This is my second Taste event in two consecutive years. I think I enjoyed trying out foods from last year's exhibits compared to this year's. However, it was nonetheless still enjoyable as there were more produce stands this year.
Haha I couldn't have done it more excessively, I went to this year's Event twice over two consecutive days. I managed to eat quite a lot during my first day, though only one bite off each plate, and was so full from about 1'ish pm until 10'ish pm. Gluttony was written all over my face as I only wanted more and more, perhaps I couldn't have eaten more after my very last dish, the Bombe and I actually had to force myself eating it as it got to the point whereby I was extremely full haha. Mind you, the Bombe was indeed the Bomb that everyone or many foodies have raved about at this year's Taste.
Entrance to the Event and Stokehouse restaurant stand.
Stokehouse Restaurant - Wagyu beef cigars, artichoke tapenade and horseradish
If anyone questions about mass-produced food, this is the time and place to confirm with your doubts. I've heard of things like, chefs do not have much kitchen space to work on their food during this Event and that they are all pre-made and possibly reheated just before serving. Hence, one cannot possibly judge the quality of food in detail but could somewhat just express likes/ dislikes very roughly.
Anyway, the wagyu cigars I had on the first day I found a bit dry. It was another story on the second day I went, the wagyu cigar was not dry and it was indeed very flavoursome. It was definitely one of the dishes not to be missed from this Event. I loved it! I would go to Stokehouse Restaurant just for this dish and its dessert, the Bombe!
Mezzo Bar and Grill - Organic slow braised pork cheek, white polenta, raisins and marsala sauce
Maze Restaurant and Maze Grill - Seared Hopkins River Beef, shitake and aged soy dressing
I wasn't a big fan of the pork cheek and I found that it was a bit tough and dry though I have read otherwise from another food blogger who went on Thursday night. I didn't like the beef dish from Maze too.
The European - Duck tortelloni with pea puree and truffle oil
I honestly belief (and can only hope) that the Restaurant would have been able to execute this dish perfectly at their Restaurant. I had it on the Friday, I found that the pasta was undercooked, though I didn't mind how the duck tasted it still was a let down for me. I love pastas especially if drizzled/ seasoned with some truffle oil.
The Palace by Luke Mangan - The Palace wagyu burger
This was another dish that everyone raved about. I had a small bite on Friday, and got a whole burger for myself on Saturday haha. It was good though come to think of it now, I wouldn't want to pay $10/ 10 crowns for this dish even at a gourmet cafe. Jones the Grocer sells their wagyu burger for only $15 (lesser, can't remember how much exactly) and I'm pretty sure same goes with Cafe Vue. You'd think that it is not difficult to execute this dish especially at an event like this one, but I still thought that it was a bit dry and a sauce was missing. Perhaps also, they did not lightly grill the buns with some butter :-b Having said some of the negatives, I found that the beetroot was indeed refreshing and it did break out some of the richness which you would have otherwise found in many other types of beef burgers. At the end of the day, I still liked this dish :-)
The Palace by Luke Mangan - Eye fillet (Hopkins River), potato mash, sauce Bordelaise
I would have to say that this was one of the very few winning dishes for me, at the Event. This was the reason why we were convinced to buy a whole Hopkins River beef pack for $135! It was also meant to have come with the recipe for this dish, but we were instead given Maze's recipe, which I forcefully took just in case if the recipe for The Palace did not come through! PFFT! Besides that I also need to prove to myself that I could make a better beef wellington compared to the one I made previously. Hence the huge log of eye fillet... *rolling eyes* It has been frozen by the way ha ha!
Comida Bebe -Baby chorizo (glazed in cider, served on a skewer with candied and fresh apple and topped with an apple toffee sauce)
Comida Bebe - Paella Fiesta (traditional rustic chicken and squid ink/ calamari)
I love the paella even though I hardly found any chicken in it, there were still a few pieces of prawns if you looked hard enough. It was not bad but I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever had. I love the chorizo and especially the candied apple that went with it.
