Sunday, March 25, 2007

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Today, Jo, Kin and I went to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Wicked Sunday event. This year's Wicked Sunday was all things Chocolate and Coffee, mmmmmm.

The weather was beautiful, a perfect 20 degrees getting slightly warmer throughout the day. The crowds came out to enjoy the food and festivities.

There was cooking demonstrations and presentation on many stages scattered throughout the area.

However, I was most interested in the food. We started off with a nice coffee and then ate our way through the stalls. Every thing that caught our eyes and noses we wanted to sample. We tried hot cross buns, cherry bread, brownies, biscuits and chocolates.

These babycakes looked so delicious, but I just couldn't get myself to part with $3 for a cake the size of my thumb (I'm not kidding, they weren't called babycakes for no reason).

Having ate our way to the end towards Birrarung Marr, we stopped to watch some acrobatics do a synchronised swimming show atop these 5 metres poles. They were very entertaining and funny.

Then it was a short walk back to Federation Square and the Atrium to sample chocolates. There was a mad crush of people all trying to get a look at the stalls.

One of my favourite chocolate stores Patchi, had a stall there. I have previously written about Patchi and how good their chocolates are. They're very pricey, so I try to restrain myself to not eat them too much. These beautiful individually boxed chocolates were by Patchi. Jo couldn't resist so bought one.

The Patchi Chocolate "cakes" were spectacular, I really wanted to take one home. But these "cakes" must have been made up of a few kilos of chocolate and would have cost most of my week's wage.

Other chocolate stores such also had beautiful displays of chocolate art such as these chocolate roses.

I had to muster all my strength to refrain from buying and eating everything. The festival was a lot of fun but the day was still early, so we walked over to Lonsdale street to absorb some more festivity at the Greek Festival.

There weren't as many people there as I expected, considering Melbourne has the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece. The festival iteslf was also a bit of a fizzer. I was expecting lots of cultural stalls, food stalls everywhere, dancing and singing and just a general buzz. Instead there were very few stalls and hardly anything cultural at all. The rides were sort of pathetic, with no one on them.

Even the food stalls were almost non existent. The few souvlaki stalls were so crowded that the queue snaked quite a few metres. Souvlaki is so abundant in Melbourne and I was so hungry that I wasn't prepared to wait an hour for one. Stalactites was bursting at the seams with people trying to buy their famous souvlaki.

The Greek festival was a major disappointment, with hardly any atmosphere, activities or FOOD. I was expecting all types of Greek food, but instead ended up eating Japanese Ramen for a late afternoon lunch. The day was still fun overall, enjoying the various atmospheres and beautiful Melbourne weather. There a still a few acitivities left in this year's Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, so get out there and enjoy it.


  1. I agree that the Greek Festival was a let down, much like the one for Chinese New Year. More stalls were occupied by banks and real estate groups instead of selling food, which is the reason why I go!

    The only stall we ended up standing in front of was selling fishballs, beef wrapped in leaf anlemongrass beef...we realised that it was an Asian stall....hmmm!

    Thanks for the photos of Wicked Sunday as I missed out on most of it.

  2. Mmm... the Wicked Sunday sounded and looked great especially the pics of babycakes and chocolate :)

    Most greeks avoid the Antipodes festival, though at night you can get sometimes get good food but during the day there ain't much on except dancing and people watching. If you want to get some good Greek fare, it usually coincides with a celebration after some religious holiday. So Easter Sunday next Sunday (8/4) should have lots of good greek grub around greek precints of Lonsdale and Oakleigh. Good luck!

  3. Cindy, I couldn't agree more. There were so many stalls for banks and general non festival stalls that it was appalling. Where is all the food stalls and dancing and singing etc.

    I was about to buy some of those fishballs too because I was so hungry. But then I thought, why should I queue up to get fishballs and lemongrass beef when I eat that all the time in Springvale, and probably of a much higher quality and cheaper price. So I ended up eating a Japanese Tempura Ramen, how sad is that. I go to a Greek festival and then eat Japanese food.

    M's Nemesis, firstly thanks for commenting. Secondly, great nickname. So which M are you a nemesis of, is it the M from James Bond or another M.

    I was told by a Greek friend that it was better at night, next time I will know that. I will try to go to Lonsdale this Easter then, thanks for the tip.