This year’s Food Safari took me to the land of many, many culinary influences – Australia!
My quest was to find the national dish of Australia, an interesting feat. Follow my Food Safari series in the next few blogs to find out what dishes I discovered.
The first stop was Melbourne for the Fine Food Australia Show – a massive trade show five times bigger than the SA Good Food & Wine Show. I spent two days at the show. Time needed to see as much as possible – lectures on upcoming food trends, taste new products, see equipment on offer and meet some great chefs.
As I travel on my food safaris, there is nothing better than catching up with old guests over a glass and bite– Melbourne guests Craig, De Villiers and Brett did not disappoint!
The first culinary destination was that of Prix Fixe –the creative hub of Philippa Sibley, one of Australia’s leading dessert chefs. Based on a different theme every month, the restaurant concept is inspired by people, the arts and music whilst bringing together fresh seasonal produce, transforming both the interior and menu itself into a whimsical dining experience from 1997 – 2014. Diners book and pay upfront as you would for a theatre performance. The food is both a surprise and delight.
In Sibley’s words – “Chefs become associated with dishes like an artist to a painting or a singer to a song. It is tremendously flattering to be thought to have ‘signature’ dishes.”
These were the signature dishes we dined on.
I was fortunate to have a great tour guide in the form of Craig who the following day showed me around greater Melbourne and had lunch at Chin Chin – a sharing experience where the many different dishes have exotic and varied flavours of Asia. The Massaman Curry was one of my most delicious Melbourne moments!
That evening we dined at Cicciolina in St Kilda – a fabulously packed Italian restaurant, the place to go before a show! Still pretty full from my great lunch, I decided on two small starters. Stuffed Zucchini Flowers followed by a Souffle of Blue swimmer crab meat, shallot and lemon thyme served on a champagne & chive veloute ended my stay in Melbourne sufficiently satisfied.
Thank you Craig, Brett and De Villiers for a fabulous dining experience. I look forward to seeing you soon at Londolozi!