Show Victoria's Hospo Scene Some Love at These Nine Good Food Month Events
A program of long lunch feasts, crafty chef dinners and wine-fuelled parties await.
SHOW VICTORIA'S HOSPO SCENE SOME LOVE AT THESE NINE GOOD FOOD MONTH EVENTS
A program of long lunch feasts, crafty chef dinners and wine-fuelled parties await.
Good Food Month's 2021 comeback edition got a little sidetracked due to Melbourne's latest COVID-19 outbreak (thanks again, COVID). But now, with the snap lockdown done and dusted, it's kicking on to deliver a few tasty weeks of lunch feasts, chef-led dinners, wine-fuelled parties and more. The perfect post-lockdown treat for food-lovers, really, and an excellent way to give some love to Victoria's hospitality scene.
Expect edible cocktails at a low-waste tiki party, indulge in a Turkish long lunch at Yagiz, or celebrate the return of Rocco's Bologna Discoteca with an evening of meatball subs and Italian wines. Here's our pick of all the Good Food Month 2021 events that promise to warm up your winter. Spots are limited, so book in now for a top-notch feed and leave the memory of lockdown cooking far behind you.
When yum cha hits the menu at The Grand Richmond, it doesn’t show up in its usual guise. Sorry dumplings, spring rolls and pork buns, but this isn’t your time to shine. Instead, this feast of bite-sized portions is going Italian. Yes, Italian Yum Cha is exactly what it sounds like. Work your way through little steamer baskets filled with everything from crab risotto to suckling pig croquettes. The list goes on — bruschetta, duck prosciutto, pork lasagne, gnocchi, roast scallops with anchovies and mini pizzas are all included — and also covers desserts such as tiramisu, lemon tarts and bomboloni. You can eat it all with chopsticks if you’d prefer (or at least attempt to). As is the custom, prices are tallied per dish, which come in multiple servings. Booking a table in advance is highly recommended, with Italian Yum Cha making its return for 2021 every Saturday and Sunday for the rest of June, and then one Sunday a month — on July 4, August 1, September 12 and October 3 — afterwards.
Rocco’s Bologna Discoteca was one of the silver linings during Melbourne’s lockdown last year, popping up for a couple of short stints at Gertrude Street’s Poodle. But now, the much-loved sandwich joint is making a cameo appearance for one festive night as part of Good Food Month. Head along on Tuesday, June 22, for an Italo-accented feast featuring the likes of rice-stuffed mussels, mini pine mushroom pizza pockets and serves of handmade pasta caccio e pepe. There’ll be mini versions of Rocco’s legendary meatball sub, too, alongside a forward-thinking curation of vino from award-winning sommelier Giorgio De Maria (121BC, Rootstock Sydney). Plus, a lineup of Italo-disco DJs will be spinning tunes until late.
If you’re looking for a cheeky excuse to get out of town this month, you’ll find it down on the Mornington Peninsula at Willow Creek Vineyard’s casual eatery Rare Hare. Sibling to the renowned Jackalope Hotel, the restaurant’s plating up an exclusive Good Food Month lunch menu all the way through June. From 12–5pm weekdays, book yourself a table to enjoy a produce-driven, woodfired feed teamed with a local tipple and some memorable views of the property’s sloping green vineyards. $45 will get you a selection of starters — think, house-baked potato bread with Leontyna olive oil and sardines on toast with preserved lemon — followed by a main of harissa lamb rump with smoked yoghurt and green olive tapenade. You’ll also enjoy tea, coffee and a glass of Rare Hare’s signature red or white wine to match.
What happens when the flavours of Japan and Peru go head to head, you ask? Well, you’re about to find out. On Thursday, June 24, Fitzroy North South American restaurant Citrico is taking cues from the Peruvian-Japanese mash-up known as Nikkei cuisine and plating up a 10-course omakase feast. Head Chef Dave Allison will be pulling flavour inspiration from the Los Andes through to Tokyo, for this memorable, globe-trotting Good Food Month degustation. You’ll get a true taste of Nikkei fare, through crafty dishes like tempura beef tongue rolls matched with panca chilli mayonnaise, squid noodle salad featuring fried enoki mushrooms, wagyu with a ponzu and rocoto chilli emulsion, and miso-glazed toothfish hot off the parilla grill. There’s even a fusion flan for dessert, finished with yuzu praline and custard apple cream. You can look forward to sipping some clever sake and wine pairings throughout the night, as well as a few exclusive Nikkei-inspired cocktail creations. The whole evening comes in at $110 per person.
