****Taste of Perth – VIP Gala Night****

1Website: http://www.tasteofperth.com.au/

The PFEs were invited tonight as one of the Eat Drink Perth blogger 2014 to attend the Taste of Perth VIP Gala Night held at Langley Park in East Perth. My excitement level increased as the evening drew closer as I could see all the action from my office kitchen, which overlooks Langley Park from the 8th floor.  Time to get off work (yay!) and I made my way there quickly with my sister, my companion for the night. The queue was getting long but fortunately we could get on the fast track festival entry due to the VIP tickets. Thank you to Holly from 3am thoughts for the invite!

The VIP Gala Night tickets enabled us access to the Best in Taste Awards in the CITROEN VIP Lounge and complimentary drinks and canapes. Free flowing drinks the whole night! Yeah! A taste of the Piper Heidsieck champagne

A glass of Piper Heidsieck

and a few tasty canapes! Loved the oysters!

Jamon bruschetta Trout bruschetta Oysters

The highlight in the CITROEN VIP Lounge was definitely the “Best in Taste Award” presentation, with the Taste of Perth’s leading chefs facing off WA’s toughest critics to see who would be crowned the “Best Taste Award 2014“!

Best in Taste Award 2014

The judging panel was made up of:

  • Gail Williams (The Sunday Times/ STM Magazine/ Perth Now food critic)
  • Rob Broadfield (The West Australian renowned food critic and editor of the West Australian Good Food Guide)
  • Paul West (As seen on Foxtel’s The Lifestyle Channel in the River Cottage Australia)
  • Shane Osborn (Head chef at St Betty, Hong Kong and first Australian to win two Michelin stars)
  • Max Veenhuyzen (The Australian Gourmet Traveller/ QANTAS The Australian Way and The Sunday Times food critic)
  • Bradley Woods (CEO Australian Hotels Association WA)

The judging panel

And the results…

  • Best Dressed Restaurant Lalla Rookh
  • 2nd Runner up Best Taste Award Greenhouse Perth’s Black Valley Beef Cheek
  • 1st Runner up Best Taste Award Bib & Tucker’s Charcoal Roasted Fremantle Octopus
  • Winner of the Best Taste AwardEl Publico’s Cuttlefish Toastada

Lalla Rookh Greenhouse Perth Bib & Tucker El Publico

Congratulations!! 🙂 All the chefs together now…

All the chefs in the house

Time for us then to wonder out to get some of the delicious food on offer! We had bought a $50 Crown Card each at the Crown Bank when we first entered to avoid the anticipated crowd later in the evening. That was the best idea ever! Here are some of the dishes we tried…

Nobu  – Yellow Tail Sashimi with Jalapeno (12 Crowns) and Pork Belly, Spicy Miso Caramel (12 Crowns). The Yellow Tail Sashimi were even better than what I remembered it tasted at the Taste of Perth launch. They were so fresh!

Yellow Tail Sashimi with Jalapeno

The Pork Belly with Spicy Miso Caramel was my favorite dish tonight. Succulent and tender pork belly themed with a salty miso taste and sweet caramel sauce. They were such a delight!

Pork Belly, Spicy Miso Caramel

Nobu Nobu
Nobu Perth on Urbanspoon
El PublicoStreet Corn, charred corn, mayonnaise, cheese, chilli (8 Crowns). The corn may sound ordinary but loaded with the mayonnaise and cheese topping turned them into something extraordinary! Beware of the fibres getting stuck in your teeth should you bite directly into them like I did :p

Street Corn

El PublicoEl Publico
el PÚBLICO on Urbanspoon
Co-Op Dining – Duck & Chestnut Soup (10 Crowns) and the Icon Dish – Smoked & Glazed Pork (20 Crowns). The Duck & Chestnut Soup is a duck confit and roasted chestnut soup. It had a very strong duck flavor and was very creamy. Took awhile for me to get used to the taste but it grew on me at the end.

Duck & Chestnut Soup

The Smoked & Glazed Pork, organic pork with apple sauce, basil and crackle. It was quite a small dish with 4 pieces per dish. The pork was tender and went well with the apple sauce. Loved the crackle!

Smoked & Glazed Pork
Co-Op Dining on Urbanspoon
Bib & Tucker – Rotisserie Suckling Pig Slider (10 Crowns). The roasted pig was on display right next to the stall. Quite a sight! The Suckling Pig Slider was tasty, in a brioche bun with pickled fennel salad. I would get this again. Unfortunately the Octopus dish that won an award tonight was sold out by the time I arrived at the stall so I didn’t get to try it! Boo!
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Pig on a spit! Suckling Pig Slider
Bib & Tucker on Urbanspoon
Greenhouse Perth – Black Valley Beef Cheek (10 Crowns). I had to try this as it received an award tonight! Apparently the sauce was cooked for 17 days prior, and the beef cheek 7 hours to get this tender, melt in the mouth malbec braised beef cheek on the plate. The bush tomato chutney complimented it well, and it was my first time trying a saltbush!

Black Valley Beef Cheek
Greenhouse on Urbanspoon
Lalla Rookh – Tortello of Mushroom & Ricotta with chestnut butter (8 Crowns) and Panna Cotta Vera (10 Crowns). The Tortello Mushroom & Ricotta was delicious although a bit on the salty side. I could get another one!

Tortello of Mushroom & Ricotta

The Panna Cotta Vera came with a topping of roasted cocoa and walnut crumble. This was my 2nd favorite dish at the Taste of Perth launch and it did not disappoint tonight! Great dessert to finish off the night!

Panna Cotta VeraLalla Rookh Lalla Rookh

Lalla Rookh

Lalla Rookh – winner of the “Best Dressed Restaurant” – must be the cute lit up pig on the wall. Who wouldn’t love this pig on their wall?! 😛
Lalla Rookh Bar & Eating House on Urbanspoon
The Taste of Perth also offer entertainment in an area called Seats + Beats.  The Seats + Beats, presented by Virgin Mobile, is a non-stop entertainment bill of top-notch live bands and DJs performing to complement the festival’s culinary offerings located right in the middle of the stalls and exhibitors.

With the ‘Seats and Beats’ area, Virgin Mobile invites people to sit back and relax on their comfy double deckchairs and plush picnic blankets, taking in the live music whilst enjoying the tasty food and drink delights of the event.  Virgin Mobile is providing mobile charge bars to make sure that people will not miss the chance to capture any part of their Taste of Perth experience should their mobiles run out of battery! What a clever idea!

Seats + Beats early evening Seats + Beats at night

Lastly before the night ended, I made my way to the Karvan Coffee to check out their coffee and to sample their blends of locally roasted Artisan coffee. A variety of brewing techniques were on display and demonstrated to us as well! I will write about their Aeropress brewing technique in another post! Watch this space!

Karvan Coffee Karvan CoffeeKarvan Coffee Karvan Coffee

I couldn’t resist getting a Latte (4 Crowns) to go, a great drink to help me stay awake to write this post tonight 🙂 Loved the smooth taste of the coffee. Yum!

Karvan Coffee Latte

That’s all from me on the first day of the Taste of Perth! It was an amazing experience and I had so much fun. I’ll be heading back there again tomorrow with my mum for more tasting, to explore some of the exhibitors and to visit the Rekorderlig Star Marquee (check out the picture below I took tonight!). It would be an early Mother’s Day celebration 🙂

Rekorderlig Star Marquee!

Don’t miss out on the Taste of Perth if you have some free time this weekend! There are still the Saturday afternoon and night sessions (tomorrow), and the Sunday session. Hope to see you there 🙂

Narration by: Miss L


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