I started my walk from the west end of the Melbourne CBD to the east end along Little Collins Street (LCS), stretching an eight city blocks of concrete buildings. There was practically no sunlight as the soaring skyscrapers cast shadows along the narrow LCS. On a weekend, it was quiet on the west end side of the street from Spencer until Queen with the building mostly occupied by office workers. Once I passed Queen, the street gets busier with cafes, restaurants and retail shops on the footprint of each buildings. The busiest block is bordered between Elizabeth and Swanston. Past Swanston, it becomes quiet again with high end fashion boutique shops, between the block of Russell and Exhibition..
I enjoyed taking a slow and gentle stroll along Little Collins Street - people watching and looking up into the sky with incredible building facades. Melbourne is a beautiful city with interesting architecture designed buildings - a mixture of Victorian and Edwardian, Art Deco and modern, sustainable eco friendly buildings.
The food culture in Melbourne is influenced by its years of immigrants having settled here and calling Australia home. Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean are among the most popular ethnicity and authentic food that can be found in Melbourne, outside of their own countries. Wondering around the CBD, there are ample choices to satisfy everyone's taste and palate, from cheap eat to fine dining.
Along LCS, hidden behind an apartment cum office building at the corner of LCS and Swanston Street is an authentic Indonesian cafe, Salero Kito, serving up a Sumatran Padang food on a bain-marie style. It is an Asian style fast food cafe. I stopped here for lunch to take a break from my walk.
A choice of 2 dishes or 3 dishes with rice at $11 and $12 respectively. I went for 3 dishes - a beef rendang, a curry chicken and a curry cabbage with fresh bamboo shoots. It came with condiments of 2 types of sambal chillies, dried shallots and shaved chicken floss. It was delicious - beautiful flavour and spicy. The spiciness was not toned down for a western palate. Look out for Salero Kito, highly recommended, if you are desperate for a good Indonesian's Nasi Padang ("nasi" is an Indonesian word for "rice") food.
Next stop on my walking trail along LCS is a petite cafe, Brioche by Philip, at the corner of LCS and Russell Street, serving good coffee and french pastries. I had no intention of stopping here. As I stood outside looking through the window on LCS, a display of tasty looking french pastries, I was drawn to a single Apricot Brioche. It was calling me! I felt lost into a world of sweet temptation. It was the only piece left on the window shelf. I walked in. A tiny shop of perhaps 6m x 3m footprint and only 1 small table with 2 seats. I bought the last apricot brioche. I took a single bite, followed by a bigger bite. The brioche knew how to put a big smile on my face, and on I continued with my walk towards the end of LCS. A delightful treat.
I came to the end of LCS at Spring Street. I turned left and walked north. On the left is the 1883 heritage listed Hotel Windsor and Princes Theatre. Both stunning buildings. Across the street is the House of Parliament and Parliament Gardens. The Old Treasury Building and Treasury Gardens is on the South side of the Parliament.
Melbourne is the only city in Australia that has a full tram network system. Traveling along the streets in the CBD, it is free to ride on all the trams within the designated Green Zone. Once outside the Green Zone, one must touched on using the Myki Card, a commuter card that can be purchased either at the train station or at any of the 7-Eleven convenience stores. The free tram zone is the best and easiest way of traveling around Melbourne CBD if one gets tired from all the walk. After almost 2 hours of walking and discovering LCS, I have decided to catch the 109 tram at the Bourke / Spring Street tram stop to Southbank.
A visit to Melbourne city is not complete until one has walked along the Yarra River - Birrarung Mar near Federation Square, Southbank and South Wharf. The river itself looks unappealingly dark due to sediments below, but the vista and view along the river is simply stunning and amazing with street buskers performing along the river promenade.
Insight Penang blogs about travel and food, sharing with anyone who enjoys traveling to other destinations, taking photographs, meeting people, experiencing new cultures and traditions, enjoying cooking and trying other cuisines.