Sunday, December 27, 2009


Miles flown so far: 10,380

We arrived in Melbourne rested and ready to go.  We checked in to our hotel downtown, then walked around a bit in the sunshine, got some coffee, met up with an expat friend of mine in the Fitzroy neighborhood, and later headed to Dainty Sichuan for dinner.  I have never had Chinese food like this in my life.  It was SO SPICY my body felt like it was going into shock, but if you could get past the pain there were so many complex flavors, it was beyond words.  I couldn't finish what I ordered, but now I want to go back and eat there again tonight.  
Today we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens, the seaside St. Kilda neighborhood and our hotel's funny rooftop pool.  We are having some down time before dinner with an Australian friend at a surprise place of her choosing (Dainty Sichuan, I hope?)  Here are some images from the botanical gardens.

Melbourne is a pretty, livable, cosmopolitan city.  It feels like Denver or San Francisco or San Diego, but if they had been British instead of Spanish founded cities.  Lots of Victorian ironwork, beautiful parks, a great tram system, good food.  The Christmas and Boxing Day holidays mean a lot of things are closed, but hopefully tomorrow things will liven up a bit.

Here she is: the Dainty.  I, of course, learned of this place on No Reservations.  There are a couple more Melbourne spots Anthony recommended that we want to try before we leave.  We will see.

Spicy Prawns.  Absolutely delectable.  Not an ounce of slimy, gloppy sauce in sight.  Everything was crispy, oily and seasoned to within an inch of your life.  Spice at this level terrifies me, but I had to try it, and it was worth it.

This dish is called Mouth Watering Chicken.  And it was.  Though if I had one criticism it would be to be more careful to get rid of the bones and gristle before chopping up the chicken.

Some images via rabbit does brisbane and ador australia

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