Potato tour and coffee flights: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2013
Some people look forward to Summer, others to Christmas, but my favourite time of year is the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The festival kicked off this weekend and I’ve already managed to get along to two events.
|The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival|
The epicentre of the festival this year is the pop up Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar by the side of the Yarra. Designers Hassell have recreated a coffee farm here complete with towering coffee trees growing as if on a terrace, wooden shipping pallets and reused shipping containers. During the course of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival there’s a 17 day roster with a different cafe taking over the brew bar every day. At night the brew bar transitions to a cocktail bar run by some of Melbourne’s top bars.
|Coffee flight at the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar|
I was invited to attend a coffee tasting session run by 5 Senses. I tried out a flight of coffee and it was really interesting to see the difference between the coffee using different processes and varieties. The food was supplied by a new bakery opening next week in the Docklands by the Atlantic Group. The pastries are to die for. The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar is well worth checking out as entry is free. It’s so popular that they are serving up 2,000 coffees a day so far – gotta love Melburnians and their coffee addiction!
|Mmmm doughnuts for breakfast at the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar|
Details: Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar, Queensbridge Square, Melbourne 3000
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve. Takeaway coffee or flight of coffee $3.
|Gammon and Colcannon mash at the Snug Pub|
1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato Tour
When I think Sydney Road in Brunswick my first thought isn’t usually potatoes. But embracing the “earth” theme of this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Sydney Road’s latest cultural tour is all about the humble spud. Led by our intrepid guide, comedian Monica Dullard, we started off at the Snug Pub a charming and tiny Irish pub. Rather than a horrible Irish theme bar (I’m looking at you Bridie O’Reilly’s), the Snug Pub really reminded me of a real Irish pub. They sell Guinness poured properly, Tayto crisps and excellent food like bacon and cabbage made with gammon and colcannon mash. This is one place I will certainly be coming back to.
|Patatas Koftesi from Moko Gigi, from Uleg and Potato Samosa from Mughlai|
We headed down the road to Moko Gigi a tiny Turkish cafe which is the sort of place I would probably usually walk straight past. However the cafe makes fabulous patatas koftesi which the owner described to us as “like a meatball but made with potato”. A potato and onion mixture was lightly crumbed and flecked with parsley and paprika before being fried. Next up was the Indonesian restaurant Uleg where we ate perkedel which is Indonesia’s take on a potato cake. The cakes are usually served as an entree or side.
|Making the gozmale at Cafe Global|
The highlight of the tour was s Cafe Global which makes the most fabulous gozmale ($3). If you are lucky you will see one of the staff preparing the gozmale in the window and it’s amazing to see how thin they can roll the dough. It’s stretched until it’s papery thin and then stuffed with filling like cheese or potato before being fried. The papery is rich and buttery but at the same time light – it’s sensational stuff. Cafe Global is worth a visit alone just to check out the amazingly ornate ceiling and huge staircase which looks like something the Von Trapp family may descend down any moment.
|Gozmale at Cafe Global|
Details: 1 Potato, 2 Potato, 3 Potato Tour, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. $50. (Ph 03 9380 2005).
Damage: Reasonable. The tour including one drink and food cost $50.
The Snug Pub, 68 Sydney Rd Brunswick 3056 (Ph 03 9388 8756).
Moko Gigi, 165 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3065 (Ph 03 9381 1642).
Uleg, 312 Sydney Rd Brunswick 3056 (Ph 03 9388 2062).
Cafe Global, 373 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3065
Mughali, 217 Sydney Rd, Brunswick 3056
Gourmet Chick was a guest of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The festival runs until 17 March.
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