what to eat during the crave sydney food festival 2011

Attention all foodies in Sydney: the Crave Sydney International Food Festival will run from 1 to 31 October 2011.

Most notably, Breakfast on the Bridge has been dropped this year in favour of Breakfast on Bondi. Aside from that, the usual events are back this year to satisfy our foodie cravings. I’ve taken a few notable events and described them in this post.

For more information on all the events, log onto the Crave Sydney International Food Festival website or download the full program in pdf here.


Must do #1: Sugar hit
For me, the highlight of the festival is definitely sugar hit. Sugar hit returns this year without a price hike: it’s still $20!

The Cortille

Dessert chefs from restaurants around Sydney serve up delectable plates of sweet treats that are complimented with a suitably sticky glass from the Brown Brothers range.

Some places to try this year include:

  • The Cortille (InterContinental) – home-made pistachio and bitter chocolate vacherin with blood orange custard
  • The Westin – sago and coconut soup with a chocolate and mango marquis
  • Ocean Room – gorgonzola panna cotta with seasonal fruit compote and shoyu caramel
  • Catalina – a slice of dark Valrhona chocolate and date tart with rose-petal ice-cream
  • Glass Brasserie (Hilton) – milk chocolate bavarois, tonka bean creme brulee, caramel sorbet and salted beans

Check out the full list of participating venues here.

Check out my 2011 reviews here: The Westin Sydney, Shangri-La Hotel, Glass Brasserie, Sydney Harbour Marriott.


Must do #2: Let’s do brunch
Every weekend throughout October, 16 cafes across Sydney will serve brunch for $25 a head. I did this last year and it was fantastic.

Hyde Park Barracks Cafe

Some delicious sounding brunches this year include:

  • Hyde Park Barracks Cafe – home-made granola, natural yoghurt and poached fruit; eggs three ways: egg, chorizo and roast tomato tart, capsicum, caramelised onion and fetta frittata, ham eggs benedict. Belgian chocolate waffles, cherry compote, coconut gelato. (this is what I had last year)
  • Cafe Ish (Surry Hills) – a bush-inspired choice of the famous crab omelet or scrambled eggs with emu prosciutto, breakfast trifle and a signature wattle macca-cino.
  • Rubyos (Newtown) – breakfast bruschetta with rocket, avocado, tomato and bacon or haloumi; eggs benedict with hollandaise and leg ham, smoked salmon or spinach; blueberry pancakes with vanilla bean ice-cream and maple syrup; fresh seasonal fruits and honeyed yoghurt. Includes mimosa cocktail.
  • JK Cafe (Engadine) – French crepes with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, parmesan and pinenuts or caramelised apples and cinnamon, and a delicious trio of mini desserts, with Di Lorenzo coffee or fine tea.
  • Ithaca (Potts Point) – a Byzantine brunch to share including spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), tsoureki (Greek brioche), yiaourti (Greek yoghurt, walnuts, figs, cinnamon, honey), sour cherry spoon sweet, traditional Greek coffee or frappe and rose loukoumi.

Check out the full list of participating venues here.


Must do #3: Drink and dine
Restaurants have worked hard to find the best combination of food and drink.

This year, some restaurants will offer degustation menus on selected days which showcase the best of food and alcohol:

  • Sepia – sample a half dozen NSW oysters with a flight of different sakes to complement, selected by sommelier Rodney Setter. ($40, Tuesdays to Fridays)
  • Quarter Twenty One – a robust celebration designed for meat lovers, with a menu expertly matched to red wines of exceptional depth of flavour. ($130, 25 October)
  • Ocean Room – two five course dinners exploring the relationship between South American wines and modern Japanese cuisine. ($120, 11-12 October)
  • L’Etoille – a five-course dinner degustation menu – made entirely without butter – and matched to a series of fine French wines. ($95, Monday to Thursday)
  • Cafe Ish – a tasting plate includes: kangaroo, prawn and pickled boab boiled gyoza; California roll of crumbed crocodile, avocado, and lemon myrtle mayonaise; and sashimi of the day with desert lime ponzu and salmon roe. ($38, Thursday to Saturday)

Check out the full list of participating venues here.


Should do #4: Night noodle markets
For many, the night noodle noodle markets is the highlight of the food festival. 125,000 people descended upon Hyde Park last year despite one week of pouring rain.

This year there will be up to 40 stalls serving food in a traditional Asian hawker-style market.

Night noodle markets 2010 in Hyde Park (Source: Crave Sydney)

The markets will be open between Monday and Friday for two weeks: 10-14 October and 17-21 October 2011 between 5pm and 9pm.

If last year was any indication, the stalls will sell predominantly Asian cuisine with an assortment of desserts from around the world. Check it out.


So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your month long gastronomic adventure now. Who wants to join me?

For more information on all the events, log onto the Crave Sydney International Food Festival website or download the full program in pdf here.

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