Thursday, March 10, 2011

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival update - Cheong Liew at The Botanical! And Grosset Off-Dry Riesling!

Yes I know that I still owe you reviews of last night's Zak Pellacio dinner at Longrain and today's Japanese art and cuisine lunch at Kazari Collector, but in the meantime, here's a quick update.

I decided to take a long after-lunch stroll from Kazari to The Botanical (newly refurbished), where I was to catch up with a few people. This is the first time I've been back since the refurbishment, and the place is schmick. I have to say, however, that I preferred the way it used to be - the long rustic tables and benches in the bottle shop/wine bar area was warm and welcoming. However, the booths are a nice touch.

They've also retained that fantastic concept, where you buy something from the bottleshop, and pay only a $15 corkage fee to drink it on-premise. We should have more of that I say!

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of treats - Grosset has a new riesling I haven't come across before - the 2010 Off-Dry Riesling, from Watervale in the Clare Valley. Yum. Sharp, dry palate with loads of lemon-lime citrus, and a crisp, lemony finish that just lasts and lasts.

The second treat is meeting one of my culinary heroes in the flesh - Cheong Liew himself, formerly of The Grange at the Adelaide Hilton. It was a sad day when he announced his retirement, but it seems like he's been lured back into business at The Botanical. He's now living in Melbourne, so it looks like we'll need to schedule a lunch or dinner visit to The Botanical sometime soon.

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