Tania de Jong
Five best places to fuel the body, fire up your brain and nurture the spirit
Tania de Jong AM – she’s a leading Australian soprano, inspirational speaker, social entrepreneur and Founder of Pot-Pourri, Creative Universe, Creativity Australia and Creative Innovation 2012. Agenda got the low down on where she goes for inspiring and nurturing foodie goodness.
“I’m inspired by the creativity, diversity and warmth of these special places”.
Chez Dre | 287 Coventry St (rear), South Melbourne | chezdre.com.au/
Only open since April, Chez Dre in South Melbourne is a bustling hub of great vibes and fabulous food. A short stroll from South Melbourne market, this café/patisserie has a super breakfast menu and lovely lunch as well. Some of the highlights include Moroccan baked eggs, creamy scrambled eggs, goats cheese salad and the immaculately presented cakes, pastries and macaroons to be devoured in-house or taken away. I am not a coffee drinker but I am told the coffee is also first class.
Tofu Shop International | 78 Bridge Rd, Richmond | facebook.com
Run by the energetic Malcolm for around 30 years this is an iconic cafe in Bridge Rd, Richmond. I’ve been going there for about 25 years and the food is vegetarian, creative, often organic and very tasty. The menu is always changing. Try the soy’vlaki of pita bread, felafel, salad, tabbouleh, garlic sauce and pickled ginger, or a mixed platter where you get to pick your favourites. Yummy soy icecream and cakes also on offer. And you can always get some health advice from the maestro Maclolm.
Persimmon at the NGV | 180 St Kilda Road Melbourne | ngv.vic.gov.au
Step into the National Gallery of Victoria and enter into what feels like a beautiful European restaurant. Persimmon is a wonderful retreat from the city with open views to the sculpture garden. The service is very professional and friendly. The food is delicious – the fish dishes are always perfectly cooked with creative matched condiments. There is also great bread and some very decorative desserts. On a lovely day in winter it’s bright, open and just a really nice place to nurture and be. I do lunch here at least every two weeks and it’s where I take important clients and visitors from abroad. It never fails to impress.
SING FOR YOUR SUPPER
Melbourne Sings Choir at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins every Tuesday 5:30-7pm | 25 Collins St, Melbourne | creativityaustralia.org.au
Singing is good for you and will fire up your neural pathways. There’s plenty of research to prove it. It’s even better when you can be part of Creativity Australia’s With One Voice choir programs which brings together CEOs and executives with asylum seekers, people with disabilities and the unemployed to sing on a weekly basis. A glorious supper at the end of the rehearsal proves that you really can sing for your supper and make a difference. The program aims to help people find their voice, new skills, jobs, joy and improve well being. The conductor Shaun Islip is awesome! And you will have the opportunity to perform in public at meaningful events. You can walk in feeling grumpy and within five minutes you will feel transformed! There are 13 With One Voice programs in Victoria at a range of locations.
HEALTHY YUMMY DINNER
Shakahari | 201-203 Faraday St, Carlton | shakahari.com.au
Another Melbourne institution… I have been having dinners here for about 18 years! Passionate chef Beh Kim Un uses totally organic ingredients in this Carlton vegetarian restaurant. Shakahan approaches vegetables as a cuisine, and each dish is artfully designed, from my favourite tempura-fried avocado rolls to tamarind laksa, vegetarian satay and luscious desserts. Who knew that vegetables could taste this good?