Upon arriving in Melbourne and checking into our hotel, our first port of call in this great city was food. Oh the food! I don’t even know where to begin, as every place was a favourite of mine (I get hit with constant cravings for just about every dish I tried, since being back home).
Monk Bodhi Dharma –
Brunch saw us take a train out to Balaclava, where we managed to find the most warm, welcoming and down to earth cafe I’ve had the pleasure of dining in – Monk Bodhi Dharma. Tucked down a small side alley off the main street, the small brick building is modest but inviting. I expected to wait for a table, however didn’t expect the friendly hospitality to begin before we even stepped inside. To ease our wait, we were able to order a drink and no sooner had Christian finished his were we being ushered inside. After long deliberation over the menu, I settled on the apple pancakes (fluffy, spiced, gluten free cakes topped with sweet syrup and a side of whipped vanilla bean cream, cinnamon ice cream and dehydrated apple chips). Christian opted for their hearty special of an Indian spiced pumpkin soup, full of flavour and beefed up with rice. This cafe is also a small boutique micro roastery, and so all of their coffee is roasted in house. Their selection of tea’s is also quite impressive, each one offering some pretty intense flavour.
Little Big Sugar Salt –
Day two, we found ourselves in Richmond at Little Big Sugar Salt (Christian’s favourite spot from the weekend) for breakfast and to catch up with an old friend. She had come to Melbourne to stay for just 6 months….7 years ago – Melbourne really does draw everyone in! After filling our bellies and swapping tales, we said our farewells then caught the train into the CBD. We admired the walls of Hosier Lane, watched an super enthusastic and rather impressive street performer for a good 20 minutes then walked out to Fitzroy for lunch.
Vegie Bar –
Fitzroy encompasses a lot of what I love about Melbourne. This is where the creatives call home, where they work, where they eat and where they play. There is so much character in both the buildings and the people, and one afternoon there simply wasn’t long enough. There was good reason for the trek out, and that my friends, is the infamous Fitzroy establishment – Vegie Bar. When we arrived and walked through the front door, there was barely a spare seat to be seen (and there are a lot of seats there). Thankfully, we managed to squeeze on the end of a communal table and began the pain staking process of choosing just one meal. I’m a big lover of Mexican food (I would eat it day and night, every night and day if I could) and so picked out the raw tacos. Holy mother of all things good and delicious! These were hands down one of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten. To begin with, they really did look too good to actually eat. The hardest part was then figuring out how to eat them. I went hands in and left a delicious mess. I miss those tacos. And I miss Vegie Bar.
Eugenie French Cake Shop –
Pulling ourselves away, it was time to head back to get ready for my birthday festivities! We picked up cider and delicious cakes from Eugenie French Cake Shop by our hotel, and dined out on our balcony, toasting to another year and another wonderful part of the world we’d discovered. These cakes were utterly divine! The caramel eclair was one of the best I’ve ever had – the cream was fresh, the eclair was light and fluffy on the inside an was just sweet enough!
Mamasita | Goldilocks | Gin Palace –
Dinner plans were originally for Chin Chin, however by the time we made it there they had closed their wait list for half an hour, and it would be another two hour wait from there. This was a rookie Brisbanite mistake (in Brisbane you can almost be guaranteed a seat in any place at any time of the night – a luxury really). It was time for damage control, as our stomachs started to grumble in protest. Google was our saviour, showing us the way to Mamasita! (I did tell you I love my Meixcan). After a 40 minute wait (that felt like 40 hours) we were seated at the bar and ordered straight away, having had plenty of time to peruse the menu. Recommendations? I thoroughly enjoyed the elotes callejeros (their specialty corn on the cob) while Christian loved the ox tongue & cheek tacos. If Tequila is your poison, and you also consider yourself somewhat of a connoisseur, then the tequila flight is right up your alley, allowing you to taste a selection of tequilas served in a variety of ways to best enhance the flavours. Post dinner we followed a recommendation by my friend from that morning, finding our way to Goldilocks (a small bar a short elevator ride up above a Chinese restaurant, serving up the most delicious cocktails you could try, with service to boot!). We ended the night at the Gin Palace, a personal favourite of mine and a must do if you find yourself in town!
Tall Timber –
Waking up with foggy heads, but happy in our cloud-like cocoon we reluctantly got out of bed, packed our bags and made our way downstairs to check out. We stopped in for one last meal to remember, at Tall Timber just down the road from the hotel. Another long wait outside (trust me – the waits are always, always worth it) and we were inside savouring the last Melbourne flavours of our stay.