Wednesday, 15 July 2009

HOT: Degraves Espresso Bar, 23 Degraves St, Melbourne

Blind dates are always a risky endeavour. But I've always had good luck forming close friendships when my friends set me up with their friends, and even once managed to sustain a two year relationship as a result of a blind friend date. So when Matchmaker Huy suggested that Jenny and I meet Andrea (' I think you all will really get along, mainly because you're all Asian chicks with white boyfriends'), I thought 'of course!'.

Degraves Espresso Bar is the worst-kept secret of the best of Melbourne's secretive laneway cafes. Cosy and convivial, it was one of the first places which gave Melbourne its European-living reputation and those cinema seats and school desks are still rocking it. However, the louche atmosphere and quirky decor are basically propping up the so-so food. My spaghetti with mussels and chorizo ($17.90) was fragrant and hearty, but the pasta was overcooked way past al dente - in my book an unforgiveable error for a professional kitchen. Despite that hiccup, the date went well - Andrea really is very similar to Jenny and I, except with long hair!

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