Gelato World Tour 2013

Caffe e Gelato Milany (QLD) - Dark Chocolate.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Caffe e Gelato Milany (QLD) – Dark Chocolate.

Melbourne is the third stop of the Gelato World Tour. One tour, eight cities and a whole lot of gelato. Gelato artisans from around the globe each showcase one signature flavour to compete in the international tour. It was only the best gelato I had ever tasted in my entire life. Quality gelato absolutely worthy of global recognition. During the tour the judges visit Rome (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Melbourne (Oceania). Dubai (Middle East), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Shanghai (Asia), Austin (North America) and Deutschland (Berlin). I was fortunate to have them stop in my very own town of Melbourne. What are the odds? It was definitely my lucky day/weekend.

Gelato World Tour - Melbourne

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Fresh Gelato in the park.

The event was located at Argyle Square in Carlton, people were happily consuming their gelato in the park. There were marquees full of gelato artisans in their whites and tall chef hats serving masses of fresh gelato. People queued in anticipation to taste the different flavours that Australia/Oceania had to offer.

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) - Gelato Tickets.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Gelato Tickets.

The event was well organised and the system was well thought out.  You buy a $10 ticket at the front marquee, tear your ticket on the perforated lines and exchange the pieces of paper for gelato at the stalls. The no cash handling at the stalls made it easy and fast to get your gelato. For $10 you get 2 cups and 3 baby cones and then you use the unique barcode on the ticket to vote for your favourite gelato. This was not an easy decision to make because most of the gelato was outstandingly delicious.

Gelato Amico (WA) - Pure Sicilian Pistachio.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Gelato Amico (WA) – Pure Sicilian Pistachio.

The ‘Pure Sicilian Pistachio’ got my vote from Gelato Amico, it was absolutely incredible. It is a milk-based pistachio gelato with pistachio topping using all natural, fresh ingredients and old-fashioned Italian recipes. Pistachio is not usually what I order when I get gelato but wow I was pleasantly surprised and in hindsight wished I had used my cup voucher for that one. Damn. It was made by Tino Tonon from WA which is a bummer because after the event I may not ever taste that sweet, smooth gelato again :(

7 Apples Gelato - Banana w Dulce de Leche.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – 7 Apples Gelato – Banana w Dulce de Leche.

The banana with dulce de leche was also my favourite. This one got Dan’s vote. It tasted like fresh banana (like real fresh banana) with swirls of oozing dulce de leche caramel. It was light, creamy and magnificent. It’s amazing how the flavours can make you feel like you are eating a complete dessert at a fancy restaurant in each spoonful. And lucky for me, this one is close to home, made by Mark Mariotti from 7 Apples Gelato in St Kilda.

N2 Extreme Gelato (VIC) - Destructed Kaya Toast.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – N2 Extreme Gelato (VIC) – Destructed Kaya Toast.

The deconstructed Kaya Toast was interesting in a delicious way. It was created by Min Chai from N2 Extreme Gelato. Kaya is a caramalised coconut egg jam, which is usually served on buttered toast and is a common delicacy in Malaysia. His creation is a deconstructed form of the Malaysian classic, with pandan kaya gelato, with swirls of kaya and a Malaysian cream cracker crunch. Yum!

Vulcano Gelato (VIC) - Vulcano.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Vulcano Gelato (VIC) – Vulcano.

Yum, yum, yum, the Vulcano tasted exactly like a Ferrero Rocher in gelato form. It had all these yummy surprise bits in it like toasted hazelnuts, cereals and chocolate glaze.

Frangipani Gelato (NSW) - Pavlova Gelato.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Frangipani Gelato (NSW) – Pavlova Gelato.

The Pavlova gelato, yep tastes just like pavlova. This pashpav was a meringue based gelato with actual pieces of meringue and a passionfruit swirl. Yumness!

Il Gelato (WA) - Mascarpone and Fig.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) Il Gelato (WA) – Mascarpone and Fig.

The mascarpone and fig was yummy too. It highlights the fresh flavour of figs and the gelato artisan Constantino Limoncella from Il Gelato had also won a Gold Award for it at the Sydney Royal Show 2013. Makes sense, it was delish!

Giapo (NZ) - Tiramisu.

Gelato World Tour (Melbourne) – Giapo (NZ) – Tiramisu.

