Friday, June 29, 2007


Last night I slipped inside the little door near Gin Palace, on Russell Place. You know the one with the funny little beehive sign (pictured) out the front and nothing else? An out of towner like myself would have no reason to realise that this is the home of Sarti. But it is!

A friend is in town this week and we had planned to go out for dinner. This weekend is set to be an expensive one for myself, with the Bledisloe Cup in town, multiple friends visiting to watch/work and the associated eating, drinking and socialising that comes with such excitement. With this in mind I chose Sarti because it had good reviews, a chefs hat and a price range which included options below $30.

Reviews seemed to say that Sarti had perfected all the extras: service, ambience, decor etc, but that their food was only just reaching it's peak. So I was expecting good food and excellent service. After our experience, if I was to describe the service in one word it would be "strange". Our actual table service was good, just the right amount of attention and always a full wine glass. The strange part came from more general dealings. When I booked the person on the other end of the phone was very vague, almost to the point of unwelcoming. Upon arrival we realise there's a large function, taking 2/3 of the floor space and consequently our little table for 3 was tucked way in a corner, almost in a walkway. Interesting. This was after we were taken to the bar, presumably for them to get our table ready, only to be taken to the table before we'd had a chance to sip our water. I feel we should have been warned about the function, particularly as it meant we were sat in the corner of a walkway, in front of the kitchen, behind the bar and near no other tables.

Luckily we were in good spirits and not ready to let this bug us. Because it really was nothing more than a tad strange and why let that ruin a good meal. The up side to being off to a side is you can carry on like the old friend catching up that we were and no one really notices.

The menu has a good selection of starters, salads, pastas, mains and sides. We were all starving so we munched up the provided bread and went straight for mains. I ordered pasta with braised duck leg, marinated artichokes and a sage sauce. I would like to say up front this is one of the nicest pasta sauces I've ever had. There was such complexity of flavours and yet the dish wasn't so rich that I was full. A tangy tomato-ness worked well with the tender duck. Amazing. Unfortunately the complexity of my dish made it hard for me to get much out of the other two meals, but the diners assure me they were amazing. S-bo ordered funghi and ricotta ravioli whilst BD had broadbean risotto, which was very subtle. A funny little quirk was S-bo and I ordered main sizes and BD had an entree size. Whilst the bill says all was in order we all feel they may have got the other two size mixed up. BD's risotto was huge whilst S-bo's ravioli particularly scarce. Unfortunately the photos didnt come out so well due to the lighting, which is why I took a happy snap of the logo.


I was the only one in our trio to order dessert, I just couldn't get away from the double chocolate tart with clotted cream. The dessert menu seemed very imaginative and enticing, so I was a little disappointed when my tart arrived. It took a long, long time for them to slice me off a bit and bring it to the table. It arrived a rectangle slab of chocolate on shortcrust pastry with a blob of cream next door. The first few bites revealed a creamy, smooth, rich chocolately filling, unfortunately this wasnt quite enough to sustain my interest throughout the dish. I finished (with the help of the others) a little bored with the dessert, merely eating it all because it was chocolate and I love chocolate.

I've highlighted a few negatives from the evening, but Iwould go back. Why? Because my pasta was excellent and S-bo +BD were equally as impressed. Overall Sarti was laid back, relaxing and reasonably priced.

6 Russell Place


03 9639 7822

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Irish Stew

Slow cooked meat would have to be one of my favourite foods. I love how the meat just falls off the bone and dissolves in your mouth. I fail a little at actually cooking stews, casseroles and roasts as I'm rarely at home long enough. I get home a little too late on a weekday. As for weekends I'm usually cramming far too much into the two days to cook anything which takes more than 1 hour to prepare and cook. Often this cramming includes some kind of baking so perhaps I could cook sweets after the stew is underway. Still, there I go again, more cramming. I'd like to think the idea of a long, slow stew is about slowing down in general. Staying inside, cozy and relaxed. I think I will make an effort to make slow-cooked meals more often. Wind things back a little, take my time and watch the pot boil.

