In Short: Vivid showcases some of the best lighting installations anywhere, and now we review some of the great food associated with the event. This is a rolling post and will be regularly updated with our food adventures!
Art festivals have predominantly appealed to a small sub-section of the community. Vivid, on the other hand has really captured the imagination of everyone in Sydney. On any given night in Sydney, during this light festival, stand near Wynyard station and you can observe waves upon waves of people streaming out of the station and heading down towards Circular Quay and The Rocks. Families, tweens, young adults, and right through to senior citizens embrace the two week event.
Now we’re seeing the lighting spectacular extend from the CBD into other urban precincts, with installations in Chatswood in 2017. It’s only natural that with a festival encompassing walking from installation to installation, revellers will need sustenance. Restaurants and eateries have now joined in, with special Vivid-inspired dishes. We’ll keep this post rolling, with the delicious food we encounter during our Vivid experiences – so make sure you come back regularly!
Kicking off the Coco and Vine 2017 Vivid food adventures is a quick walk through Chatswood, to sample Vivid inspired specials in two restaurants.
Indulgent is the word that comes to my mind, when I see the Vivid burger served up at Orchard Tavern. The tavern, just metres from Chatswood station has really embraced the festival, with its own colourful light installation in the outdoor seating area. Their tall burger is befitting, as its filled with some of Sydney’s favourite proteins. Crispy skin pork belly, crispy bacon, and pulled pork are the highlights. It’s an expertly stacked burger that stays together through the eating and doesn’t disintegrate into a sloppy mess. It’s layer upon layer of flavour, mixed in with Swiss cheese, rocket, and slowly roasted roma tomatoes. To add to the theatre, the contents of the burger sit in between a charcoal bun with it’s slightly charred flavour and crispy exterior, yet remains soft and doughy inside. Let’s hope that this burger does stay on post-Vivid, as it’s packed with flavour. A side of rosemary, sea salt chips completes a spectacular burger combo.
To wash down my burger is a Vivid inspired cocktail Irish gold. As a cocktail should be, it’s a vibrant drink with hints of Irish whiskey goodness coming through, that brings with it a characteristic warming sensation. Passionfruit juice adds it refreshing tangy twist. and really does wash down the burger nicely. And in a tall glass, it’s generous too!
With a great burger tucked away, the only logical dessert that should follow is something of a chocolate persuasion. Just up from the Orchard Tavern, housed in The District, is The Choc Pot.
They too have joined the party, with a Vivid inspired chocolate dystopia. It’s a heavenly-looking dessert of vanilla bean ice-cream covered by a torched marshmallow blanket, with chocolate fudge slices and edible chocolate bolts. Choc Pot presents the chocolate dystopia with very neatly defined layers of fudge, ice cream, marshmallow and topped off with chunky bolts of chocolate.
As you would expect it’s utterly decadent and totally delicious. I loved the warm caramelised toasted flavour from the marshmallow that contrasts with the ice-cream. The chocolate fudge is soft, chewy and gooey. Like Vivid, chocolate dystopia will bring a smile to your face and sate your chocolate craving at the same time.
If you can peel yourself away from Sydney Harbour with the spectacular lights on the Harbour Bridge, and projections on the Opera House, there’s impressive projections at Martin Place, but more importantly, there’s good food to be had. Drawing in revelers is the aromas of smoked meats from the open fire of Porteño. We sampled a choripan. The Spanish pork sausage is cooked over the naked flames to enhance the smoky, spicy flavour. A capsicum salsa and aioli partners perfectly, with the salsa adding a saucy dimension, and acidity. It’s all wedged between two slabs of airy and light ciabatta bread. It was definitely worth checking into Porteño in Martin Place for a feed before embarking towards the northern end of the city for the sights of Vivid.
*Coco and Vine dined as guests of The Choc Pot and The Orchard Tavern