Tag Archive for St Kilda

Brunching in Balaclava

Sunday mornings call for a spot of brunch and a good cup of coffee. Which is exactly what my Sunday morning consisted of.image

Aftet extensive research into good Melbourne brunch spots and a vigorous scroll through Instagram, we finally, finally decided on a local St Kilda place called Lava in Balaclava.

Firstly we ordered coffee which arrived almost instantly and we casually eyed the menu, as we enjoyed our caffeine hit. There was a lot of menu choice – from muesli and yoghurt to pancakes with fresh berries to bacon and eggs. And that was just the breakfast options…

Lava in Balaclava, as well as offering all day breakfast, also offer a huge number of lunch and dinner options and even fresh smoothies and juices. Situated on Carlisle Street in St Kilda, this is a great local place and only a short five minute walk away from where I live. The staff were all attentive and food service was surprisingly quick despite the busy-ness of the place. They even do a delivery service which is potentially dangerous news for two people who enjoying eating food as much as me and my flatmate.Lava in Balaclava

Since leaving the UK, I have lived without bacon and eggs. It’s been tough living without but today at Lava in Balaclava, I finally got the opportunity to indulge in my favourite fatty friends. Bacon and fried eggs with croissant French toast and a small dish of maple syrup. If I’m having brunch, I’m going to go all out.

The food arrived quickly and it really was delicious. My brunch buddy ordered the Eggs Benedict with salmon and I hear that that too, was also rather tasty. We greedily scoffed our food – the sweet maple syrup against the salty bacon and fried eggs really was something else and mopping it up with the French toast just added to the taste sensation.

Pushing our plates away, we agreed that brunch at Lava in Balaclava was definitely a good Sunday treat and definitely worth spending money on. Even though we are not supposed to be spending money. And I’m supposed to be eating healthily. But who can say no to brunch? Sod the diet. I want my bacon and eggs dammit.image

But anyway, Sunday calories don’t count right?

 

Rococo, Acland Street

Rococo restaurant St KildaI may have mentioned that Melbourne is jam-packed full of delicious looking food. It’s everywhere. There’s literally no escape. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I should probably say bad because I seem to be eating it all but at the same time, come on, who am I to say no?

As I’ve said, I have decided to settle in St Kilda for a few months before I can even think about being able to afford to travel up the East Coast. I say that like I will be able to afford it after a few months but with the amount of money I’m spending on rent paired with my inability to say “no” to food, it looks like I’ll be heading home poor and slightly on the chubbier side. I’m choosing to think positively that maybe I’ll start to get sick of all the cakes and the donuts and the brownies and the burgers and the paella and the noodles. Doesn’t seem likely though.

Anyway, I am going greatly off topic……….

Whilst settling down for a few months has given me a chance to relax and unpack my bags, it also means there’s not much travelling for me to write about on this so called “travel blog.” Therefore today will be a post on a delicious meal out at a local St Kilda restaurant that I’m still dreaming about.

My fellow travel buddies parents were in town and they decided to treat us on a meal out in St Kilda. Having walked past on many an occasion and commenting on how nice it looked, we made a bee-line for Rococo, an Italian restaurant on my favourite street of them all, Cakeland Street. Ahem, I mean Acland Street.

St Kilda Rococo

Inside it was lively and busy with windows opened onto the people-clogged streets outside. Despite the business of the restaurant, the atmosphere was great. Lots of people – friends, family, co-workers, couples – talking animatedly and enjoying their meals as tasty smells wafted from the kitchens.

It took some time to decide what we all wanted to eat. There was seriously a lot of choice and making a decision on what to eat is always a tough one for me. It’s up there with deciding what University to attend and what I should be doing with the rest of my life. Don’t want to make a wrong decision and then be jealous of everyone else’s meal. Don’t lie, you do it too. We decided on a starter of mixed dips with fresh bread which was divine and definitely warmed our stomachs up for the big event: main course. Washing our starters down with fresh, crisp white wine, we all (finally) decided what we wanted to indulge in next.St KIlda Rococo 2

I went for the pumpkin and caramelised onion risotto. And my God, I don’t mean to brag, but it really was one of my best decisions. I’m fascinated with Australia’s love for pumpkins. It’s everywhere here. Unless I’ve just been completely oblivious to it in the UK, the only dish I know of that has pumpkins in is pumpkin pie. But here, it’s all over the place – I see it advertised in literally every place I walk past. Where are all these pumpkins coming from? Are they even in season? Is the vegetable of Australia..the pumpkin? I should do some research on the matter.

