discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

a gluttonous wife's city treat

A week or so ago I made the 3 hour train trip to the big smoke - Melbourne.  I love our quiet country city life but I do get excited by the thought of a few days in the city trying different restaurants or cafes - it fuels my soul.  Add to that the chance of catching up with some of my girlfriends with no children = mummy nirvana :)  
             I took my current granny stripe blanket with me which helped pass the time and keep me warm on the old rattler.  I must remember to avoid the    train coffee machine at all costs, but at 5.20am it's hard not to be tempted by it!
I started day one with lunch at my favourite go to - The Grill at Grossi Florentino.  I just can't go past it I'm afraid.  The service is always so warm and effortless and the special menu's hard to beat for $$$ value.  We had the 3 courses with a glass of wine and coffee for $50.  I had spaghetti vongole for entree, this delicious slow cooked ox cheek which was sublime and cheese for dessert.  
I admire anyone who blogs and reviews restaurants as I find it a bit 'wanky' taking photos of every thing and it does take away the moment for me personally so I apologise for not snapping every thing.  
After a great nights sleep, I made my way to find Patricia's Coffee Brewers.  When I'm planning a trip to the city, I google lots of 'bests' - like best coffee, best breakfast, best Italian and love doing the research.  I walked up and down little William St searching for Patricia's only to have to stop to ask for directions.  Just my luck, the blind man I came across knew a thing or two.  If you look for the MoVida aqua sign and head down there it's down the alley and to the right.

Patricia's is hipster smooth but without a beard in sight.  It is rated one of the best coffees going.  I beg to differ and was a tad disappointed with my brew but would go again to give it the benefit of the doubt. 

Not to let an opportunity go by, a quick stop off to buy an almond croissant at Laurent bakery helped raise me from the doldrums.  It was heavenly.
A casual lunch at Ba'Get was really, really good - with the traditional Vietnamese rolls of bahn mi hitting the spot.  We shared one and had a chicken rice paper roll chaser - the hoisin dipping sauce added so much to this, I wish I was eating this right now.

One of my friends flight from Sydney was delayed 5 hours (aka cancelled - naughty Jetstar) so I had some time on my hands after lunch.  I was wandering around little Lonsdale st and came across Sbriga Espresso Bar where I really, really did mean to just have a coffee but when I finished my latte, I still had time to kill and I turned my eye to this little menu just near the bar and realised they served proscecco - my favourite....the personable waiter inquired if I was finished and I ever so coyly answered that I could possibly fit in a proscecco to which he assured me he had the answer for me in an aperol spritz and it didn't disappoint.  Luckily I had to go otherwise another would have been on the cards - they are dangerously good.

Dinner that night was at MoVida but I didn't take any photos as it just wasn't the right mood for it.  I had some amazing bites that I'll share just in the printed word as they deserve to be included.
Jerusalem artichoke croquette  
Quince paste cigar with whipped goats milk cheese - amazing.
Brioche, duck liver pate and PX foam Toasted sandwhich - dangerously good
Spicy Steak tartare of raw, grass fed Wagyu beef  - almost dish of the weekend
Slowly braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree - my dish of the weekend and it was a shame I had to share it :)

The last decadent stop was a lunch the next day at Bistro Vue.  I had a funny conversation booking the reservation as my last name just happens to be Bennett - the same as the owner.  Again, the same banter on arrival, which helps to break the ice....maybe I could be Shannon's long lost cousin.

The two of us shared entrees of steak tartare with home cut crisps which was so different from the one at MoVida but just as good, 
and house cured Salmon with avocado and a herb sauce.
My main was a Confit duck leg with rainbow carrots and pommes sautees.  The duck leg was stuffed with a couple of garlic cloves and was delicious.  I didn't want it all to be over...but it was time to go home but I was ready and recharged.

I had weetbix with banana and sugar for dinner when I got home.

Tell me, do you get the chance to fuel your soul? What is it that you like to do?  I'm already planning my next visit.

Ciao, Jan x


  1. What a lovely break from it all! And it sounds like you had as much fun planning as visiting :)

  2. There's so much delicious food in this post Jan, I got hungry reading it. Now I've got to go and make dinner! :P

  3. We may have passed each other in Melbourne! We too headed there for the weekend for my husbands 60th BD. Sounds like you had a great time, some great tips and heads up here for my next visit. We dined (20 in total) at Red Spice Road on Sat night and it was sensational. Shannon is a very interesting man, surely you could milk the name link! Laurent bakery, oooh I sigh, drool and wish. Cheers, thanks for making me want to plan another weekend.

  4. Thanks Maree, isn't Melbourne great! I've eaten at Red Spice Road a few times and it's fantastic - they do great cocktails ;) Hope your husband had a wonderful birthday xxx

  5. Jan, what a lovely break and some amazing food! Sometimes we have to spoil ourselves, right?!

  6. Now you've made me homesick! How much good food is there in Melbourne - mind you, you went straight to the top of the restaurant pyramid ticking off Movida, Grossi's and Bistro Vue in a few days. Sounds like a wonderful city break.
    PS I'm going to attempt a chevron baby blanket next - just finished some bunting for a friends little girl it's so cute.

    1. Oh sorry Nancy, but isn't Melbourne great! Look forward to seeing your blanket, I bet it will turn out fab xxx

  7. I'm very envious Jan... sounds like a fantastic break...lucky you. I love prosecco and all the food looks delicious.

  8. Wow you made the most of your time Jan! I like the way your mind works-well done! I've gotta say I'm still jealous of your crochet skills :)


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