Taste of Melbourne is a novel idea in my book being that it's my first experience at such an event. To bring together some of the most well known restaurants scattered across Melbourne to one area is perfect for people like myself because I love (LOOOOVE) food but I can't be bothered with the traveling time because I work an insane amount of hours.
There seemed to be a little bit of everything for everyone - beers, wines, mixed drinks, coffees, teas, cheeses, all different kinds of foods, jams, peanut butter, desserts, little bits of free tastings, and even live cooking demonstrations by some of Australia's leading chefs.
For a Friday afternoon, the crowds were tame, lines were short, and employees should be commended for being able to pump out food so fast in such a cramped amount of space! Shout out to Mamasita today for the delicious Al Pastor taquitos ($10) that hit close to home (Los Angeles taco trucks FTW) and Elote ($6); pass on the horchata ($6) which was 50% ice and extremely watered down. Supernormal's New England lobster roll ($14) was arguably the best dish that was delivered to me within 30 seconds of ordering! Fluffy bread and packed full of flavor with generous amounts of lobster...gone in 3 bites! YUMMY! Plenty of exciting dishes to sample, and the only disappointment was that I didn't have enough stomach space.
The backdrop of the event was Pelican Lawn which is a beautiful venue in and of itself, however that left patrons exposed to the elements - Wind came and knocked over my dishes while I tried to sit down and enjoy my food, flies were aplenty when food was around, the sun was beating down on us in the afternoon, etc.
Remember to purchase your "Crowns" sold in the form of a Crown card (+$1 bond that is refunded once the card is returned). This system simplified paying and expedited lines as people weren't fumbling with change, waiting for approvals with EFTPOS for every purchase, and printing receipts. And the best part was any unused crowns on the card could be fully refunded.