It was a glorious day to be out in the city. Perfect blue skies one minute and then cloudy the next. The temperature did stay constant which is unusual for Melbourne.
I met Posh Brit at Flinders Street Station and we made our way to Arbory. Arbory is a casual dining eatery that sits on the bank of the Yarra River. With the elevation above the Yarra river, trees providing shade from the sun and the beautifully understated decor, it was an idyllic venue to have a good old natter. The eatery is open. No walls, no roof. There are canvas coverings and trees. It is a long venue in between the train station (trains can be quite loud but you do not notice after a while) and the Yarra River.
It was busy and had a decent lunch crowd but tables had enough room between them to give adequate diner space. I like my space at eateries as I am not looking to make impromptu friendships or overhear intimate conversations. We chatted for over an hour without being hassled to order food. I liked that, a lot.
The impressive menu had several mouth watering options and choices for smaller or larger plates.
We opted for the Smaller menu and chose Crispy Chicken Wings with Thai Peppercorn Caramel & Mango dressing and Soft Shell Crab Salad, Baby Iceberg Lettuce, Nashi Pear with Cucumber & Truffle Mayonnaise. I also had a side of Roast Cauliflower, Zhoug, Tahini Dressing, Pomegranate & Pine Nut. What is Zhoug some of you may be wondering… if you know, you know, if you don’t know, take a trip to Arbory to find out.
As far as I know, Zhoug is a spicy condiment made with green chilli, coriander and some other ingredients.
I don’t usually go for cauliflower but the menu made it sound irresistible. It may have changed my relationship with cauliflower. Didn’t suffer any gassy side effects, either thank goodness. It was juicy and moist which surprised me because the cauliflower did not look mushy or wet. The dressing was at once spicy, sweet, tart and creamy. I would have been happy having that as a main meal as every mouthful was scrumptious.
The chicken wings. I won’t do this dish justice by trying to describe it. The chilli, coriander, sweet thai basil and the caramel & mango dressing. High Five Arbory! High Five!
The meal was so good and ticked all the boxes that I did not have time for dessert! Didn’t even have a second glance to see what was on offer.
Will I return to Arbory? Most definitely!
We strolled around the city for a couple of hours ending up in British stores like Treats from Home where we reminisced about how Christmassy it is in England. Christmas songs would be blaring from every store and there would have been heaps more decorations in store and on the major streets. Then we had a quick look in Debenhams where we enjoyed looking at the displays and trying different perfumes. I can’t believe there is a Debenhams here in Melbourne. Very pleased. Might even make me enjoy shopping.
Checked out the delightful Mary Martin bookstore in Southgate. It’s so much more than a bookshop, it might be more appropriate to describe it as a gift store. The beautifully bound books always catch my eye. No purchases this visit. I made one purchase at the kikki.K stationery shop which is next to it. I showed great restraint even in the face of 30% of full priced items. Such attractive stationery. I am so sure if I buy all of them, I will be incredibly organised and fancy.
Ended up back at Southern Cross Station for a sit down and quick chilli hot chocolate before parting ways. No, it was not a nice chilli hot chocolate so there is no need to tell you where we had said beverage.
A thoroughly enjoyable day.