In 2013 we asked a handful of Melbourne (and international) bloggers to revisit their first ever posts. The Back to the Start series was a great opportunity for fellow foodies to take stock – to talk about what inspired them to get started and reflect on all they have achieved since they first pressed the publish button.
Twelve months later, as we embark on the laborious process of moving to a new content management system, we stumbled upon out first ever post. Going live on Boxing Day 2010, it charted our visit to Pho Dzung on Victoria Street. Having arrived in Australia after three months in Southeast Asia, we were thrilled to find a whole strip dedicated to Vietnamese noodle soup. We didn’t realise it was going to be the first of 200 (and counting) posts charting our culinary odyssey through this great city, and indeed this great country, that we have called home for the past three and a half years.
We came up with a name for the blog – inspired by The Streets – and started posting a review every few weeks. We didn’t eat anywhere too flash, mainly because we were flat broke. I started drinking coffee – that’s right, I was a caffeine virgin until a flat white at Dukes on Chapel Street woke me up to the wonders of the humble bean – and we discovered that most perfect of Melbourne pastimes – brunch.
But really, we started blogging because we needed something to do – we didn’t really know anyone, and we were in danger of getting sick of each other’s company, so food came to the rescue. It was a great excuse to explore our new surrounds, and even today we still feel like we have only just scratched the surface.
Which is why we are sad to say the time has come for us to move on. It’s not an easy decision and, be warned, we will be back. But for now we are taking the adventure to the hot and humid street food stalls of Kuala Lumpur. Why? We only have one real answer to that: why not?
So this is farewell. Melbourne, it’s been amazing. Off the top of our heads we will miss sensational sandwiches and red velvet cake at Beatrix, double patty smash burgers at Rockwell and Sons, and dirty martinis at Hell of the North. It’s funny, but we compiled a list of the places we want to revisit in our last few weeks, and it didn’t feature a single hatted restaurant.
The Town Mouse and The Commoner (ok, and The Estelle) were all there, but we are just as keen to get our fix of paneer curry and a BYO bottle at Kake di Hatti (with drinks at The Alderman first), and a mouth-numbing serve of kung pao chicken and a BYO bottle at Dainty Sichuan.
It’s been an eventful few years – we’ve visited Melbourne institutions that have weathered the GFC and hundreds of newcomers hoping to steal their crown (we are looking at you Lau’s Family Kitchen) and then there have been the venues that have played host to three restaurants in as many year (yes, Virginia Plain / Mercy Bar / Fonda 3.0).
We like to think we broke a few stories – but it might have just been a coincidence that news of the five-course degustation menu for $50 (by an ex-Vue de Monde chef, no less) at Clayton Bowls Club made Channel 9’s news headlines the day after we published our post.
Yes, we p*ssed off a few people – but that’s just because we told it as we saw it – even if that meant one café owner felt the need to come ‘pay me a visit’ after a less than favourable review. Anyway, let’s not dwell on what’s done – and instead look to a future filled with satay, laksa and Hainanese chicken.
Our capable contributors Nat Stockley (aka the King of Urbanspoon) and Erin ‘healthy eating’ Dooley will keep you posted on all the latest Melbourne happenings while we get busy in Malaysia. And over in London, our man about town Ben Crilly continues to chart the capital’s hot spots.
Remember, if you are ever bored, you can always find us on Twitter causing some kind of fiasco or on Instagram, filtering the crap out of some food. See you all on the other side, and thanks for the good times.
Nic and Helen