounty included my favourite mochi ice cream: a thin sheet of softly chewy and glutinous, green-tinted Yatsuhashi Kyoto mochi encasing a nugget of strawberry milkshake ice cream. This is Sokyo's go-to desert for non-sweet tooths and something smaller and lighter.

Goma Street from Sokyo
My other favourite, Goma Street, goes to the other end of the richness scale. Black sesame ice cream is the sesame in the translated ‘Sesame Street’ dessert while the tower of tempered chocolate rounds, caramelised white chocolate mousse and black sesame candy take the dessert way beyond child's play.

Tofu cheesecake from Sokyo
I adored the playfulness of the tofu cheesecake which incorporates cream cheese and tofu in an airy filling that's then re-moulded into tofu cartons with a biscuit base. Highlighting the kitchen's creativity, the thyme sugar and strawberry consommé could well have been superfluous afterthoughts to the excellent cheesecake.

Strawberry meringue
I couldn't manage the rich-looking dark chocolate and peanut butter fondant served with vanilla ice cream, nor the lighter strawberry meringue option with sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet with a veritable 'salad' of garnishes

But I did not refuse the award-winning McWilliam's Morning Light Botrytis Semillon which was well suited to the richer, sweeter desserts.

Peanut butter and chocolate fondant
Sokyo joins Good Food Month’s Bar Hop with a choice of Tanqueray gin cocktails and their delicious seafood offerings. Chef Chase Kojima is also taking small groups through the Sydney Fish Markets in the Instant Expert sessions while their Let’s Do Lunch offering is a varied bento box.

See the full Good Food Month program for details on all associated events and activities, and I’ll see you out and about this great eating town throughout October.

Food, Booze & Shoes attended the Citibank Moveable Feast preview of Good Food Month as a guest, with thanks to Haystac.

The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room on Urbanspoon

Chefs Gallery Wynyard on Urbanspoon

Sokyo on Urbanspoon


missklicious said...

the fish noodles look super cool!

Tina said...

Hi missklicious - They were great! First time I've seen or heard of them. Can't wait to have a whole big bowl of them next time!

Hendy said...

Those noodles are so finely cut, they look so good even uncooked!

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