Labour Day Sunday was time for brunch in Babble On Babylon, the venue for the boys’ cycling lunch most Sundays. Marty runs the only West Indian cafe in town, and his Jamaican breakfasts, stamp’n’gosalad and curried goat are excellent.
We crammed into the back room while the kids played in alley. Nina’s rice and peas and chicken looked excellent – well-seasoned and well-cooked chicken which Orlando manfully helped her polish off.
My Jamaican breakfast was just perfect: chilli eggs on toasted sourdough, plaintain, ackee and saltfish, with a side of roasted tomatoes. I never have the johnny cakes because I find them too heavy.
Eric’s big bowl of curried goat (no bones, plenty of spice) went down a treat too.
My mate Charmaine O’Brien is the only published author I know (apart from one or two academics!). In addition to her other charms, Charmaine is an accomplished and enthusiastic Indian food expert, so you can imagine what we have in common…
However her new offering falls closer to home. “Flavours of Melbourne” charts the culinary history of Australia’s food capital, from pre-European times through the influence of postwar immigration to today. Along the way, we meet curious characters from Melbourne’s food scene and discover recipes from different periods in our city’s colourful history.
Charmaine did ” the walking tour of the book” during Melbourne Writers’ Week a few months ago, which was really enjoyable. She even made sure she had samples of Melbourne’s favourite lollies on hand halfway through to sustain us: Polly Waffles, Cherry Ripes and Violet Crumbles.
Her book is now on the State Library of Victoria’s “Summer Read” shortlist. You can get on there and vote for this book
, or browse through the shortlist to see what else they recommend.
Flavours of Melbourne is a great book to dip into, or to read all the way through. Worth it if you are a Melbourne foodie – and in this city, who isn’t?