Having said that, this Irish stew is one thing that can be prepared and forgotten. My inspiration came for a Good Weekend clipping but I consulted various different recipes to get the feel of things. The clipping's ingredients were lamb, potatoes, onions, water and salt/pepper. Surely you need more than that to make a meal delicious? Apparently not, I included a few additions, as outlined below, but it was still pretty simple and tasted delicious. The potatoes really soaked up the flavour and were a particular highlight. All recipes I consulted suggested the potatoes should be peeled. I wasn't so keen on this, partly because I thought it added a rustic touch, but also because I couldn't really be bothered. Were the Irish bothered back in the day? On one hand I think waste not, want not. But on the other hand, I guess illness and disease were killers and potatoes probably weren't as well washed in the clean water that we have today.

Many recipes also stated mutton over lamb. I didn't even try to get it. I probably should have. The flatmate often brings back legs of mutton from her parents farm and they are delicious. The bigger flavour of mutton is definitely under-appreciated, hidden by mutton being a "cheaper" meat and often poorly cooked. It takes me right back to student days and institutionalized food. I did try to get neck chops as suggested but the butcher claimed forequarter would be just as good.

The recipe (serves 5):

1 kg mutton or lamb neck chops (this quantity of chops was a little short for 5 people, you could increase it without changing anything else in the recipe)
1.2 kg potatoes (this is heaps for 5 people), peeled.
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup stock (beef, veal or lamb)
about 3 cups of water
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

Trim the chops of all fat, including the skin. Slice the potatoes about 5mm thick and lay half evenly over the base of a large casserole dish/pot. Sprinkly with half the onion and then lay the chops over the top to form another layer. Season well with salt and pepper, add 1-2 stalks of parsely and thyme each, sprinkle with remaining onion, top with potato and season again. Add the stock and enough water to almost cover the contents. Cover and put the pot in the oven.
After 15 minutes turn the heat down to 150 degrees and continue cooking for about 1 3/4 hours.
Check half way through that there is still enough broth left to cook the potatoes and meat. You can remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to crisp up the top layer of potatoes.

I cooked the stew and had S-bo's flatmates round to help me eat it. There was ample potato but a little less meat. Don't forget to reserve the liquid from the cooking. If you let it cool and skim fat off the top it makes a delicious stock. I can't wait to make soup with it!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Beef Rice Noodles with Snowpeas

I'm still on my quest to get through all my recipe clippings, and I have a way to go yet! I'm falling behind in my posts a little, so stay tuned for Chicken Baked on Sweet Potato Rosti as well as Irish Stew. In the meantime have a go at beef rice noodles with snowpeas when you want a quick and healthy dinner. On a side note, I've always thought stirfries were pretty healthy (minus coconut milk), however just recently my mother's doctor said no. He claimed the food soaked up the oil. I would like to publicly disagree. Surely if the pan is hot enough you don't need much oil and secondly, olive and vegetable oils are unsaturated. Am I right? Hmm, this is the doctor who said walking 9 holes of golf wasn't enough exercise. Anyway, back to the food.

I preferred this meal to the Honey and Sesame Stir-fried Beef I cooked a little while ago. The marinade had a little more depth and using rice noodles meant all flavours mixed in well and the meal was quick to prepare. I definitely under-utilise rice noodles, dump them in some hot water for a bit, throw them in the pan and away you go. Much quicker than waiting for rice to cook.
So here's the recipe, from an edition of Good Living in about 2004. I think a little bit of ginger might give it a great lift too.

Beef rice noodles with snowpeas

2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
300g rib eye or sirloin, finely sliced
500g fresh rice noodles
Vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
100g snow peas, sliced lengthwise
200g bean sprouts, rinsed
1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 spring onions, finely chopped

Combine marinade ingredients and leave beef to marinate for 30 minutes.

Pour hot water ove rthe noodles, gently working them apart with chopstickes. Drain, rinse under cold water, shake dry and rub in a little oil.

Heat a wok (I use a frying pan, even if I had a wok I don't imagine it'd go so well on my electric stove) then add 2 tbsp oil. Add garlic and snowpease, toss well over high heat for 1 min. Add the beef in marinade and toss well until coloured, then tip onto a warm plate.

Add a little extra oil to the pan, and toss the drained noodles and bean sprouts over high heat for 2 mins. Return the beef and snowpeas to the pan, then add the rice wine, soy, oyster sauce and sugar, tossing well. Add a dash of water if dry. Scatter with spring onions and serve.

