The Gourmet Cinema

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Foodie buff Juliana Mare discovers just how fancy the outdoor cinema can get.

So much better than sneaking your own snacks into the regular cinema, the pop up Gourmet Cinema is a fun movie experience with all the frills.

The idea of watching a movie by moonlight has proven to be a popular summer event for Melbournians.

The Gourmet Cinema takes this concept up a notch, providing an extra dose of comfort and convenience with cosy lounge chairs and personal food delivery on the luscious lawns of the Caulfield Racecourse.

The concept is brilliant – pairing cuisines with the movie – however there’s a decent array of menu options available if the feature restaurant doesn’t tickle your fancy.

The Sunday evening screening of Slumdog Millionaire saw Horn Please as the feature restaurant, boasting a menu of classic Indian dishes. We however, went for the more classic movie food; wood fire pizza, courtesy of Baby Pizza.

The toppings were simple but tried-and-tested favourites that were a little on the scarce side though. The crust was the standout element of the pizzas and delivered that wonderful smoky flavour that only comes from a wood fire oven.

The very edges of the pizza were doughy, fluffy and had some beautifully charred bubbles.

To my devastation though, the thick and doughy edges became sloppily thin underneath the sauce and toppings, which is bizarre as there wasn’t enough of the toppings to weigh the slices down.

I know that ultra thin crust pizzas are traditional in Naples however the very outer edges of the pizza were so doughy and delicious that I would have much preferred the entire base to be the same thickness.

The flavour made up for the thinness of the dough but wasn’t redeeming enough to warrant the $14 price tag of the simple Margherita or $15 for the Salumi.

Unfortunately, it was the Pork Belly Bao from Tokyo Tina were the biggest letdown of the night. The dish was $9 so a reasonable expectation would be for perhaps two standard size bao or three smaller size buns.pork-belly-bao-gourmet-cinema

Instead I received two cocktail or bite sized bao, each with a small square of pork belly, two thinly sliced pickles and a slosh of sauces, oozing out messily on both sides.

Yes, the buns were fluffy, the pork was well cooked and I did enjoy the sweet contrasting flavour from the pickles, however these were nothing extraordinary and undoubtedly not worth $4.50 each.

You’ve got ample food choices, just be prepared to spend a solid $25-$35 for a solid feed as the portions are quite small all around. Include more if you want any drinks from the Pimms Bar. High prices aside, the coolest feature of the restaurants is the free delivery service provided by Deliveroo.

Part of you will be thinking “This is the laziest idea ever, the restaurants are literally 10 meters away” but the other part – your inner couch potato – is screaming hoorah because you can stay wrapped up in your blankets while someone else picks up your food and delivers it right to your location on the lawn.

This free service is an ingenious way to get more customers to download the Deliveroo app and try the service for free.

Plus when you’re rugged up in blankets and pillows (March nights do get cold, people!), there’s nothing better than having hot food delivered literally right into your hands. It’s lazy, it’s indulgent, it’s bordering on ridiculous but it’s downright brilliant!

The Gourmet Cinema is open until March 12th so for something a little different to your standard movie date night, camp out under the stars and enjoy this moonlight cinema and ultimate lazy foodie experience.

Follow more of Juliana’s food experiences in Melbourne at Peaches & Push Ups and follow @juliimare on Instagram.

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