Jac and I both took a day off work on Friday and went to the Good Food & Wine Show at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
We went to Perth city by train and took with us the trolley we bought at last year’s show, anticipating that we’d have lots of goodies to carry home. We went for the food rather than the wine, so this post doesn’t include info about the wine aspect of the show. This year, we decided not to pre-book any classes and instead just have a wander around the show.
We hadn’t eaten breakfast and were both ravenous when we arrived. Like last year, one of the first stands we visited was C Lo Presti & Sons, where there were plenty of delicious things to sample – marinated olives, cheeses and dips with fresh bread. Jac fell in love with the marinated black olives and the Maasdam cheese. She came back later to get a cheese showbag (and grab another cube of Maasdam cheese :)).
Jac zipped around the stands while I moved like a snail, taking photographs and tweeting. I lost sight of her regularly but she’d reappear every now and then with some tasty morsel for me!
We shared a Mt Barker turkey schnitzel slider (AU$5). The schnitzel was tasty but our verdict was: too bready, not enough turkey.
I spotted the Jean Pierre Sancho delivery bicycle and their fresh crusty bread. Their stand was bursting with patisserie delights – macarons, breads, quiches, brioches, croissants and other pastries.
The macarons were $2 each or $15 for a box of six – $3 just for the box, or bakers not so great at maths? :) They looked beautiful but I didn’t buy any as I didn’t want the hassle of carrying anything fragile home on public transport.
Last year we were too full by the time we got to the bratwurst stand – Eric’s Bratwurst Hut. This year, it wasn’t Eric’s, it was Andy’s Bratwurst Hut, and I was ready eat bratwurst!
First, I took pictures of the man cooking the bratwursts, watching, mesmerised, as he flipped sausages in the pan.
We joined the line and I watched someone else’s bratwurst hot dog being assembled. First, fries onions and sauerkraut, then a plump glistening sausage…
Then, a generous squeeze of mustard all over that juicy bratwurst.
We both liked the look of the traditional Bavarian meatloaf too – though there was no way we could fit that in as well!
I ordered a currywurst hot dog (AU$8). I watched with mouthwatering anticipation as the bratwurst man added fried onions and sauerkraut to a soft fresh bun that he held gently in a paper napkin. I asked for sauerkraut on half only – Jac loves it but I’m not a fan. The bratwurst man offered me a beef or pork sausage but told me pork sausage is the traditional one to have – of course I chose pork! He placed the sausage in the bun and swiftly cut a criss-cross pattern into it, then squirted plenty of curry ketchup all over, which soaked into slits he’d just made in the bratwurst. Last of all, he grabbed a shaker and sprinkled curry powder on the bratwurst.
The hot dog was messy to eat but it tasted fantastic. If there weren’t so many good things to eat at the show, I’d have eaten a currywurst all to myself. Can’t wait to eat my next currywurst!
Their free tasting menu featured dishes cooked by local Malaysian restaurants. We were there in time to sample Mum’s nyonya chicken by Leederville restaurant Ria Authentic Malaysian.
I got a free mini Malaysian cookbook as I waited in line. In the booklet are recipes for classic Malaysian dishes including chicken satay, nasi lemak, char kway teow, beef rendang and more.
Mum’s nyonya chicken was ladled into little dishes shaped like boats, served with freshly steamed rice. The chicken was succulent and the gravy reminded me of my mum’s chicken curry. I’d have happily eaten a full-sized portion of this dish. I thought about holding the boat up to my lips and tipping it so I could drink every last drop of gravy. :)
In between tastings, we checked out kitchen equipment and gadgets. I laughed at the thought of carrying pots and pans home on the train (we didn’t buy any).
Jac is fascinated by kitchen gadget demos and almost always stops to watch; I have the attention span of a gnat unless there’s food to eat at the end of the demo. :) I left Jac watching this fellow demonstrating the Ezy-Aussie prawn peeler. Later when I asked if she bought a prawn peeler she told me she’d bought three for $20 – Jac can’t resist a show special.
I love ginger beer and enjoyed tasting Rochester Ginger, a non-alcoholic ginger drink – nice and gingery without too much of that hot ginger bite. The man pouring the drinks told us it’s made from an authentic Dickensian recipe that dates back to the 1870s and can be drunk neat, on the rocks or used as a mixer.
I was thrilled to see the Beerenberg Farm stand. We’re big fans of Beerenberg Farm products and have their sauces and jams in our pantry and fridge.
They had a show special – any three products for $10. We’ve tried and love their Taka Tala sauce and marinade, so I was very interested to discover and taste the Taka Tala dressing and Taka Tala chutney. The dressing was creamy and tasted like a sweet mustard. The chutney was like sweet and spicy (not super hot). We also tasted the caramelised onion relish (with lots of sweet onion in it) and red pepper relish (like a sweet chilli sauce with tiny pieces of red capsicum). In the end, we chose the Taka Tala dressing and chutney and a jar of red pepper relish.
The two fellows running the Beerenberg Farm stand were very friendly and happy for us to try any of their products. Next time Jac makes burgers at home I’m going to have red pepper relish in mine.
There were game and bush products to try at the Mahogany Creek stand.
One of my favourite new products was the Crema Caffe – Italian coffee cream, from Dolce Crema. The handsome man behind the dolce crema machine was a favourite with the ladies clustered around the stand.
I asked where Dolce Crema is available and was told it is new to Perth – they are currently targeting cafes and restaurants. According to their Facebook page, you can get Dolce Crema at Delissimo Continental Deli (the Swansea Street Markets) on Swansea St in East Victoria Park.
We enjoyed hot chips with chilli salt at the Chilli Salt stand. The chilli salt was finger-sucking good.
There was a wall of chilli salt and different chilli sauces to taste. I wasn’t game to try the sauce labeled “Ballistic” :).
We sampled chocolate-covered coffee beans at the Captain Coffee stand (dark chocolate for me, milk chocolate for Jac). I asked this gentleman if he is Captain Coffee himself. He is! And he told me he has a sail boat! :)
The smoking trout at the Bradley Smoker stand looked interesting.
We tried some delicious Argentinian roasted vegetable dips at El Asador.
There’s a free iPhone app for the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide. I haven’t downloaded it yet – have any of you?
The Luv-A-Duck stand was back and very popular. We sampled crispy duck fat roast potatoes fresh out of the oven and juicy pieces of pan-fried duck breast. We watched a cooking demo – Jac was interested in learning how to make an orange sauce for the duck; I was more interested in eating the duck!
We walked past where radio station 6PR was broadcasting live from the show – and saw Masterchef Australia Season 2 contestant, food writer, presenter and cookbook author Marion Grasby being interviewed. Which reminded me – I really wanted to taste Marion’s and Poh’s desserts (AU$8 each) at the Oxford Landing Estate restaurant at the show.
At this year’s show restaurant, there are two menus (each with starter, main course and dessert) – a menu by Marion Grasby and a menu by Poh Ling Yeow (Masterchef Australia Season 1 runner-up). You have to buy dining currency which you exchange for dishes at the restaurant. I know it’s designed to simplify the restaurant service – you give the staff your dining currency, they give you the food, no stuffing around with change. But it felt silly, “buying money”. :)
Jac took one look at the queues and said she’d look after our trolley while I got the desserts.
As it turned out, the time saved by using dining currency was nullified by one annoying detail – you were not able to get your own cutlery and staff did not seem to think of giving you cutlery when handing you your food at the counter. By the time I’d realised I had to go back to ask staff for cutlery, the poor sago pudding had started to collapse.
There were no free tables in the restaurant, so we found a spot along the wall and had a carpet picnic sitting outside the restaurant.
First: Poh’s dessert – Malaysian sago pudding. The delicate little sago pearls tasted good with the coconut cream and palm sugar syrup, but I thought there should’ve been more syrup as the pearls are quite bland and really need sauce. Jac didn’t like hint of saltiness in this dessert. We checked the recipe that’s in the free restaurant booklet we picked up – yes, there is salt in the recipe. I didn’t mind the salty-sweet flavour.
