Crave Sydney: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Waterloo

If you love an excuse to dress up in theme and enjoy good food, then the Mad Hatters Tea Party is one event you shouldn’t miss during the annual Crave Sydney Food Festival in October. It’s a rare opportunity to fall down the rabbit hole by indulging in the flavours and textures of a culinary wonderland…

It all starts with the mystery of a secret location and menu, enticing you to buy a ticket to find out what exactly a Mad Hatters Tea Party is all about. The price you pay for your curiosity is $120 a head which covers sparkling wine and canapés on arrival, a 3 course meal, petit fours and wines to match each course.

There are intriguing mentions of two Michelin trained chefs preparing the food and you eventually find out that the secret warehouse location is on the outer fringes of the Sydney CBD. The space is extravagantly decked out in an Alice in Wonderland theme, with great attention to detail down to the tarnished teapots and teacups on the tables and the Mad Hatter himself greeting us at the door.

Many of the guests are dressed up as creative interpretations of classic characters from the story and the ambience is fantastic thanks to the flickering candlelight and booming upbeat music. The topsy-turvy food starts off with whimsical canapés like their intense beetroot fairy floss, addictive rosemary, truffle and parmesan popcorn as well as their divine honey soy chicken wings which had been deboned for convenience.

The Michelin training of the chefs shone through in the first course which was a kingfish fillet with lemon sauce, fresh sweet peas and the softest gnocchi ever.

The main course also did not disappoint with an amazingly tender beef cheek which had been slow cooked for 12 hours and just melted in your mouth, mixing nicely with the zesty orange and carrot puree accompanying it.

For dessert the chefs dazzled us with some theatrics involving liquid nitrogen. The substance was used to create a smoking, bubbling, rich strawberry cocktail and also used to solidify yoghurt into powdery clumps in the dessert. This featured Campari sherbet, cookie crumble, blood orange foam and grapefruit to create a flavour explosion in your mouth.

The Mad Hatter caps off the night with a platter of palate cleansers like fluffy handmade passionfruit marshmallows, tempered dark chocolate and white chocolate with macadamia and rosemary to finish up a memorable evening of experimental gastronomy, testing the boundaries where food and science intersect.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Crave Sydney Food Festival event
Run during October of every year


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