Tuesday 16 April 2024

My Monthly Chronicles: March 2024

Today I am starting what I plan to be a regular post chronicling my eating out, events, random moments and reflections in the previous month  It is written as a companion post to my In My Kitchen posts about cooking, purchases and eating at home.  I hope it will help me catch up with the sort of places and photos that I have good intentions of sharing in more detail but never find the time.

Triennial @ the NGV: The top two photos are from Triennial 2024 at NGV.  This was a brilliant exhibition with art works looking at the world from a new perspective with a touch of insight and beauty.  I didn't get to as much of the exhibitions as I had hoped but was glad I got along before it closed last weekend.  Above is an installation by Diana Al-Hadid which is an ethereal modern copy of a medieval panting with medieval statues to be seen behind the gossamer images. The top photo is of an installation where the artist Richard Lewer invited people to come to "confession" and he painted these on the walls.  These are just two artworks to show the diversity and richness in the exhbition.

On the telly: This is Going to Hurt.  Insightful and often uncomfortable British tv series starring Ben Wishart in a drama about the difficulties of working in the NHS.  Based on the Adam Kay book of the same name.  Plus a soundtrack by Jarvis Cocker.

Where does Batman get his mail? A local area called Batman amuses with Batman Train Station and we also have this Batman Post.  Just in case you wondered about where Batman goes when not fighting crime!

Five Buck Schmuck: We had lunch at Five Buck Schmuck in Thornbury.   As the name suggests it is cheap as chips.  I wasn't so keen on the $5 Feta Mac and Cheese but Sylvia loved her $5 Biscoff Croissant with cream.

In the news: In March there was a crazy amount of speculation and wild stories about Kate Middleton lying low.  It culminated in her brave announcement that she has cancer.  I am glad to see this quietened all the chatter about her and I hope she is able to get through this difficult time with as much privacy as a princess can.

Ima Asa Yoru: This Japanese restaurant in Brunswick called Ima Asa Yoru has a fantastic menu with lots of veg options.  The tempura eggplant was excellent as were the greens and miso soup.  A very sleek outfit that I hope to return to for more good food.

Duckett Street Party:  We saw that there was a street party in Duckett Street which gave us a great reason to go to Ima Asu Yoru.  It was a lovely balmy autumn afternoon with some street art, cookie monster and food carts.  Sylvia loved the tiramisu from Freda's Bakery.  I enjoyed people watching and would have stayed for the trivia but we were not keen to hang around too long.

Famil-LEE Korean Restaurant: Sylvia spotted the CBD restaurant, Famil-LEE, online because she has been interested by the ttoek-bokki.  This dish of round chewy rice cakes in a slightly spicy sauce with lots of optional extras is quite fascinating.  Unfortunately we assumed from the menu that the dish was vegetarian but should have checked when ordering.  Once we started to dig in for chewy rice cakes and oozy cheese, Sylvia told me there was fish cakes in it.  It wasn't quite as good after that.  At least the corn cheese kimchi kim bab (hand rolls) were amazing.  And we loved our drinks: Korean debang coffee and orange lime bitters.

Podcast stories: I really enjoyed listening to the ABC RN Conversations interview called Jarvis Cocker and the Pulp Masterplan.  Jarvis is one of the most interesting pop stars ever!  I highly recommend this discussion about an exercise book of his teenage plans for his band Pulp and other detritus from his attic.

Cobrick Cafe: After an initially underwhelming first visit to Cobrick cafe at Pentridge, we were really impressed with a recent lunch.  My avocado on toast was seriously loaded with salsa as well as the slick of beetroot hummus and chunks of feta.  Really good.  Sylvia had some of the best loaded fries ever: waffle fries, beans, avocado and cheese sauce.

Lucky Little Dumplings: We have had a few enjoyable outings to Lucky Little Dumplings at Pentridge, the most recent being last month.  It was great to go there after Sylvia had a clean bill of health from her dentist.  I love the dumplings but was especially impressed on this visit by the sweet and sour fried eggplant with the fried rice.  Even Sylvia loved them.  It was a huge serve and we had plenty leftover that we took home in a doggy bag.

Oh Boy, It's a Food Truck @ the Barbarian Brewery: Sylvia loved the food from Oh Boy It's a Food Truck at the Coburg Night Market and saw that they were doing a pop up at the Barbarian Brewery in Kingsville on St Patrick's Day.  We went along for a drink, and shared some of the food truck's delicious poutine and a mac and cheese croquette roll.  I washed mine down with a Heaps Normal no-alcohol beer.  The staff at the bar were really friendly and the place had a welcoming and family-friendly vibe.  There was a brewery-owned dog who was so lovely and so well behaved that we were quite amused by him.

