Sushi Hotaru / CBD
I think Sushi train is an incredible invention, a fun and clever way of dining. Back in Christchurch, I had a favourite sushi-train, and I may have just found my Melbourne favourite – Sushi Hotaru.
If you search through the Red Silks arcade, you will find Sushi Hotaru hiding away in the corner like the shy kid at school. Once discovered, you will realise that this little sushi bar is far from shy.
There was a bit of a queue when we arrived, but the sushi looked too good to go anywhere else. Around 30 minutes later we finally snatched up a seat. The ambience was busy, fun and vibrant.
All dishes were very affordable at approximatley $3 a plate. They had a good selection on the “train” but for those impatient types, they also had a state of the art iPad menu where you could select made to order dishes without hailing down a waiter. My thought was – every Asian restaurant needs one of these!
The fish quality here seems to be a bit dull compared to my homeland, New Zealand. The salmon nigiri was so-so, but bearable with enough soy sauce and wasabi.
The Japanese have seemed to have mastered seaweed like the British have mastered potatoes. This seaweed salad wrapped in seaweed was delicious.
My favourite dish was the tataki beef nigiri. The beef was cooked beautifully – tender and moist.
Sushi Hotatu’s tako yaki/octopus balls are very delicious, and I love it when the katsuobushi (fish flakes) makes the dish look like it’s alive.
Some of the dishes and fishes were kind of obscure. I didn’t know what half the stuff on the train was, but that’s what makes it so exciting.
We also ordered some ramen off the iPad menu, it was great because it’s a much more affordable way of lining the stomach rather.
When I said the beef tataki was my favourite dish, I was lying. The Scampi supersedes all the sushi plates with its mesmerising features. The flesh was tender, silky, and melted right in the mouth.
The mounting dishes by the end of the meal demonstrated the immense satisfaction that was endured.
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Overall, it was a tasty and affordable start to the evening. The bill revealed itself at approximately $20 a head, just enough in the budget for dessert. The black sesame and green tea ice cream here looked beautiful for dessert, but perhaps we’ll save that for next time. (We went somewhere else for dessert, find out in my next blog post!)
Shop 118 200
Bourke St Melbourne, VIC
Chez Dré / South Melbourne
I’ve walked past Chez Dré a few times, gazing at the beautiful gold signage from my favourite pub next door. I’ve been meaning to blog about this place for a while, because it’s listed number 3 on Urbanspoons’ ‘talk of the town’ list.
They have two entrances off Coventry St in South Melbourne, I prefer the narrow laneway closer to Cecil Street because it is so much more mysterious & exciting when you’re walking through a dead-end Melbourne alleyway.
Being listed as one of Melbourne’s hotspots, you’re chances of getting a table without waiting is slim to nothing. We only had to wait 10 minutes. Their inside seating is simple and modern, they have booths which are intimate, a main area with a vibrant communal table, and also an outdoor courtyard (the other entrance) which is lovely on a sunny day. Overall this place has a very nice modern-sheek-french vibe to it.
There are a lot of hard workers in the kitchen. I would know because I was one of them. For one day. I didn’t do very well, managed to chop my finger within the first 5 minutes as a kitchen hand. You gotta be quick and sharp in the kitchen, looks like the knife was quicker and sharper than me that day.
They have an all day breakfast menu with some great dishes. I got a feel of what the best dishes were after working here. I would recommend the duck sandwich, grand petit dejeuner, and the cured salmon, but remember to save room for dessert.
When I first ate here, I got the wild field mushrooms on toast. I felt like I was trapped in a mushroom forest, with no way to escape but to eat my way through. The mushrooms were seasoned nicely, though goats cheese and sourdough was not enough to save me from feeling like I was buried with mushrooms.
My bestie Andrew got poached eggs on toast with a side of salmon - delicious and simple. The kitchen do a great job of poaching the eggs so that the egg whites are fluffy and cloudy without compromising the yolkporn goodness.
Nick got a delicious but simple looking chicken baguette. Sometimes I think Nick orders dishes with rocket just so I don’t eat his food.
