Prawn, Eggplant & Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry


With summer almost here, now is the perfect time to cook one of my favourite proteins: prawns! This is a great easy stir fry dish I’ve based on a recipe by Masterchef Justine Schofield. Full of mushrooms and eggplant, it’s a tasty way to get your three serves of vege for the day.


25g dried shiitake mushrooms
400g green prawns, peeled & deveined
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch knob of ginger, finely grated
2 long red chillis, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 large eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp cornflour
1/2 cup unsalted cashew nuts
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander, plus extra to serve

  1. Pour enough boiling water over mushrooms to cover and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine prawns, garlic, ginger, chillis, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, honey, and Shaoxing wine. Set aside.
  3. Heat canola oil in a wok. Add eggplant and cook until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add prawns and cook until they begin to turn pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Drain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Add the mushrooms to the pan.
  5. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom liquid. Whisk in the cornflour and add to the pan. Stir until sauce thickens, then add cashews and coriander.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice or noodles, topped with extra coriander.

Serves 2

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Chia Puddings w/ Strawberry & Rhubarb Compote


Recently, my dad invited me to dinner and I was tasked with bringing dessert. With summer just around the corner, I wanted to create something delicious AND healthy, so came up with these chia puddings with strawberry and rhubarb compote. With only 2 tablespoons of caster sugar in the entire dish, they are a great way to get that after dinner sweetness without feeling guilty. Plus, chia seeds are packed with omega 3 and paired with the yoghurt and protein powder make these a good source of protein. I’ve used vanilla protein powder to flavour my yoghurt, but feel free to substitute with extra vanilla extract, or leave it out completely for a sharper taste.


200g white chia seeds
700ml low fat milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 punnets (500g) strawberries, halved
1 bunch (5-6 stalks) rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths
2 heaped tbsp caster sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 1/2 cups low fat greek yoghurt
1/3 cup low carb vanilla protein powder

  1. In a bowl, combine chia seeds, milk and vanilla. Leave to absorb in the fridge for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon chia into 6 serving glasses and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saute pan over medium heat, add the rhubarb, caster sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Cook until rhubarb is just beginning to break up, about 3 minutes. Add the strawberries and cook for another minute or two until the fruit is just tender. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly before refrigerating until cold.
  3. When ready to serve, stir together the yoghurt with the protein powder. Top the chia with yoghurt, then compote and serve immediately.

Serves 6

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Melbourne Taste Festival back for 2015


Hey guys! After a short hiatus The Melbourne Food Files is back and we are excited to let you know about this year’s Taste of Melbourne Festival!

Launching tonight at Albert Park, Taste of Melbourne brings you some of Victoria’s most sought after restaurants and premium dining experiences, local entertainment, exotic cuisines and some of the country’s finest food and beverage suppliers, all in one convenient location. The event will run a lunch and dinner session each day for the next 3 days, concluding Sunday.


Whether you are a discerning Melbourne foodie or simply seeking something different in the spring sunshine, Taste again this year will be bringing you a series of Masterclasses by some of the countries best chefs. Pick up insider tips from the likes of George Calombaris, Mark Best, Robin Wickens, Matt Dempsey and Peter Gunn who will all be conducting intimate, live cooking demonstrations.

A new addition this year is the South African Garden, a unique experience featuring South African MasterChef and BBQ expert Benny Masekwameng. Discover the colourful food culture of South Africa with meat on the ‘Braii’ with wines to match. The garden will also feature a pop up restaurant from South African five-star dining destination, Five Hundred with executive chef, David Higgs.

MFF_TasteOfMelbourne15_03 MFF_TasteOfMelbourne15_01

For those wishing to bypass the crowds and indulge themselves, the Platinum Lounge is the exclusive enclosure for Platinum Pass holders with an open bar, wine tastings and long lounges to luxuriate on after a hard day’s indulgence.

The humble sandwich is often regulated to lunchboxes and high teas, but this year’s Lurpak ‘Go Freestyle’ cooking classes will teach you how to take it to the next level. Learn to master the art of the sub, the secrets of the Reuben and the best of the BLT, combining unique flavours in these free classes presented by the Danish premium butter label. Places are strictly limited and work on a first in first served basis.

Reflecting the picturesque Adelaide Hills region in South Australia, the Nepenthe Wines Hill will be the perfect position to take in the stunning surrounds of Albert Park Lake and enjoy a selection of quality Nepenthe Wines (official wine partner for Taste) and other artisanal delights from the region. A fruit-filled oasis in the heart of indulgence, the Australian Pear orchard and juice bar is a healthy alternative amid the artisanal producers.


Unlock the secrets of India’s eclectic range of spices and their origins in the India Pavilion, where leading Indian culinary experts including MasterChef’s Neha Sen will take Taste attendees on a gastronomic journey from the farthest reaches of the Ganges to the streets of Mumbai. Learn everything there is to know about Indian cooking including family recipes and tips and tricks on how to make an authentic curry.

