The Best Christmas Gift Guide for Food Lovers

Christmas is coming and we can no longer postpone the daunting task that is Christmas shopping! Hence, we will present our ultimate Christmas gift guide to help you get through Christmas shopping this year:

The Best Christmas Gift Guide for Food Lovers

Ultimate Christmas Gift with hands on cooking experiences

These Christmas gift vouchers offers a range of Asian cooking classes in many of the major regions around Australia including Melbourne and Adelaide, perfect for those who have been wanting to learn how to cook or improve their cooking skills.

Enjoy a 25% discount when you use promo code XMAS17 and buy our cooking class gift voucher today – Limited to the first 180 vouchers to be used in 2017!

Inspiring Asian Cookbooks

Choosing a worthy cookbook can be frustrating because the choices out there can be overwhelming. Lucky for you, we have searched and selected a few options for you to give to your foodie friends/relatives or any food lovers on your gift list. See below for our recommendations:

Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School (This is your guide to simple and traditional Asian home cooking)

Same Same But Different by the famous Poh Ling Yeow (The charming cookbook features all the fusion recipes, inspired by her Chinese-Malay heritage and classic Aussie favourites)

Street Food Asia by Luke Nguyen (a culinary exploration of street food in Asia)

Fun Food-Themed Gifts

These handy gift ideas are perfect for anyone who loves spending time in the kitchen and for those who are passionate about cooking:

Melbourne food experiences special gift pack

127 best Gifts for people that love to cook:

Brilliant food-related product design:

The foodie bucket list experience:

The Classic Chocolate Box

Well, if you are planning to give someone a box of chocolate for Christmas, it might as well be the best chocolate in town! Here’s a list of delicious creamy good quality chocolate you can find in Australia:

Koko Black

Adora handmade chocolates

Haigh’s Chocolate

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Gift Ideas

Gift Voucher for Any Cooking Class or alternatively you can buy a cooking class for your loved one below.

Duration 0 Hours

From AUD $100 Book now

Corporate and Private

Why Cooking With A Group Is The New Entertaining Trend

Multicultural team celebration

Planning an outing for your team building or hen party with different work mates or involving family members of all ages? For the organiser like you working with different mix can be challenging so cooking experience would be an answer for a group of people. Choose Asian cooking experience and you’ll have a superb range of Asian menus - Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian and Chinese, with great cooking activity and food and drink options to suit all skills and dietary requirements. Party planner will not need to worry about keeping your team fed, entertained and happy or where they might be. Everyone can cook and enjoy themselves and share some of the good times.

Stress free cooking activity that everyone loved

Cooking is great way to start a conversation with everyone involve. Everyone loves to share their holiday especially when it comes to foods. Think of your cooking class as a family kitchen where everyone help out. You don’t have to worry about getting from one place to another venue. In some of the world’s favourite cooking you’ll reward with new food, yet you can take the ideas to home kitchen too by our online recipes.

Great group value

Plenty of foods and drink are paid for in advance and so are cooking activity and venue. There is no more to pay if you pick up a package that inclusive. if you’re prudent, you can get drink packages to help control costs. A great value with all the trimmings and no unpleasant surprises at the end.

Flexible food for different dietary requests

Most menu are designed with 4-5 dishes to cook together. There are also some options allowance for people with vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, no pork, no selfish, no capsicum... We can also stage amazing race food challenge, private chef table, rewards, photography to momento.

Entertainment choice

Where else could you expect a choice of cultural menus that might include Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Indonesian and Dumpling? Event planners can ask us for a bespoke menus from our multicultural Australian teams such as Spanish, Mexican or Italian. Your party can expect to be dazzled by their unique and creative foods on the table. 

Planning and booking is easy

Choose your date and time and you’re done. No need to worry about what and where people eat, drink and entertain as we do the rest. Choose the right food next from our menu ranges! You don’t have to worry about food for the fussy eater in your group or whether there’ll be enough to keep everyone entertained. Otao kitchen are expert at group cooking with best package price.

Discover the world

If you want to experience some of the more exotic foods for your kitchen then cooking makes perfect sense. For guests not so comfortable in cooking, these class will give them an easy way out as our chefs are on hand to guide them. That’s a real confidence booster when you’re cooking with chefs.

Cooking Classes for Groups and Team Building

Amazing Race Food Challenge

Amazing Race Food Challenge

The only event like it in Australia! Hunt down the Victoria Street for goodies and cook yourselves a wonderful feast.