The second visit to Chez Dré, I got the cured salmon with soft boiled egg, goats cheese, dill & sourdough croutons. The dish was smaller/lighter than expected, but it was amazing.
Delicious delicate flavours all combining beautifully in the mouth. It had everything I wanted, freshness, lightness, flavour, crunch. It only left me wanting more.
Nicholas my manly man got the Ploughmans lunch. Take a deep breath because the list is long. Baguette bread with smoked ham, salami, gruyére, brie, cornichons, mustard, pickles, beetroot salad, savoury tart, and a macaron.
This dish was a ‘take your time’ kind of lunch. I don’t know how Nick did it, I mean he had to decide what to have first and then do the manual labour of applying it onto the bread. I’m joking of course but I did feel like I was about to devour my meal before he could finish a piece of cheese. Lucky I got to help him out. Ploughman’s lunch – simple and cute, but i’m not sure it was worth the $25.50
Chez Dré is also create amazing house-made french style sweets. If you have the slightest sweet tooth, you will not, and should not be able to leave without trying some of these cakes.
The lemon meringue tart had a deliciously zesty filling with a balanced sweetness with a nice crunchy pastry.
Salted caramel eclair. This was luscious, soft and melted in my mouth. I just thought it was a tad buttery/creamy which took away the richer salted caramel flavour I was expecting.
They also do some freaking great flavours of macrons and other treats you can take home for afternoon tea or a cheeky pick-me-up. I was craving the caramel dome but they sold out.
Verdict: The food is fairly expensive overall but some of those dishes are definitely worth the money. I was not blown away, but perhaps I was expecting too much from all the raving reviews. Enjoyed my time here as a customer, but not so much as a kitchen hand, but hey, my finger is all healed now.
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287 Coventry St (rear)
The Market Kitchen / South Melbourne
I saw some construction work happening down Clarendon Street the other day and was excited when I figured out a sheek new café was about to open. A few days later, The Market Kitchen was born, a new vibrant café to excite the area.
The idea is simple, the kitchen sources their ingredients from the South Melbourne Market and cook up a storm. Hence the name, The Market Kitchen! It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense though, as they are situated a fair distance from the South Melbourne Market. It seems a lot of local kitchens shop at the market so the idea isn’t 100% original. Perhaps they have another meaning behind the name.
Unoriginal idea is redeemed by an original interior and decor design. A cute pot of herbs sit on each table, we smelt some thyme, mint and sage. I was naughty and ripped off a piece of sage to make sure it was edible.
It was the first meal of the day so of course a coffee was mandatory. The coffee was nice, they use beans from some coffee roaster in Coburg.
Tuna steak caesar salad, with cos, bacon, egg, and parmesan cheese.
This was nice, i’m not a huge fan of tuna steak as it’s often dry and chewy. The rest of the salad however had a great crunch and a nice flavour. The egg was a tad over-done so sorry guys, no #yolkporn.
Open pulled pork roll with cranberries, apple and celeriac remoulade.
Brioché was well toasted, a nice crunch but still soft and edible. The pork had minimal flavour, but combined with the cranberries and remoulade the dish worked very well. I wish I liked rocket, but my tastebuds seem to argue with them every time they make contact.
We finished off brunch with a delicious chocolate brownie. The menu stated compulsory with ice cream, but it got served without. We had to remind the waitress, but she kindly attended to it and even gave us an extra scoop! Deliciously moist and sweet, and it’s true, you must have it with ice cream.
The Market Kitchen is one of the few restaurants that have recently opened on Clarendon, giving the street a bit of life. The place is modern, cool and hip, the food is fresh and delicious and the staff are friendly and attentive.
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The Market Kitchen
342 Clarendon Rd
The Wise / Prahran
The Wise, hot new restaurant and tapas bar located just off Chapel Street in Prahran. Nick and I were privileged to get invited to the launch party to taste some sample dishes and enjoy a few drinks.
Erase and rewind was what we immediately felt when walking through the door. Cosy small venue, with a warm ambiance where you can easily tune out of what is going on around you, and tune in to what is happening inside.
