The iconic Melbourne lanes with it's funky bars and cafes.
This edition is about new food trends and upcoming events - beginning with a roundup of what's going down in Melbourne right now. The Gourmet Within had a friend over this week who's recently moved to Melbourne and she confirms what we all kind of knew: Melbourne is the food capital of the South Pacific. However - what goes down there, goes down here - sooner rather than later these days, since we're pretty onto it too!
Interior of Top Paddock restaurant in Melbourne.
Food truck at Splore Festival.
Cooking demos at Taste of Auckland.
Time Out Food Awards have just been awarded, with Japanese restaurants scooping many of the gongs on offer. Restaurant of the Year award went to Flinders Lane Japanese restaurant Kappo. Minamishima in Richmond scored Best Fine Dining Restaurant and Hakata Gensuke won Best Bang For Buck for their amazing ramen.
Viva Magazine's recent article about top restaurateur Nathan Toleman's tips for what's hot in Melbourne was quite fascinating. His latest must-be-done restaurant is opening soon and will join destination restaurants Top Paddock and Kettle Black.
Toleman is cashing in big on what is essentially free advertising via Instagram pix taken by his happy diners - he's upped the game by using gorgeous hand-made crockery, napery, table props and even textured surfaces so that his customers can show his food in its best possible light!
He reckons that in Melbourne sustainability ideals are getting stronger, with people wanting to know the sources of food - the closer the better. Some restaurants are even 'closing the loop' by composting vege leftovers and sending it back to their suppliers.
No Melbourne food establishment would, of course, be seen dead without its serious in-house barista - no such thing as waitstaff whipping up a mere coffee. This is something that Auckland and Wellington have understood for years, of course...
Street food is becoming increasingly popular as the quality and variety gets better and bigger. Again - our two main cities are all over this. On a recent trip to Welly, we stayed on Willis Street opposite a permanent international food market - everything you can imagine and more in about 30 little stalls that were immaculately clean, busy and fresh, fresh, fresh! Mostly they came in around $10 for a solid meal, too.
On this note, Food Space has started in Auckland. It's a hand-picked collective of mobile vendors which 'exists to celebrate, develop and open up the mobile food community in New Zealand'. The Food Space vendors are 'passionate souls who serve fresh, unique and conscientious menus out of trucks, vans, carts and pop-ups around the city'.
They'll also come to you to cater your big event. Keep in touch with them here. They'll be at Daldy Street in the Viaduct on Saturday September 12 for a launch party with DJs and delectables from 11am till late.
Finally for this update, tickets went on sale this week for the next big food thing in town: Taste of Auckland touches down in gorgeous Western Springs 5-8th November. They say "Yes, the rumours are true – we’ll be celebrating the amber nectar in the all new 'Brew Street' and there will be fire…" Hmm...
With tempting destinations such as the Dilmah Tea Garden, Social Kitchen, Gourmet Hangi we're excited. Spring is here and our tummies are rumbling!