Saturday, May 31, 2014

Melb in May 6 - Brunch at Auction Rooms

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Auction Rooms - Revisit

This post starts along the same vein of my rambling here where I talk about how impressive it is the number of Melbourne restaurants I've managed to cover in just a few trips. Most of these are around the CBD so imagine my surprise in seeing that I got taken to one in North Melbourne that I've already tried before.

Marc's friend Bakon who lives in Melbourne claimed that brunch was his favourite meal of the day. Happily, it's also mine. I was looking forward to see which venue he was taking us to. When we pulled up at the worn brick building, I got a distinct feeling that I'd seen it before. Lo and behold, it was where Mochi took Nina and myself during my 2012 Melbourne trip as our last meal before coming home. Coincidentally, this would again be my last meal before boarding the plane back to Brisbane.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Melb in May 5 - Dinner at Guhng

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Guhng (the palace) Korean Restaurant

Now that I've developed a full-fledged Korean food addiction, I couldn't last a whole weekend without the stuff while I was in Melbourne. Marc's friend organised a group dinner for us and some other friends at Guhng for Saturday night.

Our table was for 8pm at night, which is a late dinner for me so even though I had been literally eating all day (here and here), I was ready for lots of meat by dinnertime. One of my best mates Howl met up with us beforehand and we had a couple of sneaky glasses of red before braving the Melbourne cold and walking to the restaurant.

Melb in May 4 - Lunch at The Hardware Societe

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The Hardware Societe
118-120 Hardware Street, Melbourne CBD

My highschool friend TRex made the bold move to relocate her life to Melbourne. It was a big change but I don't think it was a high risk decision for her because this girl has Melbourne tattooed on her soul. I knew even before she officially changed addresses that she would suit the city like a duck to water. Everything that Melbourne is known for: culture, music, food and style, are just part of who she is. Needless to say, when we decided to meet up for lunch in her new hometown, I was keen to hear her recommendations.

I had heard of most cafes that TRex listed for us to try but I chose Hardware Societe because I have a slight personal vendetta with it. I once tried to go there (can't recall exactly which trip) but I literally just could not find the place. I have since mentioned this fact to other non-locals who have tried to eat there and they had the same issues. This time, TRex met me at DeGraves Place and we walked there together so I was in safe hands.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Melb in May 3 - Breakfast at Bowery to Williamsburg

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Bowery to Williamsburg
16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne CBD

You would think that a big, satisfying dinner would leave me unenthused about breakfast the next day. I had a lovely, filling seafood meal at Claypots on Friday night and woke up starving on Saturday morning. If ever there was evidence that eating big quantities of food makes you want to eat more all the time, this would be it. I was so hungry that my persistent nagging forced Marc out of bed and out for breakfast with me, even though this is something he hates to do.

By the time Marc was finally ready to leave, I had already researched and mapped out the best and closest destination that would be open at the time. I chose Bowery to Williamsburg because it was a convenient stroll from our hotel. The cafe is located in a tiny alley called Oliver Lane, which is literally blink-and-you-miss-it. Typical Melbourne laneway culture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

But wait... What about Europe?

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Dedicated readers of this blog might be asking some fair questions:

"Didn't she go to Europe at some point?"
"Wasn't she away for like, a really long time?"
"Wasn't there talk about some Europe food posts?

Ok, I can explain...

Me in Venice; proof that I actually did go to Europe :p

Marc and I spent 3 months travelling between May-September 2013. Actually, today marks exactly 1 year since we took off. Needless to say, I'm feeling quite gloomy at the moment thinking about how excited I was this time last year.

Why is it taking so long to get some posts up? Firstly, the scope of this whole exercise is daunting. We crossed 14 countries in total and mostly all we did was eat. Add to that the numerous food tours, restaurant experiences and cooking classes I plan to review and it just seems like a LOT of work. I suspect I could have gotten through it by the momentum of the trip alone if it wasn't for a series of unfortunate occurences.

Melb in May 2 - Dinner at Claypots

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Claypots Seafood and Wine
213 Barkly Street, St Kilda

There is no one I trust more to give me a good restaurant recommendation than Mochi. Even though she hasn't lived in Brisbane for 2+ years now, I'll sometimes still take her word on where to go for breakfast or Asian cuisine. As my dining sista-from-anotha-mista, we have very similar taste and preferences in food. Whenever I visit Mochi's new home turf, Melbourne, I know that she'll have something good in store for us.