I love the different variations of wood, the old books, and the vintage wallpaper interior.
We got to the party early which was fortunate as we got to quickly snatch the most comfortable seat in the house. Here I met fellow food blogger Ashley from I’m so hungree.
As the night progressed, The drinks started flowing, and I caught up with a few other bloggers including Alan from Almost Always Ravenous, Sarah from Style Melbourne, James from Ravishing Retail and Lexi from Retail Therapie. We were also pleasured to meet Kane from My Kitchen Rules, Kylie and Alice from Masterchef, Ben the winner of Big Brother, and a whole lot of other great people.
Drinks and celebrities aside, I came here to blog about the food. Off to a great start, as the first dish they served was a little out of the ordinary.
It was anchovy wrapped over an olive, roasted red pepper and baby gherkin. A daring yet quirky dish to start the party. I felt like I needed breath freshener after eating this, but luckily everyone was eating the same thing, so that wasn’t necessary.
Trio of dips, usually served with sourdough. Spanish tomato sauce with peppers and onions. Greek feta spread with green peppers and oregano. Venezuelan guacamole with avocado, tabasco, garlic and lemon. All very tasty and flavoursome.
It’s always hard to remember all the food you eat at a launch, especially when it’s not listed on the menu. I think this is some cheese and meat selected from the antipasto platter that is available. It tasted great and transitioned the tastebuds nicely before moving onto the heavier dishes.
Chorizo, grilled spanish sausage served with white wine sauce. A simple, but necessary dish when serving spanish tapas. They had a subtle but friendly kick to them, which got me a tad more excited than I should have been.
Croquettes, house made and filled with prosciutto and mussels in a béchamel sauce. I try to stay away from too much deep fried food, but these were so good I couldn’t resist.
At this point it gets a little bit blurry as the wines kept flowing and the food was going quick. Don’t judge me. With my guess this looks like either the omelette or the cheese. I’ll let you decide.
And this one is also the omelette or cheese, or something else… anyway it doesn’t matter as they were both delicious and i’m a great food blogger.
I do remember this though, the Ali-Oli Calimari - Marinated and grilled calamari served with aoli. The calamari aroma was quite pungent, in a good way (if you like calamari). The saltiness balanced out by the delicious creamy aioli.
Nick got a tad distracted at the bar while I was getting fed. He missed out on this great Greek Moussaka - sautéed eggplant layered with potatoes, ground beef, topped with béchamel sauce was divine. One of my favourites of the night.
Marinated rockling fillets lightly fried with aioli. Not too fishy, crunchy outside, soft inside. It’s not too healthy because it’s fried, but it’s not too unhealthy because it’s fish. A pleasing dish for all me thinks.
Handmade lamb meatballs pan fried served in almond sauce. Fragrant, delicious, I think I ate it all in one gulp. Oops.
Potatoes Bravas - Sautéed garlic potatoes served in a traditional brava sauce. These were very tasty and super addictive. Cut into the cutest bite size pieces.
Aragonese style pan fried chicken pieces with tomato, onion and rosemary in a white wine sauce. Tender, soft and flavoursome. It doesn’t have that usual ‘crunch’ you get with BBQ’ed chicken nibbles, but the softness allows the great flavour to shine through.
The Wise is a great place for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They have the menu and environment to satisfy any occasion. All the food was tasty and goes great with alcohol - which of course they have a great wine list, cocktails and need I mention, Sangria Sundays.
Disclaimer: The images and descriptions of the dishes might be a little inaccurate at some points, but the experience was not. I had a great time and the vibe throughout the whole night was great. Huge thanks to Jess and Greg the owners of The Wise, and SilverLeafPR.
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The Wise Tapas Bar and Restaurant
173 High Street
Wat Da Pho / South Melbourne
Wat Da Pho, a newish Vietnamese restaurant located in the heart of South Melbourne. Authentic Vietnamese cuisine with a specialty in… Pho! If you love Pho, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t know what Pho is, you’re also in for a treat and if you don’t love Pho… who are you?
