Tuesday, March 22, 2011
My previous stories about our Australian trip last year - yes, we need another vacation soon - had all been about food. This week I'd like to take a break from my regular gastronomic programming and (finally) start the first part of a photo series (hopefully) telling the tales of our adventures Down Under. Over the course of about two weeks there we've been quite nomadic I've stayed at five different places - Vijay six as he was there longer - but it all started with Melbourne. U2's 360 concert at Etihad brought us to the city of trams for the first time and we fell in love with it.
Our apartment at East Melbourne came with a full kitchen, complete with an oven. With a supermarket bursting with fresh produce just behind our place, I got the chance to whip up some simple breakfasts for our quiet mornings in and even a mustard pan-seared lamb dinner with roasted potatoes during one of the nights we decided to eat in. The beginning of summer in December still brought a good amount of wet days to the city and we took in the cold weather like ducks to the pond. See how Vijay thawed his favorite salted butter?
Melbourne CBD - although bustling with stylish commuters all in a day's work - was an architectural haven for us, from its distinct Victorian houses to grand stone buildings tucked comfortably amongst modern high rises. We trammed and walked around town and only took a cab once when we were running late for a visit to Victoria Market.
We found ourselves (accidentally) at the graffiti filled Hosier Lane while on our way to make a reservation at The Press Club - a late lunch the day after turned out nice, although the famous Aphrodite dessert item didn't look quite like the one served on Masterchef Australia Season 2 - and went slightly trigger happy there before dropping by Movida for dinner - not as impressive, my fish was overcooked and the churros was sad, among other things.
We managed to catch a school of little penguins crossing the rocks of St Kilda after an afternoon of coffee, Turkish delights, cannoli (Le Bon Cafe, a random pick out of an entire row of menacing-looking bakeries along Ackland Street a.k.a. Cake Street) and Il Fornaio. I was beside myself with happiness to be able to see my little wobbly friends and was thankful that Vijay arranged for a trip to Philip Island in our packed itinerary.
Sunset by the pier was - as expected - breathtaking.
We returned to live for a few days at North Melbourne after returning from Great Ocean Road and Philip Island - more on that next time. Vijay managed to do his rent-a-blue-bike thing for a short while in the city before we left for Sydney while I caught up with a schoolmate I haven't seen for more than ten years at D.O.C. Pizza - good stuff there.
I almost skipped Sydney just to stay longer in Melbourne - in fact we only bought our domestic flight tickets at the very last minute and ended up paying much more for it than if we planned ahead - but in the end decided to move on because I knew that I would definitely return for another visit very soon.
Life Is Great explores the incredible world of food and cooking. We hope to share with you our most delicious moments and inspirations.
“Just like becoming an expert in wine–you learn by drinking it, the best you can afford–you learn about great food by finding the best there is, whether simply or luxurious. The you savor it, analyze it, and discuss it with your companions, and you compare it with other experiences.”
Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
“Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion.”
- Blood Orange Chiffon Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- Rose Levy Beranbaum's Basic Brioche
- Meyer Lemon Bars
- (A Better) Chocolate Chiffon Cake
- Tiramisu Cake (Encore)
- Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
- Sarawak Kolo Mee
- Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie
- Fennel Squid-Ink Pasta with Baked Cod and the Best Chocolate Pudding
- Tarte Framboises (Raspberry Tartlets)
- Hong Kong Part III
- Hong Kong Part II: Zongzi/Bakchang (粽子/肉粽)
- Caffè HABITŪ (the table) at G.O.D. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Part I
- Australia 2010 Part 1: Melbourne
- Bourke Street Bakery, Sydney
- Il Fornaio, St Kilda
- Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne