Whether or not you've visited Bill Granger's restaurants or even Sydney itself, this book cannot help but evoke images of a sunny city where urban hustle and bustle meets beautiful beaches. Though proud for not taking themselves too seriously, Aussies, in Sydney in particular, reserve considerable reverence for their food. Bill Granger is the owner of three Sydney restaurants and Sydney Food brings his famous flavours across the globe and into the your home in a stunning collection of recipes.
Bill starts by illustrating the rich abundance of ingredients available. In Sydney, home cooks and restaurateurs alike are spoilt for choice between the fish markets, incredible Thai and Vietnamese greengrocers, Italian delis, gourmet food halls, even the CBD fruit barrows. The recipes themselves are divided into Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners. Unusually perhaps, it is the section of Breakfasts that's really enticing, demonstrating the varying European influences that affect this city's eating habits. Waking to blinding sunshine requires bold, fortifying flavours on the breakfast table. Recipes like Banana Maple Porridge with Buttered Apples, French Toast stuffed with Peaches, Toasted Coconut Waffles with Fresh Mango and Palm Syrup set the tone for a lazy weekend on the beach. The Lunch section is comprised of some of the most popular dishes from Bill's menus. These are largely restaurant classics but always with a twist, spring onion pancakes replacing the more conventional blinis with gravalax.
The multicultural mix doesn't abate in the Dinner section that moves from Asia to Italy, Grilled Beef with Blackbean to Parmesan Veal Schnitzel. The quintessentially Aussie offering comes in the (naturally barbecued) form of Barramundi with Fresh Herb Relish. The Australian inclination for reinvention is nowhere more apparent or more appealing than on their restaurant menus. Combining such an incredible range of ingredients, a rich cultural mix, a lack of pretension and an innate desire to do things "their way" has given the food of Sydney a worldwide reputation. Anyone who even glances at the recipes in this brilliant book will immediately understand why.--Rachel O'Connor