Dave and I headed in to the city. Danna had prepared a list of must-try restaurants for us to dine at before the film at 9pm. Top of the list was Coda. Below street level just off Flinders Lane. As we walked down the cobbles to the entrance there were 2 seat s left at the bar. Just for us. The food is described as French-Vietnamese, although the chef himself would describe it more as a long term relationship with good produce, blending an appreciation of local produce, a love of Asian cuisine and a nod to Europe. I think we must always nod to Europe. They specialise in small plates of sensational flavours. The guy behind the bar suggested that he choose a selection for us and we gratefully accepted. And there ensued plate after plate of exquisiteness. Perfect choices.
Quail Lettuce Cup
Ha noi style crisp rice paper rolls with nuom choc
Eggplant and Tofu Lettuce delight
Roasted scallop with pearl tapioca and champagne sabyon
Spanner crap with roasted chilli and betel leaf
Then we went to the Forum to see a festival film, The Kid with a Bike. A belgian film. Seeing a film at the Forum is the complete cinematic experience. Very grand.
It was a story of youthful enthusiasm betrayed. The kid with a bike was an amazing young actor. It was one of those films which didn’t even feel acted. It felt as though we were voyeurs looking in on someone’s life as it unfolded. Excellent. Excruciating in its emotional journey.
This morning I set off on the train and the tram to North Fitzroy, The Green Grocer and a cooking class.
The class was called Flour Power and was held in the upstairs section of the shop in the commercial kitchen. I loved the kitchen with an ardour far exceeding moderation. I want one for myself. But for now, I enjoyed it from 11-2. I joined seven other women and chef, Tony Chiodo, to learn interesting ways with different flours: spelt, buckwheat, brown rice, mexican maize flour, cornmeal. We were each in charge of a different recipe. I made the polenta, pistachio and cranberry biscotti which meant I was finished fairly quickly and moved on to sauce duty: an amazing 3 mushroom ragout to go with the spelt pasta, and a beetroot and cream sauce to go with the buckwheat spaetzle. We also had tortilla and refried beans and dosa with potato curry.
Tony said we need to eat with mouthfeel. Love it. I’m going to use that term on a daily basis.
Today I heard a student in the corridor say to her friend TTYL. She actually said the letters. As though it was an oral text. To be honest, I had to think about what that might mean. Talk To You Later. Of course. And it’s not the first time I have heard this. On the train, two girls were talking and one said LOL. And she didn’t even laugh out loud. Her friend had said something funny and the response was an unlaughed LOL. I don’t understand. Is it because I am 40? Why are they speaking text language? When did this happen? OMG, I can’t believe it.
I have a big bunch of keys for my third storey space. I call it a space because it remains empty, bereft of my possessions and therefore of me. Today I tested some keys. One for the front door, one for the back, another for the garage and another for the back gate. But what is the fifth one for?
I drove back across the West Gate Bridge with everyone else who was driving across the West Gate Bridge. Slow traffic. Pretty sky.
I caught the train from Yarraville to the city just as it was getting dark. It was raining. The approach to the city made me smile. It felt exciting and as though I really was on an adventure into the big city. There are some very tall and impressive looking buildings in central Melbourne. The reflection of the city lights on the river was beautiful in the rain.
I hurried along the wet footpaths with all the rest of the people grimly dodging raindrops, escaping work, heading out. It felt conspiratorial. We were all in it together.
Greater Union Cinema and the Melbourne Film Festival. Natural Selection.
The theatre was packed. I didn’t want the film to end. The rain had stopped.
Delice de Bourgogne.
The beach for Charlie seems to be all about pooing as much as possible, rushing to the mudflats and rolling in wet mud, and generally running around in a heightened state of excitement.
Footscray: Little Saigon: fruit, vegetables, creamy cakes, meat, chinese duck, fish, whole pig’s bottom, lots of smells, lots of noise, lots of people.
Hawthorn: pick up keys to new home
Fitzroy: The Green Grocer Organic Food Store: book in for a cooking class next Saturday
Still Fitzroy: Dagmar Rousset: Little shop with brightly coloured garments on Gertrude street. The owner used to be a French lecturer and translator. Purchase: Monsieur Non and Madame Oui. Mr Men books in French.
Elwood: New home: would I still like it? Yes.
That’s the living area. The door goes to my balcony. You can see the sea from the balcony. Just wait til my things arrive…Brief foray into the neighbourhood shops and excited discovery of an organic supermarket…note to self….must create a strict budget…and a local wine shop…again…budget…
Back to West Footscray to pick up my hairy friend for a beach visit…(to be continued)
Friday night. Made it through week one of school. And made it across the city to South Yarra and the teaching agency to meet the team on the 9th floor of a building that looked out across the cityscape to the setting sun, then back across the city to Yarraville.
Bopha Devi, Cambodian cuisine, with Meri and Sophie. Crisp pumpkin parcels for entree and Amok – a traditional steamed fish curry. I liked the name more than the dish I think. But lovely place and it was good to meet Meri and Sophie.
Living life like it’s golden over in westside with Charlie, the golden retriever.
This is Charlie:
SO once again, intrepid journeyer that I am, I set out into the highways and byways to drop my housesitting family at the airport. Actually, I was very clearly navigated there and got only vaguely lost under my own steam on the way back.
West Footscray. Emerging suburb. That apparently translates to multi-cultural, up and coming artsy, just-out-of-the-city-and-previously-not-realestateable-but-now-appealing-to young-families-who-want-to-buy-their-first-home-in-the-unbelievably-ridiculous-property-market.
Kate had given me a fantastic tour of the hood yesterday which I tried to recreate today…pool, the mall (Highpoint, which the locals call Knifepoint), Charlie walking, Yarraville for a glass of a wine in a cosy bar with the rain falling outside and a very fascinating looking bookshop across the road.
Here is Charlie living it up at the dogpark.