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 have a bad and occasionally self-destructive habit of not being able to put things down once I start them, whether it be a new book, hobby, or TV series. Once I start something, I feel obligated to continue with it regardless of whether I still enjoy it, or feel crushingly guilty when I finally let myself stop. So even though I’ve left Melbourne for the time being, I just can’t bring myself to stop following the food scene, even though on some days it feels like way too much work to keep up with what’s happening on the culinary front in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Being an ex-pharmacist-future-doctor, I am all about working for the public sector (yes there are pharmacists in hospitals; no we don’t just ferry ketamine around like drug mules). On the other hand, as an IT dude, Chris is a big ol’ sell-out. Working in the private industry, he has perks I can’t even begin to dream about – company-funded lunches, foosball in the office, and not being yelled at by patients on a daily basis – just to name a few. And the closest I’ll ever get to that sort of glamour (at least until I’m 50 and a high-earning specialist physician) is taking advantage of his lenient lunch ‘hour’ to go on a quick date.
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.
I’ve always thought it was a shame that Australia isn’t on board with the Michelin Star system. As great as our hat system works, it just doesn’t quite have the punch and prestige of saying that a restaurant has three Michelin Stars. In addition, it also makes it hard to compare our restaurants to those overseas, and I’m often left wondering how our hatted restaurants truly compare on the global scale. With that said though, Melbourne has picked up its share of Michelin-starred restaurants in the last couple of years; first Tim Ho Wan, and now the same fellas have decided to bring Hawker Chan across the ocean as well.