Hit the road to an out-of-this-world Sri Lankan curry spot. Be immersed at a 48-hour-long rainforest exhibition. And discover the intersection between rave and school excursion (it exists). Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Tomas Telegramma is checking out in Melbourne in August.
Eat where top chefs eat
What’s your ultimate winter restaurant? It’s been cold, wet and miserable in Melbourne, so we asked some of the city’s culinary superstars – including Karen Martini and Tedesca’s Brigitte Hafner – where they’re getting cosy and carbed-up this season. Their answers varied from an under-the-radar spaghetti bar to a phenomenal Sri Lankan curry spot worth travelling for (seriously, go). Read the full story. Plus, last month Melbourne Food & Wine Festival hosted a monumental gala dinner with 30 dishes by 30 of Victoria’s most exciting chefs under 30. In the run-up, each chef shared their favourite thing to eat in the state at the time. Behold, then get snacking on epic souvas, fancified hash browns and serious “sandwich sorcery”.
MIFF’s mighty return
Because of you-know-what, Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) hasn’t been in cinemas since 2019. So, it’s screening a bumper line-up of films to mark both its return to IRL programming as well as its 70th anniversary. Running until the 21st in-person and the 28th online, the program includes 18 world premieres and 177 Australian premieres, plus a record 61 films straight out of Cannes. While some bigger-ticket sessions are sold out, you can still nab a spot to see Normal People’s Paul Mescal in family drama Aftersun; a doco on eco-pioneer Joost Bakker, who set up a tiny home and urban farm in Fed Square; and Aussie horror-comedy Sissy, which takes a gory swipe at toxic influencer culture. To name just a few. If you want more inspo, consult our comprehensive guide.
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The Victoria effect
As the food starts coming at the new, fiercely Victorian restaurant by Farmer’s Daughters, you’ll have to fight the urge to fill up on bread; a pair of fluffy, oversized, pull-apart sourdough loaves will test you. A standout snack is the Otway Gold potato rosti with cured Bass Strait scallop and bacon avocado. But the main event, undoubtedly, is the meats. The burly 800-gram dry-aged O’Connor rib eye is served sliced with rocoto-chilli salsa, but the left-on-the-plate bone beckons to be picked up and eaten off of like no one’s watching (it’s unlikely anyone is). And the Milla’s smoked half-duck may have the crispiest skin of any piece of meat you eat this winter.
At Melbourne Museum, extraordinary new exhibit Tyama is more than just a light show. It’s a mashup of scientific rigour, First Peoples’ wisdom, and sweeping soundscapes and animations. And in the words of Broadsheet’s Doosie Morris, “It hits a sweet spot you never knew you were looking for: somewhere between a rave and a school excursion.” Elsewhere, Unhurried by Nature is a two-day-only photo exhibition – hosted by Broadsheet – that immortalises the slow beauty of the natural world. Plus, from the 18th to the 20th, ACMI is staying open for 48 straight hours for Gondwana. A Sundance and SXSW transplant, the durational installation – a commentary on climate change – will place you in the middle of Far North Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest.
For your winter recipe arsenal
It’s peak comfort-food season. And if you’re feeling as uninspired in the kitchen as I am, here are some banger winter recipes. Craving pasta? We’ve got a freewheeling carbonara by Karen Martini and the perfect Sunday sauce by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, which you can set and forget while it heads to Simmer Town. Noodles more your speed? Have a crack at Rosheen Kaul’s 15-minute burnt spring-onion oil noods or Dan Hong’s sweet, slippery Beijing fried sauce number. And if you really need to warm your cockles, soup is always the answer. There’s what Sunda and Aru’s Khanh Nguyen reckons is his favourite soup of all time and a rainy-day minestrone by Rita Macali, the woman behind Melbourne’s dearly departed Italian diner Supermaxi.