What do you call a gathering of foodbloggers?
A gluttony? A stampede? A paparazzi?
I'm undecided about the term, suffice to say twelve foodbloggers met at East Ocean for yum cha on Saturday. We had the corner table right up the back if you happened to be there. The one with ten cameras poised to take photos as each bamboo steamer touched down on the lazy susan airfield. You couldn't miss us!
It was Christie from Fig & Cherry who organised this long-overdue meet-up, a chance to catch up with (relative) long-time bloggers like Chocolatesuze, Jenius and Limes & Lycopene, as well as put faces to names of newer foodblogs EatShowandTell, Not Quite Nigella, Ooh, Look..., Spicy Icecream and Tummy Rumble.
Chicken feet with black bean and chilli
Like a Foodbloggers Anonymous support group, there was a moment of awkwardness when cameras were still in handbags and backpacks, and some seemed reluctant to bring them out. And yet we knew we were all foodbloggers and we knew we all take photos! It didn't take long for the shyness to subside; soon we are all zooming and clicking, as the lazy susan painfully made its way around to every camera.
Is this what it's like for others to have lunch with me? As our dim sum cooled and the photos continued, the torture became too much for some. "I'm going in! If you haven't taken a photo, too bad!" Don't mess with a starving foodblogger.
Because there's something quite liberating about meeting other foodbloggers. There's the commiseration about the insane who "just don't understand the importance of the photograph pre-meal!". There are the great stories about the converted partners "who are so sweet and always act as hand models for my food photos, but only at home and never at restaurants."
And of course there's the obvious passion for food which we all share. Conversation about food naturally dominates, and I'm safe in the knowledge that everyone really is tasting the food and appreciating it, and blogging about it later - of course!
Har gao prawn dumplings
Xiao long bao Shanghai pork soup dumplings
Ham soi gok combination pork dumplings
We talked about old media versus new media, about blogging immediacy and personality. We talked about avocado and condensed milk, Vegemite versus Promite, Bourke Street Bakery, McDonalds and "don't you love scraping the burnt bits off the bottom of the pan and eating them? - Omigod, me too!".
Conversation kept veering back to Nigella Lawson and her interview on Enough Rope recently, including eerily accurate impressions of her vocal appreciation of all things nibbleworthy and scrumptious.
Pan-fried rice noodles served with hoisin and peanut sauce
We swept through a tornado of assorted dim sum. It was a first attempt at chicken feet for some (it tastes like KFC, was one summation, although with further questioning it was more about the fried skin that evoked this first impression) and a first encounter with fried ham soi gok for others (surprisingly sweet, was the verdict, although the contrast between crunchy outside and tacky starchy interior was a winner).
Xiao long bao Shanghai pork dumplings were disappointingly light on the soup broth, and the pai gwut pork ribs could've done with more black bean, but there was no time to wallow as the dessert trolley trundled past laden with treats.
Custard polo buns
It was a shareable banquet of sago pearls in coconut milk, custard polo buns, mango pudding, mango pancakes and daan tart custard tarts for all.
Thousand layer cake
Then there was the triumphant ten-year reunion for Chocolatesuze and a thousand layer cake, a dessert she'd pined for over the past decade but never found. Til now.
The tension was palpable when the bamboo steamer finally arrived. It did the round of photo shoots of course, then it was graciously shared among all, a strange but tasty combination of steamed Chinese bun layered with lotus paste and salted duck yolk.
We ate, we talked, we laughed, we took photos. Then we went home and blogged it.
A gathering of food bloggers?
Let's just call it fun and delicious.
Entry either from
421-429 Sussex St or
86-88 Dixon St, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 4198
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Sydney Foodblogger Meet-Ups
Oct06--Sydney Foodbloggers' Night Noodle Markets and Sugar Hit
Jun06--Sydney Foodbloggers' High Tea
Aug05--Sydney Foodbloggers' Yum Cha
Feb05--Sydney Foodbloggers' Yum Cha
East Ocean yum cha, August 2006
East Ocean yum cha, August 2005
East Ocean yum cha, October 2004
East Ocean dinner, April 2006
East Ocean dinner, Feburary 2005
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10/13/2008 01:08:00 am