CherryHill Orchards’ Pick Your Own is Back this Summer

CherryHill Orchards’ Pick Your Own is Back this Summer

The summer cherry-picking season is almost here and CherryHill Orchards’, Pick Your Own season is set to start on November 24th with an abundant crop of sweet, ripe cherries to pick, eat on the spot and take home by the bucketful!

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MGallery Literary Collection - "Celebrity Dining" @ The Como

The Wheeler Centre – Melbourne’s hub for literary art – is taking part in a new literary collaboration with the MGallery Collection – a selection of nine hotels in Australia, each inspired by a story, either historic or contemporary.

Gastrology was privileged to be invited to attend its Debra Oswald Event at The Como Melbourne on Chapel Street recently. A brilliant evening of gorgeous food and literary talent. It made the team at Gastrology proud to be part of the booming literary community in Melbourne. 

The evening began with champagne, lavender martinis and canapés in The Como Melbourne foyer - a contemporary and welcoming hotel in South Yarra – before being invited to proceed up the elevator to level 6 to the beautiful penthouse event space, Gold Suite. 
The Como Melbourne General Manager Jeremy Healy and Kendra Overall from the Wheeler Centre introduced the night ahead once we had taken our seats. The Como Melbourne – member of the MGallery Collection together with Wheeler Centre had intentionally capped ticket numbers to create an intimate dinner atmosphere in the romantically lit room. Forty people sat around four round tables complete with black table cloths, gorgeous spring blooms and a beautiful grand piano provided stunning background music. We felt so fortunate to be a part of the evening. 
A smooth and rich duck terrine was served with toasted brioche, fig and lime chutney and a soft herb salad for entrée – matched with a stunning 2013 Rockbare Chardonnay from McLaren Vale in South Australia it was an enticing way to begin the meal. 

The MGallery Literary Collection offers Australian writers the opportunity to immerse themselves in a different city through a three day residence in one of the nine hotels. The aim is to provide writers with a creative retreat; a chance to focus on their writing and creative practice, away from the demands and distractions of everyday life. 

Our special guest, Debra Oswald, was the creative genius behind the television show Offspring. It was so fascinating – for the many Offspring fans out there – to hear firsthand what it like to be the woman who wrote Patrick’s death. Yes, we met with the woman who caused thousands of Australian hearts to break simultaneously. Debra also wrote multiple episodes of Bananas in Pyjamas and has recently release a new book entitled Useful. Of which we now own a signed copy of, yay!

For main, King George Whiting with Carrot Tarte Tatin, Pea Puree and a luscious Lemon sauce were alternated with Beef Eye Fillet served with potato rosti, asparagus spears and a sweet jus. 
The food served throughout the evening was of such high and beautiful quality. The way in which creativity of food and creativity of literature and music all seemed to collide in the same space was a beautiful thing to be a part of. 

As mains were cleared, Debra Oswald was introduced to the room. The conversation-style presentation between the author and Sarah Greenstone from The Wheeler Centre sustained the feeling of intimacy intended for The Como Melbourne event. 

Oswald is a brilliant, quirky woman of whom anyone could gleam some insight from. She doesn’t seem to take herself to seriously, and was happy to exhibit her career in the literary industry openly and honestly. 

We learnt that Offspring was a ten page pitch for four years before it was picked up to be made in to a TV show. For so long Oswald was the only one who believed in the story of the Proudmans. Kat Stewart (Billie Proudman) and a few other Offspring team members were at the enlightening event in support of Debra. Slyly keeping their mouths shut ahead of a surprising Offspring Season 6 announcement just days later. 

Debra shared insights from her past, and joked about her genuine surprise that she made it as a playwright with happily married parents and an upbringing in a non-happening suburban town. 

We all reminisced about the bananas and their friends the bears. And learnt that all empowering story lines were handed to the female characters of the childrens’ show. “I offered to invest in fabric to provide just one testicle for Morgan,” Oswald jested. 
The presentation ended as dessert was served. And while the Chilli and Dark Chocolate Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Popping Candy, matched with a Yalumba Botrytis, looked like absolute heaven. None of us wanted Debra to return to her seat. A fascinating, smart and entertaining woman, we were so honoured to be allowed the opportunity to learn from Debra’s beguiling mind. 

The Wheeler Centre is Melbourne’s home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic. To be a guest at one of their future events, head to and sign up to their newsletter to learn about the 200+ events that take place every year.

The Brasserie - Mgallery The Como Melbourne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers attended the event courtesy of MGallery.

All About Lobster in August @ Stamford Plaza

Executive Chef Ketan Seth is taking diners on a journey of mouth-watering lobster dishes through August at Harry's Restaurant in Stamford Plaza Melbourne hotel.
Designed by Chef Ketan the menu is a tempting mix of slipper lobster centric dishes that are sure to please. We were impressed by the beautifully fresh slipper lobsters that had been cooked to perfection in every course, a nod to Chef Ketan’s experience with some of the world’s most renowned hotels including The Langham Melbourne, Crown Melbourne and Dubai’s Raffles hotels and The Atlantis. 
Lunch item: Grilled Slipper Lobster Burger with Avocado & onion rings, tomato, rocket salad, tomato relish, aioli & fries