And finally Tiramisu, need I say more. As stated on Gianpaolo Grazioli’s gelato profile ‘Ladyfingers dipped in coffee in a multilayered, textured egg-coffee custard. Decorated with white chocolate curls and a golden truffle.’

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) - Dancing Gelato Chef.

World Gelato Tour (Melbourne) – Dancing Gelato Man.

There was also some info sessions and mini-courses about gelato, the history, becoming a gelatiere, opening a gelato shop. Basically everything you need to know about gelato. This gelato man was having a great time dancing and playing air guitar in front of the stall. Maybe he had one too many gelato cups. I certainly did. Wow! Sugar HAze…I was drunk on sugar, it happens. But the event was prepared and had St. John’s ambulance onsite just incase of gelato overdose. It was great to be able to taste of all the best gelato of Australia/Oceania in one place. So much fun!

The awards ceremony for the world’s best gelato was at 3pm today and the winners for Oceania were:
1. Melbourne’s Gelato Messina with ‘Cremino’ their salted caramel gelato with house made gianduia fudge, fresh meringue and crushed amaretti.
2. NSW’s Cow and the Moon with ‘Mandorla Affogato’ with Madagascan vanilla bean gelato with roasted caramelised coffee almonds folded through with a coffee caramel sauce.
3. NSW’s Frangipani Gelato with ‘Pavlova Gelato’ a meringue based gelato with a passionfruit swirl mixed with meringue pieces.

I heart the Gelato World Tour!

Olives x

Gelato World Tour 2013
Address: Argyle Square – Cnr Lygon St & Argyle Place, Carlton Victoria 3053
Website: http://www.gelatoworldtour.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GelatoWorldTour
Event Dates: October 25th-27th 2013
Trading Hours: Fri 12.30am-9.30pm, Sat 11am-9.30pm, Sun 11am-7.00pm

Chin Chin

Chin Chin - Melbourne

Chin Chin – Melbourne.

As you walk into Chin Chin the décor has a sophisticated feel with a strong arty presence. You can’t forget a gigantic bright pink neon light in the shape of a bunny on the wall. On top of their contemporary take on Bangkok street food they also showcase and support works from local, international, emerging and established artists. This place is all about fresh and well-balanced food. We ordered the chilli salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon as an entree. The chicken on its own seemed like ordinary fried chicken but when drizzled with a bit of lemon and dipped in the sauce, the flavours came alive. I was surprised at how delicious it could be for such a simple dish. My taste buds were excited and my palette was ready for the next dish.

Chin Chin - Chilli Salt Chicken Wings

Chin Chin – Chilli-salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon.

The barramundi and caramelized pork salad was to follow and was equally as delicious. On the odd occasion I do make friends with salad, and this was one of those times. Hmm it’s probably not the kind of salad that you can eat on a diet and be proud of yourself, it’s not all that healthy but it is that delicious! The saltiness from the crispy fried barra and the sweetness from the melt-in-your-mouth caramelized pork combo is a perfect balance of flavours. It mixes perfectly with the fresh herbs and apple salad topped with Thai dressing and peanuts for crunch. Dream!

Chin Chin - Pad Thai noodles, Tom Kha & Barramundi and Caramelised Pork Salad

Chin Chin – Pad Thai noodles, Tom Kha & Barramundi and Caramelised Pork Salad.

The chicken green curry with salted duck egg and pea eggplant is delicious. It had special ingredients in the dish that made it stand out from other Thai green curries. Firstly the pea eggplants were adorable little baby eggplants that added flavor, secondly the salted duck eggs were so salty that they gave the curry that punch and thirdly the zucchinis were cooked in a way where they had crunch on the outside but were perfectly cooked in the center so the texture was like they exploded in your mouth as you bit into them. So good! The Massaman curry, Pad Thai Noodles and Tom Kha Soup were all yum but nothing out of the ordinary.

Chin Chin - Green curry and Massaman Curry.

Chin Chin – Green curry and Massaman Curry.

For dessert I had the coconut sago, it was like an adventure in each spoonful. It began with the rich coconut creamy sago paired with a scoop of corn ice-cream (with subtle bits of sweet corn pieces) then came the toffee crunch of the praline and the pop of the puffed rice. Absolutely delicious!

Chin Chin - Coconut Sago w sweet corn ice-cream, praline and puffed wild rice.

Chin Chin – Coconut Sago w sweet corn ice-cream, praline and puffed wild rice.