Serves 4

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cafe Gusto, Queenscliff

This is yet another back-post. I seem to be forever taking photos and not getting around to posting. The photos stack up and before you know it it’s 2 weeks since I had this meal. On the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend (happy birthday Liz) S-bo and I took a drive down to Queenscliff. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but I’m sure it was very appropriate to visit Her Majesty’s cliff on Her Majesty’s birthday holiday.

It was what I am beginning to see as a typical Victorian day: windy and rainy. S-bo and I were in search of a warm cozy place to have a nice meal and a good glass of wine, we found it at Café Gusto. A strange building, this place seems like it would really come into it’s own during summer. The inside dining area is quite small, long and skinny but out the back is a huge area, perfect for a party, with pavers and a nice garden, including a herb garden! Since it wasn’t summer, the inside did us quite well. The open fire kept us warm and cozy as we watched the chefs prepare meals in the open kitchen. Ordering provided no contest, the menu isn’t limited, with quite a good selection of sandwiches, salads and a curry or two, but neither S-bo nor I could go past bangers and mash on such a rainy day. Thick pork sausages, field mushrooms, caramelized onions and tomato relish on sourdough. Heaven in a sausage skin. The meal didn’t disappoint, I can only assume the tomato relish was homemade because it was just so good, definitely the highlight on the plate.

The service was pretty standard for café, our order was taken and meals arrived in a timely manner which is notable considering how busy they were, some cafes can fall apart at the seams as soon as all their tables fill. What’s more the staff were friendly and bubbly.

S-bo and I washed our meal down with a nice glass of pinot. Being two weeks ago I can’t remember what pinot, but it was a nice way to spend a holiday lunch. The wine list is charmingly written on a blackboard and it looks like it’s edited frequently, indicating to me that Café Gusto pays attention to what wines it’s serving and rotates on a regular basis. Unfortunately, despite a large range of bottles, wine by the glass was a little harder to come by. The red options included a shiraz, a merlot and the pinot. Considering this was the only fault I could find (not that I go looking for faults) I’d give Café Gusto a thumbs up!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Flourless Orange Cake II

Well, I had another crack! Luckily there were still some oranges leftover from Bulk to make this cake a second time round. Regular readers will remember my oven woes and associated unsuccessful attempt a short time ago. The recipe can be found by following the link, but it basically entails boiling up the oranges for 2 hours and then processing, skin and all with some eggs. It's quite an easy recipe to make, but my oven is poor at the best of times and has a particular dislike for anything flourless. Perhaps it's watching it's weight and knows the evils of almond meal!

To speed cooking time and thus decrease over-browning I cooked the same quantity of batter in 2 tins, making for a much shallow cake. The resulting "fingers" looked perfect for a sophisticated afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches. Instead S-bo, flatmate and I ate them with ice-cream. The cake was very moist, I'm not sure if it's how it should be or whether the oven imprinted it's mark afterall. It made for a beautiful dessert but after a few days the pieces I took as snacks to work were getting a little soggy, rather than moist. It did brown a little on the sides, but nothing drastic. The citrus taste is very strong, I guess because of the peel. Overall I think this cake has a lot of possibilities, but I'll leave it for now, at least until I have a better oven. I'll stick with an orange buttercake recipe I have, which tends to turn out pretty well.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Jam Drops

There’s no doubt about it, some food is just comfort food. Not in the clichéd sense of the term…warm fatty foods that you can enjoy beside a fire, but in the sense that some food brings back great memories. My good friend, N1 who I have mentioned previously, used to make jam drops all the time (and probably still does, do you?). Returning to boarding school after holidays was accompanied by an ice-cream container of the biscuits. Onto uni days and visiting N1 in Brisbane usually involved jam drops and a cup of tea at some point. She used to keep them in the freezer so the jam would be nice and sticky.

Not only do they bring great memories for me, they’re also no-fuss to make and fairly foolproof (hmm, read on…) When a morning tea at work called for us all to bring a plate I settled on jam drops. Unfortunately I got a little distracted while they were in the oven so the end result was burnt on the bottom. I could blame the oven however it’s probably the reason they were burnt only on the bottom and not all over. The morning the biscuits were required saw me scraping off the burnt bottoms the way people scrape toast, a funny sight I’m sure.

