The other day I sent out a tweet asking for suggestions of what to do in my last few weeks in Melbourne, the lovely folks over at Time Out Melbourne were quick to respond suggesting I do as a true Melburnian would – eat! To further enhance their loveliness they offered me a double pass to a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Roast event today at Rose Diner, Port Melbourne.
The event was titled ‘Pork, Cider and Chardonnay’ and whilst my “My body hates alcohol” attitude didn’t entice me to the booze, my love of meat drew me to the former. Pork has always been my least favourite roast (I’d say it goes Beef, Duck, Chicken/Lamb, Pork) but when cooked and flavoured well I know it can become a real contender.
Starting the mammoth meal (Three appetisers, an entree, the main roast and dessert!) with Pork Scratchings I quickly threw one into my mouth before I had time to think about what a pork scratching actually was. I’ve never tried a pork scratching before but these were inoffensive and obviously of a high quality.
Admission: I am a terrineophobe. Yes, that newly coined term can be defined as ‘One who has a phobia of terrine’. This is me. And unfortunately the homemade Pig’s Head Terrine here was not going to shake me out of my life-long phobia. I did, however, try it and flavourwise it was lovely but I simply cannot fathom the texture.
Now onto the good stuff…
The Pork, Apple and Cider sausages were delicious. I’m sometimes a bit iffy on sausages but these definitely had a high meat content and a lovely flavour.
The slow-cooked pork belly with a king prawn and cider vinegar onions was simply amazing. My favourite dish of the meal, everything complimented each other perfectly and it was faultless.
The main of the Roast pork was possibly the best roast pork I’ve ever eaten with some beautiful heirloom carrots finishing the dish.
After all the pork, I was very full by the time it came to dessert but the Apple and Pear ice cream with cinnamon crumble was a perfect, light way to end the meal.
As for the alcohol, the locally sourced Pear Cider was up there as one of the few alcoholic drinks I’ve ever managed more than five mouthfuls of and I’m sure the Apple Cider and two vintage chardonnays were also of the highest calibre however my brief sips didn’t do them justice. Fortunately Lara was on hand to polish them all off!
As the badge we were greeted with states, I definitely now love pork.
The event was a great way to showcase the amazing food and drink on offer in Victoria and the local producers’ hard work over a couple of tough years through diverse weather has certainly paid off.
I cannot thank everyone at Time Out Melbourne and Rose Diner and Bar enough for this. The staff were wonderful (and very understanding of our terrinephobia) and it was definitely one of the best ways to spend a Sunday lunchtime in Melbourne.