Tag Archives: melbourne food and wine festival

All Good Things Come to an End

It is a few weeks overdue, but the last of my Melbourne Food and Wine Festival/Bank of Melbourne Prizes is over.

The finale was a full day of Master Classes, during 2013’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. And in summary, I would PAY to do this again next year.

I am the type to shake my head at all those cooking reality shows, and I still will do so, but I think I have had a natural interest in cooking since I was a kid. I made up recipes and loosely followed other recipes on a Sunday afternoon, and then Mum would clean it up. (I will mention this was not something you volunteered to do, but I was just simply terrible at cleaning up). So back to the point, I thoroughly appreciated, especially Dan Lepard’s session on baking. There were four sessions all up and early on in the day when food samples came around I may have slipped an extra few than others. But I had no idea it would pretty much be constant food everywhere for the entire day.

 

So I say goodbye to the awesome experience that was this year of prizes and was so damn lucky to have won it. So the lesson, enter those random competitions you see. You never know when you will win, especially if you always tell everyone “I never win anything”.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , ,

Attica – Not linked to Atticus Finch.

I am about to NOT talk about this guy.

So this is one of the most famous ones. When I say ones, I mean on the list of prizes I won. Attica, the only association I had prior to this was it kinda sounded like one of the main characters out of that Grade 10 compulsory book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch. I hope that is right, otherwise I didnt event retain that.

This restaurant was one that people went, “ohhhh…” or “woowww” when I said I was going there. Particularly my good mate Nick who has been a chef the past 15 years or so. And since he has cooked me so many fantastic meals in the past it made sense to invite him along to this experience. So here we go.

I will say that the experience overall was one of the best so far. Why? Not because of the amazing waiters, not because of the beautiful surrounds, or the expensive hand towels in the bathroom. But because of the simple wow factor of every dish presented and the origins of the dishes themselves, Australia.

The place was so well set out with simplicity and elegance. There were several servers who were all very knowledgable and I liked the fact they shared the role at each table, so there were many personalities that appeared. They cared about what they were doing and enjoyed it at the same time. We chose the eight course degustation with matching wines. It was perfect (maybe not the next day with the hangover I had!) and as each dish came out, another unique presentation came with it. As I said, I am not the best with describing the way each dish tasted, though they were all different. Each had its own character and the wines sang out that character.

The dish that stood out the most for me though, was the Native Fruits dessert. To discover so many fruits from Australia that I had never tasted and then combine it into a dish made me smile. I felt educated, and also so impressed at the variety we have here.

They called our cab, after three hours of enjoyment, it was an experience and not just a dinner. Thanks Attica!

I sat where that happy lady is sitting.

One of their signature dishes. A potato cooked in the soil it grew in.

My favourite dish of the night, Fruits of Australia.

Tagged , , , , , ,

C-O-D-A

As usual, it took me a while to find this restaurant. I am not used to looking down at the ground to find a restaurant down the classically Melbourne’s Flinders Lane. The establishment was in a basement, with the only signs that it existed were a few knee high windows next to the pavement. CODA was a restaurant I had heard of and I had been very keen to give it a go. So I was pretty darn lucky for it to be Dinner Four of the Bank of Melbourne and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Prize. The industrial look was a winner as soon as I walked in, and sat down at our table. The mesh lighting was a bit different but at the same time, very Melbourne. Thats the cool thing about this city, anything goes and therefore it becomes unexpected all at once.

Our cheery waitress talked us through the menu like it was her favourite short story, and I discovered that pretty much 3/4 of the dishes on the menu could be turned into a vegetarian dish. The menu is divided up to smaller dishes and larger dishes, so it was a shared scenario for the evening. We ordered a long list of things, as we were in a fortunate situation, along with about four cocktails each, and still didn’t come close to our gift voucher budget. I was very impressed and the food was fantastic. The odd thing was that my favourite thing on the menu was the side of brussel sprouts. Something about them made me just want to proclaim how good they were to the people in the street on the way home. I came close.

The cocktails were fantastic, I would come here just for them, the Clover Leaf being my favourite, so rock on in there and don’t even look at the list, act like a local and order it. As long as you are cool with drinking alcohol. It has alcohol in it.

All I can say is that everything I ate was fresh and quality, with an overall asian feel to the menu, with modern/western twists on some of the dishes. Can I just say it was all yum and all should go here? It isn’t too expensive either.

Walking back out into the night after finishing off the dinner with an amazing set of desserts also, I was simply chuffed. Thanks Coda, there was a reason I had heard of you.

Tagged , , , , , , ,