Everybody knows and has felt the effects of Covid-19 which has completely plagued the regular traveller. Since our cancelled trip to Japan we have been lucky enough to travel domestically a few times. The first two times were for Sydney Food Adventures and we also did a wonderful week in Tasmania. Since then, we have had nearly a 3 month lockdown + restrictions that have made it very difficult to travel. We had actually planned to go to Melbourne during that lockdown period but for obvious reasons we had to postpone.
After our Sydney food adventures we realised we needed to branch out. This trip to Melbourne was to do some things in Melbourne that we have been meaning to do for a long time, but also a big part of this was going to be a semi food adventure. Lots of meals, snacks, coffee and drinks to get through in only a limited number of days.
We left early in the morning to get to Sydney airport with a reasonable amount of time prior to our flight. We arrived at about 10:30 and then spent nearly an hour looking for a park in the Domestic terminal carpark. It was the fullest we have ever seen it. It seems like everyone is wanting to travel right now. The airport was BUSY. Sydney domestic airport is not organised well. The baggage check in line was massive, as was the security. It took us longer to get through that than it does for a normal international flight.
This was our first flight in a long time which felt kind of weird. It wasn’t long until we were touching down in Melbourne. We were staying in the Melbourne CBD on Collins street which is in the middle of everything. We took the very convenient SkyBus to the city and a couple of tram stops later we were at our AirBnb.
Our AirBnB was interesting. It was an AirBnB plus which means that AirBnB have inspected the home and have approved it as being awesome. The things that were awesome about it was the location and price. $650 for 4 nights in the heart of the CBD – yes please. The bed was pretty uncomfortable and it was a weird AirBnb. It had a really homely feels to it which was obviously very personal to the owner. We prefer our accommodations to be less personal and more hotel-like. It certainly served its purpose though as we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time in here. Here is a picture of it from the listing:
What is the first thing you do when you get to Melbourne in the evening? Go into one of the many beautiful laneways and get a drink at a quiet bar is the correct answer, which is exactly what we did. We really love the laneways of Melbourne, they are really unique and have such a good and artsy vibe. We ended up at a little bar called Hells Kitchen which is upstairs in a laneway. This place was really trendy and very quiet with a simple cocktail menu and overlooked the laneway. It was exactly what we were after. Aimee got a Margarita and I got a whiskey sour. Both drinks were very well made and delicious. We sat here in the bar and enjoyed a chat while we looked out over the laneway. A lovely way to start our Melbourne trip.
After this we spent some time walking through the laneways and exploring the Melbourne CBD before showing up to our dinner reservation at an Asian fusion restaurant/bar called Cookie.
We arrived at Cookie which was up a couple of flights of stairs and inside it was bumpin’. Our reservation was at 8:30 which is a late dinner time and it was packed. We had to have a seat at the bar while we waited for our table to free up. The bar was massive. We were presented with a cocktail list which was endless. It was a really cool vibe and a popular place. The vibe in here was happening and the overall presentation and atmosphere was definitely awesome. They also had tables on little tiny balconies that overlooked the street. These would have been wonderful to be sat on, but unfortunately they were booked out. We were happy with our spot though.
Aimee ordered a Pash Rash which had Vodka, Passionfruit and Egg whites which she said was absolutely delicious (it tasted like pavlova) and I ordered a Chilli & Strawberry frozen daquiri – Chilli! Weird I know right! They recommended it and I thought YOLO – this turned out to be an excellent decision. The drink wasn’t spicy but it had a kick at the end of each mouthful which was delightful. They also looked really cool:
This restaurant also has a pretty interesting way of ordering meals. They have small, medium and large meals. We were not sure what an appropriate amount to order would be. We knew that we were pretty hungry as we hadn’t eaten since the airport and it was late. The waitress was unhelpful in this – though to be fair to her asking how much to order is a pretty broad question. We ended up going with two small meals each and one medium to share with a side of Roti with a plan to share all of this together.
First up was the Sweet potato & young coconut cigars with an orange & chilli sauce.
They were pretty much spring rolls with sweet potato and coconut inside. They were pretty decent. The Orange and chilli sauce was excellent though. It really added to the dish. Two spring rolls each was a bit much considering we had so many other meals to come we thought. Next up was the Garlic & Chive dumplings with sweet soy and chilli. They were definitely a bit strange. I think we overlooked that these did not have meat in them when we were ordering and it was just a dumpling filled with chives. They were actually quite nice though. The texture was really good and the sauce was delicious. If they had less chives and some meat, this would have been a delicious dish, but instead turned out to be average.
Next up were the Whizz Fizz Chicken Sticks. When ordering this, we had no idea at all what to expect. It was basically fried chicken tenders on sticks with a sweet seasoning (kind of like the whizz fizz sherbert?). It was really very good. The sweetness mixed with the savoury was a delight for the sense. It would have been improved with a sauce though as it felt dry at times.
Lastly for the end of the small meals we had Peppered pork skewers wrapped in betel leaves with peanut satay sauce. This was certainly an interesting dish. It was huge. There were three pieces of pork per skewer and we had two each. The pork was wrapped in the betel leaves which covered the entire skewer. The betel leaves were weird. We’ve never had them before and it was a bit of a strange taste and texture. The Satay sauce was delicious. It was an okay entrée but we definitely could’ve done without it considering how much we had already eaten.
Lastly we selected the Fat rice noodles with duck, Chinese cabbage & green peppercorns. It was very similar to many of the noodle dishes that you could get at any Thai restaurant. Not that that is a bad thing because they are always delicious and this was no different. It was basically Pad See Ew which was quality, but nothing outstanding.
We were pretty full but you can’t leave a good restaurant without at least trying dessert. You’ve always got that little bit of dessert room left. They only have one dessert which is Banana Fritters with vanilla ice cream and honey. Unfortunately for us their fryer was broken so we were unable to get some. We felt like dessert anyway so we ventured through the streets of Melbourne at 10:30pm looking for a specific dessert which we were able to find. It was a place called Fresh Air Pancake. We were looking for fluffy Japanese pancakes which aren’t really pancakes at all. They are more like sweet souffles.
We ended up ordering the Hokkaido Milk flavoured pancake with ice cream. We then walked the 5 blocks back to our AirBnb to sit down and eat it. Unfortunately by the time we got back to the AirBnb is was pretty melted which did not make for a good photo. It was soft and sweet flavoured and still tasted good, but we wish we had a chance to eat it on the spot. By this point at night we were absolutely knackered and were extremely full. It made for a pretty uncomfortable sleep but it has been quite a good day.
Ronnie & Aimee.