31 August 2015
Woke up the last morning of my Australia trip rather melancholy. I’ve just started to really like Melbourne and now it’s time for a long flight out. I moved a bit slowly in the morning before I checked out of my excellent hotel (Oaks on Williams, heavily recommended for Melbourne!) and walked across the CBD for the last time to lunch at the local favourite Pei Modern.
I got to the restaurant, which was in the forecourt of the posh Sofitel, and chose a seat outside — to the server’s surprise. It was cold and windy, about 10C max, and being in the covered forecourt not much sun. She offered the heating lamp but I said no thank you. I am gonna enjoy the cold one last time before returning to dreadful summer in the northern hemisphere…
I had a nice cocktail (to her approval) and ordered a simple lunch. I am gonna try to sleep on the horrible Jetstar flight and skip the inedible food, so will eat beforehand, and this should keep me going until Honolulu.
I kept enjoying the clear, fresh, cool air until my food arrived…
Mmm, now this is a nice little fillet, a nice grass-fed steak for my final meal in Australia. It was extremely flavourful and tender, excellent marbling, and the temperature was exactly perfect. Now this is a steak done well! And instead of a starter I went with two sides…
Oh my. These sprouts are just excellent. I already love these things to death, but these were plump and full of flavour. And the beets…wow, these were spectacular. I have a real soft spot for good beets, and these were fabulous, with a touch of garlic.
I was in heaven for this final meal — cold air, great food, good wine. Oh, I am so gonna miss Melbourne… I finished and left sadly and took one last tram ride back to my hotel to get my bag and head to Tullamarine for the crap flight.
I wish this was my lasting and last memory of Melbourne, but sadly it was Tullamarine…where there are more signs in Chinese than English to confuse the rest of us… Trying to teach unruly Chinese tourists about queuing etiquette is a frustrating and unpleasant exercise to be sure, and I just went to hide at a mediocre tapas bar until I had to board the 11 hour flight to Honolulu.
Oh, this is gonna suck…especially on Jetstar… And the saying goes, the worst part about visiting Australia is the flight there, and the flight back. Virgin next time, for sure…
But rest assured — I shall be back!
Collins Place, Sofitel Forecourt
45 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia