Daring and delicious delicacies were on the menu at The Galeries, Sydney where we enjoyed an exclusive preview of the new Stranger Spring offerings. Described as “an obscure sensory experience”, the Stranger Tastes menu features limited edition flavours to “fascinate the taste buds”.
The Galeries food court is one of Sydney’s best kept secrets: a gourmet foodie spot tucked away just next to Town Hall Station. Cult favourites such as Black Star Pastry, Fishbowl, Oporto and Ichi-ban Boshi serve up a range of food options around the central dining area, fitted out in bamboo, black and red. Decor-wise, it’s much more of a cool restaurant vibe than a food court.
We start the evening, hosted by food instagrammers the Hannashians, upstairs at the Arthouse Hotel. Specially-created Midnight Margaritas flush from blue to purple with a shot glass of magic potion. It’s a delicious citrus twist on the classic margarita.
Downstairs, we kick off with colourful dumplings from Lotus Dining, Tempura Salmon Rolls and Fresh Cucumber with Plum Sauce, accompanied by a Slim Grin Green Juice from Top Juice. It’s all a hit: with the salty-sour cucumber giving a clean contrast to the crispy coated sushi roll.
For mains, there’s the familiar comfort of a Toasted Bondi Burger from Oporto, alongside a more exotic sampler of delights from Chat Thai. Pad Thai Chicken, Padt si-ew and Khao soi all jostle for attention, but it’s the moreish Duck Noodles that win our top vote.
How to perform the Rites of Spring without a sacrifice? It’s a sweet (literally!) little chocolate puppy from Breadtop that ends up sliced into succulent chunks of cocoa-rich mousse cake.
If a donut seems more like a snack food – an alternative to the morning muffin – than a way to end a meal, think again. The four flavours served up from Walkers Donuts are 100% Dessert Donuts, needing a fork and spoon to devour them. The chocolate-topped, dreamy-creamy-centred Boston Cream is like a doughnutty version of a profiterole. We particularly enjoy the Raspberry Cheescake, with the tangy raspberry and cream cheese cutting through the sweetness, but the Coconut Cream wins the prize for me. It’s a cloud of soft, light, creamy, coconutty wonder.
All this is washed down with Vegan Berry Velvet Tea Lattes from T Totaler… but wait, there’s more! Just when we think we couldn’t manage another mouthful, out comes a fried egg and waffle.
There’s a moment of consternation here: after all, we’re on the dessert court. Are we starting over? But Black Star Pastry has pulled a switcheroo on us – the entire thing is a cake, with the “yolk” a dollop of passionfruit curd and the “egg white” a sweet, wobbly vanilla confection.
Stranger Spring: Stranger Tastes is on at The Galeries now.
The Galeries, 500 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia. Opens 10am-6pm Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm Sun, 10am-9pm Thurs