Friday, March 23, 2018

Southgate Melbourne's River Graze 2018

There really is no better way to spend an early autumn Friday night in Melbourne than to take part in an outdoor Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event - River Graze 2018. Thanks to an invitation from our hosts at Southgate Melbourne we enjoyed a delicious seafood feast along the promenade on the Yarra River.

It was going to be a long night of feasting so my dining companion Barry Mundy and I started with a refreshing Pimms cups. Then we began a slow and leisurely tasting of predominantly seafood dishes from five pop-up restaurants from the Southgate precinct.

We started with two dishes from P.S. Bar & Kitchen which sources quality ingredients from Tasmania, King Island and Flinders Island. The chargrilled octopus and chorizo with pickled vegetables was the perfect starter, and the chorizo was the best I’ve had in a Melbourne restaurant.

The crab and salmon bun had a creamy subtly flavoured filling, however we’re not sure if everyone will enjoy the sweetness of the brioche bun.

Next up were the barbequed prawn skewers and kingfish hotdog from Hophaus Bier Bar Grill. The prawn skewers were a little dry but the super tasty smoked mayo helped to counter the dryness.

The brioche hotdog was filled with charcoal smoked kingfish, pickled cucumber and smoked cheese. My favourite element of this dish was the generous sprinkling of pork crackling.

We were most impressed by Tutto Bene’s fritto misto which was a generous serving of lightly battered prawns, calamari rings, white bait, salmon and tuna. The seafood was cooked perfectly and we liked how it was served in a cone made from the restaurant menu.

Also impressive were both dishes from Red Emperor Chinese Restaurant. The prawn rolls were delicate and incredibly tasty, and the inclusion of steamed coriander and water chestnut made it a textural delight.

The fried calamari dish was a generous serve of perfectly cooked tentacles with a lovely spice mix (possibly soy and five spice?). Based on these two dishes we will definitely be returning to dine at Red Emperor.

Rounding out the savoury dishes were two pizzas from La Camera. The Mediterranean pizza with Spanish sardines, capers, roasted capsicum and olives was a winner for me as it contained the flavours that I absolutely love.

The gambero pizza had a generous number of succulent prawns and had the lovely addition of sautéed cima di rapa (a green leafy vegetable).

For something sweet to finish off we shared a scoop each of the chocolate and pistachio gelato from Tutto Bene. I usually don’t go for chocolate but I’m so glad we did because it was very good. It had a rich chocolatey flavour but was not overly sweet. I often opt for pistachio which is one of my favourites and this version was good because it had natural flavours and colour.

We experienced a night of lovely weather, gorgeous Melbourne views, great festival vibes, and most importantly fabulous food. Southgate Melbourne's River Graze is an event that we would likely to be attending again in future.


Southgate Melbourne's River Graze was held as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival so look out for it next year. It was a great opportunity to sample dishes from a selection of Southgate Melbourne's restaurants and as a result we will definitely be making a return visit to some of them.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Southgate Melbourne River Graze 2018.

Find it at

Southgate Melbourne
3 Southgate Avenue
Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: (03) 9686 1000

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