DAA conference | Melbourne





Being a tourist :)

Day 1:

Reunited with the bestie at the airport.

*Incessant chattering*

Next stop was food.  


First sunset photo



We chose an Italian restaurant called ‘Vapiano’, based on another friend's recommendation. It was quite busy; we had to wait to get a table. We decided to order both pizza and pasta.
Ordering pizza was pretty straightforward. However, the pasta line took forever. It took so long that we received our pizzas but still hadn't been able to order the pasta.



We tried garlic and one zucchini and eggplant pizza. I liked the latter but the garlic one was a bit hard, it got a bit cold by the time we started eating. 

The pasta was quite nice and flavoursome but nothing extraordinary and not worth an hour wait!

 




Vapiano

Spotted a cute florist, on our way to dessert

For dessert, we wanted to go Om Nom but unfortunately they had no space so ended up going to Pancake Parlour Lovely. It's meant to be a Melbourne version of Pancake on the Rocks. We ordered plain vanilla pancakes and chocolate pancakes to get a combination of both, along with milkshake and coffee. However, we were quite disappointed with the pancakes. Vanilla ones weren't too bad, but the chocolate one wasn't done right. Chocolate is one of those things that tastes great with almost everything, but the flavours weren't balanced for this one. The presence of the chocolate chips made it worse, in this case.




The Pancake Parlour Lovely
Vanilla pancakes stacks + chocolate and strawberries (~$45)

Looks can be deceiving sometimes!


Nightlife


Day 2:
I did not sleep well at all. I kept waking up few times during the night and stayed awake after 5 am. We left the hotel just after 7 am and we were starving! We wanted to go to Hardware Lane but it was in the opposite direction to the conference, and we knew we wouldn't make it back in time for registration.


7:30AM: ready to go!




We decided to go somewhere else but had a hard time picking and finally went to Five66 Cafe. To be honest, we were reluctant to order here as the inside atmosphere didn't look very inviting. However, the food wasn't that bad (don’t judge a book by its cover!)
 





Big brekkie ($20)


Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre




After the conference, we walked along Yarra River and went to DFO (retail therapy), then caught a metro from Southern Cross station to Melbourne Central Mall (found nothing to buy here). We kept dinner relatively simple went for sushi.
Yarra River - afternoon walk

It rained!



Melbourne Central: first time on a Metro!


Day 3:
I slept much better than I expected. Maybe I'm getting used to the hard pillow after all. We also turned on the air con so it was cooler to sleep. We had a fairly relaxing morning and had plans to brekkie at a famous crumpet place (Cumulus Inc.)



Beautiful morning!




It took us nearly 30 mins to walk there, and there was a line. We had a workshop to get to so we decided to go elsewhere. On our walk back, we picked Café Kinetic. We all ordered the same dish: smoked salmon and poached eggs with creamy hollandaise.



Kinetic Atlantic: soft poached eggs, smoked salmon, creamy hollandaise on wood fired Turkish bread ($14)



It was really yum. I haven't had smoked salmon and eggs together in a while so I loved it. Their service was relatively quick; we had spare time to take a long walk along Yarra River. We went to St Paul's Cathedral and accidentally discovered Graffiti Lane. Unfortunately, there was no good graffiti to take photos with so we left after taking one picture.



Beautiful interior detailing at St Paul's Cathedral


Hosier Lane Graffiti Art

Other side of Yarra River




After the conference, we went to Greek restaurant for dinner called ‘Tsindos’. We had originally booked elsewhere but changed our mind because we realised the other place would be too loud to make conversation. 



This Greek place turned out to be pretty amazing; we started with a big entrée and got full without even starting our mains. We didn’t realise how big their portions would be, or we would’ve ordered less between us. We did not want to waste a whole plate of food; we sat there for a long time and tried to eat as much we could!

Eggplant dip ($7.50) - one of their famous dishes




Saganaki ($10)

Mix platter
What we ate- minus the mix platter and Moussaka mains (~$190)



Overall, their food was delicious and good value for the amount we paid.  We left feeling super full and definitely exceeded our sodium levels (mostly from the cheese dishes- saganaki and haloumi).


Close up view :)

Moussaka ($26)
 




Day 4:
We had plans to catch the tram and go to Hardware Lane for brekkie. However, our plan failed once again. We ended up picking a place closer to our hotel which was recommended by a friend.
This morning was chilly, about 7 degrees. I did not take a coat, so I was freezing and liked the idea of not walking far.
 






Drooling over this..





We ordered a sourdough and poached eggs, but we wanted something extra (something naughty). We went for chocolate pancakes.
Having dessert at brekkie was a good feeling as we don’t do this often. We devoured the pancakes and the poached pears.
 


Chocolate pancakes: poached honey pear, jaffa mascarpone, strawberry meringue ($18)

Two free range eggs with sourdough and tomato relish ($11)




Coconut semolina porridge and brulee banana with rhubarb and pistachio ($15)



Happy brekkie at The Grain Store




The brekkie made my day, but I did not realise there would be something else later today that would make my month. We were walking to our last conference lunch, and I happened to walk next to my poster. And I noticed something had been pinned next to it. It was the ‘Best Novice Researcher Poster Award’. I honestly couldn’t believe my luck because there were so many great posters! It almost felt like a dream!!





After the conference, we went to Bourke Street Mall and treated ourselves to more retail therapy. We went for dinner afterwards at Dumpling Plus. We got two plates of dumplings; they were so delicious. They served us a special sauce (caramelised brown sugar, chilli and soy sauce). We were too full to eat our main dinner so packed us a take away instead.

Pork and vegetarian dumplings (~$18)

Overall, this trip was beyond amazing, and I enjoyed every bit of it. It’s something I’ll always remember as it was my first ever conference, and for the award which will always be special to me! :)

Trip summary:

Food:
  • Vapiano: 334 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
  • The Pancake Parlour Lovely: Centrepoint Arcade, Bourke Street, Melbourne
  • Five66 Cafe: 566 Flinders Street, Melbourne
  • Cafe Kinetics: 103 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
  • Tsindos: 197 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
  • The Grain Store: 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
  • Dumpling Plus: 269 Swanson Street, Melbourne
 Other places:
  • Melbourne Exhibition Centre  
  • Southbank
  • DFO, South Wharf
  • Melbourne Central Mall
  • St Paul's Cathedral 
  • Hosier Graffiti Lane
  • Bourke Street Mall

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