Depot De Pain - Rathdowne St, Carlton
On Saturday, after riding around the Carlton-FItzroy area for hours on end to attend a total of five average (read: awful) house inspections, the posse and I decided to head to Depot De Pain on Rathdowne St for a lazy breakfast.
Now, Alex had recently read a glowing review of this place in Epicure, so we were all looking forward to it. I would love to be able to tell you all about the food, but unfortunately I cannot. Why, you ask?
Because my food never arrived. Like, seriously. It wasn’t late. It just straight up never arrived.
To add salt to the wound (or rather, the seasoning to my non-existent breakfast), when we asked a waiter if it was coming, he responded with, “Are you in a rush?” Yeah, man. I’m wanted in surgery. Or, you know. I’m just fucking hungry. Whatever.
So after waiting what must have been close to an hour for a croque madame - which is effectively a fucking toasted sandwich, which I am capable of making in five minutes after ten beers - we decided to fix up the bill and leave. Did they offer us so much as a free coffee or even a sincere apology? I’ll let you guess the answer to that one.
According to Thom and Alex, who did get their food, it was pretty damn good. But given the frankly piss-poor attitude of the staff, I don’t think that’s enough to warrant another visit. Not when there’s far friendlier, equally delicious cafes in the same precinct.
To conclude: I give Depot de Pain two arrogantly French thumbs-down. Au revoir, idiots.
The Adventures of Finding a Rental Property in Melbourne (continued)
And so the saga continues.
John and I had plans to go to to three open inspections on Saturday. The shenanigans of Friday night (Make-a-Wish trivia event, copious amounts of wine, gin, and helium) made these plans seem suddenly arduous. Especially for John because I’m way more awesome at hangovers. Regardless, we wake at 10.00am, and make it to the first inspection at 10.30am on Drummond St. By all accounts, this inspection goes perfectly well. I would later discover that this would be the last inspection of the day I’d be able to say that about.
Inspection number two was at a private rental, on Barkly St. I found this property on Gumtree, which probably should have been some kind of warning sign. Hindsight rules. Anyway, we meet with the landlord at 11.00am, as planned. Hands are shaken, pleasantries exchanged. The landlord knocks on the door, as is generally considered polite. No response. He unlocks the door, and we are greeted by the sight of a bedraggled, bedreadlocked dude sleeping on a mattress on the floor. John and I apologetically creep around said dude, as he pulls on a t-shirt and mumbles something incoherently.
We venture upstairs to find much of the same - a bunch of other bleary-eyed guys who clearly have no idea that this inspection had been planned. Apparently, another housemate (let’s call him Geoff) forgot to pass on the message. Apparently, this is classic Geoff. I do not know Geoff, but I hate him. We continue to awkwardly look around, except for in one room because someone’s girlfriend is asleep in there. Things get progressively weirder. John and I leave.
The final inspection for the day was to be at 12:15 on LaTrobe St. We are quite excited about this one. We wait there with a bunch of other saps for a good 20 minutes before admitting defeat. I call Stockdale and Leggo only to be told waspishly that the property has already been leased. I say something along the lines of, “Oh, well, I’ll just tell all the people waiting here, shall I?” The Stockdale and Leggo receptionist clearly hates me; it’s okay though, as it’s mutual. We hang up simultaneously, and poor John is subjected to a good 30-minute tirade from me about How Common Courtesy No Longer Exists, with a twist of This Is The Problem With Society.
So, four inspections down and only one that could be remotely considered a success. By the end of this process, I may not even need a house. You know - because I will likely be in a high-security cell by then.
Today, I went to a rental inspection on Canning St, Carlton, the first inspection of what will be many over the next few weeks. It’s only been a year since I last threw myself into the Melbourne rental market (ugh) and in that time, I seem to have repressed what it’s truly like. Today reminded me that you can always expect the following:
- The house will almost always be far uglier than it appeared in the photos
- One of the bedrooms will in fact be a Harry-Potter-cupboard-under-the-stairs affair, or a garden shed with a waterlogged mattress on the floor
- The real estate agent will always be late
- The real estate agent will almost always be younger than you. If it is a Saturday, said real estate agent will be nursing a Red Bull and a hangover
- There will always be one group of overeager students who have already filled out applications despite not having seen the house yet, and will maniacally defend all things wrong with the house to make themselves feel better (‘The walls are full of asbestos? Ohmygod, that is so awesomely ironic and kitsch!’)
- If the house has stairs, there will always be an awkward moment of forced banter as those who are descending try to squeeze past those ascending
- If the house is in Carlton or Fitzroy, there will be so many hipsters present, the inspection will be mistaken for some kind of fixed-gear-bicycle-workshop/Arcade Fire ticket giveaway
Oh, Melbourne rental market. Your prices are inflated, your competition in the inner-north is absurd and your real estate agents are pretty much all people who flunked out of Flight Centre training. You’re kind of like a pet dog that vomits on the doormat every day - try as I might, I can’t help but love you a little bit.
Food under $5 - Melbourne
I’m a little obsessed with my mental list of places in and around the CBD where I can get a decent feed for under $5. Part of me wants to jealously hold this list to my chest, so as not to be ruined by hordes of hungry students, or worse, the irritating corporate set.
Alas, my conscience will not let me keep these places to myself. Which is why I’m about to tell about one of my favourites - $1 taco night on Thursdays at the Dan O’Connell on Princes St, Carlton.
Yes. That’s right. $1 tacos! And $5 pints! You’re practically making money!