Marvellous March is in full swing with a feast of fashion, food and festivals galore, none more noteworthy than Australia’s pre-eminent foodie fiesta: Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

The annual statewide celebration of Victoria’s food and wine industry has grown from grassroots beginnings with only a handful of events in 1993, to attracting more than 250,000 attendees across a diverse program of 200+ events. This year the festival is held from 16 – 25 March 2018, and Southgate restaurants are a big part of the opening weekend.

One of the biggest draw cards of the festival is River Graze: an annual event that transforms the Southbank promenade into a food and wine lover’s playground, across the opening weekend of the festival from 16 – 18 March.

A collective of Southgate establishments will be serving up a seafood feast of international flavours with scenic views along the Yarra River on Friday 16 March from 4pm – 9pm, Saturday 17 March from 12pm – 9pm, and Sunday 18 March 12pm – 8pm.

Stop by riverside stalls and sample world class Tasmanian produce from P.S. Bar + Kitchen, German bier food from Hophaus, award winning Italian and gelato from Tutto Bene, seafood pizzas from La Camera and legendary Chinese from Red Emperor.

On the Friday night you can also expect a range of live music from local acts. On Saturday and Sunday, the River Graze Market showcases Victoria’s many regions and fosters a sense of community with a market in the heart of the city.

Browse the Southgate River Graze menu before heading down to our promenade –

P.S. Bar + Kitchen

P.S. Bar + Kitchen is the new downstairs sister to Pure South Dining, a little more relaxed and casual, while still showcasing produce from Tasmania, King Island and Flinders Island. Executive Chef David Hall has prepared three key dishes for River Graze 2018, highlighting their artisan producers from the pristine ‘pure south’. These include freshly shucked ‘Lease 65’ Oysters flown direct from St Helens East Coast Tasmania, the P.S. Brioche Bun with King crab and salmon, avocado and cos lettuce and Hardy family octopus with pickled vegetables and chorizo.

Tutto Bene

With seafood as the theme, Best Italian Restaurant 2017 winner Tutto Bene will showcase their best-selling Fritto Misto during River Graze on the Southgate promenade. There will also be select flavours of their famous gelato scooped daily.

Hophaus Bier Bar Grill

German Bier Bar & Grill Hophaus is putting on a Bavarian feast during River Graze prepared by new Head Chef Reid Hingston. On the menu is Charcoal herb prawn skewers with smoked mayo and their Charcoal smoked kingfish hotdog with pickled cucumber, smoked cheese and pork crackle. There’s even one for the meat lovers with their Smoked mini brisket burgers with house sauerkraut and cheese sauce also on offer.

La Camera Southgate

Family favourite and Italian institution La Camera will be doing what they do best as they serve up their unique Roman-style Seafood Pizzas made using fresh seasonal produce and authentic ingredients that they have become known for.

Red Emperor

Since their opening in 1992, Red Emperor has been regarded as one of Melbourne’s best Chinese restaurants, with their expert chefs preparing sumptuous Cantonese cuisine. For River Graze they will be serving up an array of delicacies including Fried Prawn Spring Rolls, Chicken San Choy Bow, Fried Spicy Calamari Tentacles and Fried Prawn & Beancurd Skin Rolls on the banks of the Yarra River.

MFWF Restaurant Express 2018

The festival fever continues after River Graze wraps up, with Southgate’s stable of restaurants offering select specialty dishes as part of their Restaurant Express menus:

Tutto Bene Restaurant Express

The multi-award winning risotteria is showcasing their seasonal menu highlights with an Express Lunch Menu, which includes 2 delicious courses and a glass of Victorian wine for $40. Choose from a selection of classics and new menu items, such as polpette with parmigiano-reggiano and San Marzano tomato, stuffed calamari or our famous risi e bisi risotto with fresh peas, pancetta and shallots.

To book call 03 9696 3334, email admin@tuttobene.com.auor visit the Tutto Bene website.

The Deck Restaurant Express

Southgate’s European restaurant mainstay The Deck is offering a special menu with entrees like Warrnambool cheddar tarts, mains like rainbow trout and decadent desserts like wild berry trifle with pistachio sponge and riesling jelly. Enjoy two courses with a glass of wine for $40, or three courses with a glass of wine for $50. Large groups welcome.

To book call 03 9699 9544 or email info@thedeckrestaurant.com.au

P.S Bar + Kitchen Express Lunch

P.S Bar + Kitchen will also offer an Express Lunch menu from 12pm-3pm Monday 19 March – Friday 23 March during MFWF with 2 courses of entrée and main and a glass of Tasmanian wine for $40.

To book call 03 9699 4600 or email ps@puresouth.com.au

For more information on Melbourne Food and Wine Festival at Southgate visit www.southgatemelbourne.com.au