Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Mia's Weekend Getaway: Australia - Queen Victoria Market & Immigration Museum

 And so it was decided that today (my last full day in Melbourne) shall be Museum day! If you don't know me, I actually love 'spamming' museums while on oversea trips. Don't ask me why, I just do. And it has been decided since the day I touched down that we shall kick-start the day with some Spanish cuisine. Paella and Churros. :)

And so we popped by L'Olivo, the restaurant near YS's apt for brunch.


 Pretty obvious that we were their first customer of the day. 

 And there, our paella (which obviously serves 2 even though it wasn't specifically stated on the menu) - roughly about $26 AUD. 
I was pretty disappointed the moment it was served. You probably can't see the reason from the picture, though. It looks more like a risotto, being very moist, creamy and cheesy. The rice was also overcooked for a paella, missing the good bite of a medium cooked rice (though will be fine for a risotto), and the traditional layer of 'burnt rice' (MY FAVOURITE PART OF A PAELLA!) was also missing. 
If I'm not wrong, saffron should also be used in paella, which gives it the distinctive taste and yellow colour. (Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.) But with all the overdose of creamy cheese, I can't tell whether saffron was used at all. 
It was tasty though, extremely tasty. The seafood were all well done. Nothing was overcooked, not even the squid! The rice was (as I've said) thick and creamy, flavourful and savoury. However, the distinctive saffron & spice taste of a paella was missing, probably due to all the creamy cheese. And so were my favourite rice crust supposedly to be found in abundance at the bottom of the plate. 
All in all, I felt I was eating risotto when I ordered a paella.
Tasty, yes. But I was hardly satisfied. 

And then, our Churros - roughly $9 AUD. And if you haven't read my review on Kaixo, I've spend $14 SGD on an amount equivalent to just 1 stick of this churros I had at L'Olivo.
Once again, the Churros were disappointing. I would have preferred the ones I had at Southern Cross Station, which I shall touch on in my sweet treats entry. They're really just huge sticks of doughnuts drenched in icing sugar and served with some chocolate sauce. 
Where is the cinnamon?
Where is the distinctive 'star shaped' sticks?
 Once again, I ordered Churros and was served normal doughnut sticks with chocolate dip. 
They were good, but.... bleah, I wanted Churros. Not the doughnuts I can find in my local bakeries. 

After brunch, we travelled to Queen Victoria Market for a quick look. And guess what I saw upon stepping into the market (apart from the store at the corner selling all sorts of tea)? Some huge ass macarons!

 And they sell unpretty, distressed macarons at $9 AUD for a box of 5 or 6, can't remember the exact number of macarons in that box. Else, it's $2.80 AUD per piece.

Basically I got pretty bored at the market because it's all food, food, and more food products. The Paella and Churros were still fighting for space in my stomach. So nothing caught my attention, even though I did buy a piece of the oversized salted caramel macaron. I can never walk by a store selling macarons and buy nothing. heehee....

So after introducing the paella and churros to their new friend, salted caramel macaron, we hopped onto the tram again and got off at Flinder's Station.

Reminds me of Harry Potter, somehow. Don't ask me why.

And our 2nd destination for the day is just right down the street. Immigration Museum :)

Adult admission will be $10 AUD but with a student pass, you can get a concession entry, which is FOC.

Other than the permanent exhibitions, which educate us on the history of Australia relating to the migrants' diversified cultural background (hence the name, Immigration Museum, duh!), we were also lucky to see two temporary exhibitions, 'Seeking Refuge in Nhill', which is a photographic exhibition exploring the struggles and achievement of the Karen community in Nhill, and 'Faith Fashion Fusion', an exhibition exploring the fashion, faith and identity of the Muslim community.

My favourite exhibition of the permanent exhibitions has to be 'Journeys of a Lifetime'. 
No matter when they arrived, all immigrants are linked by the common experience of a journey.
Over the past two centuries the immigration journey to Australia has changed from a perilous sea voyage of up to 3 months to a routine flight lasting up to 24 hours. Changing transport has not only shortened the journey, but made it more comfortable and affordable.
The journey remains one of the most memorable aspects of any immigration experience.
The Journeys Gallery, also known as the Long Room of Old Customs House, features a 17-metre replica ship where visitors can experience the changes in sea travel first hand from the 1840s to 1950s.
-Credits to Immigration Museum-






 As you walked through the 'ship' from one end to the other, you can really see the difference on board the ship from the older days of 1840s to the later days of 1950s.

Other than the 'boathouse', I also quite enjoyed the exhibition of 'Getting In'.
Getting In was developed in response to market research conducted at the Immigration Museum that found visitors wanted to know more about the process of getting in to Australia, what people went through, who was accepted and who wasn't, and the effect this had on society.
The exhibition does this by exploring the history of immigration policy and how it has changed dramatically over the past two hundred years. Four timeframes outline the main threads in immigration policy: the gold rush days of the 1840s to 1900, Federation to the end of the Second World War (1901 to 1945), then post-war to the early seventies (1946 to 1972) and finally 1973 to the present day.
-Credits to Immigration Museum-

I enjoyed the interview room the most, as you really get to 'interview' applicants who are applying to get in to Australia, and vet through their applications. It also kind of serves as a rough gauge to how much you of their immigration policies you have understood from the exhibition.

As for the temporary exhibitions, I enjoyed 'Faith Fashion Fusion' more than the other. Even though the Nhill exhibition showcased some really brilliant photographs, the interviews of the ladies of the Australian Muslim community, which touched on their experiences and achievements, exhibited at FFF was really enjoyable and worth watching.

And now some random snippets at the museum. There was this corner whereby the walls were stuck with passports from all over the world. 



But we couldn't find Singapore! :(

And guess what's on the menu for dinner?
KOREAN FOOD! :) We came to this korean restaurant in the vicinity of Flinder's Station. (Sorry, can't remember the name of the restaurant) 
And as usual, I always order my favourite Yuzu tea.....
Some pajeon (seafood korean pancakes)....  

 My favourite korean food ever, jjigae! This time I got some soft beancurd seafood stew. 

And YS's chicken bulgogi.

Not going to do much review on this. It's just pretty standard korean food, just with a bigger quantity at (of course) a slightly higher price as compared to Korean food in Singapore. The ingredients (seafood for my stew) were also much fresher in comparison. But taste wise, I can safely say it's the same standards. However, I'll much prefer the pancakes I can find in Singapore. The pajeon we had there was much thicker than I would like them to be, and very "floury".

Next up will be my final post on my Aussie getaway, a combined entry on all sweet treats I've eaten! It'll be like a macaron galore. So do stick around!

Till then,
Mia

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