Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Omnivorius Party by Badoit, Australian National Maritime Museum

The Omnivore World Tour rolled its way into Sydney at the start of October and boy did it leave its mark! A world wide festival celebrating young chefs from across the globe, Omnivore featured a series of masterclasses led by innovative chefs as well as refined popup dinners in some of Sydney's best restaurants. At its core, Omnivore is all about the best food you can imagine by some of the most talented chefs today. I was lucky enough to be invited to the pièce de résistance of the event, Omnivorous by Badoit, a glorious party which marked the end of the festival's stint in Sydney.

Smoked wagyu brisket rolls - Papi Chulo, Sydney

To absolutely no surprise the smoked wagyu brisket rolls from Papi Chulo was the top dish of the night. And for good reason, it was delicious! The wagyu brisket was carved right in front of you and the gorgeous scent tickled your sense as soon as you walked into the party. Unfortunately the status of top dish of the night meant it was also one of the quickest to pack up shop.

Seared bonito with pickled wakame and citrus curd - 4Fourteen and Four in Hand, Sydney 

Frito pie - Nouveau Palais, Montreal

Wagyu beef tartare, umeboshi plum, sea banana and squid cracker - Bar H, Sydney

Potato, lap cheong, jalapeno - Pinbone, Sydney

This dish was my personal favourite. The description invoked a different dish so when I laid my eyes on the unique masterpiece I was intrigued and then delighted by the absolutely killer flavour. Not a calorie friendly canape but one that brought out sheer joy and delight in your face as soon as it hit your tongue. 

Nomad's house made kransky, buttermilk buns, fermented cabbages and gruyere - Nomad, Sydney

Another distinct winner of the night. It was pretty difficult to get a nice photo of these beautiful baby buns under the harsh light but with their cheesy goodness it would've been a crime not to put up a photo. Nomad's been on my list for months now but these kransky's pushed it to the top of the list that's for sure. 

Corn and butter - Cafe Paci, Sydney

Cafe Paci's corn and butter dish definitely won the title of most innovative or reinventive dish of the night. Almost everyone was bemused at this so-called corn and butter concoction but maybe it was just us uneducated folk who wouldn't go past the idea of just a humble corn cob and some butter. Either way, Cafe Paci's rendition of corn and butter was pretty unique, almost like a corn fairy floss. 

Bound by all things delicious, the Omnivore World Tour is a truly fantastic event showcasing all the things I love about food. It was absolutely amazing seeing all the unique gastronomic creations at the event by passionate and surprisingly friendly chefs. It was great to be surrounded by food-loving people who were truly passionate about sharing mouthwatering morsels. I would highly recommend checking out some of the events when the tour rolls around again.

2014 Omnivorious by Badoit
Australian National Maritime Museum

Disclaimer - I was invited to attend Omnivorious by Badoit by Exposure PR however I was not paid and all opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ippudo, Central Park

Ever since my Japan trip earlier in the year I have developed a full scale ramen addiction. It's not a problem if I admit it right? It's become a complete necessity to indulge each and every ramen craving I have and it's that obsession with ramen that makes me so thrilled to bring you the new Ippudo in Central Park.

The original Ippudo opened in 1985 in Japan and opened its first international branch in 2008 before expanding like wildfire since then. The first Ippudo in Australia opened in 2012 in Sydney city Westfield and it's been a favourite among the crowds as evident in the ever-present queue out front. I must admit I was a little surprised to hear they were opening a second branch, even more surprised to hear it was at Central Park given it's so close to Westfield. But either way I was pretty thrilled since I work in Glebe and now have delicious ramen at my very fingertips!

While this was a special pre-opening event and it was to be expected the staff would be great, I must acknowledge they were all incredibly attentive, polite and not overbearing. I quite liked the back of the staff shirts so couldn't help sneak a photo in.

One great thing about the new Ippudo is the fact they have a special budget-friendly ramen option available for $10 that's targeted at the hoards of students attending nearby UTS and Sydney Uni. I didn't try it on this particular occasion but you can bet your life I'll be back for it.

Ippudo karaage chicken (5pcs) $7
When karaage chicken is on the menu, karaage chicken is ordered. Simple as that. Ramen is definitely a belly-filler so while I don't think the meal needed a starter, it's just so difficult to pass up fried chicken! 

Akamaru Shinaji Special $24
Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, flavoured egg, pork belly chashu, roasted seaweed, flavoured black mushoom, flavoured bamboo shoots and spring onions.

Described as a refined, modern-style ramen, the Akamaru is definitely my favourite ramen at Ippudo. I love the gorgeous red stained broth that tickles the palate gorgeously. I order my noodles medium but you also have the option of hard or soft. The flavour of the broth is rich, robust and honestly a party in your mouth. If you're after a more mild broth I'd probably recommend a different ramen but I personally love this broth.

Miso Tonkotsu Special $25
Ippudo's signature pork broth infused with red miso. Topped with flavoured egg, pork belly chashu, roasted seaweed, flavoured black mushrooms, flavoured bamboo shoots, corn, bean sprouts, cabbage and spring onions. 

A little more rich and decadent than the Akamaru, the Miso Tonkotsu is another favourite of mine. I find the flavours more complementary than the former which is more flavourful on a variety of levels.

We were kindly provided with an additional plate of toppings so it was toppings galore! My personal favourite ramen topping is most certainly a whole egg, multiple eggs in fact. While ramen really is all about the broth and noodles, toppings bring a delicious ramen to the next level. Chashu is always a winner but it's also great to have sesame seeds and shallots for texture as well as flavour.

I have a ridiculous love affair with ramen and I couldn't be happier another branch opened its doors. I'm also really impressed with the dining options at Central Park with the likes of Autolyse and Din Tai Fung. I can only imagine how popular Ippudo will be but don't fret, it's well worth the wait. And, just to kick your tastebuds into overdrive watch Ippudo's delicious bowl of ramen come to life in the below clip.

Central at Central Park
RB07 (Lower Ground)
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008

Disclaimer - I was invited to dine at Ippudo by SD Marketing. I was not paid and all opinions are my own.