The decor sets this place apart from your typical pho restaurants around Melbourne, mostly spotted in Richmond, Footscray or Springvale. The menu also offers something more simple, Vietnamese food noobs, you can’t really go wrong as there is only 3 entree’s, 3 types of Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) and 3 desserts.
They have chosen to dress this place up nicely in a cheap-but-not-nasty kind of way. Traditional ingredients, photo’s from Vietnam, pots and pans are just some of the elements used to give this place a modern feel and also tie in the roots of their business - Simple yet delicious Vietnamese cuisine.
The ambiance was warm and casual. The furniture and cleanliness is a lot nicer than the cheap nasty plastic you get in Chinatown or other cheap asian restaurants.
Pineapple & Passionfruit Smoothie - A great drink to start off with as Vietnamese cuisine is quite light. This was refreshing and delicious. Perfect for a hot day, and a generous portion for $5.50 They also do some alcoholic smoothies which i’m yet to try, but they sound
equally more delicious.
Condiments are a big deal in Vietnamese cuisine, its great to see they have an abundance of fish sauce, hoisin sauce and the best Sriracha ever (Huy Fong Foods). I could not live without that stuff, and it works perfectly as a Pho topping. Just looking at the condiments was enough to get my tastebuds excited.
Step aside taco’s, you have some competition. Rice paper rolls seem to be the hottest new food in Melbourne recently, with multiple vietnamese restaurants capitalising on the rising popularity of rice paper rolls. Good on them I say, as the more rice paper rolls we get, the happier and healthier we are!
Nick and I had to get all the rice paper rolls, mainly because I ordered. Lemongrass pork, prawn and chicken avocado. They were all delicious, my favourite one was the prawn, although it was the smallest, not sure if it was meant to be. The hoisin sauce was a bit boring compared to other places, it would have been nice to see some crushed nuts in there. Anyway, it’s not about the sauce, the verdict comes down to the rice paper rolls, luckily they were fresh and delicious and only left me wanting more. They had a vegetarian/tofu one too which I am yet to try! Let me know how it is.
Condiments aren’t the only thing in Vietnamese food that really makes the meal your own. They often have fresh vegetable add-ons served to the side so you can add as much or as little flavours as you like. Bean sprouts, thai basil, vietnamese mint, fresh cut chilli, and lime.
This was for the Pho. We got the delicious rare beef pho. Fresh flavours and good quality ingredients. I felt like I could ‘trust’ this food a lot better than a typical asian joint down Chinatown.
The broth was light and refreshing. The noodles were cooked well, and the beef was nice and tender. The bean sprouts added a nice little crunch while a bit of pepper seasoned the soup. I went a little overboard with the condiments, as I always do. Be extra careful with the chilli, it can get quite hot. It’s a lot easier to ‘add’ flavour than it is to ‘take away.’
We also got ‘Da Sticks’ Honey sesame chicken on rice. They were tasty and well seasoned. Simple.
Thank god I don’t have to travel into the city for Vietnamese food anymore. Wat Da Pho definitely brings something different to South Melbourne and it looks like all the other Vietnamese restaurants need to step up their game. Welcome to my stomach Wat Da Pho!
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Wat Da Pho
212 Clarendon Street
Radio Mexico / St Kilda
After hearing all the raiving reviews, magazine features and the “When are we going to Radio Mexico!?” from my dear colleague - I finally decided it was time to visit this highly spoken about gem.
This restaurant adds to Melbournes Mexican wave of restaurants that have opened up recently, also adapting the “no bookings” policy. We were lucky enough to get a seat without waiting. (Apparently quite a rare occurrence.) A queue started forming as soon as we sat down.
Excellent ambiance inside, family friendly with a touch of hipster.
I have a love/hate relationship with tequila, but this espresso margarita exceeded my expectation. Rich - but very tasty. Go for a Tequila Sunrise or a standard Margarita if you want something more refreshing.
