Taste of Sydney 2013

Taste of Sydney is a foodfest. Dozens of restaurants, and food and drink producers, from the area set up outdoor tents where you can sample their wares. I went last night on a pass courtesy of the good folks at Yelp.

Last night was the first night for Taste of Sydney and it runs until the end of Sunday. It’s held in a fenced-off area of Centennial Park and is made to be very comfortable. There are lounge-y areas, tall tables for standing, live music, funky lighting and bar areas, and a general atmosphere of laid-back foodiness.


Most of the food producers had free tasting samples, and I hit quite a few of them. Nibbles of cheese, meats, pastas, juices, dips and much more were easy to come by and almost uniformly delicious. All the exhibitors had packaged goods you could buy to take away of course.

The restaurant stands each served a small menu of appetiser-size dishes. This makes it an excellent opportunity to sample some of the popular, high-end Sydney restaurants without actually getting a reservation (if any of them do that anymore) or splashing out on an entire dinner. The queue for Porteno‘s stand, for instance, was very long.

Aside from all the free sampling I bought some suckling roast pig from 4 in Hand (delish) and a falafel kit from Sami’s Kitchen (making it tonight, the samples were tasty)

As I walked around I realised how many food-related TV quasi-celebs there are in Australia now. Besides the real chefs like Kylie Kwong I spotted about a dozen folks I recognised from peripherally catching popular food shows like My Kitchen Rules and Masterchef over the last few years. Each season of those includes so many contenstants that it results in a huge number of recognisable faces. Lots of exhibitors last night were taking advantage of them.

The vibe at Taste for Sydney was fun, the choices were many, and the grub was very good. But if I’d had to pay the $30 entrance fee just to get in and try the tiny free samples I would not have found it to be good value. The food for purchase were in very small portions and none were priced cheaply. I’ve never felt bad about paying to properly try out a restaurant I wanted to go to, so paying for the privilege to sample last night wasn’t the thrill it might have been for others who like to test things out first; for those folks this would have been heaven. And there certainly seemed to be lots of people there.

So thanks Yelp for spotting me entrance to something I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.


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