Summer doesn’t really seem to end in Melbourne until after Marvelous March. This year, the last day of the marvelous month sees the 25th Melbourne Food and Wine Festival kick off at Southgate with a Cider Orchard taking over the promenade by the Yarra River from 4pm on Friday 31 March.

Rich, golden, spicy and complex: it is no wonder Australian cider has become more than just an alternative to beer. Over the last ten years, the number of Australian’s who drink cider has jumped by almost 600% (Hospitality Magazine) and this year some of Southgate’s finest establishments are jumping on board the cider train with specially prepared dishes, which have been paired with complimentary flavours from The Brunswick St Cider House’s owner and cider connoisseur Ben Day.

Five Southgate restaurants have worked with Ben Day to match five of their best dishes with the best Australian ciders at Southgate Cider Orchard this weekend.

Here’s a sneak peek so you can pick your favourites in advance of the #mfwf rush:

Pork & Fennel Sausage Baguette
with rocket, mustard, harissa chutney and brie
Cider picks: Kelly Brothers Apple Cider & St Ronans Apple Cider
Kansas City Style BBQ Pulled Pork Roll with pickles, Californian cheddar & coleslaw
Cider picks: Franks Summer Pear & Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider

Mini Pork & Cider Pies– Minced pork, sage, chestnut & dried apple.
Cider picks: Kelly Brothers Apple Cider & St Ronans Apple Cider

Pulled Pork Buns:
Spiced pork w/ coriander, marinated apple cider vinegar onions & smoked mayo.
Cider picks: Franks Summer Pear Cider & St Ronans Apple Cider

ENA Greek St Food
Charcoal Pit Souvlaki
Cider picks: Kelly Brothers Apple Cider & Kelly Brothers Pear Cider
Vegetarian spanakopita with feta cheese, spinach & egg
Cider picks: Kelly Brothers Apple Cider & Flying Brick Pear Cider

La Camera Southgate
Roman style pizzas
Margherita with a classic topping of mozzarella, fresh basil & olive oil
Cider picks: Willie Smiths Organic Apple Cider & Franks Summer Apple Cider
Capricciosa with Mozzarella, artichoke, prosciutto, olive, mushroom & olive oil
Cider picks: Flying Brick Draught Cider & St Ronans Apple Cider
Vendure with Roasted capsicum, olive, mushroom, marinated zucchini, eggplant & mozzarella
Cider picks: Kelly Brothers Apple Cider & Willie Smiths Farmhouse Perry
Patata with Mozzarella, thinly sliced potato, caramelised onion, pecorinno, prosciutto & truffle oil
Cider picks: Franks Summer Apple Cider & Flying Brick Pear Cider

We look forward to sampling delicious fruity brews with you at the Southgate Cider Orchard this weekend, made extra tasty when paired with the right foodie flavours!

Southgate Cider Orchard runs from 4pm – 9pm Friday 31 March, 12pm – 9pm Saturday 1 April and 12pm – 9pm Sunday 2 April.

Purchase a $10 Festival glass to enjoy ciders by the glass on the day.

Participating Cideries:

Cider House

Frank’s Cider

Flying Brick Cider Co

St Ronan’s Cider

Willie Smith’s Cider


Participating Restaurants:


ENA Greek Street Food

Hophaus Bier Bar Grill

La Camera Southgate

P.J.O’Briens Irish Pub

Southgate Cider Orchard is part of River Graze. Over the Festival’s opening weekend, the Yarra Promenade will be transformed into a culinary playground for big and little foodies alike. Bring your friends and family for three days of relaxed festival fun. For all event enquiries, please call (03) 9823 6100.