The Commoner

Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of The Commoner.

My last visit to The Commoner in Fitzroy was a disgracefully long time ago. It was back in 2009 for a food bloggers’ meet up where the Commoner generously let us use their courtyard and their wood fired oven. How kind is that? Ever since then I’d been meaning to head back for a meal but you know the story – life gets in the way and time passes. So when I received an invite to come in and check out the menu, I was keen as mustard.

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No35: MFWF express lunch

The decision to have an express lunch at No35 was the most annoying process ever. It started off innocently with an email from Thanh asking which restaurants we wanted to dine at during the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF). After several, several, SEVERAL emails back and forth, we finally settled on a few dates, one of which was the Labour Day public holiday. But could we decide on a restaurant on that day? Nope. It was worse than herding cats. For a group who like to eat and who are normally very decisive about where we want to go – we were hopeless. It got to the point where we were all a bit exasperated and it looked like we wouldn’t be eating anywhere.

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The week in brief: 19 March – 25 March

This week: Finally made it to the Duchess of Spotswood, Moa beer, BIRTHDAY LASAGNE, fun with dry ice, going to Temple, and 56 Threads.

(Also, the sunrise one morning this week was insane!)

But before I get into all that, the winners of the Australia Unlimited competition are lucky #5 and #8 – Thanh and Slowsunday. I’ll email you for details to send you the cookbook. Congrats :)

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The Langham Aria Bar: Burch and Purchese afternoon tea

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Langham and Media Moguls.

The other week I was invited to attend the launch of the Burch and Purchese afternoon tea at The Langham. It’s a limited series of afternoon teas starting in April – replacing the chocolate bar at the Aria Bar (which I have also attended previously), cakes and treats will instead be created by Darren Purchese from Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in South Yarra.

If you’ve visited the B&P Sweet Studio, you’ll know that it’s like a crazy science lab for sweet things, so I was eager to see whether some of those whimsical and interesting flavour combinations would be brought across to The Langham.

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Der Raum: MFWF Cocktails envelop the senses

It felt like I hadn’t seen my friend Maz in weeks. So when she suggested a MFWF event at Der Raum, it only took me a moment. Cocktails and a night out with one of my favourite people? I was definitely there.

So, Der Raum. It’s a cocktail bar in Richmond that’s famed for their innovative cocktails using high quality ingredients. They have stacks of awards. Despite everything I’d heard about the place, it was my first visit there. Mostly because 1: it’s in Richmond, and Richmond is a pain in the arse to get to from my house, and 2: I’m a granny and I like to do my drinking in the comfort of my own home. Alone. In the dark.

(Those last two sentences are a lie. I like to inflict my drunk self on others under bright lighting.)

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Embrasse: MFWF express lunch (closed)

Wouldn’t it be good to be able to tap into a collective memory? Then you would always have access to important details, and it wouldn’t be a problem if your mind was crowded with useless things like the lyrics to “Deep deep trouble” even though you haven’t heard that song for 15 years. (Oh, is that just me? And yes, I do know the words. I can totally bust it out at any time. HELP I CAN’T FORGET IT.)

Fortunately, I have friends who help me remember things. When I eat out I sometimes can’t recall all the details and will message whoever I ate with: “Hey, do you remember what was in that dish?”

After our lunch at Embrasse, Thanh and I had the following conversation.

“What was the fish again?”
“Ummmm. I can’t remember.”
“It was silver something, wasn’t it?”
“Oh! It was silver dory!”

Food bloggers hive mind win. With our memories combined, we are… one normal person!

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Australia Unlimited + a competition

Disclosure: I’m not being paid for this post. Nor am I receiving anything. Why am I posting this? Because YOU could win one of two Bill Granger cookbooks! And also because I do sincerely like the idea behind Australia Unlimited. Read to the end for competition details.

Also, thanks to Brand Australia and Ogilvy PR for the prize. Images are courtesy of Australia Unlimited.

So you all know that I’m not technically an Australian. But I do consider myself one (as well as being Kiwi and Chinese – in no particular order). Having been here for nearly 9 years, I’ve grown to love this country (but don’t tell the people back home in NZ… I think I’ll be lynched! :p )

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