Iron Chef Shellie

{Giveaway} Taste of Melbourne – A Restaurant Safari

“I join a restaurant safari to see what you can expect at this year Taste of Melbourne.”

{Giveaway} Taste of Melbourne – A Restaurant Safari

{Giveaway} Taste of Melbourne – A Restaurant Safari

Every year I tell you about my favourite food event of the year, Taste of Melbourne. Previous posts have been a taste of this year’s line up, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008.

This year, the event is held later on in the year, and being held outside, lakeside at Albert Park Lake. All the other Taste festivals around the world are held outside, so they decided why shouldn’t Melbourne be outside too? To be honest, I’m glad they moved it, as last year was so damn squishy in the Royal Exhibition Building, I was getting so annoyed that I couldn’t actually move anywhere in a hurry!

I was invited as one of six people to be part of a restaurant safari, highlighting some of the top restaurants that will be at this year’s festival.

The Taste of Melbourne will be running Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 November 2012. It brings together Melbourne’s hottest restaurants including:

So if you’ve wanted to try places like Mamasita, but the no booking policy, long waiting around thing doesn’t float your boat, I highly recommend you come down and get some tacos and corn in your belly, along with trying dishes from a whole heap of top restaurants! Where else can you indulge in numerous restaurants’ dishes in the same venue on the one day?!

My wish list of restaurants to try is ever expanding, so I’ll be glad to cross a few off my list come November. And it’s not all about the restaurants, there are over 100 leading gourmet food and drink producers on site as well. You can even watch a cooking demonstration, attend a master class or relax in the Laurent-Perrier VIP Lounge or in the Lilydale Gourmet Picnic Garden.

Other features of this year’s festival will include an entire Sustainable Living Garden dedicated to greener cooking, rotating pop-up restaurants including Josie Bones, Three Blue Ducks, Bishop and Pope Joan. Malaysia Kitchen will feature Poh Ling Yeow, and a range of Melbourne’s Malaysian restaurants. Get up and close with top chefs in the Bertolli Taste Kitchen and Chef’s Skillery will feature international guest chef Nuno Mendes, as well as Matt Preston, Frank Camorra and Nick Creswick.

SO! What to expect in terms of food? You can see some of the dishes I’ve already tasted at the preview event, but on our restaurant safari we checked out: Mamasita, Saké, Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar as well as the gorgeous roof top bar at The Aylesbury. Scroll down for food porn :)


Elotes Callejeros – “Street Style” chargrilled corn, queso, chipotle mayo & lime

Taco de lengua y cachete – Braised ox tongue & cheek, pickled veg & ghost chilli mayo

Taco de pescado – Grilled fish, lime, achiote paste, red onion salsa & chipotle mayo

The group reaction to the ox taco was “ooo that’s a bit spicy” …. then I read the menu… it had GHOST CHILLI!! I’ve only seen that kind of level of spice on Man VS Food, and I never thought I’d have the opportunity to try that here in Melbourne. It was good though, washed nicely down with the margarita. The fish taco was great too, I’m yet to encounter a fish taco I didn’t like. And well, everyone knows, the corn there is the best thing on the menu.



Sake Nigiri – Kingfish jalapeno nigiri, salmon, soy salt, truffle oil and katafi pastry nigiri

Beef Tataki – Seared tenderloin, Tataki sauce

Chirsashi Salad – Yuzu dressed sashimi pieces, thin noodles, seasonal leaves and tempura crunch (will be available as a vegetarian dish)

Saké is one gorgeous restaurant. One that would probably have been on my wish list for many years. Lovely private rooms, great huge windows over looking one of the best views of Melbourne…. and the food was just another level of Japanese. I usually have sushi when I get takeway at work, but kingfish and jalapenos were just something I wish the local sushi man would make! GREAT combination! And the Chirsashi salad was like nothing I’ve ever had before, but blew me right away. I need to have this again.

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar

Summer Berry Eton Mess

Salted Caramel Truffle, Chocolate Milk and Lolly Bags

Mr. Hive has been on the wishlist for a while now, especially with their dessert degustation… Well good news folks, the dessert degustation is coming to Taste!!