Taste ground floor - Taste; Gallery level - Longrain restaurant
Longrain - Yellow curry of wagyu beef with cucumber relish
I personally love Longrain though quietly wish that the Restaurant is not as busy and Noisy! TI thought that the dish was OK but I've had better dishes at his Restaurant in Melbourne. Thanh has recently had the privilege to speak to the Chef behind the masterworks of Longrain.
I also shared the roasted pork bun roll with Thanh, which you can find on Thanh's Blog. It was actually not bad, the pork was tender and there was crackle.
Toby's Estate coffee
So... I love the beans of this coffee and went to get free seconds and thirds! Eventually, I could not kid them no more, I bought a Keep-A-Cup so I'd get a free coffee refill and also a bag of their ground coffees.
Sarti - Pistachio pannacotta and caramel salted popcorn
This was so yum! It was a bit creamier the second time I had it but I still loved it! I believe that they used real vanilla beans, it was just flavoursome! Of course, there were hints of pistachio too. The toffee popcorn was quite the carnival, I dropped it the first time I bought it and they were kind enough to give me another cluster of popcorn :-) The waitstaff at the stand however, did not think it was funny that the pannacotta is that good that I went for seconds on the next day. I did not even get a smile off him :-b
Stokehouse - The Bombe - strawberry sorbet, white chocolate parfait and toasted meringue
This was really yum. I had it on my first day, the very last dish I saved for had to be the Bombe though I was quite over it by the time I got to this dish. I was so full despite having only small bites (did take a few sporkfull of paella however) off every dish. The parfait, was amazing, it was SO light! I love the toasted meringue but I'm still contemplating in getting a blow torch, I'm afraid I may just torch up the home. The strawberry coulis was yum, I'm sure it did contain quite a bit of sugar!!! Come to think of it, I can't remember if there was any sorbet in the dish?! Definitely a winner dish!
The European - Wild rabbit sausage roll with tomato kassundi
Sausage roll is my comfort food like how Australians love their beef pies? This roll with rabbit gives it a way better spin, a gourmet spin. I loved it, whether with or without the tomato kassundi which I found was quite similar to a salsa. Oh yes the off-white couch at the VIP lounge.
Sandwich ice-cream - The Classic
Charcoal Lane - Wallaby tataki, ginger soy, horseradish
I've heard of quirky food that flows out of Charcoal Lane kitchen, salmon with licorice. Don't ask me, it wasn't me who had it. Anyway, this wallaby tataki was amazingly delicious! It was tender though it tasted a bit over-seasoned for me. Still loved it at the end of the day.
I think the wallaby was one of the last dishes I had. It was nearing 4pm on the Saturday and Thanh went to get some Ben and Jerry's, chocolate fudge and something else for only 2 crowns! There were 2 massive scoops in a tiny cup, it was good but I had too much and only ate a few spoonfuls of it.
I bought some tea from Tea Blossoms. I paid $28 for a dozen tea packs in a beautiful packaged box. I wasn't impressed with the first tea I popped into my teapot as it did not appear to be as pretty as the one I saw at the Event :-b ha ha. It still tasted pretty good, and I do love tea.
Della Mano chocolate brownies!
Hah, this would have to be the highlight of my whole experience at Taste in both consecutive years. I only bought a pack of 6 blocks (50g each) for $30 last year but I spent about $85 on these babies this year. $85 bought me ONE kilogram (with approx. 15% discount for being a loyal customer) of brownies with flavours; gluten free Belgian choc, lime and coconut, espresso and walnut, honey caramelised macadamia, the classic and ginger! I only gave two pieces away, kept 18 all for my greedy self :-) In just 6 days, I have also eaten 9 blocks of it! Ahhh my name also spells GLUTTON.
My favourites would have to be the espresso and walnut, honey macadamia, gluten free, the classic. Personally, I don't like ginger, but this ginger brownie is not that bad and I'd still eat it. I'm growing to like the lime/ coconut which I find quite refreshing.
Other buys included - the big lamb pack feast, some smoked salmon, Movenpick ice cream, Careme rolled out pastries, Nando sauces, about 200ml of truffle oil (for only $20), etc! Dang, the only thing that I did not buy was chocolates! Oh a sin!
ps - I realise that I have been using love/ loved interchangeably and that I can't even tell at this point of time whether if I still love, or just loved those dishes. ha ha.