Paris, Tokyo, Tel Aviv and New York … right here in Melbourne
Rachelle Unreich takes us one a world trip around Melbourne thats well worth taking in.. France, Japan, Israel and America.
The World On Our Streets
Why book an expensive trip when you can see, taste and buy global delights right here in Melbourne, writes Rachelle Unreich in TheAge.
Wish you could have a pastrami on rye at Second Avenue Deli in New York? Miss the bistros along the treelined streets of Paris? Or wish you could have a shopping spree at Kiddyland in Tokyo? There’s a way to experience the authentic vibe of your favourite city for the day – shopping, eating, ‘‘ sightseeing’ ’ – without ever getting aboard a Qantas flight.
The ‘‘ Paris end of Collins Street’ ’ is a far cry from the Rue de Rivoli, despite the presence of Hermes. Instead, start with chocolate chaud at Le Petit Prince (1A Mercer Road, Armadale, 9824 6404, lpparmadale.com.au) in a leafy locale, where fresh croissants and French accents are on offer.
Nearby, Durance (1022 High Street, Armadale, 9500 2227, rueprincipale.com.au) stocks elegantly packaged soaps and creams that you’d ordinarily find in a French market. Franque (811 High Street, Prahran, 9509 9003, franque.com.au) isn’t specifically French but a combination art gallery and retail space that looks like a Parisian salon filled with eyecatching sculptures, antique French furniture and Cire Trudon candles.
The decadent treasure box store of Jean-Pierre Heurteau (781 High Street, Armadale, 9576 1349) allows you to fill chez vous with chandeliers and velvet-upholstered armchairs, but splurging is cheaper at Madame B. (533 High Street, Prahran, 9533 7075, madameb.net.au), for kitschy but pretty Parisian goodies, such as sugar in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and leopard-print perfume bottles.
By now, your feet must be hurting. Spend some francs on ballet flats at Sambag (four locations, sambag.com.au). Lunch is everchanging at the delightfully rustic Cafe Amalia (1D Rose Street, Armadale, 9822 7753), with a fireplace in winter and dinner on Thursday and Friday nights. Next door-ish , sniff aromatic bouquets at Fleur (13a Rose Street, Armadale, 9804 3522, fleurs.com.au).
Enough strolling. A slew of stores await: Peony (107 Auburn Road, Hawthorn, 9882 0662, peonymelbourne.com.au), a perfumerie avec French fragrances Annick Goutal and Brecourt Paris; Le Louvre (2 Daly Street, South Yarra, 9650 1300, lelouvre.com.au), the iconic 90-year-old shop for fashion-forward folk who feel equally at ease in Roland Mouret and Lanvin; and Manon Bis (568 Malvern Road, Hawksburn, 9521 1866, manonbis.com.au), where Bensimon sneakers and Moulin Roty bebe toys lie side by side.
If you’d prefer to stock your pantry, try La Belle Miette (four locations, 9024 4528, labellemiette.com.au) for scrumptious macarons in flavours such as Bastille, a mix of Moet et Chandon and blackcurrant; Noisette (84 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, 9646 9555, noisette.com.au) for crunchy-et-soft-in-all-theright-places baguettes; La Parisienne Pates (290 Lygon Street, Carlton, 9349 1852) for imported fois gras and 40 French cheeses; and Parisian Patisserie Boulangerie (19 Keilor Road, Essendon, 9379 3815, parisianpatisserie.com.au) for sweet treats such as tarte aux citron.
Begin with some zen calm and organic Japanese home-style food at Mina-no-ie (33 Peel Street, Collingwood, 9417 7749, minanoie.com). Their sister store, Cibi (45 Keele Street, Collingwood, 9077 3941, cibi.com.au), also serves up eats, but it’s the gift shop that’s the lure – Japanese artisan products such as Tenugui, those aesthetically beautiful swatches of fabric, or Hakusan porcelain dishes.
