Taste of Melbourne Festival
13-16 November 2014
The Taste of Melbourne Festival is back again, launching with a media launch event tonight and opening to the public Friday-Sunday. The ultimate foodie event of the year, stock up on crowns (the Taste currency) and purchase sample dishes from over 15 restaurant popups or see what some of Australia’s top producers have to offer.
This year is set to be the most diverse and unique yet, with new faces Nieuw Amsterdam and Gazi making an appearance as well as the return of favorites like Burch & Purchese and MoVida. The festival is also set to preview Daniel Wilson’s new lobster roll concept Mr Claw, and Jason Jones’ yet to be named Moroccan establishment. For the first time ever, regional restaurants will also be included in the line-up with popups from Tulip (Geelong West) and Gladioli (Inverleigh).
One of the festival’s hottest new additions is Gazi, owned by local celebrity George Calombaris. Their sample menu come straight from the real Gazi menu and includes Taramosalata with pita bread (6 Crowns); Saganaki Cheese with honey, balsamic and lemon (8 Crowns); and their highly popular Soft Shell Crab Souvlaki with mint, coriander, honey, mayo (12 Crowns).
Another new addition this year is Saké Restaurant and Bar who will be dolling out plates of Prawn Shumai Dumplings with ponzu dipping sauce, spring onion & chilli (12 Crowns); Flinders Island Wallaby Bun with soy & ginger braised shank in buns with miso (6 Crowns); Tonkatsu Cups with panko-fried pork belly & spring onion bites served in lettuce cups (8 Crowns); and their signiture dish of grilled miso marinated G51 toothfish (18 Crowns).
Nieuw Amsterdam, one of the hottest restaurant slash bars to open this year, is serving up Pimiento Cheese Fritters with ravigote dressing (6 Crowns); Pork Trotter Nuggets with burnt onion jam (10 Crowns); a Berry Split with white chocolate mousse, jelly and granita (8 Crowns); and their signature dish of Smokey Beef Brisket with kim chi, roasted garlic and nieuw BBQ sauce (18 Crowns).
The festival is also set to host a number of foodie info sessions and events with Cake Wines and Plumm Glassware teaming up to bring you a number of interactive wine tastings with various themes. Sessions will be hosted by current Wine Director at Vue De Monde Rocco Esposito, and Head Chef of Lee Ho Fook Victor Liong, who will match the wines to his signature style of Contemporary Chinese cuisine.
Learn a new trick or two at Dilmah’s Chef’s Skillery sessions, who will be teaching everything from how to fillet a fish to successfully pairing flavours. Otherwise get up close and personal with some of Australia’s best chef’s including Shaun Presland, Frank Camorra, Matt Wilkinson and Darren Purchese at the Taste Kitchen, as they share the secrets of their favourite dishes and offer tips and advice to home cooks. The Lurpak Cookery School is also offering a series of 30 minute cooking classes to teach how to complement ingredients with quality Danish butter.
A number of bars will also be open at Taste, including for the first time a traditional Munich Brauhaus Beer Hall, serving German beer and traditional cuisine. TimeOut and the team from The Local Taphouse have also teamed up to create the Hop Up Bar, showcasing some of Australia’s best craft breweries. If beer isn’t your thing, treat yourself at the decadent French themed Citroën Garden Bar or sip cider in the sunshine at the Beautifully Swedish Rekorderlig Star Bar and sample their new summer flavour Pomegranate. If you opt for a Platinum ticket, you may also enjoy live music and exclusive tastings in the private Platinum Garden Bar.
If you haven’t got anything planned for the weekend yet, this is a must. For full schedules, booking details and ticket information, visit the Taste of Melbourne website.