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Victoria's Finest Dining Hits Auckland

August 13, 2012


Victoria's Finest Dining Hits Auckland

Ask anyone what they love most about North East Victoria and the answer is almost always the fabulous food.

The region is famed for a huge range of restaurants of the highest quality and now Kiwi Masterchef Brett McGregor is bringing a little taste of this Australian state to Auckland on Monday, August 20 with the sixth and final Mondo Travel Tasting Lounge pop-up restaurant, to raise money for mobility dogs.

McGregor, executive chef for The Tasting Lounge is also hosting a Mondo Travel tour to the 20th anniversary Melbourne Food and Wine Festival in March next year and the August Tasting Lounge makes a perfect "entree" to that trip for keen foodies and prospective travellers.

For the North East Victoria Tasting Lounge McGregor will create a delicious three-course menu inspired by his own favourite dishes and flavours from the region. Each dish will be matched with wines from Victoria's famed Brown Brothers Wines.

"I am really excited about the chance to showcase my take on the best of North East Victoria's food at the last Tasting Lounge," says McGregor.

"I love North East Victoria for its variety. You can experience the very best of any cuisine at any time.

"The inspiration for my Tasting Lounge is just that - people from all over the world have settled in Victoria and created a hub of sensational restaurants. I particularly like to eat small plates at as many as possible of those restaurants to ensure I taste everything on offer."

McGregor's North East Victoria menu will include blood orange salad with ricotta and goat cheese, a choice of slow roasted beef cheek or spring chicken, finishing with citrus crème brulee with honey cardamom yoghurt for dessert.

The Tasting Lounge by Mondo Travel has been running since February at the Marvel Grill, in Auckland's newest dining precinct the Wynyard Quarter, on the last Monday of every month. Each month has celebrated the best cuisine from a different destination or travel experience with matched wines, and is MC'd by iconic Kiwi entertainer Jackie Clarke. Entertainment will be provided by a ten-piece band, Tuxedo Swing.

The objective of the Tasting Lounges are to raise money for Mobility Dogs to support Mondo's own puppy, aptly named "Mondo", who is in training for two years. Funds raised help towards the $45,000 cost of that training so "Mondo" can help change someone's life forever.

Previous Tasting Lounges have showcased New South Wales, Tahiti, Thailand, Western Australia and Cruising. Mondo marketing manager Gordon Bayne says the August finale focussing on North East Victoria is the perfect way to wind up the pop-up restaurant for 2012.

"The Melbourne Tasting Lounge is a fantastic opportunity for Kiwis to have a taste of a city we all love without leaving home, and the last chance to help a great cause in Mobility Dogs Trust which helps disabled Kiwis to live independent lives," he says.

"All of the Tasting Lounges have been incredible - a great chance to really showcase some of our favourite foodie destinations and we are looking forward to going out with a massive celebration of North East Victoria"

Bayne is thrilled to have Qantas, Tourism Victoria and Brown Brothers on board as key partners for the North East Victoria Tasting Lounge.

Mondo Travel's other key Tasting Lounge partners include Marvel Grill, Coast, and Grab One.

- ENDS -

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