I act like a pure tourist when I leave Brisbane and as such, I've only stayed within Melbourne city. As far as I knew, the CBD WAS Melbourne and as built up and extensive as it is compared to Brisbane, I knew that it would have much more to offer. Mochi drove us out to St Kilda, an inner city suburb she described to us as the Melbourne equivalent of West End in Brisbane. The drive was longer than I expected, which highlights just how much geographically larger Melbourne city is than Brisbane city.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Melb in May 1 - Spicy Fish Restaurant Revisited

Spicy Fish Restaurant
209 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD

For someone who hasn't been to Melbourne THAT many times in her adult life, I sure get a lot of deja vu when I walk past the restaurants. Could it be that I'm such a glutton I've fitted into 3-4 trips what most people can't consume in their whole lifetimes? Whatever the case may be, I met up with Marc for lunch in Chinatown and walked past at least two restaurants that I pointed out as "I've eaten here before". Finally, I spotted Spicy Fish Restaurant and long story short, I had a dream about spicy fish literally the night before so it was exactly what I was in the mood for and we went in. It looked instantly familiar to me and when I did a quick search on my own blog, it was revealed that I had eaten there before (previous post here). Hungry Kittens might be useful for you readers in determining which restaurants to go to but it's also my own little memory bank for places I've been in the past.

This will be a short post because as soon as I realised it wasn't new, I didn't do my usual comprehensive set of photo snaps. I debated with myself whether to write another post at all but in the end decided to do so because the last one was from 2011 and also, I didn't get spicy fish that time. Actually eating the spicy fish at Spicy Fish Restaurant is important enough to write about.

Melbourne in May

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The city of food and friends...

My lack of travelling this year is driving me nuts! I can't be the only who uses holidays as milestones for the year. How many of you guys keep telling yourselves "Only 3 months until Africa" (for example) to bait your soul after a long, tedious week? Having something to look forward to makes the bad parts of life bearable.

Because Marc and I are planning a big trip next year (not quite as big as 3 months in Europe but still big), we are making sacrifices this year to save, save, save. It all got so boring for me that I desperately searched for some interstate CPD courses I could do as an excuse for some 'light' travelling. A couple of my closest friends (shoutout to Howl and Mochi xoxo) have fled to Melbourne so that's where I aimed to go. Luckily I found something interesting that spanned across 2 days and thus, gave me a reason to book a long weekend away.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Degustation Dinner at Urbane

Urbane Restaurant

Now that I'm an old lady with grown-up problems, fine dining experiences are for special occasions only. The thing is though, Marc and I are so settled into our home and have really brewed our laziness and comfort to a whole new level, we end up just doing home cooked meals or takeaway feasts for special occasions anyway. Because of this I can see from my own blog that my last fancy meal was April 2013 at Esquire.

Imagine my excitement when a couple of girls from work decided to arrange a joint birthday dinner at Urbane. I had it penned in my diary weeks in advance and found myself counting down to that weekend. Arguably even more eager than the birthday girls, I periodically looked up the Urbane website just to read the seasonal menu. I know I was obsessive because the menu actually changed at least once in the time that I was repeatedly looking it up.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

George's Paragon for Lunch

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George's Paragon Brisbane City
Level 1, 45 Eagle Street, Brisbane CBD

My parents and I have a little family group on Wechat that we use to exchange news, gossip and photos. One day mum uploaded some food piccies from a work lunch function she attended at Jellyfish. Despite her assertion that the food was subpar, dad and I got instantly jealous. We decided we'd have our own seafood lunch along Eagle Street the very next day.

I have a strange connection with George's Paragon. It's a short and tragic story: one fateful evening around this time last year, Marc and I were drunk loonies running (literally running) to try and make it to a dinner booking with friends at Georges Paragon. At some point, running became piggy backing and as I hurried Marc along the Victoria bridge from his shoulders, disaster struck. He tripped on a rock and tumbled... and sprung up perfectly fine. I, on the other hand, dropped from greater heights directly onto my face. There was blood everywhere and I won't gross you out with details but here I am, 1 year later with a (thankfully) relatively small scar on my lip and (unthankfully) 3 dead teeth.

Not one to be put off a restaurant visit by such a 'trivial' occurence, I was super keen to finally try George's Paragon with dad.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tukka for Lunch

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Tukka Restaurant

This post should have been uploaded sometime in March but I've been dining out so infrequently I just forgot about this blog, including the stuff I had half-ready to go. I have a sparse piece of history with Tukka. It was one of my first 'fine dining' experiences from the days I was a little baby. My grandparents were facinated by the native menu and I remember the food was tasty and the whole experience was enjoyable.

Tukka's quirk is that they present native Australian ingredients for a refined palate. Just imagine kangaroo, emu, crocodile, wattle seeds and more, arranged in pretty, elegant and tasty dishes.