Homemade crumpets with leatherwood honey at Birdman Eating
Shakshouka - baked eggs with roasted red pepper and marinated Persian feta at cumulus inc
Grilled field mushrooms with herbed goats chevre, rocket and toast at Pearl Oyster
Just to show what a priority food is in Melbourne - check out some of the crowd of people waiting amidst overflowing dumpsters for a table to breakfast at the oh-so-cool St Ali. Sadly our meals were lukewarm but the coffee (beans are roasted onsite) was excellent.
Some other highlights...
I just loved Gewurshaus, which was just around the corner from Anna's place in Prahran. The loveliest little shop crammed with beautifully displayed spice blends. I brought home wee bags of merlot salt, Tahitian vanilla salt, Viennese christmas sugar and masala chai sugar among others to experiment with.
We didn't eat out at any big-name restaurants, and everywhere more casual has a 'no-bookings' policy which makes for some long waits but fun times. Dinner at the brand new Chin Chin (contemporary Thai) was great fun, eating at the bar watching the chefs at the starter station, the menu of which we ate our way through almost entirely - amazing value.
Dinner was washed down with a refreshing jug of punch - Vietnamese mint, vodka, lime all featured among other things?!
Pork roll-ups with braised suckling pig and herb salad (the pancakes were freshly steamed in bamboo baskets and divine..)
Scallops with crispy pork and green chilli nahm jim
We had another beautiful dinner at Gigibaba - the (many-coursed) banquet was immense but delicious - the braised lamb shoulder below came out last of all so was hard to do it due justice but it was demolished all the same...
Finally a couple of my favourite Melbourne sweet treats to finish...
Burch and Purchas - their Sweet Studio on Chapel St is definitely worth a look. Check out the wall containing specimen jars of the ingredients they use in their 'lab'.
We picked up 4 of their incredible little cakes courtesy of a voucher Mrs Cake had received when over there for the Food and Wine Festival.
A bombolone (vanilla custard filled donut) from Baker D Chirico in St Kilda - I have been dreaming of these since my last visit to Melbourne 5 years ago - the perfect ratio of custard to doughnut.
Ice cream at Jock's - I loved the hokey pokey with huge chunks of honeycomb