Monday, December 21, 2009

My favourite things of the Year Part 2 - Food

Favourite restaurant - Mo Vida, the quintessential Melbourne restaurant and bar, in all its incarnations, including the one (Aqui and Terrazza) which opened opposite work in early November. To understand the significance of this, bear this in mind: when we moved offices 5 years ago, we moved from what is called the Paris End of Collins Street to what is known as the Beirut End of Bourke Street (apologies to all Lebanese people). An area largely bereft of good coffee and anywhere much to eat lunch with a few notable exceptions.

So, to now have Mo Vida so close is excitement itself.

I wrote here about a dinner I had with Mo Vida food and Spanish wine. The new Mo Vida Aqui, an industrial space behind a bank, with views to the Supreme Court, is up to Mo Vida standards.

Having had a many coursed meal there last week, it satisfied all my requirements, including one I barely knew I had, namely for an octopus terrine with smoked paprika and potato salad. Here it is:

MoVida Aqui and Terraza on Urbanspoon

Favourite wine - is wine a food? Yeah, sure. The heatwaves last February which led to devastating bushfires in South East Australia had one good outcome - in combination with heavy rain in mid December 2008, an outstanding 2009 riesling vintage.

This is really mostly what I have drunk this year.

Favourite packaged food: Pineapple and vanilla bean jam.

Generally speaking I do not like pineapple. To paraphrase Dr Seuss:

I do not like it in a tin
I do not like it on a pizza
I do not like it in a burger
I do not like it with ham

Not in fruit salad
Not in a muffin
Not on pavlova
Not under upside down cake

Not in a salsa
Not in a pie

I do not like it
One little bit

But this jam, which manages to smooth the sharp spikiness of pineapple with pungent vanilla-eyness, is quite something else. Perfect on toast.

This jam comes from Phllippa's Bakery, a place of such temptations we were compelled this year to buy a coffee machine to avoid our weekend trips there for takeaway coffee, as these visits always involved us also returning home laden with unnecessities like French butter, gingerbread stars, peanut butter biscuits, tomato kasoundi, creme fraiche, costly spiced nuts, raspberry cupcakes, little hand shaped dinner rolls and so on.


My Passport to Style said...

Hi there, great fun foodie inspired post, happy Christmas to you! Sharon xx

Natasha in Oz said...

Wow Jane, what a great selection of yummy things you have shared today! I am with you re the Pikes Riesling-divine on a hot summer's day-have one for me on Friday!

I hope that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for a very Happy New Year.

Christmas cheers, Natasha.

brismod said...

Mmm...pineapple jam - anything with vanilla bean would be amazing in my book. Jane, you need to live in Qld to truly appreciate the pineapple. When we were younger, nothing tasted better than sharing a fresh pineapple picked from the fields in Nambour.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Oooo, Jane, that octopus terrine is right up my alley. I love octopus and squid. The restaurant sounds wonderful..... and the pineapple jam sounds delicious too. When we pop over to France sometimes, I always buy apricot and almond jam. That's delicious too.
Happy dining, you little foody you !! XXXX

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Jane
Unlike Jacqueline I don't get to 'pop over' to France so this aussie recommendation for pineapple jam is appreciated.. hehe

Well I, just like you, do not like pineapple... vary rarely... trying to think of when... Maybe it is from a childhood incident when my mother used to serve pineapple with fresh mint... [i think] we ate so much we made ourselves ill... love mint now,... but pineapple not so much.

By the way ... Dr Seuss would be proud!!

Still trying to come to grips with the iMAC ... a little frustrating... but mostly the keyboard!!

Have fun... xxx Julie

jane said...

hmmmm pineapple and vanilla bean jam... i´ll have to take your word for it. happy holidays jane from oz! warm hugs!

Laura said...

That octopus looks to die for! I feel you on the "beirut" location...I too am stranded at work with few good food options. The most wondeful coffee bar opened up about six months ago and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The poor proprietors can't get rid of me! I would like to make a trip to this fabulous bakery you speak of...

parisa mahmoudi said...

Mmmmm,that food seems so yummy!!!!!
Dear Jane I wish you the best Christmas time with health and happiness.

Millie said...

I adore Phillipa's too Jane! I get Son #3 in Melb. to bring over emergency supplies whenever he visits. And good to see you drinking Riesling from my old childhood home the Clare Valley. If you really want to go the extra yards, give Jeff Grosset's 09Grosset Polish Hill Riesling or his partner Stephanie Toole's 09 Mount Horrocks Watervale Riesling a run. Riesling heaven!!
Millie ^_^

Rebecca said...

i second the pineapple hatred...
still unsure about the jam, too!

but Mo Vida - that's my type of food :) had a lovely afternoon tasting session there this year with spanish potatoes in a paprika/tomato sauce... and stuffed squids. washed down with a rose....... bliss!

merry christmas!

Anonymous said...

That jam sounds delicious, but...what's that painting on the background?? I think I like it (a lot).

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