But the real draw card is Taste’s lineup of some of Victoria’s best dining institutions, which this year includes Supernormal, Luxembourg, MoVida, Pei Modern, Circa The Prince, Royal Mail Hotel, Mamasita, Pastuso, San Telmo and Saké Restaurant & Bar, along with new additions Gladioli and South African pop-up Five Hundred. Stock up on crowns (the Taste currency) and choose from 3-4 small dishes from each restaurant’s popup. Taste is the best place to sample all of these renowned venues conveniently, without the need to book or add your name to a never-ending list.


Full schedules, booking details and ticket information
can be found on the Taste of Melbourne website
Tickets start from $25.00 from Ticketek

Taste of Melbourne 2015
Thursday November 12 – Sunday November 15
Pelican Lawn, Albert Park Lake

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Legacy appealing to all tastes of Camberwell

MFF_Legacy_TitleWith the success of Collective, Boss Pizzeria and My Other Brother, part-owner Julian Moussi seemingly had the Camberwell shopping district all wrapped up. But Moussi obviously had other ideas, feeling there was room for one more of his on-trend cafes. This time he’s partnered with Kristy-Lea Deva and Nicky Campbell (who doubles as executive chef) to open Legacy on Camberwell Road.

Tucked into a small space on the ground floor of a new apartment complex, Legacy features wall-to-wall red brick accented with strip lighting. It’s certainly different to the warehouse meets Scandi-style of the moment, but is perhaps slightly claustrophobic, with the space feeling a little like a below-ground bunker.


The menu is more health focused than Moussi’s other ventures, who is clearly pitching his food squarely at the trendy, lycra-clad brigade. The menu features several ‘superfoods’, including the usual suspects such as kale, açai and chia. It’s also pretty as a picture, guaranteeing it will end up on social media to draw in the instagram crowd.

The granola, for example, is an artfully arranged bowl of fresh fruit, chia seeds, granola and yoghurt. But while it’s full of so-called ‘healthy’ ingredients, it’s a little on the sweet side. Obviously the term ‘health focused’ is used loosely.


The is mainly made up of breakfast items, such as chia pudding, superfood porridge, and the ever popular smashed avo, plus a couple of lunch items including a fried buttermilk chicken bun. Can’t decide what you feel like? Why not try a bit of everything. For the indecisive, there’s a breakfast option containing a smaller bowl of granola, a mini croissant, smashed avo on toast and an orange juice.

MFF_Legacy_BreakfastIf you’re on the run, the counter at the front door contains a range of bagels, salads and other treats to keep you going. Grab one of their scrambled egg and bacon rolls with your morning latte, brewed from a custom blend from Dimattina.

MFF_Legacy_FridgeWhile the main menu does have a definite health bent, the sweet treats in the front window show these guys don’t take the superfood crap too seriously. Most items are made in-house, including their signature range of doughnuts.

MFF_Legacy_DoughutsWhile the menu may be more trend-driven than having any real nutritional merit, it is still darn tasty. From superfood porridge to fried buttermilk chicken, there’s plenty of options that appeal to a broad range of tastes.

With two more cafes opening in the coming months in Glen Iris and Hughesdale, it seems certain Moussi’s legacy will be one of great food.

347 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell
(03) 9041 1796

Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm

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Mighty Boy open late for Tour de France pop-up


If you’re a fan of bikes and booze then there’s an awesome event running this week just for you. Shadow Electric has teamed up with Mighty Boy to bring you Domestique: a Tour de France pop up bar and eatery.

Now in it’s fourth year, Domestique is live screening the tour this week at the Gertrude eatery, serving up some tasty snacks and drinks to keep you comfortable. Mighty Boy head chef Scott Blomfield (formerly of Supernormal) has put together a great menu for the five big stages. Cocktails, wine, beer and late night bar snacks will be available until the race’s end.

For those who just happen by, the list of snacks includes Mighty Boy favorites fried eggplant bites, cauliflower kim chi and of course, there’s French fries.

For bookings of 4 or more, there’s a set menu that stays true to Mighty Boy’s cuisine with a French twist. Start your meal off with some crispy frogs legs (yep, that’s right) or opt for chicken wings if you’re squeamish.


The main course is an Asian take on the classic Beef Bourguinon – beef cheeks braised in red wine and Asian spices, served with smoked kohirabi, pickled shallots, crispy jamon, mushrooms, and betal leaf crisps.


After a palate cleanser of green mango with chilli salt, comes a passionfruit pud served with crème brulee, coconut ice cream and sesame praline. It’s a delicious mix of flavours and textures that straddles the line between the two cuisines perfectly.


If you’re a Tour tragic with a taste for food, this is one pop up worth a visit. Hurry though, as when the Tour ends on Sunday this pop up ends too.

Domestique at Mighty Boy
59-61 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC
(03) 9419 3686

From 5pm
July 18 – 26

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