I’ve just arrived in Singapore for a holiday and I can’t wait to explore the city particularly its food. One of my favourite things to do when I am travelling is to do a food tour. It’s such a great way to get to know a place. Now I’ve discovered, thanks to Alan Campion’s Melbourne Food Tours, that the same sort of tour is a great way to find out more about the place you actually live. Alan runs food tours all over Melbourne but I was invited along to his tour of Richmond which is hosted by RRR’s Cameron Smith.
The tour explores Victoria street in Richmond, an area which is familiar to most Melburnians but one which Alan and Cameron bring a fresh take to. The tour started off at one of the communal vegie patches just off Victoria street, something I must have walked past many times before and never noticed. It was a good place to talk about the history of Vietnamese immigration to Australia from the Gold Rush to the Vietnam war as it is Vietnamese immigrants who have really shaped the area around Victoria street.
Alan and Cameron led us around some of the shops on Victoria street including the mega Asian grocery store of them all – Minh Phat. They were all places I had been before but it was great to get Alan and Cameron’s recommendations for everything from oyster sauce (they prefer the David Thompson approved Megachef) to chilli jam. Visiting the seafood stores and butchers on the street was also a revelation for the different varieties of seafood sold and various types of weird and wonderful offal.
Of course there was lots of eating as well from nibbling on fresh herbs outside the grocery stores to a takeaway serve of bronzed, crispy duck from the legendary Pacific House.
The tour finished up over a relaxed lunch at Thy Thy 1. Again, not a new discovery for me but eating at this classic restaurant with Alan and Cameron offered the opportunity to try out some new dishes which I wouldn’t have thought to order by myself. Alan and Cameron both have an encyclopedic knowledge of food and their enthusiasm for this area of Melbourne and its food made the tour really worthwhile. Next time I get the travel itch I might just book myself in for another Melbourne Food Tours just to get a fresh perspective on my own city.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Melbourne Food Tour’s Richmond tour.
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Details: Melbourne Food Tours (Ph 0408 555 679).
Pacific House 8/240 Victoria Street Richmond (Ph 03 94378225)
Thy Thy 1 142 Victoria street, Richmond (Ph 03 9429 1104)
Damage: Pricey. The tour costs $110 per person and includes lunch.