Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Magnificient Melbourne

Is it possible to love a city? I certainly hope so, because I'm about to declare my undying love for the city of Melbourne. Here it is people--I LOVE MELBOURNE!! What's not to love? This city has it all and it has it in spades. The amazing food scene, however, is definitely the jewel in Melbourne's crown.

This weekend, the Handsome Australian and I were lucky enough to have someone mind our children over night so we could have an evening to ourselves in the heart of Melbourne. Even though we only live 16km (roughly 10 miles) from the CBD (Central Business District) we don't go into town too much for pleasure. The Handsome Australian spends plenty of time in the City for work purposes, but it's rare that we find ourselves unwinding in the city as we did this past weekend. What a weekend it was...

If I haven't mentioned it already, Melbourne has an incredible food scene. If there is a heaven for food lovers, Melbourne is it. There are so many restaurants here that I reckon you could dine in a different one for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and it would take you years before you tried them all. The restaurants here tend to be smaller than your average American restaurant and are for the most part locally owned and operated.

Not only do we have a large quantity of restaurants here, but we are spoiled for choice. The variety is endless. I can't think of a particular cuisine that Melbourne doesn't have covered. You name it and there will be someone here flying the flag for that particular culinary faction. We've got absolutely everything under the sun.

What this all means practically speaking is it's almost impossible to choose a place to dine here in Melbourne because there are so many tremendously good places that offer truly unique experiences that you can never be sure you've made the right choice. The Handsome Australian and I have been to plenty of fabulous places here in Melbourne, but we've been back to very few of them. Why? If it was so good, wouldn't we go back all the time? We can't because everywhere you look, there's another place to try. We often talk about returning to certain places, but then we decide that if we keep going to the same places, we'll never discover anything else. What a problem to have. This was the very problem facing us this weekend in the CBD.

Melbourne's CBD is a groovy maze of little lane ways and major streets all jumbled together. You really never know what you might find around the next corner. In some cities, these lane ways would be dark alleys that no one would enter, but in Melbourne, they serve as the hiding places of some of the hippest, liveliest places to dine. The CBD at night has a very warm vibe and the possibilities are endless.

The Handsome Australian likes to do his homework before a big night out. He is a huge fan of the Age Newspaper's Good Food Guide. This book is written by many of the food writers that work for the Age Newspaper. They review a selection of Melbourne restaurants and give them ratings. The Handsome Australian loves the The Age food critics and refers to the The Good Food Guide as the bible of the Melbourne restaurant scene and its co-editor John Lethlean as "the oracle". If John doesn't like a place, you'll be hard pressed to convince the Handsome Australian it's somewhere worth visiting. That man's opinion carries a lot of weight in our house.

So where did the Handsome Australian choose to go on our night away in the city...you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out! Stay tuned.


Scintilla said...

I loved the Age on the weekend! So much to read!
I practically lived in the City too as I went to Uni there and then worked in Carlton for several years beford moving overseas. Boy, has it changed!

johnlethlean said...

Your husband sounds like a very sensible bloke.

Anonymous said...

The suspense! One thing I can complain about, but maybe it is an Australian thing in general: the flies! UGH!
Can't wait to hear where you went, will check back tomorrow!

suzinoz said...

Scintilla--The Age on the weekend is a great read. It's a weekend ritual for us. As for the City, it's amazing how much it's changed in the brief time I've lived in Australia. I love it!

John-The Handsome Australian is very sensible and would like me to point out--an excellent dinner companion if you ever find yourself without one. He'd be happy to tag along on your next breakfast, lunch or dinner adventure, in the name of research, of course. In the meantime, you can track his breakfast adventures here http://breakfast1suburbatatime.blogspot.com/

melbournebound--yes, the flies are the biggest downside to life in Australia. It'd be bloody perfect here if it weren't for those pesky flies. Unfortunately it only gets worse as the weather heats up. Sorry to deliver the bad news.