Friday, January 22, 2010

The Golden Goose

393 Sussex St
Haymarket NSW 2000
Ph : (02) 9212 3901

All the hype, all the excitement, all the schoolgirl giddiness could not have prepared you for the amazingness that is the ultimate in niche avian dining experience – #goosefest2010!

Yes there were one or two tweeps who were concerned that the event could not possibly live up to the expectations. Plus out of the ten courses the famed goose will only feature, alas, in two.  The initial idea of a single table exploded, and the waiting line extended long and far in a 4square town such that even the mayors hath no say in whether or not they got a seat in the inaugural goosefest. 

The immense popularity of it all made it (sort of) a trending topic on Twitter (albeit a fairly localised one). The reputation of the goosefest preceded it by a long shot, and even spread overseas.

Amongst some of us, it got to the point were some people couldn't wait for the fateful Wednesday to come around; the waiting was akin to the trepidation felt as a rollercoaster takes you higher and higher with that imminent rush just over the apex.

The Roast Thirlmere Goose

I suppose the most important thing that everyone wants to know is, “so how was the goose?”

Sorry. Not just yet. But for those of you who know not the definition of patience and want to know everything RIGHT NOW in this instant-noodle-microwave-cooking-just-add-water instant gratification world that we live in… you’re reading the wrong blog. Plus you can always just scroll down to the bottom of the page to find out the verdict.

#goosefest2010 was organised primarily over Twitter by @urbanfoodmarket and @aptronym. What was planned to be one table ballooned out to three. Even then people were still asking if they are able to come along. I think judging from the success of the first goosefest, a second is all but a forgone conclusion. And I believe there are now many, many more goose followers… 

Before I go any further, and it could just be me, but I needed to Google "goose" to find out what a goose looks like. For the life of me I just couldn't picture one! 

Here’s a picture of a goose I found on the interwebs, next to a duck. Ducks, apparently, have shorter necks and legs compared to a goose, amongst other anatomical differences. But as presented on the table as a dish, it looks suspiciously like a duck.

The Goose

The Duck
(Both pictures taken from the internet)

For #goosefest2010 we opted for the banquet menu, and at $40 per person, $45 to include corkage for BYO, it’s a real bargain. And considering the amount of food present, it is amazingly great value.  A quick description of the geese on @urbanfoodmarket website here

This was the banquet menu :
1. Cold Cut BBQ meats platter
2. Roast Goose
3. Prawns sautéed Szechuan style
4. Scallops sautéed with Honey Beans
5. Steamed live fish
6. Peipa Tofu (for some reason this dish seemed to have been gone awol at some point)
7. Beef with black pepper
8. Crispy skinned chicken
9. Poached vegetables with Oyster Sauce
10. Goose Fried Rice
11. Boiled Rice
12. Fruit platter and cookies

I didn’t get around to taking photos of all the courses as some tweeps (I won’t mention names here hehe), were very hungry and couldn’t wait to dig into the food, despite protests of, “Hang on! I need to take a photo...” but I think I managed to capture most of the interesting/ tasty dishes. So here they are in picture form:

Cold Cut BBQ meats platter

Roast Goose

Steamed live fish - still one of my favourites. The sauce goes great with boiled rice.

Scallops sautéed with Honey Beans

Prawns sautéed Szechuan style

Goose Fried Rice

Beef with black pepper

Crispy skinned chicken

I didn't take photos of the poached vegetables with oyster sauce- this is the same as that dish you get when you go to yum cha. We did realise afterwards that the pei-pa tofu never surfaced... strange. Perhaps in all the excitement it was missed and forgotten about??

We need more room!

The deal was BYO, and we had a couple of wines to go with the banquet. First up amongst the Tarts was a pinot which went very well with the goose, and  then a reisling, which went extremely well with the rest of the dishes.

2007 Clyde Park Pinot Noir 

Tasting notes segue - A complex array of dark berry fruits harmoniously melds with aromas of plums and black cherries. Subtle floral notes combined with spice, earthiness and toasty oak to fill out the nose. The palate is long and generous, with concentrated flavours of dark cherry, plum and  spice, around toasty French oak. A complex mid-palate is supported by a framework of ripe silky tannin.

2008 Leeuwin Estate riesling 

This riesling opens with intense aromatics: the perfume of lime and citrus flowers in general are immediately apparent. There is also a fruity fullness like sweet grapefruit underpinning the lift adding volume and depth to the nose. The palate is richly citrus and clean with the natural acidity perfectly balancing the fruit. 

Ok. So what does goose taste like?

It’s chewier, meatier, and has more intensity than duck. For those who for some reason can’t eat duck, but still like that sort of taste, I can highly recommend the goose. I cannot remember if I’ve ever eaten goose before, but I think I have found something else I enjoy immensely. You know something? I’m not so sure that I can go back to eating duck again after this. I need some time. And I reckon a goose would be great in Peking style. Next up, Peking Goose!

And it's not a tarts blog without some watch shots now, is it?

Pictured:  three of the many watches present on the night. Not pictured, but spotted, were Rolex Lady Datejust, Rolex Vintage Air King, Tissot two-tone PR50, Tag Heuer Kirium, Tag Heuer 2000 Classic amongst others...

Sinn U1

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Hometime

Vintage Omega Marine Chronometre

It was great to meet some of the tweeps for the first time, and to put aliases to faces. I’m happy to announce that no one was a psychopath…

A huge thanks to @urbanfoodmarket for donating the geese and for the opportunity to be guinea pigs in the goose venture. Also big thanks to @aptronym for helping to get the whole night organised. I’m sure it wasn’t easy.

For those who missed out this time around, make sure you get in early for the next goosefest! 

As mentioned previously, the cost of #goosefest2010 was $40pp, and the geese, all four of them, which were kindly donated for the evening by the dinner's sponsor - the one and only Tim of urban food market.

And in green we have Tim - purveyor of geese and other juicy meats.
(in the Twitterverse, he is also known as Ava's dad)

Some photos of the goose lovers :

Videos of the event, taken by Reem, can be viewed here, here, here and here.

P.S. This post included Twitter jargon. if you need to find out what they mean, please join Twitter.



Anonymous said...

Very nice post. Excellent tasting notes on the wines. The goose sounds fantastic. It does look suspiciously like duck however. Think will have to put my name down on the waiting list for the next Goosefest!
Good work

Reemski said...

Nice work! Great coverage of dinner, and yes, there was no tofu!!!Didn't even notice...

Anonymous said...

be happier if there were goose wings to eat :(

The Sydney Tarts said...

Reem - Thanks for your great videos and allowing us to link to them :)

Anon (1) - I think that there will be another one!

Anon (2) - There *were* goose wings. Definitely at table 1, as we were discussing their anatomical differences to duck and chicken wings.

pommiefoodie said...

..and a Chanel J12...
Great pics and a good review of the night!

The Sydney Tarts said...

@pommiefoodie - Oops. Sorry we missed your watch!