The Gramercy Social, Prahran, Melbourne

I really didn’t feel like much on the menu here. I deliberated and eventually chose the lemon and blueberry bircher muesli while Lisa was pretty excited about the ‘big apple’ eggs benedict with house made pastrami.

Lisa’s choice didn’t sound great to me but it actually looked pretty good when it came out. She was very happy with herself. My bircher museli was nice to start with, but became very sweet very quickly from the juice it had been soaked in. The coconut yoghurt and passionfruit added to the sweetness, needless to say I couldn’t finish it all.

With so many great brunch choices in Melbourne I will plan my stops more carefully next time.

Gramercy Social Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Melbourne: a gala, wineries & all the food

I flew to Melbourne on Thursday after being invited by Prime Media (who the company I work for, Wiley, advertise with & provide editorial to) to be a guest at their Endeavor Awards Gala for National Manufacturing Week. Big thanks to my awesome account manager Sonia for the invite!

We had a fantastic table, filled with my friends and colleagues and we had a great ol’ time! I don’t think I have ever had so many compliments on a dress, I had wondered if it was a little risqué but thank goodness it oozes class as well for good measure.

On Friday, Seren talked me into going to the winery where she worked and working from there. I had planned on working from my hotel rooms but gave in. I spent a lovely day eating Meredith’s goats cheese and taste testing the Coldstream Hill wines while working from the Cellar Door both inside and outside. When I skyped in for my arvo meeting they had all grabbed a beverage so they could join me in my wine drinking! I love being able to work remotely and having such a wicked work crew.

After we both finished work, Seren took me to Meletos, an absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous winery. We had a look around, ordered some sensational wines and walked around the vineyard watching the sun set over the Yarra Valley. Spectacular.

Back in Melbourne, we met Lisa and headed to Hutongs for dumplings! Yummmm, one of my faves. We were all pretty exhausted from the night before and crashed out for an early sleep.

Saturday Lisa and I went for brunch and did a little shopping, got our nails did then met Nikita and Jake for phenomenal ramen at Shujinko on Russell Street in the city. Afterwards I took the train to my cousin, CJ’s house.

CJ and I had a lovely evening, I finally was able to see her cute new house that she’s very proud of. We started with wine and cheese and followed that with a bonfire at her friend’s place. We crashed out early and had a great sleep. I remember waking up and thinking how cold my face was and being so thankful that while I am lucky to visit Melbourne all the time (I love the place and my friends there), I’m glad I didn’t live there and have to endure the freezing cold.

Sunday we were up to beat the Mother’s Day rush for breakfast at The Premises in Kensington then wandered around the St Kilda waterfront.

Now here I am on the plane on the way home happy and ready to get some exercise (work off the last four days) and chill out at my place, hopefully in some sunshine. Oh and to ring my beautiful Mumma and wish her Happy Mother’s Day!

Melbourne Visit: conferences & catch ups galore

I flew to Melbourne on Saturday until Tuesday to see friends and attend two conferences. I had a pretty heavy list of people to see, restaurants eat at, plus I was presenting at the Australian Specialty Coffee Symposium on the Monday and attending the Global Food Forum on Tuesday. Plus, plus, I had to get my consulting website live before the Monday… Did I miss anything? I think that’s all.

On the plane, (I usually can’t stay awake) I wrote the content for my new website – www.rmhconsulting.com.au so that when I handed out my new business cards at the ASCA Symposium , there was something there for people to look at! I also listened to my speech to help remember it… andddd I fell asleep. I was definitely hoping my nap was more so to do with tiredness rather than that the content of the speech wasn’t engaging!

It was unexpectedly hot in Melbourne, bloody weird weather as always. I sat sweltering in the heat at the airport waiting for my friend, Nikita to pick me up, wishing I had packed anything that resembled a summer outfit. Nikita pulled up in a schmick white BMW convertible with the roof down and we were soon cruising into the city. Funny story, – it started to rain on the way there so the roof went up and I stopped fretting about my lack of summer clothing.

Nikita and I had a girls’ night out, cocktails then food at Hawkers Hall. We bar hopped around Chapel street, checking out The Wolf and I, Morris Jones (where it stunk of vom and service was far too slow so we left without a drink), a vodka bar and finally, The Richmond Hotel. One of the bigger nights I have had in a while, we polished it off at 2am with a burger from UberEats. Happy Days!

Sunday I had brunch with Nikita and Jake before checking into my hotel and heading to Fitzroy to see Todd for lunch. I added the content to my new website in the afternoon, practiced my speech, finalised my slides and went for a wander around the park across the road while listening to myself on my headphones to try memorise the content of my talk.

I met an old friend for dinner at Supernormal and was home in bed at a reasonable hour ready to present in the morning.

To be honest I was quite the procrastinator for my speech. I was asked to speak on digital to an audience of Café owners and coffee industry professionals on how to convert digital traffic from social media to traditional media. A brilliant topic… but I only had 17 minutes, and I could probably speak for an entire day on that and still have something up my sleeve. Trying to work out what could be most valuable, relevant and easily digested information I could share with the audience, while not telling them what they already knew is where I got stuck.. I just had so much to say! I was a little nervous, but I know this topic inside out so come the day, I nailed the presentation. If I do say so myself, ha! People were engaged and asking questions and I had many people come up to chat to me afterwards about the topic.

I enjoyed the symposium, there were insightful speeches, excellent audience engagement, lots of take home value and it was well executed. I always find it invigorating to be surrounded by passionate people and these people certainly love their industry and product!

