A new pastry shop doing one thing ridiculously well; the miraculous reopening of one of the year’s most exciting art shows; a rip-snorting, relatable book you have to read; and a perennially popular Melbourne event returns with “flying” noodles and Korean tornado potatoes. Here’s what Broadsheet Melbourne editor Tomas Telegramma is checking out in Melbourne in June.
Show your support – safely
Our restaurants, cafes and bars can go back to business, with some limitations, from 11.59pm on Thursday June 10. But the past two weeks have been a slog, as hospo outfits scrambled to flip the switch to takeaway – then back again. Again. So, as you head back out into the city, remember to check in, always; wear your mask religiously when not eating or drinking; and be patient as all the floor staff, bartenders, chefs and venue operators get back into the swing of things. To help you plan your return to restaurants, here’s our updated edit of Melbourne’s best newcomers.
A miraculous reopening
In the absence of substantial support, locking down was at best inconvenient, and at worst deeply damaging for events, businesses, livelihoods and the headspaces of many Melburnians. Perhaps most crushing was the cancellation of Rising, the long-awaited star-studded winter festival that had been years in the making. One event will still go ahead, though: Patricia Piccinini’s A Miracle Constantly Repeated is set to reopen this month (with an exact date still to be confirmed) and run until August. The trailblazing Aussie artist – best known for her hyperrealistic human-animal sculptures – has taken over a mysterious, abandoned ballroom above Flinders Street Station. It’s like stepping into another world.
Fly me to the Moon
Never have I ever tasted anything quite like a Moon cruller. (No, I mean it.) The “very naughty, very rebellious little sibling” of Kate Reid’s Lune opened on Rose Street in Fitzroy – a couple hundred metres down from the world-famous croissanterie – just as lockdown 4.0 hit. And it should be fast-tracked to the top of your to-eat list. Crullers look like doughnuts, but biting into one of Reid’s deep-fried choux-pastry rings will school you on judging a book by its cover. The outside? Twisty and crispy. The inside? Web-like, almost custardy and not at all what you’d expect. Glossy glazed options reign, but I can’t go past the ones rigorously tossed in cinnamon sugar.
A rip-snorting read
Emphasis on “snorting”. My enjoyment of the hilarious new In My Defence I Have No Defence: Catastrophes in Pursuing Perfection was so audible that my cousin emerged from the room next door – where she was working – to simply glare at me, silently. When I told author Sinéad Stubbins – a staff editor at Broadsheet, who’s well known for her Game of Thrones recaps for Junkee – she said: “That is … my dream. To annoy people from afar.” The collection of (alarmingly relatable) essays track the peaks and troughs of millennial life. Stubbins romanticises handheld graters, likens Pilates instructors to robots in need of rewiring, exacerbates the anxiety of weekend-wasters (me) and rolls out one-liners as profound as “Asparagus is expensive; I’m not an heiress” left, right and centre. Read all about it here, then buy it.
Socially distanced noods
It’s almost as if the organisers of the perennially popular Night Noodle Markets prophesied a fourth lockdown. Back in April, it was announced that the annual hawker-style event was swapping the banks of the Yarra for home delivery in 2021 – for the first time ever. So, skip the lines all throughout June. Eight market “stalls” will be cooking up dramatic “flying” noodles, twice-cooked pork-belly pad see ew and mi goreng with fried chicken ribs. But don’t miss the Korean tornado potatoes: spiralised spuds that are battered, deep-fried and topped with salt and vinegar, chicken salt or chilli salt.
Stop, hygge time
Wild, woolly weather has well and truly arrived. And that means it’s time to dial up the hygge (the Danish word is said to have no direct translation, but the sentiment is something like cosy contentment, which sounds right up my alley). Here’s what we’ve got for you as winter takes hold: eight cockle-warming recipes to try (including an aromatic Sri Lankan-style lamb curry I’m adding to my regular rotation), 12 snazzy coats to add to your wardrobe, 13 cosy Aussie sleepwear labels to shop for ultimate in-bed and binge-watching comfort, and 13 scrumptious scents to buy for your home – in candle, incense, oil and spray form. FYI: there’s something for every budget.