The Grilled Slipper Lobster Burger was delicious. The burger's lightly toasted buttery brioche buns were the perfect canvas for the beautifully crispy and juicy slipper lobsters. The grilled crustacean pieces were perfectly seared, encapsulating firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of fresh rocket, tomato relish, crispy yet gooey onion rings and creamy avocado, it was simply superb.
Lunch item: Slipper Lobster with Ricotta Ravioli, Cherry tomato, mushroom, lemon & mint

Pasta encasing soft shreds of slipper lobster and ricotta matched beautifully with cherry tomato and mushrooms.
From the bar menu: Char Grilled Slipper Lobster, Chilli, lime, sweet potato chips & garlic mayonnaise 

The grilled Slipper Lobster was stunning and cooked to perfection. The Chilli and lime dressing which had been drizzled on the slipper lobster during the grilling resulted in a dish that was flavoursome and showcased the natural sweetness of the lobster.
Dinner item: Thai ‘Dry’ Red Curry of Slipper Lobster, Grilled Thai eggplant, Thai basil cooked in coconut cream

The Thai ‘Dry’ Red Curry of Slipper Lobster was the dish of the night. The dish showed balance and style, with an appetising level of chilli power. The curry was luxurious, thick and exhibited a marvellous aromatic lift and customary Thai  punchy flavours.
Dinner item: Grilled Slipper Lobster with Slow Braised ‘Otway’ Pork Belly, Crackling mushy minted peas & raisin pork jus

The Grilled Slipper Lobster with Slow Braised ‘Otway’ Pork Belly was a brilliant amalgamation of flavours that epitomised the best of the “surf and turf” concept. Yet another highlight, the beautifully grilled lobster accompanied tender nuggets of moist pork belly, which contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat encased in a crisp outer crust - It was mouth-wateringly good. 
Harry’s “All About Lobster in August” adds to the existing menu with an abundance of choice influenced by international cuisines so patrons are treated to a varied and multi-dimensional slipper lobster-centric culinary experience.

What: All About Lobster in August - 5 mouth-watering dishes from which to choose - priced from only $15 - $30 each. 
Where: Harry's Bar & Restaurant, Stamford Plaza Melbourne
When: August 2015

Click to add a blog post for Harry's Restaurant & Bar on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Stamford Plaza.

Flavours of Asia @ Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes [28 February 2015]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club.
Melbourne Racing Club has proudly partnered with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to bring a colourful Asian street food market to their popular Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes Day on Saturday February 28, 2015.
Coinciding with Chinese New Year celebrations, the Flavours of Asia Market Festival will be one of the first events on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival calendar. Offering a range of delicacies from across the continent, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment, the newly created market space will serve as the ultimate relaxation zone for racing enthusiasts and foodies alike.
With a tantalising menu featuring the best cuisine that Melbourne’s Asian food scene has to offer, curators for the day include Hammer & Tong, Hoy Pinoy, Wonderbao, Overdosa, Lankan Tucker, Uncle, Gogi and Eat the Chicken.
Gastrology recently enjoyed a sneaky peek of what will be on offer from Hammer & Tong, Hoy Pinoy and Wonderbao.
We began with a range of grilled skewers by Hoy Pinoy. We enjoyed both the Inihaw Na Manok (BBQ Chicken) and the Inihaw Na Baboy (BBQ pork belly). On the whole, the skewers were sufficiently seasoned and flavoursome and boasted the perfect amount of outer charring, having benefited from just the right amount of time on the grill .

Wonderbao, a Melbourne street kitchen featuring authentic Chinese steamed buns and Taiwanese Gua Baos served beautifully made baos. Our favourite bao was the Pork belly Gua Bao. Featuring the tried and true flavour combination of cucumber, carrots and hoisin sauce, it contained a generous piece of good quality, tender pork belly. The wonderbao offerings really hit the mark!
Hammer & Tong's famous Soft shell crab burger was delicious. The soft shell crab burger's lightly toasted buttery brioche buns were the perfect canvas for the beautifully crispy and juicy soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of fresh coriander and a myriad of spices, it was simply superb. 
Our preview dinner concluded on a sweet high with a stunning little ice cream gua bao by Wonderbao. The brioche-like golden fried baos were filled with luscious sesame seed ice cream and topped with crunchy nuts - YUM.
With Melbourne’s weather at its best in late February, the Flavours of Asia Market Festival will kick off the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in style – quality food in atmospheric alfresco areas and great views of premium sporting and musical entertainment.

What: Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes Day – Flavours of Asia Market Festival
When: Saturday 28 February 2015, 12pm – 6pm
Where: Caulfield Racecourse, Gate 22, Station Street, Caulfield
Cost: Adult $20