Anyway, here they are. I’m not really sure where I got this recipe. It’s not N1’s recipe and it’s not an old family recipe either. I picked it up somewhere about 2 years ago and it’s been scribbled on the back of an envelope ever since. I’m sure it’s one of a hundred different versions.

Jam Drops

80 g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 cup SR flour
1/3 cup custard powder
Jam of your choice

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with paper. Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Add sifted flour and custard powder and mix to form dough.
Roll 2 teaspoons into a ball and put on trays, pressing down in the middle with your finger. Fill with a drop of jam.
Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a tray.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Radicchio Risotto

This is a back-blog. A dish that I have made in the recent past and not had time to post about. You might remember the duck dinner and the radicchio that I forgot to serve. Katie, over at Other People’s Food just happened to post a Liquorice and Radicchio Risotto she’d made around the same time, so I declared that I would make the same dish. Unfortunately, as Katie found, ground liquorice root was a little hard to come by. I was told by a lady at the markets that she hasn’t seen ground liquorice root for months. Katie couldn’t find it either and made do with liquorice extract. A national shortage maybe? So instead of using Katie’s recipe I made a basic lemon risotto and incorporated the radicchio as directed by Cook’s Companion.

I made a few mistake when cooking this risotto, namely forgetting to put the star ingredient in with the onion, before the rice. I didn’t realise until well after the first couple of ladles of stock. Nevermind, I briefly cooked the radicchio in a little oil and added it half way. The risotto still took on a brilliant pink colour. I’m not really sure that the radicchio lent much flavour as it still tasted like a plain lemon risotto to me. That’s not to say it wasn’t delicious, and I was the envy of my workmates when I took leftovers for lunch the next day. I was cooking for myself this particular evening and I had just enough rose, also leftover from the duck dinner, to have a glass with my meal.

So, here’s to leftovers, in many different forms.

Radicchio Risotto

1.5 l chicken stock
200 ml white wine
120 g unsalted butter
1 red onion, minced (although I used a brown onion, chopped and this worked out fine)
250 g finely sliced radicchio
2 cups arborio rice
salf & pepper
90 g grated parmesan
¼ cup chopped parsley
grated zest + juice of 1 lemon

Heat stock and wine, (I often use the microwave instead of dirtying another saucepan). In a heavy-based pan melt half the butter over gentle heat, sauté onion until softened and translucent then stir in radicchio. Add rice, raise heat to moderate and stir to ensure grains are coated with the butter. Add 1 cup of hot stock, simmer and stir constantly. Once liquid is absorbed continue adding, simmering and stirring, 1 cup at a time. After 15-20 minutes rice should be perfectly cooked. Remove from heat, season and add cheese, remaining butter, parsley and lemon juice/zest. Cover for 2 minutes then serve at once.

Serves 6

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mr Wolf, St Kilda

Karen Martini's creation if I'm right, this is what my friends SD & Newie would call “fancy pizza”. And coincidentally we all toddled off to Mr Wolf’s for SD & Newie’s farewell party. It was a sad and exciting occasion. Sad as two friends of mine are about to go overseas indefinitely and exciting because it spells new challenges for them AND means S-bo and I got to go to Mr Wolf. We went here the very first weekend I moved to Melbourne and loved it. But it’s not an everyday experience…they don’t call it “fancy pizza” for nothing.

I think I may have ordered the same pizza we had last time we went too…Pancetta (below). I can’t find it on the website’s menu but it had pancetta (obviously), mozzarella, basil I think, olives and chilli. Our first time to Mr Wolf I found the chilli a bit much so this time I asked them to tone it down a little. Unfortunately I then ended up with too little chilli. My mistake really. It’s not that I don’t like (moderately) spicy food; I’m just big on chilli overpowering other flavours. I should just build my tolerance.

S-bo had a special, Porcetta (top) (possibly dubious spelling here). The pizza consisted of pork, artichoke and lemon among other things. He was keen to try something different but wasn’t so sold on this. It was a little unconventional I guess, I think I liked it more than him.