No matter what your drink choice - you can’t go wrong, as they have a great bar with an amazing bartender. Be careful not to get addicted as it could get quite pricy at $18 a cocktail.
One of my favorite things about Mexican culture is sculls, sculls, and sculls. Radio Mexico has plenty of Mexican memorabilia which sets the vibe right and ready.
Be warned, taco madness ahead! Radio Mexico have an amazing taco menu with a lot of different unique taco’s. Priced at $6.50 a pop, sitting up there yet fairly reasonable considering the quality.
Baja - Beer battered fish, pico de gallo and slaw. Amazing fish taco’s. Very fresh and light with excellent crunch thanks to the cabbage and fish batter.
Camaron - Chipotle prawn and slaw. I love prawns. Great tasting taco, but it came with only two measly prawns! Give me more prawns god dammit.
Barbacoa - Slow cooked organic saltbrush lamb, red cabbage and salsa. Now this is better (filling wise) a generous serve of flavoursome lamb.
Carne Asada - BBQ Hanger steak with home made crema, lettuce and salsa. Delicious taco with friendly flavours.
Al Pastor - Otway freerange pork carnitas with pickled jalepeño and charred pineapple. Delicious slow cooked pork with zingy flavours coming through from the jalepeño’s and pineapple.
Albondigas - Spicy beef, pork and rice meatballs with salsa and homemade crema served with green rice. Our ‘shared’ dish. Delicious meatballs and fragrant rice. I only had a small portion. This was good, but the taco’s win this round.
Great vibes all round, a very cool place. I will definitely be back to try more taco’s!
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11 Carlisle Street
He says She Says / Camberwell
He Says She Says launched their opening a few months ago in the well established suburb of Camberwell. I was lucky enough to recieve an invite to the grand opening. I was a little shocked and hesitant to venture out, but decided to fulfil my food blogger duties.
Upon arrival I was pleasantly surprised. This restaurant, café, bar was immaculately set up and had great vibes running through. Great vibes/free drinks! (Perks of being a food blogger.)
I had to compliment one of the owners on the design of their restaurant. I loved balance of masculine vs feminine combined with elegance.
The bar has a lovely selection of wines to compliment their excellent menu.
We were presented with amazing sample dishes from their menu prepared by their head chef Michael Harrison.
Drank a little too much to remember everything I ate, but I do remember my tastebuds were very satisfied.
Oysters, orgasm in the mouth. Ate more than my fair share, and I would happily do it again.
The main sample dish from the launch night. Spiced lamb shoulder with tabouleh saffron yoghurt and lamb jus. Very fragrant, flavoursome and juicy.
The media launched proved to be a great success, not only for the restaurant but for me too. I had a blast and met some excellent foodies and rich people while enjoying excellent food and booze.
A few months later, I came back to see what this restaurant is ‘really’ like. Without the pressure of Masterchef celebrities and food critics.
Once again the presentation of the restaurant was immaculate.
Gorgeous eatware and drinkware, tables set up to perfection.
We had an excellent waiter too who recommended some great dishes for us to try. Although I wanted everything on the menu.
Rockling tartare, puffed rice and chive dressing with shaved foie gras. Didn’t know what a lot of those words were but tasted superb. I tried this dish at the launch and it was one of my favourites.
Prawn, chicken and shiitake dumplings with roast chicken consommé. Coming from an asian background, I was anxious to see how this would turn out. I felt much relief and pleasure as these delicious dumplings entered my mouth along with the flavoursome consommé.
John Dory served on white wine pasta with fennel. Deliciously fresh and vibrant zesty flavours.
Braised beef cheek suppose to be served with cornichon and caper relish but they changed this dish up a little and served it with pumpkin pureé. Delectable. Moist. Tender. I enjoyed every bite of this and highly recommend this dish.
He Says She Says is a well rounded venue with sophistication, elegance and a bit of quirk.
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He Says She Says
1101 Toorak Road
Where?House / Melbourne
Where?house you ask? Melbourne Music Week launched their festival hub at a top secret pop-up location this year. I was lucky enough to get a +1 VIP ticket to an opening event hosted by SONOS.
