Gertrude Street blogged and a beautiful new blog discovered

I came across the gorgeous blog of Melbournienne Lucy Feagins.  She has done a great job blogging Gertrude St.  The beautiful photo of Amor y Locura above is hers.  I find so few blogs that I really want to read these days, but this is one of them. It’s so what blogs should be like: journalism without the corruption.  And with good photos.  Good blogs need good photos.  Free and ad-free.  But hers even boasts hand-drawn maps to die for.

Apart from Gertrude St, it has much of interest to whatever remains of Abbotsford Blog’s readership after its sad neglect by me.  For example, her posts on:

But then just about everything else is likely to be of interest.

Birdman Eating and The Royston Reviewed by the The Age

I got my hair cut at Dr Follicles today, and had a coffee from Birdman Eating, which I have earlier written about.  The Bird Man has got his liquor licence up and running nicely, and has a drinks and tapas thing happening of an evening — though he was kind of distancing himself from the ‘tapas’ concept (despite the menu saying ‘Evening Tapas’) in favour of the small meals to share concept. You can have green beans for $7.50, zucchini and fetta fritters for $8, grilled ox tongue with beetroot, capers and horseradish for $11.50, shanks for $14.50, crispy duck for $16.50 or go the hack with a sliced hunk of steak covered with a piquant salsa for $28.50.  This guy’s saucy: I love the attitude associated with ‘Black pudding with eggplant kusundi and leek croquettes.’ I’m going there for drinks one night, because he’s also dishing up Milawa Gold Washed Rind cheese with apple jelly, and hot cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate sauce.  My coffee was truly memorably good, which either means Matt Preston, who also gave the Bird Man a great review in today’s Age, was wrong, or the Bird Man has taken the critcism to heart.

And, just a week ago, Dani Valent reviewed The Royston in The Age, which I have also earlier posted about, and which is also a place I want to go for dinner. If only I had the time.

Cavallero, Birdman Eating, Lentil as Anything reviewed; Beer haiku

Reviewing is a difficult art. There are certain constrained forms I particularly like. The obituary. The chess column. The restaurant review. All so constrained by the necessaries, requiring clever use of what little room there is for the decorations. The English tend to do them best. Zia Mahmoud does the most with the least with The Guardian‘s bridge column. Haiku fascinates me. The very word puts me on edge. I hate haiku about as much as shakuhachi music, but at the same time I love it about as much as a good egg breakfast, a short speech, photos of Japanese taking photos of cherry blossoms with unbelievably expensive cameras (snap thanks to a great photographer, Mark Alberding), and the way sacred cows get in the way of traffic in New Delhi. Short is good. Less is more. Small is beautiful. Metre is a useful discipline for the poet’s natural tendency to ungrammatical excess. Some of the most elegant writing going around today is to be found on this website. I particularly like: Continue reading “Cavallero, Birdman Eating, Lentil as Anything reviewed; Beer haiku”

3 of best 10 cheap eats within this blog’sosphere

The Age has helpfully identified “10 of the best” — I like the modesty of these words in a best of list — inventive cheap eats. Southern Richmond’s Pearl gets an honourable mention for $16 eggs on toast (keep it real, Cheap Eats), but I have to admit it’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, and you can go there for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a drink. Then the Builder’s Arms on Gertrude Street Fitzroy comes in at number 3 for a $14 “3 mint pea soup with smoked paprika butter with steamed prawns” which sounds rather good. And Replete just down from MLC in Hawthorn, but metres away from being Kew, gets another gong at #6 for $12.50 ricotta hotcakes with lemon curd and strawberries. Thanks to Flickr’s Spin Spin for the photo of an uncommonly unpopulated image of the Builder’s Arms.

Roundhouse Roti, a little Gertrude St Malaysian roti channai house

It was time for a mop chop at Dr Follicle’s again this week (actually it was well and truly time last week, but it just didn’t happen) and on the way I popped my head into Roundhouse Roti (don’t you think it’s amazing that no Melbourne Malaysian restaurant has called itself Koala Lumpur yet?), finally open, Rose Chong’s gift to her son of part of her emporium turned into an innovative eatery, a place that specialises in roti channai, a Malaysian specialty of really good roti and chicken curry, where you break the roti into pieces and into the curry and eat the combination. A girl was swinging around from the stove when I explained that “I’ve just popped in to check you out”. I realised at the same moment, as she swung into view, that she was a gorgeous vamp with beautifully defined eyebrows, and a nanosecond later that she was almost certainly Rose’s daughter in law (or daughter outlaw, depending on the marital status of the union which produced the child harnessed to her bosom). I quickly added in the direction of he whom I deduced to be Rose’s son “Well, not you personally”. I immediately liked the place. I want to go there now and eat roti channai, but it’s closed. Can’t tell you any more than that, but when you go, please leave a comment for all our benefit. Lee, son of Rose, is going to add roti pisang to the small little menu just as soon as banana comes down in price. That will be the day, ooff yeah. Maybe, in time, we will see durian cendol added as the ultimate in authenticity, and God! give me some nasi lemak.

This is the old Yorkshire Brewery in Collingwood

The Sketchbook has told me something I really wanted to know: what this beautiful and seemingly taken-for-granted building with its French-inspired roof was: the Yorkshire Brewery, cleverly captured in this image by Ronny Restrepo. According to Walking Melbourne, it was designed by James Wood son of Yorkeshireman Thomas Wood who founded it, and built in 1880, and was for 10 years Australia’s tallest building. Today, it’s in a state of disrepair (for a photo of it in 1974, see here). Brian McKinlay wrote: Continue reading “This is the old Yorkshire Brewery in Collingwood”

The Renown Tavern; The Louisiana Shakers

On Monday it was my special holiday. Miss K was at work. Just enough colleagues were as well that I could relish the schadenfreude so essential for a successful random day off. I ambled up to eat baked eggs at Birdman Eating, coffee at Gertrude St Enoteca (sorry Dr Java), and get my mop chopped at Dr Follicles. Folly was closed and so was Birdy. That was a blow. Shaggy haired and hardened by hunger, the coffee at Gert’s no longer appealed. I tried Dante’s, but Maria wasn’t there. No one new me. The place was empty. I popped across the road to the Renown Tavern, one of the least blinged-up pubs in the inner city. A former manager who left in “very bitter circumstances” had gaily advertised the unrenovated air of the place in chalk on the side of the building, and I thought any place in Fitzroy that advertised its lack of renovation warranted a visit in order to stave off renovation any longer. Continue reading “The Renown Tavern; The Louisiana Shakers”