Taste of Melbourne 2012

Walking shoes and eating pants on.  Check.  Sunglasses and umbrella.  Check.  I was ready for Taste of Melbourne.  If you are wondering about the need for sun and rain protection it’s because this year for the first time Taste of Melbourne is outdoors – at a great location on Albert Park Lake.  Given that even Taste of London is outdoors I’m actually surprised Taste of Melbourne hasn’t made the move to being alfresco earlier.

Yes they even have their own branded cup cakes at Taste of Melbourne

I was invited along to the opening night tonight where I got to indulge in some serious Laurent Perrier drinking and wander around to discover the best dishes.  Of course there were some official judges there as well with Nuno Mendes from Viajante in London heading up the panel.  The judges pronounced Mamasita’s Mulato rubbed pork fillet ($18) and The Botanical’s Yuzu Cloud dessert ($6) the best runner up dishes and the Minted Mermaid soup ($8) from Albert Street Food and Wine as the best overall dish.  But forget the judges, these are my recommendations for what you must eat at Taste of Melbourne this year:

Frank Camorra of Movida serving me his chargrilled Moorish lamb skewer

1.  Must eat savoury dish:  Movida’s Pinchito Morunos ($8).  
Enjoy the spectacle and the aroma of whole skewer of “Moorish” lamb being grilled over charcoal at the Movida stall.  The lamb has been rubbed with spices to give it a little kick alongside the smoky flavour and I liked the addition of a bread roll on the end of the skewer for extra sustenance.  Plus if you are lucky Frank Camorra himself will serve you.

Dessert heaven with Living Room’s Chocolate Mousse

2.  Must eat sweet dish: Living Room’s Warm Chocolate Mousse ($8). 
This tiny pot of chocolate mousse offers total sweet tooth satisfaction.  The mousse is warm and topped with caramel popcorn.  Dig deep discover an almost melted marshmallow. It’s the dessert that keeps on giving.

The Misty Mermaid from Albert Street Food and Wine

3.  Best of the rest
Albert Street Food and Wine’s Misty Mermaid ($8) 
Phillippa Sibley may be best known for her desserts but she managed to take out the Taste of Melbourne best dish with this chilled pea and mint soup. The Misty Mermaid was as refreshing as it sounds and I loved the flecks of smoked salmon and apple in it.

Pork belly from Taxi

Taxi’s Pork belly ($8) 
Taxi’s cube of sticky and sweet pork belly is what Asian fusion cooking is all about. Totally moreish.

Libertine’s Terrine

Libertine’s Terrine ($10)
Who doesn’t love a Terrine? Libertine’s version is made with free range chicken and includes little nuggets of pistachio.  It’s served with a slice of crisp grilled baguette and a few shreds of apple salad to add some sweetness to the mix.

Mr Hive’s Eton Mess

Mr Hive’s Summer Berry Eton Mess ($6) 
I became addicted to Eton Mess living in the UK and Mr Hive’s sophisticated take on this classic dish is great.  It’s a perfect summer dish as well.

Mr Hive’s  Salmon Ceviche

4.  Maybe skip
The dishes I tried that I wasn’t so taken with were The Botanical’s Lamb Burger with Truffled Mayonnaise ($8) which was just a pretty straight forward burger and Mr Hive’s Salmon Ceviche ($6) while the dish looked spectacular the salmon itself was a bit underwhelming.

Helloooo my friend Laurent Perrier

Gourmet Chick was invited to review Taste of Melbourne on its opening night.  

Taste of Melbourne runs from 15-18 November at Albert Park in Melbourne.  General admission tickets are $30 each.  To pay for food you have to buy books of “Crowns” which are priced at $1 a Crown.  You are likely to go through a surprising number of these and be warned that after a few drinks they feel a little like Monopoly money.  Taste of Melbourne is not a cheap night or day out but it is fun.  


  1. I’m going on Saturday so thanks for the tips.

  2. Oh, how exciting! I wish I could come over for the weekend 🙂

  3. Anon – Hope you enjoyed

    Kari – You should have I am sure you would have had a great time.

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