The buzz, the people, the events, all seem amplified on Australia Day (26 January - for those who don't know).
Australia Day commemorates the arrival of Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet of eleven convict ships from Great Britain at Sydney Cove in 1788. The day is controversial for some, but for many involves friends/love ones, a BBQ and triple j's Hottest 100.
Australian flag paraphernalia and the host at work
Beginning the day with a sizzling BBQ, foldaway chairs, a table covered with food and a handful of good friends. I couldn't want for anything more. And of course, the BBQ was delicious (thanks Renee!). Sausages, roo sausages, chicken & beef shaslicks (made with veggies from the host sister's garden) and hamburgers. Garden salad, asian salad, potato salad and rice salad. Nom nom.
I, a Man
The crowd at Fed Square and hidden at the back - Chocolate Buddha
A serve of Sashimi, Ebi Tempura, Nasu Dengaku, Gyu Ramen, Shake Oyako Den and three delightful cocktails made their way to our table.
The lightly battered and perfectly crispy Ebi Tempura (tempura prawns) certainly didn't last long.
And the Nasu Dengaku (eggplant with a miso reduction) was scrumptious. There is something about miso that compliments so many ingredients - I should definitely consider experimenting with miso more in my own kitchen.
With full bellies, we returned to the stage as darkness was descending and the crowd was ramping up for...
Name: Chocolate Buddha
Location: Federation Square, 2 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC