Yes, it’s that time of the year again – the weekend that Ms T and I do our annual weekend away in Melbourne. It’s something that we’ve been doing for years now – since she was about 10, I suppose…maybe earlier. Over that time we’ve shared it occasionally with friends and, on one occasion, with my sister and her daughter, but mostly it’s just us.
What do we do? Mostly walk and eat and talk…and talk and eat and walk. Sure, there’s a little bit of research for whatever it is that I’m writing – or intending to write – but generally, I come back with more ideas than what I’ve gone down to research.
Of course. Hutong is my fave purveyor of dumplings in a city that knows its dumplings, but we were after a quick snack in lieu of the lunch that we missed out on due to a delay of the Jetstar variety. Something to keep us going until dinner.
Shanghai Dragon Dumplings (at least I think that’s the name) in Russell St did the job – and for less than $20.
Not quite in the cheap eats category, is the Cellar Bar at Grossi Florentino in Bourke St – at the Exhibition Street end. We love it here and always – even in the middle of winter – choose to sit outside on the street.
This time we each had possibly the best plate of pasta in recent memory – Tonarelli alla Gricia, Guanciale, Pecorino. A simple Roman dish with just three ingredients – pasta, pecorino, and guanciale or pigs cheek. That’s it. Delicious.
Plus, we had room left for dessert at Om Nom.
This was our designated splurge for the weekend – Om Nom at the Adelphi Hotel in Flinders Lane, just up from Swanston Street. We’d booked a table for dessert only.
Hilariously we’d just finished raving about how fabulous three ingredients could taste and how you didn’t need to do unnecessary stuff to food. ‘Who needs foams and gels and spheres?’ I asked.
And then we walked into Om Nom. These desserts – and the cocktails – are unashamedly theatrical. All of it is unnecessary, yet at the same time, so beautiful that you can’t do anything but appreciate it.
Ms T had strawberries and meringue – that was obviously so much more than that. Liquid nitrogen was involved.
I had an apple and coconut splice – which was, in essence, an apple and coconut splice. Was the foam required? Nope, but when the syrup that was poured over by the executive chef dissolved the foam almost before I could get a good photo of it, it left behind little drops of pure coconut. Clever.
Apologies for the pic quality – the lighting wasn’t good.
Walking and Exploring
This is such a great city for exploring on foot – and we always try and throw in one destination foodie place to make the walk even more worthwhile. On this trip, we were heading up into East Brunswick via Carlton – and back via Fitzroy.
I’ve always loved it around here – the mix of student accommodation, vintage shops, Victorian-era architecture, cafe culture, and Little Italy represents Melbourne in a nutshell. All up we covered about 10kms return…which helped justify pizza!
We walked up Lygon Street past Trades Hall (where I attempted to bore Ms T with a lesson about the 8 hour day and the trade union movement in Australia – her eyes glazed over very quickly) and detoured off to have a look at Melbourne University. This was, of course, when the rain started. By the time we reached the cemetery though, there were glimpses of blue sky again.
Speaking of which, if you’re into exploring interesting cemeteries – and yes, I am – this is a fascinating one. Burke and Wills are buried here, as is Frederick Federici (said to be the phantom of the Princess Theatre), and a whole host of prime ministers and premiers.
It wasn’t all just aimless wandering – we did have a destination in mind: 400 Gradi in Brunswick.
This place has won awards for its pizzas – proper awards – and it’s easy to see why. Stupendously good pizza – and well worth the walk.
A Melbourne post by me wouldn’t be complete without some street art.
and finally, an ode to spaghetti…
It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…
It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, Debbish, Seize the Day Project, Write of the Middle, 50 Shades of Age, and, of course, me.