31. Learn to like a new food

17 06 2012

Rose Diner Port MelbourneThe other day I sent out a tweet asking for suggestions of what to do in my last few weeks in Melbourne, the lovely folks over at Time Out Melbourne were quick to respond suggesting I do as a true Melburnian would – eat! To further enhance their loveliness they offered me a double pass to a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Roast event today at Rose Diner, Port Melbourne.

The event was titled ‘Pork, Cider and Chardonnay’ and whilst my “My body hates alcohol” attitude didn’t entice me to the booze, my love of meat drew me to the former. Pork has always been my least favourite roast (I’d say it goes Beef, Duck, Chicken/Lamb, Pork) but when cooked and flavoured well I know it can become a real contender.

Starting the mammoth meal (Three appetisers, an entree, the main roast and dessert!) with Pork Scratchings I quickly threw one into my mouth before I had time to think about what a pork scratching actually was. I’ve never tried a pork scratching before but these were inoffensive and obviously of a high quality.

This photo doesn’t do it justice. I’m sure it was a lovely terrine!

Admission: I am a terrineophobe. Yes, that newly coined term can be defined as ‘One who has a phobia of terrine’. This is me. And unfortunately the homemade Pig’s Head Terrine here was not going to shake me out of my life-long phobia. I did, however, try it and flavourwise it was lovely but I simply cannot fathom the texture.

Now onto the good stuff…

The Pork, Apple and Cider sausages were delicious. I’m sometimes a bit iffy on sausages but these definitely had a high meat content and a lovely flavour.

The slow-cooked pork belly with a king prawn and cider vinegar onions was simply amazing. My favourite dish of the meal, everything complimented each other perfectly and it was faultless.

The main of the Roast pork was possibly the best roast pork I’ve ever eaten with some beautiful heirloom carrots finishing the dish.

After all the pork, I was very full by the time it came to dessert but the Apple and Pear ice cream with cinnamon crumble was a perfect, light way to end the meal.

As for the alcohol, the locally sourced Pear Cider was up there as one of the few alcoholic drinks I’ve ever managed more than five mouthfuls of and I’m sure the Apple Cider and two vintage chardonnays were also of the highest calibre however my brief sips didn’t do them justice. Fortunately Lara was on hand to polish them all off!

Read the badge, kids.

As the badge we were greeted with states, I definitely now love pork.

The event was a great way to showcase the amazing food and drink on offer in Victoria and the local producers’ hard work over a couple of tough years through diverse weather has certainly paid off.

I cannot thank everyone at Time Out Melbourne and Rose Diner and Bar enough for this. The staff were wonderful (and very understanding of our terrinephobia) and it was definitely one of the best ways to spend a Sunday lunchtime in Melbourne.

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17ii. See Missy Higgins play live (again)

17 06 2012
Missy Higgins live June 16 2012

Sorry for the poor photo, again.

Missy Higgins (Supported by Butterfly Boucher)
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne
Saturday 16 June 2012.

Read 17i. See Missy Higgins play live.

Wearing her ‘reserved for special occasions’ yellow pants (read the English translation: trousers) that she’d worn at last Friday’s Sydney show, Butterfly Boucher took to the grand stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre like a pro. Her set was similar to last Friday’s however there was the welcome addition of Not Fooling Around which kept me happy. And Missy’s appearance on None The Wiser wearing a large wintery coat surprised the unsuspecting audience (bar the diehards who’d already been to other shows!)

After Butterfly’s run to sign CDs and sprint back onto stage (after a Vodka and Tonic) Missy took to the stage in the more venue-appropriate outfit of a sequined dress. The set began as it had done last week, Secret was soft, The River was beautifully sad and by the time the hand-painted banners were lowered onto the stage in Hello Hello, I think it’s safe to say most of the audience were completely consumed by the music. Continuing with Set Me On Fire (“It’s a love song to music, I guess”) and the number heavy combo of 100 Round The Bends then Ten Days, I briefly wondered if I’d be hearing anything I hadn’t heard live in Sydney. Whilst I still wouldn’t have been gutted if it had been identical, the arrival of special guest Dave Higgins (Yes, he’s Missy’s brother) on Cooling of the Embers served to make the tribute to their late Grandmother Judy all the more poignant and the evening began to take a different turn. With Dave on piano, Missy was left instrument-less which seemed unusual but she coped just fine.

