Whyte & Whitlock sell Terminus in favour of Yarra Glen Grand

Very sad news. The owners of The Terminus have sold, and have bought the Yarra Glen Grand from a guy who was born in it, and whose family has been running it for 77 years. Judging by the photo of the Grand, the pair must have grown up, and done well out of The Terminus too. They should give the Healesville Hotel a run for its money. If you haven’t been to the Terminus’s restaurant, better go this month, as I heard that the new peoples were moving in this month. It is a splendid restaurant, and one of its dishes made it into John Lethlean’s top 10 dining moments in the Melbourne Magazine recently. Previous posts about The Terminus are here. Continue reading “Whyte & Whitlock sell Terminus in favour of Yarra Glen Grand”

Victoria St this is not: Hanoi’s famed Cha Ca La Vong Restaurant

My father is this blog’s first foreign correspondent. On assignment in Hanoi just the other day, his camera phone snapped these images of how I wish Victoria St could be. I tell you, if you went to many places in old South East Asia and bought the entire fitout — well, perhaps not this restaurant’s — and installed it into some shell in Melbourne, you’d make a killing. This is the yellow fish restaurant. That’s all they sell, but it’s packed out. They don’t waste this stuff on the tourists, but very expensive and increasingly-difficult-to-come-by sauce made out of the eyes of particular insects is the traditional accompaniment. You just can’t buy this stuff in Victoria St, along with so much else of Vietnam’s glorious cuisine. More photos here.

Victoria St Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival


What are festivals coming to in this city? The Swedish Fair at the Swedish Church is what you might call a good festival, and the festivals out in the sticks which are genuine community celebrations by Buddhists, Hindus, Tibetans and Whathaveyous are beaut. But so many festivals are just so crud: the Lygon St Fiesta, the Antipodes Festival, and to a lesser extent, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival which was on yesterday. A festival is not a row of shops allowed to sell their things at outside tables, a stage with a band, and an Ikea van with some vaguely pan-Asian decorated kitchen. Am I being too harsh? Mine was a short visit. What do other people think? Continue reading “Victoria St Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival”

Denton Hat Mills designed by William Pitt

The Denton Hat Mills in Nicholson St (1888) were designed by William Pitt, the architect who also designed the Rialto (1889), the Victoria Brewery (1882, pictured, now the Tribeca Appartments), the Princess Theatre (1886), the old Stock Exchange (1891), the Alderfleet Building (1888, now part of the ANZ), Church St’s Empire Works factory, as well as others, some destroyed. All this I know from the truly excellent website Walking Melbourne by Sean Fishlock where you can find on one page all the buildings built in 1888 — that was the year for building in Melbourne — or all the Victoria St buildings featured.

More on Little Audrey and a whole site devoted to Melbourne neon

Via Walking Melbourne, I discovered multi-faceted Adam Dimech‘s website devoted to neon signs of Melbourne, and this spiel and great image of the original Skipping Girl Vinegar sign:

“This is undoubtedly Melbourne’s favourite heritage neon sign. Audrey the Skipping Girl was erected for Nycander & Co. Pty Ltd. (who owned the brand Skipping Girl Vinegar) in 1936. Despite becoming a much loved Melbourne icon, the original sign fell into disrepair and was removed in 1968. A replica sign was re-created for the Crusader Plate Company in 1970, in an attempt to salvage this icon. (The vinegar company had moved to Altona without a desire to keep the sign). Crusader’s new sign was placed in its present location above their factory, which has since been turned into offices and apartments. The sign’s design was somewhat altered from the original.”