Friday, May 9, 2008

Melbourne is cool!

I’ve just returned from a couple of days in Melbourne. Even though I was there for work (boo!), I still managed to squeeze in a few wonderful meals and a very teensy bit of shopping at lunchtime.

The bf came along too, and he did his thing during the day (shopping for DVDs, visit to Queen Vic markets,
Game On at the Aust Centre of Moving Images) while I slaved away at work. But come nighttime, we ate ourselves silly.

Why does Melbourne’s CBD have so many more (good) eateries than Sydney? Maybe our eyes are more open in a new environment, but there seems to be a quaint café or groovy bar in every laneway in Melbourne. We ate at Hanabishi (top Japanese), Bistro Vue (junior offshoot of Vue de Monde), and The Quarter, a café/bar in Degraves St (funky laneway).

The meal at Bistro Vue stands out because I had (among other yummy things) ‘two hour poached egg with wild mushroom puree Shimeji mushrooms’. It came served in open eggshells which sat in a paper carton, and the flavour was intense and amazing. You too can drool over the current menu here. A visit here is a must, especially if, like me, you don’t have an expense account to eat at Vue de Monde.

Also part of the little Vue empire is Café Vue, a casual breakfast and lunch place. The lunch box is the thing to order here, with its menu changed weekly. I had one lunch box on Monday, then bought another to have on the flight home on Thursday. The flight attendant was wishing she could have one as well… In this week’s lunch box were a scotch egg, a tuna, pea and risoni salad, pita bread with roast beef and rocket, and for dessert, a crème caramel. By the way, the scotch egg is actually a quail egg and it was incredddible!

The other attraction of Melbourne is the shopping. Though a lot of the chain stores can be found throughout Australia anyway, there are still some boutiques that are unique. One place I discovered is Little Salon, in Little Collins St. It has brilliant laser-cut jewellery and quirky clothes – see below what I got. I thought the cat top was a nice touch – reminds me of Tabby!

On my next trip, I think a visit to the cake shops in Acland Street, St Kilda is in order. From what I can remember, the cakes there are more old-school European than avant-garde Adriano Zumbo, but all in the name of research, eh?


  1. Great photos! That lunch box is really cute, I want one! The food is indeed great in Melbourne but you couldn't move there as there is no Zumbo! :lol:

    P.S. The friends of Zumbo is over 50 people now. Time for a catwalk show? ;)

  2. Belle, what fabulous pictures of Melbourne! It sounds like you had a great time in the midst of all that work. Your post made me realise how much I miss Melbourne and how much I missed there too!

  3. lorraine - the queue at Zumbo today was out the door. it may be that a catwalk show is the closest I'll get for a while!

    lin mei - Melbourne is only an hour away after all, but so worth a visit!

  4. oh, i heart little salon! definitely on my list of places to visit when i go to melbourne (aside from the waffle place, and the hot chips place, and the st kilda cake shops). there is a shop in newtown that sells a lot of laser cut perpex jewelry too, and other designy bits: made590. do you know it?

  5. bowb - thanks for the tip on made590. I just love the intricate detail you can get with laser jewellery.

  6. That's great that he has such a great fan base now! :)

  7. Hi.. I found you via a comment you left at NQN!

    I live an hour south of Melbourne in Geelong.. so I'm biased I guess and I will agree about Melbourne's eateries! I lived in Melbourne for 5 years also. I'll be having a little 'getaway' next month in the CBD.. so will be keen to try some good food.

    I love how you present your photographs.. what photo editing software would you recommend? I don't have anything fancy at all. I'd love to put writing and graphics onto my food photo's.

    I love Japanese food.. so you recommend Hanabishi?

  8. Hi Maria, I love Japanese food as well, and definitely recommend Hanabishi. I peeked into Hako in Flinders lane, and it looked good as well. Have fun on your getaway!
    I use Photoshop Elements 6. Self taught, so there are lots of features that I don't know how to use yet. But it is lots of fun, esp. being able to write over the photos!