Sunday, August 24, 2008
Some of Melbournes very best restaurants were represented at the Age and Emirates sponsored Taste of Melbourne at the Exhibition Building 21 to 24 August.
For whatever reason they chose to sell $2 coupons called Crowns which had to be used instead of money leaving many people holding unredeemable bits of paper at the end of their visit! Most offerings were entree size or smaller costing $8 to $12. Not particularly unreasonable if you are sitting in a nice restaurant but this was effectively 'take away' with almost no where to sitand some of the dishes were tiny. Since it also cost $25 to get in it produced an experience which I am unlikely to want to repeat. Of course not everything cost. there were tastes of fine cheeses from Enoteca Silena, Greg Malouf's spices Chapman Hill olive oils and moreWe had Grossi Florentino's Porchini mushroom and sage risotto, excellent, Longrain's Yellow chicken curry with cucumber relish, 312's roast quail in vine leaf, cracked wheat, almond and poached lemon, I could have done with more of that, and their apple confit, burnt butter ice cream, salted caramel, Circa the Prince's slow cooked sher Wagyu meat pie, truffled coleslaw, licorice spiced pumpkin, (Very good) Stokehouses blue swimmer crab chowder, Verge's slow cooked pork belly 'nan ban zuke' shitake and seaweed, and Fifteens' signature rotolo with baby spinach, baked ricotta,majoram, mushroom and sage butter, one of the best things served as also was their olive oil chocolate mousse with candied pistachios and grappa marinated strawberries.
Almost every dish was very good to excellent but long queues, large crowds - some dishes ran out mid afternoon, made our best restaurants perform like a Hawkers market. Not the best way to showcase excellence.
A programme of talks by leading chefs was booked out very quickly
With a few glasses of wine this added up to a couple of hundred dollars for the afternoon. Other restaurants represented included Nobu, The Press Club, Interlude, Stokehouse, Botanical and The Court House.
Vue, Ezards, Attica, Matteo's and Tempura Hajime were some restaurants that were not represented. For those who may want to go to Tempura H. be aware they are closing at the end of the year!