SOUL FOOD FOR MELBOURNE
Without a doubt, the highlight of the CTS year has been our enjoyment of the Somalian food of Racecourse Road in Flemington.
Even aside from the fabulous food, this has been a joy on other levels.
Not least in the fact that Bennie is as enthusiastic as I, as are various of our friends.
So thank you to #Somalia Eats, House Of Mandi, Deli Afro, Somali Dish and New Somali Kitchen.
There’s one remaining bona fide Somalian joint on the strip yet to be covered by CTS – though I have eaten there several times.
In the coming year!
These Somalian riches mirror, from my perspective and in a distinctively African way, the deep traditions of soul food of the American south – great food and heaps of it, priced right; every day food for every day people.
When, about a month ago, I asked the proprietor of one of these salubrious establishments why he kept his prices so low, he replied:
“Because I want everyone to be able to enjoy our food.”
ALSO ON RACECOURSE ROAD
Of course, the fabulous Flemo strip is about more than Somalian tucker.
In that regard, it’s been a pleasure to partake of the fine Indian goodies on hand at Curry Cafe Canteen.
We love, love, love the bo kho (beef stew) at Friend Or Pho – available at weekends only.
This Vietnamese staple is available elsewhere in the west.
But none, in our experience, have the viscous lustre of this rendition.
We steer away from the more daintified and pricey items at Cobb Lane on Anderson Street.
Instead, we adore their humble carrot cake.
So moist, so yummy, such delectably creamy frosting, such a bargain at $5.
In the meantime, our most habitually frequented Yarraville eatery remains the wonderful Pizza d’Asporto.
LEBANESE ON THE LAKE
We are happy that Riviera has brought a happy, bustling Lebanese vibe to Edgewater.
We hope to return soon.
A few weeks back, Bennie and I enjoyed a Sunday lunch at Sunshine Social – our first visit there since our initial story.
It was just a regular, non-blogging visit so we didn’t take pics.
I wish we had.
Chicken burger for him, fish burger for me – so wonderful, with great fillings (including slaw) and heaps of beaut chips, at a winning $13.50 each.
We admire the spirit and smarts that have gone into Sunshine Social.
GREEK REVIVAL IN THE WEST
This happy yarn still has a few chapters to be written – not least soon-come opening of Eleni’s in Yarraville.
But it’s been a pleasure, so far, to welcome Meat The Greek and Brother Hood Yiros + Grill to the neighbourhood.
OUR OLD LOCAL GETS A MAKEOVER
Only one visit so far to a once familiar haunt, formerly known as Hart’s Hotel.
But we reckon they’ve done a bang-up job.
OUT OF TOWN
An impromptu swing up the highway resulted in a superb meal at Blackwood Ridge Cafe & Larder.
What a find and what a feed.
COOL CAFES IN THE WEST
We love how so many very fine western suburbs cafes do such a great job by more than matching it with the rest of the city, yet do so by being widely dispersed and working hard to foster local and loyal followings.
This year, we’ve frequented a number of them – sometimes just for coffee, sometimes for something more substantial.
Among them have been Small Graces, the superb sides-as-tapas offerings (above photo) of which are a winning innovation.
Look out for dinner service, coming soon, at this lovely outfit in central Footscray.
We’ve also enjoyed the food and the vibes at Fig & Walnut, Jack B. Nimble and Cheeky Chewies among others.
A special mention for the Usual Joint in Sunshine North.
In more innovative thinking, this place only steps out for more substantial offerings at weekends – and even then, there’s only one dish prepared.
We dig that!
As well, their luscious crepe cakes are very popular – and for good reason.
At the start of 2017, I harboured ambitions to get CTS Feasts – rebranded at the CTS Western Suburbs Food Festival – once again running on a regular basis.
This proved more difficult than anticipated – the alchemy that brings food blogger/journalist, willing/enthusiastic restaurant and keen punters together can be elusive!
Such events are very much part of the ongoing CTS gameplan, but will obviously only happen when these ingredients can be successfully and harmoniously wrangled!
But there was no doubting the outstanding fun and food delivered at the three events that WERE held.
At Searz in Newport (above photo) …
… Sankranti in Footscray and …
… a fund-raiser at Fig & Walnut for Climate For Change.
Thanks very much to everyone who helped and participated.
And see you next year!