Amaru

Heirloom tomatoes cooked with Marron head sauce

You know how they say you should always say yes to an opportunity?

Well, on a smaller scale, you should also always say yes to “do you want to come to xx restaurant?” because even if you don’t know what on earth your friend is talking about, you’ll probably still have a good time.

Yes, that’s how we ended up at Amaru with Haz, Gaz and Thanh, several days after the restaurant opened. It took me a while after agreeing to lunch to join the dots – Amaru is the first restaurant of Clinton McIver, who had a stint serving degustations at the Clayton Bowls Club (and who also worked at Vue de Monde).

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Argentina: Salta

Salta breakfast

With Antarctica off the cards, instead of going home or staying in Buenos Aires (while a great city, I don’t think we could’ve spent two full weeks there), we had to decide what we were going to do instead.

Our travel agent was very helpful – they had an office in Buenos Aires, so we dropped in for a chat – and less than an hour later we had an alternative itinerary for the rest of our time in Argentina, with our first stop being Salta.

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Argentina: Buenos Aires – The Argentine Experience

DSC_9429-001

After spending the day walking around Buenos Aires, that night we headed to Palermo Hollywood for a three course “interactive dinner”.

Now if you’re anything like me, the words “interactive dinner” are a bit off putting (and weird and maybe scary – hey I just want to be served dinner, I don’t want to have to work for it) but! the evening was a lot of fun and *exactly* what we needed to take our minds off the fact that – 8 hours before we were due to fly to Ushuaia – the flights website we’d used *still* hadn’t confirmed that the Ushuaia leg was indeed cancelled (and therefore didn’t affect our flight back to Australia if we didn’t show up). No stress indeed.

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Lume

Beef cheek

It’s been a while since I’ve had a meal like the one at Lume.

They opened in South Melbourne a few months ago, bucking the trend for casual, shared dish restaurants, instead serving a long (LONG) degustation filled with adventurous and unique dishes.

Alastair and I went to lunch at Lume with Haz and Gaz at the beginning of November. At the time of our visit, it was $140 for a 15 course meal (I believe it’s now $165). Upon arrival we were seated in the (covered) courtyard out the back, which was filled with natural light and had a wall of greenery.

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Argentina: Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires from the air

Our latest holiday was meant to be the Grand Antarctic Adventure.

Unfortunately we were hit with a string of back luck, with not just one but two cancelled cruises (on different companies and for different reasons).

The first one was cancelled a week before we were due to leave, but we were able to book on a different one with a rather expensive deviation to our flight plans.

The second one, hilariously (I can laugh about it now, it’s been three weeks), was cancelled while we were in transit to Buenos Aires and we received notification after checking into our hotel.

With all other voyages full, and the fact that we were already in Argentina and had limited choices to make regarding flights, the Grand Antarctic Adventure was over before it had even begun.

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Hash Specialty Coffee & Roasters

Hash kitchen

Disclosure: We attended and had breakfast courtesy of Hash Speciality Coffee & Roasters and Zilla & Brook.

There’s nothing quite like a Melbourne brunch, and although I no longer keep up with the latest Melbourne cafe openings (who has time? money? energy?!?) it’s still nice to experience a new cafe every now and again.

A couple of months ago, Alastair and I were invited to breakfast at Hash, located in Hardware Street in the city.

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