If you love food (silly question, I know), and you are curious about the diverse culinary cultures of our world, and want to share and learn and meet other foodies, then FoodSocial’s Global Feast has got to be a must-attend for you. When it comes to food, culinary culture and meeting people that are just as passionate about it as I am, it really is a no-brainer for me; so when I heard about FoodSocial, I simply had to go.
FoodSocial founder Pheh Sze or PS as most call her, has been a food lover since ever she can remember, migrating via London from Malaysia (where food is considered a national pastime) to Melbourne, Australia’s food capital. Here she called FoodSocial into life three years ago and has not looked back ever since. FoodSocial, as the name suggests is all about connecting people with people through food, and this is what the FoodSocial Global Feast A-Z is all about. Visiting different countries and their culinary cultures one country/letter at a time is a great concept and one I fell in love with as soon as I heard about it, unfortunately missing out on ‘I’ for Italy. Needless to say, I made sure I made it for ‘J’ for Japan, and what an experience it was too…
Kumo Izakaya (Lygon Street, East Brunswick) has go to be one of the best Japanese restaurants in Melbourne and I was delighted that they were hosting FoodSocial for the Japanese food excursion. Arriving at Kumo Izakaya was as impressive as meeting curator Andre Bishop, a self-confessed Japanophile and Sake connoisseur with a long tradition and track record of creating and influencing Japanese eateries in Melbourne, heightened my anticipation of what was to come.
The FoodSocial usual welcome bubbles was a great social lubricant as I got to meet my 20 culinary travel partners as we slowly found our seats and were soon brought our first of many courses for the night. First up was the Oyster Shooter, a fresh oyster set in a tomato Yuzu infused Sake with Nori and green chilli syrup served in a shot glass – an interesting yet tasty kick-off to a delightful menu. Then we were served a cocktail of seasonal ceviche with avocado puree, fennel, cucumber, orange and black rice cracker, which was a refreshing affair with a slight tang.
Next, we were tantalised with helpings of Steamed Chicken Gyoza with coriander, spring onion, and warm citrus broth, which were the best I have had; followed by Fried Eggplant Dengaku with sweet miso & fennel salad and Broccoli Tempura with Amazu Ponzu and their awesome Wild Rocket Salad with coconut snow and Yuzu dressing. Before we could venture on we were subjected to a series of blind sauce tasting competing table by table for the grand price of a set of specialty Sake glasses. Our table enjoyed a slight handicapped against the all Japanese table at the far end, but it was all in good fun and just as educational as the in-depth explanation of all things Sake by Andre, whom I believe to be the only Sake Master in Australia and easily the most passionate person about Sake in the country. Up next were the Lamb Racks with confit Kimchi, sesame seed yogurt, and Sansho pepper – which was absolutely amazing and my fav for the night, well for the savouries at least.
Crowning the experience was the Sake Cream Cheese Cake with Sake Lees, served in small glasses topped with popcorn dust, raspberry and caramel – and I instantly fell in love! (by the way Foodora and eatnow.com.au deliver their food to your door-step)
Apart from the obviously exquisite culinary journey, and the insights into Sake and Japanese culture; the social aspect made the evening most enjoyable and a memorable experience. In fact, it made me look forward to the next country – Korea, which, unfortunately, I had to miss as I had to be in Sydney. Up next however, is ‘L’ for Lebanon and as an insider-tip, it is one country you definitely don’t want to miss! Held at Zikrayat in Malvern East on the 29th October, it promises to be another highlight of culinary delights and cultural experience – grab your ticket today at www.foodsocial.com.au For food-lovers with a thirst for diverse cultures, FoodSocial’s Global Feast is a ‘must’.