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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Taste of Sydney 2011

The forecast had been for rain, but the weather didn't seem to have made up its mind quite yet, so we decided to take our chances and attend the (outdoor) Taste of Sydney Festival 2011. Now, Friday afternoons is known for being relatively quiet at the Festival, as the workabees are still locked up in their offices and the kids are still at school, so it was very much a peaceful affair. It also seemed as though many people had been put off by the rain, which could only mean one thing ... more food for us!

We began by meandering our way through the multitude of sweet little stalls lining the park. And by sweet, I mean SWEET. There were giant macaroons with heaving pink underbellies (see above), and rows and rows of pastries, tangy marshmallows, cakes and other melting dreams. We tried wine, cocktails, muesli, shortbread, crepes, jam, sourdough ... you name it, we tasted it. Even though each morsel was small, they really began to add up ... which meant that it was time for us to tackle the big guns, and not waste any more stomach space on the tiny tots!

The salmon and potato fishcakes (from Bird Cow Fish) took our first set of Crowns. And boy were they worth it! It wasn't simply a matter of being hungry (we hadn't had breakfast in an attempt to save stomach space) and therefore devouring the first thing that entered our mouths. No, these fishcakes were incredibly tender and soft. They yielded to our (plastic, hence weak) forks at the slightest touch, their crispy exteriors splintering to reveal hot, flaky fish within. It was fishcake nirvana.

Our next stop was Charlie & Co. There's just something so friendly, approachable and boy-next-door as naming your company "Charlie & Co" and I think the food really reflects that. Big, hearty portions; good quality produce; simple combinations and no pretension. Just flavour. And so it was with great anticipation that we each took a bite of our wagyu burgers. No disappointment there. Soft, flaky and light as air. To be honest, I felt like I was eating a cloud (albeit a brown one). The only letdown was the lack of a cute little flag sticking out of the top of my bun. But let's not get fussy here :)

Next, the truffle parmesan fries. Again, simple but stunning. We really needed a spoon to dig out all the parmesan bits from the bottom of the cup.

Now by this point, the food fatigue was really starting to sink in. After polishing off the fries and burgers, we waddled cautiously towards the line of stalls, keen to see what other restaurants had to offer. We were sorely tempted by the giant paella dishes (big enough to bathe in) but decided to save our final crowns for something more exotic.

Et voila! Exotic central. Slow-cooked trout, with oxtail croustillant (the spring roll wannabe) and French onion soup puree. Divine.

Now although all the stalls were equally special, the City Tattersalls stall was by far the standout. They were literally handing out trays and TRAYS of different dishes, to satisfy both your sweet and savoury teeth. There were golden arancini balls (see above), lamb skewers, sugar-dusted donuts (your choice of injectable filling - cherry or lemon) and lemon meringue pies. What more could you want from a stall? Nothing. Which is why we never left :)

Our stomachs rapidly expanding, we did a final round of the stalls (this time, cheese, banana bread, organic sausages, pearl meat) before heading out of the park and waddling down to Anzac Parade.

It was a lovely afternoon. The food coma set in at approximately 4.05 pm. Just in time for a nap on the bus ride home.

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