Cocktail & Menu Taste Night at StoryVille

Tastings at Melbourne’s StoryVille

Words by Kate Taylor

Images supplied

Kate chalked up a night of fine offerings as well as ‘a flight of fantasy’ at StoryVille on the weekend.

We welcome her to the Melbourne team, pleased to see she is a ‘word nerd’ and loves a culinary adventure!

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Saturday evening’s cocktail and menu tasting at Melbourne’s StoryVille boasted four story-themed cocktails, three canapés, and a Gatsby-esque enthusiasm for the indulgent. Champagne flowed, cameras flashed, pacy music persisted, while a sparkling mermaid blew scented smoke-filled bubbles into the reaching crowd.

Entering StoryVille is like crossing a threshold. It’s a backstage pass to the fanciful – the return to a travelling carnival that previously only existed in your childhood dreams.

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The night kicked off when a tray of glowing cocktail tasters floated around the room, skilfully weaving through the throng.

First Cocktail: Polyjuice (Harry Potter) – kiwi, lime, basil, gin and a dash of ginger liqueur – first on the menu and first in my mouth. Harry Potter tells us Polyjuice Potion enables the consumer to assume the physical appearance of another person – a fitting first drink for those of us entering StoryVille for the first time. You might say that Polyjuice is the altered form of the classic Southside; a refreshing and fun new twist on a timeless cocktail.

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Next came a tray of mouthwatering canapés – Lavosh crackers supported delicate pieces of Fourme d’Ambert (cow’s milk blue cheese) atop pickled baby figs, with a dollop of peach and muscatel chutney. A highly recommended combination if you’re in the mood for an exciting cheese platter.

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Second Cocktail: Through the Looking Glass – a foggy cocktail crafted with berries, cream tea and white rum, was poured from teapots and sipped from teacups. In Alice in Wonderland we fall upon the Mad Hatter’s tea party rather accidentally, but in Alice Through the Looking Glass we make a knowing step with Alice into a strange and mysterious world. This is a sweet cocktail with a strong rum flavour, and a nurturing backbone to carry you comfortably through to the other side.

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StoryVille’s food menu is dominated by their humbling and perfectly toasted white bread jaffles, leaving me to happily savour two: Three Blind Mice and Cinderella’s Ride.

Three Blind Mice is a three cheese, Dijon mustard and red onion dream, as you can imagine. Although the cheeky tang from the mustard and the onion remind you you’re an adult, you can’t help being drawn back to the melted cheese toasties of your childhood.

Cinderella’s Ride is the accidental hero of the food menu. A roast pumpkin, Meredith goat’s cheese and spinach, golden toasted memory from the depths of your grandma’s love for you – with a little sriracha kick. Subtle and sweet with surprising bursts of earthy flavour, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and everything you ever wanted in a jaffle. Share this and Three Blind Mice with your best friend and you won’t be disappointed.

If you missed the candied bacon cocktail phase a few years ago, slow your worries because it’s back! On StoryVille’s cocktail list is Mr Pilkington’s Neighbour (Animal Farm). This is sweet and salty bacon-washed Bulleit bourbon, with spiced apple syrup, and comes with a side of candied maple bacon. While not for the faint of heart it is however, a complicated drink for a complicated comrade!

More trays of cocktail tasters moved around the bar. A standout was a Chinese rice tea infused vodka martini with a twist of lemon. This one doesn’t appear officially on their menu, so it doesn’t have a name yet. I’d like to suggest the Jekyll and Hyde – civilising tea, and fraying vodka. A contradiction of concepts; a perfect storm.

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The lasting ‘after taste’ of the soft savoury tea was a great nightcap, and slowly roused a gentle reality. It was time to wake up.


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor – GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events


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Words by Kelly Sargent

Images Courtesy of Carly Ravenhall 

Melbourne’s newest CBD Bar, Diesel, is as ‘Melbourne’ as it gets; that is, an inconspicuous facade with plenty of action on the inside.

Diesel Street shot

Located at 202 Little Lonsdale St and part of Melbourne Central, the new Diesel Bar and Eatery is a spacious three level venue which could be dismissed as another heritage brick building should you miss the sign. Diesel boasts a stylish fit out; a classy bar perfect for after work drinks, or a lively night out. 

Full downstairs shot

The entry door opens to the middle floor, revealing a long room and open kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action. There’s a friendly vibe, with both reasonably priced and fine wine options. It’s not too often ‘friendly and stylish’ go together, but the middle floor at Diesel bar makes it work. Couldn’t get enough of the tenderised beef bites and tasty spring rolls, topped off with a drop or two of sparkling!

