Saturday, July 15, 2017

Where I ate in Melbourne

Melbourne is a Foodie city...

Queen Victoria Market
From Korean fusion to Meatballs to crepes, Melbourne has so much for foodies to enjoy. I was delighted to find there were so many different types of cuisines in this busy Australian city. I wish I had more time in Melbourne to explore the different ethnic neighborhoods and to sample the fun hipster brunch places that my foodie friend keeps raving about. There's no shortage of new places to explore and eateries to sample. The Queen Victoria Market was a block away from the hotel I stayed in and had many stalls there. When I walked in though, the smell of the meat from the butchers was a bit too strong for me so I didn't stay very long inside the market. There was a wine stall that had local wines from the region that I became really interested in. Prices of wine is fairly cheap in Australia so of course, I couldn't resist and brought home a Barbera from a winery just outside Melbourne in Yarra Valley.

Where I ate in Melbourne:

1) Supernormal
2) Krimper Cafe
3) Ca de Vin
4) Harajuku Crepes
5) Seven Seeds

Korean rice cakes at the trendy Supernormal restaurant 

There is a multitude of trendy "it" restaurants in Melbourne so if you plan on dining at a popular spot, I recommend either getting there early or arriving a bit after the popular times or booking ahead for reservations. On my first night in Melbourne, I met up with two friends for dinner and we waited about an hour for our table at Supernormal on Flinders lane. Luckily, there was a bar so we ordered some wine for an aperitif. The food offerings were interesting and fuses Korean food with experimental cooking techniques. Fusion if done well can really push the envelope on odour palate perceptions. 

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus on a brioche pesto toast with salad and poached eggs

Krimper cafe
Trendy hipster cafes are all the rage in Melbourne and they take their coffee pretty seriously. Melbournians love coffee. My Friend suggested lattes and cappuccinos at these cafes but I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to coffee. I like to drink my coffee black or espresso. A dark Italian roast is my favorite. Ever since I discovered I am lactose-intolerant last year, I've been highly observant to milk or cream used in dishes, dessert, and drinks. Luckily, I like my coffee black without milk or sugar so it's one less thing I have to worry about. 

Ca de Vin restaurant
Garlic and rosemary flat breads
Ragu tagliatelle
Little laneways and streets off the main roads offer a refuge for the passerby to stop for a meal or something to drink. I found this little Italian restaurant nestled in a little alley between shops. It was quaint to eat there. But I was a little bit sad that the meal itself wasn't exactly exciting. The food was edible and alright in my opinion. The little garlic and rosemary flat breads were really tasty though. I'm quite a picky eater so was a little disappointed by this place. I'd recommend it for the ambience, have a glass of wine, some flatbread appetiser before going to another place for dinner.  

Chocolate crepe with cookie butter!
Probably the best "street food" I had in Melbourne was from a Japanese creperie called Harajuku Crepes! That is the best name ever! If you have never had Japanese crepes, you certainly are missing out. The French crepes are good but the Japanese are creative and good. You can get creative with your fillings either for the savory or sweet crepes. I ordered Chocolate flavoured crepes but with speculoos (Dutch cookie butter!) for my filling.

A bike for decoration at Seven Seeds cafe
Fish tacos at Seven Seeds
I did mention earlier about the hipster brunch cafes with awesome coffee and food! I think Seven Seeds fit the bill for a great spot. The place is on a quiet street near the University of Melbourne and according to my foodie friend, it was a hangout spot for her. Popular among the student crowd but also young professionals, tourists, and yes a few hipster-types. I ordered the fish tacos and a iced long black. The coffee here was better than Krimper cafe in my honest opinion, it might be due to the fact they sell their own coffee (Coffee blends they sell). The fish tacos were delicious however, the amount of coriander/cilantro on the tacos were a bit overkill.

Lemon poppyseed cake
Malthouse Cooper is located at the Malthouse Theater building
I was looking for the Contemporary Art museum and found it next to this beautiful theater. The cafe had a rustic but cozy feeling that I felt compelled to slow down and take a fika paus break. I love taking a coffee break in the middle of the afternoon with something sweet to pair the black coffee. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Malthouse Cooper cafe to serve a nice brew and really delicious lemon poppyseed cake.

The Meatball and Wine bar. My giant meatball and gnocchi 
I love Meatballs! Its one of those cozy comfort foods that I crave every now and then. Whether its Asian style meatballs or Italian or Swedish or even Vegetarian. Something comforting about eating meatballs. I was pleased to find out about The Meatball and Wine Bar (Yes! Two things I love!!!) and tried my luck to go there without a reservation. I was placed towards the back squished between a few groups of diners. I have been having a challenging time with dining out since I developed lactose-intolerance (I can't digest lactose from milk and milk products). In tiny quantities, I can deal with it but in larger doses, the result is very bad. I told my waiter about my food allergy and he made sure there was no cream in my sauce. They were really accommodating and my giant meatball and gnocchi was AMAZING! I loved it! I highly recommend this restaurant if you're going to Melbourne. :-)

Overall, my trip to Melbourne, Australia was too short but definitely a yummy one! I'd like to stay a little longer next time and spend more time dancing at Chunky Move studios, eating, walking around, visiting Yarra Valley, maybe a little shopping, and also visit the coast!

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