Taste of Melbourne 2014

Taste of Melbourne 2014

Taste of Melbourne 2014

Taste of Melbourne is an event held at Albert Park where Melbourne restaurants come together to showcase their food. This allows you to try a variety of dishes and experience an assortment of Melbourne restaurants in one big eating bonanza. It’s sort of like going on a food contiki tour. You make a short visit to numerous restaurants and get a brief feel for each place. Later you can revisit the Restaurants of the stalls that you enjoyed most.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Venue - Albert Park

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Venue – Albert Park

There were lots of seated areas and chill out lounges where you could just hang and grab a drink. Recorderlig had some big red bean bags which were comfy.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Gazi's Soft-shell Crab Souvalaki

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Gazi’s Soft-shell Crab Souvlaki

There were lots to choose from but Gazi’s soft-shell crab souvlaki caught my eye. I’ve had a chicken souva, lamb, beef, pork souva but a soft shell crab souva? Nope, not until now. It was outta this world. Yum yum yum! . The soft shell crab was battered and deep-fried. The crab was deliciously crunchy siting in a soft pita with honey, mayo, mint and coriander. Soft, crunchy, creamy, sweet, fresh…yum! One of my faves.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Mr Claws' Chunky Buttermilk Lobster Roll

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Mr Claws’ Chunky Buttermilk Lobster Roll

To continue the seafood high we wandered over to Mr Claws and tried the chunky buttermilk lobster roll. Oh YUM! Forget Santa Clause, Mr. Claws has the goods. There were big chunky pieces of lobster mixed in a buttermilk ranch sauce. The roll was soft but also toasty and super buttery like brioche. Can this be my favourite too? It was delish! They also had a miso wasabi and spicy version. Yum!

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Huxtable's Smoked Ora King Salmon

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Huxtable’s Smoked Ora King Salmon

We got a sneaky snack from Huxtable, which was a thinly sliced crouton w smoked Ora King salmon, capers, onion, lemon oil & spots of crème fraiche. It was delicious. Simple ingredients that go so well together. This little bite-sized toastie was superb.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Lucy Lui's Thai Style King Prawn Salad

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Lucy Lui’s Thai Style King Prawn Salad

From the Lucy Lui stand we tried the Thai style king prawn salad w green papaya, lime & peanuts. I was surprised they didn’t mention it had chilli seeings that it was a prominent component of the dish. I like chilli so all good. The one prawn on top was kinda bland but the salad was fresh and spicy.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Movida's Pinchitos Morunos (Lamb Kebab)

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Movida’s Pinchitos Morunos (Lamb Kebab)

There was a big charcoal BBQ at the Movida stall. We ordered the Pinchitos Morunos which was Flinders Island lamb marinated in Moorish spices & cooked over charcoal. It was a gigantic lamb kebab with a big piece of crusty bread on top. The flavours were intense and the meat was juicy. I liked the chunk of bread on top, it was a cute touch because the marinade was the kind you would mop up with bread if it was served on a plate. It was delicious.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Bstilla's Chicken R'fissa Wrap

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Bstilla’s Chicken R’fissa Wrap

We got the Chicken R’fissa Wrap from B’stilla which was tasty. It was a square of roti with spiced avocado, shredded chicken and topped with a chilli apricot sauce. It was yum.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Sake's Steamed Prawn Shumai Dumplings

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Sake’s Steamed Prawn Shumai Dumplings

From Sake restaurant & bar we tried the steamed prawn Shumai dumplings which didn’t look like your usual Shumai. The dumplings were wrapped in a noodle like pastry (oodles of noodles) and served with ponzo dipping sauce, spring onions & chilli. They were nice.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Sake's Tonkatsu cups (Panko Fried Pork Belly Bites)

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Sake’s Tonkatsu cups (Panko Fried Pork Belly Bites)

We also tried the Tonkatsu cups from Sake restaurant, which was panko fried pork belly bites served in lettuce cups with cabbage and mayo. They were good too.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Mamasita's Taco Al Pastor (Pork Taco w pineapple, onion & coriander)

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Mamasita’s Taco Al Pastor (Pork Taco w pineapple, onion & coriander)

At Mamasita we tried the Taco Al Pastor, which was delicious. The taco tortilla was really soft and the Al Paster-style (spit-grilled) pork was amazing. I really like the flavour combo of pork, onion, pineapple & coriander. I was loving the pineapple it made it sweet and spicy yum! And there was also a side of green salsa to put on top. Yum!

