Melbourne Food And Wine Festival 2013
74 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9654 2252
Here’s a quick (and belated) summary post. With this year’s Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Fakegf and I have mellowed down significantly. We booked only two express lunches compared to six places last year.
Spicy & char-grilled pork ribs, apple & cabbage salade, house made BBQ sauce
Fresh sardines in ‘saor’, squaquerone, piadina & saba
For those of you who’re less familiar, the Restaurant Express lunches lets you sample a restaurant’s menu at a pretty affordable price. This year, it’s $40 for two courses with a glass of wine and tea/coffee. Still not too bad compared to the other pricier events.
Spinach & ricotta cannelloni, braised lamb shoulder, Swiss Gruyere
Crispy duck leg, barley, beetroot, oranges & macadamia
I visited Bottega with both Fakegf and her partner (ie. The Angmoh), we eat out together quite chummily these days. That cannelloni was spectacular!
Amaretti & Pavesini Tiramisu
6 Russell Place
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9639 7822
Fortunately, this year we did not face any of those appallingly rushed seating sessions that plagued a few of last year’s restaurant express visits. Our meals were nicely paced and civilised.
Entree: Goat ham, pickled vegetables, squaquerone cheese & roasted macadamia nuts
Main: Fish of the day (Tuna)
Veal cotoletta, marinated peppers & lemon marmalade
In both restaurants that we visited, we generally found the entrees and mains to be of high quality. But desserts at both places were a bit of a let down.
‘Pistachio panna cotta’, caramel salted popcorn
Personally, I suspect this may be the last year I’m doing these express lunches. Pricing has gone up from $35 to $40… and while it’s still of somewhat good value, I find the limited menu (2-3 options to choose from) quite restrictive.
Outside of the festival weeks, many of these restaurants do offer lunch specials at $45-$55 anyway. And you get to choose from most of the regular menu rather than a (limited / tweaked?) menu.
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
at Konjo Cafe & Restaurant
Lauren from Footscray Food Blog asked me along to this fun event. We were led into a smoky room at the back of an Ethiopian cafe restaurant in Footscray. We were then given a demonstration on the traditional method of hand-roasting and brewing coffees, Ethiopian-style.
The event cost $20, and it included a very nice spread of Ethiopian dishes, sitting on fluffy injera breads. What a nice way to catch up with Lauren!
The meal ended with aromatic cups of thick Ethiopian coffees, which were hand-roasted and brewed over coals right in front of us while we were eating.
Watching the whole coffee-making process made me want to experiment with buying green coffee beans, hand-roasting them myself at home and then making Singapore-style ‘sock-brewed’ kopi…
… project project!
The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar
1A Queens Bridge,
Southbank, VIC 3006
While we’re on the subject of coffees…
This year, the festival has also created a pop-up coffee farm right along the city’s river promenade.
The pop-up allowed you to explore the story of coffee, with a chance to have tasting flights to compare the flavour profile of varietals from different estates, regions or washing processes.
Around The World in 8 Coffees
by Small Batch Roasters ($15)
They also held daily workshops (run by various cafes and roasteries) to help us understand coffee further.
I really jumped in at the opportunity to attend these workshops… but sadly, most of them were held on dates and times that I couldn’t attend. I only made it to this one successfully.
This was a very insightful workshop, I’d like to thank Aaron Wood and Andrew Kelly from Auction Rooms for giving us a ‘tasting canvas’ and putting the coffee world (from farm to cup) into perspective so passionately.
We sampled 8 coffees from Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala and El Salvador. While I personally couldn’t discern the flavour profiles that accurately, all the coffees we sampled were delicious and we got to bring home 3 x 100g bags of our favourite varietals.
So these were the MFWF events I attended this year. Which ones did you go to, and how did you like them? And for Fakegf’s (more comprehensive) version of events, you can read it here.