With Georgia Spanos
Towards the western end of North Melbourne lives one of my best kept secrets, Amiconi, a family run restaurant who has held its ground since the owners first migrated to Australia back in 1950. What I love so dearly about this spot is how true they stay to their origins, never giving into modern twists or fusion influence. Amiconi respects their traditions, cooking simply with few ingredients that marry beautifully together. And of course, everything is homemade. Expect to feel as if you've been invited to a family dinner and I promise you'll be able to taste that the food is prepared straight 'from the heart'. Their star dishes are their linguini marinara, gnocchi amarticiana and their impressive pan seared red snapper.
Burma Lane, which graces the very happening Little Collins Street, boasts all sorts of new eats this year. Artist Mike Eleven freshens up the restaurant with his colourful street art, and their new Burmese style menu holds much joy. Personally, I adore their bite size dishes like cured salmon with smoked tomato romesco, anchovy, kewpie and shallots served on a seaweed cracker, or, their scallops wrapped in prosciutto with cauliflower. Their list of wines perfectly aligns with their very flavoursome dishes.
We're all familiar with Italian flavours, Asian ingredients and all of the many Indian spices. But what about the taste of our own native Australia? It's safe to say that such flavours as wattle seed and lemon scented gum are foreign to most. Well it's time to taste our own backyard this weekend at The Eatery in the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Eatery, which is a part of A Weekend In The Gardens festival, offers an unfamiliar native cocktail menu to be enjoyed amongst our awe-inspiring gardens. I suggest the wattle seed espresso or native nuts cocktail to really feel at home.