Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Melbourne cuisine

Plans for tomorrow are all set. Frank is heading back to Bouzy Rouge to learn how to make Suckling Pork with the chef there and I am heading to the MAANZ Symposium. Food in Melbourne has been an epicurean delight. I am happy to say that more often than not we have fluked it and have eaten really well. Even the Chinese Takeaway we had one night was better than average. Our top pick of Melbourne cafes and restaurants include: Bouzy Rouge 470 Bridge Rd, Richmond. We had lunch there today and both enjoyed our meals. The secret ingredient in the Suckling Pig kept Frank guessing for the duration of the meal until he finally conceded that my guess of "cinnamon" might indeed have been correct. As for me, the Portuguese Seafood Stew with rissoni was the ultimate. I happily used the bread to sop up the sauce until the plate was as clean as possible without licking! Euro Patisserie at Kings Arcade Armadale has great coffee at only $3.50 for a flat white. The escargot pastries are to die for and the croissants are not far behind. With good food and dog friendly, highly recommended for breakfast or a casual lunch. The pick of the meals for me so far was lunch at The Atlantic. Although it has built its reputation on the concept of from the "ocean to plate" the braised beef cheeks with broad beans and mashed potato was the ultimate. It was the best meal I have had in a long time. Just for the record, I did have seafood pasta for entree. The salt was also incredibly good. Turns out it was Murray River salt flakes. Famous for their naturally occurring pink tinge I found a supplier today in our travels and brought some to take home. Actually dinner at il Solito Posto was pretty incredible too. We were seated adjacent to the book case, so after choosing between Barbara Cartland's The Very Naughty Angel and writings of Anne Frank, the menu was easy to navigate. The seafood linguine didn't disappoint and we decided fairly quickly that if we lived in Melbourne The Usual Place would quickly become a regular place to dine. Best breakfast so far goes to Caffe e Torta. A little piece of Europe in Little Collins Street. The breakfast was great with substantial portions, so pretty good all around. The decor was fun too with posters and bits and pieces. In general the decor in restaurants here tend to be quirky. Much more so than Brisbane. If they are not classic with white cloths and trendy graphic designs on the wall, they combine an odd array of bits and pieces, not unlike what you would find in the home of a collector, antique dealer or family restaurant in Europe. Point in case the tip bowl at il Solito Posto. A squirrel nutcracker which looked suspiciously like Alessi. I checked it out at close range but couldn't find a mark on it. The bar tender had no idea what it was, and seemed rather bemused by my interest. Interesting thing was we found a similar nut cracker in an antique store in Armadale - priced at $150. Recommendation for pizza? Papa Gino's in Lygon Sreet, Carlton. The best pizza around. All I can say is thank goodness we have been doing lots of walking. This city could have dire consequences on my long term health and well being. 22.8.2013

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