Having moved from it’s previous home at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton, the new outdoor setting of the annual Taste of Melbourne 2012 festival delivered a relaxed atmosphere. Though Melbourne’s tumultuous weather patterns could have turned for the worst, fortunately – though the clouds were still out to play – the rain held off for the opening night of the festival, encouraging foodies to queue in lines as long as those at the packed-out restaurants themselves.
A brief glance at the Taste of Melbourne website had alluded to the fact that the event showcased local restaurants and seasonal dishes, however the $30 entry fee (not including any meal or drink), still seemed quite harsh.
Prawn cocktail with spanner crab, Moreton Bay bug, prawn, iceberg lettuce, rockmelon, basil, and soft-boiled quail egg, The Atlantic. Not the greatest dish of the festival, but it seemed to be a popular choice amongst the punters. Perhaps it was due to the shorter line at the Atlantic store in comparison to the epic lines outside Mamasita, Taxi Dining Room, and The Aylesbury.
Coming from Perth, I have learnt to keep rather low expectations of festivals and events. They’re typically a lot smaller (and less exciting) than they are hyped up to be (see: Tiff’s post on the Beaufort Street Festival in Perth).
Hopping off the tram (thank you Melbourne public transport and the 96 tram for the door-to-door service) and coming into view of the festival, we realised that the event was much larger than we had anticipated, and as we drew out our wallets and approached the festival we were handed two VIP entry tickets. Uhhhh, thanks mystery woman?
Yarra Valley Caviar tasting plate.
Seeing as we saved on the entry, we had more money in our budget leftover to spend at the festival.
More Dorper Lamb Ribs with Mint Salt from The Aylesbury. More delicious handmade ice creams from Burch & Purchese. More alcoholic beverages from Rekordelig and the Cointreau bar. More dance-floor starting with that DJ guy. More post-festival food-baby Adventure Times on the ride home.
The ribs were OUTSTANDING.
Meredith goats cheese stuffed zucchini flowers with Melbourne Rooftop Honey, The Aylesbury.
For budding foodies, this festival is an amazing way to get up-close and personal with your culinary heroes, allowing festival-goers to mingle and interact with celebrity cooks and Head Chefs from some of the country’s top restaurants.
Kapai Puku raw seed energy mix with coconut oil.
Spotted: at least 5 ex-MasterChef contestants, Darren Purchese of Burch & Purchese, half of the celebrity chef participants of Ready, Steady, Cook, and a cardboard cut-out of one of my personal heroes: Poh Ling Yeow.
The Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio stall was being run by owner Darren Purchese and Kylie Millar, dessert queen from the most recent series of MasterChef. The handmade desserts were out of this world – especially the banana and white chocolate ice cream. Zomg.
‘Til next year, Taste of Melbourne…