16 June 2009

Merivale Winter Feasts Launch Party, Sydney (16 June 2009)

Establishment Hotel
252 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Tiramisu Heaven

A very big THANK YOU goes to Susan from Chocolatesuze who organised with Melissa from Merivale to invite me along with other food bloggers as a VIP to this free special launch party. It starts off a whole season of lunch and dinner offers for $35 (1, 2 or 3 courses, with a glass of wine or a James Squire) at the Merivale restaurants of Ash Street Cellar, Bistro CBD, est., Lotus, Mad Cow, sushi e, Teppanyaki and Uccello. Being a VIP allowed me to gain entry 15 minutes before the public were let in which was a tremendous help in being able to photograph the delicious food that was about to be served to 100's of lucky attendees. Much more relaxing than when I raced around at the March Into Merivale Launch Party back in March.

Merivale sure knew how to party as the wine, champagne and beer flowed freely while the food went down like a treat. There were so many great canapés on offer that I found myself eating savoury and sweet canapés in an alternating rhythm so as to not miss out when I came across them. So after a while the taste sensations were all starting to blur together too fast and my taste buds were going crazy. My favourite standouts that I could vividly remember and enjoyed the most were:
• est.: Tartare-of ocean trout with cucumber, ponzu and coriander
• sushi e: Lotus root and king prawn sandwich
• Ash St Cellar: Creamed snapper and fennel soup with gremolata
• Bistro CBD: White chocolate tartlettes
• Ucello: Tiramisu (which was also my favourite at the Launch Into Merivale Launch Party).


est.: Avocado, king crab and mint on lavosh

est.: Tartare of ocean trout, cucumber, ponzu and coriander

est. Tuscan bean stew and braised beef cheek tarts


Uccello: Prosciutto san daniele and grissini

Ucello: Lasagne

Ucello: Tiramisu

Ash St Cellar

Ash St Cellar: Duck liver paté on a brioche bun with currant relish

Ash St Cellar: Creamed snapper and fennel soup with gremolata

Ash St Cellar: Filo tartlet with mascarpone realle, honey quince puree and roasted hazelnuts (Photo courtesy of Andy Vermeulen)

Bistro CBD

Bistro CBD: Gougeres - cheesy choux puffs

Bistro CBD: Duck rillette with beetroot, cornishons en croute

Bistro CBD: White chocolate tartlettes


Teppanyaki: King fish skewers with asian salsa

Teppanyaki: Mini wagyu penny burger

Teppanyaki: Beijing duck ‘ivy style’


Lotus: Tuna tartare, sweet wasabi

Lotus: Venison tartare on crisp bread

Lotus: Vietnamese style chicken croutons

Mad Cow

Mad Cow: Goat’s curd, pear and rocket mini tart

Mad Cow: Our signature beef tartare

Mad Cow: Chocolate brownie

sushi e

sushi e: Lotus: root and king prawn sandwich

sushi e: Salmon and avocado inside out roll

sushi e: Ocean trout sashimi

Merivale catering
I managed to try the percorino and porcini mushroom arancini, goan spiced chicken skewer and salt cod croquettes which were all very yummy but unfortunately didn't get a chance to take photos because the trays were passed around quickly by waiters.

The people and atmosphere

Lining up outside

Friendly non-swine flu pig invites guests in

Masterchef contestant Michelle preparing canapés for Mad Cow

Bistro CBD preparing canapés

Happy drinkers and eaters

Helen from Grab Your Fork in action

Simon from The Heart of Food in action

Official photographer in action

Plenty of drinks including hot mulled wine

Promotional material


Cheap Friday drinks promotion spotted in toilet

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Stephcookie said...

The food looks really good in those photos, starting to regret missing out on this :( How awesome you guys got to go as VIPs

Simon said...

Man, talk about lightning fast!

What did you think of things this time around?

Shame there wasn't much of a chance to catch up. Maybe next time... :)

shez said...

That gorgeous little tart thing was a white chocolate tart with bitter orange "syrup". I know because I ate about five of them ;)

chocolatesuze said...

wow super fast post! and i loveeed the filo tartlet from ash st cellar and oh! the tuna tartare from lotus! so many yummys!

Jen (jenius.com.au) said...

OMGoodness, this is the fastest turnaround ever! hahahaah... how good was the creamed snapper soup! i think i had 3 of them :)

Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

oh so jealous. looks like an merivale put on an excellent show. great coverage!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Looks great! I really wanted to come along but I said yes to another event and alas life got in the way of both of them!

Taste Buddies said...

What a feast! Love the look of those mini chocolate tarts. Well I love the look of it all actually.

Zina @ tastedbytwo said...

Great posting, Simon. I loved the Kingfish with Asian Salsa from teppanyaki. I was lucky enough to grab the last tartares from est. They stopped serving these from about 15 minutes in and was told that they were reserved for VIPs. You lucky things!

Simon Leong said...

Hi Stephcookie, VIP section was really good because they brought food to you and wasn't as crowded

Hi Simon, always gotta post quickly or I won't have time to catch up on it all. This time was good having VIP area but the food seemed to go more quickly this time around and still as crowded in the public area. Next time hopefully we'll catch up for more than 10 seconds.

Hi Shez, thanks for the info. they were fantastic. well done on getting 5.

Hi chocolatesuze, those filo tartlet's were good. could have had a whole tray. so many yummys and so little time.

Hi Jen, the creamed snapper soup was definitely one of my favs and so appropriate for a winter feast

Hi Betty, hopefully see you at the next event

Hi Lorraine, hopefully see you next time. Sounds like you've been very busy

Hi Taste Buddies, they were super cute and super yummy

Hi Zina, the kingfish was nice and fresh and looked so good. i thankfully got to try one but really wanted to have more. I reckon the guy from Teppanyaki looks so much like Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock' movie star hehe

Anonymous said...

Ahh great coverage man! My fav was the soup, it was soo creamy!

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