I love food, you know how much I love food, I thought I was worldly with food and knowledge of food and restaurants, but alas, last night my eyes were opened. Thanks to my foodie friend, Tammi (from Insatiable Munchies, who I met at the burger launch for Grill’d) and the lovley Stacey from Liquid Ideas I got invited to attend Fairfax Media’s SPECTRUM NOW “THE PLAYGROUND” last night and was hosted for the evening to try all the food in the NOSH PIT, the collection of foodie gourmets in The Playground. And in the words of some religious book, “where I was once blind, I can now see.” While the food was next level stuff from a world of supreme taste The Playground was much much more, I got to enter what I would imagine was the perfect playground for adults, it ticked all my boxes and if you are in Sydney you need to get your asses their before Sunday!! Be advised I dined as a guest of all the venues listed below.
The Nosh Pit consists of 18 of Sydney’s best funky restaurants with stalls, some of them shared and combining forces for better food. The Nosh Pit is curated from Nosh Pit Ambassador, and the maestro from LPs Quality Meats, Luke Powell, and what a superb curation it is, a perfect mix of sweet and savoury plus local and Asian, vegetarian and meat but the one thing that stands out is the pure diversity of the culinary cuddle we received all night. We ate so much that I was considering a mid sample purge so I could get more in, but each stall brought more discovery and the introduction of culinary art created by some of the best in Sydney.
We started with Baos from Bao Stop, beautiful soft fluffy buns filled with spicy meats and salads, think Vietnamese Pork Rolls taken to next level – the soft round buns tasted like I would imagine clouds to taste like (it should also be noted at this stage that my paleo lifestyle was placed on hold for this tastefest). We tried a delightful Duck, a comfortable chicken, a magnificent mushroom and a perfect pork belly Bao. We kicked off with brilliance and it never stopped!!
We then moved on to Bondi’s Best with their sublime salmon salad but their even better egg rolls – my favourite was amply filled with spinach and feta – they were divine and oh so paleo 🙂 So light and fresh and something I would happily eat daily!! Makes such a difference having a gluten free roll. We quickly joined this with dumpling like standards from Let’s Do Yum Cha – you can see both their wares in the featured image for the article. Following this was the meat rolls from LPs Quality Meats – Smoked Beef Roll – basically a Ruben, to me it was more like a corned beef than a smoked beef (nothing wrong with that – in fact cooking one this weekend) and then my preferred Sausage (HUGE) roll with harissa, the spice kick in this one was sublime.
From here I started getting giddy with food but then Stacey brought us skewers from Hoy Pinoy and I had my first foodgasm – we tried chicken and pork and, as you may know, pork is like sex for me – I was in heaven, we have all had skewers before but we all need to eat more Hoy Pinoy Skewers – they kindly let me take lots of pics.
It was about now I felt full, but bahahahahahahahahahaha, we were only about half way through eating 🙂 I thought I was going to explode, but five minutes later delivered to our table were cheese-burgers from Mary’s Burger’s Newtown (can only find them at “MarysNewtown” on Instagram), and if you have followed me for a while you know that burgers are my biggest missed item since going paleo, and O M F G – this cheeseburger was like a bunned piece of Zac Efron – it was jizzmatic and I was torn between being in culinary ecstasy and worrying about buttons flying from my pants and hitting Tammi and Stacey in the face, I settled on half a burger and then, sadly, I disposed of the remainder – it would have been so uncool putting it in my bag :).
From here we HAD TO HAVE A BREAK – Tammi, and the guy from AuReview (who ate with us for most of the evening) appeared to have endless stomachs and were willing to also consume the table, I swear Tammi was imagining my leg pit roasted smothered in tobasco sauce! How do these people function, I needed a lie down!
But the break was one of the best things we did, not only could this food settle before round 6 but we got to experience the rest of The Playground, sublime portrait exhibitions of huge celebs in shipping containers, hipster section where you had to ride a bike for 30sec to blend your ice coffee or chai, an outdoor cinema, a live acting experience you could be part of in an old Holden, a giant wooden sculpture that was lit with multiple colours, the amazing and intriguing Hendrick’s (Gin) Parlour of Curiosities, a huge music festival with up coming bands (also matched with, from tomorrow, Sneaky Sound System, The Cat Empire, (not sure if I heard wrong as can’t confirm) but maybe Angus and Julia Stone and Architecture in Helsinki. I am blown away by this place, there is so so so so much you want to do here. You want to see all the art and play with everything you can play with – exactly like an adult’s playground!!
After our walk of childhood reversion we hit up dessert – first off the divine foods of Messina Milk Bar, I was obsessed with CURDISH DELIGHT – pic at top left of the first quad image – try this – Salted Caramel Gelato, orange curd, buttery biscuit crumbs, enrobed (what a sexy word) in milk chocolate, and topped in a sprinkling of orange rind! Just WOW!!!! But then suss what Tammi ate – DR WONG’s – a strip of cream cheese gelato on a layer of duck fat caramel gelato, dipped in milk chocolate and topped with crushed potato chips covered in white chocolate – like honestly, W T F – it was insane – at these food events Tammi and I share kooties and all the food 🙂
About now I was worried of entering a food coma and pretty certain I was gaining a level of diabetes but oh no – save the best for last – we got the combo of N2 Extreme Gelato with Black Star Pastry where I got to eat some of the best desserts I have ever eaten – firstly – signature dish from Black Star – Strawberry Watermelon Cake – Oh My!! Then Brokeback Moment from N2 – and my favourite dish from the entire evening, Plum Slinger from N2 and Black Star Pastry and to end – their special – their mash up – their Cake Smash from both of them – the Strawberry Watermelon Cake mashed into a gelato – where does this food come from?? I found heaven!!!!
I need to stop writing – I am back there this Saturday for another day of eating with friends and chilling out after playing with adults toys!!
Suss it out people – get onto the Spectrum Now website and seriously get yourselves to The Playground – for me – the best playground and fun at a festival I have had in years!! It is amazeballs!!! And please note – The Playground is a mere grain of sand on the beach that is Spectrum Now – the stuff that is happening is incredible – get into it stat!!