For more information about Flavours of Asia visit

Hammer & Tong Food Truck on Urbanspoon

La Cucina di Sandra

Gastrology bloggers attended the class courtesy of La Cucina di Sandra.
Gastrology recently visited La Cucina Di Sandra in Richmond for a delightful Italian cooking class and meal at Italian chef Sandra’s stunning warehouse home and kitchen facility.
Sandra was born in Italy in Pescara, Abruzzo and developed a passion for Italian food from an early age. Along with a successful corporate career, over the last 20 years Sandra has indulged her passion for regional Italian cooking, spending hours in her Zia's kitchen in Italy, collecting hundreds of recipes from Italian friends and family. 
Since opening La Cucina Di Sandra in August 2014 turning a lifelong dream into a reality, the cooking school has been extremely popular with Melburnians from groups of friends to corporates. 
With rave reviews on social media this is a unique and rewarding Melbourne foodie experience. 
The theme for the night was pasta and began with a delicious Pennette al sugo di salsiccia di Toto. We loved the simplicity of the dish which was highlighted by the quality produce (a theme that runs through all of Sandra’s recipes). 
A seafood entrée of Bianco e nero di Carbonara di Mare (Black and white seafood carbonara) was next. It was a luxurious seafood pasta which featured squid ink for a beautiful depth of flavour and magnificent colour.  
Our main course was a hearty Rigatoni al ragu bianco, con mandorle e cream (Rigatoni with white meat ragu, almonds and cream).  We adored the addition of almonds for texture and the harmony of the flavours. The use of white meat coupled with the natural creaminess of the almonds were further enhanced by the thickened cream and extra virgin olive oil.
The evening ended on a decadent high with a deconstructed cannoli (Cannolo Siciliano un po scomposto). Absolutely scrumptious, the interplay of sweet, sour and texture was exceptional. It was an absolutely beautiful dessert that was equally appealing to the eye. 
We were pleased to receive (as do all attendees) a full set of recipes and extensive tips on how to successfully cook the same delicious dishes at home. 
The class is inspiring and will certainly aid all those looking to explore more of la Cucina Italiana.

Location: 56-62 Lyndhurst St  Richmond
Phone: 0419 503 805
Cost: $90 per person and includes starters, 3 course meal and a full set of recipes and extensive tips 
Cuisine: Italian

La Cucina di Sandra Cooking School on Urbanspoon

The Hundred-Foot Journey | Recipe: Spicy Superior Gold Hot Smoked Salmon

Gastrology bloggers received the product courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Surround yourself with picturesque and elegant views and indulge in a range of cuisines without leaving your home as The Hundred-Foot Journey has just been released on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital. 
Join Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) a culinary sensation with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch, as he and his family leave their home in India to settle in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. 

Filled with charm, the village is both picturesque and elegant proving to be the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant - the Maison Mumbai. 

It’s not long until Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) the chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant gets wind of the Maison Mumbai, located a hundred feet from her own restaurant and escalates an all out war between the two establishments. 
The conflict is subsided when Hassan combines his culinary talent with his passions for French haute cuisine and Madame Mallory’s enchanting sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), instilling Saint-Antonin with the flavours of life that even Madame Mallory cannot ignore. Beginning as culinary rivals, Madame Mallory eventually recognizes Hassan's gift as a chef and takes him under her wing, weaving magic between their two cultures. 
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a delightful escape produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, destined to bring out the chef and creative spirit in all of us.

Recipe inspired by The Hundred-Foot Journey: Spicy Smoked Salmon
Gastrology bloggers received the salmon courtesy of Superior Gold.
After watching the movie, we were encouraged to do a little experimenting. We drew inspiration from the recipe pictured below from Le Creuset.


1 packet Superior Gold Hot Smoked Salmon, Peppercorn and Garlic Aioli 
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 pinch of cumin


  1. Combine the chilli powder and dash of cumin.
  2. Coat the Superior Gold Hot Smoked Salmon, Peppercorn (which comes with a sachet of Garlic Aioli which we omitted for the purposes of this recipe) with the chilli and cumin mix.
  3. Heat rice bran oil in a not stick pan.
  4. Fry/heat the salmon quickly for no more than 1 minute.
  5. Enjoy!
Note: For this recipe, 1 packet of Superior Gold Hot Smoked Salmon serves 2 people

Although the salmon is beautiful to eat as is, the addition of chilli and cumin added an interesting spicy kick to the salmon which complemented its smokiness. We served the salmon with a cheesy polenta, organic tomatoes for freshness and a white wine, butter and parsley sauce which tied the elements together. 
It was an incredibly easy thing to cook and was thoroughly enjoyed by our guests.

An evening of world class whisky with The Humble Tumbler @ Black Pearl

Gastrology bloggers attended the event courtesy of The Humble Tumbler.
This week, Gastrology joined Clare Burder and Fred Siggins from The Humble Tumbler - adventures in food and drink at Fitzroy's iconic bar, Black Pearl.
These guys are gearing up for another year of ground breaking whisky education events, and we were pleased to be shown what those sessions are all about. 
It was an evening of world class whisky, incredible cheese, fascinating stories and great conversation at The Attic, Black Pearl's award winning upstairs cocktail bar. We were introduced to the world of whisky, including the Australian & Japanese producers making their mark; getting acquainted with delicious whisky cocktails and given a taste of the awesome program of whisky events that Clare and Fred were planning for 2015. 
The Humble Tumbler whisky courses are the first of its kind in Melbourne: A comprehensive and social approach to whisky, covering tasting, production, history, food pairing and most importantly, how to choose and enjoy the whisky you like. 
Their content is 100% original and brand independent - researched, written & hosted by whisky educator & senior Black Pearl bartender Fred Siggins. The Humble Tumbler has created the whisky program for the new generation of whisky drinkers - free from stereotypes and mythology, but full of the mystery and wonder of this magnificent spirit. 

Their three week whisky course runs on three consecutive Wednesdays at Black Pearl and costs $300 per head. All bookings through the website. Find out more here.

