Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Rosetta restaurants 

Rockpool Dining Group’s premium Melbourne restaurants are paying tribute to Victoria’s bountiful, seasonal harvests with a Producer Series of events that span regional and seasonal dinners, wine pairing menus and hands-on cooking classes and culinary experiences.


Headlining the Producer Series this May is a Rockpool Bar & Grill mushroom dinner ($130pp) on Tuesday, 1 May, from 6.30pm, which showcases autumn’s freshly foraged treasures over five spectacular courses, each expertly paired with Victorian wine or beer.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Head Chef Zac Nicholson said: “For me, autumn is the best season for produce. Mushrooms in particular go so well with some of my favourite foods and this menu explores many of those pairings.”

The menu begins with David Blackmore’s Wagyu bresaola with mixed mushroom toast, paired with Holgate ‘Road Trip IPA’ En Growler, which cuts through the richness of the Wagyu and provides flavours to mirror the mushroom toast.

Next is wood fire grilled quail with pickled enoki mushrooms and Jerusalem artichoke paired with Bindi ‘Kostas Rind’ Chardonnay, which has citrus and nectarine characters that reflect the acidity from the pickled enoki.

A pine mushroom ragout with soft white polenta and chestnuts follows and pairs well with the earthy tones of Josh Cooper Pinot. Rounding up the savoury courses is Cape Grim beef cheek braised in red wine with shiitake mushrooms and potato puree, accompanied by the wonderful earthy characters of Luke Lambert Nebbiolo.

The meal concludes with crème caramel, served alongside Campbells ‘Rutherglen’ Topaque.

Spice Temple takes guests on a regional journey with a six-course Silk Road dinner paired with wine ($150pp). On Tuesday, 15 May at 6.30pm guests will be welcomed with a Rooster cocktail, then delve into dishes from  Hangzhou, including Spencer Gulf prawn and iceberg salad with salted olive and black bean dressing, and fresh belly bacon with garlic and lemon.

The menu moves on to Guangzhou, featuring superior chicken, and a dish of pork and fungi bean curd rolls. Next stop is Peking, with pork and shallot steamed buns with hoisin, then to Shaanxi (Xian), starring the region’s spicy pickled cucumbers, and red braised pork belly with wood ear fungus.

The fourth course from Anxi (Yumen) showcases hand-made turmeric noodles, known as lamian, with David Blackmore’s Wagyu brisket and chilli. The final region is Kashgar (Xinjiang), which delivers lamb shashliks, baked bread, chickpea salad and tomatoes, and dessert of pistachio nougat parfait, with almonds and pomegranate.

Spice Temple Executive Chef Andy Evans said: “the aim is to celebrate some of the classic and unique dishes found along the Silk Road, all of which are as rich in flavour as they are in history and cultural significance.”

An Italian flavour infuses the Producer Series with Rosetta Ristorante Head Chef Angel Fernandez and La Sfoglina Annapaola D’Alessio hosting a pasta class ($90pp) on Saturday, 26 May. The class commences with coffee and house-baked pastries at 10:30am, after which guests learn the art of making and shaping spaghetti alla chitarra, strozzapreti and orecchiette.


Participants’ lunch will feature their handiwork in a number of mouth-watering ways, including spaghetti cacio e pepe. “Cacio e Pepe means cheese and pepper and participants’ handmade dough, made with semolina water and a little egg, will give the spaghetti a roughness that perfectly holds the pecorino sauce,” Angel said.


Other lunch dishes include orecchiette con broccolini, acciughe e peperoncino featuring “little ears” of pasta from the beautiful region of Puglia, and strozzapreti con cozze e zafferanom, which showcases one of Italy’s oldest pasta varieties.


**Information & Images Courtesy of Rockpool Dining Group/Rosetta – Rachel Lebihan

Connie Lambeth

The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events

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