After a slow start to the week, things pick up with a big Zumbo sugar high!
We’re at Adriano Zumbo’s patisserie in The Star Casino in Sydney. We’ve been invited to try the new flavours he’s developed for Arnott’s Tim Tams.
To start things off, Adriano makes us all this delicious sundae combining all the elements of the three new types of Tim Tams – raspberry and white chocolate, milk chocolate and salted caramel, and dark chocolate brownie.
Zumbo also tried to create a fourth with banana doughnuts, but he couldn’t quite get it to work. He’s included his doughnuts (with caramelised banana of course) in this cup of sweet sweet goodness!
Zumbo’s Patisserie is usually full of the macarons he’s famous for, but today the ingenious sushi train style service that runs right through his store is full of the three flavours of Tim Tams he’s produced. They’re all mouthwateringly tasty, but I think we both like the salted caramel milk choc ones the most.
It’s pretty cool to meet Mr Zumbo in the flesh. He’s a very friendly fellow – and a lot taller than I was expecting!
After filling our faces with the sweet delights of Tim Tam indulgence, we decide we need something savoury to combat the sugar rush. We head to Sea Bay – our favourite Taiwanese dumpling house – for a quick late-night supper. Love these steamed pork dumplings.
The weather in Sydney has been very strange indeed recently. It’s just finished a big rain storm, which has lasted all day, and the result is this apocalyptic sunset. Spooky, isn’t it?
We’re off early this morning. It’s a road trip down to Melbourne. We’ve decided to drive down for a few reasons – because we only decided to go down to Victoria last minute, flights were going to be very expensive, and we’ll need a car there anyway. Also we haven’t been on a big drive for a while, so this is as good an excuse as any.
Finally, and most importantly, we’re going to drink some gin!
Our friend Caroline – a.k.a The Gin Queen – is hosting her first gin event. It’s promising to be a lot of fun with domestic gin distillers coming to show off their wares and teach us a bit about this mysterious, delicious spirit. We’re quite excited!
While I drive (mostly) to the speed limit, Mrs Romance digs in and gets some blogging done. It’s makes for an unusual office space, but it’s effective!
Well, we’re here! One of the most recognisable buildings in Melbourne is this one: Flinders Street Station. Lovely, isn’t it? But the yellow cabs do make us wish we were back in New York.
Caroline of The Gin Queen has organised this amazing gin event bringing four premium domestic gin makers together to share their knowledge and products. We’re introduced to The Melbourne Gin Company, Bass & Flinders Distillery, The West Winds Gin and Four Pillars Gin.
Even better, Mrs R and I get to catch up with Carly from Smaggle, Kate from Secret Bloggers’ Business and Stacey from Veggie Mama! These awesome ladies are great company. We also have a quick chat to Caz from Y-Travel Blog, but she’s so popular, we don’t get to talk much – just kidding, Caz 😉
This coffee is very welcome indeed! Last night’s gin event was a lot of fun – but a lot of gin too! Thankfully Cumulus Inc. – a great cafe and a bit of an institution here – does an excellent strong flat white (my coffee of choice). Mrs R has opted for a pretty good looking peppermint tea. Meanwhile our breakfasts are on their way!
After a few lunchtime beers with Y Travel‘s Caz and Craig, and their two lovely little girls, we head to Gazi for a late lunch with our mates Pete and Rickie, who -coincidentally – are also in Melbourne.
This Greek restaurant is another one of George Colombaris’ creations. The food is amazing but we over-order a bit and end up with a fair bit of left-over lamb neck, which I think is their best dish, and it’s hard not to keep eating. The food, decor and atmosphere here are all well worth a visit. Just don’t go in with no appetite!
Pete finds us a cigar bar to go to, and his wife Rickie and Mrs R accompany us while we enjoy a couple of Cuban smokes. We have a great time but the bar’s not up to much.
It’s funny because the drinks they serve are great (they even have one of my favourite beers from Burleigh Brewing Company in the Gold Coast) and the service itself is good too. But the vibe and layout of the place: not very impressed, I’m afraid to say.
This is the view from the cigar bar balcony. Pretty good, I think. But even that isn’t enough to make us come back I’m sad to say. Melbourne has a lot more to offer than this place… unless they completely redesign it of course!
Today – as we head north for some family time – we drop by to see Cam from Four Pillars Gin. He promised to introduce us to Wilma, the company still. She’s absolutely beautiful – and even better – we get to see her in action.
The 94% proof gin that pours from her is – of course – very strong, but my goodness is it good. It’s like tasting a gin’s life source!
Here’s a pic of our two favourite meals of the weekend in Melbourne: the top two are of our delicious breakfast at Cumulus Inc. Mrs R had the baked eggs and I had the potato and cheddar waffle with pastrami and pickles.
The bottom two are from our lunch at Gazi – green pea and almond flake salad, tiganites chips with feta cheese, and tyrokafteri chicken with white beans.
We also had an excellent Indian meal at the Curry Vault – but pictures of curry rarely look any good!
Do you have a favourite Melbourne restaurant or even a specific dish? Tell us about it in the comments!