Thursday, October 30, 2014

Food Crawl

Today my friend Sylvie (who took the day off work) and I decided to go on our own "food crawl". Basically, just eat a lot of food. First we hit up Short Stop Donuts, the new donut place in town I referenced in Doughnuts Part 1. BTW, is it donuts or doughnuts? I spell it both ways so I can be correct at least 50% of the time. Anyway, Short Stop is super hipster. 
Chocolate red velvet on the right (to die for) and an almost-as-impressive strawberry concoction on the left. 

Because we simply don't stop after one meal, we went to eat something "savory", a word Australians and Europeans use obsessively and I've probably never used in an actual sentence in my entire life. We stopped at a fast food type Thai place for some good, and cheap, salads. We also walked through Melbourne Central Station, which is more like a mall than a train station. It's gigantic and has this awesome ceiling going on:
Then it was on to Burch and Purchese, which Peter and I visited awhile back, because why not?
I got an amazing chocolate, coffee, creme thing and Sylvie ordered a chocolate pear cake. BTW, Sylvie started an Instagram account solely devoted to food in Melbourne, so go check it out. It's thefoodiejourney. Someday she will be an Instagram celebrity, at least that's the dream. 

We managed to take some attractive photos in sunglasses today; Sylvie at Melbourne Central:
And me, at a shockingly-decent priced clothing store on Chapel Street:

Aside from gaining a few pounds (kilograms?), it was an awesome day! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wildlife Sighting and Cooking

We went to the Queen Vic Market on Sunday to get ingredients for a taco salad recipe we wanted to try. I went to make the salad and while I was washing off the lettuce, this gross creature crawled out. 

I'm pretty sure this is a common occurrence but I've never seen a slug in my veggies before. Anyway, ironic that my "wildlife sightings" so far have consisted of cockroaches, a few small spiders, and a slug. If the only reason you're reading any of this is to catch a glimpse of a kangaroo or koala, no worries, we are heading to Phillip Island this weekend and we should (hopefully) see some real wildlife! Also, Liam Hemsworth is originally from Phillip Island, so it's essentially holy ground. Stay tuned. We booked our first Airbnb ever for this trip, so here's to hoping we don't get murdered or something. 

The taco salad turned out pretty great, if I do say so myself. 

I've been attempting to improve my cooking skills in recent weeks, so yesterday I made a homemade chicken noodle soup, which also turned out pretty well! It was cool and rainy, which made for perfect soup weather. 
This is a big step for someone who has been known to ruin boxed macaroni and cheese. 

Continuing with the food theme, I met friends for dinner last night at a restaurant called David's and tried dumplings, which I don't think I've ever had before. They were really good! 
The restaurant was super cute
The moment of truth. Sylvie has a habit of taking pictures of me eating...super attractive. I struggled with the chopsticks for awhile before just switched to a fork. So American.

And of course we needed dessert. Banana fritters with chocolate ice cream. Unreal. 

Also, on a random note, Taylor Swift's new album is amazing and if you haven't listened to it yet, you should. That's all! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Wild Night and Some Food Pics

We had some wild weather here in Melbourne last night. There was crazy lightning for most of the night and it apparently struck something and caused a power surge that disrupted the Metro Train service. All the trains were delayed or suspended for hours. I imagine the Monday morning commute was a disaster, to say the least. And we had our own mini-disaster last night when Peter cut his finger while slicing a sandwich bun. The cut wasn't too deep, but it wouldn't stop bleeding since it was on the tip of his finger. Those of you who know me know that I don't do well with blood. You may have even heard the story of the infamous faint/vomit incident while working a blood drive in college. Essentially, I am useless in emergencies. Anyway, after seeing the murder-scene-like aftermath, I felt ill and had to lie down. Eventually, Peter got the bleeding to stop and I felt better, so we narrowly avoided an international ER trip and a repeat of the blood drive incident. Success.

