Porkestra, The Encore

porkestra, the encore

Oh pork, how I love thee.

And clearly so do many others, with Porkestra booked out and back for an encore to launch into April, which is Pork Month (and clearly, I am a few weeks late with this post!) An epic dual-city event, a celebration of swine, brainchild of Craig Macindoe from sustainable steakhouse MUMU Grill and Ben Cooper from St Ali and Mopho Noodles in Melbourne. Each course was then superbly matched with wines from Piggs Peake in the Hunter Valley.

I had been very excited about this event since I knocked up some artwork for it a few weeks earlier, you can see my little contribution on the menus for the night. We mingled over delicious canapés – the cutest mini bahn mi, spiced nuts and pork scratchings (which make excellent bar snacks), and mini pulled pork sambos. Denea had brought along a mascot for the evening, Cooper the plastic pig who, she proclaimed “poops jellybeans!”

porkestra, the encore

As we took our seats, the first course was brought out. Figs wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed with Spanish goats cheese matched with the lovely Piggs Peake 2009 Pork Barrel Viognier. This was one of the mouthwatering recipes I got to try when shooting the photos for Taste of Summer earlier this year and it was even more delicious the second time around. I absolutely love figs, and will definitely be trying this dish at home!

porkestra, the encore

When I woke up that morning, I had no idea I would be eating jellyfish at dinner, but the Pork Belly with Jellyfish salad and Pat Chun was delicious. The towering salad was vibrant and fresh with a sweet and zingy vingear dressing and topped with some crispy pork crackling. The jellyfish was subtle, more a texture than a taste, a little bit like noodles.

One of my favourite dishes of the night was the Black Pudding Tonkatsu with Horseradish Mayonnaise, Ponzu, Seared Scallop and Flying Fish Roe. It looked absolutely beautiful on the plate. I am not usually a huge fan of black pudding but I think I might be converted. Every element and flavour in this dish worked perfectly together. It was matched with the Piggs Peake 2008 Crackling Sparkling Merlot, which really complemented the dish.

porkestra, the encore

Next up we were presented with a shared dish of Pork Loin Roasted in Sage and Milk with Roasted Spiced Plum and Crumbed Pigs Ear. I loved the beautifully cooked pork, and the plum was a nice touch. I just couldn’t get into the strange texture of the crumbed pigs ear, but this was no problem since Denea loves them and gobbled up any left over. I loved the wine match, the Piggs Peake 2008 Super Tusker Sangiovese.

porkestra, the encore

My absolute favourite of the night would have to be the absolutely incredible Char-grilled Pork Hoc with Celeriac Remoulade and Son-in-Law egg. I mean, wow. I couldn’t get enough of the tender pork and slight crunch from the celeriac. It was the only time in recent memory that I cursed my own dislike of eggs, and gave John the whole egg, which split apart easily, coating the pork in its gooey, runny yolk. I also loved the smooth 2010 Werewolf Zinfandel that accompanied it.

porkestra, the encore

I had wondered on the way over if there would be pork in the dessert as well, and there certainly was. The Peach, Jamon and Frangipane tart may sound a little strange but it really worked. Sweet, salty, crunchy and soft, it was a great play on tastes and textures but for me, this dish would have been made perfect with a big scoop of maple syrup or salted caramel ice cream. The 2010 Hungry Pig dessert wine was a good match, I am a huge dessert wine fan.

What a way to welcome Pork Month! We left happy after a seriously good meal and I can only hope that Porkestra will be back once again next year. In the meantime, St Ali and Mopho Noodles are firmly on the itinerary for my next Melbourne trip and MUMU Grill remains one of my favourite places for a meat feast in Sydney. Thanks Craig and Ben!

MUMU Grill – 70 Alexander St, Crows Nest

Past dinners at Mumu:
Take it Slow Dinner
A Table for Two Photography Workshop
Taste of Summer

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

Spicyicecream dined courtesy of MUMU Grill.

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