Friday, September 28, 2012
A few days in Melbourne
Oh Melbourne, I miss you. It’s probably better if I don’t tell you how long ago this trip actually was (!!) but it was filled with so much fun and so many delicious eating adventures with my sister that I still wanted to share with you, so here is a post filled with ‘mini reviews’ of some places we visited!
When I heard that Frank Camorra of Movida fame had turned his hand to tacos, I knew we were in for good things. It was a warm and sunny Friday when we headed there for lunch, in the same complex as Movida Aqui with Earl Canteen downstairs. It’s a super casual canteen-like set up and I spotted Frank himself in the kitchen.
We started with a few glasses of sangria, and then placed our order at the counter. Tacos were a must of course, we chose the pulled pork with pineapple salsa and the marinated chicken, both of which were very messy but tasted pretty good. However compared to really good tacos at places like Mamasita and Barrio Chino with such interesting flavour and texture combinations, I thought they were perhaps a little uninspiring.
We also ordered the nachos, with toasted tortilla chips, salsa verde, pico de gallo, guac and queso fresco. I think it would have been nice to choose a meat filling to go with the nachos because the pulled pork would have been awesome with these! I also liked the scattering of pepitas on top. While the setup and atmosphere of Pacos Tacos was great, I was expecting the food to be a little better.
Pacos Tacos, Level 1 500 Bourke St (03) 9663 3038
Little Creatures Dining Hall
The next day we ended up back at one of my favourite Melbourne haunts that I seem to visit on every Melbourne trip, the Little Creatures Dining Hall in Fitzroy. I have never experienced a hot Melbourne day until now, and after a morning spent exploring Brunswick St, we were dying for a nice cold cider.
There is a lot to be said for consistency. On every visit, the staff have been consistently lovely, the food has been consistently awesome and the atmosphere has been great no matter what time of day or night we visit. We share a meatball pizza and a bowl of their awesome frites
We don’t want to return outside quite yet, so after a little while we order a serving of the warm cinnamon doughnuts to share as well. I wasn’t expecting the portion to be quite so generous but they were delicious and we polished them all off.
Little Creatures Dining Hall, 222 Brunswick St Fitzroy (03) 9417 5500
Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio
One place that I had been meaning to check out for quite a while was Burch and Purchese. Half patisserie, half science lab, these guys are doing some exciting things with cake (and also have a cookbook coming out soon too, which I will definitely be getting my hands on!). There are delicious things everywhere you look – from handcrafted chocolate bars and a tower of meringues to a whole wall of jams, spreads and curds of every flavour imaginable, not to mention the display case of absolutely gorgeous desserts.
It took quite a while to decide what to get (and the staff were so lovely and very patient!) and we eventually decided on a rather summery sounding dessert served in a clear tube so you could see all the different layers – a coconut mousse, passionfruit curd, coconut tapioca ‘caviar’, passionfruit jelly, oat and ginger crumble with a white chocolate mint wafer, with two tiny macarons on top. Such a great flavour combination, although I remember thinking it could have done without the chocolate wafer.
My other choice had to be this one, if only for the gingerbread man on top! But with the promise of milk chocolate, mango, coconut and ginger in its various components of this cake, we couldn't say no. I would have loved if there was a little more variance of textures in this cake as everything was quite "soft" and some crisp or crunch in there would have been great, but the flavours worked really well together. I'll definitely be back on my next trip, as all of the desserts looked incredible, and they have just added a Gin and Tonic flavoured one. Mmmm.
Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio, 647 Chapel St South Yarra (03) 9827 7060
La Belle Miette
On our last morning in Melbourne, we brunched at The Hardware Societe and then headed down the street to check out the new macaron place that everyone had been talking about. Translating roughly to "beautiful small thing", this is probably the most beautiful way to describe a macaron... and everything sounds better in French, right? I am a sucker for unusual ingredient combinations and pretty packaging, so obviously I fell in love with this place right away.
We chose a couple of flavours - Violet and Blueberry, Moet et Chandon with Blackcurrant, Salted Caramel (with Fleur de Sel), Earl Grey and Chocolate (with Mariage Freres tea) and my favourite - Pimms and Pomegranate. Each was delicious and the perfect example of what a macaron should be. There was not a tiny bump to be seen on their beautiful smooth shells and of course each had perfect little feet. You can tell that they are made with care and of course beautiful ingredients. With the beautiful boxes (you get to choose the colour you like too), they make absolutely wonderful gifts. I hear that they have now also opened a second shop in Richmond.
La Belle Miette, 30 Hardware Lane Melbourne (03) 9024 4528
A few days in Melbourne