Sunday was the last full day of having the whole group (or the ones that were still on speaking terms) together. The last day/night is always a conundrum, a time to celebrate the fact that it is the last time everybody will be in the same room for the forseeable future, has to be balanced with an obscenely early departure time (tomorrow). Actually I didn’t care, I wasn’t leaving for a couple of days and given my mood from the night before was still occupying my thoughts, I knew a few drinks, food, laughs and piggybacks were distinct possibilities.
The crew were going to the various AFL games that were scheduled. For me, AFL is the sporting equivalent of having my testicles squeezed in a vice whilst listening to Kenny G. My time was better spent prepping for Good Beer Week which was the main reason most of us chose Melbourne as this weekend’s backdrop.
Before that it was time for breakfast. Manchester Press was the setting, nestled in a laneway with an obsession with coffee. The reuben bagel was like car keys to a baby and it wasn’t long before it was staring back and me. Corn meat, swiss cheese, horesradish and some mustard. Breakfast done!
Now refuelled I was ready to take advantage of the clear skies and walk around the city. After trying to appear cultured by splitting my time between music and book stores I decided to head in the general direction of Lygon Street, the Italian/Greek epicentre of food in the southern capital. I absolutely adore the collective cuisines of both regions but I didn’t pay a visit – Lygon Street doesn’t do it for me. Too expensive, overrated and too touristy. If you never see me again somebody has taken offence with the last few sentences and I am “sleepin’ wit’ da fishes”.
Instead I head to a noodle joint which I discovered during my previous visit.
Hand made noodles (as the picture illustrates) with some form of meat and broth. Yes please!!! The only complication was the language barrier. Somehow my gesticulations were misunderstood as “take away” meaning I had various bags full of components which I attempted to reassemble at a communable table. No neurosurgeon performs with a table of curious onlookers but that’s what it felt I was dealing with this lunchtime.
If you disregard the plastic still in the bowl, the operation could be considered a success. It tasted great, chewy noodles, nice broth and chunks of beef scattered throughout. Time to strut back to Federation Square for the Good Beer Week Festivities.
There was about three hours to entertain so I perused the beer list and started writing the first blog entry of the week. In the meantime a half marathon finished where we were drinking, a singer butchered some classic tunes and I tried my hardest to stay warm. Eventually the AFL finished and everybody was enjoying the craft beers. We even managed to get a group shot after a couple hours of reminiscing.
Time for dinner and after a near run in with the local police we made our way to Tim Ho Wan. This is the Australian outpost of the world renowned Hong Kong eatery I visited a couple of month’s earlier. Maybe it was the size of the group, the impending early flights or the combination of dishes ordered but the whole thing ended up being a bit flat. As it was my suggestion I felt responsible for the undercurrent of disappointment so I shouted the ten of us dinner. Nobody had grounds to complain now.
The night finished up at a local swanky cocktail bar, Cabinet. By this stage the team were weary from a big day and the cocktails did not flow as freely as they would normally. After an Old Fashioned or three I waved the white flag and started the trek home. But not before a round of hugs, handshakes and air-kisses.
Mate, try an ole place I go to for Chinese in China town – Supper Inn 15 Celestial Ave, Melbourne VIC 3000 not much of decor but the food is really good and reasonably priced.
This is a top read Brad. ?