Melbourne event enthusiast and moderately priced food eatery reviewer that expects Top Notch service and the use of fresh ingredients at all eateries.
Free street festivals, luncheons and food and wine tastings
The Westside is unquestionable one of Melbourne's most burgeoning regions for contemporary food, with modish bars, cafes and restaurants replacing previous dull and predictable eateries.
Yarraville is adorned with food trucks and the first burger joint, 8Bit, opened last year in Footscray, which gained huge popularity as photos of wrapped brioche American style burgers went viral on social media.
This year, some of the greatest foodie havens in the West will take part in the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, with the following 12 gastronome events taking place from 27 Feb to 15 March.
Ethiopian Dining to the Sound of Ethio-Jazz in Footscray
Apart from Vietnamese cuisine and now 8bit Burgers, Footscray is largely known for its phenomenal Ethiopian cuisine. Many small casual dining spaces serve up the bubbly bread, injera, alongside spicy stews for both meat eaters and vegetarians.
For a joyful evening, Eat Drink Westside and Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant have collaborated to allow patrons to experience the best Ethiopian cuisine, along with a unique fusion of traditional Ethiopian music, jazz, Afro funk, soul and Latin rhythms. The evening will conclude with a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
Konjo Cafe & Restaurant is located at 89 Irving street, Footscray and bookings for the evening as available for Fri 27 - Sat 28 Feb, 6.30-9pm, and Fri 13 - Sat 14 Mar, 6.30-9pm for $45 per person.
If seafood by the bay is more your forte, Pier to Plate at Seaworks is right up your alley.
Originally Melbourne's first sea port, Williamstown has developed from what was a neglected industrialised centre into a popular and trendy maritime village.
Pier to Plate at Seaworks is a celebration of fresh local seafood prepared by some of Melbourne's most popular eateries including MoVida, The Boathouse, Hellenic Republic, Ragusa and Duchess of Spotswood.
The party is only $15 entry and you can expect demonstrations and feasting of delicious freshly caught Australian seafood, prepared by Chefs during the day, and music and entertainment into the night.
If rain falls from the sky on Saturday, 28 February at 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, the event will be moved indoors in a hawkers' market in the Big Shed. The event organisers are well prepared for Melbourne's unpredictable weather, so don't let the uncertainty deter you from this sensational party.
Western Vic Producers Lunch in Footscray, The Plough Hotel
Discover the produce of Western Victoria. Enjoy an informal charcuterie demonstration, whereby charcutier Michael Nunn will explain the history and process of preparing fine cured meats. This will be followed by a tasting of Michael's own fresh and cured meats, followed by three courses with matched wines by The Plough Hotel's Head Chef Scott Thomas.
Who doesn't love cannoli; the delicious deep-fried pastry tubes with a creamy filling?
Melbourne's best cannoli is tucked away in the west, but for more than 50 years Tommaso & Sarina Cavallaro and brothers have been going strong, serving cannoli so good that it keeps their customers returning.
T.Cavallaro & Sons is located at 98 Hopkins Street, Footscray and sessions run on Tue 3 – Wed 4 Mar, 10am – 2pm; 10 – 11 Mar, 10am – 2pm for $70 pers person.
In Moonee Ponds, meet MasterChef Judge Gary Mehigan and the most recent contestants at a twilight festival and market on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. Exhibitors from some of Melbourne's Western suburbs best eateries will be providing sames from produces to cheese and wine. There will also be cooking demonstrations and other eneteratinment on the dat. The festival is child friendly and free, so pop on down to the Maribyrnong Boathouse (7 The Boulevard, Moonee Ponds) on Fri 13 Mar, 6.15 - 10.30pm.
If seeing Masterchef celebrities at a food festival isn't intimate enough for you, join Gary Mehigan and Adrian Richardson from Good Chef, Bad Chef for the Big Boys Brunch, shared brunch dishes served at the Maribyrnong river's edge.
This event will be held on Sun 8 Mar, 10.30am - 1.30pm and will set you back $85 per person including brunch, an informative discussion by the celebrity chefs that call West Melbourne home, and wine and champagne sampling to compliment the shared dishes. To booking call 03 9375 2456.
During March, in Seddon, Local Food Heroes of the West local food & wine experts from Spice Bazaar Cooking School (located in Melbourne's inner west) offer an all inclusive tour of 5 different venues that showcase the variety of culinary offerings in Footscray and beyond. For $120 per person, attendees will receive 9 tasting experiences each with matched wine tastings & transport.
This is a great opportunity to meet the locals who serve up the iconic cuisines of the West including Vietnamese, Northern Chinese, Ethiopian, Malaysian and more.
The exciting tour will conclude in the latest hipster foodie haven, Seddon where participants will enjoy an exotic Middle Eastern spiced dessert and coffee at the cooking school.
On Saturday, March 7, get your chores out of the way in the morning and head on down to Seddon Village at 11am for the annual Seddon Festival. With live entertainment, gourmet food and wine, and craft beer, the festival is for friends and family. There will be three stages with live music, an abundance of stalls rich in food, wine and beer, and not to be missed a highly competitive and no doubt hilarious waiters race.
Seddon Festival is located at Victoria Street and Charles Street, Seddon.
Also in March, sample authentic Vietnamese cuisine at Sunshine Pho Fever, a progressive dinner including more than just Pho. Try authentic juices, soups, sweets, savouries and street food across various Vietnamese provinces. Meet the head cooks from four local Sunshine Vietnamese restaurants and learn how much work goes into these dishes. The journey is cheap, for $45 per person. To be held on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of March at 6.30 – 9pm.
On Sunday Morning, 8 March you can join The Mad Hatter, the Dormouse, the Hare and Alice at Yarraville for Morning Tea With Alice.
This child friendly event encourages everyone to wear their most ridiculously large hats and learn the Lobster Quadrille song and dance.
Tea will be poured into insanely large tea cups and there will be a delightful selection of cakes and treats to go with it.
The event is to be held at Fels Park, Simpson St, Yarraville on Sunday, 8 March from 10am – 12.30pm.
Various price packages available click here to book and find out more.
On Saturday, 7 March, a cult Melbourne brewers and a chef and sausologist are offering Not Just Any Beer and a Sausage.
Three Raven's brewer Brendan O'Sullivan and Brew Cult's Steve "Hendo" Henderson welcome your assistance in producing 20 litres of homebrew and 900 litres of commercial size batches of the smooth, sweet and smoky Manuka smoked Porter.
While this is taking place, chef, Melbourne Food & Beer Pairing Chef Jeff Wyant and sausologist Daniel Thaine will produce a batch of gourmet pork sausages smoked over Manuka wood.
The event will conclude with a fresh gourmet sausage sourced from Victorian producers, and a perfect craft beer. Perfect.
This half day session will take place at Grain and Grape, 5/280 Whitehall St, Yarraville, Sat 7 Mar, 9am – 1pm and costs $50 per person. Click here to book.
Tastes of Yarraville, the 12th epicurean event on the list will take place on Tuesday 3 March at Yarraville Village.
Various price packages from $35 - $50 are available, here, allowing exclusive access to sample some of Yarraville's restaurants in a Spanish tapas style restaurant crawl.