Top image: Kat Shanasy
Dig a little deeper into the art of food and wine pairing at this eye-opening Good Food Month tasting event with Rob Dolan Wines. On June 19 and July 17, the Yarra Valley winery’s barrel room will be the backdrop for your transformation into a wine pairing pro. Master of Wine and renowned wine judge Meg Brodtmann kicks things off by guiding guests through a hands-on lesson on how to taste wine and how various drops interact with different foods. After tucking into this customised course, the food pairing fun continues — you’ll enjoy a slow-braised beef cheek main that’s been carefully designed to complement the Signature Series cabernet sauvignon, followed by a sumptuous finale featuring Stone + Crow cheese (made on-site) teamed with Rob Dolan’s Two Barrel Batch muscat.
Friday lunchtime is the perfect excuse to ditch that sad desk sandwich in favour of a cheeky feed and glass of wine at your local. And for the rest of Good Food Month, Poodle Bar & Bistro is offering just that. On June 18 and 25, the Fitzroy restaurant’s serving up a special Friday lunch situation, featuring an array of signature snacks, a main dish, tea and coffee, and a wine or beer for just $45. You’ll kick things off with the likes of spanner crab and taramasalata vol-au-vents, before moving onto your pick of mains. We’re talking pan-roasted garfish with clams and beurre blanc, grilled Bundarra pork chop, or Parisian gnocchi with green goddess sauce and taleggio. You can even add on a dessert course, like the chocolate, prune and gingerbread ice cream sandwich.
Sustainable dining gets a fun, tiki-style twist, for Rice Paper Scissors’ lively Good Food Month banquet menu. On June 22 and June 29, the Fitzroy restaurant is dishing up a five-course Southeast Asian feast focused on minimising waste. They’re honing in on local, sustainably-sourced ingredients, while scrapping the plates and cutlery in favour of things you can eat with your hands. For $49, you’ll tuck into a planet-friendly five-course feed, starring creations like locally-foraged mushroom banh mi, rice crackers topped with kingfish ceviche in a pomelo coconut dressing, and coconut cups with caramelised pork and Clarence River king prawns. True to form, there’ll also be a full menu of excellent vegan alternatives on offer. To match, expect a range of brews, wines and tiki-inspired drinks to purchase on the night — including a few ‘edible’ cocktails.
This year’s Night Noodle Markets have been reimagined in a new At Home format that’s set to bring all the usual flavour and fun straight to your house. Every night through June, the revamped event will see a lineup of eight Asian-inspired eateries offering their cult dishes — and some new hits — for home delivery. At a pop-up kitchen in the CBD, festival favourites including Puffle, Wonderbao, Hoy Pinoy and Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart will be cooking up their finest eats and sending them to your door. You’ll be able to pick and mix food from multiple menus in the one order, with everything delivered via Doordash. There’ll be two weekly rotating banquets, too — a vegetarian feed for two named ‘Broc ‘n Roll’ and the ‘I Love You Soy Much’ date-night feast.
This year’s Good Food Month lineup offers loads of great excuses for taking a long, lazy lunch, but if you’re in the mood for Turkish food, look no further than Yagiz. On Friday, June 18, and Friday, June 25, the warm and vibrant South Yarra restaurant is serving up a special lunch menu showcasing chef-owner Murat Ovaz’s signature modern spin on authentic Turkish cuisine. Take a couple of hours out of your day and duck in here for a three-course feed. The full lunch lineup is being kept under wraps for now, though you can expect to be impressed — Yagiz’s regular menu features such creations as confit duck cigars, fried mussels with tarama, brussels sprouts done with pomegranate molasses and dukkah. The menu clocks in at $45 for your entree, main and dessert, plus a glass of Turkish wine.