I’m sitting at a window table in a Chapel St cafe looking out onto the street. Two male hipsters, engrossed with their phones, walk towards each other. They collide, but not head on; it’s more like a lethargic hip and shoulder. They barely look up and continue on their way. Acknowledging other people around here is evidently a sign of weakness or politeness that is unworthy of the fashionable.
I watch anorexic orange painted women totter along the footpath on their stupid high heels. They pause outside the bakery and stare longingly at the bread, which is golden and crusty but softer and more pale than their skin. They inhale a carefully metered dose of bread aroma (how many calories are in that?) and totter onwards, pushed by the wind or pulled by eager dachshunds. Anorexic pulling could feature in the dachshund Olympics. I should pitch that as a reality tv show.
At a nearby table an icy blonde of indeterminate age speaks loudly on her mobile phone about the efficacy of smoking as a method of weight loss. She concludes that she does not smoke enough to achieve the desired effect. I want to go postal.
I realise I have been spending too much time on Chapel St. I must get out, and get out I have by spending more time on Carlisle St and by exploring further, including Inkerman and Grey streets in St Kilda.
First, exquisite calamari with grilled fennel and tomato emulsion at Grazing on Grey on Grey St. It’s a wine bar / tasting plate venue, and the lunch dishes are not really lunch dishes but some of the tasting plates. They may have reasonable lunch prices but the serves are smallish and the coffee is average. It’s a new place that I’d like to have dinner at sometime judging by this positive review.
Next, chicken and tomato roti with mustardy tomato relish and herbs at Hide and Cheek on Inkerman St. This is a new corner cafe with very friendly staff and excellent coffee, which is better than that at Graze on Grey and similar in quality to that at Harper’s Kitchen across the road. Hide and Cheek’s sandwiches appear much better though – this roti was amazing and better than the comparatively simple, though tasty, chicken schnitzel pide with lettuce and tomato I had at Harper’s.
Finally, Dr Jekyll on Grey St a couple of doors down from Graze. The warm salad of chickpeas, potato, chorizo, goats cheese and rocket is a more suitable lunch size than the tasting plate and the same price, if not the same exquisite quality. It’s very good though and the coffee is also better than that at Graze. I’d be happy to return as it has been rated for its consistent quality.