If you’ve seen my exclusive Part 1: Best in Taste Award you may wonder how I could eat more a mere 18 hours later, but eat more I did. RJ and I headed out in the brilliant sunshine to ravish Taste of Sydney for the morning session on Saturday. I was the lucky winner of a competition for a double entry pass which covered the cost of admission so all we had to do was buy our ‘Crowns’ for food. $1 = 1 Crown for reference.
The weather was so clear it literally looked white outside. Yes, this pic is completely over exposed but without sunglasses it is about how it looked so it stays in – ha!
We re-visited some of the wonderful restaurants from last night and tried as many new things as we could. I also managed to get some behind the scenes access to the hard working kitchens responsible for creating the glitz and glamour of the food. Ok, enough talk. On to the deliciousness.
On entry we walked by the first three restaurants without stopping to head for the VIP tent. We had full intention to return later to Four in Hand, Flying Fish and The Montpellier Public House but time got away as it does and we never went back. RJ had more than enough meat at the other stands, although I’m sure he could have fit in a serve of Roast Suckling Pig, Coleslaw, Onion Rings and Hot Sauce [12 Crowns] from Four in Hand if it came down to it.
But Flying Fish is the one I’m kicking myself for – if the Prawns with Okra Sambal [10 Crowns] and Ocean Trout with Ginger, Chilli, Shallot sauce, Carrot Sambal and Basmati rice [12 Crowns] were half as good as the ICON Yellow Fin tuna from the previous evening they would have been well worth a taste. Can you believe we’ve never even gone there for a meal? Must rectify as soon as possible!
The VIP tent had a tasty spread by The Victoria Room.
Oh tea and scones how I love you. My favs were the Lavender Scones and Date & Orange Scones.
Our next stop was Sake Restaurant & Bar. A repeat of the Hiramasa Kingfish Double Crunch Sushi Roll [10 Crowns] was as good as the previous evening.
The Pan Seared Ocean Barramundi [12 Crowns] was heavenly with a perfect sear on flavourful fish
and the Haramasa Kingfish Ceviche [8 Crowns] was succulent and tangy in all the right ways with the cucumber and tomato adding another layer of freshness and texture.
A Tavola was next and Eugenio Maiale himself was in the kitchen plating up servings of absolutely moreish Fritelle di Baccala, Patate e Tartufo – Salt cod, potato and truffle fritters with tarragon mayonnaise [10 Crowns].
Perfect little orbs of goodness – crisp on the outside, soft, fluffy and luscious inside – we ate them before I even though to take a pic of the centre!
It took every ounce of self-control not to get the Cremino al Cioccolato – Amedei gianduia chocolate crema, salty caramel gelato, Italian meringue [8 Crowns] sampled on Friday evening.
It was only just 2pm and the Longrain Crisp Pork Belly, pickled Daikon and Chilli Jam in a Sweet Roll [12 Crowns] I had been telling RJ about was already marked as sold out – horrors…
We won’t mention how this came about and will instead just say thanks – nudge, nudge, wink, wink – love a bit of contraband!
Quarter 21 was next and I managed to catch Justin North milling about as well as working hard in the kitchen…
I headed straight for the Fried Hawkesbury School Prawns, Prosciutto and Rouille [10 Crowns] no questions asked. RJ spied the Slow Cooked and Caramelised Short Rib with Bone Marrow Persillade [12 Crowns] and as mentioned before it was much fresher straight out of the kitchen than it had been on the plates at the judging.
Just next door was the Sustainability Pop-up Corner. On Friday after the awards I stopped by Three Blue Ducks to partake in their Mackerel, Eggplant & Spices [10 Crowns]. When compared to the mackerel we had at Biota, the flavour combo was about as opposite as you could get – but equally as gorgeous. Rich, spicy and savory, I was stuffed and still ate every bite.
@VanityFare1 had a sneaky dessert of Strawberries, Lime, Salt Meringue & Goats Milk [8 Crowns] which with the feather light meringue, silky custard and sweet strawberries and figs was the perfect last bite for both of us.
