For the recent Labour Day weekend, Tim and I packed our bags and headed for beautiful Bendigo, a 2 hour train ride from Melbourne. We arrived on Friday night for 3 full days.
As with any trip, there was plenty of eating involved, and Bendigo has some culinary delights that are worth discovering. We had been a few times before, so this time, we sought out some new adventures.
For brekky on the first day, we went to The Green Olive in historic Bath Lane, chosen for no reason other than it looked busy. I ordered the vegetarian breakfast: zucchini & Haloumi fritters, brioche crumbed field mushroom, cherry tomato compote, watercress and two poached eggs ($17.50):
This was a tasty and filling breakfast which set me up well for the walking tour which we did that morning.
After our walking tour, we hit the Bendigo Farmers Markets, held only once a month on the second Saturday in central Sidney Myer Place. One of my favourite finds was the scrolls by Starving Artist. I bought a peach and raspberry scroll - delicious, but tooth-achingly sweet:
Tim bought a Turkish Delight scroll - my favourite, as it was sweet but not overly so:
We also bought some other goodies, including these Florentines from Sweet Sisters ($10 for 5 huge cookies):
My other picks from the Farmers Market were Pink Muesli, made with beetroot ($25), a huge tub of honey ($10) and a jar of sauerkraut ($8), which sadly got left behind as I was told to keep it in the fridge, where I promptly forgot about it until it was too late:
There also happened to be an antique clothing and book stall on in View Street that weekend. I got to look at and touch some beautiful original Victorian era clothing (horsehair padding anyone?), and I purchased this book of wartime recipes by the British cooking stalwart, Marguerite Patten:
After stuffing ourselves with scrolls, lunch was a meal that I could have skipped quite happily, but I rocked up anyway to The Good Loaf for these Indian baked beans ($13.20):
It tasted pretty good, but I was underwhelmed by the girl who took my order at the counter, who could not answer any of the basic questions I asked about the other dishes I considered ordering (eg is there quinoa in this? How is it served?).
To accompany my meal, I bought this fabulous Schweppes Pear and Melon soda that I have not seen anywhere else, which I made into a spider with icecream ($5.70):
For dinner that evening, we went to the GPO Bendigo, a modern Mediterranean restaurant which does a very fine range of tapas dishes delivered by efficient and friendly staff. We decided to go with the tapas so that we could try a range of dishes.
First up, we went for the pan seared scallops with spinach puree and parmesan tuile ($14 for 3):
The star of this dish was the delicious parmesan tuile.
Next up, we went with the slow cooked pork sliders, with chipotle mayo and tangy slaw ($14 for 2):
These were tasty morsels.
To make us feel slightly more virtuous in getting our greens, we ordered the rocket and pear salad with shaved parmesan and balsamic dressing ($9):
Back to the tapas - our final dish was the Korean style wagyu beef tacos, with Asian slaw, cashews, chilli and coriander ($13 for 2):
These soft shell tacos were delish.
We could not pass on dessert, so we ordered the churros with hot chocolate sauce ($14) to share:
After dinner, we ended Day 1 of our Bendigo trip with a wander through the Bendigo Moonlight Markets in the mall, also held on the third Saturday of the month. These were bustling markets with more of a novelty feel than the Farmers Markets, although a few of the vendors were the same. It was extremely popular with young families, who took their children for some fast food and fun.
11 Bath Lane
Bendigo VIC 3550
Ph: (03) 5442 2676
404 Hargreaves Street
Bendigo VIC 3550
Ph: (03) 5444 2171
60-64 Pall Mall
Bendigo VIC 3550
Ph: (03) 5443 4343