Say cheese: Five small events to book in Melbourne, right now

Mould festival is heading to North Melbourne mid-month.
Mould festival is heading to North Melbourne mid-month. Photo: James Broadway

At first glance, the last week hasn't been a great one for Melbourne's reputation as the event city. First the Royal Melbourne Show announced its cancellation, then Queen Victoria Market put a pin in its Winter Market before Melbourne Food & Wine Festival postponed its raft of August events until October.

But beyond the large-scale events, there's plenty of life on the calendars of restaurants, pubs and hotels that are serving up quality not quantity. Get your diary out and get booking.

Tulum's fundraiser for Turkey's wildlife, August 7

Concerned about the enormous bushfires in his native Turkey, chef Coskun Uysal is holding a fundraiser for animal rights federation HAYTAP, who are on the frontline of efforts to save animals affected by the blazes. A bake sale will take place from 11am this Saturday out the front of Uysal's restaurant Tulum. Expect borek of all kinds and simit fresh from the oven.

The Westin's High Cheese is celebrating all things truffle this month.
The Westin's High¬†Cheese¬†is celebrating all things truffle this month. Photo: Supplied

217 Carlisle Street, Balaclava

High Cheese Truffle Takeover at the Westin Melbourne, August 1-31

As if towers of cheese treats put together by Maker & Monger's Anthony Femia weren't decadent enough, the cheesemonger and the Westin's chef Michael Greenlaw are throwing in truffles throughout August. Shaved and baked into Le Duc Vacherin or crowning the walnut-praline Comte Madeleines, winter's black gold is a special addition to the regular High Cheese the hotel offers, with both ending on 31 August. Skates on.

$138 for Truffled High Cheese, $98 for High Cheese, book at The Westin

Handpicked x Jayden Ong Wines, August 8

Fireside Yarra Valley's program took a hit due to the latest lockdown but a handful of events are able to go ahead, including this feast around the fire hosted by Peter Dillon of Handpicked Wines and Yarra Valley winemaker Jayden Ong. Hibachi-fired snacks, charcoal lamb, flatbreads and five wines are included.

$105, book at Wine Yarra Valley

Mould Cheese Festival, August 27-29

After several rescheduled festivals over the past 18 months, Mould is making its mark in Melbourne. The cheese-lover's festival is heading to North Melbourne's Meat Market this month and bringing with it some of Australia's top cheesemakers, plus wines, whisky, sake, beer and cider. Chefs will be serving snacks to eat between all that cheese. Bookings essential.


From $48, book at Eventbrite

Greg Malouf at O'Connell's, September 26, 28, 29

Acclaimed chef Greg Malouf is back from eight years cooking abroad and is celebrating with a return to his old stomping ground: O'Connell's in South Melbourne. Malouf will be taking over the reins for three events, including a brunch, and will showcase his signatures like salmon kibbeh nayeh, along with new dishes.

$199 for 10-course brunch or dinner with matched wines, book at O'Connells