Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taste of Sydney (and a Navy parade!)

We enjoyed an afternoon of eating (and not much else) at the Taste of Sydney ‘celebration of food and drink’ in Centennial Park today (Saturday). The day was a busy one for Sydney, with the Sound Relief bushfire and flood appeal concert on just down the road. And in the city, a parade of Australian Navy personnel provided a glimpse of officers’ whites and the calls of ‘left, left, left right left!’.

But back to the food…Armed with our pre-booked tickets and ‘crowns’ currency, I made sure we nabbed a table as soon as the event opened at 11.30am (thanks to Not Quite Nigella for that tip). Once ensconced, we lost count of the number of people who asked if we were leaving the table soon, or if that chair was taken. Please refer to my Motto, at the bottom of this post.

I also prepared by deciding beforehand what we were going to order, so I could go straight to the restaurant tents and get the food. They were all very efficient in their service, and a couple of the chefs were on hand for a chat or photo opp.

Between the two of us, we had: for clearer view...

The servings were on the small side (about the size of a degustation plate) and cost between 8 and 12 crowns/dollars.
We drank James Squire ale and an orange juice. There was a distinct lack of non-alcoholic beverages for sale, and I had 3 different people come and ask where I got the orange juice from (at Parker’s Organic, if you’re interested).

My favourite savoury dish was Restaurant Balzac’s suckling pig (though it was so salty that I had to drink 2 big glasses of Coke when I got home).

My favourite dish overall was the infamous jiggly pana cotta from Jonah’s. As I was carrying it out of the tent, one women said “Ooh, that’s a bit rude!”. Yes, she was talking about the dessert.

Click for a better look...

There are also lots of produce and wine stalls to wander through after you’ve eaten your fill. I got some Beechworth orange blossom honey which is very light, not too sweet. I was too stuffed to go for any of the samples. Didn’t attend any of the masterclasses, either, as we were too busy eating – that’s slack, I know, but had a fabulous time nonetheless. Managed to walk it off on the way out – it’s about a 1 kilometre walk from the site to the Oxford St gates.

All up, it was a fantastic afternoon. Seeing the foodblogger posts (
chocolatesuze, grabyourfork and a table for two, for example) really built up my expectations, and the actual event did not disappoint. And it’s made me want to visit some of the featured restaurants, namely Pilu at Freshwater, Restaurant Balzac and Jonah’s. Here’s to another one soon.

And here is my Motto (especially for events like this):


  1. I love the way you've tabulated what you ate. So organised! Sounds like it was a great day of eating.

  2. wow among u two and had try so many dishes! I admire the effort and moolah spent1 :) it was all good fun.

  3. awesome photos! what day did u go to the festival?

    what was your favourite dish of the day? hmm i cant seem to make up my mind but i really loved the flying fish snapper and coconut sambal. I ate it soo quickk i was quite shocked when it was all gone =(

  4. OOoh you got so many good photos and of head chefs as well!
    Mmm I wish I got more food now haha!

  5. they really were the smallest oysters i'd ever seen! and am now food envying your arancini. i knew there was something i forgot to get...

  6. Great photos. Love the tasting notes too, and yes I think the panna cotta was definitely the most talked-about dish there!

  7. Glad to hear that you didn't have table difficulties! :) Great photos of the chefs and food and lol at that woman's comment about the wobbly booby pannacotta!

  8. hi Arwen - what can I say, I love spreadsheets and Word tables (geek nerd).

    hi Billy - I didn't realise how much we had till i posted this!

    hi Leona - the pannacotta was the best. Should have had more fish dishes tho.

    hi FFichiban - it was very delish, wasn't it? Wish it was on again next week.

    hi Shez - small but tasty. I thought $10 for 4 seemed like a good deal until I saw the size...

    hi Helen - yes, the jiggly one certainly lived up to its reputation!

    hi Lorraine - thanks for the tips. I had to hold the plate really still as I walked back to the table. It still wobbled like mad.