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aoife's roo

So…we’ve been back from Australia for over a week now.  At this point, it’s almost as if it was all a wonderful, happy dream…

I have cooked once since we’ve been back.  Seriously, we needed to lay off the eating after our incredible trip.  Although we did manage to squeeze in an Indian take-away from the best Dublin Indian that I’m aware of, KonKan over on Clanbrassil Street.  Damn good curries.  We also had some great sushi in Hilan Chinese & Korean Restaurant on Capel Street.  Diggin’ it.

Our trip to Australia was absolutely amazing and I hope I didn’t sicken y’all too much with my blog updates.  Normal service will now resume.

But one last thing….my only regret about Australia is not buying the above Roo in the pic from The Junk Company in Melbourne, when we went on our Vintage Outing with Danielle and Lyn.

It’s a salt and pepper shaker in the shape of a kangaroo and its joey.  I mean, what the HELL was I thinking leaving that behind in Melbourne?!  It was only $28 (about €15).  It’s been playing on my mind since we left.  Dash it all, I might just have to make another trip back to get it 🙂

Once again, big thanks to Tourism Australia for giving Niall and I this fantastic opportunity.  Their reps in Melbourne and Perth went out of their ways to show us a good time.  I also want to say a big thanks to all of the lovely people we met along the way who welcomed us with such open Australian arms.  Good on ya.

And finally, thanks to all of you who commented along the way!

Right…better start cooking for myself again…:)

MP3

While we were in Perth, myself and Niall visited the super deadly RTR FM, an alternative community radio station.  We were interviewed by the lovely Danae Gibson about our trip and you can have a listen by clicking on the link below.

I Can Has Cook and Nialler9 interview on RTR FM

cumulus exterior

On our first few days in Oz, we had been told breakfast was a bit of ‘a thing’ in Melbourne, that everyone went out for breakfast/brunch on the weekends to catch up with friends or to simply enjoy some good grub.

We were given the heads up on Cumulus Inc, which had the rep for being one of the best breakfast places in Melbourne, and is situated on 45 Flinders Lane, conveniently right behind our lovely Hotel Lindrum.

On our last morning in Melbourne, we were determined to sample a good breakfast, as most of our eating had been night time affairs.  We arrived at Cumulus at about 11.38 only to be told that breakfast finishes at 11.30am!  Oh, we were so sad.  Fear not, though, the very kind barrista wearing rather trendy specs suggsted that we wait til 12 and we could be seated for lunch.  We battled on and braved the 20 minute wait.  So glad we did.

After our supreme meatfest in Tjanabi, we really wanted a salad.  Like, really.

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dar raum

Der Raum – molecular cocktailing

On our last night in Melbourne, we were shown around a handful of the seemingly endless funky little bars that are scattered around the city by our delightful hostess Michelle.

Michelle is the creator of The Deck of Secrets, a series of playing card size packs designed to be a handy way for an out-of-towner to get to know certain parts  of a city.  The tour that we went on was the Bar Secrets tour of Melbourne, dropping in on some of the 52 bars that are included in the Bar Secrets Melbourne City pack.  The cards have a photo of the bar, the address, a short description of what makes it special, and a very handy map on the back of the card.

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Eureka Skydeck

Yikes!  The Eureka Skydeck 88

We awoke early on Sunday morning in Melbourne to face a beautiful sunny Australian winter’s day.  As we made our way up to the Koorie Heritage Centre, a short walk from our hotel, we noticed that early Sunday morning in Melbourne is not unlike early Sunday morning in Dublin; there were a few lost souls wandering the streets who appeared to have not made it home from Saturday night just yet!

After a browse in the Koorie Heritage Centre, which had an exhibition about the history of the native people in Melbourne, we headed back to the centre of town in the direction of the Eureka Skydeck.  The Eureka Skydeck is not  only home to the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform (a whole 88 floors above the ground) but it is also an apartment building, where no doubt folks have paid quite a few bucks to avail of the incredible views and proximity to the city centre.

sky deck view

Bleedin’ heck!

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Okay, vegetarian readers.  This post might not be up your street.  On our second night in Melbourne, we took the short walk from our hotel to Federation Square where dinner was to be enjoyed in Tjanabi, The All Australia Restaurant.  It turned into quite the meat fest!

The word Tjanabi means ‘to celebrate’ in the language of the original inhabitants of Melbourne and the idea of this restaurant is literally to celebrate the local and indigenous foods.  They have done this by creating a menu made up entirely of local produce and indigenous ingredients, and the restaurant is a great way to have a culinary crash course in Australian indigenous food.

We had tried our first kangaroo on our Foodies’ Dream Tour at Queen Victoria Market earlier in the day, and our aim at Tjanabi was to try as many different Australian meats as possible.

Tjanabi enabled us to do this by offering the option of Taster Plates, with which we started. The idea was kind of like an All Australian Tapas.  There are 11 possible options on the menu and you can choose 4, 6, or 8 selections.  We went for 6 and ticked a few of the meats we wanted to try off our list in one quick starter!

Starter Tasting Plates

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indie mick and nine

There’s nothing like a Harley ride to wake a girl up in the morn.  And now I know that from experience.

At 8.45 on our second morning in Melbourne, we were met in our hotel by two lovely gents and their chariots: John and Mick and their beautiful Harleys.  We were kitted out with helmets, gloves, and biker jackets.  Up we hopped on the back of the bikes and off we rumbled through the streets of Melbourne.

I was travelling with Mick, and as we rode through the city centre on to the outskirts and towards St Kilda beach, he shouted back tidbits of Melbourne history and local trivia.  We passed The Shrine of Remembrance, around the Albert Park lake which is the site for the Australian Grand Prix, we passed some iconic Melbourne joints like The Espy, and we roared across the West Gate Bridge.  It was brilliant.

mick and john with aoife

Mick and John dropped us off at The Foodies’ Dream Tour meeting point in the fantastic Queen Victoria Market, which is the largest market of its kind in The Southern Hemisphere.  The Foodies’ Dream Tour is a two hour guided walk throughout the entire food part of the market.  It’s an excellent way of getting your bearings, as the place is huge.

Having a knowledgable guide meant that not only did we get to see the food market in its full glory, but we were given some inside information on the workings of the market, we were pointed in the direction of the best stalls, and of course, we got to taste loads of yummy treats on the way!

Here is a tiny bit of the food market in pictures (there were too many things to take photos of so I’ll just give you a basic idea!):

A sample of the Meat, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables…

meat counteroysters

lobstercrayfish

orangespear and apple

colourful fruitamazing carrots

carrots leeks squashtomatoes and fennel

corn on the cobsilver beet

chilli starsweird plant and strawberries

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