It is hard to know what to say. There is always that awkward silence after the initial chit chat. Once the pleasantries are over, you are left with the gaping chasm of what the bloody hell to talk about. Too much time has passed for it to be an easy conversation. Well…here goes.
How are you guys? What have you been up to? I have moved to Melbourne. The itch came back to my feet and before I knew it, I was on another long haul flight to the other side of the planet. This seems to happen to me often, maybe there’s a cream I can get for that.
Food is a major comfort right now. Whether that be the galaxy minstrels that I buy from the old fashioned sweet shop for an exorbitant price and eat in bed whilst drinking tea and feeling melancholy or the big bowls of noodle soup which I ply upon friends after hours in the kitchen slaving over the broth. Now, I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me, when you move to a new place, you have to make new friends and that takes time. Fact. I am at peace with the fact that relocation is a slow process, the actual geographical relocation of my tiny little self takes no time at all but the starting a life malarkey takes a while. Therefore, as you can imagine, between the unemployment and the no friends (yet) thing, I have a bit of time on my hands. Time which I use to eat, to cook, to learn. My stomach is definitely testament to the eating part of that statement. I have littered this post with a few photo’s from the last few months, just to get you all salivating.
I have been exploring the cheaper culinary delights which Melbourne has to offer and can say that I have thus far, only had one bad meal in this city. There was heartwarming goodness to be had at Teta Mona which has been serving up delicious lebanese food for the last few months, to much applause. We went with a big crowd on a hot day, the byo policy meant that the table was soon littered with empty beer bottles as we all drank too fast in a desperate attempt to ignore the cloying heat. Looking back, the highlight of that meal must have been when one of the owners walked up to the table, dressed in his adidas shorts, thongs (flip flops) and singlet, with half a flat bread hanging out of his mouth to enquire as to whether we needed any more food. Relaxed Aussie hospitality at its best!
There have also been a myriad of pho’s consumed, in my dogged hunt for the best pho in Melbourne. I have eaten at four different pho emporiums so far but nothing is quite hitting the spot. The trouble is, I want it to taste like the pho I used to have three times a week at Tre Viet in Hackney and that is never going to happen. The search continues… I haven’t even been to Richmond yet so really haven’t touched the tip of the iceberg.
Souvlaki never tasted so good as the cheeky little number I had at George Colombaris’ nifty little venture Jimmy Grant’s. Incredibly good value, boisterously fresh ingredients and just bloody tasty. Great concept, great place.
There was also a quick sojourn to my old home, Margaret River. It was an epic trip. So many beautiful moments shared with some incredibly good friends… And not only was I afforded the gift of spending time with friends but also the luxury of fantastic food. Across the board, I was deeply satisfied with everything that passed my lips. My first pit stop was at a wonderful winery and restaurant where I used to rattle the pans, Hay Shed Hill. It is a place which resonates with great memories for me and I was not disappointed when I stopped in for lunch. A soft shell crab salad full of Asian delights was simply delicious, perfectly balanced and humming with life. Alongside this, was an octopus and chorizo salad which was voluptuous and smoky. As if this wasn’t enough, I topped it off with a great gluten free pizza. I love visiting the places I used to work at, especially when they are this good. If you are in Margaret River, go there.
A restaurant which has been a long time coming has opened in Margaret River, Miki’s Open Kitchen. Miki has been working in the region on and off for years and there have long been whispers in the chef community about him opening his own restaurant and everyone waited with baited breath and now, finally, it is here. I chose to order the ‘Trust’ menu where the chef sends 6 courses of his choosing. We were sat overlooking the kitchen as the chefs worked their magic in presenting us with various delights. I was having such a good time that I forgot to take many photo’s and made limited notes so you will just have to look at the picture below and take my word for it. Also, go there too!
I think that is quite enough catching up for now.