Close by is Tokyobike (pictured above right; 5 Peel Street, Collingwood, 9417 2845, www.tokyobike.com.au), an invitingly minimalist space that specialises in simple, well-priced urban commuter bikes – the preferred mode of transport for many Tokyoites.
At Hudson (291 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9416 0886), Japanophile Nikki Hall has selected her favourite pieces from Japan and abroad – Japanese umbrellas, bike bells, socks or printed rain ponchos – in a hip space of the kind you’d find in Daikanyama.
Since Tokyo is all about hideaway spots, enjoy lunch at Yu-U (137 Flinders Lane, city, 9639 7073), if you can find it down a graffitiridden laneway lacking a sign. Its underground bunker bomb-shelter appeal will make you think you’re in Ebisu, but it’s all sophisticated dining, with smells from the yakitori grill intermingling with jazz music.
At Yamato (28 Corrs Lane, city, 9663 1706), the dodgy street, small space and delicious sushi-and-udon-type fare feels authentic. The time-poor can opt for a bento box at Nama Nama (31 Spring Street, city, 9639 9500, namanama.com.au) that’s so beautiful, you’ll want to Instagram it. Or if you have the budget of a Japanese businessman, splurge at the ever-popular powerhouse Kenzan (45 Collins Street, city, 9654 8933, kenzan.com.au) for melt-in-your-mouth sashimi.
Exhausted? At Sakura Lounge and Spa (8-10 Warburton Lane, city, 9642 3663 sakuralounge.com.au), opt for a 3 1/2-hour Japanese geisha beauty and treatment package, sipping green tea in between. Or, at Onsen Ma (Level 1, 12-18 Meyers Place, city, 9663 8777, onsenma.com.au), enjoy a traditional bath-house experience in a contemporary setting.
Seaweed and sake can make your next Japanese dinner party a hit via Tokyo Deli (407 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick, 9523 6200, tokyodeli.com.au), but those who want to eat out should make a beeline for the traditional, 12-seat tempura restaurant Tempura Hajime (60 Park Street, South Melbourne, 9696 0051, tempurahajime.com.au).
Afterwards, upstairs cocktail bar Hihou (Level 1, 1 Flinders Lane, city, 9654 5465, hihou.com.au) presents customers with hot towels before hits of plum wine or shochu – and game-show nights, too!
Late-nighters can try to remember the words to Rihanna songs at Rainbow Karaoke (2/206 Bourke Street, city, 9650 8988, rainbowworld.com.au), with 44 themes. Who can resist the Barbie or Chanel rooms?
What Israeli can pass up shakshooka (which translates in Hebrew as ‘‘ all mixed up’’ ) for breakfast, that poached egg-and-tomato dish served in a pan? It’s at La Cafe on Nelson (28 Nelson Street, Balaclava, 9537 3093).
Carlisle Street has Israeli shopping galore: there are Kabbalah bracelets, menorahs and silver pieces by Israeli artist Anat Mayer at The Antique Silver Co. (253 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, 9525 8480).
Eliana Design (261 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, 9527 6275, elianadesign.com.au) sources pendants, earrings and handmade rings from Israel, and you can find books about Israel and klezma CDs at Golds World of Judaica (3-13 William Street, Balaclava, 9527 8775, golds.com.au).
A Middle-Eastern lunch beckons at Laffa Bar (338 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield South, 9532 7888) or head to Falafel Omisi (359 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield, 9523 8882, falafelomisi.com.au) for – apart from falafel – the typically Israeli sabich, a pita sandwich with sauteed eggplant and hard-boiled egg.
If you can’t make it to the Dead Sea, you can still benefit from its properties at Peace on Earth (Ground floor, 379 Collins Street, city, 9629 1821, peaceonearth.com.au), a beauty spa using its products. To make your feet feel as good, Naot of Kew (200 High Street, Kew, 9855 2287, naotshoes.com.au) showcases an Israeli footwear line specialising in comfort.
