Paella in the Park – Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2011

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2011 had started 5 days ago. After staying here for 5 years, we finally got our act together and attended some of the events. Today is Day 6 of the festival and I already managed to squeeze in 3 events (planning to write all). But there isn’t any plan to attend more till the end of festival.

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Paella In The Park was the 1st event we attended. It was held at Bridges Reserve in Coburg last Sunday 3rd March 2011. Mr. loved Paella and it had never occurred to me to give it a try cooking in my own kitchen yet. Just felt it’s a dish not easy to master.

Melbourne was blessed with fantastic weather during the weekend. The day was hot, sunny, clear blue sky without a single cloud in the sky!!!! In fact I found myself with a tanned line that evening by just sitting in the sun for 2 hours.

Without entry fee required + nice weather + outdoor venue + live entertainment, it was a very family friendly event. The crowd was already building up when we arrived at the venue with H, our new found friend + makan kaki.

There were quite a few stalls set up but all by Spanish Gourmet Caterers. This was the 3rd time that I came across to them. 1st was the Suzuki Night Market at Victoria Market and 2nd was Johnston Street Fiesta. There were a few varieties of paella available :  Squid Ink, Pork and Mushrooms, Chicken and Chorizo, Vegetarian, Seafood all selling at $10 per plate.

Lucky there were 3 of us, we were able to split the job of getting the food. Each of us with a paid coupon in hand, queuing at individual stall line to buy our chosen paella.

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With team work, we were able to combine the jointed effort and tasted all 3 different paella side by side. My attentive Mr. got me and H a glass of ice cold Sangria each.

DSC04584 I got the Seafood Paella.

DSC04587 Mr. Vegetarian Paella.

DSC04589 H got Chicken and Chorizo Paella.

Make a guess which one stand out the most. It was the most unexpected Vegetarian Paella. It was sweet. We got another plate to share after finished all 3. The most disappointing was the Seafood Paella. Couldn’t taste the “sea” in the rice till you take bite on the mussel. As for the Chicken and Chorizo, it had the strongest taste of all. Think it’s because of the chorizo. Overall, it wasn’t too bad.

With our full tummy, we found a nice spot in front of the stage and waited for the live performance, Flamenco to start. Spotted a coffee stall next to the stage and bought a cup of coffee to try. We were hoping for Spanish coffee but it only served Italian coffee. The nice coffee did make up for it.

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