Thursday, June 28, 2012

La Dolce Italia August 10 - 12 2012


Italy has just beaten Germany in soccer and here is an opportunity for you to experience a bit of Italy here in Melbourne. Courtesy of La Dolce Italia, from 10.00 am Saturday, 07/07/2012, we are offering the fifteen respondents who best tell us, in 25 words, or less, why they love things about Italy, with the subject line La Dolce Italia, two free general entry passes to this outstanding exhibition. The judges decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Here is a little general information.

After two successful years in the streets of Melbourne, La Dolce Italia is taking centre stage at one of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings, the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. For the first time, La Dolce Italia will be over three consecutive days in August 2012.

La Dolce Italia will showcase the best of Italian food, wine, fashion, tourism, sport and art, all together under the one roof transforming the Royal Exhibition Building into ‘Little Italy’ for the duration.

There will be so many things to see and do, from fashion parades to food and wine master classes, a truffle bar and a VIP Italian restaurant, everything from sport to arts and crafts.

No doubt there will be something for everyone.

Carpe diem as the Romans say!! Here is the ticket information for the events for those who miss this opportunity.

La Dolce Italia

From August 10 to August 12 - 5 Sessions

Session Times
Friday: 12.00pm to 4.00pm 5.00pm to 9.00pm
Saturday: 12.00pm to 4.00pm 5.00pm to 9.00pm
Sunday: 11.00am to 5.00pm

La Scala General Admission

La Scala General Admission – Entry only for one session
Standard GA Ticket (Only available in advance) $30.00
General Entry (Available at Door) $35.00

Under 7s enter for free, child prices apply for 7-17 year olds
La Scala Family Pass General Admission Entry only for one session
(Entry is for 2 adults & 2 children between the ages of 7 & 17 years of age)
Standard GA Ticket (Only available in advance) $70.00
General Entry (Available at Door) $80.00

La Scala Junior Pass General Admission Entry only for one session
(Junior Pass is for children between the ages of 7 & 17 years of age)
Standard GA Ticket (Only available in advance) $15.00
General Entry (Available at Door) $20.00

Colosseum VIP Pass (Available in advance only) $95.00
General Admission
Gift Bag
Complimentary Casual Dining 2 Courses + Glass of Wine All Day Pass No Exit
Access to Olympic Bar plus one Drink
15% Discount to one Master Class of your choice

Italian Table VIP Lunch

(Limited seats of 60 per seating) $495.00
(Available in Advance only)
Ticket Includes:
• General admission
• Gift bag to the value of $150
• SIX Course degustation with matched wine by Award winning Chefs
• Raffle ticket extraordinary prizes valued at $1500
• Access to Olympic VIP Lounge plus complimentary drink to the value of $50
• Reserved Seating at Milano Runway
• 15% discount on ONE Master Classes of your choiceGeneral admission

Friday Lunch: 2 Michelin Star chef Patrick Dang,Chef Enza Liberati, Pastry Chef Italian Champion Emmanuele Forcone
Saturday Lunch: 2 Michelin Star chef Patrick Dang, Chef ALMA and Pastry Chef Italian Championship Emmanuele Forcone
Sunday Lunch: 2 Michelin Star chef Patrick Dang, Enzo Frisni, Pastry Chef Italian Champion Emmanuele Forcone

Please note Friday Lunch is SOLD OUT.

Truffle Bar - Cost $95
General admission tickets
Gift bag
Cocktail canapes with matched wine prepared by Guest Chef Patrick Dang

Wine Master Class - Cost $55
General admission
Gift bag
Guest Speaker/Sommelier
Snack Food

Enoteca - Cost $45
General admission
Gift bag
Snack Food

Olympic Bar - $95.00
General Admission
Watch the Olympic Games
Meet Ex Olympians
Food and Drink vouchers to the value of $50
(La Dolce Italia supports responsible service of alcohol)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Esposito@Toofeys (Carlton) 06/2012

Faye Bowyer and Janet Barton, members of the Ordre Mondiale, a section of the renowned ancient food and wine organization La Chaine des Rotisseurs, organized an outstanding six course truffle dinner with interesting masked wines to accompany each course at Esposito. This is a pleasant venue with an eclectic variety of decoration on its walls.After a Vilmart NV Grande Reserve Champagne the first course was a red wine cured scallop truffle crumbs and avocado cream. The aroma of truffle was immediately apparent. The scallops, effectively raw, had very little flavour and looked a little unappetizing with their red stain. The accompanying 2009 Mooraduc Estate Chardonnay was very acceptable.

This was followed by a crab ravioli, fennel puree, almond and truffle foam. Once again the truffle aroma was prominent, the crab was very delicate, almost undetectable as crab for me, and not improved by a little lemon. The pasta was perfect and the 2009 Domaine Maurice Chapuis Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru lived up to it’s fine name. Unfortunately this is not freely available. It is a complex white that matched the raviolo beautifully.

Slow cooked ox tongue, watercress salad, warm truffled Kipfler potatoes was served with a 2006 Domaine Gerard Raphet Geverey Chambertin Premier Les Combottes. Most of the guests found this wine outstanding, although they were unable to identify it, it’s country of origin or it’s vintage. The ox tongue, which had been cooked sous vide, as had the following dishes, was simply superb.

Quail saltimbocca, pear tatin, wilted radicchio and truflled red wine jus was a fine combination of ingredients. Once again the truffle added a touch of something special to the dish. This was accompanied by a 2010 Escarpment Pinot Noir Kupe vineyard, Martinborough, New Zealand.

The last main course was a venison brique, roasted cauliflower, glazed chestnuts and shaved black truffles served with a 2006 Domaine de la Janasse Chaupin Chateauneuf du Pape. For some this was the wine of the night.A dessert of malted chocolate truffle mousse, candied rose petals and rosemary ice cream was not as sweet as I would have liked and the mousse was rather firm. The Italian 2003 Felsina Vin Santo largely defied recognition. It was quite luscious with no hint of bitterness.

This was a very fine meal which displayed excellent technique combining textures, tastes and appearance and good use of truffles to highlight their special contribution to food.

Score: 17/20

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chana Masala - a recipe

Chana masala is a vegetarian Indian/Pakistani dish centered around chickpeas. It is a simple dish which can be varied by the spices and the amount of chili used. As such there are numerous recipes available. One of our readers, wishing to promote a Sydney restaurant, has provided this one. We offer it here, untried. If you want to explore the site he is promoting you might visit: or