For a cultural fix, the Jewish Museum of Australia (26 Alma Road, St Kilda, 8534 3600, jewishmuseum.com.au) hosts the exhibition From Generation to Generation, in which family photos depict Jewish culture and identity. The Jewish Holocaust Centre (13-15 Selwyn Street, Elsternwick, 9528 1985, jhc.org.au) focuses on the Jewish plight during the second world war.
For something much lighter, there’s often an Israeli film playing at the Classic Cinema (pictured above; 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick, 9524 7900, classiccinemas.com.au), such as current action flick God’s Neighbours.
Stock up on Israeli goodies: olive and Israeli dips at Yumi’s (29 Glen Eira Road, Rippon Lea, 9523 6444, yumis.com.au); fresh pita bread at Zavdiel’s (57a Kooyong Road, Caulfield North, 9500 8227); sugared jam doughnuts at Aviv Cakes & Bagels (412 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick, 9528 6627); and chocolate kooglhouph at Monarch Cakes (103 Acland Street, St Kilda, 9534 2972, monarchcakes.com.au).
Dinner? Tavlin (678 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South, 9972 5666, tavlin.com.au) is a no-brainer for kebabs and hummus plates.
It’s not Central Park – although there is a Central Park in Malvern East – but the closest you’ll get to jogging from Upper West to Upper East Side is circling the Tan at the Royal Botanic Gardens (Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra). The best bagels for breakfast are at Glicks (five locations, glicks.com.au), but you’ll need to improvise to get the cheeseand-walnut-raisin mixtures found at NYC bagel trucks. NY-style pretzels and cronuts (croissant-meets-doughnut , which originated at NY’s Ansel’s SoHo) are at Dutch bakery Hootsen’s (179 Glenferrie Road, Malvern 9509 1418), or have a real meal at Bowery to Williamsburg (16 Oliver Lane, city, 9077 0162), which homes in on New York eats (sweet bagels, fried challah bread and blintzes), while the interior is strictly subway (without the smell of urine, thank goodness).
Torsa (497 High Street, Prahran, 9510 5585, torsa.com.au) and Grace Melbourne (595 Malvern Road, Toorak, 9827 2133, gracemelbourne.com.au) are reminiscent of little NoLIta boutiques, stocking New York labels – Alexander Wang at the former, Rag & Bone at the latter, for instance.
For dudes, look no further than the brandnew Father Clothing (177 Chapel Street, Windsor, 9939 6744, fatherclothing.com.au) for NY labels Skulls Brooklyn and Oak NYC.
Perhaps a Tribeca-feel gallery is more of a Manhattan-morning thing to do, with Anna Schwartz Gallery (185 Flinders Lane, city, 9654 6131, annaschwartzgallery.com) providing the expansive feel of a downtown art space.
The American Museum of Natural History’s dinosaurs are close cousins to those at the Melbourne Museum (11 Nicholson Street, Carlton, 8341 7777, museumvictoria.com.au /melbournemuseum).
If the pace is making you hungry, choose the Meatball & Wine Bar (two locations, meatballandwinebar.com.au) – it’s very close to NY’s the Meatball Shop – or Gramercy Bistro (162-164 Commercial Road, Prahran, 9098 1155, gramercybistro.com.au) for an upmarket version of a NY waldorf salad.
For the hottest, latest eatery, go to Tonka (20 Duckboard Place, city, 9650 3155, tonkarestaurant.com.au). Its hard-to-find location, excellent modern Indian food and eye-catching art installation (by Naomi Troski) make it very Big Appleish.
Finish up at Cherry Bar (AC/DC Lane, city, 9639 8122, cherrybar.com.au), a venue so cool and grungy, it might as well be in the Bowery.
The writer has been a frequent traveller to each city.
Copyright © 2013 Fairfax Media | Source: TheAge