Wednesday, 6 February 2013

March into Merivale (2013 Launch)

Today, Twin and I went for another post-work foodventure.  This time we marched right into the Ivy complex to attend the launch of the March into Merivale event, a food and wine festival run by 20 of the Merivale chefs, creating dishes that will excite your appetite but won't kill your budget.  

Along with Oktoberfest and the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, this is one of my favourite Sydney food and wine festivals - we are such a lucky city!

We purchased our entry ticket online for $30, and for that price we received 8 food and drinks tokens plus a free drink token to be claimed at the Palings Kitchen & Bar.  We worked this out to be a pretty good deal as your average dish at the event was only one token each, with the fancier ones at a maximum of two tokens.  With the amount of tokens we had on hand, we had a comfortable little 'degustation-on-foot' experience and a few glasses of wine and bubbles each - bargain!

The quality of the food?  Double thumbs up!  Nothing I tasted was overcooked, undercooked or not fresh.  Considering the numbers the event catered for, I think they did extremely well!

The festival took place at the Ivy complex in the CBD, starting on Ash Street and extending up to Palings Kitchen and Bar, and the Ivy Ballroom.  This was a shot of the cupcake lady on display at the shop window, picking at her cupcake.  So cute.  She had me fooled.  I thought she was fake for a few seconds!

At the Ivy Ballroom - an organised chaos.  The event was full house and it felt like forever to walk through the crowd to get to the individual stalls but service was swift, the food was above expectations and was well worth the pushing and shoving!

First stop, Grilled Corn from Abajo (pronounced 'Abacco').  This new Latin restaurant is soon to join the Merivale empire.  The corn was grilled over coal, rolled over and coated with a creamy mayonnaise, spiced and topped with finely chopped chilli - extremely unlady-like to eat in public but scumpdiliumptious.  Gone with the good old Easter Show 'Corn on the Cob' and in with the Abajo grilled corn!

Heirloom Tomatoes and Scampi skewers, and Spanner Crab with Spiced Avocado, Corn, Lime and Baby Herbs.  Both dishes had a citrus dressing which seasoned the seafood well and tasted very fresh, it was not overcooked or too chewy.  Yummo!

The tuna display at the Sushi e stall.

The Rice Paper Roll with Trout and Avocado from the Ms.G's stall.  It looks so simple but it was delicately seasoned with a dressing that was wrapped inside the firm yet soft and chewy rice paper, that sent my tastebuds dancing.  Twin and I really enjoyed these little rolls!

Palings Kitchen and Bar served a scallop dish in a citrus dressing with avocado that was also very tasty.  

Crab meat with Granny Smith Apple and Cucumber crush - very refreshing and perfect for cleansing the palate and get ready for more food!

Wagyu Steak Sandwich with Caramelised Onions, Horseradish Gremolata & Ridicchio from The Beresford Hotel.  Steak was cooked medium, tender and juicy.  I think I reached my stomach capacity with that.

Actually, not quite.  How could I leave without popping an oyster? (unless it wasn't on offer!)  Seafood Platter from Felix with a crab salad on spiced avocado, oyster with a vinaigrette dressing and cured whitefish with a watermelon salad - Divine!  Felix, you never fail me.

Arm in arm, Twin and I leave - happy, content and ready to take on tomorrow's challenges (or another big feast!)


330 George Street
Sydney  NSW  2000

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