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The sleek downstairs powder room hosts both girls and guys…yes they’re unisex toilets! Apparently this is an increasing trend in inner city bars, and if you thought this was due to lack of space, that’s not the case at Diesel.

Upstairs you’ll hear city beats pumping across a chic, industrial space. There’s a sizeable central island bar with booths on one side, great for socialising, or perhaps you’d prefer to slink into a private space. The romantic lighting and warm atmosphere make this an excellent date night choice, or a great spot for an intimate catch-up with the girls. 


The outdoor area is part of the rear laneway, offering a smoking area only. This is fine given all that’s happening inside, typically Melbourne once again. 

With a slick interior of various dynamic spaces, along with fine food and wine, Diesel Bar and Eatery has quickly earned the reputation as one of Melbourne’s most sought after bars.

**Kelly was a guest of Helen Reizer hrpr


Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events


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The AFL’s free Footy Festival brings together the best of Melbourne’s food with ‘Taste of Football’ food trucks and pop-ups, music, kids activities, and of course, footy in a four day celebration! Wednesday 27th September until Toyota AFL Grand Final Day, Saturday 30th September.

Located at Yarra Park, outside Gate 3 of the MCG, the festival will be packed full of some of Melbourne’s favourite food trucks, Australia’s first UberEATS restaurant, pop-up bars, local DJs and plenty of activities for the kids. Culminating in a live broadcast of the Grand Final on the big screen, this has to the best place to get amongst the action outside the MCG.

Biggie Smalls

Members of the public are encouraged to buy a Premiership Cup Pin from the Ladder (with support of Public Transport Victoria (PTV)) stall, with all sale proceeds supporting Ladder’s work tackling youth homelessness.


The Footy Festival will be held across three areas outside Gate 3 of MCG at Yarra Park.


Wednesday 27th September 10am-6pm

Thursday 28th September 10am-6pm

Friday 29th September 9am-6pm

Saturday 30th September (Grand Final Day) 9am-6pm


The entertainment hotspot and the heart of the Footy Festival site, the Toyota AFL Grand Final Live Site will host free activities for the whole family including interactive displays, prize giveaways and the chance to meet the players.

From Wednesday to Friday, past AFL matches will be shown on the Big Screen, along with award-winning AFL360, the ever-entertaining Bounce and the 2017 Toyota AFL.

Grand Final Parade

On Grand Final Day itself, things will really heat up. The atmosphere is sure to be electric when the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final and pre-match entertainment is broadcast live from the festival’s Big Screen. Fans will be able to hear the crowd roar, and join in, from their seat on the Yarra Park lawn. This is the place to head for anyone who doesn’t have tickets to the match.

At the 2016 Fox Footy Festival Live Site, Yarra Park, Melbourne. September 28th 2016. Photo: Daniel Pockett
At the 2016 Fox Footy Festival Live Site, Yarra Park, Melbourne. September 28th 2016. Photo: Daniel Pockett


Information & Images Courtesy of Kate & Co – Claudia Hackworth

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times News

Editor GOURMET – Food/Wine/Events


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The Texan Burger Raises $ for Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort Burger Project has introduced a new Limited Edition Burger to its menu, The Texan, which will help raise money for the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  The Texan is the first of a series of Limited Edition burgers that will change every six weeks. Until Sunday, … Read more

Welcome Back to Saké Shaun Presland!

Rockpool Dining Group welcomes Shaun Presland back to the fold, as Saké Executive Chef, and Resident Chef at Saké The Rocks. Shaun was a key member of the launch team of the first Saké Restaurant & Bar in The Rocks in 2008, and oversaw the broader group of Saké restaurants in Double Bay, Hamer Hall … Read more

Melbourne Foodies Keep Sunday 19th November Free for the East Malvern Food and Wine Festival!

Mark your diaries because the 2nd annual East Malvern Food & Wine Festival returns to East Malvern’s picturesque Central Park on Sunday 19 November 2017, from 10:30am to 5:30pm!

Last year more than 3000 Melbourne foodies and wine lovers came together for an amazing day in the park, sipping and savouring over 100 wines and an extensive array of cuisines from specially invited local and regional culinary exhibitors and artisan producers.

East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016
East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016

This year will showcase a vast range of exquisite wineries from more than 15 Bendigo and Heathcote regions including Balgownie Estate, Tellurian Wines and Farmer and the Scientist. There will also be a new local craft beer and cider producer alley featuring Two Birds Brewing, Barrow Boys Brewing, Bad Shepherd Brewing Co and Captain Vanzibar. So come and enjoy a unique and intimate experience, meet the passionate winemakers and brewers and learn about, taste and purchase their premium award-winning wines and ales.

