HOT: Bomba Goes to Spain, Bomba, 103 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

bomba

Every year Jesse Gerner, the owner of Spanish bodega/vermutería  Bomba, along with various staff, takes a trip to Spain. It’s a chance to eat, drink, meet local producers and bring back ideas and ingredients. The outcome of this year’s gastronomic adventures is Bomba Goes to Spain – two special Sunday lunches featuring stories, dishes and wines discovered on the trip.

bomba

This year Jesse and his team went to Seville, Cadiz, Jerez and the Canary Islands and I was invited to the Bomba Goes to Spain lunch inspired by the farmers, fishermen and chefs they met on their island adventures. 

I’ve never been to the Canary Islands and only know it for the British holiday haunt Tenerife. Turns out the Spanish archipelago, located just off the southern coast of Morocco, is famous for its seafood and many variations of mojo sauces. Our lunch featured both heavily.

bomba

To start, delicate Spring Bay mussels with a mojo de azafran ie saffron. Sweet, piquant and silken, these slippery little morsels slid down nicely with a sip of Christmassy-scented vermouth.

bomba

The fried school prawns were surprisingly fleshy and the spiky paprika salt gave each crunchy bite a satisfying kick. bombaIt was served with the housemade bread created by a sourdough starter called ‘The Mother’ started by Jesse almost eight years ago and now produces daily offspring for Anada, Green Park Dining and Bomba.  

bomba

Poached pork ribs, a traditional Sunday lunch dish, was modernised with sweet corn and a grassy mojo cilantro made with coriander and a bed of crushed potato.

bomba

One of my favourite dishes was the char grilled octopus with mojo aromatico. The octopus had been slow cooked for several hours at a constant temperature, turning each tentacle tender without turning it into mush. It was served with ribbons of confit potato and the mojo made with a pounded blend of aromatics.

bomba

The Montadito of olive pit smoked sardine and green onions was another favourite, inspired by a serendipitous find, one of the few eateries in the old town open on a Monday and serving modernised tapas. This dish was the first time Jesse had used olive pits to smoke and it’s a practice he will probably continue given pips are normally a waste product.

bomba

Slow cooked rabbit was another traditional Sunday lunch staple, served with one of the Canary Islands’ signature dishes – papas arrugadas, potatoes cooked in seawater. These wrinkly potatoes were served with a mojo picon, a paprika and garlic sauce. I enjoyed the full-bodied tomato and oregano sauce of rabbit but found the meat to be a touch dry for my liking. 

bomba

To finish, croquettes of leche asada (milk custard) studded with orange zest and a rum ice-cream and a spiced rum and orange syrup. I loved this dessert – crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and gently spiced.

This Sunday 30 August is the second of the Bomba Goes to Spain lunches, featuring dishes and wines from Andalucia. It costs $65pp for four courses including tapa, raciones and dessert so in fact you end up with a 8-9 dish long lunch – quite a bargain and guaranteed to fill you up so you don’t need dinner! There’s no nicer way to spend a Sunday than to feast in the surroundings of Bomba‘s warm brick downstairs dining room or by the bar. 

bomba

And don’t despair if you miss out – some of these special souvenir dishes, maybe tweaked a little, will be appearing in Bomba’s main menu in the future.

Bomba Goes to Spain, Bomba Tapas Bar and Rooftop, 103 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne +61 3 9077 0451

Lunch 30 August 12-3pm

Normal opening hours

Lunch Mon-Fri 12-3pm

Dinner Sun-Thu 5-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 5-11pm

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HOT: Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters, 113 Hardware Street, Melbourne

hash coffee roasters

If you’re walking down Hardware Street and looking for Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters, just look out for the lightbox with ‘#’. In this social media saturated world, there’s no need to actually spell out H-A-S-H to brunch goers hunting for the cool cafe.

hash coffee roasters

Inside Hash the decor is dark, jagged and steely, with a rabbit warren of single booths, small tables and communal benches snaking up to a mezzanine area. The upstairs area is the best place to go if you want to hide from the busy hum downstairs.

hash coffee roasters

hash coffee roasters

hash coffee roasters

I was invited to try some of Hash’s menu but before we get to the food let’s talk about THAT hot chocolate ($6).

hash coffee roasters

This awe-inspiring beehive of house made milk fairy floss and beaker of Mork dark chocolate has been the talk of foodie social media since it first emerged. On a weekend the cafe has been known to sell 100 hot chocolates a day!