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now
Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Food truck is really a business dating back many years and recently a challenge still for many chefs and business...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now
Team Building Cooking

Team Building Cooking

Take your team out for hands on cooking class inspired Asian Restaurants. The subtle variations by cuisines and the...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Hens Party Ideas - How To Plan A Hands On Celebration Party

The Yoga Hen Party

We love the idea of working out with friends, so why not incorporate this into your hen do? Our favourite Yoga teacher will show you authentic traditional style of yoga, a holistic system of health encompassing the science of body, mind, consciousness and soul. This yogi session will wow not only bride to be but also give a sense of well-being after your yoga session.

Email us as you can book a private session for 2-35 people.Plus the class finishes with great style of posing and pictures. 


The Hip Hen Party Hangout

We found this amazing place where good laddies hang out. Get in there quick if you are celebrating a hen party in Melbourne. Yes that;s right. The key thing about this place is affordability. It has hair, nail and make up choices all bespoke depending on your group.

Email us as you can book a private session for 2-35 people.Plus the class finishes with great style of posing and pictures. 


Private Dining in Richmond

When you just want to get ultimate fun and be as loud as you like, then private dining is the way forward. When in Melbourne we have a venue in Richmond for you. Let us know your requirement we can cater to most of your needs. Think the kinda place that you start off at for a cocktail party, but then maybe a full dinner with Aussie style of family home cook meal or your favourite  and yummy Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and more dinner to finish the day off. We cook your delicious food and the ‘one-on-one’ service which can cater for up to 18 people in the private dining room, which would be perfect for a hen party.

A Hen Party Nature Based Lodge Stay in Great Ocean Road

The lazy girl’s answer to planning a hen party is our Great Ocean Road package with Alkina Lodge. Based in Moon Light Head. Who doesn’t like the idea of pampering and partying for your best friend’s hen do. Yes please! Take a 2 nights’ stay at an ecolodge, afternoon pampering cooking session plus a glass of fizz on arrival to toast the bride. But it doesn’t stop there, after all that pampering, the fun starts – hello hen-party Great Ocean Walk or food trail tour or helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles. Throw in the mix a 3-course meal and bubbly and you have one mega hen party sorted for you and all you had to do was email us

A Cooking Class In Richmond For Hens Party

Take your hens party out for hands on cooking class inspired Asian Restaurants. The subtle variations by cuisines and the fresh ingredients that keep the laddies chopping, cooking, wrapping for more.

Enjoy one of our amazing cooking party making amazing dishes from fresh ingredients from one of our lovely packages. We custom your package to suit every style, taste, or budget. With a personalised party planning and program - the only thing that your friends, family members and colleagues will have left to do is enjoy a great cooking party.

If you are looking for civilised hen party with great experiences that last long in everyone memory, join us a Otao kitchen for best hens cooking experiences. Drinks and Canapé can be organised and you will work your way with your favourite Asian menus.

Hens Party Ideas Melbourne

Hens Party Ideas Melbourne

Take your hen's party out for hands on cooking class inspired Asian Restaurants. The subtle variations by cuisines...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Why Teams Teams Cook Together Work Better Together

Fun has to be part of the lifestyle business like Otao Kitchen Cooking School when they market cooking experiences business. Otao Kitchen started its cooking experience as a team building exercise, it had to be called Rest, Cook, Laugh and Eat. Chef Ha Nguyen says staff would cook at home and bring in food related to their cultural roots or past experience.

What began as an informal gathering took on a more edgy business venture when chef Ha started social cook off venue.  He saw people related their experience with foods. Sound silly? That may be the point. Ha says his clients see the cook-off as a morale booster and welcome distraction from the daily grind of serving customers or doing the same thing in the meeting or corporate hang out. 

Otao kitchen also plan your master chef type of challenge where each team has roughly an hour to plan their meals and take a trip to the Asian grocery stores to find what they need, though some will forage for fresh produce right where they are. Others stay and prep ingredients, cook, and plate their creations. Ultimately, it’s about teamwork, thinking creatively with one another and working under a time and budget constraint. Just like any other startup trying to build a market from scratch.

We asked why we do team buWe create an environment where you have the opportunity to remember why you like your co-workers! 




Amazing Race Food Challenge

Amazing Race Food Challenge

The only event like it in Australia! Hunt down the Victoria Street for goodies and cook yourselves a wonderful feast.

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now
Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Melbourne Corporate Team Food Truck Challenge

Food truck is really a business dating back many years and recently a challenge still for many chefs and business...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now
Team Building Cooking

Team Building Cooking

Take your team out for hands on cooking class inspired Asian Restaurants. The subtle variations by cuisines and the...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Explore Melbourne Food Tour Followed by a Fun Cooking Experience!