Feast on local Melbourne favourite food trucks and pop-up restaurant stalls including Richmond Oysters & Seafood Tapas, Riserva, Nepal Dining and That’s Amore Cheeses, and bring your shopping baskets and stock up on the best of Victorian produce, including locally produced cheeses, gourmet condiments, bespoke Christmas puddings and other festive season fare from artisanal producers such as NOGO Sauces, Tolpuddle Goat Cheese and Farm Foods, Josh and Sue, and many more.

East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016
East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016

We also have a full day of family and children’s entertainment planned, including roving entertainers, live music performances and magician master classes.

Don’t forget to bring your fur kids too and treat them to gourmet doggie morsels from the Canine Wellness Truck.

Entry is FREE and wine tasting glasses and ticket packages are available starting at $20, including a souvenir wine glass and tasting tickets.


When: Sunday 19 November 2017, 10:30am – 5:30pm

What: East Malvern Wine and Food Festival

Where: Central Park, Corner of Wattle Tree and Burke Roads, East Malvern

East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016
East Malvern Food & Wine Festival in Central Park. Photos by Fiora Sacco copyright reserved 2016

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Information & Images Courtesy of East Malvern Food and Wine Festival/Matt Fraser – Cardinal Spin

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Hospitality/Events

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BEN’S SUPERNATURAL Turns Melbourne’s Fast Food Scene on its Head!

BEN’s Supernatural puts a healthy spin on Melbourne’s fast food offering with the Chapel Street store now open…

Born through founder, Casey George-Jolson’s personal mission to provide her family with good, wholesome and ultimately, delicious food. BEN’S Supernatural offers uncompromising, unprocessed and unbelievably good food – fast.

BEN’S – which stands for Balance, Energy, Nutrition and Sustenance, not only serves nutritionally balanced food, it sets to revolutionise the healthy food offering in Australia. Every menu item developed by Executive Chef David Selex (formerly of Melbourne’s Florentino and London’s Nobu, Vong, The Mews of Mayfair and Kensington Palace) has been approved by Head Nutritionist, Bannie Williams of The Healthy Ingredient.

BEN'S Supernatural_Pearl cous cous, butternut squash, pine nuts, parsley, coriander, tahini dressing_Gareth Sobey Photograph

Led by Selex, the BEN’S team have developed their extensive menus around five key pillars – 1. Whole, Natural and Unprocessed Foods, 2. Nutrient Dense, 3. Balance and Moderation, 4. Transparency and 5. Ethical and Socially Conscious.

From topped English muffins and protein packed vanilla pancakes for breakfast, to pizzas and unique burgers including the Ivan Lentil (spiced lentil patty, hummus, lettuce tomato and herbed yoghurt) for lunch and dinner – now the carb- conscious community can enjoy a range of historically carb-dense dishes, without having to settle on taste or quality.

The Grab-and-Go menu is sure to satisfy those who are little time poor. Breakfast and lunch options are on offer throughout the day including breakfast bowls, salads and ten home-made wrap options including the Cauliflower Rice and Beef (sliced 100% grass fed beef, spiced cauliflower, coconut, chives, red onion and herbed yoghurt).

For the carb-conscious, BEN’S master baker, David Flukes, spent 18 months perfecting the best tasting low-carb burger buns, wraps, pizza bases and English muffins. By choosing BEN’S low-carb burger buns or wraps, on average customers will be consuming 59% less carbs, in comparison to a regular slice of white bread, which contains between 12-15g of carbs.

Chicken Schnitzel Burger_Ben's Supernatural Fast Food_ Gareth Sobey Photography

BEN’S vegan, pescatarian, paleo and gluten-free friends certainly haven’t been forgotten, with an array of alternative options to tickle the tastebuds, including toasted coconut tofu, grilled or herb-crumbed fish and a tasty gluten-free range that may trick patrons into thinking it’s the fully-loaded relative.

BEN’S Supernatural is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 7.30am Monday – Friday and 8.30am Saturday & Sunday.

BEN’S Supernatural Fast Food 670 Chapel Street
South Yarra, VIC 3141
03 9826 1106 | Social: @benssupernatural

Information Courtesy of Ben’s Supernatural/Kayla Baggio – Kate & Co

Images Courtesy of Gareth Sobey Photography

Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Hospitality/Events

Follow us on Instagram: @tatgourmetmag

BEN'S Supernatural_Interior_Gareth Sobey Photography

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