Second: Marion’s dessert – coconut and kaffir lime panna cotta with strawberries and lime syrup. The panna cotta was soft and silky with flavours of Thai cuisine. It was lovely, but deceptively rich. The lime syrup was extremely sweet – you definitely need a sweet tooth for this dessert – I was glad I had Jac to share it with me.
So whose dessert won? For both of us, Marion’s was the winner!
We kept on walking and saw quite a crowd around the the Rekorderlig Cider stand. I rather liked the sound of pear cider, and Jac was keen to sample wild berry cider.
I don’t usually drink alcohol and if I do, drink it for the taste rather than to get “merry” :). This cider was refreshing, fruity and quite delicious.
We stopped by the Whittingtons stand where we chose five mustards for $15.
There were Manjimup truffles on display at the Whittingtons stand.
They told me this beauty is worth around AU$1000. The man at the stand let me photograph it and when I was done, he whisked it away for safe keeping. Shortly after this, they brought out truffle butter for us to sample. Jac was successfully lured to buy another show special: a jar of spicy cranberries and a tiny tub of truffle butter for AU$15. There’s going to be some great eating going on at our house!
At the Kikkoman soy sauce stand, a show special of any four bottles for $10. We’ve got plenty of soy sauce at home so decided not to buy any.
At the Linley Valley pork stand, they were making gourmet pork burgers. The happy chap cooking the pork was at the Linley Valley stand at the Fine Food Western Australia show which I attended back in April.
The Regal smoked salmon stand was one of the busiest. The staff worked non-stop, prepping up smoked salmon platters.
It was time to head home. By now, our trolley was bulging and we couldn’t really fit much more in it!
I didn’t know exactly what was in the trolley until I unpacked it back home. Jac had made a few purchases while I was busy taking photographs and tweeting. I didn’t mind!
In our Chilli Salt showbag – hot Thai sweet chilli sauce, chilli salt and a bottle of hickory barbecue flavoured liquid smoke.
In addition to the cheese showbag (mini toasts, Maasdam, parmesan, pepato and brie cheeses), Jac bought a jar of dried porcini mushrooms at the C Lo Presti & Son stand.
Our Whittingtons mustards: left to right: Australian Chardonnay White Wine, Gourmet Whiskey, Australian Shiraz, Australian Beer and Gourmet German.
We also bought six mini jams from Alpine Berry Farm for $10. I love little jam jars! Now I can pretend I’m having breakfast buffet at home! We each chose three flavours – can you guess who chose what?
From another product demo, Jac also bought a Kleva knife sharpener, which came with a free micro grater. She used the sharpener this evening and was pleased to see it works well. She also bought a tub of capsicum spread from the Turkish bakery stand and a pesto salami with basil and mint from Smallgoods of the Riverland.
2011 Good Food & Wine Show observations
- There are plenty of free tastings at the show. We spent money on food e.g. bratwurst, desserts from the restaurant – but you could easily fill up on freebie samples alone. We didn’t try everything on offer.
- The majority of food stands are the same as last year. There are new things, of course, but there were many familiar products, some stands in exactly the same position as last year. If you liked Cheesebuddy last year, they’re back again, with three varieties to sample – original, herb and chilli! :)
- My favourites from this year’s show were: Malaysia Kitchen, Captain Coffee, Rekorderlig Cider, Dolce Crema and Beerenberg Farm. My favourite item of the day was that currywurst from Andy’s Bratwurst Hut.
Did you go to the show? I’d love to know what you thought, and what your favourites were.
I had a great foodie Friday off. Thanks again to the Good Food & Wine Show for our tickets and for the tickets won by three lucky readers. We spent a few hours at the show, went home for a rest, then returned in the evening for a special Malaysia Kitchen bloggers dinner with Alvin Quah from Masterchef Australia Season 2.
Good Food & Wine Show Perth
Visit www.goodfoodshow.com.au for details including ticket prices
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
One day left – Sunday 17 July, 10am to 5pm