Anyway, this pumpkin risotto was literally perfection. It was flavorsome and gooey and all kinds of yummy. I tried to take my time and savour every mouthful but it was hard to do that when the food is as good at this pumpkin risotto.

Too full for puddings, we regrettably finished our wine and pushed our cleared plates away from us, each of us repeatedly claiming how delicious our dishes were.

Rococo is a lovely little place for a nice dinner with family and friends. The staff are so friendly and know a lot about their wines – I was tempted to apply for a job there but thought I wouldn’t get very far into the process due to my only knowledge on the subject of wine is where to get the cheapest ones. (Aldi – $5. Bloody delicious. You’re welcome).

So with a lively ambience, gentle chatter filling the room, helpful and friendly staff and great company, this restaurant is one that I will definitely be attending again. There were some pretty good pastas I was eyeing up….and those puddings….

Till next time Rococo.

A special thanks to Christine and Nigel for wining and dining us two lowly travellers. Very much appreciated!

Making Memories in Melbourne

So things are finally looking up here in Melbourne. My fellow travel buddy and I have both found jobs and a place to rest our heads on a more permenant basis. Albeit a slightly expensive place to live but still, a place to live. And it’s in Australia. Right by the sea. So, whatever. In other good news, I haven’t got horrifically scarred by the rays of the sun in, I don’t know, at least a week. And I’ve even taken up jogging and reduced my Tim Tam intake. I don’t know who I’ve become.

It’s been a few weeks since we arrived in Melbourne and we have decided to settle in St Kilda – a sea side city just out of Melbourne CBD. It’s a place that is literally a 10 minute walk from the ocean where we can go in the evenings to watch beautifully magical sunsets and then promptly spam everyone’s Instagram with pictures. But pictures don’t really do the milky skies and purple velvet sea justice. Not at all. I mean, come on…. image image

Home in St Kilda

St Kilda is a truly lovely place to live. There is always something going on – from festivals to Sunday markets to strolls along the beach, it’s hard to be stuck for something to do. And as mentioned above, living by the sea is pretty damn awesome.  There’s a huge amount of cafes and bars overlooking the sea and one of my favourites is The Boardwalk – a place we found on one of our first days here and which we’ve frequented for breakfast on many occasion.

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St Kilda pier offers some incredible views of the city and is also home to some dapper little penguins. We headed there after the sunset one day and managed to catch a glimpse of the little guys waddling around and making some pretty terrifying noises. Other than that, they were adorable.

 

imageAnd then of course, there’s Acland Street. Or Cakeland street as I like to call it. It’s lined with deliciously tempting bakeries and cake shops all with colourful displays which call you in and practically force you to buy a slice of something sweet.

So apart from sunset gazing and penguin watching, we have been exploring as much as we can of Melbourne and its surroundings. Here’s a few of my highlights so far…

Queen Victoria Night Market

Being a huge foodie, the Queen Victoria Night Market was first on the agenda. Having heard rave reviews about this place, we thought it was definitely worth a visit. And my God, was it worth a visit. With live music, a lively atmosphere and endless amounts of food, this place is literally my idea of Heaven. All food is made fresh meaning the air is filled with different exotic aromas, making the decision of what to eat all the more difficult. From Thai to Indian, burgers to calamari, Spanish to Greek, the market basically has it all. And having gone three weeks in a row, I am well on my way to tasting it all..

Beachin’ it at Brighton

Brighton Beach – a short ten minute train journey from St Kilda and the perfect way to spend a sunny weekend afternoon. Golden sands and sparkling seas, this is another of Australia’s gorgeous coast lines that just had to be checked out. With rainbow coloured beach houses each with their own unique design lining the beach, this place is the stuff of dreams. Who doesn’t want their own beach house overlooking an endless ocean? Although I bet the beach house painted with the Australian flag is regretting their decision due to the array of tourists who come to take their photo with it….(yes of course I was one of them…)

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Melbourne CBD 

Melbourne is a vibrant city filled with character and liveliness. There’s not a street you can go down which doesn’t have some sort of street artist on performing music or doing tricks. The city is covered in incredible street art making for colourful alleyways telling vibrant stories.

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There’s a huge supply of great rooftop bars and eateries meaning that this is a great city to have on your doorstep. Not if you’re trying to be good and healthy though because there seems to be Nutella donuts and giant slices of cake around every corner as well. I really need to stop following Melbourne food accounts on Instagram – it’s making my life a misery.

There always seems to be something going on in Melbourne – from Australian Open, to the White Night to exciting festivals, Melbourne is a city which is rarely still. And come on, look at it..

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I don’t know how I could possibly live here for another 6 months…