Along Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

The different cultural sectors of Melbourne have been a source of delight.

Lygon Street is the Italian enclave, where, it has been said, all tensions were eased when Italy beat Australia in the World Cup and the gelato shops all handed out free scoops to celebrate.

The D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana group includes an espresso bar, a delicatessen, and two mozarella & pizza bars.

We loved the authentic Italian provision shop look and feel of the delicatessen where a man was cutting up fresh spinach pasta under hanging legs of ham, and two older man came in, giving greetings and orders in rapid Italian, with many hand gestures:
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana delicatessen, Lygon Street, Carlton

D.O.C. Delicatessen, Lygon Street, Carlton

Next door at D.O.C. Espresso (326 Lygon Street), we settled down for warmth and a meal:

D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, Carlton
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, Carlton
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, Carlton
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, Carlton
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, Carlton
D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana, Lygon Street, CarltonBoth the spaghetti pomodoro and black rice salad(?) were excellent. The milk coffee was dark-tasting, as per Italian standards.

A few shops away, was a spice house with the German name, Gewürzhaus (342 Lygon Street, Carlton):
Gewürzhaus, 342 Lygon Street, Carlton
Gewürzhaus, 342 Lygon Street, Carlton
All the spices I’d ever seen in recipes and despaired of obtaining! Salts of various kinds including a black lava salt! And pink salt bowls!

And then, just across the intersection, Pidapipó (299 Lygon Street, Carlton), an amazing gelateria:

Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

Seriously, nutella from a tap? Bring it on!

Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

Affogato with vanilla ice-cream? Yes please.Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

Chewy pistachio ice-cream in a fresh cone, topped with Honeyfingers honeycomb. Yum. The honey was fragrant and the comb, not too waxy:

Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne Pidapipó, 299 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne

A little further one, a real-life bookshop! We enjoyed browsing at Readings (309 Lygon Street) before taking a tram down, past Donnini’s enticing fresh pasta shop,

Donnini's fresh pasta shop, Lygon Street
Donnini's fresh pasta shop, Lygon Street

to the long Lygon stretch to Rumi Restaurant (facebook, 116 Lygon Street):

Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Our waiter was originally from Canada, in Melbourne to train in rowing. He brought hot water on this tray, in these little pots.

Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East

Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East - Jerusalem artichokes with feta, fish cooked in vine leaf, slow-cooked lamb
Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Despite the waiter’s best efforts, we can’t say we enjoyed this meal very much after waiting more than 40 minutes for the food. There was no variation in taste in each dish and the fish tasted distinctly fishy. The unspoken grump was that we might have spent far less for greater satisfaction at a pizza joint instead.

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