White Night Reimagined opens with a bang

Published on August 23 2019.

Photo: The White Night Feast

Spring may be just around the corner but Melbourne is savouring the last of winter, with the White Night Feast a last seasonal hurrah before the arrival of longer days, warmer nights and blossoming gardens. 

Diners donned their winter-luxe finery and streamed last night to the dramatically lit Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton to toast Jack Frost with schnapps and mulled wine, and marvel at the warming wonder of fondue vol-au-vents.

Kicking off the three days of White Night Reimagined, the feast brought together three of Victoria’s finest culinary talents. Vue de Monde chef (and Noma alumnus) Hugh Allen gave his pork and pistachio terrine a fresh twist with pickled muntries and watercress, Annie Smithers of Trentham destination-diner Du Fermier brought a taste of country elegance to the table with her duck braised in cider with prunes, parsnip and hasselback potatoes, and then The European’s Philippa Sibley, doyenne of desserts, brought it all home with a golden syrup cobbler with spiced quince.

If the juxtaposition of the Mad Max: Fury Road show revving and roaring on the neighbouring museum forecourt and the White Night light and sound installations around the gardens didn’t already bathe proceedings in an otherworldly glow, the feast’s headline act, Agent Cleave and Yvon, certainly did, resplendent in corsetry and acres of diaphanous fabric and going full diva with a white baby-grand wreathed in smoke.  

The party continued around the city and its northern fringes, with a full complement of great eating options from a host of Melbourne’s top eateries, from limited-edition toasties to late-night (and even later-night) supper menus.

Winter: it’s here for a good time, not a long time, Melbourne – make the most of it.