The rest of Melbourne

It was a whirlwind weekend in Melbourne. We went to the Tim Burton exhibition. It kicked-ass! Tim Burton is clearly talented but probably has a wicked and somewhat distorted mind. No wonder some illustrations he did for children’s books never found a publisher, they were seriously twisted. It was very crowded though, and we had to go around twice to be able to see everything. No photos were allowed. Boo!

Entrance to the Tim Burton exhibition

Clear sky in Melbourne. Not for long.

Ben sporting his new transition lenses. Haha

End of Hosier Lane (where Movida is).

I also found a pair of very comfy TOMS shoes on sale and it was in my size.

The lightest and comfiest shoes ever! Perfect for wondering around all day.

The Press Club

It was a rainy Sunday. We headed down to George Calombaris’ restaurant at the edge of the Melbourne CBD. We were early because we had a plane to catch. Pushing open the heavy wooden door, I thought that the restaurant was already full judging by the commotion going on inside. But it was just the staff. Everyone was working with each other to get things ready for the lunch service. It was great teamwork made more fun to watch by the semi-open kitchen. All the things you see on TV are true – there were waitresses checking the alignment of the glasses and getting that last speck of invisible dust off a table. But of course, we only saw minor last-minute checks, all the preps were already done by the time we sat down.

Sunday is Kerasma lunch at The Press Club, meaning that you have a three-course chef’s selection consisting of  various plates of food to share. We were told of the proteins that comprise the lunch, but nothing else until things started to appear on the table. First things first, some fantastic bread with olive oil and volcanic rock salt, which they kept topping up without being asked. Fabulous.

The entree was a combination of an amuse bouche (duck consomme – didn’t take a picture, but you can sort of see it in the first picture to the left), a duck salad with beetroot, a little salad of salmon and kingfish(?) infused with ouzo and some pork meatballs with sliced green apple and pomegranate. The duck salad was really light and went well with the consomme (I love duck, but never had duck consomme before but it was surprisingly tasty). The ouzo-infused fish was a bit bland, but they were good as a starter. The meatball was tasty and the apple provided a refreshing contrast.

Duck salad (right) and sashimi-type salad (left)

Pork meatballs with green apple

For the main, we were first served some grilled swordfish with smashed potato and mushrooms. Simple yet delicious. This was the highlight of my meal. Then they brought us several plates loaded with food. There was chicken with pistachio and some sort of crispy concoction – this was quite nice, tasted like a BBQ chicken (excuse my unsophisticated pallate!). Risoni with lamb (beautifully cooked and delicious) and quinoa (a type of grain) served with Greek yogurt (surprisingly tasty). There were so much food that we had trouble finishing it all.

Swordfish with smashed potatoes and mushrooms.

Doesn't look great together, but they were delicious. Risoni and chicken (top left); swordfish (top right); quinoa (bottom)

I wasn’t too keen on dessert after all this food. The dessert was a panna cotta with raspberry jam and popcorn on the top. There were also some very sour but amazing orange jellies in a raspberry sugar dust.

The meal was very reasonably priced for what you get ($65 per person) and I didn’t even have dinner because I was seriously stuffed.

Panna cotta and orange jelly

Movida

I love the idea of tapa, sharing little morsels of delicious and delicately crafted food around the table is my idea of a great meal. Movida was featured on Masterchef and we were eager to try it out.

It took me a while to figure out which one is the right Movida. There are four of them to be exact, but the original tapa bar is at 1 Hosier Lane. The place was buzzing with people – well it was full to be exact. I’ll get to the point – the food was mind-blowing but the service was slow and luke-warm. But back to the food:

This is their special of the day – oyster with a potato foam and a sour dipping sauce (can’t remember exactly what it was). The oysters were plump and juicy and the accompaniments fabulous.

The famous Bomba featured on Masterchef. One word, yum.

The costilla con sorbrasada – roasted lamb cutlet encased in a pork and paprika pate. I couldn’t really taste the pork and the lamb was a little under seasoned and over-cooked. A little disappointed. But the paprika taste was there and I love paprika 😉

The viera – baked scallop with jamon and potato foam. Movida must have a chef that specialises in seafood. This one was also outstanding.

The anchoa – anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet. The anchovy didn’t taste too fishy. I could eat a dozen of this!

This was another one of their specials of the day – some sort of meat (lamb perhaps?) encased in squid with squid ink sauce. It looked a little weird sitting on the plate, but tasted good. Had to be careful with the squid ink though, it stains.

On to the desserts – this is tarta – sheep milk cheese cake with lemon sorbet. Yummiest cheesecake ever and a healthier kind too 🙂

Golden, crispy churros with drinking chocolate. The chocolate was not too sweet, just the way I like it. It was divine and I could easily have had another serving.