This is my first blog entry for food in Melbourne (despite being back home for 5 months already). Most people come back home from a holiday yearning to be back where they were, wishing they were away again, complaining that nothing’s changed. For me, I was excited to come home. And I’m still excited to be back. Don’t get me wrong, I am itching to get away again, but after a year of not being able to flush toilet paper down the toilet in South America, popping endless Gastrostop tablets in Vietnam (too much info), and sad face weather in the UK – I’m glad to be back to fine little Melbourne city.
Anyway, onto the review. Last week was Melbourne Music Week held in the abandoned Argus building on the corner of Elizabeth and Latrobe Streets. Melbourne Music Week is pretty self explanatory, it’s a week of music in Melbourne (duh). But the building that acted as the hub and heart of the festival was the main attraction and talking point. Decrepid. Probably riddled with asbestos. Missing its roof. I don’t know how the organisers got through the red tape of the most anal and annoying city council in Victoria, but they did and they set up a pop up festival site complete with stage, portaloos, wifi hub, dining hall, bars and market. Kudos to them and spectacular it was.
While I am an avid music supporter, the Ruby Bean in me couldn’t help but get super excited at the dining hall that was knocked together with scaffolding above the stage. The dining hall only had four very awesomely selected vendors : I Heart Pho – the former Chu The pho restaurant in Richmond, my favourite on Victoria Street; Huxtaburger – one of them American burger joints that are popping up fad styles around town; Phat Bratz – Brunswick St too-cool-for-school bratwursts; and Fancy Hank’s BBQ – a bbq van that pops up in mystery locations making it difficult to obtain food from there. All in one convenient location for me to marvel and eat! And that I did.
Phat Bratz did these crazy amazing cheesy fries. Fat, seasoned chips with thick, bright yellow cheese sauce, sour cream and topped with shallots. I love American style cheese sauce and its freaky/unhealthy colour. And the dudes were nice enough to top my fries up with more sauce after I inhaled the top layer of cheese. Oh and their chilli dog was super yum too. But sorry cheesy fries are more exciting.
Fancy Hank’s BBQ had all the staples of southern BBQ – beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, slaw, potato salad. Their beef brisket was the best, the seasoned rub spices perfectly complimenting the smokey bbq flavour and slow cooked to perfection. Everything else was rather meh. But I guess I am spoilt after having many WU-BQs, BBQ from my friend Julian who is master of the Weber and king of Texan BBQ. But nonetheless they’re super nice people so if their van appears in your area it’d be worth giving it a go.
I Heart Pho fry up a crazy good salty octopus as well as delivering a tasty bowl of beef noodle soup. My friend bought a plate of the fried octopus and I apologetically ate most of it. Dipped in some sriracha chilli sauce, it was succulent and crispy and all sorts of tasty. I love I Heart Pho for their light broth and just their general awesome niceness. They also do awesome rice paper rolls with a special concoction of hoisin sauce. Bah Vietnamese food is the bestest (biased opinion).
I only got a chance to take a bite out of my friend’s Huxtaburger because I am only one person and couldn’t fit the final burger. But hey, I think that’s a pretty impressive effort, right?
But yeah, Melbourne Music Week: bands, foods and derelict building. Ruby Bean says yes.
(Melbourne Music Week is finished for the year, keep your eye out for next year’s event)
- Phat Bratz – 320 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
http://www.phatbrats.com.au/, Open 7 Days.
- I Heart Pho – 264 Victoria Street, Richmond
Facebook page, Open 7 Days.
- Fancy Hank’s BBQ – location varies. Watch their Facebook page for location details.
- Huxtaburger – 106 Smith Street, Collingwood (CBD location opening next year yay!)
http://www.huxtaburger.com.au/, Open Tues-Sun.
Sounds like: Bitch Prefect – Holiday in America
Rating: super duper!