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By Concrete Playground
August 16, 2016

Five Foodie Events to Tuck Into This Week in Melbourne

Winter's almost done, but the comfort food's still cranking.
By Concrete Playground
August 16, 2016


Winter's almost done, but the comfort food's still cranking.

Winter's almost done with its chilly bullshit, but before you can pack away your woolies just yet, Melbourne's cooking up some serious comfort food that's much better enjoyed in the crisp, colder weather.

There's a handful of deliciously food-focused events happening this week, so we thought we'd put them all on one table for you. Pick one course, or make a degustation of them all. Or you could just go and inhale some popcorn watching Sausage Party. Your choice.

By the Concrete Playground team.

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    Vin Diemen 2016

    Fancy a Tassie wine-tasting extravaganza, but can’t find the time (or cash) to make the trip? How about a quick hop over to North Melbourne instead?

    If you can get there with 50 bucks to spare this Sunday, August 21, you’ll be living the Apple Isle dream. That’s because one-day wine festival Vin Diemen is coming back to Melbourne for a second year.

    Your ticket will get you a take-home wine glass and access to the creations of a whole slew of Tasmanian winemakers, who are crossing the strait to show us what their island is made of. Expect to sample some of the best Pinot Noir in the nation, alongside top-shelf Chardonnay, Riesling and sparkling — cold climate varieties get a better go in Tassie than nearly anywhere else in Oz.

    And giving the wines the respect they deserve will be a bunch of tasty Tasmanian morsels, including fresh salmon from Huon and cheesy noms from Bruny Island Cheese.

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    Winter's Burial Dinner

    While we’re certainly not suggesting that a little frosty weather would be enough to keep you away from any culinary adventures, if you were prone to a bit of winter hibernation, we’ve found the perfect way to snap out of it.

    Introducing Chapter 53, a trio of passionate hospo heads who’ve banded together with the mission of shaking up Melbourne’s food scene. They’re here to get us thinking about what’s on our forks with a series of themed wining and dining pop-up events, the first of which is happening this Sunday, August 21. The dream team of chef (Nicola Romano), sommelier (Osvaldo Tognella) and writer (Mandy DelVecchio) are embracing the concept of “mindful dining”, dishing up thought-provoking dinners that will dive deep into the produce and techniques used, rather than just treating diners to some great food.

    The launch event — dubbed Winter’s Burial — is set to be a corker, especially for any food-loving local who’s well and truly ready to kick winter to the curb.

    Taking over multi-faceted Fitzroy space Something More, Chapter 53’s degustation dinner will give this gloomy season a delicious send-off by celebrating some of its brightest produce. Expect six adventurous, yet minimal dishes, matched with top-notch wines from the Mornington Peninsula’s Quealy Winemakers and a swag of insight, conversation and foodie knowledge, to boot.

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    Dessert Parlour Pop-Up

    As if your morning CBD coffee run wasn’t sweet enough already, Ngoc Le — baker extraordinaire and founder of Dessert Parlour — is set to make it that bit sweeter. Le is setting up shop in Queen Street’s Workshop Brothers Specialty Coffee this Sunday to sell her sweet creations. And yes, there will be macaronuts.

    The pop-up, which has run for the last three Sundays, will finish up this week — so Sunday from 10am till 3pm is your last chance to get your hands on their gold-dusted baked doughnuts and matcha choux pastry puffs.

    But what we’re most looking forward to is the macaronuts. Initially a collaboration between Dessert Parlour and the Macaron Sisters, the creation is a macaron-doughnut hybrid has been a runaway success. They’ll have matcha coconut, chocolate raspberry and Oreo on-hand at the pop-up.

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    Truffle Dinner at Estelle

    Do the truffle shuffle down to Estelle by Scott Pickett in Northcote, where for two nights only you can wolf down fabulous fungi like it’s going out of style. On Wednesday, August 17 and Thursday, August 18, chef Scott Pickett will prepare a five-course truffle dinner, complete with snacks and matching wine. Excuse us for a second — we’re just wiping the drool off our keyboard.

    At $185 per person, this particular dinner ain’t cheap – but you only have to look at the menu to appreciate why that is. From sea urchin and black truffle brioche to white rocks veal with truffle and almond, and parmesan and black truffle risoni to Great Ocean Road duck with blood orange and truffle jus, this decadent degustation smells like a truffle hog’s delight. The vino, meanwhile, will come courtesy of a trio of ACT vineyards, in Helm Wines, Collector Wines and Ravensworth.

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    Yarra Valley Hot Chocolate Festival 2016

    The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie’s Hot Chocolate Festival is back. And it’s just in time, too. To save Melburnians from these blustery days, they’ll be churning out 31 hot chocolate flavours over 31 days in August.

    Eight new flavours will be introduced each week of the month, so make sure you plan your visit(s) carefully as to not miss out on the best. Fan favourite flavours like chocolate brownie and Nutella will return to this year’s menu, along with the iconic Slam Dunk — a cinnamon and honey hot chocolate topped with skewers of mini doughnut balls.

    Highlights of this year’s new flavours include The Wagon Wheel, topped with marshmallow and jam chocolate-coated biscuits, and the Hot Gaytime — a combination of caramel toffee and milk chocolate, topped with crushed honeycomb and served with a vanilla ice cream popsicle.

    The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery created 6000 hot chocolates last year alone, so newcomers can trust they know their way around this winter-warmer.

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