Archive | June 2012

Melbourne Good Food and Wine Show – June 3rd

Last weekend my Mum and I went to the annual Good Food and Wine Show  This is the third time in a row I’ve gone to the show and I never find it dull.  There are so many stalls displaying and selling their wares.  I use it as an opportunity to stock up on some of the more gourmet items I like such as jams, flavoured olive oils and sauces.  I bought some delicious salad dressings from Jamie’s Fine Dressings I bought the Poppy Seed Dressing, a type of dressing I’ve fallen in love with since trying it last Summer.  The other one I bought was a new flavour – Moroccan Spice Dressing.  I always buy the two showbags that are sold.  They are only 2 for $10 and have so many full-sized products and samples. 

There are also a lot of celebrity nationally and internationally known chefs.  The Aussie chefs/cooks featuring this were George Calombaris, Maggie Beer, Manu Feildel.  This  year John Torode (Masterchef UK) and Rick Stein were the special international chefs this year.  I got to see some of John Torode’s talks and also Miguel Maestre’s. 

There is also Cheese Alley, Riedel Wine Theatre, Tuckeroo Cooking School (using native ingredients) and a Healthy Living Zone which included a Gluten Free Show.  [slideshow]

In the middle of the show was the Skinny Girl Cocktail relaxing area.  First of all you are enticed into their area by the lovely red couches.  Then you are told that you can go in and try some of the two vodka flavours they were offering.  I didn’t like the Margarita one; it was too bitter.  I loved the White Cranberry Cosmo.  I bought a bottle which meant I could get a free manicure, pedicure or massage.  I chose the manicure.  It was so nice to sit down and relax for 15 mins while I had my nails done.  Around 1/3 of the show area is devoted to wine tasting but I couldn’t try anything else because I was driving.

By the end of the day, I was at the show for almost 3 hrs, spent a fortune, walked more than 4km and had a great day out with Mum.

If you’re in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide or Brisbane and love food and wine why not go to the Good Food and Wine Show later this year.

June 2, 2012 – When does a month contain 45 days?

When it’s my friend, Mel’s, birthday month.

Mel’s idea is that a birthday doesn’t have to be celebrated for just one day.  It’s a great idea and one that I’m slowly adopting.   There are way too many restaurants and cafes (as well as family and friends) in Melbourne to restrict your celebration to just one day.  This year the birthday month stretches to 45 days because some of her in-laws are away and won’t be back until mid-July so they can have dinner with her to celebrate when they return.

We have decided that we will try a different restaurant or cafe for each of our birthdays every year.  Earlier this year we went to The Stokehouse in St Kilda for my birthday.   For her birthday, Mel chose to go to Cafe di Stasio in Fitzroy St, St Kilda.   It’s a cafe that has stood the test of time, having been open for over 20 years.  They serve beautiful, simple Italian food. 

The first thing you notice when entering is that there is only one simple sign hanging above the footpath and no signage on the windows.  The next thing are the bronze hands that serve as door handles.  They are definitely unique.  The final thing that struck me was that it’s very small inside.  Just the size of a normal double-width shop.  I’ve seen photos of the interior and ássumed there was more to what had been photographed.  It’s a very cosy and warm atmosphere.  Not sure about the blue paint on the walls though. It looks like they started to paint and ran out of time. I forgot to ask why they did that.  It has been there for a long time though.  I’m sure it’s a big talking point.

Our booking was for midday and we were the first ones to be seated inside.  We got a nice table in the window although I couldn’t see outside because I was sitting with my back to the windows.  That was fine with me because I could see the whole of the restaurant and parts of the kitchen when the waiters opened the doors. 

The waiters were great.  They were very attentive even as the restaurant began to fill up.  We were given the menu for their lunch special (limited menu of 2 courses for $35 including wine and coffee/tea) and the a la carte menu. While perusing the menus we ate hot fresh bread.  I chose Smoked Salmon with creme fraiche and brioche for my entree and we both chose the Salmon Linguine with prawns for my main meal.  My favourite of the two was the Smoked Salmon.  I just love the taste of good, fresh smoked salmon.  The creme fraiche and brioche were to die for.  They complemented the salmon perfectly.   We both drank Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  I love Marlborough wines and this was one I hadn’t tried before.

Overall we both loved the food.  I know I would like to go back because there were several dishes on the menu that I would love to try.