Tag Archives: 2010

Taste of Sydney (or London)

Sydney Taste Festival

It’s a beautiful summer evening. The sun was still high in the sky and as we walked closer towards Centennial Park for Taste of Sydney with some crowns in our pocket, the nagging sense of dejavu did not ease. Flashback to last June, when I was wandering Regents Park at Taste of London, it all came back with a flash.

Sydney Taste FestivalThe concept of Taste of Sydney came directly from Taste of London. What I didn’t expect was how similar the event in Sydney was to London. From the image of the fork, the font, the crowns, the tents, the tables covered with synthetic grass the entire experience was replicated and brought a couple of thousand miles south.

Sydney Taste FestivalPerhaps there were changes made to localise the event other than bringing local restaurants, but you could have fooled me. What was a nice change, was the fact the park was not as crowded as it was in London. It definitely made wandering around the stalls much easier. We did a quick lap around the park to see what was available before we ended up following people wandering with interesting plates.

This worked out with Jonah’s at Whale Beach’s vanilla pana cotta with lavendar honey and fresh pomegranates. This wobbly slightly obscene, but creamy dessert was by far the most interesting dessert we found on the day.

Sydney Taste FestivalThe same can be said about Guillame at Bennelong’s blue crab sandwich. I’m a gigantic sucker for that subtle savoury taste pillowed by soft white bread pieces.

Sydney Taste FestivalWhat surprised me was how similar the menus from dozen or so restaurants are. There were plenty of meat dishes, but nothing really exciting or particularly surprising other than the panna cotta.  A lot of the meat dishes like the 12 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder with minted crushed peas and feta dressing sounded impressive, but was quite ordinary. The lamb was somewhat cold and did not melt, the minted peas was interesting but nothing extraordinary.

Sydney Taste Festival

A few of the dishes were down right disappointing: Pilu’s zippola or Sardinian donut was disappointingly tasteless. The tantalising sounding risotto with crystal bay prawns and zucchini was so bland that we had a mouthful before abandoning the lot. In any case, it was an interesting venture to have a look at what was showcased. Some were familiar, such as Plan B’s wagyu burger, a great lunch time meal that managed to increase its value from the usual $10 to $12. It’s a small difference, but I wonder why they bothered?

Sydney Taste FestivalDon’t get me wrong, I loved the experience on winding down another rough week with a glass vino in my hand, but I would love to see more next time around.

Sydney Taste Festival

2010

2010 started by drunkenly toasting the year ahead to the strain of Black Eyed Peas’s I’ve Got A Feeling. Not quite sure what this means, but on the first day of the year, my voice was husky and I was very happy.

I can hardly believe, that it’s already the 9th day of the New Year and I am still processing photos from previous years (gasp!). Looking through photos of the two monk statue in Penang I took some years back, it seem appropriate to use them for this post.

I don’t know what this year will bring, I thought I knew what to expect last year, but a number of variables fell into place and I ended up back in Sydney after a short stint in the UK.

Happy and Sad

2009 was a year of one too many changes for comfort. The year in summary:

  • Bounced back between Australia and UK  for the golden ticket a Visa
  • Visa failed!
  • Came back despondent, but found the closest thing to a dream job
  • Ate some memorable meals throughout October
  • Met a number of delightful people through starting MSG
  • Moved into a cottage within walking distance to Zumbo (ok it is a long-ish walk)
  • Completed my life with the iPhone

Last year made me realise, how lucky I am to have the most lovely, supportive friends around me. I wish I could mass migrate a number of them across the sea, such as the  London SnB crew, but not sure that’s possible…

For 2010, I am hoping to:

  • Organise more Midweek Supper Group (MSG) dinners. We’re up to supper #7 next week, and it’s incredible to see how this little group managed to build up momentum ever so quickly
  • Knit more
  • Blog more
  • Enjoy life more
  • Achieve the laughing monk’s  zen like state throughout the year. I believe eating plenty of good food with good friends is a prerequisite to a good life.

Happy and Sad