YUMMY: Zohar, from Luscious Foods in Byron Bay, kept their pizza oven busy at Sample Festival 2016.
YUMMY: Zohar, from Luscious Foods in Byron Bay, kept their pizza oven busy at Sample Festival 2016. Lyn McCarthy

5 plates not to miss at Sample Food Festival this weekend

SAMPLE Food festival is back this weekend, showcasing the best food the Northern Rivers has to offer.

Around 30 restaurants or food producers will offer two tasting dishes, one for $5 and another one for $10, making the event one of the biggest tapas parties in the country.

The menu is out, so feel free to browse and choose in advance what you are going to get, but if you find it hard to choose, these are five plates we think you should not miss out on:

1. Hickory bacon banana custard doughnut ($5 by Butcher Baker): They had us at bacon but when they finished the sentence with custard and doughnut, we were already throwing $5 notes at them. Top of the list.

2. Gheymeh fries with split pea gravy and Persian lime aioli ($5 from Koobideh): This Persian delicacy is originally an Iranian stew that has been transformed into a vegetarian dish. This plate is one of the most exotic on the menu but also one of the most original. We cannot wait.

3. Okonomiyaki - pulled pork pancake with shaved bonito, Bulldog sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise ($10 from The Macadamia Castle): Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning "how you like" or "what you like". The mix of pulled pork and bonito should be delicious with Bulldog sauce (a brand of Tonkatsu sauce), Japan's answer to barbecue sauce.

4. Char grilled kangaroo, apple, wattleseed and pickled kohlrabi ($10 from The Northern): We don't seem to eat enough kangaroo these days, and what better way to enjoy this Australia delicacy than with the tender apple flavour and the most under-appreciated of veggies: kohlrabi.

5. Flaked hickory smoked salmon, snow pea and micro green salad with herbed cream fraiche , or potato and dill croquettes with Barefoot farm pecan dukkah ($10 from the Eltham Valley Pantry): Is this the most Northern Rivers of dishes or what? We are very curious to see what the herbed cream fraiche goes with the salmon and how the potato and dill croquettes taste with that pecan dukkah. This dish is a mystery we are keen to solve.

The event will also offer a number of workshops and competitions during the day, including:

  • 9.15am: Ceviche cooked by chef Evan White from Chupacabra.
  • 10.30am: Cherry Bomb dessert by chef Michelle Wright from Bangalow Dining Room.
  • 1.30pm to 3.30pm: My Mayor Rules cook-off - which mayor will win this year's challenge?

At the Bangalow Showgrounds this Saturday, September 1 from 8am to 4pm. $5 entry. Licensed event. Visit https://samplefoodevents.com/