|Friday, July 31, 2009
Our unfashionable appreciation of food that is fast was fed at a venue that was speedier than a shaved, coked up cheetah in the Haldron collider. We ordered at the counter of Don Don:
... a funky, bustling, student and local worker favored filling hut, where bowls of rice, sashimi, curry and bentos were made to order seconds after requests were placed. Those with decision delay were dismissed in favor of customers coordinating concise rice requests.
The al fresco dining option:
... was less appealing to us than the cramped indoor area where we swooped in on a table that was being vacated.
A rose shaped swirl of salmon sashimi topped a bowl of lightly vinegared rice ($8.30 AUD):
... with shredded cabbage, tofu skins and pickled vegetables. These made for satisfying pro-fish-ions. The bowl of chicken over rice ($6.20 AUD):
...was a typical teriyaki, but still good belly ballast at this up tempo, eat-it-and-beat-it, Japanese pit stop.
321 Swanson St.
|Thursday, July 30, 2009
Gingerboy came recommended for its Southeast Asian style street food in a chic, indoor setting.
“Son in law eggs” ($8.00 AUD):
... were probably invented by a woman who both questioned her daughter’s matrimonial taste and held Lipitor stock. These deep fried orbs had a tough skin of egg white around a nicely runny, golden yolk. Sweet chili jam and pepper added punch to this ‘less-terol more-sel making for a fun novelty nosh, although we weren’t wedded to them.
Prawn and ginger dumplings ($17.50 AUD):
... were okay, but when you’re used to getting superior SF versions, these seem dim especially at a premium price.
“Crispy chili salt cuttle fish” ($14.00 AUD):
... had us at the word “crispy” but these oily bits of battered squid didn’t live up to the enticing description.
Wok greens ($7.50 AUD):
... kept our blood from converting to 30W. This boy choy dominant mixture leaned on the saline side.
A clever butcher created chicken spare ribs ($12.50 AUD):
... by cutting free the cage portion of the clucker carcass to culminate in a fried finger food. These heavy hunks of peppery poultry didn’t take flight, but we liked the concept for this cut.
The staff was friendly and efficient, and there were many Melbournians who seemed to be savoring their supper but this wasn’t our sort of spot.
We slid out of this slick side street and picked up some fruit at a late night market in order to lessen our Wessonalities.
27-29 Crossley St
+62 3 9662 4200
|Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Trays of oysters were making the rounds at a party where very few people were biting.
We were going out for dinner later, but oysters have the magical quality of spackling in stomach gaps rather than taking up valuable real estate meant for an entree. Turns out that there was a major vegetarian head count at this soiree:
... so, as shuck would have it, we ended up being the willing target of these shells before hitting an Italian eatery down the street.
A cauliflower soup:
... fried garfish salad:
... and spatchcock bird with stuffing ($55 AUD for 3 courses):
... were okay, but the oysters with sparkling wine were the highlight of our evening meal.
La Buona Vita
|Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Melbourne’s Vue de Monde restaurant is a formal dining venue:
... but they also have a bistro and a café for those who want to grab some grub without putting on hard shoes.
Café Vu’s box lunches ($15.00 AUD) were flying out the door as fast as they could make them but we ate ours on site:
Borscht took the form of a cold, smooth puree of beeten egg This thick and tangy root soup was sauced by the yolk of a poached quail egg. An oxtail pasty had a flaky crust filled with onions, peas and meat next to a little bowl of curry scented Israeli couscous with bits of broccoli.
We nibbled on the chocolate macaroon before S. took us on a trip out of town to see some of the local wildlife:
Vue de Monde
430 Little Collins St.
|Monday, July 27, 2009
... is a bakery/café:
... that serves up a mean bowl of borscht ($8.50 AUD):
White beans, celery, beetroot and cabbage turned a pepto pink when combined with a scoop of sour cream. This was the best version of this dish that we can red-collect.
Chubby got rye bread with poached eggs ($12.50 AUD.), which was simple and perfect:
Australians are espresso powered - no pots of brewed coffee are sitting on burners, it’s made to order on an espresso machine.
Most every cup we’ve had has been good, but being from the Bay Area, we aren’t used to an automatic addition of chocolate to the top of a cappuccino.
They bake breads on site and slice up fresh, crusty, loaves:
... that create queues out the door for both nesting at a table or Russian out with takeaway.
Babka Bakery Café
358 Brunswick St.
|Sunday, July 26, 2009
The MelBourne Identity
The city center of Melbourne was designed with a system of laneways to act as service corridors for business on the main streets. Many of these alleys are now lined with their own bustling little shops that have a hidden feel to them.
