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If I had planned better, this post would have been up while I was driving towards my new home. But I didn’t plan it better. So as I write this, I am now sitting in my new home, having got my internet running (was the 2nd thing I did, right after sorting out the kitchen!) and my iMac back out of its box. (Complete with the brand new smell. Ahhh)
And if you haven’t been catching up with the news on twitter, I have moved. This time, it’s to Murrayville. Where? I hear you ask. Don’t feel bad for asking; before I took this job, I didn’t know where this place was either!
Murrayville is a tiny town (350 people only!) that is very close to the South Australian border. It is 10 minutes from the SA border, 20 minutes from the nearest SA town (where I get my groceries from) and about 2.75 hours from Adelaide. Unfortunately that also means that it’s almost 7 hours away from Melbourne, so my trips to Melbourne will now be restricted to only school holidays. Adelaide on the other hand, I’ll be there quite often! So fellow Adelaide foodies, please do share where are your must-eats and I’d love to meetup and catch up over a cuppa too!
But this post isn’t about all that. This post is actually about one of the many farewell events I had before I left Melbourne, but it takes the crown as being the most epic one. There can never be more than enough reasons to celebrate the eating of peking duck and suckling pigs but my imminent departure was one of the many reasons to have a #duckfest and for that I am very thankful and appreciative towards Pan Asian and Robert and Li who have become people I look forward to chatting with everyday in my life. Thank you.
Under the experienced guidance of Anna (the original host of #duckfest) and Penny (the Queen of Pork), the first #duckfest2011 took life and became a reality.
It was a night not to be easily forgotten: the whole restaurant was closed for this private event. #duckfest saw 70 people attending this event; to think the first #duckfest had 30! Perhaps one day, we will hit 150. Many friends whom I’ve met through this food blogging shindig were present and who wouldn’t be on a night that promises to dish up Peking Duck and Suckling pig? It was a merry night.
The night started with a CNY standard. Yu Sheng, or Lao Hei. ( You might remember my post about making my own Yu Sheng ). It didn’t have the same variety of ingredients that mine had, but for a simplified version, it was incredibly tasty and seeing as CNY this year I will be at work in my new job, I was thankful for the chance of being able to toss myself some luck.
Anybody who eats Peking duck often will know what the meaning of these condiments mean. It means Peking duck is next! There was even pickled vegetables. An interesting addition as I’ve never had pickled veges with my peking duck roll before.
Peking duck!!! While it is not comparable to Simon’s, it was still one of the better Peking duck I’ve eaten. For a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in them, Pan Asian did fantastically well!
The Duck Salad followed. This dish was made famous by a small typo by Anna, who wrote Suck Salad instead of Duck Salad in her email invitation to everybody. And thus the hash tag #sucksalad was born to commemorate the night. Following the appearance of this dish, several tweets containing a photo of it and the hash tag of #sucksalad appeared! The joys of dining with food bloggers!
Speaking of dining with food bloggers, I heard from Li that the attendees from the night who weren’t food bloggers were astounded by the flurry of camera activity that appeared around them whenever a dish came out. It’s such a lovely buzzing energy, I absolutely adore it.
The duck consumme was next and it was very light and very refreshing. Much like a cleanser. But the problem with light items in such a heavy menu is that they tend to become unmemorable. And this soup became it.
There was suckling pig that followed, but my photos of it are deplorable. But while the pork itself was juicy, tender and incredibly yummy, the skin was a spongey mess. I do have to point out that it wasn’t a chef’s mistake. It was an incredibly humid night (94% humidity!) and the crackling didn’t take too well to that. Oh well.
The last savoury course was stewed pork legs with leeks alongside Bak Kwa. How I love Bak Kwa! Om nom nom!
I don’t take good photos when I’m high on life, laughter and good food apparently. By this time, my photos were coming out terrible so do pardon the terrible photo of the extremely yummy dessert. Matcha Cupcake with a hidden mochi, alongside a mandarin sorbet with haw flake made up the delightful dessert platter, and while many agreed that the cupcake was just a touch on the dry side, the flavouring more than made up for it. It was an explosion of flavour and I drank in the green tea to my heart’s delight. The mandarin sorbet had the oranges dancing on my tongue, and I could have licked the plate clean if I wasn’t conscious enough to realise I was still in a very public place. Ahem.
It was an incredible night. I had so much fun, met so many people : both old and new friends and had the time of my life both chatting and eating. There were many folks who I haven’t seen for awhile and was very thankful for the chance to catch up before I ran off to my newest adventure. So Thank you to Robert and Li, Anna and Penny!