Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour

This past weekend, I joined Lauren of Travelicious Tours for the Saturday Fresh Food Markets half-day tour. As a small family-run business, the vibe of Travelicious Tours was very different to other food tours I’ve attended, as the tour group was much smaller with seven people and much more personal and intimate as a result.

Note: I joined this tour as a complimentary guest for review purposes.

We started out at 9am on Saturday, meeting at Central Station. Our small group of seven was made up of four older ladies, a younger couple in their late twenties, and myself – promoted by Lauren to the others as a blogger who was there to review the tour. I’ll take that label, and wear it with pride.

Jumping into the Travelicious minivan (chauffered by Lauren’s husband Shaun – I told you it was a family-run business!) we headed towards the Eveleigh Farmers Market, with Lauren giving the group a short history and profile of the markets along the way.

Eveleigh is the type of farmers market where the average stallholder holds numerous awards for the excellence of their produce and products. Built on what used to be former estate in colonial times, the market owners have the strictest standards in order to maintain this level of excellence, ensuring that all their stallholders are small growers who sell produce or items that are organic, local, and sustainable in nature.

Eveleigh markets

As soon as you arrive at Eveleigh Markets, you can absolutely see exactly how prestigious it must be to hold a stall there. I’ve shopped at markets before – however they have always prided themselves on quantity over quality. This is definitely not the case at Eveleigh with under 50 stallholders selling produce that looked so good that your mouth would start watering as soon as you stepped into the market hall. This actually made it quite difficult for Lauren to keep our small group together as people were constantly lured away by the promise of some tasty produce to take home.

The two hours we spent at Eveleigh Markets were designed to give us a personal connection and conversation with some key stallholders and some exclusive taste testing, while also giving us half an hour to shop to our heart’s content for organic produce. Continue reading “Review: Sydney Fresh Food Markets Travelicious Tour”

Review: Moo Gourmet Burgers, Crows Nest

wagyu burgerMy colleagues and I have eaten a few times at Moo Gourmet Burgers (Crows Nest branch) for what we have dubbed our Moos and Booze lunches. I tag Moo on Twitter whenever I eat there. This week before we went for lunch, I tweeted them to let them know we were coming, and they offered my group a discount on drinks with $2 beers and mango bellinis (rather than $10 drinks!). Score!

This week I also took advantage of their Wagyu Wednesday special where you can get a Wagyu burger for the price of a classic cheeseburger. This meant I paid $14.50AUD in total (instead of $24.50AUD) for a gourmet Wagyu beef burger and a mango bellini – an amazing deal by anyone’s standards!
The caramelised onion is probably the best bit of the burger, as it really hit the perfect degree of sweetness. I’m not normally much of a red meat eater, but the onion set the wagyu off perfectly.

In the past I’ve also had the Greek Lamb Burger and the Chicken, Avocado and Bacon Burger – both delicious. I recommend a basket of the cheesy bacon fries (so decadent), but it’s wise to share them with a group of friends because the burgers are so large that it’s a struggle for a single person to eat a burger and a side of fries.

Props to Moo Burgers for their active engagement with their audience through social media channels. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter and start a conversation…who knows where it may go?

NB: I was not paid to write this review, but I did get a pretty good deal!
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Review: United Flavours of the World Gourmet Safari

K’s father bought us gift vouchers for a Gourmet Safari for Christmas last year and we finally got around to going on the tour last weekend, choosing to do the United Flavours of the World tour. I wanted to go on this tour as I thought it would capture the best of the multiculturalism and food diversity of Australia.

We started out bright and early at 8.30am on a Saturday morning, with a group of around two dozen people meeting at Central Station in Sydney to get on our coach bus. Our fellow gourmet travellers were all older, averaging around 50 to 60 years old. We were very much the young people on the tour. As soon as we started our journey, our tour guide Alex explained how the stops on our tour would be based in south-west Sydney. In his words, “South West Sydney is where raw materials for Sydney’s gastronomes are produced”. In other words, you can buy a gourmet chorizo from an expensive deli in the city, or you can go to the south-west and get it straight from the source.

For those unfamiliar with Sydney neighborhoods, south-west Sydney is an older and more industrial part of town, with a large migrant and ethnic population. It’s not an area that I’ve ventured into yet in my year in Sydney, as I live on the North Shore of Sydney, which is arguably the wealthiest and most white-bread part of town. This was all going to change though! Our first stop was Sunshine Meats, located in Milperra.

Sunshine Meats We were introduced to the Portugese owners of this business, and given a history of how they came to make some of the most popular small goods in Australia. We had a tasting session as well, led by owner Maria Pereira, her daughter, her niece, her mother, and her aunts. Talk about a family-run business! Some of the items we tasted included: chilli chicken breast, chocolate turkey, smoked beef, pork chorizo, chilli chicken chorizo, and a caramelised onion jam.

The most interesting part of the meal was when Maria demonstrated how to cook chorizo on an individual barbecue. That’s the two little pigs you see in the last photo above – essentially, you pour alcohol into the well in the ceramic barbecue and light it on fire. You then skewer a chorizo (or any other meat!), and let it cook over the flames. It creates this perfect crispy outside, while the inside remains nice and juicy.

I can’t even begin to describe how tasty each and every item at Sunshine Meats was – this was probably evidenced by the fact that we left the shop after having spent $50AUD on chorizo, chicken and jams.
Continue reading “Review: United Flavours of the World Gourmet Safari”