I went to the Taste event on Friday evening with my sister. We had a great time, and likened it to a grown up, food-focused Royal Show. There were free samples of various products, cooking displays, live music, and sample sized dishes available for purchase from 10 of Perth's most acclaimed restaurants. If you are into alcohol, there was also plenty of that!
|The Rekorderlig Cider star bar|
Not being the biggest drinker myself, my sister did double duty as an excellent companion and my official cider taste tester. She was already a fan of Rekorderlig, so zoomed in on two flavours she hadn't previously tried: apple guava cider, and passionfruit cider. She gave both the thumbs up as easy to drink, subtly flavoured, adult versions of juice or soft drink. Her choices were summery, but there were also some warm cider options that could have offset the chilly (for Perth) evening. The 'winter' cider with apples, vanilla and cinnamon has captured my imagination, and I imagine it would be great for baking with as well as drinking.
|Apple guava cider, and passionfruit cider|
Before choosing food dishes to buy, we took a tour of the various stalls. Displays of macarons and French pastries were particularly eye catching. I was also impressed by the array of spice mixes offered by the Morroccan Spice Journey stall, and we enjoyed free bread and nut samples from New Norcia Bakery and Moreish Nuts.
Each of the 10 participating restaurants had a tasting menu that highlighted four dishes. Almost all offered a vegetarian option as part of the selection, but it was definitely a night for vegetarian rather than vegan eating.
One of the most appealing vegetarian options was the Roast Pumpkin dish from Greenhouse Perth. It was described as raz el hanout spiced pumpkin, yoghurt, chickpeas and mint, and it was delicious.
|Apologies for the poor photography; lighting was not ideal!|
The pumpkin was incredibly tender, and the spice mix was wonderful. I hadn't heard of raz el hanout before, but it is a North African spice mix that translates to "head of the shop" - meaning the best spices the shop owner had. Common components include cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, chilli, coriander, cumin, paprika and tumeric. I don't know the exact mix that contributed to our dish, but I wish I could have more of it.
From pumpkin, we launched ourselves into dessert, drawn by the "Chocolate Garden" creation offered by No. 4 Blake Street. This dish was definitely not vegan, and it was very rich, but the thought of it excites me even now.
|Chocolate garden dessert|
It featured chocolate soil, macadamia rocks, salted caramel, and peanut 'dacquoise'. Technically, dacquoise is a light fluffy cake, but I found the peanut component like a peanut butter mousse. I wish I could have photographed the different layers of this, because they were all incredible and the dessert was very fun to eat. I loved the presentation too, with edible sprouts and flowers.
My sister was also attracted to the giant salted caramel macarons from Bistro Guillaume. After the chocolate garden, more sugar didn't seem indicated, so this was a take away purchase.
|Salted caramel macaron|
I also bought Mr Bite some lemon meringue fudge, which he has heartily endorsed. The store had an array of unusual fudge flavours, including a chilli jaffa variety that has won several awards.
In all, it was a fun night and also seemed well attended. This year's festivities finish today, but I suspect the event will be back next year. Taste events also happen globally, and if anyone is in Italy, Milan hosts the next set of festivities!
I received free entry passes and free drink passes from Rekorderlig Cider, thanks both to Rekorderlig and the lovely staff at Exposure Public Relations and Marketing. However, this post was not sponsored and the opinions presented are my own.
Have you been to a Taste event (I know they also happen in Sydney) or similar festival?