Friday night lights

This week was spent in Melbourne, the food capital of Australia. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten out much because I spent most of the week working day and night, I suppose that is why my job sent me here, huh? Luckily, this evening I was able to get out and walk around for a few hours between my work day and my night meetings.

I’m a not so cool kid who has conference calls at 10 PM on Friday. I can’t worry about that though, I decided to just roll with it.

Since it was my first night with my dinner plans completely in my own hands, I was excited to wander the streets of Melbourne and find the perfect dinner. For me, that meant a salad as big as my head, hopefully with grilled chicken on it.

Don’t laugh. If you lived in India and could only eat leafy greens at your own risk, you would be on a mission to find salad as well.

I started out by heading for a little alleyway nearby called Hardware Lane.


This is supposed to be one of the more trendy areas to eat in Melbourne right now. As I approached the lane, I could hear musicians playing outside and see tables of people spilling into the street under awnings and heaters. Remember, although it is a mild winter, it is still winter here.

It looked like the perfect place to eat dinner!

As I began to make my way down the narrow walkway between masses of dining tables in the street, I quickly realized that this was more like running the gauntlet than a lovely dinner in the making. Restaurant hosts wound through the crowd behind me animatedly touting tonight’s specials and making me feel slightly claustrophobic and uncomfortable.

I wanted out. Now.

I began to wander back toward my hotel, reconsidering my dinner plans along the way when I spotted the Ugg store. If you know me, you know that I have a weakness for boots, especially the furry, ugly, Ugg variety. Naturally I went in, but I immediately rethought that decision because I know that Chris would not buy into me owning a third pair of Uggs.

I nearly escaped without any purchases until I spotted these.


Baby Uggs. 0-3 month ones to be specific. They are tiny and fluffy and wonderful and Chris did tell me to buy a baby-something in Australia. I think have verified that he probably meant a stuffed kangaroo or something to go with the stuffed panda that I got in China, not Uggs with a lifespan of three months. I’m sure he’ll get over it in a few hours.

Anyway, back to my dinner situation. I headed to the next neighborhood that I knew, Chinatown.


At this point I was hungry and no longer worried about eating salad, which was a good thing because I wasn’t too likely to find it there. I considered a second night in a row of kimchi, as last night’s was pretty awesome, but I couldn’t find a decent place to eat kimchi alone non-awkwardly.

My dinner mission led me out of Chinatown, via the Greek Precinct, where I almost got my salad, through a neighborhood that I will call Little Vietnam, and finally into a shopping mall where a display window caught my eye. Still no dinner after wandering around for two hours.

My next stop was the Lush store to get more bar shampoo. I happened to notice it in the basement of the mall from three floors up. Somehow I remembered that they sell bar shampoo and that my old shampoo bar is nearly used up. Score!


Time for dinner for real though. Frozen yogurt sold by the gram. Salad just wasn’t in the cards tonight. Afterwards, I headed to the grocery store to supplement my fro-yo meal with veggies, hummus, and whole wheat pitas.

Tomorrow I will make a better effort to track down a salad. Maybe those lively haunts on Hardware Lane are a bit lower key during the day.

  1. I think finding things to eat while traveling is hard! You never want to get caught in a tourist trap, yet you don’t always have the time to hunt down a local dive with amazing eats that only the locals know about. This is about 329 times harder when you are traveling in a group of more than 2 people.

    I have never heard of bar shampoo until this morning…

    • Brit said:

      I think I can succeed at finding a decent meal tomorrow. Earlier this week I had an amazing roasted pumpkin and goat cheese sandwich after wandering into the first random place that I saw. It has been tough when dining with co-workers though because I don’t necessarily have mainstream taste in food!

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