131 Smith Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9419 5101
Disclaimer: Libby attended this event as a guest of Huxtable, Hot House Media and Taste of Melbourne.
There always seems to be a food festival in Melbourne, so much so that Spring Street should pinch the ‘Festival State’ slogan from South Australian number plates. As some of you may know, Taste of Melbourne descends upon us this weekend and amidst a flurry of marketing and PR activities, there will be lots of good food from some of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants for patrons to enjoy.
One of the participating restaurants at Taste is one-hatted restaurant Huxtable, the monster that launched three burger offshoots, Huxtaburger. Huxtaburger may be big in Melbourne (by the time this post goes live, their third store in Prahran would have probably been opened) but it doesn’t mean that Huxtable doesn’t hold its own.
I recently attended Huxtable’s Ciders and Sliders event, a Taste of Melbourne preview dinner. The whole point of this event was to sample some of the dishes that Huxtable will be serving to the masses along with some of their signature dishes. Huxtable chef Daniel Wilson kindly took time out of his busy schedule to talk us through the menu as well as tell us what’s in store next for the Huxta-brand.
Accompanying our meal was a selection of Rekorderlig fruit-flavoured alcohol (sorry, I just can bring myself to call a drink that’s pumped with E preservatives and citric acid ‘cider’). Given that there were six of us on the table, there were probably about 42 glasses of Rekorderlig at one stage. Eeek.
I love croquettes more than Stevie Janowski loves Kenny Powers so I was delighted to see these jalapeño and cheddar croquettes appear first. They were creamy with just the right amount of spiciness from the chopped peppers.
The kataifi-wrapped lamb puttanesca were also delicious. I always associate puttanesca with pasta so I had no idea how it was going to work when I saw the description of the dish on the menu. Essentially, it was pretty much lamb cooked in puttanesca sauce and securely bundled in crispy Kataifi strings.
My favourite starter, however, was the XO buns because well, who doesn’t like XO sauce? The soft – and slightly sweet – buns sandwiched a generous dollop of spanner crab and Thai basil mayo mixture. If I was to criticise this dish, it would be that I couldn’t really taste much XO flavour – that, or I was already slightly drunk on my third glass of Rekorderlig alcopop.
The burgers – from Huxtaburger across the road – were obviously the highlight of the dinner (not including the company, of course). We indulged in their signature beef burger, the Huxtaburger, and tried their wallaby burger for the first time.
I can’t remember whether this is the beef or the wallaby burger but I suppose they look the same anyway. Either way, both are burgers so delicious that I can eat them time and time again. On this note, the team at Huxtable are selling something called a ‘Douche Burger’ just for the Taste of Melbourne festival. I’m not sure how many Crowns (Taste of Melbourne ‘currency’) this burger will be worth as it contains wagyu steak and foie gras but I’m willing to part with my Crowns just because the name won me over.
These Korean BBQ pork ribs came highly recommended and I can certainly see why. The ribs were cooked dry-style, but they still remained beautifully sticky and the spicy kim chi-like flavour shone through the tender meat. Accompanying the ribs was a decent slaw and some gherkins.
The Mount Zero grain and broccoli salad was probably the only healthy thing on the menu that evening. However, healthy at Huxtable doesn’t mean boring for the salad was bursting with fresh flavours and probably contained enough nutrients to fill me up if all I had for lunch was that.
We never got through all 42 glasses – I certainly didn’t drink all that was plonked in front of us – but we managed to plough through all the insanely delectable food while listening to stories about junkies passing out across the road.
Although Huxtaburger will always hold a place dear to my heart, Huxtable is up there with one of the better restaurants on Smith Street. I will certainly return for those ribs and that salad. Now allow me to awkwardly segue to Taste of Melbourne, which is happening this week.
As you now know, it’s a festival that features Melbourne’s hottest restaurants all in one spot. The entrance fee is $30, or you could enter my giveaway for a chance to win a double pass to attend Taste of Melbourne this weekend (you’ll save yourself $60). I have four passes on me now, so there will be two double pass packs to give out.
1. Follow me on Twitter (@libishski) if you haven’t already done so; and
2. Post a comment below. If you are already following me on Twitter, please mention it in your comment. You can write about anything, but no falling donkeys please.
Terms and conditions:
1. All entries must be received by Wednesday 13th November 2013 at 12pm AEDST (i.e. tomorrow!).
2. Please provide a valid e-mail address (and one that you check regularly) when you comment. I will be contacting the winners immediately to ask for their best mailing address.
3. Winners will be drawn at random.
4. If you have won and I have not received a mailing address response by Thursday 14th November at 4pm, I will ask you to collect the tickets from a mutually arranged spot in the Melbourne CBD.
5. The prize includes two (2) entry tickets to Taste of Melbourne. The prize does NOT contain Crowns, the vouchers you need to exchange for food and drink.
Taste of Melbourne details:
Where: Pelican Lawn at Albert Park Lake (off Aughtie Drive)
When: 14-17th November 2013
Thursday 14th November: 5.30pm – 9.30pm
Friday 15th November: 12.00pm – 4.00pm and 5.30pm – 10.00pm
Saturday 16th November: 12.00pm – 4.00pm (I will be at this session, come say hi!) and 5.30pm – 10.00pm
Sunday 17th November: 12.00pm – 5.00pm
For full details and prices on all events and activities, go to http://www.tasteofmelbourne.com.au.