If you are on the lookout for an exciting food adventure, Melbourne should be on your next travel destination list. Visit Lygon St for a classic Italian meal, explore the CBD area to hunt for the best dumpling in town and if you are a fan of Vietnamese food, immerse yourself in the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine at Richmond or Footscray. Not forgetting the famous Queen Victoria Market filled with endless food stalls with an amazing array of fresh seafood, cheese and seasonal produce.

Do you want to go beyond the ordinary food tour and immerse yourself in an exciting cooking experience while eating and drinking altogether? Join Otao Kitchen’s best Melbourne food tour with Private Food and Cooking tour as it includes:

A stroll through some of Melbourne’s historic neighbourhoods and exploring many Asian food hotspots, guided by Chef Ha

Learn fascinating history, culture, food industry and the Vietnamese community

Highlight some of the best restaurants throughout Richmond on Victoria St

Shop at some of the oldest Asian Groceries that offer a variety of Asian cooking sauces, fresh seasonal produce and exotic fruits.

An exclusive private cooking class where you will learn the essential ingredients to use to make an authentic Asian meal

Gain some basic cooking techniques and skills and indulge in the satisfaction of creating a meal

If you have something specific in mind, please get in touch so we can work something out together.  Call 0408 217 899 if you have any queries.  

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now

Organise the Best Christmas Party and End the Year with a Memorable Experience

Before you jump into any decisions, you should begin by brainstorming some interesting Christmas party ideas because everyone deserves a cool interactive activity. The following suggestions will help you drop the stress factor and carry on with the merry-jolly spirit:

1. Masterchef meets the office!

Center your party on an exciting activity by booking a hands-on Asian cooking class event where not only everyone will have a lot of fun, but learn a new skill too! Group cooking is a wonderful way to connect and engage your team. The team will work together to whip up the perfect Asian culinary and enjoy delicious authentic Asian meals with complimentary sparkling wine or beer. With Christmas music in the background, some festive decorations, plenty of Asian food advice and good company, Otao Kitchen will be the perfect venue for those who are up for an interactive cooking event. Contact us today and let us do all the organising! Click here to view the cooking class options:

2. Something out of the box

Something out of the box such as enjoying the Escape Hunt Corporate Event experience, a great way to see how people think and solve some mysteries together. Click here for more details:

3. How about heading outdoors and take part in the Amazing Race?

Another perfect way to work on your teamwork skill in a dynamic way. Click here for more details:

Other factors to think about before booking:

Don’t forget to set the date, the guest list, the budget, any rewards or recognition prizes you want to present. Enquire now to get a tailored quote!

Work Christmas Party Ideas

Work Christmas Party Ideas

Looking for Christmas Party Ideas? Finding ideas for work Christmas party ideas in Melbourne is no mean feat, so...

Duration 4 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Team Building Activities

Whether your team member has been to Asia, are planning to, or simply love the great flavours of Southeast Asian and Japanese Cooking we invite your team to explore of Australia’s most popular cuisines right here Richmond Melbourne.

We have a focus on organic and local ingredients which are sourced from within Victoria Street and our own backyard where possible for your team building cooking.

Our training kitchen is designed with home cooks in mind, as we feel cooking in a commercial training kitchen is unrealistic! We want the skills and dishes you learn to be fully transferable to your own home. This is not a cooking show on TV – it’s your show and your way, an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Team building cooking and social cooking classes are intimate with a maximum of 8-16 people per class. This allows our chef to spend as much one-on-one time with you as possible. All classes are hands on – Get in and get your hands dirty! Experience the thrill of creating wonderful and tasty dishes that you have made yourself.

Corporate and group class bookings are also available and are perfect for team building, social club activities, new product launches or client and media events. Plus it is a great place for intimate private parties with both indoor and outdoor classes.

So whether you’re a competent cook or a beginner with basic skills, OTAO’s classes are designed with you in mind. Immerse yourself in the flavours and freshness of Vietnamese cuisine. Get creative, have fun and enjoy your experience with OTAO Kitchen!

Team Building Cooking

Team Building Cooking

Take your team out for hands on cooking class inspired Asian Restaurants. The subtle variations by cuisines and the...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Fresh produces at Farmer markets

Hawthorn – Boroondara Farmers’ Market

When: 3rd and 5th Saturday of the month

Where: Patterson Reserve, Auburn Road, Hawthorn East (Melway 59 E4)

Time: 8am to 1pm

Cost: $2

Contact: 9278 4444

Join a dedicated group of farmers and locals who are passionate about fresh fruits, vegetables, organic produce, meats. Talk directly with the producers and support small Victorian producers. Bring your kids. The market is supported by the city of Boroondara and Melbourne Farmers Market


Carlton Farmers’ Market

When: 1st Saturday of each month

Where: Carlton Primary School, cnr Palmerston & Rathdowne Streets

Time: 8.00am – 1.00pm

Cost: Gold coin donation supports school projects.

