In the lead up to the Taste of Sydney Festival, Ciao chats to the manager of Newtown’s Bloodwood, Eric Morris, about the restaurant’s food philosophy…
How is Bloodwood involved in the Taste of Sydney Festival this year?
We’ll be doing one day during the Taste Festival, which will be the Saturday, so we’ll be there for both lunch and dinner and we will be serving four dishes from the restaurant menu.
What would you say is the philosophy behind the menu?
It is based largely around seasonal produce and trying to source high quality meats and vegetables. We’re not really cornered into any one particular type of cuisine; we offer a large range of diversity on the menu so there are Japanese dishes, French and UK inspired dishes, and it does change around. When you break it down, the chefs just like to put on food that’s wholesome, tastes good and makes the best use of what we’ve got available to us at the time. It’s not really a philosophy as such; it’s just making yummy food.
You have a strong emphasis on sharing food, what do you like about that way of eating?
It just broadens the scope of the meal. I think Sydney diners have shunned the à la carte style of dining. There aren’t many places you go to these days – unless it’s a degustation restaurant, which is not really à la carte so to speak either – where you’ll do your prefix entrée, main and dessert and you’re done. I think people in Sydney like to try more of a variety of food. And it also makes it easier to go into restaurant and to know that if you’re not really that hungry or your budget doesn’t necessarily permit, you can just share a few small dishes without being locked into doing this huge bountiful feast. So it’s a good angle for diversity and it does allow people to try a lot more than what they might normally be able to if the menu were à la carte.
Do you personally enjoy cooking?
Oh yeah, as much as I can, but generally the only meal I get to cook in a day is breakfast so I try to make sure I have a good one.
What do you like about the Inner West’s food scene?
The level of creativity and youthfulness at the moment is great. Hartsyard, Earl’s and Mary’s are all walking distance from our venue and they’re all really fun and they enjoy doing what they’re doing and it’s not trying to buy into the Surry Hills elitist aspect at all – it’s just making food and drink for a good time because at the end of the day that’s all it’s there for. If it doesn’t give you that then what’s the point?
Taste of Sydney returns to Centennial Park from March 13th-16th with culinary offerings that allow festival-goers sip, sample and taste over 60 specially crafted menu items from Taste restaurants. www.tasteofsydney.com.au.
Cradoc Hill Lamb Tataki
1kg Craddoc Hill lamb fillet
1 tblsp coriander seeds
1 tblsp salt
3 tblsp brown sugar
80ml sherry vinegar
2 green tomatoes, sliced finely in rounds on a mandolin
2 whole beetroots, 100g walnuts
1. Slice lamb into thin strips.
2. Marinate lamb in a mixture of coriander seeds, salt, brown sugar and sherry vinegar.
3. Boil one beetroot until tender, cut it into chunks and drain. Sauté in sugar to glaze, finish with a splash of sherry vinegar to make them slightly tart.
4. Fry off thinly sliced beetroot slices in oil until crisp, to make beetroot chips.
5. Candy walnuts in a sugar/water mix (about half and half). Drain and fry off in oil till crisp. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt.
6. To finish the dish, cook marinated lamb on a hot grill to medium and place on a bed of thinly sliced green tomatoes. Garnish with both textures of beetroot and salted walnuts.