Food bloggers ahoy!
Pic above just added - thank you Karen for your wide angle lens and the tripod donater (can't remember who?). We took this shot towards the end of the evening when alas, a few people had already gone home.
How many food bloggers can you fit into a 25-seater room?
We managed to squeeze in 30, a feat achieved when Chocolatesuze celebrated her birthday at Wagaya. Just when we thought we couldn't possibly squeeze in another person, the door would open and another food blogger would arrive!
Surveying the private room racked to the rafters with camera-toting food enthusiasts, it was amazing to think about how far the Sydney food blogging scene has come. It was the first time many people had met other food bloggers and the camaraderie between kindred spirits was instant, natural and inspiring.
This was my first time in the private rooms at Wagaya - we were in the largest of three available rooms which must be booked well in advance. All guests must remove their shoes before entering the room, sitting on polished wooden floors with cushions, their feet dangling in the sunken pit beneath the dining table.
A huge LCD screen in each room can be used to watch television (with teletext on) or DVDs, or you can plug in your own iPod or mp3 player and dine to your favourite songs or a personalised playlist.
The theme for tonight's party was masks, with every person instructed to bring one or risk being denied entry.
The birthday girl
Known best for its touch screen menu and rapid service, Wagaya seemed ideally suited for our large group. We had two touchscreens in our room which we immediately separated as one for food orders, the other for drinks. Each touchscreen generates separate bills, enabling us to divide the food bill equally, but have drinks tallied and paid for by individuals.
The people sitting closest to the food touchscreen were relegated with the responsibility of ordering, a simple task of scrolling through the menu and then tapping through multiple orders. There was usually only a five-minute lag between the time the order was sent through, and the door sliding open with our food.
Sushi roulette game $8.50
We started proceedings with the sushi roulette game, groups of six
What with the constant barrage of dishes, the huge expanse of table, the cramped seating and the battle between 30-odd cameras, I didn't manage to capture every dish ordered but certainly got a fair majority of them. My favourites were the renkon lotus root chips - thin and delicate discs deep-fried to a wondeful crisp; and the scallop and garlic fried rice - that bottom layer of crusty rice is comfort food all over.
Prawn tempura $8.90
Wafu pizza $7.90
Assorted tempura $13.50
Scallop and garlic fried rice $9.50
Renkon (lotus root) chips $5.50
Oroshi chicken katsu $8.50
Assorted sashimi and sushi roll (large) $38.50
Cheese fry $6.50
Takoyaki gratin $6.90
Kimuchi fried rice $8.90
The little sheep birthday cake (from 85C Cake Shop)
Chocolatesuze and the sheep are friends
It's behind you!
Gary, Matt and George from Masterchef Australia join the party
There were peals of laughter when Billy revealed what he'd been working the night before - homemade masks of the judges and the top 20 contestants from Masterchef Australia.
Kate re-enacts the moment Josh left the house
Suze wants to have Aaron's babies
Matt gets hungry
Sweetest gesture of the evening was from Trish who made individually tagged cake pops for everyone. The cake pops are balls of cake crumbs dipped in chocolate and decorated with hundreds and thousands, and a smartie. Suze also supplied a sugar rush for everyone with candy necklaces and ring pops for all.
Hope you had a wonderful birthday Suze, and for everyone there, it was great to see you all!
For readers, the guest list of attendees that evening is listed below - perhaps there are a few blogs new to you that might take your fancy?
howard and minh: www.eatshowandtell.com
betty and richard: bettysbites.blogspot.com
chris and tim: blogs.thewayitcrumbles.com
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Level 1, 78-86 Harbour Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 6068
Open 7 days 5pm - 2am
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6/16/2009 01:32:00 a.m.