This post on Melbourne has been sitting in my drafts for almost a year. I was previously holding off on posting it because I was waiting for photos from another camera as my camera died around day two. I’m going to just post it as it is now in all its food porn glory with the occasional glimpse of Melbourne and a human or two. Food reviews are more of a guideline/me thinking out loud a year from when I first ate it so take it with multiple pinches of salt.
Hammer & Tong was the cafe I looked forward to the most after reading and seeing so much of it on Michael’s blog. After trying it, I likened it to something like Devon’s Melbournian cousin that was a little bit hipster, little bit left of centre but still made great wholesome food. None of the food I had is on the menu anymore.
While you won’t find this omelette filled with spanner crab and other things at H&T anymore, it seems that they have some other variety of an omelette dish. I really liked mine especially for the novelty charcoal bun and I didn’t even mind the cucumber sauce.
This was the S&P french toast, fried duck egg, chorizo smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg and salted caramel ice cream and I can’t remember a time I had greater food envy then over this beauty. They now seem to have replaced this with a duck and waffle variation with sriracha caramel ice cream, what?
I will dramatically reduce Wonderbao’s stock of baos whenever they do a pop-up in Sydney. Being able to swing by to the source of my fluffy little bun babies was such a delight.
As always, multiple servings of the tofu gua bao is necessary. I’ve heard even the biggest of meat eaters compliment this one, it’s really all in the sauce, chopped nuts and pipping hot almost lava-like tofu.
You could get lost in Melbourne and it’s striking street art and I mean that both literally and metaphorically. I’m so often dazed just by following the way the colours blend unto each other, the sheer size of most of the graffiti and for some, the double entendre behind seemingly innocuous visuals.
Even when you can’t step out of a shadow for a shot, you start to wonder if the artist just new it would fall across a wall like this thus splitting a face in half diagonally. Getting some old Bowie vibes to be honest.
The first time I went to Melbourne without family was a bit of a mess as us post-HSC 18 year olds stumbled our way through hoping for good food. We probably wouldn’t have been able to recognise it if it did a tap dance wearing a bra made of uni shells and fatty tuna. We did manage a number of finds though and one that I had to go back to was this zine store called The Sticky Institute that you can find in an old subway arcade.
Lindt Cafe, CBD
Did you know Melbourne also has Lindt? I’m joking. But when you’re exhausted and hungry from walking 8 hours a day, trawling through Zomato for the best dessert bar isn’t as appealing as plonking yourself at the nearest one you can see.
It’s not long before we’re back on the yuppie food wagon though which we wheel all the way to Supernormal. Nat joins us that night because eating in threes is better than eating in twos if nothing but for the wider dish variety and volume and of course her good company.
This was some kind of hiramasa dish and I know this was all a long time ago and my judgment cannot be trusted against the passage of time BUT, man was it average. Our overall Supernormal experience wasn’t that great.
These New England Lobster Rolls ($16) our waitress swore by are the tiniest things ever, yes lobster but really? Really?
I mean I guess they were nice but it was not worth parting with 16 shells.
Prawn and chicken dumplings, chilli and vinegar sauce ($14)
People on the street who move their bodies in ways I didn’t think possible.
My most memorable experience of Melbourne is approaching a guard at the Crown only to be asked for ID to enter the casino, only for me to clear up the misunderstanding saying I was wanting directions to the kids arcade. We stayed past 1 am, smashing our palms to the beat of ビシバシ until we cleared the game. This is generally how I envision my best nights out to be.