I had promised my sister a pasta-and-gelato date for the next time I came back down to Melbourne, and despite minor shenanigans in the form of a last-minute search for a restaurant that was actually open, the first part of the operation was carried off without a hitch. After wandering around for a couple hours, digesting the ridiculous amounts of carbs we ingested, we hit up Pidapipo for our gelato fix. I had first come across Pidapipo a couple years ago, when they only had their flagship Carlton store. The deliciousness of their gelato, the hazelnut flavour especially, absolutely blew my mind. Unfortunately Carlton is just out of the way enough for me to not be able to frequent it…
I had been promising my sister a pasta and gelato date for the next time I’m in Melbourne for months, only to realise a few days before coming back that the only day we can go out is on a Sunday… the day which Grossi Cellar Bar, my sister’s favourite place for pasta, happens to be closed. After a bit of frantic searching on my part, I found Lupino – a well-established and well-reviewed Italian restaurant that I’ve oddly never come across in all my years exploring Melbourne.
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but K, my long-suffering regular dining companion, is also my longstanding blog post editor. I will admit to feeling a little bad about the poor grammar I’ve exposed him to over the years, but I do occasionally treat him to a nice meal to make up for it. And that balances things out nicely. Or so I tell myself. Having been a while since our last meal, I took this opportunity when I was last down in Melbourne to have brunch with K at Flovie Florist Café, the hot new opening by the owners behind the very popular White Mojo.
Don’t tell Sydney I said this, but I think the food in Sydney is way less interesting than what Melbourne has to offer. To be fair, I’ll be the first to admit that coming into my foodie-hood in Melbourne has spoilt me rotten, as Melbourne has grown to be one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world (or if not that, then at least the most exciting in Australia) over the last few years. Even though, I was still a little disappointed at the prospect of having my annual Christmas-birthday-anniversary meal in Sydney, when I know there’s so much more in Melbourne I’d rather eat. Thankfully, things lined up just right, and Chris and I ended up being…
I had high hopes for Dodee Paidang. I wish I could say that it’s because I know Melbourne has finally upped its Thai food game, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Dodee Paidang actually originates from Sydney, where the Thai food is top notch. Having been to one of the branches there, I can vouch for the quality and authenticity of Dodee. Whilst this isn’t quite as good as Melbourne having its very own good born and bred Thai restaurant, the prospect of not having to leave good Thai food when I eventually move back to Melbourne is pretty exciting.
I am the brunch-bringer in my family. Although my parents have boundless enthusiasm for newly opened Chinese restaurants and will basically try every single one they see within a 10km radius of their house, they’re a bit more timid when it comes to brunch. This is rather unfortunate, as they are big fans of brunch (who isn’t). So when I’m in town, I see it as equal parts obligation and privilege to take them out for a good bit of poached eggs and porridge.