Basically you pour the molten mixture into the tower fairy floss, watching as the tower collapses onto itself and sweetens the 85% cocoa chocolate. The resulting drink is smooth, intense and not too sweet and the theatrical experience just adds to the fun.

If you’re not a hot chocolate fan the coffee is made using Zest beans though there are plans to roast on site.

The breakfast menu is available all day and I was given small tastes of some dishes, so the photos may not actually reflect the portions of a main meal.

hash coffee roasters

Highlights included the crusty leek and cheddar croquettes ($19.50) with cauliflower puree, shreds of ham hock, cavolo nero and a poached egg poached in turmeric which didn’t impart much flavour but did give the dish a jolly yellow glow.

hash coffee roasters

The coconut  yoghurt pannacotta ($15.50) could have been a little less firm but I liked the artistry of the accompanying toasted nuts and grains and delicate flowers.

hash coffee roasters

I returned another day to try their grilled banana and pecan loaf ($18.50). I really liked the chunky nuts inside the springy loaf but thought that it would be better balanced in terms of texture and flavour with either burnt honey mascarpone or white chocolate custard, not both. I also thought compared to some of the other dishes the price was disproportionate to the size of the loaf you got.

The CBD is a bit of a dead zone for breakfast on the weekends so Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters is a welcome discovery. I think some of the dishes could be simplified to highlight the top quality of the ingredients – the kitchen evidently cares about the provenance of its goods given the producers are name-checked on the menu.

And make sure you order the signature hot chocolate!


Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters, 113 Hardware Street, Melbourne, VIC 03 8529 0284

Mon-Fri 7:00am-4:00pm

Sat- Sun 8:00am- 5:00pm

Click to add a blog post for Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters on Zomato

HOT: Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

hermitage ngv

Melbourne Winter Masterpieces have been bringing some fantastic international exhibitions to brighten Melbourne’s winters since 2004. This year the National Gallery of Victoria is hosting Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, which features over 400 selected pieces from the collection of one of the world’s largest, oldest and most-visited museums in the world, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

This exhibition has been described as the greatest exhibition the Hermitage  has undertaken abroad and it is part of their 250 anniversary celebrations. I got a sneak peek today at the media preview. Melbourne, you’re in for a treat!

hermitage ngv

The works on show at the NGV include paintings from masters such as Velasquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and Van Dyk to drawings, decorative arts, Catherine’s personal effects and paintings from the prized Walpole collection, all bought and collected by Catherine over 3 decades as a patron and innovator of the arts in the 18th century.

hermitage ngv

It was through the collection of these works and Catherine the Great’s exceptional vision that the Hermitage was founded.

hermitage ngv

While the big names will no doubt be the drawcards, my favourite moments in the whole exhibition included…

hermitage ngv

Francesco Francia’s drawing of Sacrifice with Bacchus, with its lush textures and detail achieved with only brown ink and a pen….

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

…the intense blue of the Sevres porcelain in the Cameo Service commissioned by Catherine and…

hermitage ngv

…the detail in the mirror of the thirty-two piece Chinese toilet service which was a wedding gift to Catherine.

hermitage ngv

The exhibition design is also notable, with lush hues, architectural details and antique furniture inspired by the grandeur of the Hermitage’s rooms.

hermitage ngv

I particularly loved the parquetry flooring and the Chinese wallpaper, which covered even the electrical switches!

hermitage ngv

hermitage ngv

Make time to watch the immersive video that transports you to wintery Russia and takes you inside the through the gallery.

hermitage ngv

The exhibition is not just about admiring excellent pieces of Western Art. Mikhail Dedinkin, the Deputy Head of the Department of Western European Art at the State Hermitage Museum, described it best ‘The Hermitage helps people find their own history and contains some of the greatest examples of the genius of mankind. The collection spans all centuries, all countries and all countries under one roof.’

