Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is one of Melbourne’s most popular food destinations. The soft happy chatter of people is punctuated by the tram bell and many are relaxing, enjoying food or drink. The eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and bars are scattered amongst a miscellany of colourful bohemian stores and cater to people from all walks of life.
There aren’t many places where people from different socioeconomic classes can mingle in such an inclusive environment. Even when cuisine was democratised in France post-French Revolution, public restaurants were for the elite. Nowadays, there are still foodscapes in Melbourne reserved for the upper-middle class, but not Brunswick Street. From fast food to fine dining, there is something for everyone. Naked for Satan even changes its pricing according to different times of day, charging just $9 for lunch on weekdays.
Confession: Brunswick Street is my go-to because there is a wide selection of traditional cuisines and modern interpretations.
As an Australian with Chinese ancestry, I grew up enjoying a mix of cuisines. My parents cooked traditional Chinese dishes and I was exposed to European and British cuisine at boarding school. Such diverse experiences of food facilitate my inner food adventurer. I enjoy trying new dishes on Brunswick Street because ethnic restaurants ease diners into unfamiliar territory. This is perfectly described by Hamada’s metaphor of the ‘fold’ as restaurants appeal to diners by plating up ‘exotic’ dishes in a familiar setting. For example, although pinxtos at Naked for Satan was unfamiliar, the concept of bar snacks wasn’t.
Therefore, although Brunswick Street is diverse, each eatery suits the foodscape – one which makes multiculturalism the norm by adjusting to Melbournian palates.