I find it a bit hard to get excited over brunch these days. As much as I love the indulgent weekend ritual, it does start feeling a little same-same after a while. And paradoxically, this is actually exacerbated by how infrequently I have time to go out on a Saturday morning. When I do finally get around to it, I tend to expect the world from my brunch, and end up getting quite disappointed if it doesn’t live up to my hopes. Thankfully, I had spotted Oppen a few weeks before I was due to come back to Melbourne for Christmas, and was rather keen to try out their Scandinavian take on brunch.
Another year older, another year... I’m not sure how I should end that sentence, because I certainly don’t feel very different from when I was 23, though I’m sure plenty of things have changed in the interim year. One thing that definitely hasn’t changed however is my love of good food, and the yearly ritual of picking a fancy restaurant for Chris and I to celebrate my birthday. This year, after a whole lot of deliberation and mind-changing (all on my part), I settled on Mr Miyagi, a modern Japanese tapas bar that I can’t believe I’ve still not visited. Taking the advice of a few friends, I showed up at Mr Miyagi at 5:10pm – a mere 10 minutes…
Ok, so, get this: I had booked a long-overdue dentist appointment with my regular, preparing for an arduous and expensive afternoon of teeth cleaning and scraping. I get there, sit down, and 10 minutes later, this unfamiliar bloke comes out and goes ‘do you remember me?’ (I obviously didn’t). Seeing the dumb look on my face, he followed up with ‘don’t you? It’s been a long time; high school?’ And then I realised he was in fact, more familiar than I had initially realised. Long story short, that’s how I ended up giving $355 to someone whom I had last seen as an annoying 13 year old classmate.
The life of a hospital pharmacist is a busy one – especially when you’re trying to learn to read ECGs in your spare time – so to take some of the heat off, it’s Chris here again with your latest food blog fix. Picture this: you’ve been travelling for what seems like an eternity in search of the perfect brunch. Turning this way and that, all you can find are unattractive bars and diners. Then, suddenly, a bright white light appears before you, and you find yourself standing in front the glistening façade of all that you’ve been looking for. You’ve reached the end of your journey, man.
Prahran being what it is, there are always new restaurants popping up, day in and day out. The newest addition to the long strip of fashionable eateries is Jalisco Mexican, a colourful taqueria beaming out onto Chapel Street. Jalisco is festively and undeniably Mexican. The folk music blared, the tequila bottles glittered, and the interior was decorated with a jumble of quirky and unique trinkets. But it was the beer garden that really set this place apart. Set out in sandstone and desert plants, one side of the courtyard was dominated with a gorgeous graffiti mural. The seats were painted in bold colours, and the garden came alive with colourful lights as the sun went down.
I don’t like Prahran. You think it’s hard to find parking in Fitzroy? Wait until you try this end of town. So it’s double the shame that there’s so much good eating around there. Food always, always wins out however, which I how I found myself spending 20 minutes trawling the streets for parking, just so I could eat at Borsch, Vodka, and Tears. ‘It’s expensive!’ Texted Chris as I walked the 800m from my car to the restaurant. I had a minor panic that went something like ‘oh good lord they must’ve not updated their website since1997 and now I have to decide between dinner and being able to afford a mortgage’, before Chris clarified that he was only…