This Week's No Reservations
In this week's episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain traveled to Melbourne, Australia. Despite Crocodile Dundee stereotypes of Australia, Melbourne is actually a thriving cultural capital with ethnically diverse cuisines - "like San Francisco, but without the fog." Surprisingly, it was Bourdain's tour guides who had the most "-isms" this week, and we've decided to share those too.
Tony first visited the Queen Vic Market, a huge vegetable and meat market that locals prefer to supermarkets. He and companion Chef Paul Wilson walked straight past the kangaroo selling for $9.99/kg to the Bratwurst Shop.
Bourdainism: "Convenient seating [near the shop] helps prevent collisions between humans and sausage and any related fatalities."
Bourdain and fellow chefs Greg Malouf, Andrew McConnell and Geoff Lindsay enjoyed a seven-course meal at Wilson's Half Moon. The lunch featured rock oysters with caviar, peanut-crusted yellow-fin tuna with caramelized pork belly, sea urchin jelly and grilled lobster.
In order to work off the calories, Bourdain and local food writer Matt Preston visited the Elderly Citizens Trugo Club. In Trugo, invented by mine workers of the previous century, players whack disks into goals, most accurately done from behind and between the legs. Bourdain smoked Preston, and then they ate some sausage rolls. Preston was wearing an ascot.
At A1 Lebanese Bakery, the weary athletes settled down for some Lebanese pizza, or flatbread topped with ground lamb, and bread with Zatar, that heady combination of sumac, sesame seeds, thyme and salt. At Town Hall Kabob, Bourdain and Preston ordered warm lamb sandwiches sprinkled with tomatoes, onions and sauce.
Preston-ism: "My mother told me to never take anything you've met at 3 a.m. to bed with you. That includes women and kabobs."
Bourdain: "I never take food into bed with me. I don't do that."
Preston-ism: "You've never rested a sandwich on your chest?"
Dinner that night was at Rumi, Chef Joseph Abboud's Lebanese Restaurant. The menu included crispy, fried lamb brains sprinkled with sesame seeds, sweetened soft shell prawns eaten in shell, marinated quail and ribs you would "walk on glass for."
Bourdain-ism: "The siren song of grilled meats wafts slowly and enticingly from the kitchen. Come to me oh sizzling meats, come to me and meet your doom!"
For some fiery Chinese food, Bourdain and chef Tony Tan headed to Dainty Sichuan. The food all looked shiny and red, sometimes on fire, and about 99 percent hot red peppers. The dishes were actually mouth-watering chicken and spicy cumin pork spare ribs - all declared as authentic as Sichuan in China.
Tony Tan-ism: "I used to be scared of you because you drop the f-word every time."
Bourdain took a short plane ride out of Melbourne to visit the Royal Mail Hotel and the restaurant of Chef Dan Hunter. All the food, from the chickens to the herbs, is raised on the premises. Tony enjoyed colorful summer vegetables with shoots and flowers, egg yolk with toasted rye, legume and yeast, calamari with black cream and carrot, and lamb with green shallots and licorice. Each dish was artistically plated, paired with wine and generally confounding to an awed Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain-ism: "I'm not a wine sniffer."
Next week: Rust Belt.