I was stopped by the x-ray machine operator at Sydney Airport on Wednesday afternoon. They were concerned by the jars of 'unidentified powder' in my hand luggage...so I removed the offending Jordanian Za'atar and once they'd checked the contents we had a discussion about it and I ended up giving them a recipe for a chicken & preserved lemon dish....we parted friends!
Last weekend, Esther and I flew down to Melbourne for a long weekend. Neither of us had been there before and it was as wonderful as we'd hoped. I didn't really get to experience any restaurants (I'll save that for my next trip with Paul) but Saturday morning was spent at the awesome Prahran Market a short walk from our hotel...
Within the market area, there were also world-class coffee shops such as Market Lane
with it's menu of world coffees to choose from, all freshly roasted, ground to order and smelling so gorgeous...it was almost impossible to choose. But my old favourite, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe won - introduced to me years ago by that master Coffee Man, Charlie Massey at Hill & Valley Coffee.
Also within the market complex was Essential Ingredient. I just love food stores like this - similar to New York's Dean & Deluca....
Essential carries a huge and beautifully presented range of everything foodie...from french copper pans of every size to miniature pastry brushes (yes, I bought 5...) and from imported silver dragees to preserved hibiscus flowers, this store was like a temple to cookery. Often vastly overpriced too...but I forgave it because of it's sheer beauty & size. There is also a cookery school on the first floor, offering myriad courses and special days dedicated to specific techniques and ingredients. Our very ownYotam Ottolenghi featured there earlier this year, and the very best Australian & world chefs regularly make appearances. Definitely somewhere to visit if you're ever in Melbourne.
We only really scratched the surface of this diverse, vibrant city last week. There's so very much more to see and I know that I'll be back. I miss it already.....have a great weekend!