I had to open with that, since it was the last snack we both took before our domestic flight from Adelaide to Melbourne early that afternoon.
Note: Let me take an aside and commend Virgin Australia on their flights – great value, quick check-in, efficient baggage drop, spacious seats (legroom!!!), and smooth flight. We had a bit of bumps here and there just before landing in Melbourne, but the rest of the trip was incredibly smooth.
So transfer and check-in was relatively quick. The room was definitely much simpler than the one we had in Adelaide, but check out the view!
We made it out of to the city quickly this time, having a light lunch at Pie Face, a savoury pie chain in Melbourne. From what we heard, it was widely popular among students, which made sense since you could see RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) buildings almost everywhere in the city.
The food was pretty good though, I was quite happy to finally get a chance to get a taste of a Australian-style meat pie. I got a Steak & Mushroom stack (which tastes much nicer than it looks), which is a meat-and-mushroom-filled puff pastry pie topped with mushy peas, mashed potatoes, and gravy. DELISH.
Pie Face is located all over Melbourne City. To find out more about them, click here.
Satisfied and excited, the Tiger and I took a walk along one of the main roads, before spotting “Hill of Content” and kick-starting the Melbourne leg of the Book Trail, which you can read about in detail here.
There is a certain kind of comfort you get to experience when you explore the streets of a new city, and the Tiger and I were gushing over the beautiful architecture, the random bike stations (people could rent a bike to ride in the city), the interesting shop lanes and alleyways, and the dry, but cool and windy weather.
We met his friends – Jun Lynn and Michelle – for dinner and dessert that evening. Going to Federation Square and the Yarra River for a bit, we finally settled at the Meatball Wine and Bar for a wonderful dinner. (We were really hoping that it was good though, it was a 45-minute wait in the queue)
Sharing three huge portions of meatballs and a cheese plate, we had a combination of beef with homemade pasta and tomato, pork with garden vegetables and pesto, and chicken meatball sliders. The cheese had great bite, the different cheeses carrying varying levels of savour and freshness.
The meatballs themselves were amazing as well. The chicken sliders were huge – well-flavoured, herb and chicken meatballs served as a great body against the melted cheese and soft slider bun. The pork gave a great burst of flavour as well, the sweetness of the meat against the fresh crunch of the broccoli and the tang of the pesto and sprinkled cheese. Lastly, the succulent beef was probably the best (in my opinion), full-flavoured and a great accompaniment to the tangy tomato sauce and homemade pasta.
The Meatball Wine and Bar is located at 135 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000. To find out more about them, click here.
Craving for dessert soon after, we took a walk to Lygon Street, also known as Little Italy to the residents of Melbourne. There, we went to a place highly recommended by a few of the Tiger’s friends – Koko Black.
I would swear that the existence of these places really show Australia’s love for their confections. Set in the classically decorated café, the Tiger and I shared an Alchemy Cake, together with other orders of Hot Chocolate and Chocolate Affogato.
Before I give my view though, let me just tempt you with a few pictures.
In detail, the Alchemy Cake look very much like something you would see when you excavated land that is highly-prized by geologists. From what we got, this was how the Alchemy Cake was like:
- Dark Chocolate Shell
- Chocolate-coated Caramel Bits
- Dark Chocolate Sauce
- Chocolate Mousse
- Dense Chocolate Cake
It was a feast for the senses – the right about of crunch from the caramel, the great balance of the bitterness of the dark chocolate against the sweetness of the caramel, and the smoothness of the mousse complimented the density of the cake perfectly. A single bite of all five layers will send all your facial senses into a tizzy of goodness.
(Note: I still love you, Haigh’s, don’t worry)
This Koko Black branch is located at 167 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053. For more information, click here.
Filled to the brim, we ended the night with a cool, night walk back to the hotel. Not bad for the first day (or half a day) in Melbourne.