Event Review: Taste of Melbourne

Taste of Melbourne is a food festival that celebrates Melbourne's culinary scene. This year, Taste of Melbourne was held in Albert Park for the first time at the beautiful lakeside location, Pelican Lawn. A number of Melbourne restaurants participated, offering tapas sized dishes for visitors to buy and try.

Albert Street Food & Wine “Minted Mermaid” – pea & mint soup, smoked salmon & apple $10

We started our Taste of Melbourne journey with a very creamy "Minted Mermaid" from Albert Street Food & Wine. The chilled soup was thick, decadent and had beautiful flavours.
Albert Street Food & Wine - Duck brik, peach and ginger chutney $12

Albert Street Food and Wine on Urbanspoon
 The Aylesbury - Dorper Lamb Ribs, Pea and Mint $6

One of our favourite dishes was the lamb ribs from The Aylesbury which had big Mediterranean flavours and were delectably juicy and tender, with a perfectly crisp layer of skin.
The Aylesbury on Urbanspoon
Movida - Pinchitos Morunos, Chargrilled Moorish Lamb skewers $8

Movida's lamb skewers were perfectly cooked - deliciously charred on the outside and perfectly pink on the inside. They were, as described, incredibly moorish. 
MoVida Next Door on Urbanspoon

Malaysian Kitchen cooking demonstration
The Atlantic - Tempura Soft Shell Crab with jalapeno and ponzu $10

Another highlight of our evening were these beautiful morsels of tempura soft shell crab from The Atlantic. The batter was light and not greasy. The crab tasted fresh and juicy!
The Atlantic on Urbanspoon
 Libertine - Smoked venison, beetroot & horseradish $12

The folks behind the Libertine stall were incredibly friendly - it was great to see that their high standard of customer service extended beyond the restaurant!
And the smoked venison did not disappoint. There was a lovely balance of flavours between the salty slices of smoked venison and the slight tartness of the beetroot. The horseradish brought a wasabi-like kick to the dish. It was lovely.

Libertine on Urbanspoon

Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar - Salt bush lamb shoulder, peas and mint $8

 Mr Hive's lamb shoulder was deliciously tender and tasty.
Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon 
1 Cocktail + 2 tastes $8
The cocktails from Radii Restaurant & Bar (Park Hyatt) which were accompanied by moreish canapes were most impressive.
Radii Restaurant & Bar, Park Hyatt Melbourne on Urbanspoon
Gundowring ice cream $2 for 2 cones
And soon it was time for dessert.
The Botanical - Yuzu cloud, coconut pearl, guava sorbet $6

This was the best dessert we had at Taste of Melbourne. The luxurious coconut milk contrasted spectacularly with the tartness from the guava sorbet and the yuzu brought a lovely chewy textural element to the dish.
The Botanical on Urbanspoon
The Point - Baked organic quark cheesecake, hazelnut crumb and raspberry $6
Mahjong - Steamed BBQ pork buns $6 
We ended our time at Taste of Melbourne with a supper classic, Char Siu Bao from Mahjong. Unfortunately, the buns were slightly dry but thankfully the sweet and salty barbecued pork filling was enjoyable to eat.

Mahjong on Urbanspoon

Entry tickets courtesy of Nuffnang

All in all, Taste of Melbourne is an interesting experience. While I would not describe that experience as being one that could replace dining at one of the exhibiting restaurants, it can certainly give you an idea of what a restaurant has to offer and most importantly, can be a really fun day out with family and friends.