MIFF can seem like a whirlwind couple of weeks, but it’s also a time to stop, smell the popcorn and enjoy the finer things in life. Booked in for a late session this week? You could cram in a few more hours at the office – or you could use it as an excuse to treat yourself to a leisurely meal out.
Everything’s carefully considered at this restaurant, named for a Chinese talisman said to make life “as you wish”. Sheng Fang’s family ruyi was passed down through generations before being confiscated by the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution – and he has reimagined the spiritual significance of the object into the restaurant itself. From handmade natural crockery and fittings to a range of reimagined provincial dishes, the mix of old and new heritage offers a lot to reflect on.
Mamasita means “hot babe” in Spanish – and the high-end taco and tequila bar at the top end of Collins Street is definitely an attractive proposition. It’s open late, so whether you're pre- or post-film you can listen to records and unwind for as long as you like.
Stories about getting lost in Mexico are in vogue again: this weekend’s showing of Sundance hit James White has sold out, so we’re crossing our fingers for extended showings at the arthouse mainstays.
At some places, you’re selling yourself short if you don’t allow a few hours. Mark Best’s sustainability-focused fine diner has some quick options, but it’s worth exploring the full menu (which offers a $75 four-course set banquet for the indecisive).
The best thing is, it’s in the Sofitel forecourt, right next to the Kino, so you can use the travel time you'll save to indulge in dessert.
Nearly all the items on offer here are designed for sharing – an easy justification to try as many of them as you can. Get inspired by cult icon Jonathan Gold in City of Gold and play critic for a night. The LA Times writer is the first and only food critic to win a Pulitzer – you can dream. Spread out on the communal tables and make the most of the large servings over a cocktail or three.
Take your time.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of the Melbourne International Film Festival.