Wednesday, February 17, 2010

March into Merivale 2010 - Launch Party

The queue into the launch party for March into Merivale

Yes, it was crowded and hot, but the launch of Merivale Group's 'March into Merivale' restaurant event was filled with free food and drink, as well as keen punters.  It was held yesterday in the Ivy complex in George Street, Sydney, where some of Merivale's restaurants are located.

Along with other foodbloggers, I was fortunate enough to score an invite into the launch before the public were allowed in (thanks to Renee from Merivale for looking after us beforehand).  We saw the event being set up and got to admire the Ivy ballroom before the hordes descended.

Lovely Ivy ballroom with high ceiling and chandeliers - and waiters with welcome drinks.

Like the previous Merivale launch, it was a chaotic event that the chefs, kitchen staff and attendants handled with aplomb.  It must be difficult to cater for so many people (1000?) at the best of times, but to do it in pretty much full view of them takes a lot of preparation and stamina.

March into Merivale showcases the restaurant chefs and their food, so here are some of the restaurans and canapes that were on offer.  

Dan Hong, chef of Lotus restaurant, with plates of pork 'banh mi' croutons and prawn skewers crusted with Tasty Toobs. 

Nobuyuki Ura, head chef of sushi e, was hard at work preparing Establishment sushi rolls, while the roast duck with kosho yuzu sauce was popular.

Teppanyaki restaurant's food included Kurobata pork with green apple on witlof, and Tasmanian salmon with ponzu and dried miso.  PS: That's @jenius in the photo, helping herself...

At 6pm, the doors opened and the crowd flooded in - hands grabbing at passing drinks, fingers fingering the finger food.  If the number of rsvps is an indicator of a good party, then this was a raging success.

Other food included a gorgeous pressed rockmelon and Serrano jamon skewer from est. They also had grilled scallop with pork crackle (on a spoon) and chicken liver parfait.

Mad Cow offered Rangers Valley flank steak with chimichurri sauce, and heirloom tomato with mozzarella.  I had something similar during the Meatlovers' Masterclass with Mad Cow last year.
Bistro cbd had goat's cheese tartlets, while Ash St Cellar had cups of fishy bouillabaisse.

Drinks on offer included beer, wine, and a Campari grapefruit juice cocktail.

That's all I saw before being overwhelmed by the crowd.  I was suitably disappointed that the chefs did not wear their superhero outfits on the night, but I suppose you can't have everything.  The food didn't disappoint, though, so a visit to the aforementioned restaurants must be on the cards.

Details of the March into Merivale menus and events can be found on their website here.


  1. great to see you dude! lol how funny was it watching Nobuyuki Ura skull his red bull haha and i agree i wouldve loved to see all the chefs in their superhero outfits!

  2. That would've been cool to see the chefs in their superhero tights! LOL. Great night though it seems.

  3. LOL! Thank goodness that pic of me was before the crowd arrived. It wasn't an elegant sight afterwards. How good were Lotus' Tasty Toobs prawns and Est.'s pork rind crackling with scallops?

  4. Mmmm.. the food looks yummy! I wish I had gone to this event; free food from the top restaurants = WIN! And the photos of the chefs in superhero costumes are hilarious!

  5. Looks good. I registered but glad I didn't end up going - hate lining up and crowds!

    I will try the $33 menus though, they look promising!

  6. Some great little morsels here! It's amazing how many different things you can manage to eat when they're little bitesize things.

    Hmm, well you said it was crowded and hot, so maybe the chefs actually wanted to wear their costumes but they got too sweaty? Noone likes a sweaty chef ;)

  7. Sounds like you had a great time! thanks for the pics, it's whetting my appetite for MIM! :)

  8. Hi chocolatesuze – I was glad we got in for a peek before it got too crowded. And yes, the chefs def. should have worn their lycra outfits, haha!

    Hi joey@FoodiePop – chefs in tights would have been something indeed! The food made up for the lack of tights, thankfully.

    Hi Jen (jenius) – I’m still dreaming of that pork crackling – it was so light yet so tasty!

    Hi Phuoc – It’s certainly great publicity for Merivale – and great food and drink for us!

    Hi missklicious – there were people lined up an hour before it was due to start, so you can imagine how crowded it was. The $33 menus are certainly more civilised.

    Hi Conor@HoldtheBeef – strangely, no on wanted to mess up the full plates of food so we were a bit hesitant to dig in at the beginning. But after tasting them, hmm, try and hold us back…

    Hi penny aka jeroxie – you’re right, it was yum AND fun!

    Hi Lorraine @ NotQuiteNigella – the MIM event is always a good reason to try their restaurants, isn’t it? I love bistro cbd the most, I think.