Big name for a not-so-little girl: Figs – Part II

I confess, Figs got in there because it rhymes with the other two, but it doesn’t make the story any less personal. This third of my blog name is to profess my love for food.

Everyone is a foodie these days or a connoisseur or a food snob. I’ve called myself one or all of them at different times. After you live in Melbourne, the food capital of Australia, you begin to believe it. I’ve stumbled into many a quaint café and restaurant in the most intriguing laneways and had some of the best dishes in my life. There are some places you can’t stumble into, like MoVida. Oh my God, MoVida. After a 2-week advance booking, we got there 30 minutes early, as if we were there for an interview. If it were an interview, I would not have got the job because the only words that came out of my mouth were: Ohs, Mmms and Oh-My-Good-kind-and-ridiculous-Gods. But the dish that moved me to tears was the dessert.

Fig leaf ice cream served with fresh figs and broken grains and chocolate and all that is good in this world. That changed everything for me. That changed me. It was exciting like meeting someone new and reassuring like meeting an old friend. It was all work and all play. It was Ariel and Ursula, Fraulein Maria and the Von Trapp children, Ross and Rachel. It is said that the fig tree featured heavily in the Garden of Eden; that afternoon, the fig tree featured heavily at the beginning of my food journey.

From there on out, there was tuna tartare with crushed mint & peas and creamy goats cheese, grilled Saganaki with honey walnut dressing, fried chicken with a chilli mayo foam, hand-rolled gnocchi in a creamy pumpkin & parmesan sauce, all those secret-sauce gourmet burgers…you get where I’m going with this.

I was part of a very active food club, my husband and I dined out every chance we got and I pigged out with friends a lot, but some of my most experimental dining was by myself. Back in Melbourne, I used to catch a tram into the city or out of it, and get lost. I’d stumble upon a magical food heaven, grab a seat in the middle of the crowd, pull out my book or notebook and order whatever caught my fancy. By the end of the meal, I’d be far too high to ever remember how I got there. Then there were times I was so disappointed that I’d sulk and Google the best dessert places around me to go restore my faith in good food. I’m dedicated, if nothing else.

Wherever my new journey takes me, I know it’ll be a path laden with scrumptious dishes and dreams of my next meal. All thanks to the fig leaf ice cream with fresh figs and broken grains and chocolate and all that is good in this world.


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