My 3rd flight in the first month of 2015 was for short Australia trip with my girl friend. First stop, Melburne. I have heart from some friends about this city, consistently saying 'just enjoy your coffee in the sunny afternoon there'. Holding my half-believe-half-doubt mind, I started my 9 hours flight from Hong Kong.
It was great that we are living in the university area just with 'a-step-distance' to the downtown circle (Melburne CBD), which has only 2 blocks far away from Queen Victoria Market. It is a quiet block rounded by different university schools; there are several fast food shops and student-targeted bistros/bars (closed earlier), but the whole city is in a retirement lifestyle.
So, my Melburne city 'adventure' started from somewhere nearby CBD, where I found more fun and different comfort, comparing to CBD area.
There is one coffee shop, Stovetop, just one block far away from us, and it almost becomes my every morning stop-point, for the first waking-up flat white, and the goodbye lunch before I left for Sydney.
5-day-stay in Melburne city, 4 mornings in this coffee shop (except the very early morning on the way to Great Ocean Road), their flat white ($3.7) is always kept in a good quality. A very mild and smooth taste but not giving up the coffee sense, slightly fruity and dry but not having too much sourness. Last but not least, always presented in a lake-green coffee cup and with the delicate foam top.
100 Leicester Street, Carlton, 3053
Red Sangria $8 / Beef Rib Set $14
Queen Victoria Market, as mentioned, it is a must-visit place for food-lovers and family. It is a place full of freshness, adorable scent and music. I was there in my first day, exploring indoor market area full of cheese, olive, bread, vegetables and fruits; the low-ceiling block beside, is the area for seafood, fish and meat. Going through the regular market area, there is a larger outdoor area mostly for fresh fruits and vegetables but also some small boothes selling hand crafts, organic skincare products or soups, kitchen tools and even clothes, women accessories and paintings.
It was Sunday that I was luck to catch up with QVM's South Australian BBQ Carnival, the whole walking-street was decorated by different BBQ equipment sellers, and 'hungry' people was going through the grey-dark smoke all the time - Meaty everywhere. Next to the exit (Victoria St) there is a small indoor food-court, where sweet teeth, coffee lover and fried-food fans (burger, fries...) will be all satisfied.
My second visit there was on Wednesday, yes! It supposed to be close that day, but QVM has every Wednesday night-market (Nov to Feb) which was featured by a lot of local restaurants, food/beverage vendors, a small amount of handcraft sellers and special live music performance. It was amazing when I went there around 8pm (start from 5pm); with great passion to foods, the locals went out with children, parents, lovers and friends, making the big market fully occupied and blocked. The food supply were mainly in Australian BBQ, Spanish seafood and paella, Thai noodle and small snacks, Chinese rice and steamed buns, and Indian curry dishes. Meat was the main topic there, and most people were quite satisfied with that; alcohol was the second issue which was dominated by Sangria and Beer.
Only open on Tue, Thur, Friday to Sun.
Brunetti Caffe: Marinara SINCE 1866 AUD$16
University Cafe: Veggie Breakfast
Lygon St, the famous Italian neighbor near Melburne University. Back to the immigration and new land history, there is a large amount of Italians now living in Melburne city; thanks for them, the lovely eating & drinking street is full of Italian enjoyment. Along the street (covers around 3 blocks), there are a lot of Italian fine dining restaurants, cafes, bistro/bar and few Asian/Australian restos as well. Book stores, gift stores, chocolate/candy store, clothes shops, banks, yes, it's serving the students nearby.
Brunetti, an authentic and iconic Italian cafe with around 15 years history in Melburne city, is another must-visit place (not sure whether it is too tourism-idea...). The one on Lygon St, is fantastic for its huge space combines bakery, cafe, restaurant concept. From entering, I walked all the way till the end, bypassing the two ground-to-ceiling fridge walls full of beautiful cakes, then hot pastries, fresh breads, salad bars, followed by more restaurant feel area with a large open kitchen and an attractive area of gelato counter. The stove-oven pizza, Marinara SINCE 1866, was so lovely by its black-dot decorated pizza base, simply made by Sicilian cherry tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, organic calabrian oregano.
University Cafe, was my second visit to Lygon St. Instead of visiting there at night, I decided to see the morning there with a relax brunch in the chill rainy day. The little cafe was frequently visited by the old Italians and university staffs/students as some hours I spent there. With my book, the good flat white, I enjoyed the quiet and precious time to be alone.
Brunetti Carlton, 380 Lygon Street, Carlton Vic 3053
257 Lygon Street, Carlton Vic 3053
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