Parking: Street parking available on Palmerston, Drummond, Rathdowne & Lygon Streets.

Carlton Farmers’ Market is a place for locals searching for a way to get closer to the source of their food. Carlton Farmers’s Market offer shoppers the unique opportunity to put faces to names of their favourite local producers, and to take home a basket of tasty, ethically grown groceries. More information Carlton Farmers’ Market


Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers’ Market 

When: 2nd Saturday of each month

Where: St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

Time: 8.00am – 1.00pm

Cost: Gold coin donation supports projects at Collingwood Children’s Farm

Parking: St Heliers Street Carpark, visit the Abbotsford Convent.

Set in the pastoral oasis that is the Collingwood Children’s Farm and open the second Saturday of each month, this gourmand’s paradise offers a fleeting taste of country life in the heart of Abbotsford. More information Collingwood Children’s Farm or Melbourne Farmer Market


Gasworks Farmers’ Market

When: 3rd Saturday of each month

Where: Gasworks Parkland

Time: 8.00am – 1.00pm

Cost: Nil

Parking: Parking is still free, but limited, visit the City Of Port Phillip website.

If all you sell is raspberries (or olives, or rhubarb, or honey), then you’ve got to have a pretty strong passion for them. Every third Saturday of the month, enthusiasm for high quality local produce runs like electricity at this Port Melbourne arts space, and your tastebuds will feel it too.

Grab a fresh, crusty baguette from Alison, then stock up on seasonal produce and a treat or two for later (handmade chocolate biscuits, anyone?).


Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market

When: 4th Saturday of each month

Where:  Abbotsford Convent, St Heliers Street, Abbotsford

Time: 8.00am – 1.00pm

Cost: Gold coin donation

Parking: St Heliers St Carpark, visit the Abbotsford Convent.

Beneath the grey spires of the historic Abbotsford Convent is a market that champions an era when you know the farmer who grew your potatoes, and when tomatoes tasted like real tomatoes.

Open the fourth Saturday of each month, seasonal, organic food is king here, and learning about the origins of your produce is half the fun. Pope Joan’s Matt Wilkinson can’t get enough of the Warialda sausages and Jim’s pork pies, and we fell hard for Take Me Home’s Gippsland-made gnocchi.

Visit Slow Food Melbourne Farmers’ Market website 


Gleadell Street Richmond

When: Every Saturday

Where: Gleadell Street Market, Gleadell Street, Richmond

Time: 7.00am – 1.00pm

Cost: Nil

Parking:Parking is still free, but limited,

Every Saturday, Richmond’s Gleadell Street is transformed into a bustling fresh food market, overflowing with seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, herbs, flowers and other gourmet delights. The original Richmond market opened in 1873 and the tradition of enthusiastic stallholders arriving as early as 2am to set up their stalls continues today.

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Queen Victoria Market Tour and Cooking

Experience Melbourne foods on our market tour and cooking class - its like no others! Our experienced chef shows you...

Duration 5 Hours

From AUD $245 Book now

Eating Guide – Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne

Hakata Gensuke

168 Russell Street, Melbourne, 03 9663 6342 | 4/860 Glenferrie Rd · (03) 9819 2558

Hakata Gensuke is a Japanese noodle shop located at 168 Russell Street in Melbourne CBD. The business has two Japanese restaurants in Melbourne. They are specialized in broth noodle soup and Tonkotsu Ramen and Tsukemen. Chef Kousuke Yoshimura started Hakata tonkotsu ramen to Melbourne. No booking so just need to line up. We love our best ramen experience here.

Izakaya Den

Basement, 114 Russell Street, Melbourne, 03 9654 2977

The underground basement combines industrial with Japanese cartoon mascot – Master Den. They serve small bites – Japanese tapas dishes ready to share for the table. This is one of few Japanese restaurants in the area take booking for lunch and group 5-20 people. Their classic dishes are den chicken, sweet corn kakiage, tuna tataki, grilled pork belly with Japanese sake, beers and Victorian wines. We love their Scallops with wasabi oil hit.


