Last MONTH (I cannot believe how behind I am!) I had the pleasure of attending a food bloggers dinner hosted by Nuffnang at Collins Kitchen, Grand Hyatt.
You can read other recaps of the dinner at:
Hot or Not
The Gourmet Challenge
Addictive and consuming
I eat therefore I am
Iron Chef Shellie
We started with a tour of the kitchen, which might sound dull to non food lovers, but to a whole gaggle of food bloggers, a kitchen tour is a VERY EXCITING THING (yes, so exciting it deserves caps!). The kitchen is open to guests, so people eating at Collins Kitchen can go for a wander and watch the chefs at work at the five cooking stations - sushi, deli, wok, grill and patisserie.
We oohed and ahhed at the fresh ingredients on display, the sexy red meat cutting machine in the deli section, and all the super shiny clean surfaces. Whoever cleans that kitchen - please come and clean mine!
In the wok section, there were two turbo jet wok burners. When they turned on, they sounded like a jet taking off. I didn't take a photo of them because I was transfixed with a serious case of lust over the burners - I WANT.
There was also a steaming station for fresh dim sum with artfully arranged steamer lids. I wonder who has the job of arranging items in the kitchen in an attractive way?
And now for some food pics! We started with a sushi/sashimi platter. It was all very fresh and good. The fresh wasabi was amazing.
And you can bet that I totally ninjaed the unagi - yum!
Next up was the antipasto platter with rockmelon, prosciutto, liverwurst, mini gherkins, deli meats, roasted vegetables, and tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and basil. I didn't try everything on this platter, but the liverwurst was fantastic, all smooth and rich.
The tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and basil were also very good.
Next was a tomato, olive and basil foccacia, very so cheesey and soft. I restrained myself to only one piece because I knew there was lots more to come.
Moving along, we received a plate of Asian roast meats with roast pork, roast duck, soy sauce chicken and char siu. I only tried the crispy pork and char siu, but from other reports I should have tried the chicken as well! I thought the crispy pork and char siu weren't bad, though the crispy pork could've been crispier.
There were sauces to go with the roast meats - plum sauce, chilli sauce and a ginger and spring onion one.
As well as a plate of Asian vegetables, which I didn't eat because I was trying to keep some stomach space spare.
With the roast meats, there was also received a plate of fried rice. The rice was fine, and this is probably just me, but I would normally never eat fried rice with other dishes. To me, fried rice is a meal in itself. So I was kind of wanting plain rice with the roast meats....!
And now for the big guns.... this was the grainfed porterhouse steak, which had been aged for 30 days on the bone, and grilled to medium rare. This was some gorgeous steak, tender and full of flavour.
The steak was served with creamy, buttery, mashed potato, very tasty mushrooms, broccolini and a couple of sauces - a red wine reduction and bernaise.
And finally to end the savoury courses, there was also a mixed seafood platter with grilled scallops, salmon, tuna, Moreton Bay Bugs and large prawns. The sweet, plump scallops were a highlight, as were the Moreton Bay Bugs.
For dessert, a gorgeous looking dessert platter came out. On the platter was a banana millefeuille, chocolate fondant, and various flavours of ice cream - pistachio, passionfruit, strawberry and vanilla. The pastry in the millefeuille was particularly good, and I adored the pistachio the most out of all the ice cream flavours.
And on the other side was a rhubarb crumble with custard and peach melba. I actually thought the peach melba was a pannacotta until I dipped my spoon into it and found it very runny. No one seemed particularly enthused about the peach melba, poor little dessert! Too retro for us??
As you can see, there was a lot of food! The only part that was a bit disconcerting was jumping from one cuisine to another to another, but I realise that was so we experienced a cross selection of dishes on the menu. And I soon got over the cuisine changes once the plates of food were placed in front of me. ;) It was fantastic to spend the night chatting to fellow food bloggers, so a big thanks to Nuffnang and the Grand Hyatt for the evening!
Disclosure: I dined courtesy of the Grand Hyatt and Nuffnang.
Collins Kitchen, Grand Hyatt
123 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9657 1234