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Multicultural Cuisine of... Melbourne!
It was another relaxing, but uneventful Thursday night in our household, Sous-Jeff, Kitchen Bug and I curled up on the couch watching Master Chef, and drooling over the guest chef's creation on our TV screen. "Maybe we should have a foodie weekend, just around Melbourne..." I say out loud, more to myself than the other two. But Sous-Jeff nods at this suggestion, and that's all the encouragement I need. Within 5 minutes, I have a path to follow on Saturday morning, that will lead us from Flinder St station to Movida Next Door, HuTong Dumpling Bar, and finally, La Belle Miette. I show Sous-Jeff and explain what each place is all about, he nods along patiently and waits for me to finish. He has only two questions: "Can we go to a pub somewhere in between?" Sure thing. "Can we please try Pie Face?" Yeahh, sure, why not?! Around rolls Saturday morning, and after a biiiig workout and a tiny breakfast, onto the train we go!
We hop off at Flinders St station, and come almost immediately face to face with Pie Face, a franchise pie bakery that seems to be sprouting new stores all over the Melbourne CBD. The Pie Face bakeries and cafes were founded by the founders of fashion label Paablo Nevada, who fell into the pie business after serving little pies at a fashion show of theirs. We've been noticing stores popping up all over the place, resulting in Sous-Jeff calling me "pie face." I must resemble one of the pie faces or something... I dunno. Anyway, he felt it was high time we finally tried out one of these pies, and I agreed. "But only a small one, we're going to Movida first and I want to be hungry and ready to eat!"
See website for locations
"24 hour pies?! Are you joking?!" Sous-Jeff is immediately impressed. In we walk to find a line of young people already desperately ordering coffees (it was only 11am...) in strengths ranging from "Tingle My Toes" (a gradual rise for morning avoiders), to "Open My Eyes" (your standard coffee), to the more extreme "Start My Heart" and "Kick My Arse" blends, to really jolt you awake. Being non-coffee drinkers, however, our eyes went straight to the pies...
There were adorable little pie faces everywhere! Luckily for us, there were only two types of mini pies left, so we didn't have to make the tough decision of which cute little face to say yes to. Sous-Jeff was famished by this point and couldn't wait much longer for Movida, so he got 2 little pies, and I got the third and last one in the window.
Sous-Jeff's Special Thai Chicken Curry pies were by all accounts delicious. Boasting fresh chicken and a spicy Thai green curry flavour, Sous-Jeff was excited to jump right on in. While it wasn't all that spicy, the chicken was certainly fresh and very tasty.
My pie face was of the Mince Beef and Tomato Chutney variety, filled with premium Australian lean beef, and tomato chutney. The pastry was perfect - golden and crunchy, and the filling was flawless. Starting to see why these franchises are so popular! Very yummy!
Would rate it 8 out of 10.
"Hey, honey.... since we're already on Degraves St.... and Movida doesn't open for another 30 minutes.... do you think we could maybe...."
The sign of a good marriage - I don't need to finish this sentence. Sous-Jeff pulls out his wallet and says, "just grab me a carrot one." With those words, I start running down Degraves St to Little Cupcakes. I know that with tapas, dumplings and macarons to come, I really don't need cupcakes as another appetiser, but I justify the visit with the following: they are the best cupcakes in Melbourne, and I'm not in the city all that often, so when I am here, I owe it to myself to get a little cupcake. And besides, they're only little.
7 Degraves St
(03) 9077 0413Visit Website
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if you have not been here, please go. Immediately, if not sooner. The cupcakes truly are that good. And even more exciting, they have my favourite flavour this morning - Lamington! It's a vanilla cake topped with a chocolate ganache like frosting, coated in coconut. Mmmm chocolate and coconut... my favourite :) I also grab myself a Teddy Bear cake (yes, I am secretely still a 5 year old child deep inside, and I love Teddy Bear biscuits.), which is a moist chocolate cake, topped with white chocolate frosting, and a little chocolate Teddy Bear on top. Amazing. Sous-Jeff goes for his standard Carrot Cake (his favourite type of cake), which is your traditional carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Since trying a pistachio macaron a few months ago an falling in love with the flavour, he also decides to try a Pistachio Heaven cupcake, which is a pistachio cake topped with sweet pistachio frosting - unfortunately, he wasn't as impressed by this one. May be because he still had the dreamy taste of the carrot cake in his mouth.
Any how, no matter how many times I eat here, I'm still impressed. Go there now. You know you want to.
Would (still) rate it 10 out of 10.
We check the time, and discover we still have 20 minutes until Movida opens, so we check out a second hand book shop on Flinders St...
... and pick up these little steals, for a grand total of $13.00! Win!
With new treasures in hand and only 15 minutes left to kill, we stroll on down to Hosier's Lane.... part two to come!