7 May 2014
Taste of Perth is an annual food festival with fancy and expensive market stalls. You should defs buy an advance ticket online, which discounts the general admission fee. For some ridiculous reason, the market also used its own currency ($1 = 1 Crown) which is issued only in 10s and cannot be traded back later for real money.
Gorgeous blue sky and people buzzing around
There were 10 high-end restaurants represented at the festival, plus a heap of other food and wine businesses. Cooking or cocktail classes had to be paid for separately. However, there was free live music and plenty of food samples around the place. We forgot sunscreen but the first aid guy helped us out!
Cheesebuddy: free samples and Snatchy-McSnatch
I quickly realised that free samples were the only way that I would find a proper feed without spending a fortune. Cheese buddies are baked dough balls with cheese inside. Simple, more importantly, filling. You can find these at IGA and other random spots.
el PÚBLICO: street corn ($8)
Strangely enough, I think that I’ve heard about the corn from el PÚBLICO before. It was charred but slightly undercooked. We enjoyed the burnt flavours of the corn. Mayo, chilli, and weird rubbery cheese bits are yummy! This is almost as tasty as Nando's peri-peri corn.
Nobu: black cod miso ($22)
The curiously wrapped piece of golden fish was very promising. Amazing caramel miso flavours ran over my tongue. I loved the incredibly tender and moist (heh) flakes of cod. Obviously the fried lotus root chip was a winner, but the stick of pickled ginger made my face crinkle more than it cleansed my palate. I’m sure one day I’ll learn to enjoy pickled ginger. At the end of the day, I still couldn’t believe I’d spent $22 on Nobu's tiny portion of fish but it was almost worth it.
Co-Op Dining: cheddar pierogie ($8)
Co-Op Dining is struck off my list of places to try until further notice. The dumplings were a poor excuse for pierogie (which I practically lived off during my holiday to Poland). A little crunchy and dry with a bland nothing cheese filling. A scattering of spring onions and a glob of sour cream did not save the $8 dumplings. Co-Op Dining was also home to the world’s tiniest 1cm thick sliver of chocolate cake ($10, seriously GTFO), which a bunch of ladies near me were raging about.
No4 Blake Street: chocolate garden ($16)
I love the trend of making desserts look like little potplants (eg. terra-misu at The Gaya). No4 Blake Street has a silly name, but their edible chocolate mousse soil with macadamia rocks, peanut butter, and salted caramel was delicious. It was even served in a terracotta pot, adorable! You can pick out the plant bits or just eat them with a spoonful of dessert, your choice.
Silks: mango pudding ($8)
The balance swung wildly in favour of desserts after the first few tidbits that we snacked on. We adored the asian-fusion pudding from Silks: mango crème brûlée, coconut sago with lime zest, compressed fresh mango pieces, and crumble. I admit that the dish didn’t sound legit but it tasted amazing. Crunchy crumble, squishy juicy mango, smooth creamy pudding, and slippery chewy sago. Texture explosion!!
Kitchen cooking demonstration
There were free cooking demos which reminded me of Ready Steady Cook with less audience interaction and not enough seats. Paul West from River Cottage Australia was actually very entertaining, but I didn’t stay around to watch him poach chicken in milk because, well, more dessert anyone?
Print Hall: whisky & cigar ($8)
The boys enjoyed Print Hall’s fun play on an old classic. The pudding was smooth, creamy, and tasted way too much like real whiskey for me to enjoy. It’s best to eat the pudding with the “cigar”, which is packed with cocoa and thick bittersweet chocolate sat next to the pudding. Definitely a dessert for those who enjoy strong and bitter flavours (not me).
Marie Antoinette: rose in bloom ice cream ($7)
This ice cream totally knocks my usual Baskin Robbins obsession out of the park. We obviously ordered the biggest one and it was scooped carefully and artistically into the shape of a rose in bloom. Gorgeous flavours from the refreshing basil and lemon, tangy strawberry, and sweet mango. I can actually believe that fruit went into the ice cream!
Live music and sun chairs
Happy festival-goers made the most of the sunshine, live music, and wide selection of beers and wines. Taste of Perth was interesting and quite exciting, but it might not be the best value for everyone. Marketing and promotions usually cost businesses a lot of money, but it seems unreasonable to charge fine-dining prices when people are lining up in the sun for 15 mins like they would to buy a hotdog at the Perth Royal Show. It’s probably best to think of it as a fun day out and accept that your $55* ticket will not cover a proper meal.
Likes: hustle and bustle, free samples, fun day out in the sun
Dislikes: fake currency (omg just install ATMs), general admission charges (because almost everything inside costs money), expensive food (and small servings)
Value for money: I reckon you need to judge it for yourself
Overall: fun times, but might not be worth visiting Taste of Perth again, defs interested in visiting some of the restaurants that I sampled from
No4 Blake Street
* There is no way to avoid the bullshit Ticketek surcharge, so spread the cost among mates and buy all your tickets at once.