Today was filled with a whirlwind of activity. After adjusting to some minor jetlag, I set off to meet my friend for part one of our foodie marathon in Melbourne. We initiated the festivities with a caffeine innoculation at Brunetti’s, and off we went. I’ll focus on the good bits, as those are worth mentioning. And first stop, Movida at Hosier Lane.
Frank Camorra’s Spanish tapas bar has garnered much international acclaim, and expanded beyond the original Hosier Lane location (off Flinder’s lane, Melbourne), to other branches including in Sydney. We were lucky to catch a glimpse of a the man himself, who was a rather robust looking fella, and seems well fed enough to give confidence that the man loves his grub.
I had been to this restaurant before when I was a uni student, and I must admit, did not venture too far off the beaten path in terms of food selection. But now, obviously, things have changed and it’s high time I do the place justice. And man, the food did not disappoint.
We started off with the Anchoa i.e. Cantabrian anchovy on crouton and smoked tomato sorbet. The anchovy was quite intense, but paired well with the capers and the smoked tomato sorbet. We also had the Cecina, which was amazing with the air dried wagyu enveloped with a perfectly poached egg, infused with wonderfully earthy black truffles. But the highlight was definitely the Iberico de Bellota, aged for 24 months, served with a classic combination of bread slathered with tomatoes. The Iberico ham was smooth as silk, and paired brilliantly with the crisp bread and tomatoes. It was our favourite dish of the outing. And being absolute dessert whores, we ordered the flan or creme caramel, which was wiggly and decadent. We’re definitely off to a running start for Day 1.
After being happily fed, we went to visit the Melbourne iteration of my friend’s Gelato shop in Fitzroy, which is a rather hip part of Melbourne, laden with amazing restaurants, bars, cafes and other oddities. But first, welcome to N2 Extreme Gelato.
As implied, the basic concept is essentially using liquid Nitrogen at -196 degrees Centrigrade to make gelato, which occurs in just a few, mere minutes. Due to how quickly the freezing process occurs, it minimizes the propagation of ice crystals i.e. the crunchy icy bits that you will get in frozen ice creams, resulting in a much smoother gelato.
Their creative team is constantly testing out flavours, and are quite open to experimentation, as well as suggestions from their clientele. The “Extreme” part of the name is rather apt, as they churn out bizarre flavours such as Spam, and Kimchi, which somehow work! If thats not your bag, there are other amazing flavours to tingle your tastebuds, such as Ferrero, Kaya (pandan with coconut milk), Milo, and a constantly increasing flavour repertoire. This oddball establishment is adorned with murals painted by local, talented Graffiti artists, which gives the place a certain edgy feel, albeit the doors are painted with rather adorable lego figures.
In any case, do drop by this place whenever you’re in Melbourne, and you’ll certainly be in for a treat.
Before our next meal, my friend gave me a tour of the Fitzroy, and we managed to cover quite a few wonderful shops, including the Little Creatures brewery. Naturally, we stopped by for a quick tipple.
In between our journey, I was introduced to wonderful bookshop, which is dedicated entirely to cookery. Aptly, it is called Books for Cooks. For any true food enthusiast, this is a definite stop that must be made. If the books aren’t available, you can always call ahead to make an advanced order.
Now for an interlude, before the next meal commences.
Movida – 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000. +613-96633038
N2 Extreme Gelato – 329 Brunswick St., Fitzroy, VIC 3065.
Little Creatures Dining Hall – 222 Brunswick St., Fitzroy, VIC. +613-94175500
Books for Cooks – 233 Gertrude St., Fitzroy, VIC. +613-84151415