I should start off by admitting my pick of the best eats at Taste of Melbourne doesn’t include what the judges decided was the winning dish, duck fat ice-cream from the Royal Mail Hotel. It’s not that I tried the duck fat ice-cream and hated it (although I have to admit the flavour combination does sound bizarre) but it was only on offer for two days of Taste of Melbourne and those were not the days that I made it there.
So I can only tell you about what I did get to eat. Highlights included some old favourites, the soft shell crab souvlaki from Gazi ($12) was as crunchy, sweet and downright delicious as ever.
It’s pretty hard to walk past the Movida team with the charcoal grill and not order one of the lamb pinchitos ($10) covered in the most moreish slightly spicy mix of “Moorish” spices.
Taste of Melbourne is a great opportunity to get some Mamasita corn ($6) without queuing up at the restaurant. I could eat that chipolote mayo they douse it in by the bucketload.
The one real fail I ordered was the slow cooked cooked ox cheek ($8) from Circa which sounded delicious on paper but in reality was dry and over cooked.
My main tip for young players (you would think I would have worked it out by now) is not to leave your Taste of Melbourne run to the last day. I missed the chance to try the duck fat ice-cream and a few other dishes were also sold out.
Details: Taste of Melbourne, Albert Park Lake, Melbourne.
Damage: Pricey. Entry is $30 and food costs up to $12 a dish. I had a free ticket to Taste of Melbourne but paid for my own food and drink.