Taste of Sydney 2012

While torrential rains of the past week caused dams to overflow and threatened to make this year’s Taste of Sydney into a Woodstock/Glastonbury, the sun has at least shown its face enough to sufficiently dry things up at Centennial Park to allow this market stall-style restaurant festival to proceed following the cancellation of the initial Thursday evening session.

Ormeggio“Aperitivo Stuzzichini Sciatt” (8 Crowns)

The “Aperitivo Stuzzichini Sciatt” (8 Crowns) from Ormeggio caught my eye early on with its mention of deep-fried fontina cheese. Although stretchy when you bite into it, it’s not runny nor gooey-centred like I expect but the buckwheat batter provides an interesting crunchy, nutty outer unlike any batter I’ve tried before.

Quarter Twenty One: “Fried Hawkesbury School Prawns” (10 Crowns)

Quarter Twenty One’s “Fried Hawkesbury School Prawns” (10 Crowns, although advertised on the digital menu as 12) provide plenty of crunch and are a great snack with beer. Swathed in a velvety rouille, the prawns are anointed with a couple of pieces of torn prosciutto and can be eaten whole – heads, shell and all – provided you are mindful of sharp shell pieces being potentially stabby in the mouth.

The Cut Bar & Grill: “Sher F1 Wagyu Meatball” (10 Crowns)

Tantalising aromas from The Cut Bar & Grill’s “Sher F1 Wagyu Meatball” (10 Crowns) will lure you into its tasty meatiness which is neither crumbly nor dry. Gremolata and a bed of slightly tangy cabbage offer a light contrast.

Four in Hand: “Roast suckling pig” (12 Crowns)

Four in Hand have a serious winding queue by the time we get there, but thank goodness for entertainment in the form of a rotating piggy in its shiny glory. The “Roast suckling pig” (12 Crowns) is tender, soft and given a mild kick by the hot sauce, however it is devoid of crackling – where has it all gone?! The onion ring varies in size from plate to plate but is beautifully crisp. While the coleslaw is definitely on the salty side, this dish garners leering gazes as we weave our way through the crowds back to our (closely guarded) table.

The Montpellier Public House: “Crisp Brisket of Pasture Fed Beef” (10 Crowns)

The Montpellier Public House’s “Crisp Brisket of Pasture Fed Beef” (10 Crowns) was ordered due to us having been captured by Balzac’s “Crispy Wagyu Beef” last year. Whilst the previous version resembled a spring roll and was served with mushroom and truffle foam, the current incarnation has crumbed tender beef brisket paired with a creamed wild mushroom sauce. Although I swear I can detect hints of truffle, it could just be the memories talking.

A Tavola: “Cremino al Cioccolato” (8 Crowns)

The end of the evening brings us to A Tavola’s “Cremino al Cioccolato” (8 Crowns), a layered dessert of Amadei gianduia chococate crema (tastes like Ferrero Rocher) topped with salty caramel gelato then torched Italian meringue all in a babyccino cup – cute as!

If you happen to be an HSBC customer, you and a companion can pop into the HSBC Customer Lounge (not the VIP Lounge, unless you are in possession of a VIP ticket) to pick up a free drink, free bottles of water plus there are tables and seating. You may even be offered some canapés or hand-crafted Pure Pops – the watermelon lime (pictured above) is really refreshing and very watermelon-y! For non HSBC customers, Pure Pops also have a stand at the festival.

Some grass areas are still a little soft and muddy, so make sure you wear closed shoes (no heels!) and peruse the menu to plan your eating! And check out some more photos and descriptions here as a guide.

9-11 March, 2012
Brazilian Fields, Centennial Park

happy eating!


  1. Love uour photos and the rapid roundup. The weather certainly ruined a few plans, but the great food doesn't appear to have suffered.

  2. looks good but will be missing out this year. will you believe it if I said I am too lazy!

  3. Great photos - I was supposed to go on Thursday night but we were rained out and I can't fit it in over the weekend. So bummed. The school pranws look GREAT...it all looks GREAT. I'm hungry!

  4. Looks to be a great event! Can't wait to check it out this afternoon. :)

  5. Everything looks so good :) I wish I was there! I went to the first Taste of Melbourne last year and can't believe I've missed out for so many years :D there's so much to do and eat at these events ~ You have some amazing photos! I never seem to do justice to festivals and events because I dont take very good photos hehe ~ Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Fantastic roundup, if I was going this year the school prawns would of been on my hit list!

  7. wow, great shots of the food, yum!

  8. I did mean to make an appearance here but being a vego doesn't really give me a lot to eat at an event such as taste. Sydney chefs have not embraced vegetarian food like places like Melbourne have.

  9. All the things that you ate would have been on my list too. It looks and sounds sooooooooooog ooooooooooooood. So sad that I didn't get the chance to go.

  10. Booooo, that's the problem with having such a big event outside! I'm surprised they haven't moved it to an indoor venue yet!

    How come the photos have a purple tinge? Was there some crazy neon lighting going on?

  11. Hey Bel, thanks! *blush blush* I only hope that vendors managed to shift the food that they had prepped for Thursday.

    Hey penny, haha, I'd like to go to the Melbourne one actually - it's indoors!

    Hey MissPiggy, the prawns were so easy to eat! Shame you missed out.

    Hey Sophie, hope you had a great time there!

    Hey Daisy, it's only my second time at Taste but I look forward to going again in future =)

    Hey Sara, they were so crunchy but not dry for such little fellas!

    Hey muppy, thanks!

    Hey Cass, now that you mention it, there wasn't a great deal of vegetarian options, no. That part's definitely much easier when dining in.

    Hey Tina, highly recommend you planning for next year =D

    Hey April, I think part of the appeal is having it outdoors? And haha, yeah, the purple hue in the photos is due to the lighting inside the HSBC tent!

  12. I too am veg but definitely appreciate the exquisite nature of this food - everything looks mouthwatering :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Strawberry Hot Fudge Cobbler

  13. Hey Guru Uru, considering that's dished out from portable set-ups, the presentation is of a pretty high standard!


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