A couple of weekends ago we lined up two days of food-related excitement, both the result of jumping into some twitter conversations. Saturday evening saw us jump on a train to Harris Park in search of the curry that I and others who have recently left the UK were sorely missing. Plus, we had our very own guides to the Wild West of Sydney to help us out.
After filling up on huge, cheap bags of spices at the local shops, we headed to Spice of Life (“The Biggest Indian Restaurant in Australia”), on Harris Park’s curry mile (Wigram Street). With a bunch of hungry, curry deprived bloggers and plus ones we got good coverage of the menu. My must eats of Lamb Saag and Chicken Korma hit the spot, and the dahl we ordered was exceptional. A much craved lamb vindaloo was initially disappointing, but quickly whisked away to be replaced with a new, improved and spicier version. Topped off with naan breads, rice and plenty of bottles of Kingfisher (the necessity of Kingfisher with curry being one thing we could teach the Aussies), dishes were shared, curry experiences exchanged, and stomachs rapidly filled. I’m sure we’ll be making a return visit to Harris Park to top up our spices and satisfy the already-growing curry cravings again.
Having made it back to the city, we slept off the curry before waking up to another day of food: a pork crackling masterclass (aka #Porkfest) at Restaurant Atelier in Glebe. Allowed a peak into the professional kitchen, Chef Darren Templeman let us in on the tricks of great roast pork in a domestic oven. The trick? Don’t score the skin, but cure it with salt and spices overnight to draw out the moisture. Lightly coated with oil, the skin crisps and puffs up as if by magic, giving the best pork crackling I’ve ever tasted. Confit pork, pork jowl, pork rillette and pork bubble (deep fried dehydrated pork skin – it’s the future) rounded out the mix of pork-based goodness demonstrated and tasted.
After these appetisers, we sat down in the restaurant to share a feast of roast pork shoulder, pommes aligot, mushrooms and green salad. The pork was slow roasted and fell to pieces, but on top of the massive pork exposure of the morning, it was the pommes aligot made with beautiful comte cheese that stole the show for me. A small but perfectly formed dessert of mascarpone custard, chocolate ice cream, ‘granola’ and pop rocks finished off the day.
We left armed with recipes, a take-home bag of pork to practice on (I can confirm the recipes really do work) and a new favourite local restaurant. Spices, curry, pork and pop rocks? Not far off a perfect weekend.
#Porkfest was a #TwEATup organised by Karen Lateo (@VanityFare1), and was $140 per person for the class, lunch, take-away samples and recipes. Follow Karen on Twitter for information about future events (I hear game might be in the pipeline).
Spice of Life
116 Wigram Street, Harris Park 2150
22 Glebe Point Road, Glebe 2037
Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm