Australia may be geographically distant from everywhere, but that doesn’t mean Australians don’t seek out foreign food. Quite the opposite, many Aussies are obsessed with trying new cuisines, especially after trips overseas. As a multicultural nation, cites all over the country are happy to oblige by opening restaurants that serve food from around the world. There’s no denying that the Spanish make incredible paella, but what happens if you have a craving for the dish whilst in NSW? How do you tell if its going to be delicious or if it’s going to make you gag? Fear not, here’s a guide to finding the best paella Sydney and avoiding the bad.
Fresh is The Best Paella in Sydney
Any food tastes better when its freshly cooked and this dish is no different. Some restaurants will try to make their meals cheaper or will try to make the life of the chef easier by pre-cooking, but this is something you should really avoid. You are simply not going to taste the best paella in Sydney if it has been pre-cooked. Try to do your research on restaurants before booking a table, or if you pass by on a whim, be sure to double check that everything is made on the spot before ordering.
A Ban on the Deep Pan
Many restaurants like to show off their skills by allowing diners to view the cooking process. This is always a good thing, because seeing what’s going on in the kitchen allows you to make a well informed decision about if you want to eat there or not. In case you haven’t tried the Spanish dish before, it is traditionally cooked in a wide, shallow, steel frying pan with handles on each side. It is actually from these pans that the meal gets its name. The key to the dish is dry rice and a shallow pan is how this is achieved. So if you see a deep pan anywhere in sight, you are not likely to be eating the best paella in Sydney.
Three is Not a Crowd
If you want to taste the best paella in Sydney, you’re going to need to invite a few friends because these dishes are generally quite big. This Spanish meal is not intended for one person; when the meal is made fresh, the smallest possible serving is generally for two. Although it is possible to get a meal for one, it really isn’t the ideal serving size. Many traditional restaurants will require a minimum number of people; this is also a good indication that the meal has been made on the spot. In Spain, servers will bring a large plate to the table and allow you and your friends to help yourselves.
Meat is Okay to Eat
A common misconception is that the best paella in Sydney has to be seafood based, even those who aren’t big fans of shellfish will generally opt for this version, instead of it’s meat based counterpart. However, the original dish is a rice and meat dish usually containing chicken or rabbit, alongside vegetables like green beans. Although seafood is a popular and delicious option, don’t be afraid to try something a little different and try a meat based variation. There are ingredients that you should avoid though, some of these include onion, chorizo and egg.
Bright Yellow Doesn’t Mean You’ve Struck Gold
As soon as you think of this Spanish meal, you visualize a bright yellow shade, however, be very careful if the dish seems too yellow. Some restaurants believe that it is the shade of the dish that brings in diners, rather than the smell or taste. In this vein, some places will add food colouring to enhance the shade. This adds no flavor and can be unhealthy. The shade comes from the toasted saffron, so the best paella in Sydney should have an orange hue as opposed to a bright sunshine yellow.