On a more positive note, I have some fabulous food photos to share. Yesterday, I met friends for brunch at Hammer and Tong in Fitzroy, a super hipster suburb that is literally packed with amazing bars, restaurants, and shops. I've heard a lot of hype about this brunch spot, so we had to check it out. It definitely lived up! I ordered a crab burger and could have eaten three. Portion sizes are not as big here as in the U.S.  Which probably explains the lack of obese people. 
I took some pictures of my friends' meals, because they looked amazing as well. I couldn't tell you what this is, something with an egg, but it looks delicious:
Some kind of fruit-mint drink. I had passion fruit and it was good, but not as pretty as this one! 

So, Hammer and Tong was a success. We had to top it off with a donut run, of course. 

In related news, I stumbled upon a "Top 10 Dessert Stops in Melbourne" article, and I've made it my personal goal to visit all of them. I've already been to Lux Bite and N2 Extreme Gelato, Dessert Story, and Passionflower so at this point my goal is extremely attainable. We decided to try out Pancake Parlour on Saturday night. 
It's like a better (and more expensive) version of IHOP and is even open till 3am! This is the first restaurant I've found in Melbourne open so late and I'm extremely happy about it. We both ordered Short Stacks of pancakes, mine topped with chocolate ice cream and hot fudge. It was one of the best desserts I've ever had, which is weird because I don't usually think of pancakes as dessert. But this is the beauty of the Pancake Parlour. Since it's a pancake, I can get away with eating it for breakfast too. Right?
The atmosphere is really fun and it's probably a good thing it's so expensive because otherwise I would go daily. 
Friday, October 24, 2014


Our mini road trip was a success! Peter was slightly anxious about his first time driving on the left side of the road, but he did a great job and we had no major incidents (other than running over a bird). We weren't sure about the weather when we headed out this morning, but decided that if it was too chilly or cloudy for the beach, we would just drive a little ways down the Great Ocean Road. Luckily, it was nice and sunny and warm, so we will have to save the GOR drive for another day! This post is going to be mostly pictures, probably too many, but I couldn't help myself. The beach was amazing! Some of these were taken on my phone and some on the GoPro.
Peter getting settled into our tiny bright red rental car. 
A little bit scared, right before we pulled out of the parking lot. 
This will never look normal to me
Made it there in one piece! Sadly, the same can't be said for the poor bird we drilled on the way...
The first thing we saw upon arrival was real surfers! I thought the Australian surfer stereotype was probably exaggerate but it most definitely is not. We saw quite a few super-tan guys with long blonde hair running along the beach with a dog in tow. Torquay is widely knows as a surf town. There's even an annual competition at Bell's Beach, which is a few kilometers down from where we were today.  
Just amazing. Probably the prettiest beach I have ever seen. It was a little hazy when we first arrived, but quickly cleared up.
I wasn't sure if I had the GoPro on video mode or not, so ignore the super attractive close up of my face at the beginning of this video.
I had to stalkerishly zoom way in on some of these surfer shots so they are a little grainy. 
Still grainy and slightly less stalkerish because it's Peter. The waves were bigger than any I had ever seen before and a little intimidating! 

The water was FREEZING, but we waded in anyway. I'm sure the legitimate Australians were sitting there wondering who the psychopaths not wearing wetsuits were...Minnesotans, that's who. 

I don't know how to edit GoPro videos, so this is super long and you'll get the idea after about 10 seconds, but the sound of the water hitting the camera is so cool! I'm in love with the GoPro! 
Literally paradise. 
Got my finger in this one but thought it was a cool picture. 
Stairs up to the lookout point.
Amazing view 
Obligatory shadow kiss photo 
We struggled with keeping our fingers off the lens today.
And of course I struggled with the wind. 

We managed to come away with only moderate sunburns so I'd call it a successful day. We will definitely be back to Torquay, hopefully next time to take a surf lesson! 


Welcome! I started Laura and Peter Down Under in July 2014 when my husband and I moved from the States to Melbourne, Australia for his job. I blog about expat life, our travels, food, and whatever else comes to mind. Follow along on our adventures Down Under!



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