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - N2 Gelato's Ferrero Reveal

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – N2 Gelato’s Ferrero Reveal

Okay now by this time my savoury tummy was full and it was time for desserts. The N2 Gelato Ferrero Reveal was like Ferrero rocher, the ice-cream. It was so fricken delicious. It was basically an ice-cream cup of nostalgia. It reminded me of Nutella, choc-tops, ice-magic, coco pops and Ferrero rochers. Good times. The nutella ice-cream had rice bubbles through it which tasted like coco pops. The rice bubbles replicated the texture of the Ferrero wafer sphere. The chocolate ganache was like a choc top and went hard like ice-magic. And then all of that was injected with a syringe full of chocolate ganache. One marvelous creation.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Pope Joan's Mr Wilkie (smoked yogurt soft serve w freeze dried raspberries & pistachio crumb)

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Pope Joan’s Mr Wilkie (smoked yogurt soft serve w freeze dried raspberries & pistachio crumb)

We tried Pope Joan’s Mr Wilkie, which was a smoked yoghurt soft-serve ice cream. The yoghurt had a noticeable smokey flavour which was interesting and then it was paired with a sweet raspberry coulis, some freeze dried raspberries and a pistachio crumb. It was a sensation of flavours and textures. It was voted No. 1 of the festival and rightly so. It had a complex array of flavours that made this dish much more than just a soft-serve. Loved it!!

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Dish'd Black Pearls (Dark Chocolate Mousse & Caramel Sauce on a Chocolate Almond Base)

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Dish’d Black Pearls (Dark Chocolate Mousse & Caramel Sauce on a Chocolate Almond Base)

From Dish’d we tried a black pearl, which was a tear drop shaped dark chocolate mousse cake with gooey caramel chocolate sauce in the center sitting on a chocolate almond base. It was one fabulous chocolate expedition. Chocolate lovers ahoy!

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Burch & Purchese's Salted Caramel Tart

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Burch & Purchese’s Salted Caramel Tart

And finally by the time was got around to Burch & Purchese we were full to the brim. But we managed to squish in a choc, caramel and hazelnut tart which was delish. The sweet caramel and chocolate tones with an evident pinch of salt makes this tart a keeper.

Taste of Melbourne 2014 - Slab of Australian Lychee Cider

Taste of Melbourne 2014 – Slab of Australian Lychee Cider

Also we loved the Lychee Gold cider so much that we decided to take home a slab for later.

I heart Taste of Melbourne 2014!

Olives x

Wherefore art thou appetite?…

Every foodies nightmare is losing their appetite. Losing their sense of taste and smell and basically their whole sense of life, is devastating. Over the last few days I have been bed ridden with a virus that has stolen my appetite quite suddenly without warning. I didn’t even get to quickly eat something yummy before it started. It has been horrible I tells ya…just horrible!

And of course when this happens, coincidently someone in your house has cooked your favourite meal, it’s the weekend your friends have planned a dinner at your favourite restaurant and someone returning from a birthday party, pops by with some leftover cake. Oh the pain!

So the virus was stealth in the beginning, no sign of headache, fever, or muscle aching. But I did notice there was something wrong when I woke up that morning, saw pancakes for breakfast and declined them. Hmmm that definitely sparked some caution. The second clue was that my friend brought over chocolate and jam fairy cakes to eat with tea and I said I didn’t feel like it. I thought that was strange but continued business as usual. And then BAM! massive fever, colossal headache and my body was aching all over. All of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle came together and presented me with a monstrous virus. It went a bit like this.

Bang! A Virus. Directed by Olive Sundays

A painful story of a foodie falling ill with a virus, then longing for her long-lost appetite to return (tragic! I know).

Act I Scene I     A creeping virus.
[Enter MEL and VIRUS, mel waking in the early morning oblivious to the virus’ presence]

MEL – (Yawn) Ah what a lovely morning. Is that the fresh scent of buttermilk  pancakes my nose detects?

VIRUS – No you must resist madam, let them be left alone. I can assure you, pancakes are not what you want.

MEL – I must deny thy pancake today, perhaps for another morn.

Act I Scene II     Afternoon Tea.
[Enter FRIEND]

FRIEND – I come bearing chocolate and jam fairy cakes.

VIRUS – Refuse thy offer, as the sweets are not to your liking.

MEL – Oh friend, I must decline, for I have no interest in sweets today.

FRIEND – Really? That’s odd, but okay whatevs.

Act I Scene III     The illness prevails.

MEL – Why don’t I feel hungry? Appetite, Oh Appetite! Wherefore art thou appetite.

VIRUS – It has been I, who has convinced you all along, that the flavours of delicious food are no longer important. You are doomed to eat only ever for survival and never for pure indulgence again. Muahahahaha.

MEL – Nooooooooooooo! (Sadface)

[MEL falls upon her bed and lays there for days until better]

Fin. The end.

It’s a really strange feeling when your life revolves around food. Usually I’m eating food or talking about food or dreaming about food or writing about food. So to not even want to think about food, was very distressing.

So maybe it’s important not to take things for granted because sometimes they disappear abruptly without notice. At least if you appreciate the moment now, you won’t have to regret the moments passed.

Olives x