Monday, April 21, 2008

Why I loved Melbourne food from the first mouthful

My first grown up meal without my parents.

Does being taken out by your neighbour from home, while visiting your sister on your first overseas trip count? I was very young but perhaps this is the meal that cemented my love of both food and Melbourne in the first mouthful.

I ate at least courses and though underage, was plied liberally with alcohol. (This was the same neighbour who called us over to sample a new cocktail "It's a Harvey Ballbanger" he said with a straight face. I was in primary school at the time.) Despite the wine and port, this may also have been my first grown up restaurant meal that I ate without throwing up afterwards. As a child I had a passion for creamy sauces (all that 70’s/80’s heavy European food, like veal Marsala) long before I found I was allergic to the stuff.

I remember being so excited by this meal at Gordon Place, a restaurant in a massive atrium built around a large palm tree, with it’s menu full of fresh flavours and new foods. This was my first experience of quail and ‘bugs’ an exquisite Australian crustacean. I ate at least 3 courses, if not 4 if the pencil marks on the menu I souvenired are to be believed.

While the menu from the early ‘80s bears many hallmark dishes of the time – crumbed brains and bacon, chicken stuffed with cheese, beef Wellington and the quintessential creamy veal dish – I’d still begin with the Morton Bay bugs with lemon mayonnaise and end with the seasonal fruit salad today.

Anything take your fancy?

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3 Comments:

Blogger grocer said...

at those prices, I'd order four serves of the bugs!

10:51 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I made a bet the first comment would mention the prices :) Wonderful aren't they.

10:57 am  
Blogger Ange said...

Ditto from me - the first thing i noticed were definitely the prices

9:26 am  

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