Chin Chin is always very busy during the evenings and there are no reservations (except if you book one table of 10-12 peeps). It’s a walk-in restaurant so you should either go while the sun is still out or be prepared to wait. During peak dinner times it is not uncommon to wait for an hour or two or even sometimes three hours eeek. But you can waste some time at the gogo bar in the hip and happening basement downstairs while you wait. Just leave your details upstairs and they call your mobile when your table’s ready. Note: You can’t have a person book the table while the others make their way to the restaurant. You all have to be present to join the queue to be seated. Drats! However if you’re eating as a pair you can be seated at the bar for dinner, less eating space but delicious none the less.

I heart Chin Chin!

Olives x

Chin Chin
Adress: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Website: http://www.chinchinrestaurant.com.au
Phone: 03 8663 2000
Trading Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am ’til late (7 days)

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Huxtaburger

Huxtaburger

Huxtaburger – Melbourne – City store

Huxtaburger is a burger joint with a strong focus on good quality burgers. Hot beef and cold beer. The Smith Street store in Fitzroy is well known for their amazing burgers but they recently opened a city store in Melbourne and people are going crazy. I wondered what all the fuss was about. I mean how good could these burgers really be?

Huxtaburger and crinkle cut chips

Huxtaburger and crinkle cut chips.

It could and was the best burger I have ever eaten. Prior to my first huxtaburger, burgers were just burgers, average and unmemorable.  But as I ate this burger, it made a significant change on the way I viewed and dismissed burgers in the past. I found myself critiquing the burger true masterchef style commenting on its texture, acidity and balance of flavours.

All of the ingredients are fresh and of high quality and when put together make a perfectly balanced burger that is insanely delicious.  The huxtaburger pattie is made from good quality beef (Moondarra grass-fed wagyu). Then there is tomato sauce (burgers 101), creamy mayonnaise, mustard, cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, fresh tomato and crunchy pickled cucumbers sandwiched amid a buttery brioche bun. Perfection! It takes a genius to create a seemingly simple burger with such a great depth of flavour. Amazing!

Huxtaburger Mmm

Mmm Huxtaburger.

It’s a little hard to find this place, but you can come through the food court entrance off Collins street or through Fulham Place off Flinders Lane. After business hours you will need to enter through the alley, you’ll see the neon sign alternating red (hot beef) and blue (cold beer). The city store is like a little american dinner with stools around the outside of the room with partitions to section off your eating space.

Huxtaburger diner

Huxtaburger Melbourne – Dining area.

The first time I tried a huxtaburger we got the burgers takeaway and ate them on the run on our way to the Regent theatre. After I ate my first huxtaburger it left me with a delicious buttery burgery aftertaste and I wanted nothing more than another one right that moment. Unfortunately at that point it was too far to go back and order a few more (or a few hundred more) before the show. I had to work with what I had, so I tried to eat my boyfriends huxtaburger. He was almost finished (so I only got one bite) then I moved on to eat my mums huxtaburger, I think with all the ‘just one more bites’ I ended up eating half of her burger (she’s so nice). Sometimes I can be a big greedy piglet and this was one of those times but I blame the burger for being so delicious! Forget the theatre, this burger deserved a standing ovation.

I went back the next day to make sure the burger I tried the night before wasn’t just one of those dreams that felt like it was real. I got a freshie and ate it at the diner, this time not in a rush and as remembered it was divine. It tasted almost identical to the last one I had eaten.

Gormet traveller shares the recipe for the Classic Huxtaburger for those keen to attempt the huxtaburger at home. Do try this a t home. Tip: Make these homemade huxtas for your friends (preferably friends that have never tried huxtaburger) then bathe in their praise as they wolf down their burger and lather you in adoring comments about your exceptional cooking skills.

HuxtaMax

Max loves Huxtaburger beef patties.

My frenchie Max and I love the classic Huxtaburger but they also have a vegetarian option, tofu burger with sesame soy mayo…sounds yum and a jalapeno and sriracha mayo if you like it hot. Definitely handy to have one in the city now so I can pop down there on my lunch break.

I heart Huxtaburger!

Olives x

Huxtaburger
Address: Fulham Place off Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Website: http://www.huxtaburger.com.au
Phone: 03 9417 MEAT (03 9417 6328)
Trading Hours:  Monday – Saturday 11.30am-10pm. Not open Sunday

Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon