Soon after we landed, I jumped on a tram to meet my friend Mei Ying for lunch in Collingwood. We ordered big bowls of pork ramen from Shop Ramen and inquired after the sweet pie of the day. When I was in uni, Mei Ying helped me get a job at the tiny Adriano Zumbo patisserie in Sydney, where she had a dessert named in her honour. I used to read her food blog religiously and she gave me a few pointers for our Melbourne stay.
One of her recommendations took us to Good Days in Brunswick, where we had an amazing noodle salad, which came with a pile of crunchy spring rolls. We tried so many new places this trip, and somehow managed to keep most of our meals under $50.
The next day we headed to the National Gallery of Victoria to check out the Festival of Photography. The Patrick Pound exhibition was my favourite. It was made up of found photographs, curated into unusual groupings. One section featured photos where someone's face had been cut, burnt or scratched out. It was both unsettling and mesmerising.
We were in Melbourne so that Tony could install an exhibition at Nicholas Projects, an artist-run-space in the city. The show opened on Friday night and we were stoked that a few friends from Wagga Wagga and Melbourne could come along.
On Saturday I picked up a box of penguin shaped chocolates and caught the train to my friend Danie's house. She served ricotta fritters and salads for lunch and carrot cake for dessert. We spent hours chatting and I left feeling full of creative energy. It was one of the highlights of my stay.
By the time Sunday rolled around, we were ready for a lazy day. We slept in, had breakfast at a cosy cafe in Fitzroy and generally took our time. I wanted one last look at the Patrick Pound show (there's so much to take in) and then we managed to score a table at Chin Chin, without the usual two hour wait. I'm so glad we went!
Here are two more places we really enjoyed, which Mei Ying directed us to. We ate meatball sandwiches at Spring Street Grocer and came back for the gelato before our flight home (I was still talking about my scoop on the plane!).
D.O.C Pizza and Mozzarella Bar was such a fun place for a late-night dinner, and conveniently close to one of my favourite bookshops. We don't know when we'll be back in town, which makes me glad that we crammed so much goodness into this visit.
Hope you're travelling well this week! It's pouring here and perfect weather for being home.