My wife and I were in Melbourne city centre last week for the Comedy Festival.
First of all, we went to see Tom Basden Doesn't Say Anything at Melbourne Townm Hall. The crowds were huge as there were several performances going on in various rooms at similar times. Tom Basden was in 'The Powder Room', a small anteroom with a capacity of about 80 and it was about half full.
I found the performance a bit disappointing really. We didn't know anything about it beforehand thinking we would just try something different. The show was a series of songs which, while occasionally amusing, didn't get a real laugh from anyone. This type of material has always worked well as part of a show thrown in among a few stories a la Mike Harding or Max Boyce but as an act in itself, gets a bit repetitive.
After the show, which lasted an hour, we walked down to Southbank to find a place to eat. We hadn't booked anything as there is a wide selection of eating places so finding a table isn't usually a problem. We decided on looking for a Chinese or Thai Restaurant and found the Red Emperor Chinese Restaurant on the third level of Southgate on Southbank.
I must admit that the meal was the best Chinese I have eaten in our ten years in Australia. Whilst not cheap ( the meal cost about $100 for a main course with a couple of drinks each), each dish we chose was exceptional and the service was excellent.
The Spicy Pepper Chicken was tender and delicious on a bed of crispy seaweed and the Manderin Prawns were also extremely tasty and cooked perfectly. Even the special fried rice was exceptional, moist and full of flavour.
So if you're out in Melbourne, I'd recommend a visit to the Red Emperor.