Thursday, September 23, 2010

Melbourne Epic Part Five

The next few days were pretty low key in comparison to the first few. Sunday, after a big night at The Station and two lunches, we thought we should have a quiet day culminating with a few of us cooking at a friend’s house.

Former Piccalilly chef, Peter Cooksley (Now working at the new MONA/Moorilla development and who joined us at Attica) and Iain walked the friend’s dogs down to Footscray’s CBD to buy some Chinese barbecue pork and Peking duck that can be found hanging in windows.

 How they get away with it not being refrigerated we will never know but it tastes good.

Meanwhile the others made pasta, a stroganoff style ragout and garlicky bruscetta.

 Pork bun filling

The finished product

On Peter and Iain’s return they set about eating the duck and converting the pork in to steamed pork buns. We cooked the pasta and over a couple of bottles of wine we wiled the night away with the interlude of Masterchef Junior to see a friend of ours’ younger brother cooking up a storm. Go Jack!

 Messy strog

The following day was an early start for Iain to get to the city to start work at the Melbourne Fine Foods Show at the Melbourne Convention Center. Iain had been commissioned by Rely Services (click here)(purveyor of all the high-tech kitchen tools that make Piccalilly’s food possible) to demonstrate and give a chef’s perspective on the sought-after equipment.

 You can't even see the end of it!

Meanwhile Elysia and Peter headed in to the city so that Peter who hadn’t seen Movida could get in n the action and see what the buzz is about for himself.

Later in the day Iain had a break from his sales job to meet up with Leish to have one more go at Mamasita to have the wonderful street style corn with chipotle mayonnaise. We also tried a couple of items that we were keen to try on our previous visit but weren’t on the set menu.

The very hot hot sauce at Mumasita

Street style corn

Tostaditas - crunchy corn chips topped with yummy pork and corn

Quesadilla of mushrooms and truffle, slow cooked goat on the bone with smashed sweet corn and braising juices and a cleansing civiche with crunchy toasted tortillas. A much better experience from our previous visit where we could hear ourselves talk and see what we were eating, and the food was great!

Mushroom quesadilla


Awesome braised goat 

It was the time for Elysia to head home to Hobart while Iain headed back to the show and then out to dinner with the crew from Rely Services.

Bacash (click here) in South Yarra  for what is well regarded as Melbourne’s best seafood. The menu predominantly seafood displays influences from classical European to Japanese.

The illuminated exterior of Bacash 

Iain’s entrée was finely diced raw tuna with sesame seeds, shredded nori and just the right amount of wasabi, dressed with fresh lemon juice. A simple dish that allowed the fresh fish to speak for its self with complimentary ingredients.

Tuna entree with lots of baby basil

Main was crispy battered fillets of King George Whiting with a couple of crunchy, cheesy potato croquettes a wedge of lemon and parsley packed tartar sauce. The fish soft and perfectly cooked in its golden batter. We also enjoyed sides of dressed leaves, buttery asparagus, chips and brussel sprouts.

King George Whiting

 The flounder that Bacash is famous for

Dessert was a simple blood orange jelly along side a ball of crème fraiche ice-cream and a tiny mille-feuille of caramalised puff pastry and silky and mousy orange curd. Clean and light the dish was a wonderful finish to the meal.

The guys form Rely Services dropped me home to Footscray with enough time to wash a uniform for the following day’s work.

The next two days were much the same, A few hours spent demonstrating and talking about Pacojet, Roner and MyCook with the occasional sojourn in to the other stands to see if I could find any interesting products or plates for Piccalilly with little success.

The Fine Foods show its self is vast. Hundreds, if not thousands of exhibitors, mainly bulk catering and bakery products all show off the latest and greatest products. It takes at least 5 minutes to walk for one end of the show to the other if you don’t stop. Many of the people I spoke to had spent two full days at the show and still hadn’t seen it all.

The third day at the show passed without incident and it was time for me to join Elysia back at home. Summing up Melbourne. Attica rocked our socks off! The perfect balance of great service and incredible food. Movida, The Station Hotel, Cumulus Inc, Little Press and Cellar, Mamasita and Bacash all exceeded expectations and has made us excited to return to Melbourne again soon. Oh, and the Little Press parfait is something to behold so try and get in there before they take it off the menu.

Thanks for reading!