Black Pearl on Urbanspoon

Events: Royal Croquet Club [16 January 2015 - 1 February 2015]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of the Royal Croquet Club.
The Royal Croquet Club (RCC) is a pop up food, entertainment, sporting & lifestyle festival that runs from Friday, 16 January 2015 to Sunday, 1 February 2015.
RCC is happening on the Lower Level of Birrarung Marr, Melbourne, along the banks of the Yarra River. Ideally located in between Fed Square and Melbourne Park sport precinct.
Boasting a huge line up of Melbourne's best restaurants and food haunts such as D.O.C, Mr Claws, Meatmother, Miss Chu, St.Ali and Gelato Messina, Melburnians will get the opportunity to wine, dine and be entertained by Australia's finest live acts.

We absolutely adored Gelato Messina's frozen "soup" cans of premium ice cream. These are a definite must-have!
Impressive local and international performers include The Kite String Tangle and Norman Jay MBE will also be featured and there will be live tennis action streaming on the big screen (so you don't miss out on the action) and a dedicated croquet pitch, so bring your mallet and have a game! 

The Royal Croquet Club presents an Australia Day line-up that is second to none and is set to soon become a staple on the Melbourne events calendar.

Dates: 16 Jan 2015 - 1 Feb 2015
Address: Birrarung Marr, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Cost: Free entry

Great Australian Beer Festival Media Dinner @ Jasper Hotel

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of the Great Australian Beer Festival.
Gastrology recently attended the 2015 Great Australian Beer Festival media dinner where the Geelong-based 2015 Great Australian Beer Festival was brought to the Melbourne CBD for an evening of craft beer and cider at Jasper Hotel.
The evening profiled the multi-faceted craft beer festival – and allowed us the opportunity to meet some of Victoria’s best craft brewers, as well as sample a variety of the food available from the festival’s Tastes of the Region dining area – which puts an emphasis on showcasing local restaurants and Melbourne’s best food trucks.
We enjoyed a range of cider and beer tastings, as well as a three course meal and stand up tapas, from two different Geelong restaurants that are catering the festival, plus Jasper Hotel.
Black salt & szechuan pepper soft shell crab with paw paw & asian herb salad by Black Salt Restaurant
Matched with: Prickly Moses Forbidden fruit cider

Our dinner began with the simple, yet ever so enticing, soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. The accompanying salad of crunchy bean sprouts an fresh greens blended harmoniously with the crab, resulting in a clean and bright dish with a perfect salt-sour balance. The Forbidden fruit cider was a lovely match as it echoed the freshness of the salad and it's dry finish on the palate cut through the tanginess of the salad.
Pale Ale Slow Braised Beef Short Ribs with Potato Fondant and Greens by Jasper Hotel
Matched with: Brewcult Supa Fly Rye IPA

The Beef Short Ribs were delicious. Superbly cooked, the meat was very succulent. Its delicate ‘melt in your mouth’texture was sensational. The flavours were subtle and earthy. We loved matching this course with the Brewcult Supa Fly Rye IPA which was very aromatic and boasted a rich malt kick which matched the luxurious pale ale jus lavished upon the ribs.
Banana. Crystal Malt, Chocolate Stout and Vanilla by Vue Grand Hotel
Matched with: Prickly Moses Otway Stout 

The dinner ended on a high with a decadent and absolutely stunning dessert. We found the  Prickly Moses Otway Stout the perfect match for this dessert as it cut through the richness of the chocolate and malt with its roasted, dry finish while complementing the sweet bananas and vanilla with its toffee and caramel notes. It was a commendable end to the evening.
The 2015 Great Australian Beer Festival is Victoria’s premier celebration of craft beer and cider with over 200 Australian brews available to taste throughout the day on Saturday February 21, 2015. The idea is to drink, eat, socialise and be merry with plenty of opportunity to kick back and taste incredible beers, enjoy live music and roaming entertainment, attend free beer seminars, take part in keg-rolling and other colourful competitions and discover surprising happenings around every turn.

Find out more about the 2015 Great Australian Beer Festival here.

Black Salt on Urbanspoon Vue Grand on Urbanspoon

Upcoming Event: Great Australian Beer Festival [Saturday, 21 February 2015]

The Great Australian Beer Festival (GABF) returns to the Geelong Racecourse on Saturday February 21, 2015 with a Tastes of the Region dining area – showcasing some of Geelong’s best restaurants and Melbourne’s on trend gourmet food trucks. 
Brewers and beer lovers make the annual pilgrimage to Geelong - only an hour’s drive from the Melbourne CBD - to Victoria’s premier celebration of craft beers and ciders in Australia’s biggest alfresco craft beer garden, as well as to enjoy some excellent grub. 
And what food items are best to eat alongside these fantastic beers and ciders? Black Salt – a modern Australian Restaurant in Geelong recommends a heavier style beer to go with their Pulled Pork Rolls, while a pale ale would be more appropriate for their oysters and calamari.
Other restaurants getting involved from in and around Geelong include Vue Grand Queenscliff, – which will be serving its famed hot dogs to the masses – Odyssey Tavern and Brewery, Sunnys Pizza and Mazamigo Mexican – a mash up of cultural food to match  the 200 plus Australian brews available on festival day. 

