my favourite meal in australia

soup the whole soup and nothing but the soup.

I returned from the delightful land of Australia early yesterday morning and have only recently recovered from mind numbing jet lag that felt something between being hit by a bus and recovering from a month long bender.

I’m ready to make a proclamation about my favourite meal from 12 days in Melbourne, Yarra Valley and Sydney:  Dumpling and noodle soup from Camy Shanghai Noodle House in Melbourne.

As far as I can ascertain from the Internet,  Melburnians love or hate Camy Shanghai Noodle House.  I found the restaurant tucked in a lane in Chinatown after a long, rather goofy day of wine touring on a big embarrassing tourist bus, after my boutique wine tour was cancelled because of lack of participants.

Something about that soup was comforting.  I heaped on the hot sauce, and was pleased by the price.  My best meal in Australia was $6.50 – a contrast from my most expensive meal in Australia, which was lunch the day before a few blocks away at the exclusive Cumulus Inc.  The bill topped $70, but more on that later.

At Camy, I sat at a communal table, and had to serve myself tea in a plastic cup.  The soup steam fogged up my glasses and I happily slurped up the dumplings and noodles.  It is like the loud, jostling food fair in the mall – eat, don’t linger and run.  I didn’t care the servers were curt and the table was sticky.  All that mattered was that soup.  Sometimes the best meals aren’t about ambience or precious presentation – this meal was just about filling a hungry belly in a most satisfying way.

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