gourmet city

We have a date tonight with Lee and her boyfriend. Easy – two serious food-lovers in a city full to bursting with amazing places to eat.

So why did it take us over two days to finalise the venue?

Melbourne is a foodies’ paradise. Both Lee and I started obsessively looking for places in the central business district we’d like to visit. We traded possible lists, avoiding seafood (they ate last night) or Italian (my WeightWatchers meeting is tomorrow). We couldn’t come to a landing.

After the first day, we both started making phone calls to get tables at some places we fancied. Lee called Melbourne Supper Club: full. Then she tried Movida: also full. What’s going on in Melbourne on a Tuesday evening?

By mid-afternoon today we were four hours from meeting up, and miles from agreeing where. We were browsing Miettas and the Age Epicure sites for inspiration. It was a bit like being brought to the best shoe shop in the world with no notice, and told to pick one pair of shoes: impossible without serious soul-searching.

In the end I called it. I booked a table for four at Arintji, Jacques Reymond’s place at Federation Square. Lee phoned expressing relief that somebody had decided on something.

Kid in a candy store…

chickpea and spinach curry

>This is proper fast food – delicious, healthy and ready in about 15 minutes.

1. Fry one medium-sized diced onion

2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and cook in

3. Add a teaspoonful of harissa and one can chopped tomatoes

4. Add one can of chick peas and cook 10 mins

5. Add spinach and cook 5 mins

6. Add 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala

7. If the curry is too sweet from the tomatoes, add 1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee to tone it down

8. Serve with yoghurt, naan or rice