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great is an opportunity to see but a part of the Hermitage’s grand collection right on our doorstep. Don’t miss it!


 

Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Friday 31 July – Sunday 8 November 2015  10am-5pm

Tickets on sale from ngv.vic.gov.au

Adult $26 | Concession $22.50 | Child $10 |

Family (2 adults, 3 children) $65

 

HOT: Din Tai Fung, Emporium Melbourne, Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

ding tai fung melbourne

Melbourne dumpling-lovers, start your engines. Din Tai Fung Melbourne has arrived.

This famous, and long-awaited, restaurant chain has taken up the whole of level 4 inside Emporium Melbourne. You can’t miss the entrance as there will be crowd of hungry people outside.
din tai fung melbourne

Inside the decor is a surprising combination of Scandi-chic with an Asian sensibility designed by Design Clarity.

din tai fung melbourne

It’s not often you spot filament lights in Asian restaurants and they combine together with other ‘hipster-cafe’ features such as an abundance of blonde wood, a long retro blue banquette, curved lines and wall-hanging greenery.

din tai fung melbourne

Particularly Asian elements still creep in though – waiters wield bag stands to protect your handbags and shopping and coat covers for the back of your chair.

din tai fung melbourne

You order by ticking off a paper menu with over a hundred items. Daunted, I call my (Chinese) mother to provide ordering advice (though there is a picture menu available to assist). She says ‘every visit to Din Tai Fung would not be complete without their famous xiao long bao’.

din tai fung melbourne

These darling 18-times pleated soup dumplings (6 for $10.80) are made by an army of mask-clad chefs in the large kitchen and then carried in a sky-high tower of bamboo steamers to be distributed to expectant folk.

din tai fung melbourne

Din Tai Fung’s XLB are superb. The weight of the piping hot broth, the thin pouch of dumpling skin, the the perfect balance of texture and flavour, all go towards making these some of the best xiao long bao you’ll find anywhere in the world. What’s amazing is the consistency of the product – I’ve had Din Tai Fung’s XLB in Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai and each time they send me into a food orgasm.

din tai fung melbourne

Din Tai Fung are also famous for their noodles, and my mum suggested trying the braised beef noodle soup ($16.80). It’s a steaming bowl consisting of a fat wad of handmade noodles sitting underneath four slices of beef shank in a flavoursome broth. The pliable noodles are a highlight though the beef could be more tender.

din tai fung melbourne

Finally, I try one of their steamed buns ($3). The vegetarian bun comes so beautifully pleated I don’t want to touch it. I take a bite and discover the fluffiest of pillows with a loose mixture of shredded vegetables and mushrooms nestled inside.

din tai fung melbourne

Din Tai Fung may be a global restaurant chain but it’s one that’s of consistently high quality and reasonably priced. It’s an exciting addition to Chinese dining in Melbourne and it was telling that on my visit 95% of the patrons were Asian, young and old. It’s safe to say they know a good dumpling when they eat it (and are willing to line up for it).

My final tip is to arrive 5-10 minutes before opening time. The kitchen is quick but each table still takes around 45 minutes to turn around. So if you miss the first tranche of the 230-odd seats you’ll have to hang around salivating over your paper menu until there’s room.

Din Tai Fung, Emporium Melbourne, Level 4, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 9654 1876

Mon-Wed 11.30-2.30pm, 5.30-9pm

Thu-Fri 11.30-2.30pm, 5-10pm

Sat 11-3pm, 5-10pm

Sun 11-3pm, 5-9pm

Click to add a blog post for Din Tai Fung on Zomato

HOT: Touche Hombre, 233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Touche Hombre

In a city that’s chock full of Mexican restaurants, what makes Touche Hombre special?

