Published in the City Hub, Inner West Independent and City News.
Last Monday morning I got up with the sparrows and headed to the launch of National Bacon Week (12–19 May). I had good reason - the smiling 4Fourteen, all-girl kitchen brigade lead by Head Chef Carla Jones was dishing up Australia’s most expensive bacon and egg roll - and I had to try one! It costs $120 and contains the national bacon winner (the full rasher from Slade Point Meats in Mackay) as well as a duck egg cooked in truffle butter, roasted foie gras, 18-month cave-aged cheddar, shaved truffle, smoked truss tomatoes and a crème fraîche and caviar dressing, all bundled up into a brioche bun. It’s mighty fine, but I don’t think I’ll be going back for a heart-stopping second roll...
The other national winner, Stapleton’s Meats, is a Gymea butcher. Lauren Murdoch is putting his short rasher to the test in the 3 Weeds kitchen, coming up a more reasonably priced fifteen-buck roll. My money’s on Paul Cooper from Bishop Sessa who has made his own Wessex Saddleback maple bacon, teaming it with a slow cooked duck egg, house-made brown sauce and shaved black truffles on brioche. It’ll set you back $35. Now while we’re talking crisp, tasty rashers did you know two thirds of the bacon we consume here in Australia is made from imported, foreign pig? If you’d like to make sure you’re supporting Aussie farmers, buy bacon with the pink PorkMark label.
Despite starting to bemoan the ‘sliderisation’ of Sydney, I did rate the Rainford Burger Throwdown as one of the better three-bite burgers to hit this city. You can now eat it in combination with another bite from the Rainford Street Social bar snack menu accompanied by a jug of beer or sangria for just twenty bucks. The offer runs until the end of May for those dining between 5pm and 8pm any Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evening.
It’s festival season in Sydney with the Pyrmont Festival in full swing until the 26th May, and Vivid Sydney lighting up the town from 6pm-midnight each evening between the 24th May and the 10th June. At the Pyrmont Festival I’m recommending the Progressive Dinners on Friday 24th and Sunday 26th May ($150/head) as the best way to get a glimpse of what Pyrmont has to offer, with venues like Black by Ezard, Sokyo, Blue Eyed Dragon and Flying Fish all involved. As for Vivid, I’d take in the Vivid Degustation ($150/head) at Altitude Restaurant (you can see the lights from the table) or, if you want to go all out and make a night of it, book the Shangri-La Sydney’s all-inclusive package ($385-$425/night). There’s also the Citibank Pop-Up Bar if you’re seeing Vivid Aquatique at Darling Harbour, with the Meat & Wine Co. providing all the snacks.