Located at the Argus building on the corner of La Trobe and Elizabeth Street. This abandoned gothic building creates the perfect setting for drunk party animals, eargasmic music and great food or in this case Melbourne Music Week.
There were still workers on site fixing things when we arrived, which made me unsure about the legitimacy and saftey of the event. The excitement built as we entered the building, rustic, spacious, grungy, abandoned and crazy.
All our worries and concerns evapourated as we were lured into the exciting environment thanks to great music, shifty lights, the smell of delicious food and the thirst for booze.
When the invite mentioned “Free Food” I was expecting a sausage sizzle. To my surprise we were presented with the most delicious, funky and hip vendors. I devoured all the food there was on offer. I Love Pho 246, Phat Bratz, Huxtaburger, Touche Hombre, and Fancy Hanks. (Note: Food may be smaller portion sizes in images, so don’t fret.)
My first time trying a Huxtaburger (guilty), and it was Huxta-de-licious as expected. Tasted even better because it was free. Delicious Wagyu beef with a pungent meaty flavour and a generous dollop of sauce. I hate when a burger isn’t saucy enough! Couldn’t flaw the burger really, soft bun, tasty fillings. Will definitely be back to try some more.
Was very excited to see my favorite sausage shop here. Top notch dogs for top notch people, like us!
Delicious as always, meaty sausage was balanced by the delicate pulled pork and refreshing appleslaw. Phat Brats have an amazing menu, taking your hot dog experience to a whole new level.
Tacos from Touche Hombre, a very cool Mexican restaurant / Tequila bar in the city. Delicious taco’s fresh and heathy tasting. I have tried a few tacos, but will need to head back as I consumed too much tequila to remember what I ordered. Touche Hombre has a really cool vibe so check it out.
BBQ Ribs from Fancy Hanks, a brand new restaurant/venue specialising in BBQ cuisine, if you can call it that. These delicious ribs were totally flavoursome and manly. Fancy Hanks are planning on opening up a store near/in the convent, not sure when but it will be worth the wait.
Vietnamese prawn cracker taco’s by I Love Pho 246. Pretty much a Vietnamese salad on a prawn cracker, my favorite kind of salad. Refreshing, healthy and crisp. The juicy dressing added a hit of flavour, leaving my mouth watering for more. They had pretty good spring rolls, rice paper rolls and deep fried calamari too. I will definitely be heading out to Richmond to find this place and devour all they have.
All of the food is amazingly delicious, but who am I kidding, people are here to get drunk and dance to music. It’s a shame the event is now over and nothing is left, however i’m sure Melbourne Music Week will be doing something equally as exciting next year. You can still try all the amazing food, you will just have to venture around to find them all.
Bacon and Egg Muffin
My boyfriend made me this. Super cute and ultra delicious. If you need to impress someone, I highly recommend feeding them this. Note: Even tastier whilst hungover.
Common Galaxia / Seddon
Common Galaxia, Dead Man Espresso’s brother café from the future.
This place meets the benchmark Dead Man Espresso has given. It has a very similar vibe but an evidently different character. Great menu selection, unique dishes but you can’t really go wrong with any of them.
This table caddy was just too cute I could not resist.
Great coffee, same as Dead Man Espresso - Seven Seeds or Market Lane. I got the Market Lane, tastes better in my opinion.
Istra prosciutto baked eggs w caramelised shallots, 3 cheeses, wilted greens & toast. Cooked to perfection, the delicious flavours in a cute dish. They ran out of sourdough so served with pumpkin bread instead; no complaints here, the pumpkin bread was delicious.
Pikelets w apple curd, rhubarb & vanilla bean dulce de leche. I die for these, so freaking good, and only $13. I only got a spoonful, but i’m definitely ordering this next time i’m here.
Avocado on pumpkin toast w chickpeas, pomegranate gems, chevre, pistachios & radish. This was beautiful, the pomegranate complimented and added another dimension to smashed avocado, as if you were in another galaxy.
