The Very Hungry Caterpillar That Ate Melbourne

Date: 8 October

Location: Doing something I've always secretly wanted to do — auditioning for a game show. (I feel pub trivia experience, paired with lawyer brain and Sephora Luster Matte in Mulberry makes me a dangerous potential contestant. Yep, am really earning my Geek Princess tiara this week.)


I'd be sincerely remiss if I neglected to mention here all of the good eating that went on ths weekend past. Julia Childs, I think, observed that 'people who like to eat are always the best people'. I agree, and I'd go one step further, adding that people are always at that their best while eating. (And at their worst when waiting to eat. If you've ever endured the elbowy process of waiting for a table at Top Paddock of a Sunday morning you'll know just what I mean.)

If you're grocery shopping right now or just really hungry, perhaps best if you go hang out with a salad for a while then come back to us? Otherwise, let me take you through a weekend of eating Melbourne.

Friday afternoon's sunshine called for fro yo and, thankfully, Bunky was of a like mind and feeling derisive of work. Frozen by A Thousand a Blessings is a local organic frozen yogurt shop, a spin off from Richmond's glorious cafe A Thousand Blessings. We undid all of that hard earned 'organic' status by piling out little cups high with caramel popcorn, chocolate hazelnuts and jellybellies and sat in the sun for sugar and gossip.

Sugar-high, I walked into the city to make an early evening booking at the incomparable Coda with dad and his girlfriend. Coda is low and dark, its upper windows at kicking height on little cobbled Oliver Lane. Even at six, it buzzes, and sizzles. The menu is Euro-Asian fusion. We leave dish selection to the smiley waiter and open a bottle of New Zealand Chardonnay. Things that land on our white-clothed table before us include fresh betel leaves wrapped around something seafoody, crispy betel leaves around something with crab, gorgeous scallops in their shells with pearly tapioca, a raw tuna salad with crisp apple and fennel, a yellow duck curry. It exceeded expectations. Again.

Exhausted and full, fall into bed for the last time before the dreaded 29.

And wake up to sunshine and my alarm.

Breakfast is at — well, you know where breakfast was. 50 Acres, natch. Over scrambled eggs and avocado we discussed the political situation and job market in the Middle East, ISIS and Ebola (and how perfect it would be if those two ran into one another in a dark alley), and a potential Masters degree in National Security, Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism. 'We' is me, and a friend from school, from here out to be known as 'Celine' for that name, like hers, is chic and French and conjures up images of stylish Parisian women cycling the close, cobbled alleys of Europe in vintage Chanel.

Then the tummy and tastebuds had a brief rest. Then, lunch at the dusky reigning Spanish high priestess of the Melbourne cuisine scene: Movida. Over sparkling glasses of cava, my mother and I shared a parade of tapa: pâtés and anchovies and artichoke croquettes were dispatched with. But then, in place of a siesta, we went to Scanlan & Theodore.

Who needs naps when you have new-season neoprene?

Apparently still m. I stole a little kip between nipping home after shopping (poised young woman with shopping bags) and emerging from the flat (transformed into a bier wench).

The traditional cure for a hangover is greasy bacon and eggs. Or, if it works for you, an ice cold Big M. Or a pear with a Coke. You know what else works? Brunch at the Grand Hyatt. It's difficult to do justice to the glittering array of food on offer: wheels of softly oozing cheese and every imaginable accoutrement, slick fresh sashimi in every shade of pink, plump dumplings and all sorts of quirky Asian delicacies. Red crab legs, prawns and glistening oysters. An omelette station doing quadruple duty and offering everything from bespoke pasta to hot slabs of roasted meat. Truffle mac and cheese. A patisserie: miniaturised versions of tiramisu, crumble, soufflé and flans calling out to be devoured. A chocolate fountain. Fresh cinnamonny waffles. Cupcakes. Custard. Hot caramel sauce.

Thankfully, it was just mum, my brother, sister and I. Just family. No judgement. There's nothing worse than going to a buffet with people in front of which you need to be on best behaviour. Nothing.

I wish I could illustrate this entry with some envy-inducing images, but I don't have any. The tide has turned against those taking pictures of their meals: snapping your snapper, photographing your pho, instagramming your icecream. It's gone from being just the done thing, to being deeply frowned upon. And I'm glad. It does ruin the mood when your dining companions whip our their iPhone 6s and disappear into the bubble for three minutes. So use your imaginations. Or, like, Google.



This terrified little mite taking on the Hosier Lane street art monsters made me lol.

Yeah. I lied. One happy snap of MoVida's gorgeous flan.

And also one sneaky of my unique hangover cure at the Hyatt.

Check the vase. A gift from my sister. I keep thinking it's my cat...

Epilogue: atoning for sins at Supercharger. It's pretty great if you're into your super foods.



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