|I am definitely guilty of this one!|
I had a beautiful early birthday lunch at Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda on Sunday afternoon. We were already heading in that way to support a friend competing in the Melbourne Iron Man. He was amazing, smashing it in 11 hours 30 mins. I am always astounded at the many varied and different body shapes and sizes you see competing in endurance events like this. They all do an amazing job and you could never pick who would beat who on the starting line based on their bodies.
For some reason I get kind of emotional at those type of events. My hubby ran the Melbourne marathon last year (3:15 for his first one ever!) and I teared up when I saw him but I thought that was a combination of pride and pregnancy. But I got the lump in the throat when I saw all of the competitors slugging it out on the run course on the weekend and when I saw the two teenagers running with their Dad encouraging him along, well don't even get me started, lucky I had my sunglasses on.
And when you consider the time the Elite's run the course, it blows my mind! They finish in 8 hours and can run sub 2:50 marathons - off the 180km bike and 3+km swim. The one time I competed in a 1/2 marathon I ran it in 1:56, so you can see running doesn't come naturally to me, and so I can't even get me mind around those times.
All Athletes (2,190 Athletes)
|Name||Country||Div Rank||Gender Rank||Overall Rank||Swim||Bike||Run||Finish||Points|
Originally from: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/asiapac/ironman/melbourne/results.aspx#ixzz2wwHtotF9
But back to more familiar things to me - eating and my birthday meal. We don't often head into the city to eat and when hubby suggested we combine a birthday meal with the supporting I was all in. He suggested The Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda as he had previously eaten there with a couple of mates last holidays while I was away with work and he thought I'd enjoy it. I've previously discussed our birthday tradition of picking our birthday meal and how I now like to pick a restaurant that provides some type of different experience. This ticked the box as a) I'd never been there b) it sells it self as 'celebrating the flavours of California with a wink to the South' and c) they have the option of the 'So Cal' spread where you leave the ordering to your waitress and get a sample of the menu, something I've always wanted to try.
The reviews are very positive but there was some critisism of the staff being quite pretenscious. Now as a couple from the burbs, who wouldn't rate a blip on the hipster/cool scale and te fact we were also bringing two kids along, I didn't like the idea of going somewhere I would be judged. Hubby said he didn't get that vibe last time and he was right. From the moment we entered I felt welcomed and not at all worried about bringing the boys. The main entrance is even ramped so no worries about access with the pram!!
We were welcomed and given a table where there was more room for the pram and it was a little quieter. The place is cool, with great styling and fantastic music. A DJ plays after 3 on a Sunday. The waitress had a chat to us about what we liked on the menu and then ordered for us. This is a good thing as the menu is amazing and I don't know if I could have picked one thing!
Our starters included the Baja style fish taco, soft taco with pork carnitas and quesadilla with spinach and truffle creama. The fish taco was my favourite, although I could do without coriander, but they were all fresh and spicy - a great start.
Our mains were from the 'Low and slow' portion of the menu - the XL St Louis style pork ribs with apple slaw and Pasilla chilli and honey glazed sticky beef cheek with green mango and papya slaw. The acidity of both salads completmented the melt in your mouth meat. Here is another great thing about not ordering yourself, you try things you wouldn't normally order. Neither of us would normally order pork but it was our favourite dish (well favourite savoury dish!) We were also given a side of the triple cooked bravas potatoes with 2 sauces which our waitress had thoughtfully put on the side so MJ could also eat them without the spicy sauce.
Dessert was incredible - it must be a special because it wasn't on the menu. A dark chocolate sponge with tequilla mousse/cream filling with blood orange sorbet. It was divine, I loved every bite.
The So Cal spread is $55 a head, which to be honest is a little more than we normally spend when we go out for dinner, but it was well worth it. I'd recommend it and would definately go back.
The Chef's table also looks like a great place for a function.
Apologies for the lack of good photos - I'm still not comfortable taking photos of food when out. The pork and potato photos are from their website (and an accurate representation of what we ate) and the others were taken by MJ as part of our distraction techniques when out at a restaurant!