Food trucks include Greek Street Food, Simply Vegan, Ooodlelishious, Timboon Icecream, Squid Inc and Tasty Gozleme. 
Among the artisan utopia of boutique beers and ciders, the cultural mash up of flavours, the beer seminars and festival stalls, roaming performers will take delight in entertaining the masses. Three stages will be home to the sounds of worldly music, from the reggae and calypso tunes of Nicky Bomba & Friends, to a variety of indie from The Pierce Brothers plus jazz, funk, folk, blue grass and country.
Drink, eat, socialise and be merry with plenty of opportunity to kick back and enjoy a range of craft beer, cider and great food.

Families are also catered for with a designated Kid’s Zone as well as interactive activities and roaming entertainers. 
What: The most colourful beer festival you’re ever likely to attend 
When: 11am to 7pm Saturday, 21 February 2015
Where: Geelong Racecourse
Costs: Starts at $39.50 + bf. Direct shuttles run from South Geelong Station to get you safely to and from the event.

Cherry Delight - A Pop Up Cherry Shop in the CBD

Cherry lovers your time has come, because along with fashionistas and restaurant groupies, you too can enjoy the delights of a pop up shop… but only for a few more short weeks. 

Melbourne’s first-ever pop up cherry shop has opened in the heart of the CBD and it’s stocked with freshly picked cherries from Cherryhill Orchards in the Yarra Valley. 

Many people are surprised that cherries direct from the grower are the largest and sweetest they have ever seen or tasted.  In fact, Cherryhill grows only the finest varieties and their cherries are the fruit of choice for many of Melbourne’s top fruiterers.

Cherryhill’s pop-up shop is now stocked, with yummy, extra large cherries in packaging ranging from 500g punnets to 5kg boxes. There are also delicious cherry delights for your pantry, including cherry cordial, cherry jam and cherry sauce.
Fresh, local cherries are a sure sign summer here and they don’t get much fresher than those in Cherryhill’s pop up shop.  

Cherryhill’s pop up shop will remain open until the end of the season in mid-February (which means that delicious, fresh cherries will be available for the Chinese New Year as well as Christmas!)

Where: Paramount Centre Food Court, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne 
When: Every day of the week from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

To find out more, go to

A Sneak peek... Taste of Melbourne - 13 -16 November 2014 - Albert Park - Saké | Nieuw Amsterdam | Gazi

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Saké, Nieuw Amsterdam and Gazi.
Melbourne’s premier restaurant festival Taste of Melbourne arrives for 2014, once again gracing Pelican Lawn at Albert Park, November 13 – 16. The food and wine celebration sees Melbourne’s favourite restaurants return, as well as new movers and shakers on the dining scene. 

Gastrology bloggers were invited to fly #TasteAir with friendly pilot Adam Valentine who took us on a culinary flight around town, tasting some of the dishes that will be on offer this year at the festival. 

First Stop - Saké 
Saké Restaurant and Bar serves up contemporary Japanese cuisine in the revitalised Hammer Hall within the MCA on the Yarra river. 
With a unique menu that features contemporary sushi alongside traditional Japanese dishes, Executive Chef and sushi master Shaun Presland brings Japanese food and culture to life, where diners are treated to dynamic culinary experiences. 
Our visit started with a sushi making masterclass.
Our pilot
Miso cod lettuce cups & prawn dumplings

Saké’s Taste of Melbourne offering is an absolute winner. The miso cod lettuce cups were filled with a beautifully grilled miso-marinated tooth fish with crunchy katafi pastry. Bursting at the seams with umami, the cups were exquisite in taste. The accompanying prawn dumpling was another standout. Coated in a delicate rice noodle skin, the dumplings were moist, well-flavoured and melt-in-your-mouth tender. 
Sake Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Second Stop - Nieuw Amsterdam
Located at 106-113 Hardware Street in Melbourne, Nieuw Amsterdam is owned and run by Michael Roszbach (former Cookie Manager) and Nick Stanton (former Head Chef, Woods of Windsor). The venue’s name is a throwback to Roszbach’s Dutch heritage, with New York originally named Nieuw Amsterdam when it was first settled by Europeans.

The unique venue is located in a 1880s iron foundry building (originally of hardware merchants) and is said to have named the Hardware Street precinct. Nieuw Amsterdam opened its doors to the public in late December 2013 and specialises in New American style food with a mix of quirky and classic cocktails. 
The menu builds on new interpretations of classic American dishes, such as the chicken waffles with pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin and orange caramel.
Pork trotter and ham hock nuggets burnt onion jam
Chicken waffles pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin, orange caramel
Smokey beef brisket. Kim Chi, BBQ Sauce

We absolutely adored Nieuw Amsterdam’s Taste of Melbourne beef brisket dish. Particularly noteworthy for its fragrant and complex beefy flavours which were enhanced by the tart kim chi and one hell of a bbq sauce. The meat was both soft and delicate.
Berry split White chocolate mousse, Cream cheese sorbet

Their Taste of Melbourne dessert offering was clean, refreshing and fun. We loved the decadent white chocolate that came through on the middle palate and the deliciously refreshing lashings of berries and the decadent yet light cream cheese sorbet. 
Dessert served wtih Salted caramel negroni
Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

Final destination - Gazi
Our delicious dinner concluded on a high note at Gazi. An entirely different side of Greek cuisine, Gazi offers earthy, Athenian ‘Street’ food partnered with exciting and experimental cocktails and spirits.
Left: Cheese - Honey, balsamic Saganaki, lemon
Tiganites patates - Chips, oregano, garlic oil, feta

We shared a few starters. These well formulated dishes of bold and vibrant flavour combinations showcased the culinary potential of Greek cuisine.
Crab Souvlakakia 
Soft shell, mint, coriander, honey, mayo

Gazi’s Taste of Melbourne dish was stunning. The soft shell crab mini souvlaki boasts the legendary George Calombaris pita bread which was the perfect canvas for the beautifully crispy and juicy soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of fried garlic and a myriad of spices, it was simply superb. It was a dish that was both well thought out and executed.
Gazi on Urbanspoon

Now in its 7th year, Taste of Melbourne is firmly established as an annual ‘must attend event’ that celebrates the city’s ever evolving food, wine and dining scene...

