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Merry Christmas!!  Hope Santa brings lots and lots of goodies for you and your loved ones!!

I was looking at some recent posts from blogs that I follow:  The Vibe 101 and Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY.  Their photos of Melbourne’s buildings at Christmas are beautiful.  I wish I could see it in person… but seeing as I was in Melbourne only 2 months ago, going back there right this minute isn’t a feasible option.

For now, I will just reminisce about our girls’ getaway in October while I share our travelling food.  While planning for our Melbourne trip, V asked me if there was anything or anywhere that I wanted to see or go to.  My response was something along the lines of eating delicious food (doesn’t have to be expensive, just tasty) … and going to the Icebreaker Fitzroy Outlet.

I first heard about Icebreaker and their merino wool blends from my sister.  She was in Melbourne in late August and was thrilled to find an Icebreaker Outlet in the neighbourhood of Fitzroy.  My sister explained to me that merino wool blends are good for staying warm while running in the cold.  Apparently Icebreaker’s end-of-season outlet prices are well worth the trip.

Keeping in mind that we wanted to end up somewhere close to the Icebreaker outlet store, V researched the surrounding neighbourhood and discovered that there are cafes along Brunswick Street.  We decided to take the tram out to the Fitzroy area and randomly pick a cafe for brunch.

After checking out several menus, we decided to sit down for brunch at the Red Tongue Cafe. For me, the menu was only part of the reason I opted for this cafe.  What seemed to draw me into this cafe was the bright interior.  Situated on the corner of a street, there are ample windows allowing natural light in.  We were seated by the entrance and before even looking at the menu, we ordered our coffees — my latte and V’s flat white.

interior of Red Tongue Cafe

interior of Red Tongue Cafe

coffees at brunch

coffees at brunch

For brunch, I picked their signature “redtongue breakfast” served with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, sausages, tomatoes, hash brown and toast.  Yes, a lot of food again!  V ordered the “Vegetarian feast” with eggs, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms and toast.  Like our brunch at Affogato Espresso Bar the day before, I ordered poached eggs and V ordered scrambled eggs.

We launched into conversation while waiting for our food to arrive.  As we chatted, I watched one of the patrons enter the cafe, leaving his dog at the door.  The dog was quite well-behaved as he (or maybe she?) sat by the door and peered longingly into the cafe.  As people walked by on the sidewalk outside, the dog would get up, wag his tail and enjoy all the petting and attention.  When there was no one walking by, he returned to his post by the door and continued to look in longingly.  When the food arrived at our table, we returned our focus to the meal in front of us.

IMG_9048 IMG_9047

Brunch is served!

Brunch is served!

V's Vegetarian Feast

V’s Vegetarian Feast

My "redtongue breakfast"

My “redtongue breakfast”

After enjoying a few bites of fresh and appetizing breakfast, I started feeling self-conscious.  It felt like someone or something was watching me.  As it turned out, it was the friendly dog watching me eat breakfast.  When I turned to look at him, I could swear that he pulled the sad puppy look at me.  :(  I felt very sorry for him… Luckily, the guy he followed to the cafe brought him a big slice of toast.  I watched as the dog happily took the toast and settled down (beside the door) to munch on it, leaving me to finish my breakfast without feeling like I was being watched.

Red Tongue on Urbanspoon

After brunch, we walked a few blocks from the cafe on Brunswick Street to the Icebreaker Outlet on Smith Street.  V waited patiently while I went through all the sale items in the outlet.  I recently took up running (thanks to my sister) and was searching for running tops and jackets.  I wasn’t able to find a running jacket but after trying on what seemed like every running/cycling top in the store, I finally settled on one long sleeve top and one short sleeve top.

Icebreaker Fitzroy Outlet on Smith Street

Icebreaker Fitzroy Outlet on Smith Street

Shopping can sure build one’s appetite.  ;)  After wandering through other shops in the Fitzroy area, V and I decided it was time for … dumplings!!  While we were walking around the previous day, V and I walked by a dumpling place called “Shanghai Street.”  There was a line up out the door and down the street.  We took note of its location (Little Bourke Street — yay, close to our hotel) and decided that we would incorporate it into our list of meals.

Dumplings at Shanghai Street ... finally a quieter moment between lunch and dinner.

Dumplings at Shanghai Street … finally a quieter moment between lunch and dinner

very basic interior but functional and busy

very basic interior but functional and busy

V and I LOVE dumplings.  We ordered a bit of this and a bit of that… and next thing you know, we had a table full of food.

dumplings, anyone...?

yummy wontons, yummy dumplings, yummy xiaolongbao, yummy veggie…. mmmm… content!

Eating at a Shanghaiese restaurant, xiao long baos are a must.  Vegetable steamed dumplings are another one of our favourites so we added that to our list.  V saw the mini wontons on the menu.  Mini wontons are smaller than regular-sized wontons so eating one is like eating half of a regular one.  Right?  And mini they were!  Instead of one regular wonton on a soup spoon, we could fit three mini ones on there.  I was really craving vegetables and when we ordered the Chinese Broccoli, my expectation was only a small plate of veggies. Let me tell you, that dish of veggies was double the size of what I expected … Much as I enjoy tasty chinese broccoli, after eating two-thirds of that heap, I could not eat chinese broccoli for the rest of my trip.

Traditional Shanghai Mini Wonton Soup - 15 pcs

Traditional Shanghai Mini Wonton Soup – 15 pcs

Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce --  a very BIG dish of veggies

Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce — a very BIG dish of veggies

Homemade Traditional Steamed Shanghai Xiao Long Bao

Homemade Traditional Steamed Shanghai Xiao Long Bao – 8 pcs

Homemade Boiled Dumpling (vegetable) - 15 pcs

Homemade Boiled Dumpling (vegetable) – 15 pcs

The food was DELICIOUS!  For the price, the portion sizes and the taste of the food… if we were to spend a few more days in Melbourne, I would be back a few times.  If this place was down the block from me in Vancouver, I’d probably be a regular customer….   :)

Shanghai Street Dumpling on Urbanspoon

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