I have the same new year's resolution every year - to enjoy more of the arts and underground of Melbourne.
But the freedom of University days in my mind and in my time have well escaped me and I seem to always revert to dinner.
Sure eating out is great but there is truly so much of this city and the people that we don't know about.
We tried burlesque cabaret as part of the Cabaret Festival this week at the Bohemia Cabaret Club.
It looks like a brothel from the outside and inside very Moulin Rouge with wooden tables and chairs that you can lap dance on, sparkling drapes, women in corseted red dresses and men in lounge suits looking rather dapper.
The show was very entertaining, a lot of appreciation for the female form, frame and flesh.
On top of that the food was actually very good and clever. Not your usual live theatre fair of bad arse Campbell's soup and fat trimmed with chewy meat. We shared a bunch of dishes, including snapper with oyster, champagne and chive sauce; quinoa with smoked eggplant, zucchini and egg and crabcakes with green beans and lemon mayonnaise. The desserts like chestnut flan with poached quince, honeycomb and ginger ice cream were just right.
I was stoked.
But better than that, the cabaret finished and then a whole crowd of theatre people of yesteryear (in sequenced dresses) and actor wanna-bes of today (in gangster get-up) entered the room to listen to the piano man. He plays songs upon request collecting money in a glass bowl just like New York. And you know every song and everyone in the room sings along and even though you can't you do it anyway because no one cares, least of all you.
It felt like we were tapped into the lives of others for a night and discovered an absolute gem.
7.5/10 for the food
10/10 for the entertainment.