At the cinema: I saw the Holdovers at Cinema Nova.  It was excellent with a 1970s retro vibe, Christmassy snow, and the humour and insight that comes with an unlikely boarding school friendship.  Heather and I had dinner at King and Godfree afterwards.  My gnocchi was nice but needed a salad, if only I didn't resent paying the extra.

Chookas: We love visiting Chookas cafe in Brunswick for interesting drinks and omusubi.  Sylvia could not wait to get back there after our holiday in Europe in February.  I convinced her to have the black sesame latte while I had the ume plum soda.  The latte was not Sylvia's thing - she doesn't like sesame.  I ended up sharing my soda because I love sesame flavour, albeit not milky drinks.  I asked a staff member to add some chocolate sauce to the latte - because who doesn't love chocolate and sesame together - so that I could drink it.  Meanwhile I was very happy to have a kimchi edamame and cheese omusubi and Sylvia loved her gorgeous matcha affogato.

Hope Street Space: We are sad this amazing warehouse of treasures on the corner of Hope Street and Frederick Street in Brunswick is closing soon.  Hope Street Space is a favourite place for Sylvia and her dad to have a browse after Chookas and I have been occasionally.  

Helping Hands Sunshine Op Shop: We have been to a few op shops lately and the best one in terms of price and quality goods is the Helping Hands Sunshine Op Shop in Sunshine with an amazing warehouse of second hand goods sold to raise money for charity.

Tiny hands: One of Sylvia's favourite purchases from Hope Street Space has been a pair of tiny hands.  Shadow might look thoughtful in the photo but he was less than impressed!

Kines: I had a lovely lunch catching up with Faye at Kines in Hope Street, Brunswick.  It was very pleasant to sit outside and eat arepas topped with cashew cheese, sauerkraut and chilli sauce as well as a generous side serving of mushrooms.  I was impressed at how accommodating they were about my requests to swap out the dairy cheese and egg.  (Although I eat dairy I love cashew cheese.)  Faye enjoyed a fennel toastie.  She shared her carrot cake which she found quite sweet.  I was amused that my blueberry kombucha came in a bottle with a masking tape, hand-written label.  I guess it was home made.

Village Door cafe: When visiting my parents in Geelong, we had lunch at the Village Door in Pakington Street.  Sylvia and my dad had Dutch pancakes, my mum had tomato bruschetta and I had avocado on toast.  It was nice, other than the oddness of the untoasted toast, but it had a lot of meat and eggs on the menu so I didn't feel I had a lot of choice.

The fun garden I: While driving through Sunshine we stopped to admire a topiary dinosaur.

The fun garden II: We discovered an amazing garden behind the dinosaur.  Lots of topiary, cacti, succulents, animal statues and whimsy.

Reading: I have been reading Rather his Own Man: Reliable Memoirs (2018) by Geoffrey Robertson.  I was fascinated by him on Hypotheticals as a kid and enjoyed reading about his compassion and travels in his wide ranging experiences, many as a human rights lawyer.

Ramadan in Coburg I: We live in an area with a strong Middle Eastern presence.  I was struck by this Modest and Islamic clothing store with a twist on Christmas messages: "All I want for Ramadam is a free Palestine."

Ramadan in Coburg II: These cute Ramadam Kit Kats were seen in our local supermarket.  I assume it is a sign of the modern Muslim who does not have a problem with images of humans.  The chocolate people seem a departure from a lot of the traditional Islamic art which does not have images of humans because it was considered idolatrous.

Cat of the Month: This cute cat was spotted on a walk to the shops.  Sylvia was so charmed by its friendliness she told me to go ahead to the shops because she might be some time.

Easter: I went to my parents for an Easter Sunday Roast.  My dad usually does an Easter egg hunt for the grandkids.  They are reaching their teens and adulthood now so instead of the hunt, my parents gave each kid a potted pansy.  Sylvia was delighted. 

This post is a work in progress as I feel my way through collating lots of information about places and other stuff that I am not always finding time to post.  It is quite similar to In My Kitchen with a touch of Sammie's Taking Stock posts but is likely to develop as the months go by.  Let me know what you think.


  1. You've been very busy with lots of delicious things! I really loved This Is Going to Hurt. My favourite show this year is Baby Reindeer though-so clever and insightful (will have you thinking about it for ages afterwards).

  2. Lots of activities and good food in your month Johanna!


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