South Wharf Progressive Dinner @ Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Charlie dined as a guest of Progressive PR.

Just a short walk away from Crown and the Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Center is South Wharf Promenade, a series of historic cargo sheds on the banks of the Yarra River. Featuring diverse cuisines there's something for everyone! Jade wants Japanese, Sam wants Spanish and Tim wants Thai for dinner. Where should we go? How about a waterside progressive dinner at South Wharf? It's a great way to sample new places but not commit. And if you love it, return for dinner!

With warmer days comes longer evenings and more adventures to be had, and last Saturday Charlie had the pleasure of checking out this upcoming food tour to share with you all.

We met up at 'Plus 5' with our tour guide Em over passionfruit champagne & a platter of cured meats. Em has been in the hospitality industry since the age of fifteen starting off as a sous chef in Geelong. He has worked at George Calombaris' Press Club, and Nobu among other places and currently is a chef at Bangpop, Thai. 

Plus 5 is a cocktail, tapas and pizza bar offering tasty wood fired cuisine alongside an array of artisan drinks. The cocktail menu features both the classics and a variety of unique signature cocktails. The story behind 'Plus 5' is that back when this area was cargo sheds, this was no.5 and the 'plus' is a reference to the shared kitchen with Cargo Hall, an event/wedding venue next door.

On certain days there's live jazz, happy hour and Whisky Wednesdays. 
Check out the site to find out what's on!

Plus 5 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After our first round of drinks we hopped over to 'Bangpop' soaking in the sun as we went outside, for it's the first week of Spring!

BangPop recreates the energy and excitement of Bangkok’s hawker stands, presenting authentic and succulent Thai dishes all made with seasonal ingredients sourced locally or straight from Thailand, and courtesy of head chef Charlie Nitmaha.

We love the energy of the place, fun and travel inspired. The brightly coloured retro pedal-less bicycles, to the lego bar, mirrors and wide open spaces! The vibes depend on the crowd and there's subtle (but definitely there) table dividers if you'd like a table for two or four rather than a large gathering.

Betel-Leaf Snacks aka Miang Kham 

Usually served on a platter DIY Style, this is a traditional welcome dish in Thailand. It is one of the most amazing things I have tasted! Incredible in that it was complex but also the textural elements complimented each other. It was crunchy (peanuts) but soft (shrimp/prawns), and involved all the taste buds; sweet, salty and spicy! So what's in it? Ruby grapefruit, lime, coconut, palm syrup, sugar, peanut, shrimp, ginger, shallot, fish sauce and more. An amazing punch of flavours and texture!

BangPop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Next door was Akachochin, translating to red lantern in Japanese. Offering traditional Japanese food twisted into modern bursts of flavour, Akochochin is a modern style Tokyo bar serving small dishes the customary izakaya way and with specialty sake comprising over 50 different varieties.

Hiramasa nanerou - Signature Japanese-style kingfish tartare 
with wasabi stem and moromi miso served with rice crackers

While Em told us the stories of each sake, about their unique and beautiful names (e.g. Snow Symphony) we nibbled on kingfish tartare spooned upon white rice crackers. Well seasoned with our favourite Japanese sauces, it was well balanced not too salty or spicy, with just enough wasabi to make it interesting. It was a fascinating lesson in sake, cuisine and history, a little slice of modern Tokyo.

Akachochin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dedicated to the flavours of an open flame grill, Meat Market is the ideal spot to sample the best meats Victoria has to offer. With pasture fed beef from some of Australia’s best ethical producers, as well as chicken, seafood, lamb and kangaroo sourced in Victoria, you're spoilt for choice! 

With a glass of red, we found ourselves at the open kitchen counter watching a work of art unfold before us.The snail & mushroom puree dashed with the magnificent truffle oil was painted onto the plate, grilled broccolini was placed upon the dish like a paint brush, with the centerpiece lamb medium rare, just right, on top. A side of cubed roasted potatoes tossed with herbs, sprinkled with dehydrated porcini chips.

runchy on the outside but fluffy inside potato cubes, paired well with the earthy saltiness of the puree and balanced simplicity of the lamb. It was delicious! 

Meat Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Warm nights are perfect here at Bohemian, a Spanish influenced Restaurant & Bar serving modern flavour combinations. With an extensive bar sporting a generous selection of sparkling, pinot gris, pinot grigio and chardonnay straight from the grapevines of Spain.

Our last stop for tonight, time for dessert. There are tables and booths, when given an option we always pick booths! Comfy seats in a circular arrangement. Here we had another drink, Elle & I both ordered the popcorn milkshake cocktail, which was an exciting combo that came with a shot of coffee on the side. 

 As if we hadn't had enough food for today, (pfft, we all have a dessert stomach!) we were treated to four desserts to share, that's what I love about going in a group, you get to try a bit of everything. 

The deconstructed raspberry cheesecake was my absolute favorite being a fan of tart and sweet, paired with rich warm gooey donut balls that oozed chocolate when cracked open. The one with cream on top, the 'Rum Bana' reminded me of home and of poke cake, with tiramisu like flavours. Though first we started with the carrot & pumpkin cake with all those spices that remind me of pumpkin pie! It was a lightly sweetened dessert, perfect for those with a limited sweet tooth. 

Bohemian Bar & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A recap of where we went: 

1. Plus 5, Drinks & Cured Platter, 
2. Thailand, BangPop - Entree
3. Japan, Akachochin - Entree
4. Australia, Meat Market - Main
5. Spain, Bohemian - Dessert

It was a lovely evening, one we quite enjoyed and definitely recommend to foodies, family and friends or for those who want to sample a few different cuisines. Also a great date night idea to catch a few fishes in one night! 

You'll have a friendly host guide you around the five restaurants, with about thirty minutes spent at each one, there's no rush. The food and order of the restaurants do change, and sometimes you'll get to try dishes that are specially made for you (off the menu)!

The flavoursome experience will be amplified further with matched champagne, wine and sake, each stop has a drink to complement the dish.

When:   Thursday 22nd September

Time:     6.30pm – 10.00pm

Cost:      $119 per person fully inclusive (must be 18+ years of age)

Where:   First restaurant subject to date of booking 
               South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, VIC, 3006
               Bookings are essential.

The South Wharf Progressive Dinner is an opportunity to eat, drink and socialize your way through the vibrant and highly versatile dining precinct.

For more information or to make a booking head to or call Michael on 0438 623 799.

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