One of my goals whilst in Melbourne was to head to Queen Victoria Market to take a look at the fresh market produce on offer.
You see after going to Adelaide Central Markets I am convinced that every other Australian capital has better markets than Sydney. Looking at this selection of terrines, cornichons, stuffed figs and mussels do you think I might be correct?
You can even buy a range of well-priced wines and ciders. Note that organic products are separated from conventional produce into their own hall.
Like all markets, tasty snacks are a given. One must-do is the American Doughnut Kitchen, you'll know you've found it when you see the queue... You're there for a perfectly fried sugar dusted beauty with raspberry filling.
American Doughnut Kitchen
Queen Street, Queen Victoria Market
Ph: (03) 9417 6415
My visit was fun, but I still think Adelaide keeps the gong for best Australian market.
Shopping works up one hell of an appetite, so with our time short in Melbourne we decided on a two restaurant lunch. First stop was in Chinatown Melbourne.
We were here for the signature dish, Dry Chicken with Hot Chilli ($19.80). It's a Szechuan dish, and yes, it's hot. My dining companion swore with escallating volume throughout. Here he is thinking about the ring-o-fire that will happen fairly shortly thereafter...
209 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Ph: (03) 9639 1885
We walked down the first part of lunch along the uber-cool Gertrude Street. For the second part of our lunch we were drawn into Huxtable on Smith Street by the all-female crew cooking in the open kitchen, and a super cute board of specials made using letter tiles. Upon entering we were instantly hit with Wellington style charm (seems all the girls front and back have done a stint there).
You should know by now that if I see Jalapeno & Cheddar Croquette ($3.50/each) on any menu I'm going to order it, and here was no exception. Next time I'd order us two each...
The Kingfish Sashimi, Horseradish, Apple & Dill ($21) was a delight. Kingfish could have so easily been subsumed by big flavours like dill and horseradish, but the chefs pulled it off with aplomb.
I only wished this wasn't second lunch so I could try more dishes. I have marked this one down in my head as a restaurant to return to when next I travel south of the border.
131 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Ph: (03) 9419 5101