After a hectic year of med school and the fervour that was final exams (which I passed by the way, so call me a second-year!), I was itching to get out onto my road trip holiday through New Zealand. And despite being told unanimously by everyone who has ever visited, I was still unprepared for just how stunningly beautiful of a country it was. We spent 13 days driving through the South Island – starting in Christchurch, across to the West Coast, then down to Queenstown and Fjordland, then finally back up to Christchurch via Mt Cook. And although I could talk for ever and ever about the scenery, my love for Lupin flowers, and just how unbelievably blue all…
Long days call for fried chicken. And seeing as I’m far past the age where I can have a meal of nothing but fried foods without mentally preparing myself for at least a week in advance, I decided to hit up Belly Bao for some modern Asian tapas – with a side of fried chicken, of course! Despite serving food that is best described as pan-Asian, Belly Bao (isn’t the name just adorable!!) is decked out in a very much funky tropical style. There is greenery galore, and a huge, colourful mural depicting summery fun-times.
Let me put this down on record so Chris can’t weasel out of it down the track: he has promised to bring me an entire sheet of pork crackling at uni. And where exactly does one get an entire sheet of pork crackling? Mr Crackles of course, the place where the name really does say it all. Having long-since held cult status in Sydney (and probably Melbourne too before long – they’ve just expanded interstate), Mr Crackles is a takeaway shop along a main street specialising in sandwiches stuffed with crispy roast pork. The setup is very much grab and go – with just a couple of rows of fairly awkward bench seating lining the walls, eating in definitely not…
My love for Miznon needs no introduction. Ever since my very first visit, I have been absolutely smitten with this powerhouse of Israeli street food – a love that’s only grown with (many) subsequent visits. I just can’t get enough of their pillowy pitas, packed full of scrumptious ingredients, and their amazing take on fresh produce – whole head of roasted cauliflower anyone? And let’s not even let me near the self-serve station of tahini, pickles, and pita. So it goes without saying that I was absolutely delighted when Miznon released a brand-new dinner menu, taking their ingredients out of the pita pockets (though you can still get one if you want to!), and plating them up to share.
It may seem unbelievable, but despite living in Melbourne for all of my adult life, I’ve never had a souvlaki from Stalactites. Sure, I’ve eaten there enough times, but ordering a souva for a sit-down meal has always seemed silly to me, so I usually end up getting one of the platters instead. Plus, I got a little bit mad at them the last time I went and they took the change from my payment without asking, so I haven’t been back since. But when the Stalactites crew opened up Hella Good – a dedicated souvlaki shop – it seemed like time to bury the hatchet, and finally give the famous wrap a try.
Ever since eating the fabulous food at Miznon, I’ve been obsessed with anything that’s pita-pocket-esque. I’ve always thought the sandwich to be one of the greatest inventions in food history, and pita pockets are basically sandwiches 2.0 – served warm, and often armed to the hilt with ingredients worthy of a sit-down dinner. And although the pockets at Pezzo are made with 48-hour fermented sourdough instead of Turkish bread, it still ticked of my boxes, and I headed gleefully after work.