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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Melbourne Day 5 - Wednesday 20 May

AIX cafe creperie salon

We decided that Wednesday would be crepe-breakfast day, and so went for a wee walk down to Centre Place to have some of the creations at AIX Cafe Creperie Salon. Like most of the cafes in Centre Place, space was at a premium and we were happy to grab a table inside. My sister had forgotten to eat her usual banana when she woke up, so couldn't go past the banana, ricotta and honey crepe ($6.50). I had a bit more of a difficult task, as all the crepes sounded so good and I'd not forgotten to eat my morning banana. I finally settled on the smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and lemon juice crepe ($8.00) and we also had our usual long blacks. The crepes came out quite promptly, and looked as good as we had anticipated. Freshly made crepes, hot off the cooking plate, wrapping fresh and tasty fillings. If I worked near here I think I'd have to go one of these at least once a week, and with such a variety of fillings it would be near impossible to get sick of them. So cheap too! And filling! Yum!

AIX - smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and lemon juice crepe

After heading off down Bridge Road to check out the outlet stores (and peeking in the window of The Press Club as we walked past, to see if I could spy any failed MasterChef contestants sweating it out in the kitchen) we actually ended up coming back to Centre Place to grab some cheap and tasty lunch (a great lamb wrap for me, and a vege roll for my sister). No photos I'm afraid.. I was too busy chomping. I was so impressed with the wraps on offer in the cafes in Centre Place and Degraves St. Such fresh, interesting and delicious mixtures of fillings, all wrapped in what appeared to be freshly made wraps. The one I had for lunch confirmed this, with the bread being soft and fresh, and also very flavoursome, crusted with fresh herbs. And at roughly $6 each for a large filling lunch, I was starting to think that perhaps if I lived here I would not be taking my lunch in from home every day. Or eating breakfast at home for that matter. Although, I'm not sure how long I can go without a good dose of steel cut oats :D

Concerned that we would leave Melbourne without my sister getting a substantial amount of tasty pork and duck into her, we chose to go back to Chinatown for dinner this night. With too many choices of restaurant, we eventually settled on Dahu Peking Duck Restaurant, 171 Little Burke Street, as at least the name suggested we should be able to get our fill of duck. Although we knew full well we would not be able to get through all the food, we chose to go with "Banquet B" at $32.80 each, as it involved BBQ pork, peking duck and fried banana and meant we didn't have to think about what exactly to order. So, these two not-so-hungry girls (as we had just been eating free hors d'œuvre and drinking free champagne at the hotel) were served BBQ pork and duck meat san choi bao, Peking hot and sour soup, roast Peking duck, deep fried whitebait in salt and pepper, vegetable combination in spring onion sauce, special fried rice and finally banana fritter with ice cream.

Dahu Peking Duck Restaurant - BBQ pork and duck meat san choi bao

Peking hot and sour soup

Roast Peking duck (just imagine the little crepes and sauce and spring onions)

Vegetable combination in spring onion sauce

Deep fried whitebait in salt and pepper

Special fried rice

By the time I had gotten a good amount of san choi bao, soup, duck and perhaps some of the other dishes into me, I started to feel a little peculiar. I became quite hot and flushed, and the muscles in my jaw and shoulders started to tighten significantly. I started to tell my sister I was feeling a bit strange, and luckily she knew right away what was wrong with me, as she had a similar reaction when she ate a similar variety of dishes last time she was in Bali. Luckily we had some moist towelettes (actually more like wet towels, they were much more generous in size and wetness than their Red Rooster counterparts) so I wiped my face and my sister fanned me with the drinks menu until I felt better again. I then got stuck into some more food. I just couldn't help myself. Luckily I didn't have a repeat performance, although it did take a while to feel quite right again.

Luckily I picked up enough fairly promptly to enjoy my fried banana, and what a fried banana! After stuffing ourselves with the other dishes, and still leaving a disgusting amount of wasted food, we both started off eating the bananas by mainly eating the banana and just a little of the fried batter. This soon changed however, and we both found ourselves polishing off the lot.We could barely restrain ourselves from licking our plates clean, it was so good. Finished off with a drizzle of honey and served with some nice plain vanilla icecream, they were really so simple, and yet strangely so fantastic. We weren't sure if it was just that we'd only eaten bad ones before, but these were really good.

Banana fritter with ice cream

Suspecting that an overdose of MSG was to blame for my strange turn, I was a little worried about the night of fitful sleep and crazy dreams that may have been ahead of me (after eating far too much fried chicken at Sparrow in Northbridge I had a very unpleasant night of MSG-crazed dreams) but luckily I didn't have to stay up too late watching LA Ink to get myself sleepy, and didn't remember any significant craziness to my dreams when I awoke. Perhaps the banana fritter was the magic antidote?!


Short and Bald August 27, 2009 at 12:46 PM  

Yes, they look great! i'm not a big fan of duck dishes but i love peking duck. ^^ I also have bad reactions to MSG, vomiting, headache etc. trying to avoid it if i can but it's not easy...

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