On Saturday the corner had been turned over to The Veggie Patch.
This little gem is the first cousin of Yullis in Surry Hills and – wait for it – a food truck – woohoo!! Still waiting on council approvals [with everyone else] hopefully we will all soon be able to partake in the goodness. The Zuchchini Fritter Slider with Beetroot and Horseradish Relish, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Cumin Mayonnaise and Coriander [10 Crowns] was probably the best value we found on the day in the form of a full size sandwich.
I didn’t try the Eggplant Involtini stuffed with Herbed Almond Cream and served with Pomegranate and Fig Tapenade [10 Crowns] but I loved how the pomegranate seeds brightened the dish right up. I recon the Vegan Chocolate Mousse with whipped Coconut Cream and Passionfruit [8 Crowns] may be pretty close to my Vegan Choc Ice Cream – next time I’ll try it with the passionfruit and coconut toppings!
When we came up on Efendy I told RJ he had to try the ‘Best in Taste’ Award winning Traditional Charcoal BBQ Lamb and Veal Kebab, Smoked Eggplant and Chobani Greek Yogurt [12 Crowns]. My insistance may have been as much due to the fact that I wanted more of the smoked eggplant as anything else – ha!
Luckily the wind was blowing in the right direction so the smoke from the grill was headed out rather than into the tent, but as Somer’s wife Asli says – “You can’t have Turkish food without smoke!”
I was too focused on my plump and crispy Kadayif wrapped King Prawns with Walnut Capsicum Muhammara [10 Crowns] to pause for another pic of the kabab and RJ had polished it off before I remembered – whoops! Good thing I got plenty of snaps of it on Friday… We didn’t have the Pistachio dessert trio of traditional Baklava, Dolma and Kafayif [8 Crowns] but how gooey and sweet do these look! I could go one now with a big cup of green chai tea…
Last stop was Ormeggio at the Spit and we were treated to Aperitivo Stuzzichini Sciatt: Deep fried Fontina Cheese in Buckwheat Batter [8 Crowns]. While I was far too full to really appreciate these, the buckwheat batter coating was a great departure from traditional dough and I could imagine them with a cold beer and a dish of rich marinara or salsa verde for dipping. Yum!
We did a mad run through a few of the exhibitor stands – to revisit ones from Friday as well as try a few new ones to use up our leftover Crowns – before the session ended at 4pm.
Croquembouche Patisserie – the pic of the petit-fours does no justice but they were gorgeous. A salted Caramel Macaroon went home with us – so good!
Cupcakes from The Sweetest Things, we didn’t get any so can’t attest to quality but how cute are these! Someone’s been trolling Pinterest…
Booza Ice Cream is a revelation. For starters it is elastic – huh? and insanely smooth. Made with Mastica, the unique flavour takes you straight to another land [most likely the markets of the Lavantine Region where it was first created, imagine that…]
The Fig and Walnut is currently in my freezer and the Chocolate and Cinnamon sounded amazing. Plus, how cute are these little pots?!
Almost done, I couldn’t pass up Smoked Salt from The Original Smoke & Spice Co.
Or from Pat and Stick a Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich made especially for Taste – dark chocolate ice cream and choc biscuits all spiked with habanero chili – Oh.My.Goodness. Be still my heart, I may be in love.
And finally some Unbleached Walnut Sourdough from Infinity Sourdough Bakery. This has made an appearance as breakfast for the past two mornings.
So that’s it! The full wrap. Phew, I’m exhausted and full just looking back! If you missed it earlier, don’t forget to check out the recap of Friday night’s *Exclusive* Taste of Sydney Part 1: Best in Taste Award.
Thanks for joining in, did you have anything wonderful at Taste that I missed out on?
Thank you to Jenius and Stellar PR for the double admission passes – I love a cheeky competition! Per the usual, all opinions are my own – but really, did you expect me to go to an event like this and not show you the deliciousness? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Yum.