Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mallymoodle's view and gluttony at Taste of Melbourne 2010

After going to the Taste of London Festival in 2009 and 2008, Pooey was super happy to find out that there was a Taste of Melbourne Fest and that she'd be present for it. To maximise her ability to eat food, she also bought a ticket for me.

It was held at the lovely REB and as we casually made our way towards the gardens, we got a frantic call from SEM saying that there was a HUUUUGE queue of people trying to get in and that we should hurry up!

I really liked SEM's description of the queue: "It's like Wimbledon!!!"
Luckily it moved quickly and we got inside with due haste.

So pretty on the inside with its Victorian fresco and post-Industrial Revolution metalworks.

The crowd mills around the stalls.

Now the thing about these fests is that one requires a certain level of shamelessness to push through the (more substantial than Pooey expected) crowd. Luckily, I have little shame and happily pushed through to the front to get our tastings!

Pooey with some extra crowns purchased later after we ate up our pre-bought crowns.

Happily showing off the roasted pork cheek on white polenta from Mezzo.

Close up of the pork cheek

Pooey digs in!

Our next stop was The Stokehouse stall to get some scallops and TheBombe - a dessert based on Bombe Alaska.

See that guy in the middle with the glasses? He was really rude. The Bombe wasn't ready yet (fair enough because it's a dessert and the time would have been about...oh, 12:30pm) but he was very abrupt about telling everyone of that fact, and he was even short with me even though I only asked for the scallops in recognition of what he said! Even Pooey said he was rude and she was standing a good metre behind me!

We eventually decided that the scallops were not good enough to make up for him being rude...

...which meant I wasn't very happy when I ate them.

To clear up the unhappy from Stokehouse, we went to the stall for Luke Mangan's new digs in Melb - The Palace at the Hilton. We'd been told the night before by Shefali that the Wagyu burger should be eaten. It was and it cheered us up big time!

Pushing in for the burger and ribeye steak.

Excited about the Palace's Wagyu burger!

Close up...

followed by cross-section!

The ribeye - delicious! We were a bit confused about the identity of the round white thing on top. Options included a scallop and a blob of fat before settling on it being bone marrow. Still good!

SEM got the tuna carpaccio from The Palace. Mmmm, raw fish....

The duck tortoloni from The European. While eating my ribeye/burger, I saw people walking past with this and decided I wanted it. I got it, and it was delicious and ducky.

We took a short break from stuffing our faces to have a look around some of the exhibits....and stuff our faces with free samples.

Horrible photo but fun story - the guy at the Ben&Jerry's stall gave me two samples. In answer to being told that he must have liked me, I replied that I gave him my bestest smile! However SEM's friend got A FULL CUP of ice cream! My bestest smile was no match for the people he really liked! :P~

This guy was very nice (and kinda hot in his nerdy glasses). The stall was for beef that is "As close as you can get to being labelled organic without being organic. Our cows live in pasture and eat grass the way they're meant to. See this cow behind me? They live like that. If I was a cow, I'd want to live in those conditions!"
I don't know about you guys, but I was convinced!

As you can see, he then cooked us up some minute steaks. They were tender and grassy tasting the way grain-fed beef isn't. Quite nice. He also gave me his card for the restaurant he's opening at The Olsen, Steer. I might go!

We visited some general kitchen-y stalls were we saw some super cute kitchen-y things. LIKE THESE SUPER CUTE SMEG FRIDGES!!!! THEY'RE SO CUTE THEY NEEDED A HUG!!!!

And these frilly aprons.

We then decided it was time to go upstairs and see what was there. Despite not being hungry anymore, we decided to get some more food.

I love French food and this was the rabbit rillettes and the game consomme from Libertine/Le Traiteur. I think the consomme was a bit too heavy for Pooey's tastes.

Wallaby tataki from Charcoal Lane. Insert roadkill jokes here! But honestly, the marinade was a bit heavy flavoured - I couldn't taste the wallaby.

SEM's hazelnut parfait from Embrasse. Delicious mint-flavoured ice!

We made our way back downstairs for more looking at the stalls. I was tempted to spend $20 on a teeeny jar of caviar, and then more money on a teeeeny jar of truffled honey, but I resisted. What I didn't resist were other sweeties.


Posing with the chocolate fountain


Despite the earlier bad experience, we went back to The BOMBE and use up our crowns. This time around, we got a much nicer serving guy who was much happier to feed me. I enjoyed The Bombe so much that I even gave him the thumbs up which was enthusiastically returned!

By now we were pretty full and tired so to finish, Pooey decided to get some cheese.

Cheese lady hands over the cheese.

The cheese.

And so rubbing our comfortably full bellies and cackling over my bag of passionfruit yo-yos, we waved goodbye to Taste of Melbourne 2010. Anyone up for Taste 2011?!


  1. Haha I love your review and all the funny photos. I think the whole of Melbourne's food blogging people are up for Taste 2011. I shall link to your review on my blog.

  2. Great post! I especially like the the smeg fridge. What was the pick of the day?

  3. I totally agree about the Stokehouse staff. Two of them (including the guy in glasses) were rude to me as well (off-hand and superior). I really regretted buying food from them, and wouldn't go to Stokehouse ever because of them.

    However, my fried said that the bar staff were quite nice.

  4. Thanh - thanks for the shout out and look forward to 2011!

    Jonno - I'd say the highlight was definitely the pork cheek. Excusing my love of polenta, the cheek was so tender it fell apart with some prodding from my fork alone!

    Yvonne - very disappointed to hear glasses guy + random staff member were rude to you as well. You'd think that given the fest exists to encourage us to go to the restaurant that they'd be drilled to be as accommodating as possible *shrug*


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