What to eat and drink at Vivid Sydney

Author: Aimee Saaib
Photography: Daniel Boud

From a pool hall set up inside the sails of the Opera House to pop-up bars and a battle between Sydney's favourite burgers, there's no shortage of edible action at Vivid Sydney this year. Here are our picks of the program.

Yabbies and the Bennelong Billy
Experience Vivid from the best seat in the house at Bennelong, where locally sourced red-claw yabbies from Mandandanji country in south-west Queensland are served with lemon jam, cultured cream and buckwheat pikelets. Consider pairing them, thematically at least, with the special edition Bennelong Billy cocktail - an infusion of rum, river mint, quandong liqueur and strawberry gum.

Battle of the burgers
Cult burgermeisters Mary's, Milk Bar by Café Ish, Pub Life Kitchen, Bang Bang, and Sammy's Burger Bar will duke it out for burger supremacy in a vintage arcade game-themed space at Martin Place. Mary's have run with the gaming theme, creating a Pacman burger - a fried onion ring slider being gobbled by a Mary's burger. As part of the interactive battle of burgers, visitors' votes for their favourites will be tallied in real time on a digital scoreboard.

Fine dining
Carriageworks hosts Sydney Table, a series of (nearly sold-out) collaborative dinners designed and prepared by trailblazers in the fields of food, music, art and design, including Mitch Orr of Acme with dance-maker Amrita Hepi, and Sam Miller of Silvereye with artist Lisa Madigan.

Hidden Deep Purple pop-up bar
The team behind party bars Tio's and The Cliff Dive return to Vivid with the Deep Purple Pool Hall pop-up bar at the Opera House. Run by Aria catering, it'll offer artisanal beer and wine from some of Australia's smallest fine producers to match one of the best views in the precinct.

The Night Market
Running on 4 June and 18 June, these fire-themed night markets at Carriageworks will showcase regional produce from across Sydney and country NSW, with stallholders including Icebergs, Young Henrys, Porteño, Archie Rose Distillery, Billy Kwong and Cornersmith.

Ice-cream burgers
To wind down Vivid on a sweet note, a dream team comprising Black Star Pastry, Little Marionette and N2 Extreme Gelato is slinging ice-cream burgers in Martin Place. To chase them, there's a pop-up bar on-site serving 4 Pines Beer, Batlow cider, and James Estate Hunter Valley wines.

Vivid Sydney; 27 May-18 June 2016. For the full program see vividsydney.com.

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