Justin North’s Charlie & Co and Etch restaurants, along with 13 other Sydney restaurant institutions were among the offerings at this year’s Taste festival, and with the queue already forming outside the Charlie & Co marquee, I was feeling buoyantly optimistic.
A quick scan of the menu had me setting my sights on the organic grass-fed Wagyu burger. Twelve Crowns (or $12) passed hands and I stood back to observe the organised mayhem that was ensuing (khaki shorts-wearing customers with broad-brimmed hats jostled each other to get up close and personal with North’s award-winning food).
In less than two minutes, I was handed a good-sized burger on a paper plate. Sandwiched between a sesame seed burger bun was a thick burger patty with perfect chargrill marks. The patty was semi-coated in a layer of melted cheddar cheese and topped with a dollop of porcelain-white mayo and tomato-based chutney on the bottom half of the bun.
The Wagyu patty was indeed the hero of this dish. It was thick, juicy and succulent, with good flavour. The cheese helped to lubricate and add a touch of piquant flavour, while the sauces blended so well into each bite, my palate almost lost track of their existence.
With more than 5,000 organic Wagyu burgers sold at last year’s Taste festival, it seemed many of those who had tried it last year had come back for more. Wagyu cattle farmer Rob Lennon from Gundooee Organics was on hand to share his and North’s love for ethical and sustainable farming techniques, through their tasty and satisfying handheld Wagyu snack.
Visit Bridget’s website, The Internet Chef.
Walk through the gates, turn left and follow your instincts. Those were instructions given to me by a fellow gastronome who’d beaten me to the paddock which housed the 2011 Taste of Sydney – aptly known as Sydney’s Ultimate Restaurant Festival. Led by my growling stomach, I did indeed turn left on arrival, seeking out what I had been told was a must-try for burger aficionados.