21 January 2010

La Mint Restaurant: Australian Food Media – Food Bloggers Award Launch, East Sydney (21 Jan 2010)

62-64 Riley Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Exciting news for food bloggers

For the first time, the biennial Australian Food Media Awards will be including a Best Australian Food Blog category which is exciting news for all food bloggers. Tonight there were over 40 food bloggers attending the launch to learn more about the award which was sponsored by Australian Pork — I love a good pork crackling! The Food Media Club (soon to be the Australian Association of Food Professionals) chose La Mint as the venue which provided many tasty canapés, including it's signature dish of pork caramel (pictured above). The crispy wontons filled with cheese were also very good and something I haven't tried before. The service staff did a great job in providing plenty of food quickly and the kitchen was well prepared. Australian Pork also previewed their new ad which was quite funny and very cheeky.

I was lucky enough to win one of the aprons in a lucky raffle draw which I'll proudly wear in the kitchen as I try and cook my Murray Valley medallion from the goody bag — I also look forward to trying the Rosemary Pancetta we received. La Mint scores a very high 8.0 on Eatability after 71 reviews so they must be doing things right with the menu which I hope to try soon — I spotted a 7 course degustation menu for a reasonable $49. It was a well organised event and provided a fantastic opportunity to meet up with some familiar faces and also new food bloggers I haven't met before.

PROS: Quick service, tasty and well presented canapés
CONS: Limited parking, Romantic dim lighting – it's a food bloggers kryptonite ;-)
MUST TRY: Everything, especially crispy wontons with cheese

Grandin sparkling

333 beer and Grandin sparkling

Lemon drink

Vine pork roll

Banana flower salad with chicken

Grilled garlic nem nuong pork

Crispy wontons filled with camembert (left) and cream cheese (right)

Cheese wonton with camembert and herbs

Pork caramel

Food bloggers mingling

Kitchen pass

Stewart White, President of the Food Media Club Australia

Liam Silk, Australian Pork Brand Manager

Preview of funny new ad 'Get Some Pork On Your Fork' by Australian Pork

Australian Food Media Awards

Lucky raffle winner, Bridget Davis from The Internet Chef

Simon & Simon proudly showing off their pork apron raffle prizes

The Heart of Food with Pork Caramel signature dish

Goody bag of Murray Valley Medallion and Montecatini Rosemary Pancetta

La Mint table setting and bar seating – noice!

Consulate General of SR of Vietnam in Sydney Award


Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Man you're quick! Good to see you again!...you covered the evening perfectly.

AY said...

I knew you'd have your post up early! Haha, nice to finally meet you tonight :) And great job with all the photos! Seems like I have a lot to learn! I loved the Pork Caramel toooo so it's an AY favourite now ;) See you at our next meet!

YaYa said...

Speedy gonzales! Our excuse? We got stuck in gridlock trying to get home, haha! Great post as ever!

3 hungry tummies said...

The food looks good especially the red cooked pork belly!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, no offence, but serving Grandin at a foodie event? Oh dear. On the plus side, the food looks marvy. Gobsmack'd

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

What a comprehensive review of the evening! It was a great night; what a shame I got there late and didn't have the chance to say hello to you. Maybe you left early so you could go home and do this post? :)

Loved the cheese wontons, very interesting!

the happy blogger said...

I woke up this morning bleary eyed (ended up home late) and my first thought? Not, wow what a great night, not, what shall I have for brekky, but I wonder what time Simon posted? You one fast fast food blogger mate! Nice to see you...!

Madam Wu said...

Great photos as always. Strange choice of venue and sponsor considering that it was meant to be a Gourmet Food event!

foodwink said...

How exciting, love the canape shots. I suggest someone should cover the Red Carpet Watch for the award ceremony.

So, who gets to vote for Australia's Best Food Blog?

Shanks said...

First and on time as usual, Speedy. Great post and good to see you again.

Renita (the raw noodle) said...

Now thats quick coverage! Agree with your con re romantic lighting. I lugged my camera in and didn't really shoot anything!

Great pics of the food. I don't think the cheesy wontons ever came to us...