What: Taste of Melbourne 2014
When: Thursday November 13 - Sunday November 16, 2014
Where: Pelican Lawn, Albert Park Lake
Price: Tickets start from $25.00.

Upcoming Event: Pacha Mama Laneway Fiesta

Celebrate pacha mama's new release 2014 Pinot Gris and Riesling at their inaugural laneway fiesta. The night will include Peruvian street food, a gypsy band, live street art performances and the new Pacha Mama wines. Gin Palace will also have a signature cocktail inspired by the Pacha Mama Riesling and Lisa Valmorbida's Pidapipó will provide a special gelato flavour for the night. 

Restaurant launch: polēpolē bar + kitchen

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of polēpolē.
Gastrology recently attended the launch of polēpolē (pronounced ‘pol-eh-pol-eh’), the newly opened warm and spirited bar and kitchen on Little Collins Street.
Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Dean and Jeanelle Mariani, polēpolē is inspired by the couple’s extensive travels through East Africa. The vibrant energy of Sub-Saharan Africa peeks through in tasteful hints, from the flavoursome fare and cocktail menus, to the exotic décor and dynamic tunes.
A curated menu of signature cocktails offers guests the chance to try some unique and intriguing flavour combinations. We loved the two cocktails we sampled on the night (Ginger Lesson and Mzungu Martini). The Ginger lesson was a fiery cocktail made from gin, house-made ginger syrup, Montenegro and citrus. We loved the heat from the ginger which worked marvellously with the tangy citrus notes. The Mzungu martini on the other hand was an African style espresso martini. We loved the heady rum mixture.  
We were also delighted by the distinctive selection of rare and imported African beers on offer.
The menu at polēpolē was constructed by Consulting chef, Andy Mac (Executive Chef at Axil Coffee Roasters) and features a selection of sweet, smoky and spicy dishes designed to share with friends, including Pork, almond and cinnamon cigar with lava salt and pomegranate molasses and Rum and raisin brownie mousse cake with vanilla brulee and chocolate soil. 
Our favourite dish from the night was the Harissa lamb ribs. These were expertly prepared and had juicy, succulent flesh. The outstanding ribs were crusted with a flavoursome spice mix and served with delicious red pepper salsa and tahini yoghurt.
The term polēpolē is Swahili for “take it easy” - aptly so given the bar seeks to be a welcoming escape from the stresses of city life.

Location: 267 Little Collins St  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 2811
Cuisine: African, bar

Polēpolē Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

"Food is Medicine" by Eat Fit Food @ The Grain Store

Gastrology attended the event courtesy of Eat Fit Food.
Eat Fit Food recently launched The Health Kit winter event this July where the topic was 'Food Is Medicine".

Gastrology was privileged to attend the Melbourne seminar where we heard from inspiring thought leaders within the health industry.
Whilst we all have daily access to natural medical resources, many of us don’t completely utilise them. At the evening, we learned how to use food as medicine and prevent winter bugs rather than cure them.
We particularly loved and enjoyed hearing from Dr Claire Campbell, a Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon who took us through how many diseases are preventable through a healthy diet and lifestyle. 
She explained that the concept that food as medicine is not a fad or an alternative state of mind, and that it was simply basic science. If your body is fed with what it needs, it will endeavour to heal itself to bring it back to homeostasis. 
The other two presenters were Restaurateur and Chef Mike McEnearney who shared his latest passion, his Physic Garden and Nutritionist and Naturopath Cassie Mendoza-Jones who spoke about nourishing the body and soul through nutrition.
After the presentation, guests indulged in wholesome foods and left with plenty of inspiration as well as a take home a collection of unique and tasty goodies to share with family and friends.
Under the guidance of Chef Ingo Meissner, The Grain Store offers a memorable dining experience that focuses on fresh and local produce. It was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and its health properties while enjoying the fresh, healthy and delicious food prepared.

Images courtesy of Lani Holmberg.

The Grain Store on Urbanspoon

Upcoming Event: Coburg Drive-In Food Truck Festival

Get your tastebuds ready... bring a carload of your best buds and grab a bite (or two or three) before the movie!
From burritos and Spanish BBQ to burgers and Asian street food, Melbourne's favourite Food Trucks will roll into the popular Village Coburg Drive-In once a month from Wednesday July 30.

With the latest releases on the big screen and a food offering sure to tantalise the tastebuds, the Coburg Drive-In Food Truck Festival provides the ultimate combination for a great night out.

