Food in Melbourne: Pancakes and Greek

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Being the coupon lovers that we are, when we saw an offer for 2 for 1 shortstack pancakes, we had to take a look.  We went to the Pancake Parlour, a Melbourne institution for flapjacks.  They have an impressively full menu with plenty of non-pancake options.  But let’s be honest, we’re here for them grittle cakes.  They were served with your choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, or fresh cream.  I usually tire of pancakes quickly, but these were impressively scrumptious.

buy one get one short stacks_1280_for_Web

When we finally started crashing from the carbs, we decided to seek out food in the Greek quarter.  I think it’s called the Greek “quarter” because it consists of only about 4 restaurants.  So we picked the one that looked like a good match between value and scrumptiousness and went into Stalactites.

The atmosphere of the place was really nice, and though it was a bit crowded and our waitress didn’t seem like the brightest knife in the drawer, the menu looked nice, with all of the Greek favorites, such as spanikopita, Souvlaki, etc.  We ordered calimari, spanikopita, and 2 orders fo souvlaki.  So how was it?  Well first let me say, the food looks absolutely stellar

Greek food at Stalactites_1280_for_WebSpanikopita that looks better than it tastes_1280_for_Web

However, the taste itself left a lot to be desired.  The spanikopita was dry, and calamri was limp and soggy.  The souvlaki was the best part of the menu, but even it was just  average.  In the end, we were fairly disappointed with our time there.  Of course, if you’re looking for display food, then stalagmites delivers, but if you’re looking for really fulfilling Greek delights, try one of the other three restaurants.

Manly beach / Opera house

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本日も晴天!今日は、少し遠出。Circular Quayからフェリーで30分、Manly beachへ。



フェリー乗り場から、一直線に海に向かって大通りがあり、たくさんのショップが並んでいます。 Read more

Love Never Dies in Melbourne

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Going in the Regent_1280_for_Web

Nao loves the Phantom of the Opera.  I mean loves it.  I think she would probably prefer if I took to wearing a mask most of the time and singing everything I say to her.  This being the case, when we found out that A) There was a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, titled Love Never Dies, and B) that it was playing in Melbourne while we were there, we decided that we had to head downtown in order to take in a bit of culture.

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Photo of the Week: Bronte Beach

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Brontee Beach and pool

Everyone has heard of Bondi Beach, which is, by far, the most famous beach near Sydney.  It’s where people go to watch and be watched as well as catch some surf.  However, Sydney does not lack for good beaches.  Our wonderful host took us to Bronte beach, which is just south of Bondi Beach, and within walking distance of its slightly more famous cousin.

Bronte Beach, while still popular with the locals, is less known among tourists and therefore more of a local destination.  It has an ocean fed pool on one side for those that want to avoid the surf.  It also has nice waves for those with board under their feet.  The beach is quite short, but has a great park next to it for people to come and enjoy the weather.  Additionally, the street net to the beach is lined with a number of great  little cafes perfectly designed for relaxing in the open air.  Definitely recommended to talk the walk south from Bondi to get to this little cove.

Meetings on the Muddy Murray–Echuca, Australia

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Staring down the muddy Murray_1280_for_Web

One of the best things about traveling is being able to catch up with friends, and while travelling near Melbourne, we had the chance to meet up with a friend who used to teach in the same small country town in Nagano, Japan as I did.  Reminiscing after about 4 years, it really struck me that as much as traveling and seeing the sights is amazing, the people you meet will almost always be what really makes a trip.

The lovely couple walking into town_1280_for_WebMy friend was located in the rural town of Echuca, which is about 2 hours north of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.  Compared to Sydney, the area is quite sunblasted, and while not the desert that exists in the middle of the country, is much drier than the east coast.  The Murray river runs through the area and was once the main way to move goods through the area, meaning that Echuca was once a bustling port town.  Of course, times change and now Echuca is one of those towns that once had a vibrant past but that did not move with the times.  Still, it was quite pretty as a visitor. Read more