Food & Wine Festival Starts Today!


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For those of you in the food world that are living under a rock, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival starts today!

Whilst a lot of the restaurant dinners are sold out already, you may still be able to get yourself in for an Express Lunch (or two!) at participating venues.  We are only heading to Pearl Restaurant this year, as our food journey through California took a fair toll on the credit cards. Previous express lunches at various venues over the years have all been very good – Grossi Florentino and Matteo’s have been the standouts.

Our lunch at Grossi Florentino was so good that we decided to book in for dinner soon afterwards – unfortunately, it was terrible. The fast-paced lunch service turned out to be  the norm for dinner too, so we felt extremely rushed. The waiters wanting to upsell the already too expensive wine (markups are horrendous here), the food was overpriced and nowhere near as good as what we had for lunch.

Ritsy was told that she can’t pour her own water as “they’re not that type of restaurant” (well why was her glass empty for 15 minutes!?), and then, to cap it off, they refused to bring the bill after we finished our mains – coming back with the dessert menu instead, and not coming back at all the other two times we asked in the following 30 minutes. We ended up walking to the front desk to finalize the bill (which was $300 for 2 courses and half a bottle of Paringa Estate Pinot Noir), and haven’t bothered going back since.

I guess the moral of the story is, book that express lunch for the restaurant you really want to try. In some cases, it might actually turn out to be a better (and much, much cheaper) experience!


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