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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Melbourne Day 6 - Thursday 21 May

Our last day in Melbourne began a little more lazily than usual. I decided not to do my usual gym session (in the hotel's "mini gym", a pretty lame room that I witnessed multiple people peer into then decide not to bother coming in) and we strolled down to compare the menus at Benitos and Cafe Vue. Sadly we found them both lacking in a smoked salmon dish, which my sister was craving, so we kept walking up to Degraves St/Centre Place confident in the knowledge we would find some smoked salmon action up there. We eventually decided to grace Lorca (7-9 Centre Place) with our presence.

My sister's menu decision was easily made, choosing the Huevos Florentina ("poached eggs with spinach, salmon and hollandaise sauce" $13.50) and I went for a nice juxtaposition of the "Seasonal fruit platter with rosewater scented yoghurt" ($7.50) and the Torrijas ("brioche dipped in milk and egg, lightly fried and finished with sugar, cinnamon and poached pear" $8.50). I was sure the fruit platter would negate the French toast.

Lorca - Seasonal fruit platter with rosewater scented yoghurt

My fruit platter came out first, and was a great example of how good a simple plate of fruit can be when the produce is fresh and well presented. No bowl of mushy diced mystery fruit! And no honeydew! Godamn honeydew, it's just a waste of space as far as I'm concerned. The platter consisted of juicy mango and rockmelon, globe grapes, kiwi fruit, baana, sliced apple and half a passionfruit, and the little bowl of rosewater yoghurt was delicious. Not at all overpowered by the rosewater, and very nice to dip the fruit into. Yum!

Lorca - Huevos Florentina

The Huevos Florentina actually doesn't look all that appetising in this photo I must admit, as it looks completely drowned in the hollandaise, but it was actually quite a thin layer of sauce. By the end of the dish however the sauce was getting the better of my sister, and she said that although she enjoyed her breakfast the hollandaise was a little too dominant.

Lorca - Torrijas

The Torrijas were fantastic, everything you want in your french toast. Warm, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, covered in cinnamon and sugar with some syrup on the side to pour over and dip into as I saw fit. The poached pear was also a perfect addition to the toast. In all honesty I really didn't need to have ordered the fruit platter as well as I was struggling to get through all the food, but I'm not one to hold back and I really did want to try the rosewater yoghurt. Besides, I ended up spending $16 in total for the two dishes which is what I am used to paying for breaky in Perth!

Our plan after breakfast was to walk back to the hotel and pack at our leisure (having secured a late checkout, woo!) but I had other ideas. We had wandered into Outré Gallery on Elizabeth Street on our first day in Melbourne and I fell madly in love with a print that I thought I might just take another little peak at... and I ended up buying it. Having forked over the cash and organised them to pack it up good and proper to survive the plane trip home, we finally made it back to the hotel and packed everything up. Leaving our luggage at reception we then put on our tourist hats and caught the free tourist bus around for a wee while, then decided to try the lunch menu at Cumulus Inc. as we'd enjoyed our breakfast there so much!

It was a really interesting menu, and required some answering of questions by the decidedly cool waitstaff. Apparently the menu is designed to order things to share, but we chose a couple of less sharable dishes - "Cassoulet - white beans braised with salt pork belly, smoked Lyonnaise sausage & roast pork strap $23" for my sister and "Seafoof escabeche, red mullet, scallop, mussels and clams $19" for me. We also ordered the "Rocket, radicchio, salted ricotta & candied walnuts $8" and "Spiced cauliflower with goats curd $14" from the "Salads and Comestibles" part of the menu.

Cumulus Inc. - Cassoulet - white beans braised with salt pork belly, smoked Lyonnaise sausage & roast pork strap

Seafood escabeche, red mullet, scallop, mussels and clams

Rocket, radicchio, salted ricotta & candied walnuts

Spiced cauliflower with goats curd

Given that we ate this meal a week and a half ago now, its intricacies are lost to the dusty parts of my memory but I do remember feeling very satisfied and happy with this, our final lunch in Melbourne. The pork belly was absolutely divine (I was lucky enough to score a piece), the seafood fresh and nicely cooked, and the salads were a lovely accompaniment to our warm dishes. Even the bread and butter put on our table was incredible - amazingly fresh and tasty bread and possibly the tastiest butter I have ever eaten. I even asked the waiter where the butter was from, and I'm generally not one to get stuck into a nice pat of butter (it was Tatura butter, in case you were interested).

Struggling from the weight of our sated bellies, we then went back to Outré to pick up my purchase, having received a phone call earlier to let me know my "piece" was ready for collection. After struggling back to the hotel to drop it off, we went over to the Crowne to kill a couple of hours drinking cocktails and playing cheapy pokies before it was time to head to the airport. Seeing our luggage and my "piece" safely off at the out-of-the-way Tiger terminal, we then headed back to the main terminal so I could buy some Krispy Kremes to take back for my friends I was staying with. One of them seemed to disappear on the flight back to Perth, possibly due to the horrendous turbulence we experienced as we flew through a massive storm.

Safely back on steady ground, we were incredibly relieved to find my sister's car not only was still in one piece but it also started! Hooray! As she hadn't eaten since lunch, my sister decided a trip through the Maccas drive-thru was in order on the way to her hotel, and I thought I'd treat myself to a 2am m&ms flurry. Sadly the shakes and ice cream machine is apparently switched off at midnight so I ended up ordering a bowl of wedges back at the hotel. I figured I wasn't going to allow myself an indulgence like eating a huge bowl of wedges with sweet chilli and sour cream at 2 in the morning, right before going to bed, anytime in the near future and it was the perfect way to end my holiday eating frenzy.

So, I think it is pretty clear that Melbourne and I have become good friends. My sister and I are now setting our sights on getting back there for the Australian Open...


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