Every Summer, Sydney explodes in a cultural celebration across the Sydney and Parramatta CBD. Sydney was colorful and cheerful and there was a definitive buzz in the air, festivities like these remind me why I love my city. This season was iconic for its ‘Festival food’ by popular names like Porteno and Messina Gelato popping up. After all the shots and trends on instagram and twitter on #Sydfest, I couldn’t resist but visit the festival village and indulge myself on these raved about dishes.
I visited Double Down Diner, a combination stall with Porteno and Messina Gelato selling American favorites to the masses.

Philly Cheese Steak $15

The descriptin of this philly steak was definitely much better than the second bite. At first it was okay but as I continued to take bites I realised how really empty this sandwich was. Looking at the hot dog bun hardly filled with much filling I was thinking about how Bunnings could really have used the bread better.

The sandwich had hardly any filling in it, although the slices of steak were rich in flavor there were small portions so you were really just munching a loaf of hot dog bread. 
Very disappointing for the hype.

Fries with Dorito Salt $10

This order was predominately a impulse, as I have a big love for fries overall.
I didn’t really read much about it but the ‘Doritos salt’ made me far too curious. At first I really craved more salt and flavor. As I continued to eat through it I realized how addictive and delicious it really was and how much I underestimated it. I would kill to eat these again.

Corn on the Cob $10

The corn on the cob was a real star!
The flavors and textures of the crunchy corn and cheese sauce and flavors really hit the spot and was perfectly cooked in every way. They had just the right amount ratio of sauce with the corn worked out just fine.

Chicken and Waffle $15

The chicken and waffles had strong quality elements on their own, the smokey bacon was cooked well and strong in flavor, the coleslaw was creamy and textual, the chicken juicy and well cooked and the waffle nicely sweetened. However all these elements together were very overpowering and strong, the overall dish was very rich and full of flavor that there is no give and take.

Creaming Soda $6
Creaming soda spiders are very nostalgic and makes me feel like a kid again on a special occasion.
Messina combined their high quality vanilla gelato with a home made brew of the classic creaming soda. The soda just hit the spot in the hot 30 degree sun, the soda wasn’t over sweet or super strongly flavored. 
Not Chicken and Waffle $10

Similarly with the Porteno chicken and waffle, it just seemed to be too much. Every element on their own is fine but all together made the dish overpowering and overly sweet. The presentation however was fantastic and really had you fooled but the flavor really lets you down.

The Royale w/ Cheese

Unfortunately the Royale with cheese disappointed me, it was overly sweet and the textures didn”t quite meld well with me.
In order to create reimaged food the gelato needed to be extra frozen and really made the textures of the dish an unpleasant process. The frozen white chocolate with the chocolate gelato just didn’t suit the sour and sweet coulis.

Lastly after a bit more exploring and walking around the city, I went back to try Pho from the stall ‘Bar Pho’. The fresh smells of coriander and hot broth were alluring during the day but I had my eyes set on Porteno at the time.

Small Pho $8

I was pouting over the sold out sign next to the pho xiao long bao looking at the menu, I’m certain it would have been amazing. The presentation was a delight looking at all the fresh ingredients and colors popping out of the steamy bowl of soup. The fresh crisp ingredients with the rich broth hit the spot just right. The broth was nicely flavored and the noodles and beef cooked to perfection, there was a good ratio between it all and was wonderfully filling for such a small bowl. It was a great finish to the day.

Overall I enjoyed my festival experience simply because it’s great to see so much color and festivity in the city. Although with festivities comes the price and it costed an arm and a leg, with most dishes averaging about $10 a pop and an overall disappointing foodie experience, you’re better off eating in.  The biggest lesson I learnt that day is to forget about the hype and just go with your gut but don’t even dream about forgetting your wallet.