On my first trip to Melbourne last April, I tried to avoid food that are available here in Malaysia. I sorta ran out of options rather quickly, so on the second trip, I was ready and more than willing to have some of the meals usually associated with students living here instead.
In a way, instead of having a traditional holiday to Melbourne, I spent the 10 days I was there like a typical student would. I ate the same food, watched a bit of TV series, and even went to a lecture with Mellissa!
Ying Thai 2, rather authentic and very tasty
So when Mell and I were meeting Pinky and Kah Kit, we had it at Ying Thai 2 instead of a place that serves “western” or Australian food. The last we met was April, at Notturno (which happens to be just across the same street), and at Supper Inn for, well, supper.
Ying Thai 2 is a Thai restaurant run by, at the face of it, mostly Thai people. When we got there at around 8pm on a weekday, it was still fully packed. We had to wait for some 30 minutes before securing an alfresco style table. Luckily the outdoor heater was on.
tomyam, green curry, and minced pork with basil
We quickly made our orders, and as usual, being the least picky eater in the group, I let the others do the honor. This also means that I get to enjoy different tastes most of the time, instead of always ordering something I am familiar with.
We asked for 4 dishes: seafood tomyam, green curry chicken, minced pork with basil, and chicken in pandan leave. We also ordered coconut rice instead of normal steamed rice to go with them.
coconut rice and chicken in pandan leaves
It took quite a bit to get our food as the place was extremely busy, to make matter worse, we had to deal with the smell that comes off from the restaurant with our empty stomach. It was a torture, but it was also well worth it.
The green curry chicken and the seafood tomyam was no different from those you get at any good Thai restaurants. The curry rich in coconut milk and come with all the ingredients you expect, while the tomyam is not overly spicy, it was full of seafood ingredients and still manage to provide a small kick.
Mell, KY, Pinky, Kah Kit
The pandan chicken was even better, on par with some of the bests I’ve had. Soft and very flavorful, they go well with the extra fragrant coconut rice, I like the rice a lot more than normal steamed rice or even sticky rice.
However, the best dish of the day had to be the minced pork with basil. It was spicy, it had the flavor of pork, basil (one of my favorite herbs), red chilli, and whatever sauce the chef put in. The result was something with a kick, it was spicy, it was tasty, and it was very addictive.
It was a good dinner session, with great food and of course, Pinky is one of my favorite persons whom I got to know via Nuffnang over a year ago. Incidentally, Mell worked with Pinky during her internship and that was how we got to know each other.
Ying Thai 2
110 Lygon St,
Carlton VIC 3053,
Tel: 03-9639 1697
p/s: I have a few more Melbourne food posts to complete before the memory escapes my mind, so bear with me. 🙂
The most important reason I am now writing this post all the way from Melbourne is to attend Mellissa‘s 21st birthday. She has one of the easiest to remember birthday of anyone I know, on 8.8.88, you can’t get any more auspicious than that.
Just a night after I arrived, on the eve of her birthday, we had dinner at Vialetto, a little restaurant at Hardware Lane serving Italian food. The food was very pedestrian and nothing to shout about, so despite taking a tonnes of photos from the restaurant, I shall refrain from writing about a place that I wouldn’t return.
Charlie’s bar is located at the quaint Hardware Lane
Right after dinner, we adjourned to Charlie’s bar a couple doors down the lane. The bar itself is located at the basement level with some tables outdoor (not exactly very awesome to be outdoor in winter, though heater is provided). The service was really good, our server made sure the reserved area is vacated as soon as we arrived and took orders in very efficient and professional manner.
The guys arrived soon enough and by 11pm the group grew to some 30 people, including all of Mellissa’s housemates, university friends, and other friends from KL including Zehan, Pinky and her bf Kah Kit too.
Zehan, KY, Mell, Kah Kit, Sam, Pinky, Mell,
JW, Harvey, Singz, Graeme, Mark, Ian, Mrina, and more!
At the end of the night Mellissa got quite tipsy, though luckily still quite manageable. The guys love the drinks at Charlie’s bar, the cocktails were made just right with enough amount of proper alcohol. The place was quaint and comfortable, even the music too was good. Everyone had a great time, and of course, the no indoor smoking policy in the city always help.
Minor set back of the whole evening was the lack of a cake but oh well, Mell did bake a chocolate cake 2 days later, heehee. Happy Birthday darling!
p/s: Going skiing at Mt. Buller in less than 12 hours, I’m very anxious for my first ski trip in 8 years, gonna be Mell’s first heehee.
During the 2nd day of my visit to Melbourne, Mel and I met up with Pinky who left Nuffnang Malaysia to continue her study at Melbourne. Pinky has always been one of my favorite persons who is very hardworking, efficient, and humble; which is probably why she is now Nuffnang Australia’s very first expat, in part time basis anyway.
Mell, Pinky, Kah Kit, KY
We met Pinky and her boyfriend Kah Kit’s at their apartment a couple blocks away and together we walked to Cafe Notturno in Lygon Street, also known as the Little Italy of Melbourne. Total walking distance was about 1km, very managable under the comfortable autumn temperature.
Cafe Notturno, meat lovers pizza
Cafe Notturno is quite a popular place among the students as the food here is pretty cheap in Melbourne standard. Almost everything in the menu is priced under $20.
I ordered a steak with pepper sauce, Mell got the seafood combo, Pinky and Kah Kit a fettucine bosciola, and we also shared a medium meat lover’s pizza.
steak, fettucine bosciola, seafood combo
The steak ($19.80) was prepared medium rare and actually tasted quite nice. The portion was rather large and perhaps not a very good idea for brunch but I finished it nonetheless. I liked the salad with balsamic vinegar too.
Seafood combo ($14.30) was very worth it, prawns, scallops, fish fillets, and squid rings deep fried in batter and served with tartar sauce, fresh lemon, and the same salad.
The fettucine bosciola ($12.70) was very sumptuous too; but I find the meat lover’s pizza ($10 – medium) a little too salty and not very crunchy. Pinky insisted that they had an off day and the pizza usually tasted better.
Mell actually drew this map! AMAZING isn’t it?
Cafe Notturno certainly offers some very decent food with very affordable pricing, perfect especially for those who doesn’t want to break the bank for an authentic Italian meal in the city. Of course, the brunch session was awesome with the great companies.
179 Lygon St, Carlton,
VIC 3053, Australia
Tel: +613 9347 8286