Ground floor, 1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9639 9500

This Kappo-style eatery where you pick from a list of 40 ingredients and let chef Kentaro Usami create five, seven or nine Japanese courses. This is Japanese eatery that serves crumbed quail legs, caviar-dotted pearl meat, snapper, tofu and sweetcorn, and Japanese style tartare with lobster, salmon, sea grapes, crunchy black sesame crumbs.


Lower level, Collins Place, entry via 56 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 03 9654 8933

Kenzan first opened its doors in 1981 and are known for our wide selection of sushi and a la carte menu for both lunch and dinner. Try agedashi tofu with mushrooms and ginger or ethereal chawan mushi packed with seafood and crisp vegetables. 


396 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, 03 9646 2296

Request seats at the counter if you want to watch Hokkaido-born owner-chef Motomu Kumano prepare sashimi and sushi that goes beyond the familiar. Try crisp school prawns with garlic salt, and prising Tasmanian periwinkles in sea urchin garlic butter from their shells.


4 Lord Street, Richmond, 9429 5180

Tucked down a one-way street in Richmond is Minamishima, the most intimate Japanese dining experience in Melbourne. Omakase involves placing faith in the integrity of the chef. There is no a la carte menu; this is a journey through a progression of courses with the utmost focus on texture, balance and appearance, as decided by the chef.


3 Church Street, Hawthorn, 9853 6002

For more than 21 years we have been tempting Melburnians with contemporary Japanese flavours meticulously prepared from the freshest ingredients. Their menu encourages shared dining whereby traditional techniques are combined with tastes and textures. Try crunchy-springy prawn dumplings dipped in green tea salt. 

Tempura Hajime

60 Park Street, South Melbourne, 03 9696 0051

Situated in Park Street in South Melbourne, it maintains its Good Food Guide award as an one Chef Hat Restaurant and has so since 2008. Highly recommended. Try their prawns and urchin roe stuffed scallops

Ultimate Japanese Gourmet Food Tour

Ultimate Japanese Gourmet Food Tour

Japan showcases a culturally fascinating past that blends into phenomenal country today. With iconic Mount Fuji,...

Duration 21 DAYS

From AUD $3630 Book now
Japanese Cooking Class Master

Japanese Cooking Class Master

Inspired with simplicity and popular foods of Japan. Brilliant for things to do in the weekend, gift voucher or...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $185 Book now

Best things to do in melbourne on a rainy day!

Here is from Richard Cornish of the Age's recommendation 

Victoria Street is known as Little Saigon, with scores of cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurants, all of Melbourne professing one as their favourite. People also come here to learn how to make great pho, Vietnamese pancakes and ca kho to (fish in caramel sauce) by booking into Otao Vietnamese cooking school under chef Ha Nguyen. It could be a market tour followed by a class or a hands-on masterclass. Teaching groups are small with three-hour classes starting from $119.

Read more:

Private Cooking Party

Private Cooking Party

Cook with your family, organise corporate parties, host your conference guests or just to have fun with colleagues...

Duration 3 Hours

From AUD $125 Book now

Vegetarian is not a dirty word

Researchers argue that while the human body can digest meat, we are actually designed to be herbivores. For example; our molars are flat and blunt making them more ideal for grinding, not gnashing and tearing. All herbivores share this same feature.

People often mistakenly associate a vegetarian diet with low energy levels and poor health. But did you know that soybeans actually contain more protein per quantity than pork or chicken? And a plant-based diet actually increases the body’s metabolism, burning calories up to 16% faster compared to a meat-based diet! Fruit also contains natural sugars that are low GI giving you a fantastic natural source of energy that will last longer without that nasty come down effect.

Cooking vegetarian recipes is not only easy and delicious, there are many added health benefits and dollar savings to be had. Vietnamese vegetarian uses a mass of fresh, tasty and sustainable ingredients.

In our new Veg Out Vegetarian cooking class, you will discover a range of tantalising recipes that will deliciously add to your existing cooking repertoire.

Join Chef Ha who will teach you how to make Vegetable rice paper rolls, a sizzling Vietnamese pancake filled with mushroom, mung beans and sprouts, and tofu in a zingy tomato, chilli and spring onion sauce. Finish it all off with the incredible ‘Che Bap’; a beautiful sweet corn, sesame and coconut milk dessert!

OTAO Kitchen’s Veg Out Vegetarian cooking classes kick off this week - 7 Feb @ 11am.

We have a special introductory price just for you if you get in quick!

Don’t have a cow man. Go Veg with OTAO.

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Ultimate Vegan Cooking 5 Day Workshop

Explore vibrant spices, beautiful sauces, fresh vegetables, tofu and beans in vegan cooking. If Asian vegan dishes...

Duration 5 DAYS

From AUD $1425 Book now