Yarra Pedestrian Bridge
Shop MR2 Mid Level East End, Southgate
For anyone who noticed my many check ins on Facebook and Foursquare last weekend and wondered what I was getting up to, my mum and I were spending a luxurious two days eating, drinking, sleeping in huge beds, watching sexy Michael Buble sing, eating some more, trekking out to be part of Women of Letters, and then drinking some more. We had the best time and it seemed as though the weather matched what we were doing perfectly, changing according to our activities. This, dear readers, is the gastronomic side of what we got up to in the afternoon of our first day.
I think the weather on Saturday was about 26 degrees, and it was perfect lazy drinking weather. Wandering along Southbank, we decided to start our day of leisure at Ponyfish Island, where Claire from Melbourne Gastronome recently stopped for breakfast. Here, your view looks something like this:
This is the latest venture from Jerome ‘St. Jerome’ Borazio, and it has the same effortlessly cool and casual vibe as his previous work, with hessian sacks loosely covering stools remodelled from old shipping palettes, cool beats and a simple hearty menu, including the stacks of big fat toasties that sit piled high in bread crates opposite the bar. The location helps; there’s nothing like the feeling of sitting surrounded by water and a gorgeous view as you sip away, and you’re not going to get much more river’s edge than this.
Bliss; a glass of sparkling and an icy cold corona, an amazing view and gorgeous sun beating down on us. If we happen to get any more traces of summer this year I highly recommend Ponyfish as a place to while away a few hours in the sun.
After a bit of shopping we got hungry, fast, but we knew we would be hitting our purses – well, mum’s purse – pretty hard so we thought we should try to use my Entertainment Book where possible. We found La Camera, an Italian spot that makes excellent cocktails and is one of those venues with a long menu covering lots of different tastes.
Rocket leaves with parmesan shavings, pear, gorgonzola and a touch of vinaigrette ($8.50)
Initially, a plate of crispy looking arancini arrived at our table instead of the salad that we ordered; after the wait staff corrected the mistake and I started eating carbs topped with fat I realised how glad I was to have the peppery rocket, fresh crisp pear and creamy cheese to cut through the rest of the meal.
Patata pizza – mozzarella, potatoes, caramelised onion, taleggio cheese and truffle oil ($22.50)
A crispy thin base with excellent crust was the perfect complement to big slabs of potato and dollops of onion, and the stinky taleggio cheese meant that our table kind of smelt like feet, but in a delicious way, if that’s possible.
Bruschetta – Toasted ciabatta bread with diced tomato, onion and fresh basil ($9.50)
Bruschetta was good, although the untoasted ciabatta made for a slightly doughy and soggy experience at times – despite the menu describing that we would be served toasted bread.
La Camera is one of those pretty reliable places where you know you can get a good seat, a good quick meal and a nice glass of something without spending a fortune, especially if you whip out that Entertainment voucher. It’s good, satisfying Italian food that isn’t trying to be anything ground breaking, just tasty, quick and easy, the perfect pit stop where you can quickly refuel and get back to your shopping.
Stay tuned for Part Two: Eat, Drink, Watertaxi!