We do some epic crustacean in this country, and nowhere celebrates our obsession with crab better than Mr Wong. There are tanks full of mud crabs here. Try it Singapore-style with tonnes of black pepper and butter, or go the salted chillies and green onions instead.
The parmi is reimagined by one of our most creative chefs, Mitch Orr of ACME. The carpaccio parmigiana tastes just how is sounds: a parmi, but with raw beef instead of schnitty. It’s layered up on a plate of fresh, tangy tomato sauce, and topped with fragrant basil, tender fried eggplant and a drizzle of mild cheese sauce.
You can’t go to Quay and not try the Snow Egg; it’s probably Sydney’s most celebrated dessert. Poor Mr Gilmore might not ever be able to take this off the menu, given its sparkling reputation. The fruit changes by the Aussie seasons but the night we’re in, jackfruit is the prima donna. The fool, made from the fruit, at the base of the glass (Riedel, no less) is frothy and light; the jackfruit granita, punchy and refreshing; the poached meringue and ice cream interior complements the malted sugar shell so that together they bring back nostalgic reveries of childhood fairy floss. It really is all it’s cracked (sorry) up to be.
This has to be one of the best desserts in the history of Australian cooking. Back when it was perfected by Lorraine Godsmark and Neil Perry in the 90s, this tart helped define what Australian pastry could be. It’s still on the menu at Rockpool as a petit four, but the only way to get the real deal is to go straight to Lorraine, and ask her (very nicely) to make one in advance for you. What is it, you ask? Well, it’s the flakiest, most buttery pastry encasing soft, sweet Californian dates and a thick layer of creamy, unbelievably silky vanilla custard, cooked so a caramelised crust forms on the top. It takes six months to train a chef to make this dessert, so now Lorraine makes them all herself, and only two at a time (see why we said to ask nicely?).
This wouldn’t be a list of Aussie dishes unless we featured a Vietnamese pork roll, and Marrickville Pork Roll is the Sydney go-to. It’s a hole in the wall sort of place, with a few ladies packing rolls at speed. A crisp-edged, soft baguette is packed with herbs, tender pork, pâté and pickles, and at only $4.50 it’s one of Sydney’s greatest bargain lunches.
Apparently it's Australia's favourite pizza. In 2006, 15 per cent of all pizzas sold in this country were Hawaiian. Of course, no self-respecting Italian pizza place will make one, it's just an Aussie classic. That combo of meat with tropical fruit pops up all over our culinary history.Forresters do a good one if you’d like to prove your patriotism with a pie.
Lemon myrtle isn’t just endemic to Australia, but to the particular rainforests of central and south-eastern Queensland. Black Star’s lemon myrtle chiffon cake is tinged with the citrusy tang of this fragrant herb, packing a punch in flavour, while remaining tender and light as a cloud.