645 Sydney Rd
Brunswick VIC 3056
+61 3 9386 0440
482-492 Sydney Rd
Brunswick VIC 3056
+61 3 9380 4777
Adam had this first Saturday off since forever so we decided to go down Sydney Road in Brunswick. Even though this is one of Melbourne’s busiest shopping strips, I haven’t really spent much time up here apart from when I’m travelling to and from Vicky’s house in Brunswick by tram (and I haven’t done that in a while). The reason why I wanted to come here was to suss out Mediterranean Wholesalers, which is a wog supermarket that sells predominantly Italian groceries. But first, we had to grab something to eat. We went to A1 Bakery, a Lebanese snack cafe that used to be a pita bread manufacturing company but has since branched out and now offers all sorts of hot snacks such as pides or pastries. It even has a retail section that sells all sorts of Middle Eastern foodstuff. It was around 11:30 by the time we got there and it was PACKED. We were worried that we would not get a table as there wasn’t really many places to sit at but we managed to grab one in the corner of the dining section.
We ordered two spinach and feta cheese pastry thingies ($2.80 each) thinking that they would be small but we were pleasantly surprised at how huge they were. I’m usually a fan of the spinach-and-cheese combo but I wasn’t sure if I liked the pastries to be honest. The spinach was fresh and the pastry was deliciously cooked but it was the feta that really got to me – it was just too damn salty. Yes, I know that feta is meant to be salty but not inedible-Dead-sea salty!
A sucuk pizza was shared between the two of us. At a measly $4.50, we got a whole dinner plate-sized fluffy dough topped with olive oil, thin slices of sucuk (Turkish sausage that’s made out of ground beef and spices), capsicum and haloumi cheese. I definitely liked this one better than the pastries. The sucuk was especially yummy and Adam, who had not had it before, loved it.
Our lunch was dampened slightly by the less-than-efficient service and the rude fully-sick maria bitch who served us at the cashier. After I had ordered all the stuff, she asked us if we wanted to eat in or take-away. I had not heard her the first time so I said (politely) “sorry?” before she replied with a huge arse glare that almost stretched her obviously painted-on eyebrows to the max and repeated in a very loud and patronising way “EAT IN OR TAKE-AWAY?” And then it took a long time for the food to arrive at the table. I’m not sure if it was because it was busy or because they couldn’t spot us amongst the crowd but seriously, we were the only Asians in the place so it’s not like we were that hard to find. And secondly, everyone else was getting their food. We ended up grabbing a waitress and got her to check up on our food and sure enough, they came… but imagine if we hadn’t told anyone that we had been waiting for some time – we would have still been sitting there now. Not the best service but because we only paid something like $13 for lunch (including drinks), I will let it slide and heck, I’d come back here again if I’m on the broke and feel like pide or something. If I had known about this place while I was still a student, I wouldn’t have trammed here all the time for lunch … it sure beats that awful kebab joint at Melbourne Uni’s Union House!
Next stop… the wogmarket! I swear, this place has now become my favourite place to buy foodstuff – it’s so friggin’ AWESOME! To put it simply, it’s like an IGA but with Italian things. They have aisles full of Italian-branded supermarket goodies such as canned tuna, oil, toiletries and biscuits as well as a deli that stocked all those Italian coldmeats that all the wog kids used to bring for lunch in primary school (and all the skips used to pick on them for that). I ended up buying a few pastas, porcini mushrooms and polenta. I would have easily spent way more than my budgeted $20 but Adam stopped me before things got out of control, heh.
Haha, Adam could not stop touching the cheese that hung in sacks from a vendor’s cart (for some odd reason, I find this picture slightly disturbing). And in case you’re wondering, yes they are dried fish you see on the bottom. I would’ve probably bought one but I didn’t really want to be the one going home on the bus with that stinky smell coming from my shopping bag…
A section dedicated to reasonably cheap Italian wines. If I wasn’t such a sorry-I-don’t-drink-much girl, I guess I would have been suitably impressed…
A whole huge arse aisle dedicated to pasta!
…including some really weird and wonderful varieties.
They also had some non-Italian products in their freezers for god-know-what-reason. Adam and I joked that my brother Kenneth (who is as Aussie as a flat white) would be the one person who would go into this supermarket and come out with a pack of four and twenty pies….
They also had a little cafe which had a cabinet-full of cakes as well. I would’ve gone for a few cakes myself but there was a lady customer who took so bloody long to decide what she wanted so I gave up and decided to buy cakes elsewhere. Instead, we had some coffees (a latte for me $2.20, and a macchiato for Adam $1.40). It was cheap coffee but it wasn’t very good. Adam had ordered a macchiato but ended up with an espresso, for starters. Either the barista was just an idiot and had no idea on how to makes coffees or perhaps he was too tight-arsey to even put a dollop of milk on top (which is the differentiating factor between macchiatos and espressos). Or perhaps he figured that we Asians wouldn’t have a clue about coffees. To bad for him Adam is a barista and bloody well knows his coffee! My coffee was terrible too. In fact, there was only a piss-weak layer of bubbles on top of the coffee as opposed to FOAM which meant that it was more flat white than latte. And it was weak-tasting too, which meant that they had used skim milk rather than full milk. I suppose they reckoned that all girls want skinny milk and so they decided to assume that I would be fine with skinny milk. In actual fact, however, I think that coffee tastes awful with skinny milk. No matter how much I might angst about my weight, I will not compromise the taste of my coffee for the sake of saving only a little bit of calorie units. Full cream milk all the way.
Anyway, I was planning to get a tray of baklava and other Middle Eastern sweets before heading back to the city but I forgot about them. Oh well, next time. Besides, I was still full from the lunch we had so food was definitely not on my mind (for once!). When we got back to the city, we ended up spending the rest of the afternoon at Queen Vic Market. Again, I had to keep myself from buying more foodstuff but I did manage to come out with a wedge of parmigiano reggiano so there will be no more of that awful stinking Kraft parmesan cheese in my pasta from now on (right Dave?).So concludes my Saturday. I’m at home tonight watching DVDs as Melbourne in winter can sometimes be depressing and most of the time, I’d rather be at home than out and about in the freezing cold. Oh bring back Summer already, dammit!