We are well into a new year, so hopefully you’ve kept with all of your resolutions. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people, you’ve let some things slide since your grand pronouncements on January 1st. Well, how about a different kind of resolution? This one doesn’t involve self-betterment, it just involves eating great food. Resolve to try as many new dishes as you can this year. There are a lot of options when it comes to dining in Sydney, so make sure you experience as much of it as you can. Here are the biggest food trends we expect will dominate the food scene in Sydney this year – see if you can get to try them all.
Barbecue? That’s not really a trend, is it? Australians come out of the womb with a meat fork in their hands, don’t they? It’s safe to say barbecue will always be a major part of Aussie cuisine, but it’s the type or barbecue or how it’s prepared that will go through changes. This year the trend will be on Argentinian and Japanese styles of barbecue. And look for tons of amazing toppings on your hot dogs. Get used to smoking and grilled bite-sized loin and chuck pieces paired with smoked veggies. Expect steaks to be very blue, as that trend will replace steak tartare as the preparation method of choice.
Vegetarianism and veganism
Yes, barbecue is part of Australia’s national identity, but more and more people are turning to vegetarianism and veganism. You’ll find more and more restaurants offering a wide array of veggie-only selections, with heaping amounts of mushrooms, tofu, and kale. Of course, going vego doesn’t mean eschewing the barbie, it just means having more smoked and grilled veggies and tofu, while trying out a vast assortment of veggie burgers. Even if you don’t want to be fully vegetarian, there are plenty of tasty options for even the most ardent meat lover.
The local food movement is taking hold all over the world, with preserving becoming a trendy way to help with our environmental footprint. There is also a belief amongst holistic practitioners that certain popular fermented foods can aid with gut health. Restaurants are taking note as well. This year should see a rise in fermented offerings like sauerkraut and kimchi.
When Indiana Jones was eating bugs and monkey brains in Temple of Doom, it was meant to shock and disgust people. Well, 30 years later the bugs are coming back in a big way. They are a common delicacy in many countries throughout the world, but haven’t yet made it into Aussie cuisine. Well, now there’s a popular high-end restaurant in town that’s already offering grubs, cockroaches, and worms, with many more set to follow. Bugs are very high in protein, so they can be nutritious if you can get over the “ick” factor. Watch this space.
More and more, restaurants are baking and serving their own desserts, as opposed to using frozen fare. This is a great trend, as fresh baking is so much tastier and adds a wonderful aroma to any establishment.
It can get pretty hot in Sydney, so getting your caffeine fix while cooling down is a great idea. More and more cafes and shops are offering cold coffee options, beyond the standard iced cappuccino. No more worries about hot hands or burning tongues, either.
Food is a major part of any social gathering or party, so it should be no surprise that food is starting to be the point of parties. Food festivals are popping up all over Sydney. The style of these events range from master classes run by celebrity chefs to symposiums about international flavours. Many food festivals are simply a chance for vendors and high-end restaurants to share their goods with the masses, and for friends to gather around amazing food and drink.
Led by some of Sydney hotels, high-end pub food will make a charge into the food scene this year. Hamburgers, rotisserie chicken, and classic pub fries will all be on the menu, all with an extra shot of elegance. These new hotel pub restaurants are led by some of the best chefs in the business, so expect some great variations and some unique choices to shake up this traditional fare.
There is a growing movement around the world towards more “natural” foods. Foods that have not been genetically modified or overly affected by pesticides and antibiotics. And this movement isn’t stopping at alcohol! More and more wines are dropping on to the market boasting that they’ve been produced with minimal intervention. Other than the supposed health benefits, many believe that a more natural wine gives the drinker a better taste of the region and the soil from where it came (hopefully not literally!).
Also known as “pop-ups”, the number of temporary restaurants just keeps getting bigger. They “pop up” around festivals and events, or for surprise openings. They’re a great way for an up-and-coming chef to get his or her food into the mouths of the masses without having to own a restaurant or have a steady job. Pop-ups are also handy for upscale restaurants to reach customers who usually can’t afford to dine in their permanent establishment.
Seems like more and more cakes are being made with rainbows and good feelings these days. Cake-making has grown past the simple chocolate and vanillas of old to bold colours and flavours that assault several senses at once. While these super-sweet treats are popular, there is also a simultaneous movement going the other way…
Desserts no longer have to be the domain of the sweet. Last year in Sydney there was a growing trend of mixing in savoury items like bacon and salt to mix up dessert flavours. This year that trend should grow as Australian tastes grow broader and more adventurous. Look for things like chili and sea salt to garnish your desserts this year.
This list is most likely making you hungry. One of the wonderful things about Sydney is its collection of restaurants and cafes that offer so much variety and so much flavour. Outside of the choices mentioned above, there is an endless amount of choice for a Sydney dining excursion. Grab your fork and sample as much as you can!