For me, it’s the fun atmosphere, punchy flavours and super-quick service right in the heart of the city. I call it ‘Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am Mexican’.

Touche Hombre

The interior is all laneway brashness, with exposed brick, concrete, bar stools and kitschy touches. The hip hop playlist was from my era!

Touche Hombre

I was invited to try their new menu which launched earlier this month in time for their third birthday. It’s pretty much the same Mexican-for-gringos street food that you know and love and it all goes well with their Mexican cocktails. The zesty Tommy’s Margarita is their signature but I personally liked their icy horchata.

touche hombre

I think the best way to tackle the menu is just to go with the chef’s selection. For a very reasonable $40 you’ll be filled up with 1 Street Corn, 1 Starter, 3 Tacos and 1 Dessert.

Dive straight into the Touche fried chicken, spiced up with habanero cream and lime ($10/$25). The crunchy outer coating made with maize flour was a popcorn party in the mouth though I’d be sparing with the cream and generous with the lime to cut through the richness.

Touche Hombre

The spicy lamb ribs with merquin, coriander and honey ($13) were tender but far too fatty for our tastes so it was our least successful dish on the night.

touche hombre

Our plate of tostaditos (or crisp mini tortillas) had one of everything – blue crab, chicken tinga, tuna and pumpkin. The Asian-inspired tuna with candied peanuts, soy and black sesame was my favourite though of course the least authentic.

Touche Hombre

Next up, 6” soft shell tacos.  I highly recommend you douse them in hot sauce if you need a kick as I found the flavours of both the slow cooked pork cheek, habanero cream and BBQ corn salsa ($6.50) and the Chimichurri Chicken with melted Egmont cheese, toasted pepitas and coriander aioli ($6) quite mild. Other taco fillings include prawn, haloumi, fish and meatballs and the fillings are replicated in the burritos selection as well.

Touche Hombre

Dessert veers away from Latin flavours to ice cream sandwiches and doughnuts. We tried the chocolate, chilli and peanut butter parfait ($8) which had negligible chilli in it, so I say turn it up! The biscuit was also rock hard so the whole dish was a bit difficult to eat.

Touche Hombre has obviously carved out a niche in Melbourne’s Mexican wave as it was jumping on a Tuesday night. The dishes we tried veered from OMG amazing to ho hum in my nitpicking opinion, but add a few drinks and the rapid friendly service it’s a great way to kickstart a fun night out – you can even head right next door to Burro Teca (Donkey Disco, I kid you not)!

Touche Hombre

Touche Hombre, 233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne (03) 9663 0811

Mon to Sat 12:00 pm – late

Click to add a blog post for Touché Hombre on Zomato

HOT: Open House: Tromarama for Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

tromarama

Open House: Tromarama for Kids is NGV International’s newest children’s gallery exhibition which isn’t just child’s play. Indonesian contemporary art collective Tromarama (Febie Babyrose, Herbert Hans and Ruddy Hatumena), have truly built a house of fun for young and old alike!

Open House: Tromarama for Kids

tromarama

The fantastical space features five fully furnished rooms – a kitchen, dining room, courtyard, bedroom and bathroom. The whole house comes to life and there are lots of unexpected surprises to explore.

tromarama

tromarama

Start off in the bathroom and very comfy pillow-lined bedroom, where you can learn to make simple stop motion animation movies.

tromarama

Just take some toys from the bathtub, find a backdrop you like, use the touch screens to take photos  and off you go!

tromarama

Move into the lush garden with the flower wall which reminded me of the Raf Simons’ extravagant first collection for Christian Dior. Pity the flowers aren’t real!

tromarama

In the garden you’ll find that pink flamingos talk and cheeky garden gnomes chat back with your voice!

tromarama

The kitchen is the most restful space, with stacks of ceramic crockery (thankfully stuck together and to the benches) and it shows a delightful animation of dancing plates and cups.

tromarama

The highlight of the interactive experiences has got to be the disco dance floor. Look up and you’ll see a complete dining room setting, which means you’re dancing on the ceiling!

tromarama

Like Darren Sylvester’s dance floor for the Melbourne Now exhibition this room will definitely be a drawcard.

tromarama

Open House: Tromarama for Kids is a must-see on your next to visit the gallery and it will be sure to delight and surprise kids and adults alike. Come out and play!

