Thursday, February 18, 2010

Melbourne

Why is it that I always come home from Melbourne needing a massive holiday?

Maybe it's the fact I try to jam far too much into a weekend or that I run around like a headless chook trying to see too many people. I don't know, but whatever I have done a weekend in Melbourne I end up feeling like I have been hit by a truck.

This weekend was no different. A relatively pain free flight down (if you set aside the one hour delay on the tarmac in Sydney) and a quick ride into our apartment in South Yarra meant that we could get out to dinner on time. Instead of trekking to Malvern to have dinner, my parents opted for something a little closer to home. We dined at the fabulous Kagu Ra Zaka on Toorak Road and had the most delicious and fresh sushi, good gyoza (could have been slightly less cabbagey and a bit more gingery but was still good), wonderful endamame and awesome nasu dengaku (deep-fried half eggplant with miso sauce). It was silky heaven. The highlight of our evening. The mains were slightly less successful - the tonkatsu was fried in slightly old oil so that was the lasting impression and the overwhelming flavour. The Teriyaki beef was fine, if somewhat generic, but the really annoying thing was the preparation of the beef. It was so soft it was spongey. It had the consistency of a wettex. It wasn't offensive or bad, it was just an inferior cut of beef that had been marinated in bicarb to tenderise it. I like my meat with a bit of give or resistance when you chew it and this didn't need to be chewed at all. Other than that the meal was good.

Saturday morning saw me getting up early for a hair appointment with the lovely Kristianna from Shibui. Curly haired goddesses: pay attention! She is the supreme queen of curly locks. She is the Ringlet specialist. Yes I go all the way to Melbourne to have my hair cut and it's WORTH IT. Run and make a booking NOW!

After my blissful session with Kristianna, I met the Divine Miss J for coffee and breakfast at Harveys. We both had the avocado on sourdough with grilled pancetta and chilli jam and it was fantastic. The coffee and gossip were also amazing.

After such a wonderful morning I did wonder if the afternoon could live up to expectations. It did. I went to visit My friend C and her lovely baby L (who is so divine I could just eat her). C organised lunch boxes from Cafe Vue that were absolutely fantastic. They contained a cous cous tabbouleh salad, mini ocean trout brioche rolls, lamb rillette with croutons and a marvelous rhubarb cheesecake pudding. Awesome. My little sister came to meet me at C's for lunch and then we headed off shopping for the afternoon.

My shopping trip on Saturday was not overly successful. I had a list (which is a good thing) but didn't manage to find anything on it. Nevermind.

Dinner on Saturday, however, was absolutely sensational. I think Red Spice Road could be one of my favourite restaurants ever. It is reason alone to move to Melbourne. We had the most amazing food. We started with corn and chive fritters with tamarind caramel and asian coleslaw and steamed beef, shitake and ginger dumplings. For mains we had shredded chicken salad with pomelo, coconut and herbs and minced wagyu beef stir fried with thick rice noodles. The highlight of the evening however was the Pork Belly with chilli caramel, black vinegar, cabbage and mint. It is the best pork dish I have ever eaten. It's in my top 10 wonderful food moments. Of all time. It is really that good. It is sweet and hot and sour and salty and refreshing all at once. The pork belly is cooked twice rendering most of the fat out of it. I'm not saying it's lean but it doesn't have that flabby quality that some pork bellies tend to have. Divine. There is nothing more to be said. If you haven't been I urge to to go now. And if you are not in Melbourne, book a flight. It's worth it.

Sunday was far more productive on the shopping front. After having no luck at all in the purchasing stakes, I conned my parents and sister into taking me out to Chadstone shopping centre for a whip around the shops. It was precision shopping. Lightening speed. I managed to find 2 bathing suits, a cashmere wrap cardigan and a white kaftanny shirt thing for over my bathers all in the space of a little over an hour and a half. Nice work. I am now ready for Thailand.

The afternoon was spent with my brother and his kids out at Chesterfield Farm. The kids were really cute - they loved feeding the animals and milking the cows and riding the ponies. Apart from the fact is was baking hot, we all had fun and it was so nice to see them.

After a brisk ride out to the airport, it seems my brief trip to Melbourne was at an end. After recounting the trip I now know why I was exhausted - I managed to jam so much into the weekend!

Le sigh. I can't wait to go back...

Kitty

6 comments:

amy said...

Hullo Miss K-C, am glad to read you had a jam packed weekend in Melbourne and made the most of your time away.

We have looked at Red Spice Road on your previous recommendation and a question has arisen: the website seems to suggest a communal dining arrangement. Is this so? The food sounds mouthwatering, but I am not sure Dan would be able to get over the dining hall experience if it was all communal...

X

Mrs Junkie said...

Kitty, one of my relos went to Red Spice Road and raved about the pork belly to me! I must try it one day.

*misskitty* said...

Oh my goodness- Chesterfield Farm - is that the one just off Ferntree Gully Road in Knoxfield/Rowville(ish? I've driven past that a million times going to mum's house and always wondered what was there! I hope you've had a lovely week recovering from your trip!

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

Amy - there is a communal dining table but you can request to be seated in the bar which has individual tables. It's also a bit quieter in there as well.
Mrs J - The food is absolutely AWESOME. I highly recommend it. PS - add me to your bloggy!
*misskitty* - yes! That's the one! They have deer and donkeys and chickens with fluffy legs. My nephew shared his calipo with me. Such a good afternoon!

sassiest said...

Red Spice Road is great - I had my farewell from the sky prison (aka "corporate life") there. And yes, that pork belly dish is about the only one I've ever really enjoyed...

Miss Kitty-Cat said...

Sky Prison... Love it!