What I Ate And Open House Melbourne

nacho bean ball burrito

I have so many blog posts in my Drafts folder that are getting waaaay old now. Starting with Open House Melbourne from the last weekend of July. For that one weekend a year, some of Melbourne’s buildings are open to the public for tours (or some are only open with a ballot system) that don’t happen at other times. You get to see what goes on behind the scenes as well as learn more about the history of a particular building. I went along to some buildings last year as well.

So for this year, my sister and I began our day at the Finders Keepers Market, then brunch at Smith & Daughters. Our first Open House stop was the Royal Society of Victoria. This pic was taken in the waiting area as soon as you walk in. We were waiting for the tour to start but my sis and I were all oooooooh don’t you wish you could live here:

Royal Society

We discovered that the Burke and Wills expedition was planned in the room below and it also started there the day Burke and Wills departed:

royal society

The OCD part of my  brain was getting really fidgety when we were in this room below, because all I could focus on was my burning desire to fix the tassels and make them fall straight. Like this one time I went for a job interview and one of the women interviewing me had a torn hem at the bottom of her trousers with bits of thread hanging everywhere and my brain was all ARGHGHGHGHHHHHHHHHH GET ME ONE OF THOSE MINI PORTABLE SEWING MACHINES:

Royal Society of Victoria

Next stop was the State Library of Victoria. I worked here briefly a long time ago and yes I got to sit in the librarian’s dock thing in the middle here. I can’t remember what I said, probably “HEAR YE HEAR YE NOW HEAR THIS” cos it was after hours and after a workplace party and I guess we weren’t really supposed to go in there:

state library victoria

The State Library has a fantastic rare books collection. This John James Audubon ‘Birds of America’ book is apparently worth millions:

state library victoria

More awesome very-very-old books:

state library victoria

state library victoria

state library victoria

state library victoria

There’s even a comics display:

state library victoria

‘Midget Library’:

state library victoria

Music, looong ago:

state library victoria

After the State Library we walked down to the Melbourne Town Hall for their open house:

state library victoria        melbourne town hall melbourne town hall

melbourne town hall

Where the Melbourne City Council sits:

melbourne town hall melbourne town hall

We had planned to see more buildings but the hours raced by before we knew it. Next year I’ll be more organised! The next day Arthur and I went to the Royal Melbourne Hospital for their tunnels tour.

Now for a What I Ate, though again I’ve found photos from the past month. Some leftovers from a MoFo experiment:

hummus zaatar plate

I made a chilli with black beans and kidney beans, lime rice, guacamole and shoved it in a tortilla with shredded Daiya and the leftover Spicy Bean Nacho Balls (frozen food product by Colonial Farm). Addictive stuff, photo is at the top of this post.

Another lunch at Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery Waterdrop Tea House Restaurant I Have No Idea What The Real Name Is. This was my third visit and the same waitress has served me each time. On this third visit, I asked my usual “is it vegan” question and was told “vegan means no gluten”. Uh oh. Though I am sure (I hope…) none of my meals there were non-vegan as the waitress had gone to the kitchen to check when I asked about egg and dairy specifically. Enough boohoo. Pictured below is the roti with curry sauce and the steamed buckwheat bbq buns:

fo guang yuan roti

fo guang yuan dumplings

Once more, with flashy insides:

fo guang yuan

One of the emergency foods at home is Fry’s shnitzel. I’m not crazy about them to be honest but every now and then I don’t mind a shnitzel sandwich:

frys shnitzel

Eggplant (mooshed up) and lentils:

lentil dhal rice

Lord of the Fries currently have a Western Burger special. You get two onion rings inside the burger. I love onion rings but never get them because of the greasy oily factor making me feel sick, but having a couple in a burger works for me:

lotf western burger

We went to Loving Hut in Northcote and I ordered the BBQ soy skewers and Vietnamese fried rice. I ended up taking the leftovers home for lunch the next day as picky-eater-family didn’t like it:

lovinghut northcote bbq soy skewers loving hut northcote vietnamese rice

A vegan gourmet style pizza from Eat Fresh Pizza in Maribyrnong. We love this place:

Eat Fresh Pizza

I’ve also been a little slack in introducing our cats. We adopted them back in June and they were about five months old. Arthur and DeeW got to choose a name each so Arthur chose Maltesers (his favourite chocolate) and DeeW chose Punky. Yes, after Punky Brewster. She wanted to name the cats Punky Brewster and Henry Warnimont. We Just Said No (bwahaHA get it, Punky fans?) because they were only allowed to choose one name. Anyway, our new babies get up to lots of mischief. They broke a vase but it was an Ikea cheapie and secretly I was glad because it was a bit fug. Here they are, taking over the dolls’ bassinet:

cats bassinet

Okay, I’ve got a load of veg that isn’t juicing itself. Better go do it. Have a great weekend!


Om Vegetarian and Open House Melbourne 2013

A last minute change of plans saw me freeee to catch a tram in to the city today and check out some of the buildings open for this year’s Open House Melbourne.  First up on the list was the Royal Historical Society:


Unfortunately I got the date wrong, it’s open tomorrow only.  So I slumped around the corner to the Hellenic Museum:


I got to look around upstairs (which always means photos of staircases and balustrades):


… and old fireplaces:


I was too busy taking photos to find out about these giant mutated Sylvannian Families:


The Hellenic Museum features stories about and by people who made the journey from Greece to Australia.  These are also the stories of my parents, who both arrived here with my grandparents when they were little.  I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been for my grandparents, knowing they would never see their families again and having to start from scratch in a strange land.  Fortunately they did have family here, who had arrived before them, but it was still very difficult.

After the Hellenic Museum, my next open house building was the former public records office, which now houses the Victoria Law School:









From there it was off to the Phillips Shirt factory, where I could have seen old machinery had it not been for the queue that was forty five minutes long.  A quick photo of the outside, then I went off to get lunch:


On the way home, I was near the Rendezvous Grand Hotel Melbourne (also part of Open House Melbourne) and a tour was just beginning.  The hotel celebrates its 100th birthday this year.  There were beautiful stained glass windows and wood panelling:








We got to look inside the hotel room with this wall art in the shower:


This is the ceiling gum leaf detail in the room:


Further down the corridor somewhere:


The heritage room:


Lunch was at Om Vegetarian on Elizabeth Street.  Up the old stairs:


and in to here:


A meal at Om costs $6.50 which includes rice and two curries plus naan and some hot pickle.  Yes, I only got two pieces of potato, but you can go back for more.  I didn’t, because the meal was quite filling plus I bought a samosa for $2.  Everything was pretty good:


Open House Melbourne is on tomorrow (July 28).  Did you visit any of the buildings?