Melbourne is to Australia as salt is to pepper. They go hand-in-hand and Melbourne is a city that is thriving with Australian culture – food, wine, sports and arts are what define it.
There are outstanding wineries, headlands, alpine villages and natural springs with a beautiful coastline. In terms of the arts, you can visit the Arts Centre Melbourne, MPavillion, Melbourne Museum and the Koorie Heritage Trust (dedicated to promoting the culture of the Indigenous people of Australia). Foodwise you can try out a host of different dinners at the plethora of restaurants and online takeaways. You don’t automatically think Vietnamese dinners when in Melbourne but Miss Chu is a Melbourne classic takeaway.
Eastern food trends like Vietnamese are highly fashionable to the average Australian ‘foodie’. Aussie food connoisseurs will love the tastes and flavours of the new wave of cooking. There’s a glut of goodies to get stuck into at Foodora restaurant Miss Chu, including Sauteed Mushrooms and Tofu Rice Paper Rolls, Tiger Prawn and Green Mango Rice Paper Rolls, Crispy Chilli Squid and Asian Vegetables and Garlic Chive Dumplings, to name but a few dishes.
Miss Chu has a good range of veggie dishes – also suitable the Australian appetite. Australia has its own ‘Vegetarian Week’ which runs from 1st – 7th October every year. A 2000 Newspoll survey puts 44% of Australians as reported to be eating at least one meat-free evening meal a week, while 18% said they prefer plant-based meals. A later 2010 Newspoll survey showed 5% of Australians identifying themselves as veggie. With a population of 24,659,200 as of 21 September 2017, that’s a staggering 1.2 million veggies across the country. As Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in Australia and Oceania, it is responsible for some number of vegetarians on its shores.
The Eastern tastes in Melbourne are well catered for. It has a long history of influences of Indigenous Australian cooking where the Indigenous people have occupied Australia for between 40,000 to 60,000 years. They are famous for creating hunter-gatherer meals such as ‘bush tucker’ – food made from flora and fauna like kangaroo. As a result, the Melbourne foodtaster is more prepared than most to ‘give everything a try.’ Vietnamese food therefore, along with other Eastern flavours, goes down fairly well, doesn’t it ‘Digger’?
Even the most reserved Aussie can be expected to duck down and get tasting. Remember Crocodile Dundee aka Paul Hogan? He was famous for plunging his teeth into many an unusual dish. If he were in Britain, his British spirit would be praised – but it seems that Australians – Melbourne and beyond – have certain ‘spunk’. I rather suspect the residents of Ramsay Street which made Melbourne notorious all tucked into a bit of Vietnamese dinner now and then. Especially Paul Robinson with all those business enterprises to cater for.
Wash it all down with a Castlemaine 4X or a White Zinfandel and we really are in the zone.