Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you should have realised by now that the month of October is a foodie’s paradise. While most of the events come under the banner of the Sydney International Food Festival, others have jumped into the food foray too. My own dance card is filling up rapidly! Prepare your palates; we have a lot of eating to do!
Backstage Blogger Tours
Food bloggers are often the first to find great suburban ethnic gems. If you’ve always wanted to uncover the hidden Vietnamese treasures of Cabramatta but don’t know your Bánh xèo (Vietnamese savoury crepes) from your Bánh Mi Thit (pork rolls), let Jennifer from Jenius: The Spectacular Culinary Adventures of a Sydney Gen Y, and Betty of Betty’s Bites take you on an amazing foodie adventure. Jen, who is far from a vegetarian, tells me that her favourite Cabramatta restaurant (of the moment) is Duy Linh Vegetarian Restaurant for “their vegetarian take on pho (Vietnamese beef noodle soup)!” Jen says Vietnamese cuisine is significant to her because “while I’ve been born and raised in Australia, both my parents grew up in Vietnam. I love the cultural significance of certain dishes and how there’s a family story behind them. Taste-wise, I adore the clean and simple flavours which is reflective of the lifestyle over there.”
Dine Denison or Eat Bush
Stuck in the centre of our jewel of a harbour (now with added sharks), Fort Denison is a spectacular historic setting for dinner or lunch. You can eat your own bit of Australiana, including the Woolloomooloo Kangaroo Tail Pie, every Saturday and Sunday from the 9th-24th October. They’ve even turned out some ripper Fort Denison Hand-Made Dampers for the occasion!
If you don’t fancy a jaunt on the high seas, go bush in the Royal Botanic Gardens on Sunday 10th October. ABC Radio’s charming Simon Marnie will host a barbeque with a big bush infusion. Think spit-roasted Salt Bush lamb marinated in garlic and native mint. They’ve got damper too (yes, I’m a fan)! This is a Slow Food event with sustainable, seasonal and locally sourced produce, so you can be proud of how you spent your $65 per adult/$16 per child, too.
After just meeting (and eating) with Uwe Habermehl, the clever man behind the kitchen side of the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, I am a bit excited about The Magic of Spices on Tuesday 12 October. With two food, wine and spice experts – Lyndey Milan and Ian “Herbie” Hemphill – taking the reins, it’s sure to be a cracking way to explore spice. They had me at Asian Spice Blend Cured Duck Breast with Green Papaya Ceviche. Book in quick on (02) 9282 5888.
Celebrity Chefs Meat-Up
Now last week I did give you fair warning to get on down to Haverick Meats’ new Saturday meat market. If you had, you might have found yourself rubbing shoulders with chefs and foodies and their families, including Sean Connolly who recently left his post with Star City with television firmly in his sights. Operations Manager John Andrews tells me the “day was a blast with many rocking up from far and wide (and locals) to check out the produce.” Restaurant quality meat at far better prices awaits you in Banksmeadow.
Spark Up the BBQ
If you’re too lazy to clean off the remnants of last year’s charcoal from your own barbeque, head to Kings Cross Markets for a spit-roasted Saltbush Lamb or Wagyu Beef Roll. You should note that it’s free with a sufficient meat purchase at Urban Food Market’s stall. Tim Elwin cooks a mean bit of Bultarra rump. He gets there at the crack of dawn to make sure it’s ready by about 10.30am, and he generally sells out most Saturdays before 1.30pm.
If you prefer the pig, Glebe stalwart Restaurant Atelier is doing an all day pork sizzle on their terrace on Saturday 2nd October. If you venture inside (and you should, this is one of my favourite restaurants) Darren Templeman will be carving up a whole pig on a spit from 1pm for the bargain price of $35/head with all the trimmings.