Brunch @ St. Ali Roasters. First time having coffee in Australia and probably in a good six months! Coffee was splendid. For food, I ordered buttermilk pancake. Two pancakes with fudge, berries compote, and hardened brown sugar. Super good but super filling.
Spent the rest of the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne. Kind of like a farmers market, tons of craft and good stands, sectioned off by category. I was also treated with a cool performance from a band called Amistat, made up of two talented twin brothers. Find them on Spotify and give them a listen!
I lunched alone at Wonderbao where I ordered the pork belly + fried chicken. The pork belly was really underwhelming but the fried chicken was good.
Then took the tram to the Royal Botanical Gardens to visit the Shrine of Remembrance, which was stunning. Beautiful architecture and beautiful view. It reminded me of the memorials in DC (and I mean that in the best way possible). If I had more time, I would have loved to walk through more of the botanical gardens.
I headed back north into the main city centre to meet friends at Rooftop Cinema. No movie the night I went so there was no cover charge, which was nice. It's a super hip rooftop bar with seating, and bleachers covered in turf, with the type of music kids in their early 20s would listen to. I should've hated it, but I loved it. Tough luck that it rained about 5 minutes after I got my drink so I had to down it and run over to dinner in the rain. It's definitely on my places to go for next time though. Unfortunately I don't have any good photos to share, but take a look at their Yelp page. Highly recommended!
Dinner was at Burma Lane, obviously Burmese food. I saw good reviews online but there weren't that many people in the restaurant so it got me nervous. We ordered the tea salad, which was probably the best dish (but not the best tea salad I've had); the cheeseburger dumplings, were basically dumplings filled with beef and cheese, but really did taste like a cheeseburger haha; the noir noodles which were solid; and the beef brisket bao, which was salty and probably too much for us. It was okay, not the best meal in Melbourne but I suppose it was worth a try and my friends enjoyed it enough.
We started our day early with a breakfast stop at Baker D.Chirico. Every pastry and bread on the menu was phenomenal. My friends claimed it was the best bakery. It indeed was one of the best. It's a hidden gem of Melbourne that not too many people know about, thank goodness. I ordered a chocolate croissant and bombolini. You wouldn't think there isn't much of a quality different in chocolate croissants, but there is. It was perfection. The bombolini is basically like a filled donut, but fancy. It was filled with lemon zest and vanilla and the flavors were perfect, too. I probably enjoyed the bombolini much more just because of the flavors.
Then spent some time walking around the South Melbourne Market, where I walked around the stalls and stores, and ate yummy oysters.
We made our way towards the Great Ocean Road, which is basically like the PCH with the ocean on one side and a great forest on the other. It's an absolutely beautiful drive! I got to see the 12 Apostles, Loch and George, and the London Arch. We reserved an AirBnB in Torquay. On the road, I got to see a wild pademelon(I think) crossing the street, and signs for kangaroos (like the ones we have for deer). You'd have to get a hire car, unless you go with a tour company, but it's so worth the drive and seeing the more nature-y, beautiful side of Australia!