The dishes will be:

  • Chilled watermelon soup, elderflower liquor jelly
  • Mrs Hive’s Chocolate Bar
  • Summer Berry Eton Mess
  • Almond Milkshakes
  • Lolly Bags

Can I just say, that summer berry eton mess was amazeballs….. but the salted caramel truffle…. chocolate milk… lolly bag… OMG! Don’t miss out on Mr. Hive… you’ll thank me later!!

The Alyesbury

Gay Pear – Rum Soaked Pear, Fresh Berries, Cider Top

Dorper Lamb Ribs, Pea and Mint

The roof top bar is very welcoming, I’m upset I didn’t know about this place earlier as my friends and I LOVE cocktails. This place has a great play on words with their selection, including the Gay Pear. Sort of a dessert and cocktail in one, it was refreshing and full of texture. The lamb ribs were perfectly salty, a fantastic way to end an amazing night.

Can’t wait to do it all again, and more restaurants in November!!

Taste of Melbourne

Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 November 2012 2012

Pelican Lawn at Albert Park Lake

Tickets start at $25.00 and can be purchased by calling Ticketek on 132 849 or visiting



For you chance to win one of 5 double passes to attend the Taste of Melbourne on either the Thursday or Friday session;

Tell me what restaurant you are looking forward to trying the most.

This competition will close on Thursday 8th November 2012 midnight Melbourne time. Winners will be drawn and notified on Friday 9th November 2012. Competition is open to Melbourne readers, or Australian residents that will be in Melbourne at the time of the event. Your double passes will be posted out to you, so I will be in contact for a postal address if you are successful.


Iron Chef Shellie attended the restaurant safari as a guest of Hot House Media and Taste of Melbourne.


Winners: Brooke, Katie, Eat Sew Love, Esz and Holly.

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{Giveaway} Taste of Melbourne – A Restaurant Safari

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54 comments on “{Giveaway} Taste of Melbourne – A Restaurant Safari
  1. Michelle @ The Bakeanista - October 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Omg everything looks so yummy!!! I’d love to try Mamasita because I’ve been wanting to go there since years ago but the long queues always put me off. But all the dessert from Mr. Hive looks so yummeh too. Om nom nom!

  2. Nat Stockley - October 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve never been to Mamasita, so “Taste of Melbourne” sounds like a great opportunity to finally sample dishes from the hottest Mexican venue in Melbourne. Surely you don’t want to see me queueing on the Mamasita staircase for hours on end?

  3. Ana - October 29, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    As Tolkien once said “If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.” And Mexican food is the perfect cuisine to celebrate this cheer, with it’s spicy flavours that would bring on the chinking of glasses of margaritas while we challenge each other to order the ox taco.

    I’ve always wanted to try Mamasita, it’s on my list of things to do after exams. Especially their chargrilled corn, being a lover of corn on a cob. It sounds like an amazing Mexican place, with all their dishes being full of flavour, as authentic Mexican food should be, and a great place for dinner with friends.

  4. Kim - October 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    Imma be shameless and say ‘pick me, pick me!’ XD

    I’m most looking forward to Albert st food and wine, it’s one of the places on the list I haven’t had a chance to try!

    although sake looks really good too 😀

  5. Allen - October 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I’m most keen on trying out Saké because having seen Shaun Presland work his magic on Masterchef and collected many awards for the Sydney & Brisbane counterparts – I would love to experience first-hand, what everyone already loves. I’ve heard many great things about the sushi tacos and it’s hard to turn down freshly sliced sashimi. The beef tataki looks insanely good in your photos as well! Cheers :)

  6. Cherrie - October 30, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Ooh! It’s that time of year again! I would love to try Mamasita as I’m probably the only person in Melbourne who hasn’t been. Lol

  7. Nisha - October 30, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Its my last year in Melbourne and i am an absolute fan of desserts so i am definitely looking forward to trying Mr. Hive Kitchen and Bar!!

  8. Biren - October 30, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Mamasita all the way!!!

  9. mini - October 30, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Movida because i have never been!

