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Sebastian's Sells Seafood by the Seashore
The theme of this year's Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is Water, and Sebastian's Food and Wine of beachside Hampton is well-placed to meet the challenge.
A 10 minute stroll from the beach and a couple of minutes from Hampton Station, this daytime eatery kept open its doors after its usual 5pm close to embrace the challenge of providing a seafood and Riesling dinner as part of the festival celebrations.
A 2010 Stefano Lubiano 'Alfresco' Riesling was an appropriate choice for first course served in the outdoor area under market umbrella. It was a zesty refreshing accompaniment to the St Helen's oysters served with a honeydew granita and pearl salmon roe.
The second course of ocean trout ceviche with a 2013 Mac Forbes Riesling was served inside the café at tables of eight, decorated with waterlilies as befits the theme. One of the highlights of festival events like this is the lucky dip of seating arrangements. With a well-disposed foodie crowd out for a special night, there is a sense of camaraderie that adds to the enjoyment of the evening. Weekend Notes can attest to that – and sends a big shout out to Alison and Chris, a couple of fun gals from the South Eastern suburbs out for a night of good food, good wine and good company.
Scampi with various mushrooms and a lemon butter sauce was next cab off the rank, paired with a 2013 Pikes Riesling from the Clare Valley. For main course, our culinary travels brought us back to Port Phillip Bay with locally-caught snapper served with an unusual butternut pumpkin and vanilla puree, matched with a 2013 Clonakilla Riesling and a 2013 Frankland Estate Riesling. Dessert was an interesting pairing of banana parfait with a sublime hazelnut icecream and earl grey jelly, served with a 2012 Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling.
This is the second venture in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival for Sebastian's, which has just celebrated its second year at the Hampton Street location. While some of the flavour combinations were less successful than others, there can be no faulting the commitment and attention to detail of the staff and management of this local gem of a café.
The portions were just right – neither too large nor too small – and the wine waiters were generous, putting the lie to the old adage: "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink." At Sebastian's Food and Wine on a fresh autumn evening there was no shortage of drops to drink… or goodwill. It's a winning combination that deserves to do well. Keep an eye out for special dinner events throughout the year.