Melbourne Food And Wine Festival 2013


74 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9654 2252
Bottega on Urbanspoon

Bottega 01

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.

Bottega 02Entrees: 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.

Bottega MFWF 2013 2692Bottega MFWF 2013 2695 Mains: 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!

Bottega MFWF 2013 2699Amaretti & Pavesini Tiramisu


6 Russell Place
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9639 7822
Sarti on Urbanspoon

Sarti MFWF 2013 2649

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.

Sarti 01Entree: Goat ham, pickled vegetables, squaquerone cheese & roasted macadamia nuts Main: Fish of the day (Tuna)

Sarti MFWF 2013 2667Veal 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.

Sarti MFWF 2013 2675‘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

89 Irving St
Footscray, VIC 3011
03 9689 8185
Konjo Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony MFWF 2013 7578

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.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony MFWF 2013 7581

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!

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony MFWF 2013 7585

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!

Urban Coffee Farm MFWF 2013 2601

The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar

Queensbridge Square
1A Queens Bridge
Southbank, VIC 3006

Urban Coffee Farm MFWF 2013 2605

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.

Urban Coffee Farm MFWF 2013 2607

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)

Urban Coffee Farm mfwf 2013b

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.

Urban Coffee Farm mfwf 2013 a

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.

Urban Coffee Farm MFWF 2013 2616

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.