Last weekend a group of us headed to Melbourne as a surprise for a recently-moved friend's birthday. SURPRISE! We were pretty proud of ourselves for all keeping our mouths shut for the two-month lead up to the day.
Not a surprise: we ate a lot. A lot. (Full credit goes to Michelle for doing the dining research.)
After getting up at the crack of dawn to catch an early flight, good coffee was essential. St Ali in South Melbourne fit the bill, though their muffins (including one bacon and chutney savoury number!) were sadly dry and disappointing.
Then it was off to St Katherine's in Kew for the birthday lunch. St K's is a casual dining restaurant with Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern food, run by that little short guy from Masterchef. In contrast to the disappointing Press Club by the same group, St K's was fun, tasty and relatively cheap. The pides, fried chicken, rotisserie meats and salads were all good.
Lamb dumplings at St K's
Sangria jelly (compressed melon salad, passionfruit curd, fanta foam) at St K's
We were then only briefly slowed down by rain, shopping and chit chat before launching into dinner at Comme, a fairly traditional French joint in the cbd.
Pork belly at Comme
I'll spare you an account of the karaoke that followed.
The next day, again we started with coffee and breakfast, this time at Three Bags Full in Abbotsford.
French toast with rhubarb, Three Bags Full
Rice pudding with mango, strawberry and coconut, Three Bags Full
Still hungry? Lunch at Huxtable in Fitzroy followed.
Rice flour crusted oyster po'boy, iceberg, sirracha mayo, Huxtable
Yellowfin tuna and huon ocean trout, kim chi, sesame, avocado, Huxtable. The Korean BBQ pork ribs were also really good.
Last but not least, Chin Chin in Melbourne, where the music is too loud, the air con is too cold, the queues are too long (we showed up at 5 to make sure we got a table) and the food is... pretty good, actually.
Crab salad, Chin Chin
Palm sugar and honeycomb icecream with lime syrup, Chin Chin
And then we went (staggered) home. Good times, Melbourne, good times...