Crevat on, discerning food critic face ready, it’s time to talk food trends for 2012.
2011 came and went with a number of new trends in Australia; South American food made its mark, hyper-local produce became and still remains popular, and for the ultra-niche artisan ice popsicles seemed to appear in every pop-up café and in the freezers of every hipster household. The beauty of the culinary industry is that food trends never stay the same for too long and this year a new wave of food trends have emerged and will change the way we dine. The top 5 are as follows:
1. Street food
Giving the term fast food a whole new literal meaning- mobile food trucks have already taken off in New York, LA and London and they are being introduced here in the hope they will be just as popular. None of this dodgy hot dogs or kebabs like the old days, truck vendors are creating gourmet cuisine such as Pulled Pork Tacos, Roasted Duck Buns and Wagyu Beef Meatballs. Eating on the street just got fancy! Food trends like this might take a bit longer to really make their mark, but this is one which will surely grow over the next few years.
2. Communal Dining
Fine dining with white table cloths and a stuffy atmosphere is out- this year we will see a move towards long communal style eating. A far more relaxed way of dining doesn’t mean the quality of the food has to suffer either. In Sydney and Melbourne chefs from renowned restaurants such as Rockpool are opening their own restaurants and opting for this more casual way of dining. It might not be the most intimate way to eat, but if you wanted quiet, you should have just got home delivery!
3. Izakaya Style Dining
Say it with me now (Ee-zah-KAH-ya). It’s a word to put in your memory because this food trend is set to invade our cities this year. Typically referring to street carts or stalls serving snack in Japan, Izakaya has been adapted to Australian culture in the form of casual dining restaurants serving Japanese style tapas and drinks. While Melbourne is seeing an increase in these restaurants, Sydney too is offering up some great places including the ever delicious Love Grub Japas Bar.
4. Beer Cocktails
While Madmen inspired cocktails are still popular in many small bars (Old Fashioned anyone?) there is a new hybrid in town. Beer cocktails may sound like a travesty to many Beer enthusiasts adhering to the purity above all rule, but hey- let them live their sheltered lives. Bartenders are experimenting with some exciting blends of Beer cocktails which often don’t contain any hard liquor at all, such as the Mexican inspired ‘Michelada’ (Beer, Lime Juice, and Hot Sauce), served in a salt-rimmed glass over ice.
Last year it was all about the Boutique Beers, this year Beer is getting in to the mix!
5. Food in Jars
We all saw last year’s fascination with prohibition style cocktails being served in jam jars, but this year food will get a turn. Pickles, jam, pasta sauce can be easily made at home but restaurants and cafes are also moving in on this trend with places serving Cupcakes in jars, Baked Eggs and even Pizza served in jars!
So whether you are nibbling from a jar, snacking on some Sushi or slurping from a cocktail, this year the bottom line is casual dining, quality ingredients and good company! And it just so happens, that while we can’t promise you glass jars with your meals, for everything else- we’ve got you covered.