Oven baked zucchini fritters w house cured juniper berry salmon or Istra bacon, poached egg & lemon creme fraiche. I ordered this dish, it was delicious. I love the fact that it was oven baked, a much healthier option.
My stomach was satisfied, however I was craving the Baked Apple on the menu, looks delicious. I will definitely be back to try more.
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03 9689 0769
Shop 3/130 Victoria St
Seddon, VIC 3011
My Sista Says / Port Melbourne
My Sista Says… well, I haven’t spoken to my sisters in a while. This café is teeny tiny but makes up for it with a cute and cosy environment.
A great atmosphere with a young vibe, a nice communal bench right next to the kitchen and counter. No walls which makes me feel naked, but I like it.
Funky lamps popping out of the wall for those who need extra light to read the Wallpaper* City Guides or other books they have lying around. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the city guides.
The staff were very friendly and brought a great positive vibe to the place.
They utilize their space well, and still manage to keep the place aesthetically pleasing.
Delicious coffee and a beautiful selection of food on the menu.
Poached eggs on toast with spinach, mushrooms and tomato - simple but delicious.
Dukkah poached egg, spinach with smashed avocado and feta brilliantness. Delicious healthy and light.
Poached egg on toast with ham and tomato.
We were full after brunch so didn’t order any cakes; but my god they look delicious. Will have to come back another day.
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My Sista Says/My Sister Says
03 9646 1117
118 Bridge Street
Mekong / Melbourne
Mekong. I’m not going to sugar coat it. The shittest place I have ever been in Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, not all the food is bad and some people love it here. Hell, even my boyfriend likes this place, however my first experience at Mekong was bad enough to make it my last.
The environment is authentic, but stale - with tacky condiments on tables, laminated menus and unclean cutlery. Apologies for the half eaten food pictures coming up, it was a Saturday night and I was drunk.
Check those tits. I mean the rice paper roll. Lauren wanted vegetarian rice paper rolls but they didn’t have any left. So she ordered four prawn ones, but they only had two left. Obviously not made fresh, obviously too lazy to make any, obviously crap service.
Spring rolls, pastry was a bit heavier than expected. You can get better spring rolls elsewhere.
Grilled pork on vermicelli. This was my dish, simple but tasty. I enjoyed it because I was hungry and drunk. Don’t know if I would in any other state.
I think this was rare beef noodle soup / Pho. Classic vietnamese dish. Nothing wrong with the dish but there was nothing extraordinary either.
Grilled chicken on vermicelli, obviously not grilled for long enough. Undercooked chicken was enough to put the whole table off their appetite.
Vegetable noodle soup. Here’s the slippery slope to customer dissatisfaction. A piece of plastic bag in a dish. Who knows how long that poisonous plastic bag would have been brewing in that boiling soup for.
Mekong has proved to serve some good-ish dishes and mentions on other blogs, however I think the ad outside saying “Bill Clinton had 2 bowls, how many can you handle?” must be a complete lie. I don’t know why anybody with more than $50 in their bank account would come here.
If you want to risk food poisoning or near death by choking on a plastic bag for the sake of mediokre food, Mekong is your place.
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Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam
03 9663 328
241 Swanston St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Miss Marmalade / Brunswick
You don’t have to like marmalade to like Miss Marmalade; because she’s a friendly, dog loving, warm and inviting spunk. I’m talking about the café, but i’m sure the lady is pretty nice too.
I like the outdoor seating, it has that cute, floral, vintage feeling. This café is dog friendly, so I bought all my bitches!
On the inside you might find crazy people looking at you funny, or hipsters with a sour look on the face. Jokes, all the staff and customers are all friendly and loving.
Quirky little lampshades, don’t stare at them for too long though, they will make you dizzy.
I adore these dangling flowers in the hallway, so cute.
A cute vintage café ain’t complete without a heavy dose of nostalgia. These oldschool milk bottles took us back to the early 90’s for at least 20 minutes.
It’s not brunch without a nice hot cup of coffee. Miss Marmalade is known for their great coffee as mentioned in Melbourne Coffee Review. They use 5 Senses coffee beans.
