Summer in Melbourne. The perfect time of year to pull up a seat outside with a few friends and enjoy some good food. Burgers and gelati in particular scream Melbourne summer to me, and we’re blessed with some amazing options :) These are two I tried for the first time this summer, and would definitely recommend adding them to your list, too…
The Beer and Burger Bar
112 Swan St, Richmond
I’d heard plenty about this place, but had never managed to make it in – Richmond isn’t the easiest area to get in and out of at peak times, so I generally avoid it. But, a few weeks ago I had a new tattoo added to my collection at Good Luck Tattoo in Richmond, and I decided that after a couple of hours under the needle, a nice, big burger was in order. A few minutes walk later, and I was finally ready to try this popular burg. I went with the cheeseburger – brioche bun with a beef pattie, cheese, tomato sauce, Dijon mustard, gherkins and aioli. Plus bacon. Obviously.
The buttery brioche bun was perfect for this kind of burger, toasted just enough to help hold it together against all the sauces and juicy pattie. And it was a juicy one – perfectly cooked to medium-rare, still pink inside. The cheese was just right and melted all over, bacon nice and crisp, but not the point of being like cardboard. The trio of Dijon, ketchup and aioli were on point, and to be perfectly honest, there’s really nothing I can complain about with this burger. It was really fantastic, much better than I expected it to be!
Then, after a burger, you need dessert. And it’s gelati weather right now.
299 Lygon St, Carlton
I can’t believe I didn’t make it here last summer… To be fair, though, I did spend just over half of summer on the other side of the world, but it’s been a long time coming getting here. Lisa Valmorbida’s proper Italian gelateria came after years of experience in some of Melbourne’s best restaurants, a solid education at Carpigiani Gelati University, and a visit to her family’s home town in Vicenza, Italy, to eat real gelato with her Nonno. What she’s doing at Pidapipó (the name comes from a childhod game her Nonno made up to keep the kids entertained) is amazing, genuine, honest Italian gelati, and it’s phenomenal. I visited during cheese week, where they had their amazing formaggio flavour range available – three unique cheese-flavoured gelati, because Italians love cheese… and gelati!
Available flavours were:
– Parmesan, fig and honey
– Ricotta, cannoli and Nutella swirl
– and the one I knew I had to have, mascarpone, berry and biscuit crumble
Silky smooth, with just the right amount of mascarpone to remind you that there was in fact cheese in there. The berries and biscuit crumbles added the perfect sweetness and texture, and it showcased 100% the originality Lisa is bringing to the gelati game. This is the stuff Italians dream off, it’s worth lining up for, and it’s something you need to experience this summer.
While the sun is still shining, go grab a burger and ice cream, and enjoy the last few days of 2015! Hopefully most of you get the change to do that instead of being back at work this morning like me >_<