Hats Off dinner, Malt Dining, Brisbane

by Christine Salins on July 29, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Hands up if you agree that Brisbane’s first Good Food Month has been an unqualified success. From the Night Noodle Markets to pop-up parties, exclusive dinners and set-price lunches, there’s been a delicious array of events to satisfy Brisbane’s appetite for good food.

And the party’s not over yet! Among the celebratory dinners still to come are a Venetian sensory degustation at Bacchus tomorrow night and a Great Gatsby Champagne and truffle dinner party at Blackbird Bar and Restaurant on Thursday.

One of the things I love about events like Good Food Month is the opportunity it gives chefs to come up with something really special. Scallops finished off with a blowtorch and accompanied by outrageously expensive truffle on the side – yes! ‘Pearls’ of olive oil – who would have thought? Venison served with wickedly rich chocolate sauce – why not?!

Americo Fernandes was definitely having a lot of fun when he came up with the menu for the Hats Off dinner at Malt Dining. (For those who don’t know, the Hats Off dinners were a series of dinners where chefs from hatted restaurants in the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide threw out their regular menus for one night and indulged their culinary fantasies.)

The dinner was held in the cellar of Malt, a dimly lit space with an old-world ambience that is about as far from Brisvegas as you can get. Perhaps it’s the wine nerd in me, but I always love dining in a space where I’m surrounded by wine bottles.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Americo is of Portuguese descent but grew up in Paris and came to Australia in 2004 when he transferred from Sofitel Paris to Sofitel Melbourne. A move to Sofitel Brisbane followed, and from there he has worked in some of the city’s top restaurants including Belle Epoque (now Tartuffo), Urbane, Euro, C’est Bon and Bacchus.

He’s been at Malt for just a few months and has already put his stamp on the place, although manager Lucy George was quick to point out that the famous Malt brownie won’t be leaving the menu. It’s been added to my “must try” list.

The idea behind the Hats Off dinner was to showcase the best Queensland produce and the wines from Witches Falls were a perfect fit. I’ve long been a fan of their Wild Ferment Chardonnay and it’s earthy, buttery notes went beautifully with the beautifully creamy scallops.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Likewise their 2012 Wild Ferment Grenache was an inspired match for a duo of duck liver parfait and crispy duck, a slice of duck breast cooked sous vide and then pan-fried to crispen the skin. It was served with sour cherry, pickled beetroot and gorgeous little pearls of olive oil, made in-house.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Witches Falls’ winemaker Jon Heslop believes his 2012 Prophecy is the best Cabernet Sauvignon he has made, and its rich chocolate notes complemented the Crows Nest venison with pumpkin and chestnut ‘surprise’ – looking somewhat like arancini, it was sliced open to reveal a rich chocolate sauce.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Next up, Le Superbe Gruyere from Tasmania was presented with a little disc of apricot and pistachio paste and a glass of 2004 Classic Solera Muscat. Then it was back to a lighter style of wine with a glass of chilled 2012 Moscato, a nice match for the Balsamic watermelon with goat’s cheese mousse, mint granite and pistachio tuile. Am I making you hungry?

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Malt Dining, Good Food Month, Brisbane restaurants, best restaurants in Brisbane, Americo Fernandes, Witches Falls wines.

Yes? Good Food Month has just a few more days to run. Download the full program here.

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide Awards; Good Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula; Night Noodle Markets;

Food.Wine.Travel is delighted to be an official blogger for:

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

{ 1 comment }

Follow Me To WA With Qantas

by Alise Salins on July 27, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Margaret River vineyards, Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, accommodation in Margaret River, Margaret River wine region, Tapastry menu, Justin North.

With the Qantas Business Class service to Perth, your Margaret River experience begins before you even arrive in Western Australia. WA wine royalty Vanya Cullen is one of the esteemed members of the panel who select the wine served on board, and not surprisingly, Margaret River wines are among the choice picks.

I recently had the privilege of experiencing Qantas’s flatbed east-west service between Sydney and Perth, en route to Margaret River. Everything about the service was great, from the Qantas Inflight Wine Program to the international dining standard featuring leading chef Neil Perry’s expert involvement.

Qantas Business Lounge

The business class experience begins with access to the Qantas Business Lounge in Sydney and, on your return, the newly refurbished Qantas Club at Perth airport. The lounge has a fresh juice station, barista and gourmet food options, as well as plenty of reading material in the form of daily newspapers and magazines, computers, printers, high speed Wi-Fi and boardroom and meeting room facilities.

Once you’re feeling energized and ready to board, head to the gate. Don’t worry about the queue — skip the line and join the premium-boarding lane. Once on board, find your seat and sit back and relax. By now, the crew will have offered you a drink. Sure, take the bubbles! You’re in business!

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Margaret River vineyards, Pullman Resort Bunker Bay, accommodation in Margaret River, Margaret River wine region, Tapastry menu, Justin North.You won’t find anything but top-notch service here at the pointy end. On selected A330 aircrafts like the one I flew on, you’ll have your own Skybed (photo at right supplied by Qantas).

