Taste of Sydney Festival

A friend of mine wanted a nice thrifty day out to enjoy the sunshine and to catch up. The Taste of Sydney festival was decided upon: a chance to try out some dishes from fancy pants restaurants. Not only that we had a two-for-one entry voucher: score one for the thrift.

It was a sunny and windy day, and the crowds were huge. The local currency within the boundaries were known as “crowns”, which you could purchase onto reloadable NFC ‘smartcards’, rather than a tear-off style coupon. I can see the positives of this: no fussing with money for stallholders, and no risk of theft. On the other hand, payment was set to even amounts. If you wanted to buy an item by weight – e.g. cheese, but the price is supposed to be $7 – who takes the hit? Should it be the stallholder or the consumer?

Other stallholders had noted that there was cost of giving tastings. Although the premise is that because there is an upfront entry fee, there is an opportunity for more “freebies”, I think it would be difficult to recoup costs. The organisers had recommended to stallholders that 2 crowns were charged per tasting, with a rebate if a purchase was made. I did notice that those who charged for their tastings were less popular with the punters.

These guys had a huge thing that looked like a steam engine providing the cooking facilities.

Smoking Engine at Porteno

From here we tried:


BBQ Cheese with Honey, Lemon and Herbs ($8). I think this was fresh made haloumi. The dressing was nice. But I paid $8 for this?
BBQ Wagyu Beef Brisket with BBQ Sauce and Pickle ($12).

Happy Goblin Brewery

Happy Goblin Brewery

I have sampled the brews from Happy Goblin Brewery before. Today, Colin was offering Cinnamon Cola and Cardamom Orange Soda ($6). Surprisingly, the flavours worked. I wanted to take some with me, but these were on the keg only. If you’re interested in trying some of Happy Goblin’s soft drinks, they are available at Yulli’s Surry Hills.

The Woods
Ash-Seasoned King Salmon with Native Sea Parsley Salad ($6):

The Woods

Yum! The sea parsley was very delicate, like a microherb. You got a lot of salmon – bang for buck this was very good.


Slow Braised Pork Cheek and Black Fungus Relish Rolls ($6):


The black wood ear fungus had been diced very finely, and provided a pleasing crunch to a simple pork roll. I think it had been mixed in with some truffle.

Confit Ocean Trout, Saltbush, Anchovy Dashi ($12):
Claudes Salmon

This was a different take on the saltbush from when I had tried it fried in tempura batter at The Woods. I wonder if I could replicate this at home? Strike one for the arteries.

Turmeric chicken with rice noodles, wild ginger & Thai basil ($8):

Big thick cut noodles. Tumeric is quite a subtle flavour, so apart from “yellowness” in colour, I didn’t really pick it up.

Muse Dining

Beetroot, Binnorie Goat’s Cheese, Coppersfolly wasabi, King Oyster Mushrooms ($6):
The Woods

The smallest king oyster mushrooms that I have seen! The tops had been sauteed and were very rich and unctious. I think they had been cut down into little jewels that matched the size of the plate. The wasabi was in the oil, and provided a gentle heat. The cheese was very rich and was complemented by the earthiness of the beetroot.

Vanilla Custard, Hunter Valley Black Fig, Malfroy’s Fresh Honeycomb, Salted Date, White Chocolate ($10):

Muse Dining

Worth it.

My favourite. Each individual element was delicious. Together, the combination of flavours worked really well. I was tempted to spend my last remaining ‘crowns’, on getting another one.

A lovely way to end the day.

I’m not sure that the day was really in the “thrifty” category as was originally requested.

Total for the afternoon for two:
tickets: $30
crowns spent: $60


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