Good to meet you!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

First out of the blocks as always. Your reputation precedes you :) Great shot of the two Simons with your winning aprons.

Simon Leong said...

Peter, was good to see you again too. Hope you got to try all the canapes

AY, there's 3 important things I can teach you now — lighting, macro and opportunity. Easy as that! :-) see u soon

YaYa, yeah gridlock is a killer :-)

3 hungry tummies, I think I'll have to revisit to try a whole dish of the pork caramel

Gobsmack'd, can't really complain about a free drink though. I'm a bit unfamiliar with Grandin but have seen it around. Not quite the Bollinger but quenches the thirst never-the-less :-)

Joey, what time did you arrive? We must have crossed paths at some point? Hopefully will see you next time.

the happy blogger, hehe that's funny. I think you should be thinking about more important things hehe and besides, you knew I'd do a speedy post, it's a given, I have a reputation to uphold :-)

Madam Wu, actually the food was more gourmet than some other canapes I've had in the past. Was thinking of it as a possibility for my next birthday.

Foodwink, I hope to be at the red carpet ceremony to capture it all if I'm lucky ;-) I'm not sure of all the rules as yet but I think it's coming in March/April for more details. Watch this space!

Shanks, good seeing you again too. Looking forward to seeing your blog review :-)

Renita, some people say it's not the size that matters but how you use it ;-) nice to meet you. Looking forward to reading your blog. Cheese wontons are on the menu so next time you visit you'll have to try them.

Helen, my reputation certainly does hehe. So did you end up at Mamak or Chat Thai as predicted for dinner? Thanks for sending on the invitation to everyone. Very much appreciated! Looking forward to reading your blog review :-)

Bridget said...

It was a great night and good to meet you!

I'm in love with my Fergus cookbooks ~ and seriously enjoyed the rosemary pancetta as a late night post event snack.

looking forward to talking with you again and thanks for the post.

Bridge x

Simon Leong said...

hi Bridget, hoping to use up the pancetta and cook the pork medallion tonight for dinner but still looking for a recipe inspiration. was nice to meet you too. looking forward to catching up at the next gig :-)

Anonymous said...

Simon, I take your point about free drinks. However, Grandin can best (or kindest) be described as 'cheap and cheerful' or 'cheap and XXX' if one's feeling less charitable. There are other same price bracket fizzies out there that the organizer(s) could have sourced that would be more food and/or foodie friendly. A simple trip to Ultimo Wine Centre, for example, would have provided a dozen alternatives. Just my tuppence worth, as usual. Gobsmack'd

Simon Leong said...

hi Gobsmack'd, i might try and visit the Ultimo Wine Centre today to check it out. haven't been there before. What's your favourite cheap and cheerful bubbly? I noticed Grandin is produced in France via Méthode Traditionelle so i'm thinking it wouldn't be as bubbly and fizzy as Australian made sparklings. I don't mind Chandon bubbly but i'm not expert.

Simon said...

Whoever took our photo did a good job of it.

Great event, huh? :)

Simon Leong said...

hi simon, they certainly did take a good photo. was a good launch. good to see you again :-)

Anonymous said...

Simon, sorry for delay in replying. My current fave in cheap & cheerful bubbles is Monmousseau NV. I bought tonnes of it when Ultimo had their sale in Dec, worked out to under $15 per bottle. Make sure its superchilled though. The cuvée version is more expensive but less impressive. For a local drop, I like Peterson's from the Hunter, or otherwise Grant Burge does a reliable if not that remarkable drop. Of course, there's always Arras if you're splurging! For cheap-ish French bubbles from actual Champagne region, labels like Cattier and Piper Heidseick are very dependable. If you're able to hunt it down, Dominique Portet (Yarra Valley) makes the most incredible sparkling rosés. You can try Dan Murphy's, but they're always out of stock there!! Or at least whenever I pop by. Hmm. Hic! Gobsmack'd

Simon Leong said...

hi Gobsmack'd, thanks for the recommendations. you certainly seem to know your wines and sparklings. i've recently had the Peterson's from the Hunter served at a wedding. was very nice :-) i'll keep these noted for next time i'm shopping around for a well priced sparkling to try.

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