I like Valentines Day in theory and usually have big intentions of preparing a lavish feast for two or a pre-planned breakfast in bed. This year, the plan was heart-shaped eggs on toast, using a cookie-cutter as an eggring, and something involving champagne for dinner.
But Barkly Square was all out of cookie cutters and a bottle of champagne the night before a day of articles interviews wasn’t the smartest move. However, we thought we should celebrate the day somehow and the food on hand (frozen peas and oats) not being particularly love-inspiring, N and I turned to our favourite locals on the Brunswick stretch of Lygon Street.
For a quick weekday breakfast in East Brunswick (when time does not permit a trek to Ray in Victoria Street for baked eggs), I usually end up at Sugardough. It has the same variety as Filou down the road in North Carlton, but it uses a sweeter and more eggy dough, which I associate with Italian pastries. It doesn’t take itself as seriously as Filou either – duck-shaped biscuits sit alongside dainty hazelnut morsels, and the staff don’t mind if you dither over the selection. On Valentines Day, I had my usual cornetto (a croissant-shaped pastry) with a long black, and N had a raspberry and ricotta muffin and a pot of ‘Tea-Party Tea’ served in crockery pinched straight from the pages of Alice in Wonderland. We were given each other’s orders, but that’s inevitable when your boyfriend orders the girliest thing on the menu.
We didn't have any dinner-related thoughts until 9:00, thanks to overtime and frantic exam study (or Mediterranean chic, depending on your perspective). I was ready for frozen peas and sleep, but N thought dinner at Thaila Thai was in order. I didn’t require much persuasion – Thaila Thai’s peanut sauce is perhaps the best (legal) mood-booster known to humankind.
Love it, but so does everyone else. It was chockers with a queue down the street. So was Matsumoto. The frozen peas were calling me, but N thought we should try somewhere new.
We found a half-empty Thai restaurant further down Lygon Street towards Brunswick Road called “Brown Sugar”. It was half-empty for a reason. I tried to order and the waitress snapped she was too busy to take my order. Eventually, we ordered some tom yum, a tamarind squid salad, a seafood grill, some rice and two beers. The beers came immediately, but were warm. The food didn’t arrive for two hours. When it did, I got snapped at again when I asked for a spoon for the tom yum, and again when I asked if we could have the rice (she said no). The tom yum was OK, albeit lukewarm. N liked the seafood grill, especially the bits of deep-fried fish that looked like the gunk I used to strain out of the cooking oil in my fish and chip shop days. I couldn’t eat the salad: I like chilli but not when the salad consists of just that. I couldn’t taste any tamarind, and the seafood wasn’t cooked through.
No love here.
My heart wasn’t on fire, but my mouth was. Luckily the Gelobar was open and its passionfruit gelato sang a lullaby to my tastebuds.