Melbourne's first ever outdoor cinema Food Truck Festival will kick off on Wednesday July 30th from 5:30pm, with the latest releases Hercules, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Sex Tape screening at the Drive-In's three screens, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

When: Wednesday 30th July 2014 from 5:30pm
Where: Coburg Drive-In, 155 Newlands Rd, Coburg VIC. Click here for Cinema Details
Food Trucks:
Iv’s Burritos
Mr Burger
Señor Churro
Nem N’ New Vietnamese Hawker Kitchen
Señor BBQ

TICKETS ON SALE SOON! More information here.

Karen Martini surprises local shoppers at The Reserve Table lunch @ Queen Victoria market

Gastrology bloggers attended the event as guests of Jacob's Creek.
On Saturday 12th July, Australia’s leading wine brand Jacob’s Creek and award-winning chef and restaurateur Karen Martini, hosted over 1,000 people at The Reserve Table. A surprise pop-up lunch with matching wines held in the heart of the Queen Victoria Markets, Melbourne.
Gastrology was invited to come along to the lunch. We were thrilled as we watched unsuspecting market-goers being delighted with a surprise invitation to take a seat at The Reserve Table set in the bustling fresh produce precinct within the markets.
Guests were then treated to a selection of award winning Jacob’s Creek Reserve wines sourced from some of Australia’s most premium wine regions - Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and Coonawarra - served to match a Tapas style lunch. 
Martini over saw the selection of dishes featuring fresh produce from the markets, including locally sourced lamb, Polish dumplings and Italian meatballs to name a few. We especially enjoyed Hoy Pinoy's beautiful skewers which are a brilliant introduction to Filipino BBQ & street food. The Inihaw Na Manok was delectable. A BBQ chicken in a traditional marinade, the chicken was beautifully tender and boasted the perfect charring which enriched its flavour.
This event is part of a larger campaign where Jacob's Creek Reserve has partnered with Seven West Media to create an exciting new series ‘The Reserve Table’. 

It takes you on a journey to some of Australia’s most loved wine regions, exploring the provenance of people, places, food and wine. Each episode is hosted by Karen Martini, and a Jacob’s Creek wine maker. 

Together they challenge chefs to create a tantalising dish to complement a wine from the Jacob’s Creek Reserve range. The series, ‘The Reserve Table’ is available to view online at
Hoy Pinoy on Urbanspoon

Southgate Moveable Feast: Artusi | Amarok | Bluetrain [Sunday 15 June – Monday 4 August]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Artusi, Amarok & Blue Train.
Southgate's recent facelift of premium restaurants is garnering some well-deserved attention. The Moveable Feasts is a brilliant opportunity to taste and see what this bustling foodie hub has to offer.

Showcasing  three delectable courses each from a different Southgate restaurant, Southgate Moveable Feasts epitomises the changing dining trends of today as Melburnians look for new and different casual dining experiences.

We were led through a unique dining experience as we wandered from restaurant to restaurant, sampling unique world-class cuisines from Italian to native North American.

First Stop: Artusi
Location: UR1 Upper level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 03 8199 1033
Cuisine: Italian

The brainchild of Luis Pampliega and Tamara Volkoff, owners of the much-loved Southgate Italian eatery Tutto Bene ARTUSI is a welcome addition to Southgate's dining precinct.
We loved ARTUSI’s architectural design. Splashes of copper, bluestone façade and marble accents create a comfortable space and a modern up-market vibe.  
The ethos of ARTUSI is ‘The Art of Eating and Drinking Well’ and this ethos is clear from the restaurant’s focus on producing artisan handmade pastas and a mouth-watering selection of delicacies matched with a wide selection of boutique wines.
Lingua di bu – slow cooked ox tongue, quail egg, salsa verde, lemon EVOO

Our afternoon commenced with unctuous pieces of slow cooked ox tongue accompanied by perfectly oozy quail egg, fresh salsa verde and lemon EVOO. a The centrepiece ox tongue possessed a beautiful depth of flavour, with the acidity in the salsa verde helping to alleviate the richness of the decadent tongue.
Mezzelune ai broccoli e parmigiano – broccoli filled potato parcels, bagna cauda butter, parmigiano reggiano

The Mezzelune ai broccoli e parmigiano was a superb dish that was highlighted by the light and fluffy potato parcels which captivated with its delightful broccoli filling and its lingering rich parmigiano flavour.
What was clear from what we tasted was ARTUSI’s head chef Leandro Panza Sicilian heritage and knowledge and passion for Italian cooking.
Artusi on Urbanspoon

Second Stop: Amarok
Location: Southgate Complex Mid Level, MR6, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 03 9663 1877
Cuisine: North American, Canadian

Yet another new addition to Southgate’s ever evolving dining precinct, Amarok Bar & Restaurant features a menu inspired by traditional North American and Canadian flavours whilst using the finest ingredients.
The dining room has a cosy wood-fired cabin feel.
Sierra Nevada Stout, Pine Needle & Acorn Roasted Chicken Breast with a Turnip/Blue Cheese Potato Bake, Veg & Marsala Jus

The chicken was tender and superbly cooked. Coated in an in an addictively sweet marsala and stout jus which was nicely offset by the decadently savoury potato bake. 
Pouch Baked Salmon in Corn Mead with Lemon, Fresh Herb & Grape Quinoa Salad

