Vanessa Pike-Russell
I awoke very hungry on a rainy and cold Melbourne morning. I felt like a breakfast of bacon and eggs and it just happened that our wandering took us past the Elephant and the Wheelbarrow hotel which looked very welcoming and a definite must-see. A british themed hotel in the middle of Melbourne.
Elephant and the Wheelbarrow Hotel, Melbourne

Elephant and the Wheelbarrow Hotel, Melbourne

Even better it had a great menu 'The Best of British' which featured English Breakfast and Steak & Ale Stew.

Big English Breakfast $15.90

English Breakfast included white pudding, English breakfast sausage, two eggs, bacon and toast. The white pudding was an interesting flavour sensation. I had tried black pudding before but white pudding was new to me. The texture was of cracked wheat but knowing what black pudding consisted of I had a fair idea it would have suet but minus the pigs blood and other unmentionables black pudding contains. I decided not to ask and just enjoyed trying something new.

Steak and Ale Stew $15.90

Tender chunks of beef marinated with English Ale, cooked with carrots, leeks, celery, onions and potatoes in rich sauce, topped with mashed potato. A big hit with Philip who loved every morsel.

We sat and ate as the world went by past our window view of a rainy Melbourne day. I loved the antique, british feel of the decor and enjoyed relaxing and soaking everything in. Good food, a good view and getting out of the rain in the comfort of a british -themed pub. What could be better?
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Vanessa Pike-Russell
Walking down Little Bourke Street in Melbourne is quite an experience. We were greeted by a hostess from the Post Mao Cafe, aka Chairman Mao's Unique Chinese Cuisine. Specialising in Hunan cuisine, their chef's master chef is 93 years old and used to cook for Chairman Mao Zedong. The waitress showed us the menu, pointing out the Three Cup Duck meal on the menu (simmering in crucible with a cup each of wine, vinegar and chilli oil) - a sign that this was the perfect place for us to dine. We love duck, and chilli duck sounded wonderful.

Who would have known that Chairman Mao had his own unique, delicious recipes and that there was a little restaurant in the middle of Melbourne's Chinatown that was devoted to the man who wrote 'The Red Book' that creates such wonderful meals.

Chilli dumplings at Chairmain Mao-themed restaurant, the Post-Mao Cafe by you.

I loved the decor. If you tried hard enough you could imagine yourself transported to China. The sights, smells and sounds were authentic enough. We waited patiently for our meal, enjoying the ambience.

The menu was extensive and I wish we had more time to explore it and the delicacies contained within. Alas, we had but 24 hours in the wonderful city of Melbourne so we settled on two Hunan meals and daydreamed about coming back again soon.

Hunan Three Cup Duck in Claypot $24

The first meal served contained capsicum despite the fact we clearly communicated to our waiter that there should be no capscium in the dish due to a very strong allergy to it. We were left with a bowl of rice whilst they re-made the dish. The wait was worth it. The chilli duck was very flavoursome and definitely something I would try again. It reminded me of a sczechwan dish I had many years ago.

Next we decided to try the chilli dumplings, also delicious. We would definitely be back again, despite the mixup with the ordering.

Chilli Dumplings - $5

113 Little Bourke St
Melbourne 3000 VIC Phone: (03) 9663 6003
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