Roti meditation

A last on this trip we have found a Malaysian eatery worthy of our praise. After stopping by The Book Grocer for some discount literary refreshment, we finally had an opportunity to dine at the Roti Bar on Little Collins Street.

The roti canai was crispy and sweet, the sambal tasty, the curry rich and the nasi lemak full of coconut flavour. Even the crispy ikan bilis had taste. The satay sauce was the best we’ve had in Australia. Highly recommended for Malay-Indian food.

Metal tray of roti canai, dhal and sambal

We walk up to Fed Square and watch a bit of tennis on the big screen before entering ACMI. The Marshmallow Laser Feast exhibition Works of Nature features computer generated visualisations of the flow of water and oxygen between plants and the human body, along with spacetime and gravity. There is also a very relaxing 10 minute meditation with music by Jon Hopkins. It was very thought provoking and enlightening.

The cinema and games galleries at ACMI have also been redone since our last visit and continue to be fascinating. I loved Phantom Ride by Daniel Crooks, showing a train ride through doorways into different scenes, both forwards and backwards.

It is already a late afternoon by the time we emerge. Walking towards Chinatown I stopped at Jom Kitchen, now open, and try a Hainanese chicken rice for the team. Chicken is tender, but over sauced, rice more flavoursome than yesterday’s, but a bit hard. The chilli sauce is delicious though.

The other two are sick of Malaysian food, so I take them to Bornga, a Korean barbecue restaurant. For a very reasonable price they had grilled beef and pork, along with unlimited salads and vegetables. I found the marinades and dressings too sweet, but they loved it.

With everyone full, we stop by Uniqlo and Myer to shop for some clothes. Even though it was now 7 pm, the sky was still bright, the air hot. So we catch a tram down to Port Melbourne for no good reason.

People are enjoying the sun and water, while the big passenger terminal stands empty, looking abandoned. The sky above Port Philip Bay has a particular dusty powder blue quality that evokes memories from another time.

Then we catch the tram back. It isn’t far to the casino, the closest stop to our hotel. We buy ice cream. Alex is hungry again and the prices at the casino food court are too high. We walk back to the food trucks, where Alex orders a dreadful pad thai and we watch some tennis on the big screen. I wish they had some more dessert options, as the sun sets.

Last night in this lovely upmarket hotel with the wonderful views.

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