31 Jul 2013

MoVida, Melbourne

There are two MoVida tapas restaurants in Melbourne.  There's a big one off Bourke Street (towards the Southern Cross end of the city).  Then there's the original one tucked down Hosier Lane.  Both serve unbelievable food.
My housemate and cousin Ben took me to MoVida in March for my birthday.  A last minute decision, we ended up at the one on Bourke because Hosier Lane was fully booked.  The food was incredible.  Hooked by the food, and intrigued by how much everyone talks about the original restaurant on Hosier, I was determined to go back.  So tonight Ben, Penny and I had tapas at MoVida.

It is quintessential Melbourne.  Tucked down an alley that is plastered in graffiti, the interior is dark, warm and completely inviting.  I feel that the bigger branch off Bourke has less character than this one, but the food and service standards are still the same.  Go to Bourke for a birthday party or works do, go to Hosier for a quiet and memorable meal with friends.

27 Jul 2013

Open House Melbourne 2013

When Marlee first explained the idea behind Open House Melbourne to me I grinned at the brilliance of it.  As I've said many times before, there is so much going on in Melbourne all the time and there's something to suit every mood.  Basically, for this weekend only, a number of the old buildings in Melbourne are open to the public for free.

A few of the buildings are only available to visit on ballot entry or pre-booked tours, but most of them you can just walk on into!  Today Marlee and I decided to keep it local and check out the ones in St Kilda.  The first stop was the St Kilda Vaults, these used to be a row of shops facing the sea front (just opposite the St Kilda Baths).  It's a shame the space is no longer used, it'd be a great place to have a party or even a run way show.  They had some great images of old St Kilda inside too.

The vaults are to the left along the road, now all closed up sadly

26 Jul 2013

Gin Palace, Melbourne

I really love gin.  Gin and tonic, sloe gin and bitter lemon, gin and cranberry juice, gin and orange juice.  Among my favourites are Tanqueray, Hendricks (this one always with cucumber, not lime), Bombay Sapphire and Beefeater.  So when some friends invited me to join them at a bar called Gin Palace a little part of my life was immediately completed.  In true Melburnian style, Gin Palace is tucked away down an alley called Russell Place off Little Collins street.  The only marker is the rather small 'GP' sign above the door which sparkles at night.

It's a great bar to visit during winter with it's cushions and cosy armchairs.  When you first walk in it's easy to presume this place is pretentious, but trust me it isn't.  The staff are lovely and very down to earth, and they've got enough knowledge to whip you up a gin surprise that isn't on the menu.  The menu itself feels somewhat like a beautifully presented short story book.

Leigh perusing the menu .... 'Hmmm, so much gin so little time!'

25 Jul 2013

Flinders Lane Shopping Night

I first heard about this event about a year ago on Marlee's blog, way back when we only knew each other via the interweb.  I remember thinking wow what an awesome event, I'd love to go to something like that.  One year later, here we are.

Of course there were free drinks.  This morning my head felt a little fuzzy after the free wine and cider at Nite Art yesterday, but I soon got a new lease of life with this cider!  We started the evening at Lenko, moving slowly on to Lady Petrova, Design A Space and many more.

24 Jul 2013

Nite Art, Melbourne

This evening Marlee and I went on yet another blogging excursion.  Nite Art was a free event in which various venues and galleries in the CBD exhibited the work of local artists during one evening.  The art varied widely from modern art, to photography to short films.

We started the evening off with dinner at Yoyogi on Swanston Street, one of many great Asian eateries.    I went for the teriyaki bento box and a green tea milkshake (which was surprisingly good until I started getting full).

Delicious, just delicious

14 Jul 2013

The Fall - Tarsem Singh - Film

It's been a while since I've written about a film, mainly because it's been a while since I've seen a really, really good film.  When I was staying with Marlee (who blogs at String Of Events) recently we watched a film called The Fall.  It's a very visually beautiful film with a simple but strong plot.

Filmed over four years, the director Tarsem Singh funded the whole thing himself.  The film uses barely any CGI and during filming the crew visited a huge number of locations including Cape Town, Jaipur, Fiji, Sumatra, France, Andaman Islands, Bali and many more.  So when you watch it and are blown away by the beauty of some of the landscapes and backdrops, bear in mind that they are all real.

13 Jul 2013

Woo Ga Korean Barbecue

I'm making it my priority to try as many Asian dishes as I can while I'm in Melbourne.  The food is so good and so cheap.  On Friday evening some work friends and I headed to Woo Ga in North Melbourne.  It sits opposite the Queen Victoria Market on Victoria Street, they serve Korean barbecue combos.

Walking in you're hit with meaty smoke and the sound of sizzling.  Looking straight to the menu we saw that the combos are on offer were extremely good value!  We picked our share combo (which for 6 people came to about $22 each, I think that's incredible value for Melbourne) and within seconds the staff had set our table with cups, bowls, dishes and an incredibly hot, stone pot to cook the meat on.

Your standard plastic menu, love this

6 Jul 2013

Reasons To Love Social Media

I love social media.  There, I said it.  I love social media.  When I hear people groan at the word twitter or ask 'What exactly is Pinterest for? It's just pictures isn't it?' a part of me winces, the other bites my tongue.  When social media is used in the wrong way, it can be humiliating for those involved and embarrassing to witness.  For example, when the owners of Amy's Baking Company appeared on Kitchen Nightmares, their Facebook page soon began receiving comment after comment from reddit users.  Anyone who knows anything about the internet in general, knows not to react to trolls.  They reacted - read here.  That is probably the only lesson anyone will ever need in how not to use social media.

But when it's used in the right way, when each tweet, pin, like and all other manner of shares leads to a beautifully orchestrated masterclass in good PR, when companies and brands really hit the nail on the head, it's brilliant.  There are three perfect examples of this, and they are three reasons to love social media.