Multi-cultural dining is one of the best things about living in Melbourne. My sisters live in the west so have easy access to Vietnamese and African food, which I’m a little envious about living here in the north-east where it’s less diverse. I took the kids into the city last week to visit Mr Rosanna and we had lunch at Ippudo – the famous Japanese ramen noodle chain which opened its Melbourne outpost last April.
Luckily we didn’t have to queue and the service was impressive with the Manager coming up to have a personal chat with us about the restaurant and how we had found out about it. My kids loved the pork buns while Mr R and I both had the ramen (of course!) – I opted for the vegetarian version while Mr R had the spicy (mild) option with meat. They were both delicious and I think if you go the full spicy option, your mouth will be burning!
I zipped through the city shopping for the kids ending up at All Star Comics on Queen Street which is a must if you have a comic book fan in your household. The art deco furnishings and vintage toys they have on display are a highlight and there are two levels to check out. I had to look longingly at shop windows on our city sojourn including Royal St Collins, a more modern version of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms which looks like a lovely place to have breakfast, morning or afternoon tea (pictured above).
I promised ages ago that I would post about our Greek food experience last year and with the hot weather upon us this week, now is probably a good time to expand. We had Greek salads almost every day when we were in Greece which come in many different versions and include local sour cheese and locally grown capers as well as different types of tomatoes that were bursting with flavour. Mr R has never been a huge fan of tomatoes but the Grecian tomatoes have converted him.
There’s also a Cretan dish known as Dakos consisting of tomatoes, cheese and herbs atop soaked dried bread or barley rusk but I didn’t love it as much as a good Greek salad on its own. Surprisingly for us, lamb is expensive (and scarce) in Greece so more pork and chicken (including rooster), as well as rabbit and goat, are eaten in terms of meat. Seafood including squid and octopus is plentiful and the market price per weight is shown in Euro for fresh fish.
Our pescatarian travel mates also loved the vegetarian options available including dishes including big beans, Greek fava (made from fava beans) and home-made made tzatziki and Greek yoghurt. Besides standard Greek desserts like baklava, freshly made loukoumades (Greek donuts) drizzled with honey and cinnamon were also a highlight as well as the donut ice cream cones that were on offer at one Greek dessert store in Paros (pictured below).
I only ever saw one Japanese sushi place on the island when we were there – everything else was Greek and by Day 20 of our trip throughout the Cycladic Islands, we were craving other options. I remember similarly in Vietnam when I was there many years ago, Mr R and I seeking an American-style burger joint by the time we got to Saigon in the south 5 weeks into our trip and a little spring-rolled out by that stage.
If you’re back at work this week, I hope you are taking it easy in the heat and lucky you if you’re at the beach or by a pool!