Open House: Tromarama for Kids, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Saturday 23 May – Sunday 18 Oct

Open 10am–5pm

Closed Tuesday

Free entry

The HOT List: Afternoon Tea in Melbourne – Mother’s Day Sunday 10 May 2015

windsor hotel afternoon tea
Sunday 10 May is Mother’s Day and Melbourne’s restaurants and cafes will be busy organising special events for the day. Here’s a round-up of high teas in Melbourne and surrounds, some of which are special events just for Mother’s Day.

Melbourne High Tea Reviews

Over the years I’ve reviewed a lot of afternoon tea locations – some great, some not so great. Here are the ones which are open for Mother’s Day.

Chocolate Indulgence Afternoon Tea, Aria Bar and Lounge, The Langham Melbourne, 1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank

Langham Melbourne – one of my favourites in Melbourne for the quality of the food and the ambience. The closest to the ‘London afternoon tea’ experience I think, minus the all-you-can-eat ribbon sandwiches!

Intercontinental – For coffee lovers rather than tea sippers.

Cinema Nova – watch a film and enjoy high tea.

Jam and Cream – this little cafe with a pink vintage caravan is as cute as it comes as a setting for afternoon tea.

LuxBite Tea Set for Two, 38 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

LuxBite – The Tea Set for Two gives you a little taste of the decadence available at this South Yarra dessert patisserie.

Bursaria at Abbotsford Convent – High Tea in the lovely surrounds of Abbotsford Convent.

The Tea Salon – Do some shopping at Emporium then relax with a high tea accompanied by tea, sparkling or champagne.

The Hotel Windsor – Enjoy this iconic building by indulging in freshly baked scones are served with jam and cream and exquisite pastries sit above delicate finger sandwiches.

 High Tea at Lobby Lounge, The Westin, 205 Collins St, Melbourne

Westin Melbourne – a highlight for the pastry lover.

The Waiting Room – decadent sweets, sorbet, scones, sandwiches and hot savouries at Crown Towers.

Collins Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Melbourne – sub-par pastries and a bun-fight at the buffet. Not relaxing.

Sofitel Melbourne – pretty average with rock hard scones.

Other High Tea in Melbourne and surrounds

CBD/ DOCKLANDS

Marriot Melbourne Hotel Cnr Exhibition and Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Child (under 12yrs): $28, Teen (12-18yrs): $49, Adult: $65. Bookings: Book online or call 03 9660 1176

28 Skybar Lounge at Crown Melbourne $85 per adult $50 per child. Bookings 9292 5777.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms 282 Collins St, Melbourne. $50. Bookings: www.hopetountearooms.com.au/reservations 48 hours notice required.

Wonderland Spiegeltent 120 Pearl River Rd, Harbour Town Docklands. Cost: Child $35, Adults $39.50. Bookings: Telephone 03 9602 1311

Vue de Monde  525 Collins St, Melbourne. $250 person. Bookings: (03) 9691 38888

Hotel Lindrum26 Flinders St Melbourne. $55 per person including a glass of sparkling wine. Bookings:  03 9668 1111.

Om Nom at Adelphi Hotel 187 Flinders Lane Melbourne. $65 per person. Bookings: (03) 8080 8827

Stamford Plaza Hotel 111 Little Collins Street. Cost: $69 per adult $34.50 per child 4-12 years. Bookings: +61-3 9659 1000

Myer Mural Hall  Lvl 6, 314-336 Bourke Street. Cost: $70 per person, children under 3 free. Bookings: +61 03 9661 1546

Hazelbark Patisserie at Blue Diamond 15/123 Queen Street. $50 per person. Bookings Hazelbarkpatisserie@gmail.com.

windsor hotel afternoon tea

NORTH

Mamor’s Chocolate 153 Johnston St, Collingwood. $75 per person.

