So I had a pretty rough week and needed to take a few days off work so that I could clear my head. When the world’s about to collapse, all you want to do is to huddle under the doona and stay there forever, not wanting to talk to anyone. Linda, however, convinced me to come out with her on her day off so I met up with her in the city, thinking that we were just going to sit around and talk.
Well, things didn’t quite happen that way.
She decided, at the spur of the moment, to drive all the way down to Queenscliff, 104km south of Melbourne. Naturally, I was shocked to think that one could randomly decide to drive that far without any sort of planning. I’m one of those people who like to meticulously plan EVERYTHING and a drive out of Melbourne would warrant at least a day’s planning (looking up stuff on the net, working out a budget, calculating petrol costs etc) so this was a bit out of the ordinary for me. Nevertheless, I thought, ‘hey, why not?’ and besides, Linda is pretty scary behind the wheel so who was I to argue with her?! haha.
We had lunch at a bustling bakery cafe on Hesse Street, Rolling Pin Bakery. We weren’t planning to have lunch here but we were lured into the cafe by the flashy “Award-winning pies! Best in Australia!” signs on the window that we couldn’t resist. Linda had a bacon, cheese and steak pie while I had a beef burgundy pie ($5.45, if I remember correctly). To our disappointment, our pies were nothing extraordinary. In fact, we may as well have had a microwaved-heated Boscastle-brand pie from any one of the nameless cafes that dot Melbourne’s city streets. The only things worth talking about my pie was that the crust was NOT flaky and I was kinda perplexed to see huge chunks of capsicum in my gravy…After being refreshed by watermelon and pineapple juices at a grocery store across the road ($7 may have been a bit steep for a “large” juice cup but damn, it was soooo good), we decided to head 30kms into Geelong city where we meandered around Westfield playing ‘Spot The Asian’ and ‘Count How Many Gweilos Stare At Us’ before heading down the beach.
We drove back to Melbourne just in time to suffer through peak hour traffic on the Western Ring Road. Just as we were about to turn into Bulleen, we decided that yep, we were hungry and yep, korean food sounded good and so we did a 180 and drove to Box Hill to eat at Yami Yami, a modest Korean-slash-Japanese restaurant in Bank Street, Box Hill. Now, I’m not overly fond of Korean food but Linda’s been telling me about this place for ages and so this was a good time as any to give it a crack.
Our haemul chongol, a seafood stew cooked on the table over a hotpot stove ($34 for two people). A very spicy broth was filled with fresh seafood (blue swimmer crab legs, mussels, pipis, prawns, squid), vegetables and tofu pieces. It was presented raw on our table but as soon as the crab shell turned a vivid shade of orange, we were free to dig in. It may have been hot outside, but we were surprisingly okay when eating this and although we may have sniffled and sweated a far bit thanks to the spices, we were surprised to find that it was a relatively filling yet light meal. It was the best meal I’ve had at a Korean restaurant so far and I guarantee you folks that I’ll be back again to try the bibimbap that seemed to dominate every second table at Yami Yami.Post-script: A special shout-out to Linda who took me out yesterday. I may be Ms Organised and enjoy planning things right down to the littlest detail, but Linda reminded me just how important it was to also be spontaneous once in a while .