This past weekend, we were lucky to spend over the Tasman in Melbourne. We flew over on Thursday afternoon, arriving in time to eat some excellent pizza at Plus 39 Pizzeria on Little Bourke Street. I had the Capricciosa Italiana, with olives, ham, artichoke hearts and mushrooms which came with lots of topping on a softish base. Karl had the calzone, which also received rave reviews.
While Karl went to a meeting on Friday, I enjoyed myself shopping and meeting a former student of mine for lunch at Chin Chin on Flinders Lane. We ate Pad Thai (which was excellent), a dish of braised lamb, smoked aubergine (eggplant) and a mint relish and probably my favourite, a sort of fusion dish of crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramel pork, peanuts and chili sauce. This was a fantastic blend of sweet (pork) and sour (the fish), bursting with flavour.
Finished no 1
Finished No 2
Inside the restaurant
For dinner that evening, we met friends at Jimmy Watson’s on Lygon Street, Carlton. According to their website, the Australian Financial Review has recently recognised Jimmy Watson’s as “quintessentially Melbourne”. I ate garfish in a tempura batter with chips and a salad. Very unfortunately, I had left my phone at the hotel, and didn’t manage to get a picture of the dish. Garfish look like mini swordfish, and while the fish was presented fully deboned, it still had its head on, which made quite a sight as you might be able to imagine! The fish itself was lovely and light. We washed our meals down with a Yarra Valley Riesling. For desert, we stopped off at Brunetti’s for ice-creams. I had a small tub (which was still quite large!) of passion fruit sorbet which was very fresh and fruity.
Saturday was a walking around day (more of that in a later post), and we stopped for a quick lunch at the Riverland Bar by the Yarra River. Karl ate a beef, provolone, watercress and Dijon mustard sandwich and I opted for a pork schnitzel with coleslaw and apple chutney on ciabatta, both washed down with IGP beer from Matilda Bay.
I have to say that Chin Chin was my favourite. You can’t book a table there, so if you want to eat lunch there, you need to arrive early as otherwise you need to queue.