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Melbourne Food and Wine: Meatopia

We visited the Meatopia event today as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and what a good time we had.

For our $50 a head we enjoyed very minimal queuing, friendly staff, fabulous food and enough drinks to satisfy us during this Melbourne heatwave and still legally drive away.

We booked online on Saturday night (thanks credit card) and rolled up to the Middle Park Hotel in trendy St Kilda/South Melbourne around 12:15pm as the lines were starting to form.

But instead of dreadful delays, we found easy access and speedy issue of our event food and beverage cards within minutes: for the $50, three food items and three drink items each.

A short queue for a plate of rare Cape Grim beef, a hop to delicious pork and ribs to die for, a little line up for pear cider and James Squire stubbies, and we were holding all the cards for a great lunch.

“Holding” was the key word … standing in a pub full of nearly 400 patrons and all tables full. Arms full too.

Thank heavens for the wait staff member with the delightful brogue and thoughtful approach who found us a table and stole some bentwood chairs to make our day.

Now then, picked those plates clean. What next?

There’s a short line for the BBQ’d chicken and even shorter for the goat and wallaby — which by the way equaled the pork as favourite for the day — and let’s have another pear cider, Cricketer’s Arms beer and James Squire.

Polished those off, starting to slow down, must be time for some of those antipasto delights and southern Australian cheeses, yep.

Venison, pork and beef salami, goats cheese, ash rind and — what’s that? pickled peaches and apricot aioli? Hmmm, this’ll do.

What’s that, another cider? And then someone in the party suggested coffee and some of the delightful ice cream — pistachio in one, raspberry in the other — and OMG, another James Squire.

And that was that, mid-afternoon, off into the heatwave. Don’tcha love Melbourne?

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