Well due to popular demand (well, a request from Linda) I'll give you an update on my gastronomical trip to Melbourne. And boy did I eat!
We flew in on Friday evening and within an hour of landing we were sipping Veuve at the zinc-plated bar at Bistro Vue (the little sister restaurant to the three-hatted Vue de Monde). A fantastic introduction to Melbourne and set the tone for the whole weekend.
We then tucked into garlic snails alongside foie gras and spatchcock ballontine. Divine! Next was traditional duck confit. Without going into too much hyperbole, it was simply the best duck I've ever had. Moist and flavoursome. It was matched perfectly with a Tassie Pinot Noir. I truly could've been in some Parisian laneway.
We then hotfooted it over to the casino to meet some friends for a cocktail and a spin of roulette. We had no luck, so decided we needed something sweet [see my earlier thoughts on gambling and dessert in my post in July] and landed at the bar of Rockpool Bar & Grill. It's a fabulous fit-out and the smell of the wood fire is so seductive. After a toasted brioche and chocolate hazelnut sandwich served with a delectable Sauternes I was in heaven. It's still one of my top 5 restaurants and I can't go to Melbourne without a visit. The Sydney version is fabulous too, though has a different feel.
The next morning Skip and I grabbed breakfast in the Degreaves laneway. We both gobbled down green eggs and ham [scrambled eggs with pesto] before I waved him bye-bye and he was off to the Caufield Cup.
This left me with a whole day on my own just to wander around and do whatever I felt like. Ahhhh spontaneity, how I've missed you!
After a morning trawling around the shops, it was back to the casino for lunch. Tossing up between Bistro Guillame and Nobu, I decided to take the Japanese option after indulging in French the night before. I went with the Bento Box and sake. The signature dish of black cod in miso was the highlight, the flavours were so perfectly balanced and melted in my mouth. It helped ease any discomfort I felt at dining on my own.
I was now really feeling the effects of all my gorging so spent the next three hours pounding the pavement and discovering every inch of Melbourne's CBD. While working off all the food, I fell even more in love with the city. It's so different to Sydney and it really is a vibrant, creative place.
After a glass of Pinot while reading a trashy novel in a laneway wine bar, it was time to retreat to my hotel bubble bath with a selection of chocolates from Koko Black. A good long soak, a hit of 80% chocolate and my book and I was so relaxed that I even started to miss the kids.
Skip and his mates picked me up in cab on their way back from the track and we hit Lygon Street, Carlton. Crab pasta, garlic bread, bruschetta and lashings of Shiraz. It wasn't the best meal I've ever eaten, but it was a lot of fun. We laughed, people watched and felt like we could've been in a scene from Underbelly.
After one last sleep in, it was time to jet back to Sydney and life as mum. It was a fun escape from reality and my waistline is still recovering. In fact, the gastro tour feels like it's still going after a birthday week filled with cake and chocolate crackles; dinner at Ivan & Lissie's last night for a good friend's birthday and tomorrow night we'll be dining at Quay!
November is going to be all about light healthy eating!
My computer is still at the shop and I feel like I'm missing my right arm. I'm hoping to have it back soon as I have a whole host of posts in my head that are busting to get out.
Hopefully I'll be writing again soon!
Ta ta for now.