Taste of Sydney 2016 | Centennial Park

Taste of Sydney is a showcase where the top restaurants (or most trending restaurants) come and cook a variety of their food to allow you to sample, in hopes that you might make a visit to try the whole dish. It basically gives those (like us) who are not made of money, an opportunity to taste all the amazing dishes, without the big bill attached to the end of your day.

Taste Sydney is only around the corner, March 9th through 12th to be exact! Being so close we wanted to recap on our experience last year to prepare you for what to expect when you visit.

When we first visited Taste of Sydney three years ago, we were very underwhelmed. There was an onslaught of people and the whole event ended up being really hard to navigate around the hordes of 'zombies' only after the freebies.

The introduction of the Taste credit card was also a little difficult to operate, as you were forced to line up to load up your card when you were shore on credits.

This year however, it was very different. They have expanded the lot quite significantly, leaving so much free space to stretch, dance or do whatever your (probably not-so-sober) hearts content. Additionally, there was ample top-up stations and seating options to quickly buy and properly enjoy your food.

Green Pea and Ham - by Nel. Restaurant
These ham chips have been driving social media crazy. We thought we would try them to find out what the hype was about. It seems that they live up to the aforementioned hype because these were pretty crazy! The chips were moist and dripping with oil and the pea puree was sweet enough to compliment the savoury 'chip' quite well. A great constructed dish that would appeal to the masses.

Thievery X Butter Kebabs - by Thievery and Butter Sydney
I have written this review probably about 5 different times now, and I can't elaborate on how madly in love with this dish we were. We were utterly disappointed, quite literally to the point where we were almost in tears when we went back later for seconds, only to find out thy were sold out. The chicken was to simply put it, unmatchable by all means. The chicken would have been great on its own, but when matched with the das-hi-naisei and the pickles, it made for one astounding kebab.
This was by far the dish of the day!!!

These kebabs actually had us going back to Butter Sydney for more.

Prawn Toast Okonomiyaki - by Salaryman
When I think of Okonomiyaki, I think of cabbage and a floury texture. To my surprise, there were literally chunks of prawns. It almost feels like a really thick deep fried prawn cake served with okonomi sauce, kewpie mayo, shallots and katsuobushi (bonito flakes). 

Chashu Pork Rib Roll - by Salaryman
Chicken kebab aside, this pork rib roll was also on point. Admittedly I wouldn't be paying as much as I did for it in normal circumstances, but it was quite enjoyable. The pork rib was literally falling apart. It was moist and combined with the smoked tonkatsu sauce, it sure made it a hard time sharing this, that's for sure!

Firedoor Fries - by Firedoor
We have heard quite a lot about Firedoor more recently, and are planning to go and try out their restaurant sometime in the near future. However I really do hope that this is not what we should expect. Not only did we get served with little to no fries, that was literally our serving size... We also did not enjoy the fries one bit. The grilled butter beans just did not work, they had no flavour and while that romesco ketchup was tasty, it didn't help save this dish. We actually attempted to eat these whilst walking around, but ended up throwing half the pack.

Cocco Panna Cotta - by Otto Ristaurante
We were invited to Otto Ristaurante to taste their "Taste of Sydney" menu in the days preceding this event. We fell in love with this dish so much, that we just HAD to order it again. It made us feel like kids in a candy shop all over again. We were contemplating to get seconds as well! 
You can check out our review (and how the cocco panna cotta is actually served at Otto Restaurante here)

Suckling Pig - by 4Fourteen
While this dish doesn't offer much presentable qualities, it's the flavour that counts. The pig was most definitely "suckling" because it was so delicate, that the slightest lift of your fork would break it apart. It was thoroughly enjoyable along with the spiced slaw and vegetables. It we were served this in a restaurant, we would be very happy. It was a bit difficult to eat and not quite as enjoyable because of the circumstances, eating this under the hot 40 degree heat. That said, the flavours were great and we might have to pop by 4Fourteen to try this dish again ;)

Pinchitos Morunos - by Movida Sydney
When you see people lining up for a food stall, it must be good right? Unfortunately not all the time. The lamb was marinated in moorish spices before being grilled over charcoal. While it had some great flavours, the lamb was overcooked and VERY tough and chewy. It was difficult to break apart and the slide of bread at the top was basically pointless. Next to the Firedoor fries, this was our least favourite of the event.

Suntory Whisky Kakubin.
Suntory set up an izakaya-style bar to showcase Japan's no.1 whisky, Suntory Whisky Kakubin. The drink on offer was the Kakubin Highball which was refreshing and exactly what the doctor ordered on such a hot day. Why not kick back, relax and enjoy some time out in the shade!

The true saviors of the day.. OH! Sparkling Mineral Water was being given out to battle the long, heated day. It was the only alternative to actually buying a $5 water bottle.

Overall, we had a lovely day (the good weather helps) and can't wait for Taste of Sydney 2017.