I ran out at lunch to say goodbye to one of my oldest friends, his wife and their little baby as they are moving to Vietnam. Such an exciting time for them! Next time I see them we will be sipping cocktails somewhere in Asia.

I smashed out some work in the afternoon, went back to network at the ASCA drinks and managed to be late to meet Lisa for dinner. I also managed to invite along two more friends for our Mexican feast which kind of made up for being late.

On the way home we swung by Garden State Hotel, a new bar with incredible industrial architecture that I had been told I’d love, and they were correct. With multiple levels, lots of textures, copper storage tanks, lots of greenery and intimate spaces to perch, I was in a happy place. I enjoyed a refreshing soda water in the Rose Garden after exploring throughout.

Tuesday, I spent the day at the Global Food Forum at Crown, discussing Australia’s place at the table. I attended in 2015 and it is still one of the best events in the food industry. Not just because of the content but the audience is full of people we had been meaning to catch up with. There were some hard questions asked, frank panel discussions, excellent presentations and great convo’s happening on Twitter. I must admit, I was devastated to miss the second to last panel with Guzman Y Gomez, an Avocado grower and Bernard Salt MCing – apparently, it was hilarious. I was following it on twitter. I created a live social media feed on the Wiley website, if you want to see what it was all about, click here.

Annnddd now I’m on the plane on the way home, attempting to stay awake and writing this. Melbourne is always a whirlwind when I visit. Having lived there before, I have many friends that I would love to see and there are always restaurants that I am hanging to go to. It’s always hectic and a fun time! Sleep time up next for the rest of the flight is well warranted if you ask me!

PS. Check out my new consulting site and let me know what you think! www.rmhconsulting.com.au

Hawker Hall, Windsor, Melbourne

The new venture of the Chin Chin Group, we checked out Hawker Hall on Chapel street for some Asian eats. It’s a food and beer hall inspired by the Singaporean hawkers markets.

There was a 40 minute wait but we happily popped next door to Boston Sub for a cocktail first
(try rumble in the jungle – yummm + strong) in what seems to be a cheap takeaway sub place but has a vibin’ bar out the back.

I don’t think it was even 40 minutes before we got the text and we were over there ready to order. First up, pork and chive wontons in chili and black bean sauce, braised shitake and broccolini in oyster sauce, roti canai rollaed with egg curry sauce followed by the beef rendang curry.

The roti and the dumplings were the stand out plates for me. The curry was beautiful and rich too but we had over ordered by that stage. Oh and the cocktail! Sugary sweet strawberry daiquiri!

They’ve done well to create a hawker-like vibe with the casual fitout and lit food signs down the back. The staff are even in their own casual clothing.

On a scale of great to amazing it’s closer to great but well worth checking out.

Hawker Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nobu Express Lunch – Crown Melbourne

Ahhh $50 bento box with all of the beautiful things in it AND a glass of shiraz? I think yes.

We tried the Nobu signature bento box which included…

 Sashimi Salad with Matsuhisa Dressing
Chef’s Selection of Assorted Sushi
Seafood Ceviche
Black Cod Miso
Baby Tiger Prawns with Creamy Spicy
Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables with Spicy Garlic Sauce
Rice and Miso Soup

If I was to pick a favorite item… it would be the ceviche. Close tie with the spicy tuna sushi though. All the components were absolutely delicious. 

We were seated quickly, order taken quickly, meals were delivered quickly… it’s a great option for a quick and beautiful Japanese seafood lunch in Melbourne. Particularly if you’re running in and out of a conference at Crown!

Nobu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Melbourne: a 30th, a new baby & a new house

I had a whirlwind four days in Melbourne over the weekend.

I flew in Friday morning and was unfortunately delayed an hour so couldn’t join my cousin, Calamity Jane, to put the sold sticker on her house.

I was straight into work for the afternoon and then over to Richmond for Nikita’s 30th. Nikita’s not much of a birthday person so I was excited to see she was having a celebration and booked my flights straight away. Her Mum flew in to surprise her too and we had a really nice evening in Brunswick, sipping brews in the outdoor area of an eclectic bar.

Saturday I met my very good friend’s new baby. Adam is probably my oldest friend and I was super excited to meet his and Sally’s first bubba, Bella Scarlet. Of course it was a nightmare to get there and I was later than expected (thanks Melb traffic + slow David Jones lady) but I made it and it was worth it a hundred times over. Bella is beautiful and they are happy and calm parents. We had brunch at Turtle Café, I got a couple of hugs then it was back to the city to meet Lisa!

Lisa and I pretty much went straight from the city to hers to meet Seren in Hawthorne. We made an epic cheese platter (I’m now in love with Goat’s brie – try it) and some bubbles. We rushed to get ready and make it to dinner on time, where of course we weren’t hungry!

Sophie and CJ met us for dinner at Bahari where we had fresh greek-ish food and bubbles. Afterwards we hit Richmond, bar hopping around and feeling much older than when I last lived and went out there!

Sunday was a quieter affair, we had dumplings at Din Tai Fung, followed by some of the most delicious sorbet in choc almond wafer cone. We shopped but unfortunately bought nothing – always the way, when you want to buy something you can’t find anything and when you don’t, you want everything! We gave up and went for a pedicure.

We ditched our dinner plans for a night in front of the TV with movies and Vietnamese takeaway. Seren and CJ joined us to watch Magic Mike XXL and … well I think we are going to Vegas to watch the show. Coz… Channing Tatum.

Today it was back to work (which took forever thanks to a Taxi protest), smash out some work and back on the plane with no time to spare.

Now we land and I go for a massage to relax…. Happy Vday to me, from me!

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