WHERE: MELBOURNE CENTRAL, AUSTRALIA
EATING: SPANISH TAPAS MOSTLY
DRINKING: ALBARIÑO *
COMPANIONS: SOLO MISSIONS
Melbourne. It is the perfect city. When people ask me about it, I think of it as the love child of Cape Town and London. It has the fast pace city life, great transport systems and top designer stores of London and the charm, creativity and passion of Cape Town.
Here are my top 5 Melbourne picks…
Literally hiding down one of Melbourne’s many lanes, you will find this coffee haven. It is truly a diamond in the rough. Thank me later.
MoVida Bar de Tapas
*Tasting Notes: Paco and Lola Albariño 2013
Appearance: attractive straw color with hints of green in the rim. Clean and brilliant.Nose: very expressive and harmonious nose. Fine notes of white fruit (green apples, pear) and lemony aromas. Hints of herbs (basil) and flower blossom base notes. Surprising aromatic intensity.Palate: clean and textured. Seductive exotic palate of pineapple and mango intermingled with refreshing citrus flavors amplified by minerally accents. Silky but yet full bodied, with long lingering finish. Round and very tasty.
Genuinely the most legit tapas I have tasted outside of Spain, there are 3 MoVida’s (Orignal in Hosier Lane, Next Door and Aqui on Bourke Street) in Melbourne’s CBD (and one at the Airport). I went to all three. Naturally. They were all amazing. The best way to eat is to order a number of tapas (1 portion serves 1 person) for everyone and then a few Raciones (sharing plates) for everyone.
The lane ways and street art
The lane ways have become home to some incredible works of art. You can explore them on your own but I recommend you go on a tour. This way you don’t miss anything. Here are a collection of my favourites.
The South Melbourne Market
This place is truly a foodie heaven. You can spend the whole day walking around tasting everything and purchasing produce to take home. Many foodies come here every Saturday to do their shopping for the week. If you are lucky (like I was) you might even spot a celebrity chef or two from Masterchef Australia. Top tip! Get there early, come hungry and allow yourself the entire day to explore. There are plenty of informal and formal lunch spots in the area if you need a break and a glass of wine.
The Yarra Valley
Coming from Cape Town, I was lucky enough to practically grow up in the winelands. We have some of the most beautiful estates (and wines) in the world. Visiting the Yarra Valley was such a treat! It was also the first time I was visiting another wine producing region outside of South Africa. They are well known for both their Syrah/Shiraz and their Chardonnays.
We visited TarraWarra first where we were able to order tapas to go with our wines. Then off to De Bortoli, also home to their own cheesery.
Melbourne is so jam packed with food and wine experiences that it really is very hard to pick favourites. I recommend you get a map of the CBD and hit the streets- there is something to taste on every corner.