Monday, May 30, 2011

YumTable Launch at St Jude's Cellars


A few weeks ago, I was invited along to the launch of YumTable. It's a new free iPhone app that offers last-minute restaurant deals and bookings via iPhone, and searches for nearby restaurants based on your location - no need for advance planning, pre-paying for coupons, or whipping out vouchers.  For the launch of the app, we had a relaxed dinner at St. Jude's Cellars, and met the founders of YumTable Niv Novak and Craig Winkler.  (Craig was also the creator of MYOB - which I thought was super-cool because I once studied bookkeeping, hehe.)

St. Jude's Cellars
389-391 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy 3065
Ph: (03) 9419-7411
Website

Ever since my Barossa-trip, I love checking out wine selections!


The launch was split up over 2 nights, and included a mix of bloggers and other media.  Joyce and Thanh attended a separate dinner the night before, (and had a different menu!), so head on over to their blogs to check out the food.

I hadn't been to St. Jude's in ages (2 and a half years ago, in fact), and the menu seems quite different from the last time I visited.  We enjoyed a set menu, served family style in the centre of the table.
Charcuterie and chef's selected appetisers

I love a good charcuterie board, and this one had a lot of lovely and unusual different tastes.  My favourite was the freshly cracked walnuts wrapped in double smoked bacon with apple - not something I would have thought to try before, but they were delicious!

Salad of butternut pumpkin with Urban Honey labna, lemon, pickled chilli and red lentils
The labna in this dish was smeared across the plate, under the pumpkin.  Totally a "Sarah" dish - I'll have to try recreating this at home!

Chopped salad with capers, radishes and celery

Brandade with aioli, boiled egg, steamed leeks and olive tapanade croutons
Mmm... just look at those perfectly boiled eggs!  I actually think this dish would make a good breakfast or brunch dish, if you can handle strong flavours in the morning.
Hazeldine chicken with a tuscan cabbage mash, bitter salad and roasted figs
The chicken was fabulous, very tender and moist, sitting atop a very creamy, buttery mash.  I like to think that the addition of Tuscan cabbage made it healthier. *Ahem*.

Smoky eggplant
I enjoyed the eggplant, but it was incredibly, incredibly smoky, so perhaps a bit confronting if you weren't expecting the smoky hit.

Prime Plains Paddock Lamb with tomato, white wine, Meredith Ash Chevre and zucchini
The lamb dish was my favourite of the night - I loved the chunky slices of rare lamb and the intensely flavoured jus!
Nashi pear, quinoa, green chilli and hazelnuts
The quinoa salad was, again, a "must try at home" dish.  I don't eat a lot of salads, but I do love the chunky meal-in-a-bowl type!

We also got to have a play with the app that night.  Despite being quite new, there were quite a few good restaurants who'd already signed up to the app: St Jude's Cellars (duh) and Flower Drum are both on board!  Having looked at the app over the subsequent few weeks, there always seems to be a good range of specials from a variety of restaurants: things like "25% off the total bill", discount cocktails, complimentary glass of wine and so on.  The restaurants themselves seem to be mainly casual dining (Groove Train, Richmond's Public House, Ghurkas Prahran), as well as some cafes and bars.
Yeah! I haz iPad2!
We finished off the night with a lovely plum and frangipane tart, served with a vanilla-flecked custard.
Ruby Plum Frangipane tart

Many thanks to Craig, Niv and the team from Spark Communications for a delicious, fun and informative evening!

Sarah and Sandra dined as guests of YumTable, with thanks to Craig Winkler, Niv Novak and Spark Communications for the invitation.

1 comment:

thanh7580 said...

I like the look of the meal you had too. Wasn't Craig such a nice person and definitely not what you would expect from a CEO.