August 27, 2011

the middle day in Melbourne

toasted granola, hot chai, tram rides, rose street markets, rich cheesy arrancini balls, happy hour, and a whole lotta lamb...

we had a good time on saturday.
i think this was my favourite part of where we stayed...the restaurant cumulus inc. was only two doors down from our apartment block. we went there each morning for a delicious breakfast feasting and on saturday night for an unbelievable dinner (see bottom of post).
we scoured the shelves of this second-hand bookstore for probably an hour, unawares of time as it passed by, with trams, cars, bicycles and people passing outside. it was worth the 'we'll have a look' stop. from the grumpy old woman captaining the store, to the 'leave bags at front counter!' signs (which we disobediently ignored), this was a great experience that saturday morning. it was restorative, as i stood reading poetry from Harwood, Kipling, Browning and the likes. I did some bargaining and walked out with two leather-bound glories of Browning and Kipling.
my lunch - dense, rich aranccini balls with parmesan and sicilian olives
we walked up flinders lane on saturday night about a quarter to eight, dreaming of what cumulus inc. became in the evening was beyond all we imagined (too much?)! the atmosphere was electric, noisy in an intoxicating way. we placed our name, ordered some wine from spain and waited. not bothered at all that we had to stand and watch as diners chatted and laughed while enjoying their meals. our time came, we were escorted to the bar...the kitchen bar. we had front row seats to the magic and mastery of the kitchen. we watched, as an apprentice copped it from 'the boss', the one with the metaphorically bigger white hat. we ordered...venturing toward a shoulder of slow roasted lamb. a whole shoulder. we also requested a side of broccoli to balance the carnivorous main. when they arrived, we were coy yet was i going to attack this piece of meat? well i just asked - the head chef i think. he was helpful. we enjoyed our succulent, moist and dangerously flavoursome little lamby. (i apologise if you are a vegatarian, but i am clearly not.) i only ate the greens so i didn't feel so bad, but they too were extraordinary. who would have thought that a crispy anchovy and caper crumb would go so perfectly with broccoli? i now know. with another glass of red we stuffed ourselves full, finding more and more tender meat on the bone, that we had to, in the end, leave some. our stomachs were so miserly compared to that cut of meat. it felt a little wasteful, but we had done well.

as we waddled home, down the street about 20 metres, we were so content. content of a day exploring Brunswick st, eating delicious food and chatting along the way.


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