Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Co Do - Melbourne

Finding Vietnamese Goodness on Foot
Sometimes we just luck out.  We trammed our way over to Richmond, a suburb NE of Melbourne a few clicks, known for being the cross hairs of the Viet community.  We employed an old-fashioned analog technique called "footing it" which is simple and effective - walk down the main drag and peek in restaurant windows until you find a full one (in this case, full of Vietnamese.)  This is how we found ourselves in Co Do and Dodo in front of a plate of Cơm tấm, otherwise known as "broken rice."

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fish and Chippers - Melbourne

Wasn't in the Cards
We set off from our hotel to Fish and Chippers expecting a short tram ride to a tasty fish and chips.  We should've known better.  We got on the wrong tram, then switched to a wronger one.  One of those typical couple arguments broke out where I, the man, was determined to go my way and Dodo, the woman, wanted to interrogate my thinking. When we got off the second tram we were standing next to a rental bike stand and decided to ride there.  A friendly Melbournian helped us figure out the system and we ignored the large signs warning that it was against the law to ride bikes without a helmet.  Dodo pedaled like a turtle, doubtful of the route or in protest, perhaps.  When we dead-ended at a busy street and had to push our bikes across, I thought she was going to kill me.  Save me, Fish and Chippers, save me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne

Breakfast of Champions
Queen Victoria Market is "the" market in Melbourne.  It's a combination flea market, butchers, bakers and food court that you're as likely to find boomerangs for sale as you are "Moreton Bay Bugs."  Those are the fellows in the middle to the right of the tiger prawns.  I don't think anyone consulted a reputable PR firm when they came up with the moniker "bay bug."  Not exactly appetizing.  Besides, we were there for something much more mainstream, though perhaps not "breakkie" mainstream.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Outpost - Melbourne

Hit and Miss
At a small cafe named The Outpost in the South Yarra suburb of Melbourne, Australia, I kicked off two weeks of anti-work, otherwise known as vacation.  This is the kind of place I wanted to love but couldn't completely - it is a mix of good and not-so-good.  My scrambled with black truffles should've been a deal-maker but they were suprisingly bland.  They looked so beautiful that I chewed and chewed, patiently waiting for something to happen.  Nothing did.  Dash of salt, bit of pepper, still nothing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Freshness Burger - Singapore

Where's the Beef?
Back in the 80's there was a series of Wendys commercials in which an insistent senior kept yelling "Where's the beef?" as a way of tweaking McDonalds and Burger King for their small patties.  When the crew at Freshness Burger handed over my "classic" cheeseburger at lunch yesterday I felt like screaming the same thing.  To make matters worse, when I bit into it all I tasted was hype. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Toast@Work - Singapore

The Beginning of the End?
Nex is yet another new glittering mall in Singapore with restaurants throughout and a food court on the top floor.  You can eat in air-conditioned comfort, a welcomed respite from the unceasing heat and sun.  We navigated Nex to try out Toast@Work and while I have no specific complaints, I worry that these malls will slowly dilute the street food culture and doom the Singapore food scene.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Les Pâtes Vivantes II - Paris

It's Official, Happy Nouilles Takes em Out!
I'm a Zha Jiang fanatic.  If that doesn't mean something to you, it should.  We're talking hand-pulled noodles with ground pork and fermented soybean paste.  Maybe that doesn't sound enticing to you if you've never had it - think of it as a spicy, porky spaghetti.   Still doesn't sound good?  Seriously?  I cannot get enough of the stuff and in Paris, my favorite version is at Happy Nouilles, not Les Pâtes Vivantes.  I confirmed it with a visit to the latter's recently opened second outpost on Blvd St Germain.