The salmon was again, cooked to perfection and accompanied by a very fresh and fragrant salad which provided a refreshing element to counterbalance the relatively rich and oily fish.
Amarok Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Third Stop: Bluetrain
Location: Southgate Landing, Southbank
Phone: 03 9696 0111
Cuisine: Modern Australian

An expansive café and bar with floor to high ceiling windows overlooking the Yarra River, Bluetrain is a brilliant Melbourne meeting spot.
It’s 2013 major facelift sees the restaurant spotting a new look which combines eclectic and quirky materials, bespoke designs and a light feature using yellow bicycle wheels to adorn the walls and graffiti art pillars. 
Baileys Cheesecake

The cheesecake was deliciously rich and had just the right hint of baileys. 
Warm Apple pie

Our Southgate Moveable Feast ended on a delicious winter warmer, the humble apple pie. Crumbly pastry and thinly sliced and spiced apple - Blue Train’s apple pie was very well made and perfect for afternoon tea with a dollop of cream and a cup of coffee.
Bluetrain on Urbanspoon

Get on to it! 
With a host guiding the journey to each establishment, discoveries will be made along the way uncovering the stories behind Melbourne’s eclectic world of riverside eateries.
What: A three course journey throughout Southgate’s restaurant precinct, sampling unique presentations of world-class cuisines. 
When: Sunday 15 June - Monday 4 August. 12pm Sundays & 7pm Mondays 
Where: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, on the south bank of the Yarra River, Melbourne 
Cost:  Choose from two three course dining options for $60pp or $85pp. Entrée and main courses each include a glass of wine and dessert is served with tea or coffee. 
NB: Parking is available in Southgate’s Car Park off City Road / Southgate Avenue, $10 flat rate on weekends and after 4pm on Mondays. 
Bookings: Online bookings only, at 
Enquiries: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, 03 9686 1000

Truffle Melbourne @ Caulfield Racecourse [12 & 13 July] | Win 3 x double passes to Truffle Melbourne

The Melbourne Truffle Festival Company is celebrating Australiaʼs position as the worldʼs fourth largest truffle producing nation with their inaugural event, Truffle Melbourne at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of July.

Attracting some of Australiaʼs biggest names in food, the event will host the likes of My Kitchen Rules favourite Manu Feildel, Vue de Mondeʼs founder Shannon Bennett, global cooking sensation Guy Grossi, renowned chef and TV personality Shane Delia and Truffle Melbourne Executive Chef and Melbourne food icon Philippe Mouchel.  
Over two huge days, Caulfield Racecourse will transform into a culinary heaven where the very best of Australian truffles and their artisan food partners will be on display. Meet truffle savvy dogs, discover truffle serving food trucks and master techniques for creating indulgent truffle dishes at home. 

Event organisers are predicting more than 8,000 visitors will flock to the event and a whopping $300,000 worth of truffles will be enjoyed over the course of the festival, cementing Australianʼs love for the decadent treat. 

Gates open at 10am both days and general admission tickets start from $26 with child, concession and two-day ticket discounts available. Please visit for the full program guide. 

Taste, hunt, learn … Truffle Melbourne is a festival not to be missed. 

Win 3 x double passes to Truffle Melbourne!

Gastrology has teamed up with The Melbourne Truffle Festival Company to give away 3 x double passes to Truffle Melbourne to 3 of our lucky readers!

The general admission tickets will provide our winners with entry to Caulfield Racecourse, a free truffle taster on arrival, access to the main stage to see the fantastic line up of celebrity and iconic Melbourne chefs including Manu, Guy Grossi, Philipee Mouchel, Shannon Bennett and Shane Delia, as well as access to a range of exhibitors showcasing Australia's best truffles and artisan food partners. 

Each general admission ticket is valued at $26 each. 

There is onsite parking available for $6 for those who would like to drive. 

How to enter 

All you have to do, is: 

  • Follow us on twitter (if you have not already) 
  • Send us an email answering “What is your favourite truffle dish or what would be your dream truffle dish and why?” 
The best 3 entries, as judged by the Gastrology team, will each win a double pass to Truffle Melbourne!

The competition will run from Wednesday, 2 July 2014 to 3:00pm Friday, 4 July 2014 (winner to be announced on this post on Monday, 7 July 2014. 

The fine print: 
Only entries made using a valid email address are eligible. Your email address will not be published. This competition is a game is of skill not chance. This giveaway is open to readers in Australia only. Prize is not transferable or exchangeable or redeemable for cash. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. The image of the prize is purely representative and the actual prize is subject to change. 


[7/07/2014] Announcement: Winners of the Blog Giveaway: 3 x double passes to TRUFFLE MELBOURNE

Thank you to everyone who entered! The 3 winners are…

D. Schwarze with the following entry:

 "My favourite truffle dish was an experience with Lobster tails, Champagne foam and truffles freshly shaved at the table (white gloves and all!) at Icebergs Restaurant (NSW) some years back. The thought of a delicate seafood dish with a strong element such as truffles was a new experience – almost confronting but worked very well together. #memorable"

 C. Rothschild with the following entry: 

 “I dream of a softly poached egg, infused with local Victorian truffles served on the lightest polenta with some fine shaving of truffle and a little olive oil from Victoria. Simple and sublime.”

D. G.-McDade with the following entry: 

"Slithers of Herb crusted lamb with truffle gnochi and honeyed shallots.." 


Congratulations, the winners have been contacted via email. Competition Now Closed.