When Dave was asked to stay on to provide animal noises in Watering Hole he looked a little bit awkward wandering around the stage trying to fit in, but the craziness added to the madness that was unfolding throughout the theatre. In fact, so successful were the animal noises from the audience tonight that they continued throughout the set with Missy clarifying one audience contribution later in the evening was most definitely a “Moo” and not a “Boo”. Yes, it seems there were some quality cow impersonators on Exhibition Street tonight.

For her solo piano set Missy returned to her debut to play They Weren’t There and Any Day Now. Whilst the latter was faultless the former saw Missy stumble mid-song, followed by an expletive burst and then, of course, an apology at the end of the song. In fact, this was one of two slip ups in the evening which highlighted Missy’s great character – earlier on she’d started singing the wrong second line in Peachy before quickly correcting herself and apologising.

Going North was included as a request from her mum who was in the audience before Everyone’s Waiting was introduced as a song about the anxiety of writing new music which Missy admits was mostly brought on by herself.

Concluding the set with each of the biggest singles from her albums, Missy certainly deserved the standing ovation from the huge venue.

Comparisons with the Sydney show? Sydney was a better venue, Melbourne was a better show.

My one gripe: Still no Sugarcane. I guess this just means this definitely can’t be the last time I see Missy play live. One day I’ll see it live. One day.

If anyone knows of a spare ticket to tomorrow night’s (Sunday) Melbourne show, please let me know ASAP.

Setlist:

  • Secret
  • The River
  • If I’m Honest
  • Hello Hello
  • Set Me On Fire
  • 100 Round The Bends
  • Ten Days
  • Peachy
  • Where I Stood
  • Cooling of the Embers
  • Watering Hole
  • They Weren’t There (Solo)
  • Any Day Now (Solo)
  • Going North
  • Everyone’s Waiting
  • The Special Two
  • Warm Whispers
  • Unashamed Desire
  • Scar
  • Steer




15. Take artsy photos on Brighton Beach

16 06 2012

Ok, so they may not be ‘artsy’, but I did take photos on Brighton Beach.

Yesterday it was a very mild, clear winter’s day and Lara was celebrating the end of her exams so we headed down to Brighton Beach and wandered along the beach past all the huts then into North Brighton in typical tourist fashion. Considering we had no idea where we were heading we were quite impressed with ourselves for not getting lost and, after a pretty decent work out, we made it onto the main street for lunch.

Here’s a few photos…

 





28. Buy combined Apple and Pineapple juice in a big carton

9 06 2012

Horrible.

Unlike my pleasant reunion with Tiny Teddies, my eagerness to try Berri’s Australian Grown Apple & Pineapple Juice was misplaced.

I recently bought a carton on special offer and was quick to pour myself a glass only to be massively disappointed. It tasted nothing like I remembered and certainly didn’t taste anywhere near as good as the mixed Apple & Pineapple juices I’ve regularly made myself back in the UK.

Well at least I tried it.

I’ll be sticking to Orange Juice or Orange & Mango from now on…





44. Learn about Australian politics

9 06 2012

Having recently submitted my final essays for Australia Now it’s safe to say I’ve learnt A LOT about Australian politics whilst I’ve been over here. My previous knowledge of Australian politics was garnered solely from K Rudd’s appearances on Rove so having twelve weeks of lectures revolving around the themes of politics in the country was a real eye opener.

I’ve learnt about Keating’s Redfern address, Howard’s long stint as PM and I still can’t decide what I make of Whitlam.

Although Australia’s political history is short, it has been really interesting to learn about the highs and lows.

Oh, and one last thing. The Australia Day riot was not a riot. Nor was there a mob. I’ve spent far too much time reading up on the story and watching Youtube clips but at least I learned something new…





40. Go to the Logies in some way

9 06 2012

They ruined any hopes I ever had of attending…

Ok, this was literally months ago.

And I didn’t manage to go to the Logies. To be honest, I may have been tempted to head down to Crown on the night for the atmosphere if it hadn’t been for One Direction being there and hence herds of screaming teenage girls. Yes, I would’ve also been a teenage girl. But I would not have been screaming. And it would’ve all been too much for me.

Instead Lara and Rachael came over for tacos and table tennis with Channel Nine on in the background. It was a lovely evening.

I guess I’ll just have to save this one for another year.





48. Eat some Tiny Teddies biscuits

9 06 2012

I pretty much at the whole box in one day.

Thanks to my friend Katrina kindly buying me these for my birthday I can assure you these were as good as I remembered. They’re basically the same as Cadbury Animals – only cuter.