Okay, it's Day 2 of my Melbourne sojourn. Who said Sunday is a day of rest? Not when there's so much to see and eat!
I had plans to meet fellow blogger Rilsta of My Food Trail for lunch, but unfortunately she was unwell on the day - sorry we couldn't meet up, sweetie, maybe next time.
So instead of Crystal Jade for yum cha, I went to Degraves Street for a typical Sunday brekkie of bacon and eggs. Degraves Espresso is so quintessentially Melbourne to me - little zinc-topped tables in the narrow laneway, with patrons squeezed together for a weekend coffee. I felt quite part of the crowd there.
Breakfast a la Melbourne - bacon with scrambled eggs on sourdough toast ($14.50); soy mocha (I think they forgot the chocolate, though - couldn't taste any choc at all).
After this, we bought ourselves a Sunday Saver tram ticket (a bargain at $3.10) and caught the tram to St Kilda beach. There are some art and craft markets there on Sunday, mainly selling handpainted pottery, paintings, dog leashes, and the like - nothing special, if you ask me - so we stepped into Luna Park for a look. It's actually like stepping back in time, with the wooden rollercoaster, ghost train and dodgem cars. And doesn't the face look like Bert Newton (is it supposed to?)?
Family fun at Luna Park
Then we took a walk along the Esplanade. There were some rain clouds in the distance, but they stayed away during our leisurely stroll...
...And where did the leisurely stroll lead us to but the cake shops in Acland Street (phew, you think I was going to walk past them??).
These are proper European cakes and pastries, filled with cream and topped with fruit. A traditionalist's delight! We bought a wonderfully crisp cannoli filled with custard, a fat vanilla slice and a syrupy kataifi to eat later.
Cakes from Monarch Cakes, Acland Cake Shop and European Cake Shop
There usually aren't many restaurants open on Sunday night, so, again, I hadn't made any bookings, because I was hoping to make an early appearance at Longrain. I know, the original Longrain is in Sydney, but I've never been to it. And frankly, I am not a fan of Thai cuisine, given that our local Thai takeaway has horrible food. But Longrain is in a league of its own, and I'm now a convert.
We arrived before 6pm, so there were heaps of tables available
Here is what we ate:
Betel leaf with smoked trout and prawns ($6.00 each); the famous eggnet filled with prawn, pork, peanuts and beansprouts ($27.50) was incredibly fresh-tasting - nearly every table ordered it
Twice-cooked Lamb salad ($38.00) and caramelised pork hock (half serve, $16). Both were great, especially the fried crispy pork, which was served with caramelised palm sugar sauce.
Dessert of vanilla tapioca and lychee with coconut biscuit and cacao sorbet ($14.50) - we shared this but I could have had one on my own. Incredibly good.
This visit to Longrain has made me want to visit the one in Sydney (natch). It was soooo good, and a really eye-opener for me in terms of what this type of food can be like. I hesitate to say 'Thai food' because I don't really know what it's like. I just know I like this, even with the quite expensive prices!
Longrain is at 44 Little Bourke St, Melbourne. Ph: 03 9671 3151 (no bookings except for large tables). Open Mon-Sat 6-11pm, Sun 5.30-9pm
Our final full day in Melbourne is coming up next. Hope you can keep up!