Sydney bacon lovers – listen up and get ready for your socks to be knocked off by the first ever Bacon Festival in town! The masterminds behind this celebration of bacon are the passionate duo behind funky Newtown cafe Cuckoo Callay (Ella and Ibby), who are collaborating with the Black Forest Smokehouse at Marrickville to showcase their free range Australian bacon goodies in 8 delicious dishes on Cuckoo Callay’s special bacon menu for 12 weeks, starting from February 9th. That’s right – you’ll have 3 months to get down to Cuckoo Callay to pig out on their quirky bacon themed creations.
We’re lucky enough to be given a sneak peek at what’s on the menu just before the Bacon Festival officially kicked off, sampling all 6 of the 8 dishes and a couple of their bacon themed drinks too.
First up was the What a Croque of Bacon (the first of many punnily named dishes), which featured some generously sized bacon, basil and vintage cheddar croquettes, strips of chewy bourbon bacon, a perfectly poached egg and a smear of pea puree for artistic purposes. It’s the quintessential bacon brunch dish in our books and a good way to ease into our bacon feast.
What a Croque of Bacon, $19
The next dish will challenge the limits of any bacon lover. It’s called Bacon All the Rules and features bacon in all imaginable forms, all on one plate: think maple bacon with its subtle sweet notes, bourbon bacon, an interesting bacon steak, a very intriguing (but strangely addictive) bacon sausage which had visible diced bacon chunks and bacon crumbed poached eggs on sourdough to finish it all off.
Bacon All the Rules, $24
I quite liked the presentation of the Bacon Dawg, which was served on a wooden board with an enticing filling of maple glazed bacon sausage almost falling out of the soft bun, smothered in a gruyere cheese sauce and a tasty tomato and quince relish, and topped off with some tasty crackling and dill mustard pickles. If you manage to get through the Dawg, there’s also some addictive BBQ flavoured crinkle-cut chips on the side for you to nibble on too.
Bacon Dawg, $16
We can never resist a good pork belly dish and Cuckoo Callay’s version does not disappoint. Crunchy crackling with generous amounts of soft meat, it went perfectly with the sticky sweet chilli and fennel seed sauce. The hint of lime was also a hit as it gave the whole dish a refreshing twang and the candied chilli strips were delicious too.
Bacon, Get in Ma Belly, $20
Next came the special mini-sliders with beer candied bacon, popcorn chicken and red cabbage coleslaw. These are usually full sized burgers if you order them during the Bacon Festival and thank goodness, because my first bite into that brioche slider was a flavour explosion of awesome leaving me wanting more, thanks to the delicious mix of mustard aioli and tomato chutney.
Don’t Go Bacon my Heart, $20
You can wash down all that bacon goodness with yet more bacon infused goodness in Cuckoo Callay’s drinks, like the refreshing Smokey Bourbon Bacon with fresh apple juice (this barely tasted like bacon, so is a good option if you need a palate cleanser), or the gorgeous looking Shake n’ Bacon milkshake or even the their take on the Bloody Mary (a.k.a. the Bloody Bacon Cuckootail) if you’re feeling adventurous!
Shake ‘n’ Bacon, $9
Smokey Bourbon Bacon with fresh apple juice, $12
Bloody Bacon Cuckootail, $14
This is one festival not to be missed and is on for 12 weeks from February 9th 2015, so get down to Cuckoo Callay at Newtown and get your pork on!
Ph: (02) 9557 7006
I love the punny names that they’ve chosen for their dishes. :p