I love trying new places to eat, and for that Melbourne is certainly a marvelous place to be. However, I’m hardly out there conquering the latest and greatest openings of the city every week. As much as that sounds rather glamorous, my approach is a little more laid back. In all my trying-of-new-places I’ve inevitably found a few I’ve become quite fond of – and so a lot of my gastronomical adventures are simply returning to eat and spend time in those cafes and restaurants. And I’ll admit – it’s always so much easier to head to a favourite like Twenty & Six Espresso after waking up late and hungry on Sunday morning.
The new discoveries generally come from either a convenient whim, or a list Blu-Tacked to our fridge entitled ‘PLACES WE WANT TO EAT AT’*. I would highly recommend the use of such a list; it makes one feel superbly accomplished upon completion and is far less overwhelming than a vast and click-happy Urbanspoon wishlist! Our list is simple – just a few select eateries with no deadline or urgency. It’s a wonderful go-to when the timing and mood fit!
I love taking the time to sit down and write up a new List. Armed with a copy of The Age’s Good Food Under $3o (currently out of print) and the beautiful coffee-table tome Flavours of Urban Melbourne – the process is tactile and visual and filled with tasty promise. I also keep my ear to the buzzings of the blogosphere, Twitter, Broadsheet and Urbanspoon to catch any post-publication goodies.
The first ever List saw Mat and I venture to Pope Joan on Nicholson Street, Brunswick East (a charming, airy space that’s lovely for lunch!), Easy Tiger on Smith Street, Collingwood (splurged on the banquet and did not regret it) and Beatrix on Queensberry St, North Melbourne (I can’t believe it took me so long to discover the Queen of North-side sweet treats!). It was a hugely successful list and each eatery garnered a return visit or two. In the case of Beatrix, we’re talking a return visit or twelve.
We now have a fresh new List taking pride of place on the fridge. Small Victories has already been tackled – we had a yummy breakfast there, and would definitely return if just to spend more time in the leafy sunshine on cute, quiet little Rathdowne in Carlton North.
*Apologies, grammar geeks! The name just stuck!