Melbourne's favourite food festival, Taste of Melbourne in partnership with Electrolux is without a doubt one of our top summer events. There’s amazingly fresh food, delicious drinks, top local producers and even some world-class kitchen talent showing us how it’s done, all in the open air of the beautiful grounds of Albert Park.
This year’s Taste of Melbourne showcase, taking place from Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th November, doesn’t disappoint. We’ve rounded up our 9 favourites—from the key dishes to try to the incredible workshops to book in for—at the most epic food event of the summer.
#1: Get A Taste Of REAL Authentic South African Flavours
South African cuisine is fast becoming one of Melbourne’s hottest new food trends—we’ve seen everything from South African BBQ (or ‘braai’ in Afrikaans) to South African beers gracing menus at the city’s most cutting edge restaurants. This year’s Taste of Melbourne includes a South African Garden—a space especially dedicated to exotic ingredients! South African Masterchef judge Benny Masekwameng will be on hand showing you how it’s done and letting you sample some mouth-watering examples of this delicious cuisine.
#2: Try Some Flambé Gelato That’s Served On Fire!
The geniuses at George Calombaris’s Gazi restaurant are serving up a flaming treat at Taste of Melbourne. The team have been hard at work crafting a totally unique flambé gelato cone. Yes, that means it’s on fire when they present it to you—the heat of the flame toasts the marshmallow—but magically, the gelato is still cool as a cucumber. You’d best be quick—there are only 50 portions for sale each day!
#3: Make Your Own Gin… No, Really.
Bass & Flinders, one of Australia’s top boutique spirit producers, based in Red Hill, will be making the trek into the city to show you how to make your own gin (surely a summer skill that everyone should have?). The masterclass will explain the techniques and ingredients used to make a delicious gin, allowing you to blend your own botanicals to create your very own spirit. Nothing tastes better than a gin and tonic… Except a gin and tonic that comes with smugness of making the gin yourself!
Book your ticket here.
#4: Lobster Rolls Galore Thanks To Supernormal
Supernormal’s lobster roll is a thing of beauty. If you haven’t managed to get your lips on one at Andrew McConnell’s Flinders Street restaurant, he’ll be serving the iconic dish (which is the most Melbourne thing ever?) at this year’s Taste food festival. If there’s one signature dish you eat, this should be it.
#5: Try A Melbourne Legend’s Spicy Ceviche
Pastuso is one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne for an all-out meat feast. But have you ever tried their mouth-watering seafood options? This year, the fantastic CBD venue will be popping up to serve some incredible Ora king salmon ceviche, dressed with our sour orange dressing and Amazonian chillies that give the dish a sure-fire flavour kick. Delicious.
#6: Learn From The Kitchen Masters IRL
There’s a lot of mystique surrounding today’s superstar chefs but, thanks to Taste of Melbourne, you’ll be able to see some of Australia’s top talent cook up a storm, live at the food festival. Throughout the weekend, the Electrolux Taste Theatre plays host to George Calombaris, Mark Best and Guy Grossi , who will all be showing off their skills with the help from compere Kate Gibbs (whose cookbook of recipes from her grandmother is a firm Urban List favourite!). Check out the full line-up here.
#7: Goat = The Next Big Meat Trend?
Will you be converted to goat tacos by Mexican gurus Mamasita?! The restaurant sold out dishes at last year’s Taste of Melbourne, and we expect this year to be no different. Their Tostada De Cabra A La Tinga is one of the hottest dishes to try at the event, so arrive hungry and try this one early, folks.
#8: Incredible Wines…
Discovering a new fave wine is like making a new friend—you know exactly when to turn to them in a time of need, hey?! There are heaps of amazing wine sampling opportunities at Taste of Melbourne, including the Nepenthe Wines Hill where you can pull up a blanket and relax with a glass, Sol Y Vino’s South American bar, which will be serving pisco too, and The Wine Society’s master-classes, which cover everything from pairing to serving the perfect bottle.
#9: …And The Glassware You Should Be Drinking It From
If you’re keen to try sipping some vino from one of the world’s best glasses, secure your spot at the Audi Brighton Platinum Lounge, which is presented by Riedel, where top-notch glassware comes as standard, or book in for a Riedel tasting workshop, where you’ll learn how much of a difference the glass your drinking from makes. We were doubters at first, but trust us, your mind will be blown by sipping from these rave-worthy receptacles.
The Urban List is giving readers an exclusive opportunity to book 2 general entry tickets for only $45, saving $15*. Book here and use the code URBAN to get your discount!
*Savings based on door prices and exclude booking and transaction fees.
Taste of Melbourne runs Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th November
Tickets priced at $25.49 per person | Book here
Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Taste of Melbourne and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Taste of Melbourne / Gazi flambee bomba photo by @thecitylane