THIS WEEK IN FOOD – June 23
DESPERATELY SEA KING NEPTUNE – We all love a wine bar, so I headed to Windsor to check out this new addition to the area. It’s a beautiful interior, but not cliched, not sterile, not intimidating. Quiet on a Saturday lunch time, the service was wonderfully friendly and efficient. It’s a fun menu that’ll see you graze for hours if you choose. Don’t miss some of the tinned seafood (think mussels with green tomatoes, paprika and parmesan); the spicy, gooey nduja jaffle, and the absinthe cured bonito. Be sure to get Aaron or one of the other bar team to whip you up a creative drink, and remember you can grab a bottle of wine, or pre-batched cocktail to take away. http://www.neptune.melbourne/
THE GEORGE IS KING – The Long Room is no more, and The George on Collins is born. So central, there’s been quite a schmancy renovation for this city favourite – and the result is something that somehow still feels lived-in, if quite noticeably “cool”. Open 7 days for breakfast, lunch or dinner – there’s no excuse for not finding time to have a look. The long bar now adorns the centre of the room, there are some great booths and British chef Tom Brockbank has got some serious comfort food on the menu to get you through the winter – do not miss his house dry-aged lamb shoulderslow-cooked lamb. http://www.thegeorgeoncollins.com.au/
WINTER WINES – One for the diary, on the 8th and 9th July Geelong wineries will hold their third annual Winter Shiraz Weekend. Get involved two days of beautiful wine, food and entertainment as the Geelong region basks in the midwinter glow. Try award winning Shiraz’s, while local chefs match the region’s renowned cool climate wines with hearty winter fare. More info: www.winegeelong.com.au
BLOOMING BASTILLE – Speaking of Melbourne institutions, Philippa Sibley is now at the helm at Syracuse Restaurant in Bank Place, the stunning venue is still churning out great European classics. For Friday 14th July though, it’ll be all things French for a Bastille Day celebration dinner. For $145 you’ll get five courses with matched drinks, including Confit of Duck with Citrus, Fennel, and Potato Puree matched to a French Malbec. More info: www.syracuserestaurant.com.au
MIXING IT UP – It’s been a good year already for Kirsten Tibballs, a Masterchef appearance, a 15th Birthday for her Savour chocolate and Patisserie School, and now a new app – called Mix n Make. It’s full of tips, tricks and recipes from this Queen of Chocolate – so plenty of tarts, macarons and eclairs in all sorts of flavours. Be sure to let me know if you need a taster! Search app store for Mix n Make.