There was a very different vibe on a Saturday night compared to the Sunday that we visited. Obviously, being busy, it wasn’t as relaxed. I remember the service first time round as being exceptional whilst this time it was simply adequate. The waitress was friendly and efficient, but did need chasing when drinks were empty. To be fair we were a difficult booking: large and early, arriving in dribs and drabs. The evening was far more about friends catching up and I’m sure service would have been its usual top notch if our objective was more about the food. I really don’t want to nit-pick the restaurant because the evening was great, but it does beg the question should service be of the same standard regardless of what night of the week you attend a restaurant?

Similarly the pizza wasn’t quite as good as I remembered, but then I did bland-down my pizza and on our first visit I was entirely in awe of all things Melbourne, having lived here for all of 1 ½ days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exceptional pizza, fancy even, I just had particularly high standards on this occasion.

Mr Wolf does BYO on Tuesday nights, so I’m keen to head along and pair a bottle of Sangiovese that I’ve been hoarding for a while with a delectable pizza. They also have takeaway and home delivery.

Note: On second thoughts I may have had Calabrese on my first visit.... should return to compare and contrast me-thinks.

Mr Wolf
9-15 Inkerman St
St Kilda (03) 9534 0255

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flourless Orange Cake…aka Disaster Cake!

My workmate brought oranges back from his farm…perfect for making an orange cake. I have a great recipe for buttery orange cake, but this time decided I needed a new challenge. It seemed straight forward enough, but never underestimate the power of Ali’s baking disasters!

I’m not so keen on my oven. My mother has fought a bad oven for years until getting a new kitchen recently, so what did I do? Moved into a flat with a bad oven! No fan-forced for me. The element is on the bottom and the oven is about 20 degrees too hot I think. The first ever cake I made in this oven was a whisky, chocolate and raisin cake…expensive ingredients that all went in the bin when the outside was charcoal-burnt and the inside as uncooked as….. Anyway, it was uncooked!

The problem seems to be worse in cakes with low flour content. Usually I set the oven 20 degrees cooler than suggested and turn the cake regularly and it seems to work ok, just. Like the whisky, raisin and chocolate cake, the flourless orange cake browned very quickly on the surface and remained uncooked inside. I think I will try the cake again in a shallower tin…cook it quickly before it has a chance to brown. It really didn’t help that I left out the baking powder and madly tried to stir it in, with help from my flatmate, after the cake had been in the oven for 15 minutes.

Here’s the recipe, from Cooks Companion:
Interesting is the boiling of the oranges, filling my apartment with a beautiful, fresh citrus smell.

Claudia Roden’s Middle Eastern Orange Cake

2 large oranges
6 eggs, beaten
250 g ground almonds
250 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder

Boil oranges, barely covered with water, in a covered saucepan for 2 hours. Allow to cool, cut open, remove pips and chop roughly (including the rind).

Preheat oven to 190 degrees and butter/flour a 24 cm springform tin. Blend oranges and eggs thoroughly in a food processor. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add the orange mixtures and whisk to combine. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 45 - 60 minutes. Cool in tin before gently turning out.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

HHDD #12....Don't Forget to Vote!

Don't forget, you have 2 day's left to vote for your favourite Caesar Salad. Katie at Other People's Food has put together a great round-up. Pop along and check out all the scrumptious takes on Caesar Salad. Clearly there's more than one way to toss a salad!

Honey and Sesame Stir-fried Beef

Over the last two and a half years I’ve collected hundreds of recipe clippings. A recipe organizer from Kikki.K, given to me by AO’b and MB, has inspired me to work my way through the clippings, keeping what I like and discarding those that I will never cook again.

I’ve already cooked a few things that haven’t appeared on this blog, including lemon and orange delicious pudding and mushroom and white wine risotto. This post features a recipe I made last week, honey and sesame stir-fried beef. It’s a Christine Mansfield recipe published in the Good Weekend 20th Anniversary Issue, 2004. Uh huh, I have uncooked recipes from 2004.

I used a little too much chilli when making this, which masked the honey a bit. It’s an easy recipe to whip up and I served it with rice and steamed greens. The marinade is quick, meaning you can prepare it and forget it, perfect for starting before the gym and cooking and eating when you return, as I did.

Leftover beef, which formed my dinner the following night was delicious! The flavour enhanced, honey stronger and chilli weaker.

