Australia & NZ 2011 (14 March)

After the bad experience with the free dinner the night before (honestly, the worst meal I’ve ever had) you would expect me not to dare trying the free breakfast, right? Wrong. As I food blogger I felt responsible for giving breakfast a shot and writing about it. Plus, it was free.

Because all things available in the buffet table came out of some kind of container, there was no way of getting it wrong. Of course choices were not the healthiest ever but there was virtually no risk of food intoxication. There were a couple of kinds of industrial bread, spreads (butter, jam, honey, Vegemite, peanut butter), different kinds of cereal, milk, yogurt, coffee and infusions.

Having grown up eating cereal (when I knew nothing about its lack of nutritional value), I sometimes remember and miss its taste, so I decided to have a couple of bowls to satisfy my craving for another fifteen years or so. I first had a bowl of Kellog’s Just Right, which had a mix of cereals and dried fruit, with milk, and then a bowl of plain old corn flakes, which tasted exactly as I remembered them, also with milk. Then I had a bit of yogurt with honey for extra protein and a cup of awful coffee.

The Base - Breakfast cereals

The base - Bread, butter

The Base - Spreads

The Base - Just Right and milk

The Base - Corn flakes and milk

The Base - Yogurt and honey

Breakfast

A bunch of us went for a walk along St Kilda’s beach, which BTW is beautiful.

St Kilda beach

St Kilda beach

The idea was to walk through the Botanical Gardens but by the time we arrived we were already hungry. We caught a tram to the city where we were meeting Paola’s sister in law, who lives in Melbourne. Unfortunately, the road was closed because of a parade and we had to get off the tram and walk.

We met with Kelly close to Federation Square. I asked about the Food & Wine Festival that was taking place in Melbourne, but she didn’t have much information and the only thing going on where we were was a garden thing. There were pumpkins and composting transparent things but no food stalls at all.

Pumpkins at the Metlink Edible Garden

Pumpkins at the Metlink Edible Garden

Kelly suggested going to Chinatown but we thought a cafe would give us a better chance of tasting the delights Melbourne has to offer. She then suggested Time Out cafe, right in Fed Square. After a short wait we got a table and some of us ordered drinks. A cappuccino, a freshly squeezed orange juice and a “berry nice” were set on our table.

Time Out cafe

Time Out cafe - Berry Nice

Berry Nice ($7.90)
Muddled blueberries & strawberries topped w crushed ice, sparkling red orange & soda water

Then we ordered our meals; three of us had the calamari salad (all with extras: two with salmon and one with king prawn), Agnes had the chicken shnitzel ciabatta, Kelly the beef burger, and Andrey the chicken parmigiana. The prices were on the expensive side, I assume because of the location. Food was nice but nothing special, I guess I’ll need to go back to Melbourne for an exclusive food tour sometime in the future.

Time Out cafe - Calamari salad w fresh King Prawn

Calamari salad w fresh King Prawn ($22.90)
Tender calamari strips marinated in ginger, garlic & coriander, pan seared w mixed leaves, crispy shallots, watercress & fresh tomato tossed in an Asian dressing, plus fresh King Prawn

Time Out cafe - Calamari salad w grilled Atlantic salmon

Calamari salad w grilled Atlantic salmon ($22.90)
Tender calamari strips marinated in ginger, garlic & coriander, pan seared w mixed leaves, crispy shallots, watercress & fresh tomato tossed in an Asian dressing, plus grilled Atlantic salmon

Time Out cafe - Chicken Parmigiana

Chicken Parmigiana ($25.90)
Chicken schnitzel, ham, napoli & cheese served w fat chips & a side salad

Time Out cafe - Fed Beef Burger

Fed Beef Burger ($19.90)
House made beef burger w melted cheese, mushroom & red onion ragu, tomato relish, lettuce & fresh tomato, served w fat chips

Time Out cafe - Chicken Ciabatta

Chicken Ciabatta ($14.90)
Chicken schnitzel, tomato, lettuce, Swiss cheese & pesto mayonnaise

After lunch we went to the Melbourne Museum. We didn’t have time to see all the exhibitions but managed to see some forest stuff and get through the Melbourne story.

Melbourne Museum - Map showing the liquor shops of Melbourne City

Melbourne Museum - Vegetarian and food reform books

Then we walked a few hundred meters to Fitzroy, a cool area with trendy cafes and shops. Kelly took us to Jasper Coffee. First thing you notice when you walk in is the amazing smell of the coffee beans in display. I took a photo of those but the guy told me not to, because the beans were copyrighted. WTF?? Well, at least I could shoot the other stuff: packaged coffee, chocolates, etc.

Jasper Coffee

Jasper Coffee

Jasper Coffee - Coffee

Coffee

Jasper Coffee - Crockery

Crockery

Jasper Coffee - Sweets

Sweets

Jasper Coffee - Chocolate

Chocolate

Jasper Coffee - Cockery, etc

Crockery, etc

We sat outside in charming but not very comfortable benches that looked pretty much as the chairs in this pic.

Jasper Coffee - Table

Jasper Coffee - Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

Jasper Coffee - Latte

Latte

Jasper Coffee - Soy cappuccino

Soy cappuccino

Jasper Coffee - Iced coffee

Iced coffee

We headed back to Fed Square, where the venue for that night’s talk was. Paola had to set up the book shop; Andrey, Lis and I went for a walk and a rest in the park before the talk.

That night the party was in the huge house where 10 of our friends live. I ate a lot of crap: chips, mini meat pies and sausage rolls from Party Packs, and also some cheese and almost a glass of red wine. I got to bed almost at 4 am, hoping to get a bit of sleep before our next flight.

3 thoughts on “Australia & NZ 2011 (14 March)

  1. Chicken parmagiana, now that’s a blast from the past! I haven’t had one for years! You’ve gotta love Melbourne, though. I’d love to just spend a week there (rather than the usual 2 days for work) and scour the streets for little gems

  2. That coffee place looks amazing but sounds like a strange owner!
    I always enjoy eating and drinking my way around Melbourne whenever I go there!

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