For those of you who arn't familiar Taste of Sydney is an outdoor food and wine festival held over 4 days at Centennial Park, Randwick/Moore Park. This is only the second year that the event has been held. The festival involves a whole lot of food and wine from some of Sydney's best restaurants and producers. You get to sample dishes for a fraction of the price that would usually cost you around $100-$150 per person if you were to dine at one of these restuarants. It's almost a degustation in itself but you get to mix and match dishes from different restaurants according to what appeals to you most. There are 16 restaurants to choose from each offering 3 dishes, that's a choice of 48 dishes! We managed to squeeze in 9 dishes from 6 restaurants between two of us so that we could both sample as much as we could. There were also plenty of wine and food producers there with plenty of samples for you to try but we were there more for the main attractions. It was definately not a cheap event ($165 for two) but it was worth the experience - only if you truly have an appreciation for good food though.
We stopped by the Planet Cake stand so I could have a bit of a sticky beak. Ryan bought me their cake decorating book for my birthday last year. The guy there was telling us about their cake decorating courses and I mentioned that I had their book though having used their cake recipes am yet to do any fancy pancy decorating work. (I didn't want to tell the man that yes I had attempted to decorate my own cake once and had a bit of a disaster doing it). We then signed up for the mini cake decorating workshop where they let us decorate a cupcake as shown above and we got to keep the cupcake too - at no cost. (Ryan was kind of coerced into this but I am sure he enjoyed himself thoroughly). The icing was pretty much all ready done for us, all we had to do was attach the purple circle to the cake and buff it smooth and then roll the balls for the body of the dragonfly. The wings were hearts which were already cut for us too, all we had to do was cut them in half and glue them along with the balls onto the base. I am keen to do their basic cake decorating 101 course but for the price... it's a big amount to fork out but I am sure it is worth it. So who did a better job? Ryan's is the one on the left and mine is the one on the right. (These cupcakes were good to eat too). While we were waiting for our turn Ryan went to a nearby stand Cerbaco Distribution - Spirits of France and sampled some spirits apparantly as much as you want for $2. Some strong stuff he reported.
After decorating cupcakes we were keen to get some more food into our tummys so went back to El Toro Loco to try their "Paella a la Maestre (10 crowns)", and Ryan loves Paella. (We came past earlier but there was a 10 minute wait for it.) They must have sold a lot of paella because each time the girl took an order she would shout out to the chefs something along the lines of "another paella please" and the chefs would respond with a loud "AYE". It was quite amusing to stand there eating and watching/hearing the action. Some of the people eating nearby even "AYE'd" after the girl would call out.
The paella was good, the best in Sydney by far in Ryan's opinion (we've had some bad paellas). A little disappointed with the amount of seafood and serving size though.
I think this was the highlight of our night, and was Ryan's choice from Longrain - "Yellow curry of Byron Bay Berkshire Pork with mustard greens (12 crowns)". There was about a 5 minute wait but when it came out it was piping hot and worth the wait. The pork was just succulent and soft, the curry quite strong but flavoursome and not too overpowering, you could just taste the different spices. I also wanted to try a cocktail from Longrain and chose the "Rose Porteous (12 crowns)". This was watermelon and mint muddled then shaken with 42 Below Vodka and cranberry juice. Very refreshing and tantalising.
Some entertainment provided by Longrain while we sat and ate.
The crazy people who braved the rain to come out, it was umbrella and ponchos for everyone.
We couldn't come and not try anything from Guillaume at Bennelong. A very exquisite restaurant at an equally exquisit location at the Opera House. We had the "Wagyu Beef Daube with Paris Mash (12 crowns)" At first I found the beef to be a little bland although very tender. It was lacking a bit of sauce, which I discovered after digging down really deep into the bowl to get some mash, eaten all together it was quite good. Some more sauce over the top would have been nice. Ryan thought the mash was a little grainy, I didn't seem to have noticed.
We forego the drinks and with 30 crowns left decided to head back to Longrain for dessert. Ryan loves pudding and lychees so it was a no brainer that we would try this. "Tapioca pudding with poached jackfruit & lychees (8 crowns)" - yummy! It wasn't as heavy as I would expect an asian pudding to be. Ryan wasn't a big fan of eating the Rambutan which I happily ate, after sucking all the tapioca pearls and coconut cream stuck to the outer shell.
After spending all night eating we finally were able to catch up with a couple of friends, it was too hard for us to stay together the whole night because we were just interested in different things. It was raining not long before this was taken so we look a little wet. We were a bit cold by the end so about quarter past eight decided to call it a night, but not before going on the hunt to find something to buy with our last 6 crowns.
We passed by the San Pellegrino stand where Ryan suggested I buy some water, I was not going to waste 6 crowns/dollars on water. We stopped and had a look and discovered they were selling more than just water so bought two soft drinks, a can of Aranciata and a can of Chinotto. They were 4 crowns each or two for 6 which meant we had spent all our crowns and were able to head home at last. We walked hand in hand back to the car, happy and satisfied with our night. I would definately consider going again next year. We enjoyed all the food which we sampled and the set up/venue was done quite well. Let's just pray for no rain though.
P.S After a weekend of eating I have packed a healthy salad and some fruit for lunch tomorrow. I also went for a walk today and should really be going to the gym tomorrow too.