Disclosure: I was invited to attend all the below events
December and January seemed to be popular time to do launches and parties, when people are in the mood to be kicking off their heels in favour for sandals and partying into the night. Also helps that I don't need to worry about where to put my jacket the whole night!
Here's a wrap up of some of the launches from the past two months that I've enjoyed…
16 Liverpool Street
Upon first glance, you might be forgiven that you've stepped into the wrong restaurant. Dumplings and scandinavian aesthetic don't usually go together, but at Ruyi, the name translating literally to 'as you wish', the two make pretty good company together.
Not only is it a dumpling spot, but the place tags itself as a wine bar as well, with a healthy display of wine bottles around the room.
The food served was inspired Chinese, keeping it's roots but presenting it in a cleaner and more elegant fashion. A little less oil, a little more feel good.
I particulary enjoyed the fried prawn dumplings with cheese in the middle and crunchy strands of rice noodles on the outside and the xiao long bao did not disappoint (except for the fact that I punched a hole in mine before eating it), with piping hot and flavoursome soup.
Although the fried rice, delicately wrapped in egg white skins looked so beautiful, and sounded like a fun twist on the usual fried rice, I was disappointed in the lack of overall flavour, a touch of salt wouldn't have hurter!
However, after wrapping my tongue, gently breaking into these beautiful chrysanthemum, fragrant floral jellies, all was forgiven. So cool and refreshing, you'd almost think it was healing you in some way.
I will admit I looking at the menu prices, I felt it might be a tad rich, but I will need to put the prices in to context one of these days and visit for myself to see what the whole experience is like in full.
222 Faraday Street
You know what's a bad mix in summer? Super hot weather + standing in heels + not eating all day + drinking ONE aperol spritz + being Asian (with relatively low blood pressure) = bad.
So although nearly face planting into a bench to avoid fainting as I started going tunnel vision and my ears started blocking out noise may have been a bit of a low point, Pipadido otherwise threw a brilliant party (complete with D.O.C pizzas, um perfect?) to announce their launch into the land of Italian gelato in Melbourne, Carlton.
With sweet, summery colours plastered on the walls, the friendly crew in white t-shirts and obligatory hipster skinny jeans scooped gelato out from the old school wells and delivered delicious mini cones of smooth and creamy gelato.
I was generally very impressed, loving the typically fruity flavours as gelato instead of sorbets, such as mango milk and poached pear, along with the more unusual yuzu and Vietnamese mint, both refreshing in flavour and decadent in texture, ever creamy, in one lick. Pistachio, the classic, did not disappoint either.
Melbourne's pretty spoilt for choice now with some rocking gelato, and whilst I still have a very soft spot in my heart for Spring Street Gelato, Pidapipo is a very very formidable rival. Dying to check in for some salted caramel next time….only open for this summer, get in quick!
So there I was, yapping away and poking fun at Allan (as always), when suddenly a tinkling harp started playing and the roller door that I was standing in front of gentle rattle as they rise, revealing a golden dusted topless fairy man and an exquisitely statuesque woman in a silken toga and wreath, beckoning us in with champagne and giggles.
Woah. Despite being a sweaty mess in the 40 degree heat wave we were having, I felt like I was stepping into something straight out of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Awesome.
We were celebrating the launch of Prix Fixe, a new venture between Jason Jones and Phillippa Sibley, and the launch of the sales of their tickets. Tickets? For dining? With Prix Fixe, that's the idea. I didn't quite get the concept until I read the FAQs on the website, where they described it exactly like going to see a musical, which made plenty of sense thereafter.
So like going to the theatre, you buy tickets, for however many people you would like to go with, for a particular night, at a particular time. These tickets then cannot be refunded, or rescheduled, but you can pass them onto your friends if you suddenly can't make it.
For it's first month of service, starting on the 21st of February, the menu will be inspired by that Shakespeare classic, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Hence the golden man fairies that were floating around through the night.
I'm looking forward to seeing what Prix Fixe will deliver, where it is said that food will be the show. Don't forget to book your tickets, $49 for lunch and 2 courses, $79 for four courses for dinner.
Brown Brothers Summer of Prosecco
Although only around briefly, the Brown Brothers Summer of Prosecco pop up was definitely one of the most fun launches I'd been to in a while. On paper it seemed immensely hipster, a beach party, in a warehouse, in Richmond, next to a station and behind a supermarket!
But it was definitely one of the most fun nights I had, tucking into the easy drinking prosecco in these adorable mini bottles, and kicking off my flip flops to scrunch the cool sand between my toes. Great company, with the crew from the #KingValleyLove trip present, made for an amazing night.