First published on 5 Feb 2014. Updated on 5 Feb 2014.
This worldwide event promises the same menu every time: pan-fried prawns and plenty of wine.
It was started by Kiwi expat Peter Mandeno in New York in 2008 as a way to get a crowd of diverse people to meet. Since then, it’s been held all over the world, from Oslo to Washington DC, as well as Sydney and Melbourne (since 2011).
Venues are not what you’d expect. Eschewing the usual pop-up fallbacks of restaurants or art galleries, Wok + Wine helps you explore the city. In Melbourne, they’ve used places as diverse as Miss Fox (a high-end CBD salon), HUB Melbourne (a co-working space) and Freestyln (a tech startup in St. Kilda).
The events, limited to 50, often attract a pretty extroverted crowd with a lot of entrepreneurs, engineers and artists. But don’t be concerned if you’re not a type-A personality – just bring a pal for comfort, and open your mind to meeting new folks – that’s the whole idea. The events run for three hours, and they typically budget for half a kilo of crustaceans and one bottle of wine per person. Hello, strangers.
Those prawns are fried up in the eponymous woks al ajilo – that’s with lots of garlic, chilli and a bit of lemon for those who don’t talk Venezuelan. Vegetarians, you’ll have to focus on the bread or content yourselves with a liquid meal – there’s one wine per event, which may be bubbles or an earthy red from an up-and-coming winery.
Best part: The diverse crowd
Brace yourself for: A seafood overload
Wok + Wine, $55.
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