This week’s menu includes Chicken on Sweet Potato Rosti (Marie Claire) and Beef, rice noodles and snow peas. I’m also hoping to try Katie’s (Other People’s Food) Licorice and Radicchio Risotto, with the leftover raddichio from the duck dinner. Unfortunately I can’t find powdered licorice root. Katie used licorice drops, does anyone know of anything else that can be substituted in?

Back to the Honey and Sesame Stir-fried Beef:
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp light honey
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 red birdseye chillies
2 tbsp vegetable oil
500 g beef tenderloin fillet, thinly sliced
2 tsp white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 bunch chives cut into 5 cm lengths

Combine the first 7 ingredients with half the oil. Add beef slices, mix well and marinate for an hour.

Heat a large wok with half the remaining oil, add half the beef and marinade and toss over high heat so the beef sears and cooks quickly (chopsticks will help keep the beef strips separate). Repeat with the remaining oil, beef and marinade.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds and chives over the beef. The recipe suggests serving with rice, noodles or watercress salad.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Duck for Dinner Part II: Dessert

These little plum and almond cakes formed the dessert for the last week’s duck dinner. They were from the same article by Bill Granger in Good Living. Plums are out of season at the moment yet I had hoped to still source some. When I couldn’t I opted for strawberries, which worked amazingly well. The little cakes are very light, the almond meal gives a texture similar to friands yet without the heaviness you sometimes get. The batter is quite runny which can be disconcerting to start with. The great thing about this recipe is it can all be done by hand. Two bowls, a fork and a spoon make life a lot easier than pulling out the mix-master whilst trying to cook the rest of a might remember from Part I how disorganised I was so this was a Godsend.

Here’s what to do:

1 cup almond meal
1 ½ cups icing sugar, sifted
½ cup plain flour
150 g unsalted butter, melted
6 egg whites, beaten lightly with a fork
2 plums, halved, stone removed, sliced
1/3 cup flaked almonds
½ cup thick yoghurt
½ cup crème fraiche

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease ½ cup capacity muffin tin.
Combine dry ingredients together and add melted butters and beaten egg whites, stir until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into about 9 muffin holes and top with a few plum slices and the flaked almonds.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Combine yoghurt and crème fraiche and serve a dollop on warm cakes.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Laneway 3000: Winter Party

Apparently there was a laneway party on last night! Some friends and I tried to find it but we got side-tracked by food on Hardware Lane. We had every intention of going to the party but our stomachs won out.

We found ourselves at Aloi Na! A Thai place amongst many other Italian places. Hardware lane is an amazing place on a Friday night. Never in Sydney would so many people choose to dine outside in such temperatures. Unfortunately Aloi Na! wasn’t as vibrant as the setting. The food was what I’d been looking for at my last visit to a Thai restaurant, however not worth the price tag. The Massamun Curry was particularly amazing, the chicken with cashews nuts standard, run of the mill chicken with cashew nuts (what more can you expect) and the Pad Thai was apparently bad. Pad Thai was never my favourite dish, so I can’t claim to be an expert but my fellow diners were disappointed. An interesting wine list include Sticks Pinot Noir for a mere $25, surely that’s cheap for restaurant price, with a retail of around $16.

Two bottles of wine later we decided to check out the festivities. “VIP” after parties were being held at Golden Monkey, Horse Bazaar and Murmur. First we went to Apartment to search for some friends. Some poor barman dropped a bottle of Smirnoff on the bar and a suit got quite irate. These things happen and I have a nice little cut on my pinkie finger to prove it. We moved on to Murmur, but didn’t have any Eat Drink Winter brochures to get 2-for-1 cocktails. Never mind, instead we enjoyed an amazing playlist from the early 90s…Dire Straits, Gunners, Springsteen etc. I believe the DJ didn’t turn up so the guys behind the bar were having the time of their life controlling the CD player. Ok, so I don’t know that about the DJ for sure, but there was an empty deck in a corner and the guys behind the bar were controlling the tunes!

When 90s music got too much we made our way to Workshop for a final nightcap. Overall I got a well-rounded tour of more Melbourne laneways and bars, and I think that’s what the Winter in the City promotion is all about!

More photos to come.