I can’t remember what this was, but it was yum. Delicious fresh veggies full of moisture and flavour, and balsamic vinegar to give it that extra kick. I heard asparagus makes your urine smell weird/yuck. No, I did not smell my own urine.
Farmers market breakfast - Home made corn bread, hash potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and the pick of market vegetables with a poached egg, micro herbs and avocado crush.
Big breakfast - Free range eggs, bacon, house made beans, avocado crush, braised mushrooms, herbed chipolata and tomato relish on organic toast.
Gingerbread hotcakes with poached fruit, Tahitian vanilla bean and maple mascarpone and chopped pistachios. The taste of a good Christmas.
Miss Marmalade was a wonderful café and I really enjoyed the food and the environment. The only down side is that the primary clientele is families with children and dogs, so it’s a bit shameful if you are going to be talking about drunken antics and STD’s around the brunch table.
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03 9388 8202
126 Union Street
Brunswick, VIC 3056
Dead Man Espresso / South Melbourne
Dead Man Espresso is one of my favorite local cafe’s just around the corner. He is hiding away on a secluded corner in South Melbourne, yet everyone knows where he is. This gem of a café has critics, bloggers, hipsters and normal people alike creaming themselves.
I love how I can ride my bike, park it up and walk right in with extra swag. At least I think I have swag, but it’s probably just helmet hair.
Quirky light fittings with elegant and simple décor. Modern and hip.
As mentioned; critics, bloggers, hipsters and normal people creaming themselves. No, seriously, this place is often full but I have been lucky enough to get a seat every visit. Well worth the wait.
Even the cabinet food looks alright, catering for those in a rush or those unlucky ones who missed out on a seat.
Vibrant flowers lighten up the room and make me feel happy, it’s probably going to do the same to you.
Delicious coffee, they have two blends available. Seven Seeds (house) or Market Lane (special). Both are delicious.
Freerange eggs on toast. Simple and light, for the conservative or the one with the weak stomach.
Avocado on Zeally Bay Organic toast with chevre, grapefruit, toasted almonds & radish. Delicious combination of flavours, fresh and vibrant.
Big breakfast special - poached egg, baked beans, bacon, toast, tomato, mushrooms, sausage. Hearty breakfast that will either satisfy or dis-satisfy your stomach. A good hangover meal.
Herb and potato rosti with poached egg, avocado and smoked salmon. loved the rosti, delicious and filling without being too heavy or bland.
Buttermilk banana pancakes with Melbourne Rooftop Honey mascarpone & white choc crumb. Delicate and unique elements that all compliment each other.
After enjoying such lovely meals at this wonderful café, I just wanted to take it home with me. Well, it turns out I can! You can buy Melbourne Rooftop Honey here or Dead Man Espresso coffee beans, tea towels and other merchandise. I really like this place. Not particularly for the food, not for the coffee, nor the environment, but for all of the above.
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Dead Man Espresso
03 9686 2255
35 Market St
Melbourne, VIC 3205
Le Bangkok / Melbourne
Le Bangkok, a mid-range Thai restaurant with attentive, friendly staff and authentic Thai Food, in Melbourne CBD.
Clean and modern, but not too fancy. Soft light and low noise makes this place pleasantly intimate, even for four gay boys.
Not taking a photo of the dish before it gets attacked will be the death of me. Thai Green Curry with Chicken, flavoursome, aromatic. A “mild” amount of spice, perfect for Caucasian tastebuds.
Beef Panang Curry - great flavour, aromatic, with Coconut Rice - lusciously fragrant, with the perfect accompaniment - Singha Beer. A Riesling would have been nice too, but we needed to prove we are real men.
A unique way of serving Pad Thai, beautiful and quirky. Egg nest kind of shell thing. Despite the cool presentation, the dish had an overpowering tomato flavour.
Guilty for ordering the ‘mainstream’ dishes. They do have a great variety of authentic thai dishes including specialty thai salads, sausage, grilled fish, and more. Banquets also available. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
03 9663 0360
195 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000