Sunday, April 4, 2010

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Review: 4th Edition

For it's second year, the Roman Block Party at Giuseppe, Arnaldo & Sons closed the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.  Although I hear last year's was bigger and better, it was a fantastic night with gourmet nibbles, sparkling wine, and Aussie celebs circling the Crown's Roman trattoria. 

Some of Melbourne's best restaurants joined the party as Josh Emett from Maze, Anthony Lui from Flower Drum, Shinichi Maeda from Wasabi, and Neil Perry from Rockpool Bar Grill delighted our tastebuds throughout the evening.  Every hour on the hour, new and exciting cocktails were presented by Aex Marchetti of Icebergs and Danielle Gjestland of Wasabi.

We were welcomed with a glass of sparkling upon arrival and it kept flowing throughout the night.  Gourmet tasting stations were positioned throughout the restaurant - freshly shucked oyters, bluefin tuna sashimi, cured meats shaved on the spot, and my favorite, the 'roadside' suckling pig where they were serving up pulled pork ciabattas smeared with herbed pesto, crackling, and candied mustard.  Making your way over to the tuna station, you were given a choice of a more traditional sashimi with freshly grated horseradish or a spoonful of ginger and sesame marinated tuna.  The oysters didn't last and were being slurped down as fast as they were shucked. 

In addition, servers kept your mouth full as they passed around a wide variety of hors d'oeuvres showing off talents of the culinary experts in the kitchen.  There was certainly no shortage of food or drink.  I don't think empty glasses were allowed.  I was looking forward to seconds of the cheesy arancini balls, the light and fluffy crab and spring onion pancakes, and the juicy pork dumplings.

If you needed a break from the posh scene inside, you could head outside to grab a seat on the patio overlooking the Yarra.  As the night went out on, the party headed outdoors as well.  After being a big fan of last year's Masterchef Australia, I was excited to meet two of my favorite judges, Matt Preston and George Calombaris. 

The night concluded with a take-away lamington from the new kid on the block, Maze.  I will definitely be back next year and highly recommend this event as long as you don't have a big day at work Monday ;)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an amazing time. Have a wonderful week. Cheers! Have you ever been to The Royal Mail...what an amazing Australian restaurant. Cheers!



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