Food Paradise USA Travel Channel in Sydney and Melbourne
Food Paradise, a popular US food program seen on The Travel Channel, has been filming in Sydney and Melbourne as part of an 8 nation tour. We went along to Indian restaurant Curry Vault in Melbourne and enjoyed a brilliant night of filming and hot curry.
The Food Paradise website says "Since fantastic food can be important to many travelers than museums, hotels or souvenirs, we've compiled all the must-see food spots across the country that offer unique dining experiences. We're serving up hefty plates of the country's tastiest, most mouth-watering and decadent meals. We're talking lip-smacking pizza, tasty deli entrees, boatloads of bacon, fresh seafood, finger-licking deep fried dishes ... and that's only the beginning! So, bring your appetite and your stretchy pants as we dive into a healthy portion of Food Paradise!"
The show typically takes themes and an entertaining angle in its episodes (episodes can also be seen on their website). Some of the venues visited in Sydney included Mr Crackles and Moo Gourmet Burgers.
With a theme of Hot and Spicy, the Curry Vault was the perfect restaurant to experience some of the hottest food in Melbourne. Who could handle intense hot curries?
A group of about 20 of us gathered for the filming of the episode for Food Paradise. Cameras rolled as three dishes arrived and we talked among ourselves about the food. It was then that each of us made more definitive comment about our foodie experience. I spoke about the amount of heat, spice and nuances of the curries. Adrian from Food Rehab was deft and lively behind the camera.
Filming tip - always look at the producer when they are speaking to you, not at the camera.
Filming tip - be animated about your foodie experience - after all television is an entertainment medium.
We experienced three of Curry Vault's hottest dishes - the Lamb Vindaloo, the Spicy Chicken and the Beef Madras. Over the years I've enjoyed fine Indian cuisine in India, UK and in Australia, notably Adelaide which boasts some great Indian venues. I will never forget the food of Northern India during a few visits there, and Curry Vault does a great rendition, with no dumbing down heat and spices for western tastes.
The Lamb Vindaloo was super creamy with major heat, hot and spicy with a touch of vinegar. There was also a great spice profile of this vindaloo and I could tell the slow cooked meat was a decent cut.
The Spicy Chicken dish was laden with chillies, fresh capsicum, onions and ginger, and hit you hard from the start. My tongue started burning and sweat started eminating from my brow. Some like it hot, but you don't know how hot till you try. This was a mother of a hot dish. Yey it wasn't just all about heat but there were nuances of spice and taste.
The Beef Madras featured diced beef cooked with dessicated coconut, mustard seeds, curry leaves and spices. It too was creamy - with a heat that crept up on you like a rising tide.
Everyone at our table enjoyed the curries, and we ordered the butter chicken as part of our dining experience. The butter chicken was also creamy and satisfying. a good sign was the quality of the sauce, which I ended up scooping up and eating on the superb Naan bread.
This was an awesome night, with lively conversation on our table, a fun filming experience, and excellent food from The Curry Vault.
The episodes will be aired on the Travel Channel later in the year.