Saturday, April 15, 2017

melbourne: highlight reel


… the day we drive into the Mornington Peninsula.

Phoebe packs stuff to celebrate for him. Teng and I didn’t lift a finger, haha.

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Choon’s good old cycling buddy from Darwin now resides in Melbourne in a vintage apartment complex earmarked as a heritage site. Visiting him was a bit like going on an interactive, immersive museum tour.


Everything in Mike’s apartment is old, mostly from the 1920s and 30s, with a story behind it.

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* Living room. Mike, like most Asians, does not like shoes in the house

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* Mike's grandmother. That's what he says for fun. She's not really his grandmother

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* Old door leading to a kitchen with a very old table and yellow chairs procured from some cafe in Europe

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* I think the cups and plates are also very old. Mike is clearly a fantastic housekeeper

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* A Kelvinator fridge from the 1950s. I believe it cost a bomb

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* The innards of a 70-year-old fridge. It looks in better condition than my fridge

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* I love the hole-in-the-wall bookshelf

Mike is a pathologist who was stationed in Malaysia with the British forces decades ago. He was married to an Indonesian lady but now lives alone, going on long cycling rides and enjoying life by the beach.

Apparently, he has filled his other property, a castle in France, with all sorts of old Oriental furniture.


Straight off the plane, I rush to the Hamer Hall to squeeze in one afternoon concert outing to watch the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra play pieces from Pixar cartoons, accompanying clips on the big screen.

* The concert hall, half of which is underground, so we walk down a flight of steps to our circle seats

* It's a child and autism-friendly concert

At nearly A$100 per ticket, I am most put out when I see Teng next to me (I paid for him) looking pale-faced and droopy-eyed. “I’m very sleepy,” said the boy who was mostly watching cartoons on his mobile phone throughout our seven-hour 3am flight.

I stuff him with some food during the interval to sustain him for the second half, because he hadn’t eaten for 18 hours. The orchestra was stellar and the conductor, beyond stellar.


This squid dish from Two Buoys at Dromana, Mornington Peninsula, blew my mind.

* Salt chilli squid, tequila, lime and coriander mayonnaise

Devoid of the usual rubbery squid texture (even the best-cooked squids I have eaten are still slightly chewy), and freed of all my expectations about what squid should taste like, the first thing we all felt after taking a bite was – This is squid meh?

It was almost creamy and melt-in-your-mouth, and tasted so fresh I’m still not sure if its squid.

The other unforgettable dish was eggplant from Lee Ho Fook. Crackling crisp outside, melty inside, smothered in a sweet caramelized sauce.



Teng, lover of gardens, spots this one on an app and we pop over to Heronswood.

It’s dripping with fruit and flowers and is so pretty.


* Avocado

* Parsley


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