Forget Coachella, forget Burning Man – the real party for foodies this year went down in Melbourne over one epic weekend. Fresh off a plane from the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, I’m still buzzing (pun intended) from a truly epic culinary adventure. This wasn’t your average restaurant hopping – I went on a two-day food coma through the World’s Longest Lunch and the World’s Longest Brunch, and let me tell you, it was a marathon, not a sprint, for the senses.

World’s Longest Lunch: A Melbourne Masterclass with Andrew McConnell

First up, the World’s Longest Lunch, a 3.5-hour event headlined by Melbourne culinary royalty, Andrew McConnell. He helms a constellation of Melbourne’s hippest restaurants (Cumulus Inc. and the buzzy new Gimlet) and brought his signature style – equal parts art, design, and top-notch produce – to the table. And what a table it was! Set under the Melbourne sky, surrounded by fellow food pilgrims, the atmosphere crackled with anticipation.
The menu? Some of Melbourne’s finest. Think melt-in-your-mouth local seafood, vibrant seasonal vegetables, and all presented with McConnell’s signature understated elegance. It wasn’t just about the food, though. It was about the experience: the clinking of glasses, the animated conversations, the shared joy of being part of something extraordinary.

World’s Longest Brunch: A New Wave Of Indian Delights

Day two brought a whole new flavour profile – a vibrant exploration of modern Indian cuisine at the World’s Longest Brunch. This brand new event showcased three rising stars of the Indian food scene in Australia, each course a revelation.

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We started with a bang with Harry Mangat’s chaat – a textural explosion of local snapper, tangy tamarind, and the comforting crunch of papdi crackers. Mischa Tropp followed with a gutsy, soulful chicken curry gravy poured over a fluffy ros omelette – a taste of his soon-to-open Fitzroy eatery, Toddy Shop.
But the real showstopper was the dessert. Enter Via Laundry’s Helly Raichura, a name synonymous with Melbourne’s new wave of Indian fine dining, closed out the brunch with a showstopping falooda. The classic Mughlai sweet got a local twist with rosella jelly, fragrant Geraldton wax, and fragrant layers of custard. It was a perfect ending to a culinary journey that challenged preconceptions and left us all wanting more.

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It was during a fascinating chat with Raichura that I learned of her restaurant, Enter Via Laundry, and its mission to introduce Australians to the diverse regional cuisines of India. Her passion for showcasing regional Indian cuisine and her dedication to using local Australian produce shone through in her conversation. She explained the creative process behind the falooda, initially considering a different dessert before settling on the lesser-known, yet perfect-for-summer option. For her, it was about introducing a delicious dish to a wider audience while still utilising traditional Indian techniques.

The Verdict: A Must-Do For Foodie Travellers

Melbourne’s World’s Longest Lunch and Brunch were more than just meals; they were cultural experiences. They were a chance to connect with fellow food enthusiasts, to celebrate the incredible talent of Australian chefs, and to be surprised and delighted by innovative culinary creations. 

So, if you’re looking for an adventure that goes beyond the plate, book your ticket to Melbourne next year and get ready to experience food like never before. Just remember, wear stretchy pants – you’re going to need them!


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