Eat Street 2016 was impressive. From the moment guests arrived, we were inside an elaborate three-room Wonderland of consumption. Yes, with a capital ‘W’, complete with an Alice darting about.
How do you know where to start, with over forty providers of quality food and drink? I can’t imagine doing better than the Diageo bar for a Pimm’s and then off to try a little King Island Dairy Furneaux, which is like an even softer, creamier Brie.
With so many options, you probably can’t try them all, so how do you narrow it down? After a while, it became clear to me: talk to the stall-holders about not only their products, but the other stalls too! That person giving you a nice wine has a better than average chance of knowing who has some really spectacular nosh nearby.
So many dishes really impressed me. Chiara‘s tomato piadina with giardiniera pickles was brilliant for this environment, being very pretty as well as easy to eat and delicious. Estelle Bistro‘s pork jowl with creamed lentil and burnt onion was, appropriately, very popular. The Point‘s braised wagyu with macadamia and pear and warm mustard was another great one.
Any time you wanted to take a rest from eating, there were other options. The incomparable cabaret performer Ali McGregor sang a couple of sets, plus Variety provides guests with various extra ways to contribute more. A vast array of items were available for auction, from gift cards to a $2000 watch. There was also a wall of random mystery wines in paper bags for $30 each, some valued at up to $90.
As the evening went on, most of the food offerings switched to dessert. Syracuse‘s rose geranium panna cotta with poached rhubarb and strawberry jelly was beautiful, delicious and small enough to squeeze in after the chocolates from Gânache Chocolate and the tiny cakes from Le Petit Gâteau. I have to also mention the duck waffle with foie gras and prune by Cumulus Inc. Strange, but good!
Eat Street was a great evening combining charity with the best restaurants in Melbourne. I recommend trying to grab tickets next year. Make sure to skip lunch.
Despite really enjoying food, Craig Macbride has not been this over-stuffed in ages!