Ever since I posted a scorecard for Sydney, I have spent most meal times defending my statements about Sydney to patriotic Melbournians who feel offended by my lack of taste in city choices. Most of them were outraged that I could find a soulless, brash, crowded city like Sydney palatable to live in.
So, during a lovely meal with my beautiful friend M today, I am persuaded to do up a scorecard for Melbourne.
This is for all you angry raving Melbournians.
10 Reasons Why Charissa Loves Melbourne:
1) The Italian food in Lygon beats Norton's Street - 10 points
Besides one homemade pasta takeaway place and Bar Italia's gelato, the Italian cuisine in Norton is pretty disappointing. While Lygon, and Brunswick has mid range places like Papa Ginos and Coretto and Cafe Italia and Bimbos and a really good pizza place on 40 Holmes street, Norton's Italian ranges from cheap and soggy to expensive designer pasta that is well, expensive.
2) Cosy cafes with good hot chocolate in Melbourne - 10 points
Melbourne has the cafe culture that overspills onto sidewalks in summer, and under heaters in winter. I love the hot chocolate and baked eggs at Animal Orchestra, churros at San Churros, brunch at Filter and the many dodgy cake shops along St Kilda. It is rare to find good hot choc in Sydney (although when its good, it is really good), but its everywhere in Melbourne. Like Koko Black!
3) A proper Casino - 10 points
As much as everyone loves to hate Crown because it is dodgy at night and filled with sleazy drunk clubbers and gamblers, it is very grand compared to Star City Casino. I mean, it has Greco which gets its own 5 points because I've been there a million times and ordered their chocolate cheesecake and passionfruit cheesecake without fail. And there is Mackers and KFC if Greco is not enough. And there is the Singaporean's favourite seafood buffet with oysters. And there is a cinema. And SteakOut and Koko are pretty good. And there is a very expensive game arcade downstairs where you can play air hockey for $2. And to top it all off, there is a freaking fire show every hour like some giant heater where tourists go 'WHA!!!' What more can one ask for. It is the place to be when your relatives are visiting and you have nowhere to bring them at night.
4) Authentic ethnic food in boho cafes - 10 points
While Sydney food is very glam, experimental and celebrity chefs abound, Melbourne's food is kinda like having dinner with an old friend. The best restaurants are tucked away in obscure back alleys, often with non-descript decoration. And Melbourne's food is, even as The Age commented, robust, authentic and solid. Plus the best meal I ever had in my life is in Three, One, Two in Carlton.
5) Singaporean Malaysian food - 10 points
I really missed Singaporean food when I was in Sydney because there was hardly any in the CBD. I love my old favourites like Laksa King, Nasi Lemak House, Norsiah's Kitchen, Chomp Chomp, Bismi, Hawker's Cafe, and other good Asian places like Dessert House and King of Kings. Nasi Lemak is my prozac. And like what I told Bob, it is all about the chicken wing. He also told me that I’m missing the point.
6) Suburbs - 5 points
M said that Melbourne does have its own suburbs. I'm not gonna lie and say that I love Melbourne's burbs' more than Sydney's because I haven't been to that many in Melbourne. But I do love Chapel Street, Brunswick St, Camberwell, Acland St, Glenferrie and South Melbourne.
7) Polite drivers - 10 points
It is refreshing to be able to sit in the passenger seat and not see crazy people dash in front of you while drivers give you the middle finger and honk.
8) Better arts scene - 10 points
Melbourne is cultural capital. The MTC is a knock out most times, Red Stitch and TheatreWorks does wonderful experimental, and international musicals like Phantom and Miss Saigon do touch base with Melbourne first. The NGV brings in world renowned art from Picasso to Guggenheim, and Pixar is in town! I have no idea about the music scene, but Bob says Melbourne's jazz scene is hot!
9) Festivals - 5 points
Food festivals, Fashion Week, Melbourne Cup (it really isn't a festival but I treat it as such), Film Festival, Moomba, Jazz Festival, Grand Prix and my favourite, Spiegeltent!
And now we have the Eye of Melbourne along the river!
10) Last but not least, funky pubs and clubs - 10 points
Sydney does have its 'posh -nosh- won't-let-you-in-unless -you- are -on- the- list' clubs like The Establishment, but Melbourne has some serious themed bars like Croft Institute, Golden Monkey, The Order, La La Land, Gin Palace, Hairy Canary, Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club and the list goes on. And of course, most of them are found in dodgy back alleys. Everything good in Melbourne is found in dodgy back alleys.
If we throw in fair weather and more late night shopping, Melbourne will be perfect!
Wait..no shit..Melbourne is leading by 15 points...oh well...