23 March 2010

the great debate. Melbourne v Sydney

I've never been to Melbourne and it's a crying shame really. It seems as though it suits me quite well. I've been told by a few that Melbourne is the Food Capital of Australia. So, is it?

New South Wales and Victoria have been in a head on debate on who's the better state since the birth of this country. There was a battle to be the Capital, which was won by someone in between the two and thus the rivalry continued. Melboure hosted the Olympics in 1956, 44 years before "and the winner is Sydney" was announced. There are some titles I believe Melbourne shouldn't have though, the NRL title for example, I can't understand how a state who cares so little for the NSW dominated game (ten teams in our state, one in theirs) can take away the trophy. In the words of a famous Queenslander "Please Explain". But we're not here to talk about Queensland (that's a story you don't want me to start on) or Rugby League. I want to know why Melbourne supposedly trumps Sydney in the food stakes, so I'm off to do some research.

Mentioning this debate in an office full of Sydneysiders, many of whom, attended a wedding in Melbourne on the weekend I recieved some mixed reactions. I will say firstly that Melbourne may have been at a slight advantage as the city was scattered with stalls and markets for the Melbourne Food Festival.
Most in the office said that the cafe's and patisseries are better and basically more of them. When asking about the food one said "it's better." I would still like to research this for myself though. I've seen every almost every part of Sydney and tried and tested the tastes, sights and sounds. So, I'm taking a four day weekend and heading down to Melbourne to do some extensive research into the food culture and maybe even trends in retail, it's a tough job but someone has to do it. I will come back to you with my findings but pretty please tell me your thoughts, I would love to hear!

Bon Voyage


  1. I enjoyed reading you Melb V Syd post and have investigated the same scenario at length.
    (Note- I'm not a food critic but appreciate dinning out regularly).
    I’ve come to the conclusion that Melbourne only does one thing well… and that’s Breakfast!
    Anything more than pastries, great coffee, fresh fruit salads, gourmet sandwiches etc. it’s a stretch.

    On my numerous visits to Melbourne even the local residents were unable to provide a good tip of a great venue for lunch or dinner.
    After numerous meals were completed, it became apparent that the Italian restaurants lacked authenticity and the Greek eateries lacked passion (and if you can make a similar dish at home why pay for it!).
    The majority of the ‘higher-end’ restaurants littered around Crown Casino certainly charged the price expected but delivered food unworthy of this outlay.
    In my opinion, Sydney is still the pick of the bunch with great niche cuisine that covers all the bases (including price and atmosphere) as below:

    Best Italian – il goloso (Haberfield Post) Dalhousie St. Haberfield
    Best Greek – Medusa Greek Taverna. Market St Sydney CBD
    Best Coffee & B’Fast - Café Morso Pyrmont Warf
    Best Fine Dining (on a budget) – Café Sydney. Customs House Circular Quay


  2. Agreed completely Brad. Melbourne coffee was great, but I was unimpressed by the restaurants on the Crown Promenade. I would much rather eat my food, without the water views if it means it will actually taste good for a price like that.

    Thanks for the tips also, I'm a Sydney girl and love it!

  3. hahahahahaha i love this

    "I can't understand how a state who cares so little for the NSW dominated game (ten teams in our state, one in theirs) can take away the trophy."

    I guess you understand now! Great call!

  4. Yeah, I wrote this a month before it all happened! Hahaha, maybe I should do another post!