About 5 months before the flight Jetstar changed out direct flight to Depensar to go via Melbourne. Now, I'm no pilot but I'm pretty sure that Melbourne is in the opposite direction to Bali, right? When our plane touched down in Melbourne we were notified by Jetstar's very NOT NICE Cabin Manager that our onward flight had be cancelled. Just like that we were stranded, freezing in our beach-gear to spend a brisk 24 hours in cold Melbourne. We couldn't even get through customs for nearly an hour as Jetstar hadn't notified them that our onward journey had been cancelled.
Sigh...not a good start to the holiday. We were put up in a hotel near the airport (Mantra Tullamarine) and dinner in the hotel (+ breakfast) was Jetstar's shout. I was pretty surprised at how GREAT our hotel dinner was: creamy mushroom soup, wicked beef ribs and delicious homemade ice-cream.
Because we had an entire day to kill before we finally jetted off to Bali the following night we headed into Melbourne town to tick off a few places from my wish-list. I was pretty upset about our cancelled flight at first, but I was also kinda pleased for our short detour to Melbourne. I was pretty ecstatic to finally get a chance to head to Hardware Societe.
Because I had lunch plans lined up for The Boy + I we just stopped by Hardware Societe to check out the lay of the land and have a coffee. The cafe is totally the opposite of what I was expecting. Rather than a retro granny-inspired cafe (ala Petty Cash) Hardware Societe is a modern looking, French inspired cafe with trendy Eames-style chairs and a swish yellow coffee machine (though they do have a great collection of tea cosys). My Chai Latte was very decent and The Boy enjoyed his coffee - we both enjoyed the teeny tiny donut that came with our hot drinks.
No time to dilly-dally over coffee as we had a lunch-date with Mamasita for a Mexican feast! I've heard that Mamasita gets busy...really busy, so we arrived 20 minutes before opening time and nabbed the first spot in the queue (yes I'm OCD, what about it)! Within about 10 minutes of taking our seat the restaurant was CHOCKER BLOCK full, but our waiter told us this was a quiet day as they usually have a queue down the stairs and out the door. WOWZERS!
I was all ready to eat everything on the menu, but The Boy wasn't overly hungry having over-indulged at the hotel's buffet breakfast - rookie mistake.
I have a soft spot for Mexican corn so ordered myself two pieces of the Elotes Callejeros ($4.90) - "street style" char-grilled corn with queso, chipotle mayo and lime. SO GOOD! We also enjoyed a serve of de Cangrejo Tostaditas. Not cheap at $16 but these crab, avocado, cucumber, tamarind mayo + habanero tostaditas were pretty darn yummy...but sadly inhaled all too soon. Being a fan of all chip-like-treats I couldn't pass up the Plantanos Macos ($7.00) - fried plantains with pico verde + queso fresco. Really yummy, really really yummy (a plantain is kinda like a green banana...sort of).
Between us we probably ate most of the Tacos on the menu (well, we gave it a good shot at least). They were ALL so fresh and flavoursome - the soft taco shell was so fresh and light. I really enjoyed the vegetarian taco as the filling was pretty unusual - eggplant + zucchini + crispy qunioa (is there ANYTHING that qunioa cannot do I ask you)? I think The Boy's vote for his #1 taco when to the Chipolate-braised goat with cabbage and roasted sweet corn paste.
|Clockwise from left: Marinated prawn taco ($7); Chipolate-braised goat ($6.00);|
Chargrilled chicken ($6);Grilled fish ($6);
Vegetarian taco with crispy quinoa + eggplant + zucchini ($5).
I suppose, at the end of the day (or lunch) our unexpected mini-stay in Melbourne wasn't too bad afterall. Now...onto Bali!