Monday, August 25, 2008

Food Lover

The Handsome Australian loves his food. His food isn't just any food though, it's really, really good food. In fact, when I first met him, I dubbed him a "food snob". He used to take me out for dinner in Buenos Aires (where we met) and make me walk from restaurant to restaurant studying each menu until he found a place that he felt was 'worthy' of dining in. I was never sure what the Handsome Australian was looking for when we'd walk from place to place reading each menu carefully. He couldn't really explain it either. He just said, "I want to have a great meal. I'll know the place when I see it."

Eventually, he'd choose a place and we'd have dinner. Most of the dinners I had with the Handsome Australian in Buenos Aires were quite memorable--the food was really good and generally quite different from the status quo cafes you found on every corner. I tried to understand why his standards were so high and how he knew exactly what he was looking for. The more I got to know him, the more I learned about his family. The Handsome Australian comes from a long line of restaurateurs and so it turns out, he's been around the food and hospitality business his whole life. A lifetime of experience had helped him hone his senses and he was able to recognise a promising place when he saw one.

Before I met the Handsome Australian, a restaurant was just a restaurant and food was, just food, really. The more time I spent with him though, I began to see the subtle differences that he could see and I too began to seek out that something special every time I dined out. This search for really, really good food has become even stronger now that we've spent more than a decade together.

While I credit the Handsome Australian with introducing me to the world of restaurants that take food to the next level, I also credit his hometown in raising my expectations when it comes to dining. Melburnians are absolutely spoiled in their choice of eateries. There are multitudes upon multitudes of places to dine here and the standard is extremely high. So high in fact, that the industry is fiercely competitive and a restaurant won't survive if it doesn't deliver quality food in a unique way.

The variety here is amazing as well. Any genre of food you might be interested in be it Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Lebanese, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Malaysian, Moroccan, and the list goes on and on--is available. The biggest problem you'll face in Melbourne when it comes to dining out is choosing a place to go. A nice problem to have--my stomach certainly isn't complaining.

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