Posted by: edibleplanet | August 2, 2011

Food Shops in Melbourne

We were very fortunate to be able to spend a few days in Melbourne last week, which of course, is heaven for foodies like us. We were discussing the difference between Christchurch and Melbourne for food with an ex Christchurch resident we were staying with. We came to the conclusion you can experience a wide variety of food from other cultures in Christchurch but you have to search it out, in Melbourne it is hitting you over the head everywhere you go.

There is also a different attitude to food over there. Even in a large suburban mall in an outer suburb there was a deli that would be the equal of any deli in Christchurch – that are never in malls due to the rent. Melbournians obviously support such places enough that they can survive while our malls are usually filled here with clothing and shoe chain stores. There seems to be less of the prententiousness that here seems to come with good food(that is only for special occasions) and more about everyone enjoying good food at very reasonable prices. We visited food shops and of course we ate out. If you are heading over there here are some of the more out of the way places we visited and enjoyed as well as of course, the wonderful food markets.

We went on a bit of a jaunt into suburbia using trains, buses and trams to visit a variety of food shops. In the suburb of Carnegie I visited Russian Tidbits (113 Koornang Road). This shop had a counter cabinet full of a huge variety of Eastern European sausages as well as shelves with all different Russian foods. From there I caught another train and a bus to visit Oasis Bakery (9/993 North Road) in Murrumbeena. Having managed to get myself across the busy four lane street I entered Oasis and it is big. A supermarket sized shop of every Middle Eastern food you could want and much more. The labels on the Oasis Bakery products are well worth a read too.

Spinach & Feta Cheese Triangle

Spinach & Feta Cheese Triangle with my pen to show just how large it was!

They also have a cafe and for $3.50AU I bought a spinach and feta triangle. It was delicious. I then couldn’t resist trying a date mamoul that was also lightly flavoured with rose water. It was far more tasty and less dry than the packaged ones I had tried before.

Another bus trip and I was in the middle of a light industrial area and opposite a big Bunnings shop. I was not sure if I had got off at the right bus stop but then I saw American flags waving outside a factory shop – I was in Moorabbin to visit USA Foods (146 Cochranes Road). Food from the USA is one region we have been finding hard to source in New Zealand. Here was everything all American. I bought a bottle of Franks hot sauce because someone had recommended it, grits – because I hadn’t found any in NZ since I stayed in South Carolina and of course how could I go past Baconnaise? Baconnaise is a mayonnaise flavoured with bacon – but not real bacon, it is kosher and safe for vegetarians according to the label. The company that makes it was started with money won from the television show – America’s Funniest Home Videos. I thought we needed to try a jar of such stuff. Coming back into New Zealand, customs almost took it off us because of the egg content. We assured them it was unlikely to be real egg (going by the bacon content) fortunately egg products of American origin are allowed into New Zealand so we made it home with our jar of Baconnaise.

We also couldn’t resist another visit back to Casa Iberica(25 Johnston Street), the neat Spanish shop in Fitzroy with its fantastic Portuguese tarts (3 for $5AU). This time we bought a Chuerrera ($20AU) for making those very tasty Spanish donuts, churros. It works really well and the dough is easy to make. Now we just have to stop ourselves from making them too often!

Back soon to share all the  yummy places we ate at.

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