Thursday, 27 August 2009



I have been looking forward to this event! Went for the first time 2 years ago and absolutely loved it - it is great to see so many good Melbourne restaurants under one roof.

My first stop this year was the 'Gourmet Traveller Taste Kitchen' where Melbourne chefs would be giving master classes on their favorite recipes. Matthew Wilkinson from Circa, the Prince was teaching how to prepare a french style quail.

Matthew Wilkinson's master class

The class made me hungry so, after going through some of the food & wine exhibitor stalls, I headed to the restaurant stalls.

Started at MoVida with their slow cooked cuttlefish with chorizo & chickpeas. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed when the dish came out. It lacked presentation and the serve was quite small. But I changed my mind completely on the first mouthful - it was delicious; perfect combination of spices, creamy texture on both fish and chickpeas, spicy chorizo. Yum!

cuttlefish with chorizo & chickpeas ($12)

Next I tried fresh oysters from Oyster Little Bourke. Maybe I should have gone for something a bit more elaborated than natural oysters, but they looked so fresh that I simply couldn't resist. The lightly spiced 'romesco' tomato based sauce was a good addition.

Natural oysters with romesco sauce & lemon ($10)

At last, a dessert dish I had my eyes on from the start: Botanical's chocolate pave with burnt orange cream and candied cumquat. This serve was really tiny, but it did taste great - specially the candied cumquat (to my surprise). Didn't think much of the orange cream, but the cumquat was deliciously bitter-sweet and had a caramel-like consistency that melted in the mouth.

Pave of Valhona chocolate with burnt orange cream & candied cumquat ($8)

In total, I spent $30 (+ event ticket) for the equivalent of 2 entrees and a dessert (or half desert, should I say?). It's certainly not the best value for money going around, but I thought the event as a whole was worth it. The chance of seeing all of Melbourne's best chefs working under one roof was definitely worth the effort. :)

Note: more of the food stalls coming up on my next post - stay tuned!


  1. Hmmm, interesting.. we've got piles of cumquats right now and I've been thinking of things I can do with them (that is more exciting than putting them in my porridge and yoghurt). Might need to bust out some candy-action!

  2. Wow that's fast! I guess from the outset we all knew we wouldn't be getting value for money, but it was more about the experience!

    I am interested in trying the slow cooked cuttlefish purely for the fact that it is slow cooked and I thought cuttlefish has to be cooked quickly or else it will end up tough! I'm looking forward to going over the weekend!

  3. Hi Conor. The cumquats were delicious! It was a great way to use it.
    Hi Rilsla, I remember from Garry from MasterChef saying that cuttlefish can either be cooked very quickly at high heat or slowly brased over low heat for the same effect. The fish was delicious!
    I'll look forward for your posts on the Festival.

  4. i wish i'd delayed my trip to melbourne to come when the taste festival was one. looks like you had fun and i'm definitely bookmarking this one for next year!