It’s really not fair to visit Melbourne for just 4 days. That’s only 12 meal opportunities, and in that city, it’s not enough! I did manage, under the guidance of my lovely sister, to give it a pretty good crack though. Here are my favourite things from a long weekend of good eating…..
1. Spanner crab, galangal, roasted chilli and lime betel leaf at Coda (141 Flinders Lane, city)
This is one of the hottest spots in town, if you believe The Age. I have no reason to doubt after this experience. The menu is divided into “Smaller” and “Bigger” items, and it’s all made for sharing. The smaller items are what floated our boat, and it was here we started with this gorgeous betel leaf. The sugar cane prawns, eggplant and tofu lettuce delight with enoki mushroom, crispy garlic and black vinegar, and bone marrow spring rolls were also great – but that tiny bite of perfectly-composed flavours just zinged and danced in the mouth. It was so good, we had to order seconds.
2. Pho at Love Pho (181 Swan St, Richmond)
You know the kind of food that just makes you so happy, you could dance a little dance? The bowl of soup (actually not strictly Pho, but a chicken broth with rice noodles, veges, lemon, chillies and won tons) I ate here was just like that. I could happily eat that bowl of soup 3 or 4 times a week. The traditional Pho, which Shel ordered, was also beautiful – delicate, spicy, fragrant and clean. Awesome.
3. Holy Goat La Luna organic goats’ cheese (from Leo’s Fine Foods, Kew)
We started out innocently ordering a chunk of a very lovely looking goats’ cheese from the cheese counter in this food market. Little did we know that we were about to start on a slightly obsessive 4-day craving for more and more Holy Goat. The Holy Goat became my Holy Grail of goats’ cheeses, and the most frustrating thing is that there are seven different cheeses made by hand by this organic artisan producer at the Sutton Grange Organic Farm just outside Melbourne, and I have only tried two of them! Now there’s an ocean separating me from the Goat. Sigh. There is nothing for it but another trip.