This week I’m writing from Melbourne, Australia, a city that both me and my stomach have fallen head over heels for. It’s total foodie heaven and I am completely astounded by the sheer number of cafés and restaurants lining the city streets and über cool alleyways – there are so many! I therefore made it my mission to squeeze in as many meals as I could to tell you about the best foodie hotspots in the city – it’s a tough job!
This market is pretty disappointing outside of the food section – unless you’re a fan of knitted socks and Bill Cosby style sweaters! This market is choc-a-block full of culinary delights: deli style meats, wonderfully whiffy cheeses, mouthwatering cakes and pastries, and stalls upon stalls of fresh fruit and veg.
I’d forgive you for wondering why this particular food market would be better than any other around the globe. It seems that the large Turkish population in Melbourne has infused this market with amazing native foods, many of which I have never encountered before – it was as if Scottie had beamed me up into a magical new world of food. Turkish bread and Boreks (pictured) are the new Turkish delights!
Ironically, another major attraction was the food truck selling freshly fried “American Style” Doughnuts (not Donuts)! Of course, the smell of hot donuts drew us in like a pair of mindless zombies. These donuts, however, were definitely not American-style and more like Italian Zeppole – but who cares about the finer details?!! These jam-filled balls of fried dough were heavenly!
Chin Chin, Asian
I had heard good things about Chin Chin, so was ecstatic when a friend suggested we eat there. The restaurant doesn’t take bookings, but we assumed that wouldn’t be a problem – it’s a Wednesday! But as soon as we turned the corner into Flinders Lane we were greeted by a kick-ass queue of people all eagerly waiting for a table. This might dishearten some, but this sight only fed our growing anticipation that something great was about to happen and we were definitely not disappointed. OMG – I seriously wanted to go all “Meg Ryan” over the table!
I sipped on a tropical Coconut Cocktail whilst we tried to whittle down our choices from the enticing menu, and after much deliberation, opted to share the Fresh Spring Rolls (divine!), Sweetcorn Fritters (even more devine!), the Massaman Curry (was it a step too far to lick the bowl clean?!!) and a side of Green Papaya Salad, which had to be the HOTTEST thing outside of Michael Phelps at the Olympics!
After dinner, we ventured downstairs for a nightcap in the Go Go Bar. If you ever Go Go to the Go Go bar, be sure to order the signature Hot Buttery Blazer…
Delhi Streets, Indian
We fell upon this place purely by chance, while wandering down a tiny side lane back to our apartment. Attracted by the colourful interior, we decided to stop for lunch.
Not being able to pick out just two dishes from the creative menu, we decided to share a Chicken Frankie Wrap (the most awesome chicken tikka wrapped in an Indian style pancake), the Potato Dosa and their signature mixed Thali. When the Thali arrived my jaw almost hit the ground, it was big enough to feed a small army, and the curries were amazing. I highly recommend the Eggplant Curry, it’ll bring tears to your eyes – in a good way, I promise!
The Grain Store, Café/Restaurant
Any contemporary, wholesome eating house should use The Grain Store as their benchmark. The menu is inspiring and everything about the place is pure perfection, from the decor right down to the art-worthy food presentation.
Open only for breakfast, brunch and lunch, we arrived at 11am in order to benefit from both the breakfast and brunch menu’s. I opted for the bacon steak that was served with an amazing lentil casserole (yes, they made lentils tasty!!!), while my better half went “all out” and ordered the chorizo and fennel sausage with butternut squash hash (pictured), both of which looked like a work of art and tasted like a dream.
Although a little on the expensive side, I will definitely be paying a visit to The Grain Store during my next trip to Melbourne.
Maha, Middle Eastern
Maha is a strange name, which I can only assume came from the word “mahagical” – because that is exactly what the food was. Maha is fine dining in Middle-Eastern style and I would highly recommend this restaurant for a celebration or special occasion.
After the ridiculously good ginger-infused vodka cocktail, I knew it didn’t matter that I had absolutely no idea what some of the foods on the menu were – I was in good hands at Maha. Every single dish (we were in a large party so ate the set menu) was totally amazeballs and I cleared every dish to plate-licking levels. They even ensured my “food fussy” husband was presented with something more suited to his palate with the poshest servings of Falafel, Hummus and Baba Ganoush I have ever seen.
Punch Lane, Gastro Pub
Punch Lane is the epitome of a gastro-pub. Located in the cool theatre district, this pub serves up grub of the finest kind. Our friends tucked into the duck special, while me and the hubby decided to get the best of both worlds and split the pork loin and grass-fed beef. The beef simply melted in your mouth and the sprouts were superb. Every mouthful was a tippy-toes, twirly girl dance of pleasure – yes it was that good!!!
My last mention is not quite what you’d expect from a food blogger, because it is the kebab shop that was right outside our apartment block. We couldn’t believe the throngs (is “throng” even a word?!!) of people that were ALWAYS lined up outside, patiently waiting to be served, no matter what time of day or night.
My curiosity finally got the better of me – what was they serving that was so good? I approached a group of girls huddled around a take-out carton (that was omitting heavenly-like smells) to see what the fuss was all about. As they begrudgingly stopped eating in order for me to take a look, the riddle was solved, for there in front of me sat a mighty HSP (“Halal Snack Pack”) – a monster mountain of chips and kebab meat topped with every sauce ever invented – genius!
- Queen Victoria Market
- Chin Chin & Go Go Bar
- Delhi Streets
- The Grain Store
- Punch Lane
- Viva Kebabs
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