Eric Wareheim spent 12 days in Melbourne.
That’s 288 hours in which he managed to eat, drink – and document on Instagram – an impressive 78 dishes and 69 bottles of wine across 25 different venues. (I made a spreadsheet.)
This kind of dedication is something we applaud at Broadsheet so, naturally, we’ve broken down his grand food tour – stop by excruciatingly delicious stop.
Wareheim – for those who haven’t been to the weird side of Youtube – is one half of American comedy duo Tim & Eric, known for their lo-fi brand of sketch comedy. He also featured in Master of None, the Netflix comedy loosely based on star Aziz Ansari’s life.
At the very least, you’ll recognise Wareheim from this ubiquitous “mind blown” GIF:
While most widely known for his comedy and acting, Wareheim came to town in March for Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) because he’s also a food writer and does a really great job on the pans. He’s also behind Las Jaras Wines, a project shared with Californian winemaker Joel Burt.
Here’s a rundown of his movements:
As soon as he arrives in Melbourne, together with his wife, Madison Borbély, Wareheim heads promptly to Carlton North cafe Florian, saying on Instagram: “I never do brekkie, but when I’m down unda it’s one of my fav things ever”. The first item he calls out is the one most emblematic of Australian brunch culture: the flat white. We’re not in Cali anymore.
Without missing a beat, he heads to the “Penang paradise” that is Lulu’s Char Koay Teow before having dinner at Miznon. There, he has the first of many schnitties – this one stuffed with mashed potato. Wareheim says he was at first confused, but together with “mustard and a spicy pickle, it really came to life”.
A pattern seems to emerge, as the next stop is for more noodles at Soi 38, which “every damn drongo recommended”. The order: khao soi, crab noodles and Thai laksa. Sadly, no photos exist of Wareheim, who stands at over two metres tall, perched on one of the tiny plastic stools.
Next up: the Mauritian Manzé in North Melbourne, with whole barramundi, fermented octopus, and corn pudding with coconut and peach. “Truly a unique blend of African, Chinese, French, Indian inspirations,” he wrote. “I felt like I was high off of life. Sick playlist as well. Just a general mind-bending experience.”
After sharing his philosophy on the chicken parm at MFWF’s main stage, Wareheim drops in to Embla for its Burnt Ends takeover, followed by “delicious honest food with no bullshit” at Jim’s Greek Tavern.
The next day, Wareheim and Mike Bennie (acclaimed drinks writer and co-founder of Sydney’s P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants) head to The Lincoln in Carlton for “prob the best schnitty and chips in town”. Noted. To contrast the humble pub grub, Wareheim visits Melbourne institutions Flower Drum, Kenzan and later, France-Soir. He drops a curious suggestion for anyone dining there: “Ask for an ‘apple juice’, see what you get there”. We’re guessing not apple juice.
A quick handheld lunch at Brunswick’s Very Good Falafel – and confirmation that it is “actually very, very good” – follows before Wareheim and Borbély descend on Hope St Radio, where they host a feast prepared by chef Ellie Bouhadana and chat with Bennie about the intersection of punk rock and natural winemaking.
One would think that – having completed their hosting duties – the pair might jet back home. But no, they go deep into Victorian wine country.
First stop is Coghills Creek’s Eastern Peake Winery, then Daylesford’s Bar Merenda. A trip to Daylesford Bakery for sauso rolls follows (the man’s got range), before the wine tour continues: he visits Syrahmi’s Adam Foster, Cobaw Ridge and Joshua Cooper at Stone Hills Farm, who Wareheim says is producing “mind-blowing chardonnay from [a] high-elevation cool-climate granite-soil paradise. It’s truly world-class wine.”
After a short, schnitty-filled stint in Tassie, Wareheim returns to Melbourne for one last victory lap. “I’m very sad to leave this international food oasis,” he proclaims. He checks out Thi Le and Jia-Yen Lee’s banh mi shop Ca Com (“Who the heck does a woodfired banh mi bar? Got dang”), gets one last bowl of noodles at Dao Noodle (“the broth was so light and tasty and balanced. It reminded me of a Chinese version of a yuzu shio ramen broth”) and wraps with a veritable feast at Gimlet (“France and Australia and back”).
Packing more exploration into a fortnight than many of us manage in months, even years, we raise a glass to this ludicrously packed journey through Melbourne and its surrounds.
Are we jealous? Maybe.
Are we clearing our schedules? Abso-lutely.