Last Thursday saw the kick-off of the annual restaurant festival Taste of Melbourne and we were there to sample the delights from Melbourne’s finest, as well as some notable chefs from abroad.
Armed with empty stomachs, we headed straight to the South African Garden for a Masterclass with chef Benny Masekwameng, known not only for his culinary skills as Executive Chef for the Tsogo Sun Group, but as one of the judges on the popular MasterChef South Africa.
Chef Benny’s chosen recipe was a melting pot, borrowing flavours from across the globe. We were surprised to find that the hero of the dish was not the lamb chops or ratatouille, but a tie between the creamed spinach (the addition of peanut butter being key) and the crisp, deep fried mielepap cubes. Mielepap is Afrikaans for maize porridge, similar to polenta, and is a staple food of many South Africans.
Next stop was Circa, the Prince for Cape Brim Ox Cheek, which (while being a bit on the small side of things) was cooked to perfection, Luxembourg Bar and Bistro for Duck Sausage Roll and Supernormal for the infamous New England Lobster roll.
Still not satisfied with our fill of meat, we ended the night with the Royal Mail Hotel’s iconic dish, Duck Phat Sundays – a combination of duck fat ice cream, angelica syrup, orange cream and nuts. While one of us wasn’t sold, the dessert was a crowd favourite and won joint first place at the Best in Taste Awards.
Thanks for having us Taste of Melbourne, but we’ll be eating vegetables only for the next few days….
This post was written by guest blogger, Zara Homes.
See our full set of photos on our Facebook page.
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