Melbourne is a great place to eat. Tons of famous people have eaten here, like…
I am sooooo sorry I have been pretty much non-existent this past month or so. Finishing my dissertation and moving across the world have proved more difficult than I originally thought,and I am struggling to get my press release on the food blog survey and up and running, so thanks for being patient. And if you are feeling impatient, just shove some food down that pie hole of yours. Trust me, it helps. But back to Melbourne. To recap, Adam, myself and our friend Matt from the States had just finished a road trip along the Great Ocean Road, and had a few days to kill in Melbourne. Melbourne is a fun place to be. It is like no other major city I have been to, with its booming cafe culture and its colorful, government-approved graffiti walls. Check this out…nearly every other block in Melbs, you run into walls like this:
This one looked like a mushroom baby fetus, and it made me a bit hungry.
But enough about the pretty pictures…on to the food! One day, we happened upon a small candy shop in one of the million arcades that specializes in making those little hard candies with the design in the middle. You know, they are white in the middle with a design, usually a piece of fruit, and wrapped in a color on the outside? It was so much fun to watch the candy man cut the incredibly tough sugar, stretch it and roll it to the perfect size.
On a day trip to St. Kilda, the local beach community, we found the most adorable community garden in the world, at least this side of the equator. People pay a yearly fee to own a small plot of earth within the garden, so even if you don’t own a yard, you can still reap the benefits of a land with no snow–delicious produce all year long!
But of course, this was no ordinary garden, because that is just not how the Aussies like to roll. There was a plot that actually had chickens and various birds on it! And massive plants that looked like they might eat you.
As fun as it was to walk around the garden, there will still a few reminders that gardening in Australia isn’t all fun and games. Since we arrived here in February 2007, Australia has been in a major drought. Hills that were green last year are as dry as straw this year, locals gently remind you not to use too much as you wash dishes. They even had two buttons on their toilet, so you can pick how much water you need to flush! This means there has to be water restrictions, even though the ocean is only a block away (water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink!).
It made me a bit sad, and like every emotion I feel, it made me hungry. This time, I had an itch that only dumplings could scratch. After eating amazing dumplings in both Sydney and Adelaide, I knew what to look for. We heading toward Chinatown, and went through my dumpling checklist. First, there had to picture of the food hanging out, preferably outside the restaurant. Check.
If the name of the restaurant has dumpling in the title, totally a bonus. Check.
Last thing to check–fricking amazing dumplings, really cheap, and a ton on a plate. Check mate!
Look at these bad boys–perfectly crisp on the bottom, soft and chewy on the top, and filled with porky goodness that spits out hot broth as you bite into them. Ugh, so good!
To work off the five pounds of dumplings I put away, I decided to rock out with my wok out at an Asian arcade with a killer drum set video game.
And of course, that only worked up even more hunger on my part. Shockingm, I know. So we hoofed it to Fitzroy, a great little neighborhood for shopping, eating and people watching. And churros con chocolate. We found this little Spanish churro and hot chocolate place called Chocolateria San Churro that hit the spot. Who can resist a fun-looking deep-fried pastry? I like to think of churros as God’s little of letting us know we rock. We got churros with white chocolate ($7 AUD, I think).
A kid’s platter of churros ($4 AUD, I think)
And a traditional Spanish hot chocolate that was wayyyyyyyyyyyy to rich for its own good.
We could barely finish our churros, even though they were delicious, so we took them back to the hotel and found they made a spectacular late night snack. And breakfast. And then it was time to part ways with our dear friend, Matt. If you read the last post, you know that Matt had made a special connection with an economy size vat of sunblock he liked to call Man Jam. Man Jam was sadly wayyy past the weight limit for liquids on an American plane, so he had to stay in Melbourne. I couldn’t help but take a short photo montage of their last few moments together. And I’m not gonna lie…Matt wasn’t the only one whose eyes were misting up a bit.
~LTG! ************************************************************************** The food Chinatown Dumpling Restaurant Shop 3, 254 Swanston St Melbourne, VIC +61 0396633893 Chocolateria San Churro 277b Brunswick St. Fitzroy, VIC +61 3 9419 9936 http://www.sanchurro.com/