Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wok + Wine

I'm one of those sorts of people who likes sharing. One of those people who post loads of random links on Facebook. On any given day I'm sharing new restaurant websites, a pair of shoes I desperately need in my life (there are many) or sometimes a promo or warehouse sale that's going on.

For the most part though, nobody really pays much attention. I think everyone's just filtering me out.

However there was this one time. The Agenda Daily had a private sale for a special event in Melbourne called Wok and Wine.

The concept sounded simple and kind of fun.

40 people.

40 bottles of wine.

40 pounds of prawns.

So up to my Facebook wall it went and within the day, Caryn had called and texted me asking what it was about. "Prawns and wine?!" she exclaimed "My two favourite things, let's go!"

And with that we bought our spots for mass prawn murder on the 14th of December and eagerly anticipated the email on the 13th of December that would let us know where the secret location was.

At 7:30pm on the 14th, we therefore found ourselves at St. Ali. Upon arrival we were met with a single table in the centre of the room, lined with newspaper and some banana leaves and weighted down with healthy chunks of bread.

Oh and wine. From Chapel Hill in South Australia. 40 bottles of it. Oh hai!

At 7:45 a very hungry Caryn and I were hopping from foot to foot, quietly grumbling between that two of us that the food should have come out by now! We don't mean to be snarky. We're just hungry!

Peter from Wok and Wine didn't keep us waiting for too much longer, suddenly appearing with the biggest wok I think I have ever seen, pouring our prawns like a river over the banana leaves and then taking a moment to explain the situation.

The concept started in the US in 2008, as a unique networking event, a way for people to bond over food and wine and start interesting conversations. They don't pay for spaces and often pop up in the strangest of places, the second Melbourne event was held in a beauty salon in the city!

Look at all the people checking out the prawns rather than listening to Peter...

There are no chairs so that people can more easily move around and migle, and the table is intentionally made a little too small for everybody, so that people get up close to each other while eating and rubbing shoulders with everyone.

One type of food, one type of wine. We don't have to think, which leaves more brain space for conversation!

And with 90 events in over 10 cities, the formula definitely seems to be working, with some attendees having been to more than one event in different cities!

After a quick briefing on how to enjoy the prawn heads to their full extent….prawn carnage occurred.

I apologize for the photo quality. I'm not gonna pussyfoot around it. I was pretty drunk. Composing pictures when you're struggling to stay upright is a challenge.

Libby was the chef for the night, working hard to keep up with the swift hands of us prawn eaters...Caryn and I stalked her afterwards to get the secret recipe!

No prawn was spared...

45 minutes later, 3 wok full of prawns and Melbourne was officially the most gluttonous city of them all with no other city demolishing the prawns as fast as we do.


It was a really fun night in all, Caryn and I struck up conversations with all sorts of people, even some from the US and New Zealand. The prawns themselves were also absolutely stellar, everyone happily licking their lips and ripping chunks of bread to wipe up the sauce when all the prawns were gone. Finger licking good.

Thanks again to Agenda Daily for helping bring over Wok and Wine and of course Wok and Wine for providing the absolutely delicious prawns.

Be sure to sign up to Wok + Wine for future updates!