Dearest Readers, did you know the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is on from the 27th of February to 15th of March 🙂 As a foodie it’s always an exciting time look at the events calendar and pick a couple to go to, food is always good and generally so much fun. Talking about events, I have one you might be interested in going this weekend and that is the Flavours of Asia Market Festival on the 28th of February (Saturday) at Caulfield Racecourse.
This Saturday it’s not only going to be the Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield, but they are also going to host a Flavours of Asia market with a range of Asian food stalls which include, Wonderbao, Hammer & Tong and Hoy Pinoy 🙂 Mr Bao and I were lucky enough to be invited to the preview even last week and we were very impressed with everything.
The night started with the lovely bartender making us the market’s featured cocktail named ‘Market Mule with a Kick’ cocktail which is a combination of vodka, ginger ale, lime & chilli.
I quite enjoyed the cocktail and found it to be quite sweet (the way I like things) and the hint of chilli made it even more refreshing. It probably could have had a little more vodka in it to give it that extra kick, but given my low tolerance in alcohol this was good for me.
We were then offered some canapés from Hoy Pinoy which is a Filipino BBQ and Street Food stall, I’ve had some of their skewers at the Queen Victoria Night Market, before so I knew this would also be amazing. This is the Lechon Kwali slow braised & crispy fried pork belly with buck, chilli and yemma sauce. It had one of the best crusts on pork belly I’ve had, but the meat itself remained soft and tender! Highly recommended dish!
Moving onto a palate cleanser, this is the Red and Black Rice salad from Hammer & Tong, which had green peaches and also pomegranates. It was probably a little too green for Mr Bao’s liking but haha I quite enjoyed it and think this would be perfect to take to work for lunch.
You should always except to see Bao (Buns) at an Asia food market haha so there was definitely Pork Bao’s from Wonderbao. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Wonderbao the dough was still just as fluffy and filling was equally tasty.
Mr Bao was the photographer that night and he wanted to take a photo of the filling to show you ~ As you can see has generous juicy BBQ Pork filling.
While we were enjoying the canapés and cocktails, we started smelling charcoal and saw on the far left corner of the racetrack was a lovely lady from Hoy Pinoy making their famous skewers. Can’t wait to devour these!
I’m not sure I would use this skewer grill much at home…but just the look and smell of it made nudge Mr Bao and tell him we should buy one and have a skewer party hehe 🙂
We started with the Inihaw na Baboy – Pork Belly Skewers with a banana ketchup glaze, it can get messy eating these skewers but it’s worth it. I’m slightly addicted to that sweet sticky banana ketchup glaze and those crispy bits.
Even though we enjoyed the pork belly skewers, the Inihaw na Manok chicken skewers in traditional soy glaze I think it’s very similar to chicken adobo and was the clear winner for me. Not sure if it was the succulent chicken or simply the soy glaze but it was fantastic.
I have to admit I was already getting a little full by this stand, but there was more food coming, next we moved inside and were each given a Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao and another bao with fried tofu. It also came with picked mustard, coriander, cucumber, picked carrots and crushed peanuts. The gua bao’s already had hoisin sauce and all we had to do was add the condiments ourselves. I really liked this idea as I don’t like it when there’s too much picked mustard.
We then met Andrew Ward from Hammer & Tong, we weren’t allowed to just sit and wait for our next course 😛 we were asked to get up and learn from the Master how to make their ever popular Soft Shell Crab burger!
I have always enjoyed the soft shell crab burgers at Hammer & Tong, the crab was always crispy with a very light batter and not covered in heavy dough. I found out that night the secret was actually tapioca flour as opposed to wheat flour! Andrew said they can make up to 10 burgers in 3 minutes at the night markets!
End result is this delicious brioche burger with freshly fried soft shell crab, salad and some mayo delicious! Another highly recommended dish you must try at the Flavours of Asia market or at their cafe in Fitzroy.
Creme Supreme is the new bao venture by Wonderbao where they’ve decided to come ice-cream and baos together to make dessert buns. I didn’t expect the gua bao (buns) to be deep fried to a nice golden colour, sandwiched in-between is black sesame ice-cream, crushed peanuts and drizzle of syrup. It reminded me of a fried donut which essentially is fried bread dough 🙂
I really enjoyed the preview event and wished we didn’t have other commitments so we could go again! To enter Caulfield Racecourse it will be $20 admission fee for adults, $10 for Concession and free entry for kids 13 for more information check out their website here. I’ve recommended my manager and colleague and they’re both going so hopefully they’ll enjoy the food as much as we did!
UPDATE UPDATE! I’ve just been notified I can offer 1 Reader two VIP Tickets to the Flavours of Asia Market with your own Picnic Suite!
To enter this giveaway
– Leave a comment and tell me have you tried Ice-cream Gua Bao (buns) before?
– For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
– Giveaway ends on the 27th February (Friday 5pm)
– You may reenter daily, one entry per day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 27th February and tickets emailed to winner.
– Open only to all Melbourne residents (Sorry International Readers!)