Festivals Review

Spectrum Now

Mary's Cheeseburger

Mary's Cheeseburger

Man, I really LOVE food festivals. From Taste, to Good Food Month, to the Lunar Markets, anytime I can food crawl without moving more than 2 steps between stalls is a good time indeed.

Needless to say, when I got
the invite to sample the stalls at the Nosh Pit for Spectrum Now, I was absolutely chomping at the bit to get sown there.

Pork belly and Fried Mushroom Gua Bao from Bao StopPork belly and Fried Mushroom Gua Bao from Bao Stop

Curated by Luke Powell of LP’s Quality Meats, the Nosh Pit consists of two rows flanking either end of Spectrum Now, and features heavy hitters like black Star Pastry, Mary’s, and of course, LP’s Quality Meats.

We begin the night of binge feasting by tucking into a selection of Gua Baos from Bao Stop. Originating in China, Gua Baos consists of savoury fillings sandwiched between an oval shaped soft milk bun. Pork belly is most traditional, accompanied with mistard greens and thick brown braising gravy.

And we don’t want to break tradition.

Their pork belly bao was fall-apart tender, juxtaposed with the crunch of the pickled mustard greens. The Mushroom was my favourite, with battered oyster mushrooms smothered with a satay-type peanut sauce. Maybe it’s the chilli – and we always give extra points for chilli – but I would happily take the mushroom over the pork any day.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Bao Stop
Bao Stop
Location Varies-See Fb
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 0420 305 355
Website: https://www.facebook.com/baostopsydney

Bao Stop on Urbanspoon

Seared Salmon Salad from Bondi's BestSeared Salmon Salad from Bondi’s Best

With the indulgent comes the healthy, because.. eat your veggies.

Chicken Egg Wrap from Bondi's BestChicken Egg Wrap from Bondi’s Best

I had heard that Bondi’s Best was known for their seafood, but the surprise of the night was actually their gluten free egg wraps for me. Instead of a flour wrap, they used a thin sheet of fried egg to roll up ingredients like poached chicken, or persian feta and spinach. Served cold, it was a fantastic light option that would be amazing on a warm balmy day. I was really impressed that the egg wrap wasn’t dried out, but was still strong enough for the wrap not to fall apart. Well done.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Bondi’s Best
Bondi’s Best
Shop 1 39-53 Campbell Parade
North Bondi, NSW 2026
Phone: 02 9300 9886
Website: http://www.bondisbest.com.au/

Bondi's Best Seafood on Urbanspoon

Sandwiches from LP's Quality Meants

Of course, if you are a fan of smoke, you can’t walk past LP’s Quality Meats without getting a little something something. And we got it, in the form of a Smoked Sausage Roll and Smoked Beef Roll. The sausage was nicely paired with a nice harissa, but I much preferred the smoked beef. There was a comment that it was a bit like corned beef, but you know what? Corned beef brings back all sorts of comforting memories of Saturday morning brunch with my mom whilst my dad was playing golf. So it’s a good thing.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Lp’s Quality Meats
Lp’s Quality Meats
12-16 Chippen St
Chippendale, NSW 2008
Phone: 02 8399 0929
Website: http://www.lpsqualitymeats.com/

LP's Quality Meats on Urbanspoon

Hoy Pinoy Skewers

And the stall that puts smoke inmy hair and a smile on my face: hoy pinoy!! I know I’ve had my fix about a month ago, but really, how can you ever get enough of their sticky sweet glazed pork belly and chicken, barbecued to smokey charred perfection. Yum. Consistently good, and totally worth the queue!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Hoy Pinoy
Hoy Pinoy
Location Varies- See Facebook
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Website: https://www.facebook.com/hoypinoybbq

Hoy Pinoy on Urbanspoon

Mary's Cheese BurgerMary’s Cheese Burger

Newtown favourite Mary’s has brought their famous Cheese Burger to Spectrum Now, with a Pizza Sub that was sadly unavailable when I went.

They’ve done well, serving up exactly what you’d expect – a good burger. Was it mind blowing? Not exactly, but then again, I’m a Mister Gee Burger sorta girl, so I might not be the droid person that they’re looking for.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Mary’s
Mary’s
6 Mary St
Newtown, NSW 2042
Phone: 02 4995 9550

Mary's on Urbanspoon

Pedal for your coffee

We needed a break after the first wave of eating, so we took the opportunity to explore the rest of Spectrum Now at the Domain.

There are interactive art installations aplenty, and SBS has put up a hipster coffee area, where you can get a free iced coffee…but you have you blend your own by pedalling on a bike-powered blender. Novel idea, and a way for me to work off the guilt food.

Hendricks Parlour of CuriositiesHendricks Parlour of Curiosities

Even if you’re not an alcohol consumer, take the time to hang out at the Hendricks Parlour of Curiousities. The aesthetic reminds me strongly of American Horror Story: Freakshow, and delightfully so. It was whimsical tents and gnarly 1930s style furniture with the odd skeleton in a glass jar.

I absolutely LOVED IT.

Mr Wong's from Gelato MessinaMr Wong’s from Gelato Messina

But we can’t stay away from the food for too long. Back to the nosh pit we go, and this time straight to Gelato Messina’s Milk Bar and N2 Extreme Gelato/BlackStar Pastry.

N2 and Blackstar Plum DessertPlum Slinger from N2 and Blackstar

 n2=Brokeback Moment from N2 and Blackstar

N2 and Blackstar Watermelon and Rose CakeStrawberry Watermelon Cake from N2 and Blackstar

N2 and Blackstar Cake SmashCake Smash from N2 and Blackstar

These dessert headliners put up a spectacular showing, but the slap-the-table-it’s-so-good dessert winner for me was the Cake Smash. Created on the first night of Spectrum Now for Spectrum Now, this beautiful franken-dessert involves freezing the famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake from Blackstar with liquid nitrogen, and literally smashing it into one of N2’s gelatos with the merciless beaters of a standing mixer. With more liquid nitrogen, of course.

It was hands down the best of both worlds, with all the delicate rose and fruit flavours of the cake, and the frozen liquid velvet of the gelato.

My mind was blown.

Liquid nitrogen creates a super smooth frozen treat, as well as creates this dramatic fog that spills out of the mixers, and that Strawberry Watermelon cake was all sorts of floral and fruity, and the thin layers of cream and light sponge just made for such a well-balanced bite, that was augmented by being flash frozen by liquid nitrogen. If nothing else, this is the thing to get at Spectrum Now.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of N2 Extreme Gelato and Blackstar Pastry
N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: http://www.n2extremegelato.com.au/

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Blackstar Pastry
277 Australia St
Newtown, NSW 2042
Phone: 02 9557 8656
Website: http://www.blackstarpastry.com.au/

Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

If you’d like to get your fix of Spectrum Now, it runs at the Domain from now till this Sunday, 22nd of March.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Mr C @ The Food Diary April 3, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Looks like a great event, need to check it out!

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