Monday, 10 March 2014

a long weekend, and a mussel festival

Paella at the Port Phillip Mussel Festival, South Melbourne Market.

Just a hastily written post today, to mention the mussel-licious long weekend I've had!

The Port Phillip Mussel Festival (part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival) was held at South Melbourne Market on Saturday and Sunday, where fresh mussels were sold by the bucket, and a fun variety of mussel dishes were on offer. And let's not forget - live music and a great crowd.

(I also witnessed a few people - one of whom was an almost-naked dude, save for his bright red underwear and bandanna - parading down the sidewalk while doing some kind of dance with whole, raw fish in their hands, and I have no idea what that was about. If anyone can solve the mystery, please do!)

But anyway.

I wandered around and found this bargain of a dish from the Turkish restaurant, Koy - mussels in tomato and feta sauce. It was $5 for a small plate, which is considered good value for typically pricey festival food in Australia. I was happy with what I got for my money. Plump, juicy mussels, at least half a dozen of them, in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce with feta cubes liberally dotted throughout. I lapped it up.

Mussels in tomato and feta Turkish sauce ($5).

But wait, there's more! We have a public holiday on Monday, and my friend Leon invited me over for home-cooked mussels in a chilli-kaffir-lemongrass coconut milk broth. We enjoyed that with steamed rice for a delightfully filling meal. Additionally, he treated me to creamy brie with some wondrous fig jam, plus Guinness beer; while I proffered fragrant Malaysian biscuits and a refreshing achacha beverage.

A merry food exchange this was, indeed.

Mussels cooked in coconut milk with chilli, kaffir lime leaf, and lemon grass.

How was your weekend?

16 comments:

  1. I adore food festivals and this one sounds especially tempting!

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    1. I'm glad I was tempted to go, I had a fun and tasty time!

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  2. That paella looks gorgeous! I love the idea of mussels with feta too.

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    1. The paella did look good, and I think they cook it up every weekend, whether or not a festival is on, so maybe I'll try that sometime.

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  3. $5 for mussels at a festival? Bargain!!! At those prices I'd have gotten two plates :)

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    1. I did think about going back for a second round! Mm-mmm!

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  4. ohhhhh how i love mussels! wish i knew there was a festival!

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    1. Maybe there will be another one next year! :D

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  5. was the man doing the monty python fish slapping dance?! fun!
    i love that there is a mussel festival. so niche, so good.

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    1. Haha! No, it was more of twisting hand movement, rather than slapping. :p

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  6. Oooh, how can I make friends with people who cook me such great food?! Move to Australia? That sounds lovely. All the lovelier if they are only wearing underwear and a bandana.

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    1. Ah, I'm sure you have friends who can cook you great food! As long as you live close enough to each other, though, I guess that is the key... :p

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  7. I love fresh mussels! The paella looks amazing - I'd love to make one as amazing as that one day!

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    1. It does look amazing. I should try it next time!

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  8. I love mussels! And I wish I can get a plateful of paella from the gigantic pan in the photo! Yum!

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