Monday, November 9, 2009

Belated Melbourne post

Been very, very slack on the writing front, so much so that I hadn't written up one of the best meals I have ever had. I had to go to Melbourne for work, we ran a competition for some butchers and they had a day of touring shops and manafacturers in Melbourne and I hit up some Burgers for a meet, greet and feed that night.

Guru Bob and Barnes suggested a little Sichuan Chinese place in one of Melbournes iconic laneways, convinently placed about ten metres from our hotel. When we got there Barnes was jumping out of his skin with excitement, promising hot and spicy dishes galore. The butchers were not so sure, they liked anglofied Chinese, but this seemed a lot more challenging. Naut arrived about the same time as the first beers and we got down to ordering.

If like me, you like spice and pork, you would have been in heaven. There was a lot of pork on the menu and I think we ordered four differrent types. Slivers of warm pork in a soy and sesame dipping sauce was a revelation, just warmed through and beautifully tender. The milder twice cooked pork was a favourite of my butcher mates and the dried fried beans were popular with everyone.

However the top dog was the spicy pork ribs. Tender in the middle with a crisp cumin and chilli crust it was unlike any pork I have ever had and I've eaten a lot of pork. Barnes and I tucked in like zombies at Stephen Hawking's house.

I've had a good surf of the web and can't find a definitive recipe. One of the folks on Twitter suggested a recipe but I must be missing something because my attempt was a long, long way from what I had in that little laneway.

It was fun to see the Burgers, even though Havock quarintined himself, unsure if contact with my long hair and beard would give him a dose of QLD FKN FERALS disease.

The next day I went for a wander though the Viccy markets. Wow. I can see why Melbourne looks down its nose at us when it comes to food. Brisbane has nothing like this, not even close. Most of the delis at the markets looked like they had superior range than most Brisbane delis, at least in the area that I can comment on, smallgoods. The fresh fruit and veg was of the standard of the Powerhouse markets, but this was an ordinary Thursday morning, not a Saturday. Having this type of standard would definetly foster a greater food culture, hell I found it inspiring after a 14 hour day and four hours sleep.

The one thing that dissapointed me about Melbourne? The coffee. It wasn't bad, just no different to Brisbane. The best one I had was almost as good, but not quite as what I'd get at the hole in the wall at the Merlo factory. And I went to a coffee shop reccomended by Bob and another local coffee nut. Where was my liquid gold in a cup dammit!

MF from the iPhone


  1. oo- now to find a similar sichuan place in BrisVegas. Adelaide also have fabulous food markets - actually Adelaide markets are my fave. Good news= Bris is apparently set to get some markets next year though.

  2. The quality at the South Melbourne Markets or the Prahran Markets is even better than Queen Vic which probably has the best atmosphere - and the best Karnski - did you try that?

  3. Oops that should have read KRANSKI!

  4. Bloody hell guys i hadn't even finished editing this post! Didn't get to taste much, was too rushed.
    GG i wonder if the brisbane markets will be just fresh or whether they will go for the delis and meat.
    Adams in brisbane has the best kranski with cheese i have had

  5. And Bob and barnes, can you bail up the chef for me and get that pork recipe?

  6. I was going to say as Bob did that a number of suburban markets have equal or better produce. My local is the Preston market, the produce is definately great but as Bob says, Vic market has the atmosphere.

    That was a sweet little resturant and the food was very tasty. Chilli and beer and a few laughs, it doesn't get much better than that.

    I was surprised re your coffee comment, having a large Italian community I thought we had good coffee. Not being a coffee drinker though it is hard to tell.

    Finally it was a pleasure to meet you. You were the first burger I meet that was exactly how I expected! Hope to catch you again next time you are down this way.

  7. Are the suburban markets weekday as well? If so i am doubly jealous.

  8. Have to wholeheartedly agree about the coffee situation in Melbourne. After much searching I eventually found a Merlo outlet off Flinders Lane. The boys in the shot are looking mighty handsome. Love the curls Guru!

  9. Preston runs Wed through to Sat.

  10. I only directed you to Pellegrinis which is more of an coffee institution then anything else - it would have been too hard to try and give directions to the little hole in the wall places - next time I will think of soem and take you there by the hand...

  11. Hey there,

    Thought you might like to know there's a new Sichuan restaurant, China Kitchen that's opened up in Toowong. Not sure if it has the cumin chilli pork ribs you ate in Melb but you can give it a go. Marinated pork ribs in xiao jing wine, smashed szechuan pepper corns and dried chilli flakes, honey and dark soy - it was bloody good!

  12. I eventually Melbourne hair
    found a Merlo outlet off Flinders Lane. The boys in the shot are looking mighty handsome. Love the curls Hair melbourne

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