Many thanks to AOF from Confessions of a Food Nazi for organising a Melbourne food blogger lunch at Lentil as Anything on Saturday. I got down to the Convent early and wandered around the Slow Food Market, spending far too much money on all sorts of yummy things, including olive oil in a goon cask, harissa and bresaola (my current obsession du mois following the awesome stuff I had - twice in one week! - at Cumulus Inc).
Although I was about to have lunch, I couldn't resist chowing down on a stewed rhubarb and cream tart from one of the stalls, following Cindy's plug. SO worth it!
It was a lovely relaxed lunch, and I was really happy to get to know quite a few bloggers I hadn't met before. After lunch we moseyed up for a couple of drinks at Handsome Steve's House of Refreshment. Handsome Steve was happy to make coffees but explained that there was no skinny milk, no chai, DEFINITELY no soy milk (a newspaper headline "Soy milk linked to low sperm count" was affixed to the wall near the menu), and snorted in derision when one hapless soul asked for a hot chocolate... but he's really not a bad sort once you get to know him. Just DON'T make the mistake I made and ask for a wine list ("It's red or white, darl!")...
Later that afternoon my bus was cancelled so I jumped in a cab to get the rest of the way home. Was bemused to see this kind of restaurant advertising in the taxi!
Finally, just wanted to share two emails with you. The first is from my friend M who has sadly just moved up to the 'Berra. It made me laugh, so I thought I'd post a quote:
Just letting you know that I really enjoyed dinner and will miss our after-work catch-ups over a glass of wine or three. Also, a small tidbit of news, if you didn't know it already - everyone's favourite Carlton bar, Il Duce Si Diventa, has reinvented itself. The new iteration is worse than the old. The fairly inoffensive outside signage has been altered to read "Viktor's Bar and Lounge", bizarre and ugly font on blue background, with green and red striped border and, just in case you missed the Italian touch, the words "Italian Quality" in tiny white font in a corner like some kind of fucked-up footnote. Alas the interior remains unchanged. Just plain weird. Swing by one time on your way to somewhere more appealing and check it out.
The second email is from a Melbourne Gastronome reader who wants some Sunday CBD dining advice:
I have a friend in from the west (Perth not Footscray) and we are dining together next Sunday evening. I wanted to go somewhere in the city (as she is staying centrally and it it easy for us to travel in) and that was representative of Melbourne in an awesome food focus, but not overdone, sort of a way. However, it soon came to my attention that a lot of places in the city that fit the bill are closed on Sunday (including Cumulus Inc, Gills Diner, Gingerboy, Seamstress, Bar Lourinha)? So I am considering The Press Club Bar (which wasn't my first choice because I think we may be eating in the main restaurant there the night before) or MoVida, but my mate has already sampled the delights there.
I was wondering if you might have any helpful suggestions?
I appreciate the fact that the reader has taken the trouble to do some preliminary research, and would like to help her out. Maybe it's just because it's Monday and I'm sleep-deprived from staying up watching the Tour de France, but nothing is immediately leaping to mind. Dear blog readers, do you have any suggestions?