Animals are tasty. Cute animals are even tastier. (Sorry, this is not a vegetarian friendly post…)
Once a year at La Luna, they celebrate the tastiness of cute animals by putting on an epic Sunday roast as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s winter series. Who better to be the host of an epic roast party than the man who has written a cookbook titled “Meat.” – Adrian Richardson.
And you know it’s going to be a tasty celebration when Richardson walks out of the kitchen and declares that nobody will leave his restaurant hungry or sober. And oh golly it was great.
The tables at La Luna were set up in a long communal table. It was a great vibe and set up for a roast party. I rubbed elbows with the stranger next to me who adorably wanted his Meat book signed by the chef himself.
For the roast party, I came running in – horribly late and horrifically hungover – the nice stranger passes over baskets of bread, my friends had scavenged a plate of saved meats from the courses I missed and a beautifully presented platter of head cheese was placed in front of me. Jokes about offering “head (cheese)” to one another were made and seemingly mature adults broke into giggles around the table. It was going to be a magnificent afternoon.
After the cured meats, teaser share plates of stewed giblets and green peas, bacon meatballs, pork ear schnitzels and braised tripe with bacon arrived. 6 courses in and we still hadn’t even reached the roast. In the meanwhile, our wine glasses kept getting topped as per the chef’s request. My hangover dissipated pretty quick after my third glass of wine and my friends were impressed by my Ian Thorpesque catch up on the meal despite arriving terribly late.
Finally, the teasing ceased and the bizness arrived. The kitchen staff came out onto the floor, one after the other holding massive plates of roasted meats. One guy was holding the suckling pig head while another had its roasted torso. Richardson came out and chatted to us, we all ooh’d and aah’d and scrambled to take food photos and choose Instagram filters. Then the meat was carved up and we all passed the platters around.
The suckling pig was divine, the crackling salty and perfect. The roasted beef was buttery and tender. The lamb was subtly smokey and served with a mountain of coriander, the green of which made us feel a little healthier amidst the continuous roast that was appearing on the table.
To fill the dessert tummy when the meat tummy was full, we had little tea cups of creme brulee, dark chocolate brownies and a cheese platter.
So thus ended the roast party. Our gracious host walked around to chat. I asked him when the mains were coming out and he laughed and offered to bring out more food. I quickly withdrew my joke. I met new food buddies and everyone seemed to roll out into the lovely Sunday arvo with a smile on their face. The feast was indeed a celebration of locally sourced produce, the dedication and skill of cooking meats, the creativity in using all of the animal and the simple enjoyment of eating together with friends and strangers. To me, that’s what eating is all about!
Info: 320 Rathdowne St Carlton North VIC 3054
(03) 9349 4888
For the event information, check the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website for updates and deets
[Vegetarian?] no – [Vegan?] no – [Gluten Free?] ok – [Dairy Free?] ok
How much money to bring: $50-$100 per person
OK to bring a date? yes
Opening times: Open Tues-Sun. Closed between lunch and dinner (check website for details)
Sounds like: The UV Race – Inner North