Thursday, December 20, 2007
We first went to the Dandenong Ranges four years ago and I was not impressed. Yes there are quaint little streets and cottages but they were not that many or quaint enough to merit the hour-long drive, and we had the mandatory scones that were more like cakes or monkey bread at the over-rated Miss Marples. In this little English cottage teahouse, you have to line up for 20 minutes before getting seated at a little table, elbow to elbow to the next table. So this visit I told Hub there's no way I'm going to waste a day going there again. Guess what, we went to Dandenong again today, and I am VERY sure I won't ever go there again. Maybe I'm not fair to the place - an overnight stay and a bush walk would probably make the trip worthwhile. I did see a kookaburra sitting on a gum tree while we were drivimg up. It looked a bit like an owl.
It was really by default, because we were driving around looking at display homes. This is something Hub and I love to do when we visit other places. Display homes in Australia are very beautiful and inspiring. Unfortunately, all the large home builders like Simonds and Metricon have closed since Dec 17, until Dec 27, for the Christmas hols. We only managed to see 3 display homes by a land developer. Since we were about 30 minutes away from Dandenong Mts, up we went. We wanted to enjoy meat pies and Devonshire teas (English scones and tea) which the place is famous for, but we got there 5 min before 5 pm, and everybody was closing up (why can't they stay open longer in summer - the sun goes down at 9). I refused to eat at Miss Marples (too touristy) and Yi said Pie In The Sky is good but when we got there it too was closed for the holidays. Aiya. In the end we had to have fish n chips in Olinda, one of those small one-street towns. The Barramundi fish, scallops n chips (A$9 + extra for the scallops) were terrible, soaked and heavy with oil. The yiros soulavki was also yukky. Said it before and I'll say it again, I hate Greek food!
Yesterday, Yi brought us to this fab place for pizza. Bimbo Blonde (Brunswick St.) serves pizzas at happy hours (Mon to Thurs 12 noon to 4 pm, Sundays 7 pm to 11 pm) give-away price of A$4 each! The pizzas are - how shall I describe them- not the usual evenly topped pizzas but rather the chunky toppings were randomly scattered, and the pizzas were the best we've tasted so far. The Caesar pizza was a whole load of cos salad with a coddled egg thrown in, the funghi mushroom pizza (my fave) came with thick chunks of mushrooms, while the chocolate pizza, which had melted/grilled mascarpone and choc, was the least tasty of all. The place is funky (unkindly put, run-down) and hippy, almost like a drug den upstairs! Well, at least it was to me.
Caesar salad pizza
Artichoke, olives and ham pizza
Melted chocolate, mascarpone and banana pizza
Smith Street for cheap clothing.
Their favourite - candy stores.
We found them passed out in the car. End of shopping.