We grabbed a meal at a café:
... along one of these back streets where the menus were glued into storybooks.
A bagel filled with a fried egg and Kransky sausage called a Dirty Ron ($9.00 AUD):
... was okay, but the perfectly poached pre-chickens on Tasmanian smoked salmon and avocado bagel (The John West, $14.00 AUD):
... were a tastier treat with saline support from plump capers and vegetal velocity from rocket.
Milk crates act as tables and chairs along colorful corridors decorated with gorgeous graffiti.
Melbourne’s urban ornamentation is worth the winding walks where one is never far from snackage support stations.
Jungle Juice Bar
|Saturday, July 25, 2009
The Queen Victoria Market:
...has numerous butcher shops with British style cuts of meat:
... and bones for dingos.
We saw a truck:
... vending “American” donuts (.90¢ AUD each):
... which were dough lumps fried in a fatiqued oil, tapped with a hint of jam and rolled in sugar. The selling point was that they were hot, but they weren’t our thing.
Our dough-tage went to the borek ($2.50 AUD):
... sold in the side pocket of this marketplace.
This dough wrapped spinach, cheese and parsley parcel was served warm with a chewy crust and subtly spiced filling. Just the hand held snack we wanted as we perused the packed plaza.
We were taken to dinner at Arintji where we both started with a ceviche of yellowfin:
... which was a potato, anchovy, cabbage and pickled daikon-bo with a fennel panna cotta. This was an enjoyable spud and fish salad.
Chubby’s Tasmanian Cape Grim porterhouse:
... was cooked toward the medium which didn’t show off the texture and flavor of this celeriac and Jerusalem artichoked beef.
My roasted barramundi:
... was cooked to a perfect rare and teamed with mussels, cuttle fish, kaiserfeisch, white beans and haddock. This seafood surfing showed off their care with quality fish.
Australian and New Zealand wines accented this local fare served by a friendly and accomodating staff.
Queen Victoria Market
03 9663 9900
|Friday, July 24, 2009
We hit the ground bouncing by hitting a party once we got to Melbourne.
Passed hors d’ouevres, Australian wines and animated discussions made the time fly further than we did.
The Sofitel Melbourne is an excellent cyberhutch away from home. Nicely furnished rooms:
... great guest relations, centrally located and all the stuff we like in a hotel plus a great (and much needed) night’s sleep.
We checked off an item on our diggery-to-do list and had some kangaroo ($15.90 AUD):
This sirloin of nicely seared rare roo was tender and added a pleasantly gamey bounce to this beetroot and rocket dish dressed with yogurt. Feta fragments came across as an unneeded addition to this mint and red onion accented kanga-root salad which made mar-super-ial supper.
The Fitz Cafe
347 Brunswick St.
|Thursday, July 23, 2009
The gamble of random sushi before taking a long flight kept us from ordering a supermarket selection of nigiri so I got a salmon teriyaki ($12.95):
... which was everything you would expect. I believe that they cook the hell out of this fish in order to please sashimi-phobes. This terror-yaki had the a textbook cornstarch glazing sauce collided with an Iceberg salad with carrots, sesame oil with deflavorized tomato and cucumber.
Chubby got a chicken udon ($10.50):
... which was a tub of gummy udon with cabbage, kamaboko, enoki and chicken chunks that had the advantage of being a warming, slurpable snack (although not something we would order if we weren’t a captive audience.)
Terminal chow isn’t just a drag for the diner. We felt for the server when a neighboring table paid with a dollar bill and a mountain of change.
She said that it happens all the time and that often she works alone and has to sift though a heap of pennies between orders. I’m guessing that there aren’t a lot of big tippers in exactish change land. yikes.
San Francisco Airport
|Wednesday, July 22, 2009
We had a long window of waiting around for appliance repair people to stop by the hutch. I really don’t understand why we’re still operating on this cable installation torture model for home based services, but at least it allows for some enforced puttering.
When I feel the need to generate a random food craving, I check out an aggregator like Tastespotting, Photograzing or in this case, Foodgawker which led me on a voyage for Cap’n Crunch Cookies:
In its “natural” form, Cap’n Crunch has a built in (yet unsuccessful) defense system governing over consumption. There is no greater proof of devotion to this milk faring fare than to tear the roof of your mouth to shreds (proof that immediate pleasure trumps anticipated pain.)
Once pulverized, this golden powder throws any risk of your roof leaking blood overboard and the cookies are crowd pleasers - the service guys were so happy with them that they took $35 off our bill after they crunch-a-tized some of these golden coins.