I had my first ever Taste of Melbourne experience last night. Shameful I know since it’s been running for years, but a fitting time to visit as the global “restaurant festival” is rejuvenated by moving to a new alfresco location. And there’s plenty of liquid sustenance for barflys among the food.
To start, stop by Rekorderlig’s tent and recline on a beanbag to sample their newest ginger and orange flavour on ice; obviously good for ginger beer lovers and refreshing for those, like me, who prefer a slightly less sweet cider.
When feeling fancy (always!) Laurent Perrier have set up a lounge where you can indulge in caviar and sparkling or take a masterclass with The Champagne Dame.
Naturally my eye turns to cocktails. Cointreau are hosting their first ever Fizz Lounge. Essentially serving up (simple to replicate at home) Cointreau, lime and sodas in ever more adventurous incarnations. I urge you to try a fizz spiked with basil and cucumber, passionfruit and chilli or tea and mint.
Sensology is offering make-and-sip-your-own cocktail workshops with 50’s, latin and tiki themed recipes.
Meanwhile smaller breweries and wineries are also purveying their wares among boutique food producers and restaurants like Mamasita, The Aylesbury and Movida. Taste of Melbourne is on today until Sunday with lunch and dinner sessions to glutinously choose from at the Pelican Lawn, Aughtie Drive, Albert Park. Now when can we start a bar festival (Sip of Melbourne anyone)?
P.S. I tried Albert St Food & Wine’s winning dish of the festival, the ‘Misty Mermaid’ – a chilled pea and mint soup. I could have eaten the silkily springtime dish by the bucket-load with a straw so bonus points for it being drinkable.