  10. Brenda - October 30, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Taste of Melbourne is finally here!! Love the Restaurants lined up. Would love to indulge in the desserts from Mr Hive Kitchen Bar after all it’s hype and reviews and of its excellence!! Being a sweet tooth, I would certainly not want to miss out on this tremendous opportunity. it’s a definite must to try especially after your recommendation as well!

    Thank you so much for this great opportunity =) Truly appreciate your time and consideration for this win!
    Have an awesome sunny day ahead!


  11. Brooke - October 30, 2012 at 8:29 am

    The lines at Mamasita always put me off so that’s on my list…. as is the lemon tart from Albert St Food & Wine! Yum!

  12. Roxanne - October 30, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Mamasita’s!! I don’t get to the city much but friends have been & they said there’s nothing like it!
    It all looks so fresh, so tasty & so different to the ‘Mexican’ we have here. Yummmmmmm!
    So good to see you back, I’ve been missing you while you’re taking a break!!

  13. Qimin Lee - October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Mr Hive Kitchen Bar will indulge my sweet tooth:)

  14. Tegan - October 30, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Definitely Movida and Mamasita, these 2 have been on the top of my must try for awhile now so would be the first 2 I would head to on the day!

  15. christine - October 30, 2012 at 11:43 am

    mr hive!

  16. Esz - October 30, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Thats a difficult decision – I haven’t been to Mamasita so I’m keen to try their offerings. On the other hand, Libertine is my favourite restaurant in town so I’m always down for some more of their flavours.

    Would love to win this year! I think scoring comp tickets is the best way to go as I think the entry price AND buying crowns can get a bit steep.

    Will be great to have it outside too – Hoping our famous Melbourne weather pulls through with the goods and it’s not hailing or something dreadful like that

  17. Hayley - October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Living in Tas, I try to get to Melb once or twice a year and carefully plan my trips out around which restaurants I want to visit.
    Unfortunately it’s been tricky to get into Mamasita thus far and given the time constraints, I’ve had to choose elsewhere to eat. I am however a die hard Mexican fan and would love to sink my teeth into some of their charred corn smothered in queso fresco or indulge in their delicious tostadas with so many delicious toppings.
    Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar would most definitely be a must given its whimsical approach to desserts – the summer berry Eton mess sounds delish and who doesn’t love a lolly bag!!

    A trip to Melbourne to eat some of my fave foods is just what the Dr ordered!!!

  18. Naomi - October 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    ooo such a tough choice! I would most like to try Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar me thinks! I have such a sweet tooth, and my partner doesn’t. I have tried and failed a few times to go there to try their desserts. So would be great to get the opportunity to try their signature dishes at Taste of Melbourne, since I will probably never get the opportunity to go! Fingers crossed!

  19. Holly b-m - October 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I am DYING to get down to Melbourne for this- I would love to win tickets as I am living in inland Victoria, and for two years now I have ongoing cravings for fish and seafood that is so fresh you can smell the salt on them, cooked in an innovative way that isn’t fried. I love fish that is so fresh you can eat it raw.
    Hence I would love to eat at the Atlantic, please please please give me the chance:)!

  20. Daisy@Nevertoosweet - October 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Yay! Taste of Melbourne! Its the second year I ve visited and last year I wasn’t blogging yet hehe so I m excited about taking photos hehe :)

    This year I m most excited about Sake because they’ve just joined the Melbourne food scene and also Mamasita cuz I haven’t had the chance to try the corn hehe 😀

    Thanks for the chance to win Shellie!!

  21. Custard bun - October 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Sake is high on my wish list of restaurants to try!

  22. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef - October 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    You get to do the best food things. I’m drooling over those photographs. I wish I lived closer.

  23. Roslin - October 31, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I’m looking to try The Aylesbury’s cuisine, my sister and her friend recently went to the ‘Molecular Monday’ night and told me all about it…I was salivating.

  24. Ruth - October 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    The point restaurant ! I have heard friends talking about it but have never had the the opportunity

  25. Sahni - October 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying Mamasita street corn. I’ve heard so much about them but never have had the stamina to wait for 3 hours on a flight of stairs.. so this seems like the perfect opportunity!