With a fluffy pillow and warm blanket, it can be fully reclined to a flat position. If you need to work, there are USB ports and in-seat power.

The in-seat entertainment system on the A330 offers world-class entertainment on individual 10.6” screens. Whether you’re Keeping Up With The Kardashians or laughing along with Phil Dunfy on Modern Family, settle in with a world of entertainment at your fingertips. On other flights, you’ll find iPads in the seat pocket with more than 200 hours of on-demand entertainment.

Is it lunchtime yet? Neil Perry has brought his Asian culinary persuasion to the menu on board. There’s a selection of small plates and mains, plus sweets or fruit, and a cheese platter.

IMG_6535-imp

Today we’re having Sweet corn chowder with crusty bread or, alternatively, Chicken and herb terrine with mesclun and balsamic vinaigrette. Next up, there’s Grilled white fish, roasted rosemary potatoes, steamed French beans and tartare sauce; Steamed pork dumplings with black vinegar, shallots and coriander; or Waldorf salad with poached chicken.

IMG_6540-imp

The sweet finale: Buttermilk pannacotta with blood orange jelly and poached strawberries.

IMG_6544-imp

Qantas has an expert selection panel for its Inflight Wine Program. Tom Carson, chief winemaker and general manager of the highly regarded Yabby Lake and Heathcote Estate, heads the panel which also includes Vanya Cullen, from a prominent Margaret River winemaking family, and Stephen Pannell, whose parents played a major role in putting the Margaret River region on the map.

Alise was a guest of Qantas, Tourism Western Australia and Pullman Bunker Bay Resort.

You might also like: Pullman Bunker Bay Tapastry Experience.

 

{ 1 comment }

Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane

by Christine Salins on July 24, 2014

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

I loved the Night Noodle Markets when I went to them in Sydney a few years ago, so when I saw them on the program for the first Brisbane Good Food Month I was a wee bit excited!

This is one of the signature events of Good Food Month and for good reason – they’re just so much fun. They’re a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating.

Well … most of the time! Last Friday was awfully bloody cold, no doubt about it. Still, it didn’t deter us, so off we headed to South Bank just as the sun was going down and the folk on the stalls were heating up their woks. With more than 30 stalls and food trucks, the Cultural Forecourt was transformed into an Asian-style hawker market, festooned with lights and lanterns and the Wheel of Brisbane casting its glow over everything.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

Chilling out, literally, at the Tanqueray bar, one of four bars and lounges, it was time for a gin and tonic to warm us up.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

The Tanqueray bar is pretty glamorous with live entertainment and a “secret garden” ambience. If you’re over 18 and you share a picture of it on social media, the staff will reward you with a complimentary gin and tonic.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

It was great to see southern favourites like Mamak and Longrain cooking up a feast, but lots of Brisbane favourites are there too and, oh my, the choice is difficult. It’s a case of grazing your way around Asia with everything from dumplings to charcoal-grilled yakitori sticks, bowls of ramen and Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti and of course oodles of noodles. And let’s not forget Passion Tree and Serendipity Ice Cream & Sorbet for a sweet finish.

At the official opening in the Yalumba festival garden bar, we watched some lion dancing and some vigorous drumming by the UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team. We enjoyed some great finger food from New Shanghai (beaut dumplings), Longrain and Sake Restaurant.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

By the way, if you are checking out the Sake Restaurant stall, say hi to Shinichi Maeda, who is hand rolling his soba noodles in the traditional way. Shin went to Japan last month to collect equipment especially for the night noodle market. He also took himself off to a 2-day intensive soba noodle-making course to brush up on his skills.

The Night Noodle Markets wrap up on Sunday so you only have a few more nights to experience them if you haven’t already been.

www.foodwinetravel.com.au One of the signature events of Good Food Month, the Night Noodle Markets are a wonderful expression of what is so great about our Australian lifestyle – the fact that we’ve readily embraced an incredible diversity of Asian cuisines, and that our climate lends itself to alfresco eating, Night Noodle Markets, Brisbane Good Food Month, Tanqueray gin, Mamak, Longrain, yakitori, ramen, Vietnamese pho, banh mi, rice-paper rolls, curries, freshly made roti, noodles, Passion Tree, Serendipity Ice Cream, Yalumba, UQ Japanese Taiko drumming team, New Shanghai, Sake Restaurant, Shinichi Maeda.

Fact file:

Night Noodle Markets run until Sunday, July 27, at South Bank. Festivities kick off at 5pm weekdays and 4pm on weekends.

Download the full Brisbane Times Good Food Month program here.

More posts on Good Food Month: Good Food Guide AwardsGood Food Month; Winter Harvest Mondo Organics; Gerard’s Bistro: A Winning Formula; Vintaged Bar + Grill.

Food.Wine.Travel is delighted to be an official blogger for:

www.foodwinetravel.com.au Good Food Month, program in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, My Kitchen Rules, Jake Harrison, Elle Harrison, Serendipity icecream, Natascha Mirosch, Joanna Saville, Brisbane restaurants, Brisbane Times Good Food Guide, Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide, Antonio Carluccio, Night Noodle Markets, Kwan Brothers.

{ 5 comments }