Melbourne Zoo Elliot Ave Parkville $65 adults $30 children. Bookings (03) 9285 9440.

EAST

Beau Monde International 934 Doncaster Road, Doncaster East. Child (4-12yrs): $35, Adult: $70. Bookings: 03 9660 1176

Mossgreen Tea Rooms 926 High St Armadale. $52 per person or $68 with champagne. Bookings: Call 03 9508 8850 or email tearooms@mossgreen.com.au

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

The Vincent 111 Victoria Ave, Albert Park. Child: $25, Adult: $65. Bookings:  Call (03) 9682 6444 or click here to reserve your table.

Ganache Chocolate 250 Toorak Rd, South Yarra. $45 per head or $60 per head with a glass of sparkling. Bookings: Call 9804 7485

WEST

Cocktails and Canvas Puckle Lane, Moonee Ponds. $82.50 high tea ‘Sip & Paint’.

tea salon melbourne

MELBOURNE SURROUNDS

Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel 42 Melba Highway, Yering. $60 per person. Bookings: Call 03 9237 3333 or email functions@chateauyering.com.au

Marybrooke Manor 10 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke. Adults: $40 Children $17.50. Bookings: Call (03) 9755 2755

High Tea at Yarra Valley Lodge 2 Heritage Avenue, Chirnside Park. Cost: $45 per adult and $27.50 per child (3-12 years). Bookings: Call 9760 3355 or email dining_atbella@yarravalleylodge.com

Coombe Restaurant 673-675 Maroondah Highway Coldstream. $55 per person. Bookings (03) 9739 0173

The Greatest Love Of All – The Whitney Houston Show – Giveaway!

PHOTO Whitney Blue Dress Hand Up Email

The Greatest Love Of All – The Whitney Houston Show celebrates the iconic pop singer Whitney Houston and her most loved songs. The show is coming to Melbourne in May 2015 with the breathtaking voice of South African singer Belinda Davids after selling out in Dubai, New Zealand, Canada, the US and South Africa.

PHOTO Whitney Belinda Singing Email

The 2 ½ hour concert and stage show spans Houston’s 29 year career and includes hits How Will I Know, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, I’m Every Woman, Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Step by Step and I Will Always Love You.

Watch this preview clip to hear the amazing Belinda Davids – she has a 4 octave range!

The Greatest Love Of All – The Whitney Houston Show, Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins St, Melbourne

Friday 15 May to Saturday 23 May 2015

Tickets from $49.90 from Ticketek 132 849

Giveaway! Thanks to The Greatest Love Of All – The Whitney Houston Show I have 2 x double passes to give away for the opening night Friday 15 May.

To win just follow the instructions below. The competition closes midnight Monday 20 April and the two random winners will be contacted by email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

HOT: Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car, NGV Australia, Federation Square

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition
ngv car exhibition
NGV Australia’s newest temporary exhibition is a first for an Australian art institution – a look at Australia’s history of car design and engineering called ‘Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car’.

ngv car exhibition

The exhibition is particularly well-timed given the 2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix starts on Thursday 12 March and the fact that Australia’s automobile industry is frankly, going down the tube. Now is the time to capture the stories, archives and history of the heyday of the Australian car industry and provide some scholarly analysis and discussion on Australia’s contribution to global knowledge and design.

ngv car exhibition

If, like me, you’re not really into cars (bikes are more my thing) then ‘Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car’ is still an interesting visit. I was invited to a special preview of the exhibition along with the launch of NGV’s new contemporary design and architecture strategy and programs.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

The twenty-three cars on show in the gallery foyer and the ticketed exhibition range from vehicles from the 19th century through to now. They have all been shined to a mirror buff, raised onto pedestals and exhibited as objects of sophisticated art and design.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

The gallery design is extremely effective and I loved how the bold colour palettes greatly enhanced the presentation of the cars. Even if you read none of the information it’s a visually stunning space and very photogenic.

