It’s that time of the year again, time for the annual Taste of Coogee festival! And whilst there are also plenty of other foodie festival on this weekend, this is one you won’t want to miss. A beautiful beach backdrop, a festival entirely dedicated to food and booze, two days worth of fun- what’s not to love?
It’s been six years running, and it seems to be getting bigger and better every year. Held in Coogee Oval, it’s a large space but only just large enough to contain the massive crowds it’s drawn from all over Sydney. Seriously, if you’re planning on coming to Taste of Coogee, leave plenty of time just lining up to get in, it is that popular!
(pro tip, try the Brook Street entrance or book online- the lines are much shorter!)
We’re here today with a bunch of foodies to check out what’s on offer, so if you’re keen on finding out delicious bites there are to be had at Taste of Coogee this year, read on!
There was so much good food we didn’t know where to start, but the smoked brisket burgers from Churasco Brazilian BBQ were definitely one of our top picks! The restaurant is located just around the corner if you’re after a full meat feast, but the large chunks of smoked meat will probably be enough to satisfy any meat cravings. Served between two fluffy brioche buns, melted cheese and a creamy slaw, this one is a winner!
If you’re a fan of melted cheese (who isn’t?) then you have to check our Sacre Bleu. It is the cutest little French stall, complete with staff wearing red berets of course, with a simple 3 item menu- each involving melting cheese!
Camembert lovers have the cheese cone option, which comes as a cone filled with crumbed Camembert chunks, deep fried til golden brown. It’s soft, oozey and pairs perfectly with the accompanying cranberry sauce. If you’re after a bit of carbs with your cheese, there’s also the option of ordering a Camembert burger, a deep fried slice of Camembert sandwiched between brioche, rocket, cranberry sauce, tomato and honey mustard.
There’s also the Truffle Croque Monsieur, a rich buttery toasted sourdough encasing a luscious filling of Gruyere cheese, truffle bechamel sauce and smoked ham.
And what’s a beachside feast without some Poke? Poke Australia’s Poke bowls don’t disappoint and we’re loving the creativity with the Tuna Nachos too. Served with a creamy scoop of guac, it’s a fresh and tasty dish, the tuna seasoned well and we’re loving that there’s a bit of a spice kick!
We’re also pleased to find some familiar food joints at the festival, such as Duck In Duck Out. I’m a massive duck fan, but even if duck isn’t one of your favourite meats, the combination of sauce, rocket, Asian slaw, pickled daikon and duck make for a juicy and deliciously different burger.
Or go for the duck loaded fries, topped with duck, harissa aioli and spring onion- a combination sure to please. We smashed through this one in no time!
We’re loving the variety of food here too, it’s not all burgers and fries here. If you’re looking to try something different, we’d recommend checking our Arepa for their delicious, freshly made Arepas. It’s a South American style burger, essentially a grilled cornbread stuffed with meat (or veggies) and your choice of cheese and/or guac.
The cornbread is grilled fresh, and it makes for an incredibly crisp bite with a soft interior. Whilst the bread itself is thin, we’re impressed at how generous the meat filling is. We’re glad it’s served in a paper bag, otherwise we would have made a bit of a mess eating this! We’ve had arepas in Sydney once before, but they’re not all too common – they do also have a store in Enmore if you wantd to check them out.
If you’re ever been to the Bondi Farmers Markets, you may be familiar with Mr Bao. It’s an obvious crowd favourite, with plenty of hungry diners lining up for their bao fix. While you’re at it, get their Coconut, Lychee and Mint Slushie too! It’s a great balance of sweet and creamy, making for a refreshing drink
For first timer’s, we’re recommended the Pork Crackling and the karaage Chicken Baos. And we’re not disappointed at all!
The Pork Crackling comes with a satisfying shatter and the accompanying hoisin sauce giving it a delicious Peking Duck like flavour. But it’s the the karaage chicken that’s our favourite. The crispy batter encases a succulent piece of chicken. The squiggle of spicy aioli, pickled red cabbage and coriander add flavour and moisture, and it’s the fluffy bao that completes the experience.
You can’t miss PA Catering, the smoke and smell of meat cooking over hot coals waftin across the oval. We try the Pork Ribs, which are conveniently cut into small bite sized pieces. They’re tender litle bites. Whilst they’re seasoned well enough to have on their own but we’d recommend having it with the accompanying chimichuri for an extra kick.
The massive paella pans at Sofrita Paella are also a sight, bright orange pans of deliciousness! Today’s paella comes with chicken, chorizo and prawns, a very tasty mix. A squeeze of lemon gives it an acidic lift, and if you like spice, the chilli sauce is a must try!
There’s also plenty of drink options to accompany food, and we can’t go past a good cocktail. There’s a menu of delicious cocktails, including the Taste of Coogee special- Beach-side bliss (there’s also a mocktail option as well!). It’s delicious, sweet and refreshing. Just what we need with all this food!
There’s plenty more food and booze options which we’d love to try, we feel like we’ve only sampled a small component of the festival! We’d love to check them all out, but we’ve had about as much as we could for a day. So here are some dutch pancakes to end on a sweet note. Cute little fluffy pancakes, these are great for sharing (which you most likely will be wanting to do by the end of the day!).
So there we have it! Taste of Coogee 2018. We shall see you again next year!