Crave Sydney International Food Festival has got it all covered this October. Sweet or spicy, refined or relaxed, Aussie or exotic, indoors or outdoors, there's bound to be something that tantalises your tastebuds. While there are a number of expensive options you'll be pleased to know that fulfilling your foodie fantasies doesn't mean you'll have to mortgage the house. I've found 4 options that should satisfy your cravings for under $25.
Let's Do Brunch - $25
Brunch. That symbol of whiling away a weekend in leisurely luxury with good food, good coffee and good conversation, has been embraced by the Festival with Let's Do Brunch. Twelve great restaurants will be serving up traditional or surprising brunch fare for only $25 per person, including tea or coffee. Weekends only during October.
Choose from the usual suspects such as muesli, scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes or eggs benedict or go for something completely different like breakfast bento boxes or a Lebanese brunch. Share the experience with friends and the weekend papers.
There's nothing quite like it. A cold ale and a satisfying spread at your favourite local. Sixteen pubs in Sydney and near surrounds will be serving up their version of the humble pie for Good Pub Grub. Only it won't be too humble. How does Kangaroo, tomato and peppercorn pie at Paddington's Imperial Hotel sound? Does Woolwich Pier Hotel's Crocodile tail pie in a lemon-myrtle-infused Coopers Pale Ale sauce with hand-cut kumera chips, baby spinach, celeriac puree with a port reduction get your mouth watering in expectation?
These and other tastebud tempters like Ale-braised veal and pancetta pie at the city's Menzies Hotel or Pork, sage and sweet potato pie at Epping Hotel will be available throughout October at participating pubs. You'll be able to have your pie and eat it too, and wash it all down with a schooner of Coopers Pale Ale for only $20.
The Festival has another stirring deal for only $20 with Cocktail of the Month. Across October 35 of Sydney's best bars are on a mission to concoct colourful and creative cocktails based around Chambord. For the uninitiated Chambord is a glorious confection of red and black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, cognac and herbs and spices. All cocktails will be accompanied by a delicious canape that's been especially designed to match each cocktail. And all for only $20.
Under most circumstances you wouldn't have any trouble resisting a Dirty Sailor but when it's Chambord, Pimms, rum, drunken strawberries and raspberry dust served with a cocoa cigar filled with beetroot and raspberry, it's an entirely different matter. What about The Velvet Robe - an elegant blending of Chambord, tequila, pineapple juice with raspberry sherbet - to be sipped while savouring a zucchini fritter with goat's curd and dill? I'll be hanging out for The Violet Hour - Chocolate vanilla vodka with butterscotch, Chambord and gold leaf pearls - matched with an infused lemongrass parfait and compressed chocolate raspberry brownie.
You know how it is. You're out on the town and for the last couple of hours the alcohol's been doing most of the talking. It's time for something sweet but a soft-serve ice cream cone just isn't going to hit the spot. What you need is a Sugar Hit. For only $20 during October you can indulge your sweet tooth with a late night dessert (after 9pm) at eighteen of Sydney's finest restaurants, with each dessert matched with a Brown Brothers dessert wine.
These delectable diversions include a Blueberry and lemon curd tower enrobed in white chocolate leaf, with light mascarpone cream, a Handcrafted chocolate truffle bombe, mixed berry zabaglione with passionfruit coulis or a Homemade ivory chocolate cheesecake, with salted chocolate caramel, poached strawberry and berry soil. I don't even care what berry soil is, just let me at the salted chocolate caramel.