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

ngv car exhibition

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car is one of the branches of NGV’s long-term strategy to become a leading hub for contemporary art, design and architecture. Just this year Nordic Cool – Modernist Design has opened, a new curatorial department has been created, the two gallery shops have been relaunched as a design-focused retailer NGV design store and a new collection area is being created for design and architecture.

In April Coco Flip will enliven the Great Hall with Puku Ottomans and in September an ongoing Commission for Ephemeral Architecture will launch with a stunning sweeping work by John Wardle Architects ‘I Dips Me Lid’.

In 2016 a Design Project Space will open presenting a year round program of exhibitions and in 2017 the NGV Triennial will launch.

It’s going to be an exciting period for the National Gallery of Victoria!

Shifting Gear: Design, Innovation and the Australian Car, NGV Australia, Federation Square

Friday 6 March – Sunday 12 July 2015

Open 10am—5pm daily Closed Mondays

Adults $15, Concession $12, Child $7, Family $41 Book here.

HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

melbourne food and wine festival

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (Saturday 28 February – Sunday 15 March) is kind of like my idealised version of Christmas (lots of eating without the present traumas) which makes the Artisan Bakery & Bar the ultimate Christmas Village, a place to celebrate some festival cheer.

melbourne food and wine festival

melbourne food and wine festival

melbourne food and wine festival

Every day until Sunday 15 March, from 7:30am to late, head down to Queensbridge Square on Southbank to sample delicious bread-based wares from Peter Rowland as well as a rotating calendar of local and international bakers producing their most famous baked goods, including Éric Kayser (Maison Kayser, Paris) and Justin Gellatly (co-founder of London’s Bread Ahead).

melbourne food and wine festival

I ‘accidentally’ inhaled one of Justin Gellatly ‘s famous doughnuts for breakfast and oh my god…I have to say it was one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Spongy, fluffy and dripping with salted caramel cream with a shard of crumbling honeycomb on top.

melbourne food and wine festival

Apparently guest baker’s products have been selling out every day by 10am so I’ve diarised Éric Kayser‘s visit (Tuesday 10 March and Wednesday 11 March) in the hope that he’ll turn out some of his famous eclairs.

I was also invited by Peter Rowland sample some of Artisan Bakery & Bar’s mostly Victorian menu.

We started off with little pots of Irrewarra Sourdough’s granola, some fluffy and tart Victorian yoghurt and homemade fresh fruit compote.

melbourne food and wine festival

Then the carb-loading began, with wooden boards containing a selection of Irrewarra Sourdough and Woodfrog Bakery’s bread, Mount Zero olives, Milawa cheese, Mytleford butter and picles and condiments by Peter Rowland ($20 each).

melbourne food and wine festival

Then a selection of tartines ($14) – basically fancy open-toasted. Nothing better than melted cheese on bread! Our selection included double smoked leg ham, heirloom tomatoes, pickled red onions and chutney…

melbourne food and wine festival

…sauteed mushrooms and onion jam…

melbourne food and wine festival

….pulled beef, corn relish and pickled gherkins.

melbourne food and wine festival

To end was Tivoli Road Bakery’s out of this world fruit loaf – a light fruit-studded bread almost akin to Christmas cake – plus a selection of Milawa cheeses plus Tivoli Road’s famous salted caramel and lemon curd doughnuts.

melbourne food and wine festival
The Artisan Bakery & Bar is not just a place to eat and imbibe – there are workshop classes running onsite too, including free Little Foodies baking classes for children. Spaces for adult and kids classes are limited and bookings essential.

melbourne food and wine festival

The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

7 days a week 7:30am-late until Sunday 15 March