  26. Pamela - October 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    WOW- I am definitely looking forward to Libertine. Cannot go past french fusion cuisine!!!

  27. Nick Bradley - October 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve just been diagnosed with Coeliac disease & still coming to terms with the impact that has on my diet.
    I’ve love to sample a range of Gluten Free meal items at the Taste Of Melbourne & hopefully find a few I can use as my new (gluten free) favourites.

  28. msihua - October 31, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Awesome post Shellie :)

  29. hollypop - November 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    hey shellie!
    i wanna go to allll since i haven’t been to any of those restaurants since arriving home in melbourne back in april. what have i been doing?!?!

  30. Belinda McLeod - November 1, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Mr Hive Kitchen and Bar – As everything looks fantastic, and not the normal presentation !! Draws your eyes to the food and you want to know what it is

  31. GourmetGetaways - November 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Oh everything looks so delicious! I wish I were closer!

  32. Leane - November 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The Botonical!
    Having heard rave from friends about their delish soups & dessert specialties,
    I’m keen to try their nature-inspired dishes with fresh seasonal produce!

    P.S Mr. Hive’s dessert degustation seems such a delight!! *drools*

  33. Dee - November 1, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    The Flower Drum, I’ve been wanting to go there for years to see if it’s as indulgent as everyone has told me.

  34. Katie - November 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    MoVIda! I have heard so many people talk about it for what feels like forever!! I am also curious about Mahjong as it’s just around the corner and want to know if it’s worth a visit.

    Beautiful photos as always btw! I need lessons from you! =)

  35. caroline t - November 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    definitely most looking forward to mamasita! have been meaning to try out the restaurant forever but i can never get a table when i’m there it’s so busy!

  36. Kailing - November 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Definitely Mr. HIve kitchen and Bar, because I have sweet teeth. Crazy about everything sweet.

  37. Ee Hui - November 4, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Really want to try the oysters from Taxi Dining Room. Could never afford dining there, getting a chance of have so much of goodness in an evening will make me and my mum two super happy girls!! Thank you for the lovely post!!

  38. Trish - November 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    LOVE TASTE of Melbourne, it really is a fantastic opportunity to taste food from Melbourne’s greatest restaurants, all in the one convenient place at the one convenient time! I’m going to say Mamasita, because every single time I have tried to go there, even at really strange times when you would assume no one else would be going out for a meal, the line is out the door and going past the 7 11 downstairs. Hopefully with its new location the lines won’t be so hectic and I can finally give it a try 😉

  39. Ian Hawkins - November 4, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    I’m hoping the next level tempura at sake is as I’m currently imagining it.

  40. Glenn - November 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Would love to try The Point Restaurant and I am sure the Taste of Melbourne will point me in the right direction!

  41. Lyndall - November 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Mamasita – just need a ‘babysita’ so I can enjoy my time there without interuptions!

  42. Jennifer B. - November 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    Unable to commit to dates too far ahead, it’s impossible to get a seat… Still waiting to try MOVIDA for an impromptu great Spanish eat!!!

  43. Susan - November 6, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I’d love to try Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar! I’m a huge dessert fan :)

  44. Thanh - November 7, 2012 at 6:58 am

    I too am very happy they moved it outdoors as it was just getting too crowded inside. I can’t wait to try all the desserts. The ones from The Aylesbury and Mr Hive look awesome.

  45. Theresa - November 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Can’t wait to try the Aylesbury — my friends at Time Out Melbourne have raved about them.

  46. Candice - November 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I am looking forward to trying Mamasita because I hate lining up so I haven’t been there yet!!

  47. Ruki - November 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Would love to try Mr Hive…did you see the dessert pics!

  48. Klaire - November 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Mamasita! and Mr. Hive. I have been dying to try the corn at mamasita and the desserts at Mr. Hive *droooooools*

  49. Eat_Sew_Love - November 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Mamasita! I’ve never been because I hate having to line up :)

  50. Gabrielle - November 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Saké – my mouth watered just looking at the photos!

  51. Emily Lawes - November 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    The Point because I’d love to taste the pinnacle of dinning.

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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