All posts tagged: melbourne cbd

Chin Chin / Melbourne CBD

 Ever wonder what it is exactly that gets diners queuing outside a restaurant before open time? The line that can snake down the block that makes you stop and stare? Chin Chin is certainly one of those places and we’re here to tell you what makes that line worth it!   Much of the mystery around Chin Chin surrounds Head Chef, Ben Cooper. You might have seen him doing the rounds on Masterchef Australia recently. If you haven’t heard of him now’s the time to look him up! He’s an interesting personality, not only for his knockout cooking, but also for his Mohawk and fervent love of chilli! He’s also the head chef at Kong, another restaurant you might feel inspired to visit after dining at Chin Chin. With Ben at the helm Chin Chin deliver enticing and delicious Asian food! The restaurant itself is pretty cool, a bit weird and quirky but in a comfortable way. Chin Chin attracts all sorts, a love of good food brings a whole group of people together that you wouldn’t …

Mister Close / Melbourne CBD

   In the heart of the CBD you’ll find the sleek and cool Mister Close. The cafe is a completely unified design and space, your eye flows through the space, catching on little delights. There’s sunflowers, works of art that spring from the wall and the Victorian Coffee Book which every Melbourne coffee snob should have in their collection. We found Mister Close’s coffee to be creamy, pleasantly light and subtle. It didn’t have the knock out body Melbourne coffee is known for, but it was a nice brew nonetheless. Our first dish was the smashed avocado to which we added bacon and egg, because everything can be improved with bacon and egg. It was all nice, there were great hunks of bacon and a nice crunch and mix of textures. While it was polished and a great concept, the dish was good, but just didn’t knock our socks off. We wanted that wow factor that the presentation suggested. We found it in the next dish. A mix of peas, dill and tomato with a poached egg. It …

Touché Hombre / Melbourne CBD

  There is a great satisfaction that comes with eating a meal entirely with ones hands. In seeking this simple pleasure we found ourselves at Touché Hombre. Mexican food is one of those cuisines that nails the balance between simple home style meals and complex flavours that make you stop and think. Touché Hombre was no exception.  It’s a noisy and colorful eatery, made for rambunctious evenings and socializing with abandon.   There’s a ghost busters neon sign, art all over the walls and diners packed in close. If you’re looking for an intimate dining occasion and some peace and quiet, Touché Hombre may not be the best choice! The staff duck and weave around the tables and the service was quite impressive given the noise and number of people. We started with drinks while taking a moment to appreciate the menu. With four diners we decided to share a chicken jug cocktail. The menu wasn’t lying, when they say chicken jug, they really mean it! It’s a much more cost effective way of having a couple of …

Shebeen / Melbourne CBD

 We wandered through town looking for somewhere to eat and spied Shebeen, a laneway eatery that had drawn quite a crowd. There weren’t many free tables and we had to weave our way through to the back room. It was dark and a bit dingy but we liked it that way. See, Shebeen aren’t like other restaurants, for a start they have a conscience with 100% of their profits going to the developing world. Their menu is small but there’s enough on there to satisfy, you’ll need to place your order at the bar.We started with drinks and couldn’t go past the hard lemonade, a mix of vodka, vanilla and lemon. It was sweet but tart and all kinds of delicious and we can’t recommend it enough!  A hearty chicken mole, with a nice pickle and tender meat was our first selection, made even more special with a hint of cinnamon. We also tried one of the beef sliders and a pork belly slider. The crackling on the pork was to die for and the spicy habanero …

Bowery to Williamsburg / Melbourne CBD

   Bowery to Willamsburg is the newest addition to the delightful eateries in Hardware Lane and the second store of this American diner style cafe. There’s a single communal table and the chefs work along side you at a bench to the side.  The menu is an interesting mix of breakfast and lunch, sandwiches sit alongside bagels, shakshouka and waffles. It’s exciting but you’ll pay for the privilege with dishes mostly at the high end of $12-$20. Before we get to that though, let’s enjoy some coffee!   The barista was incredibly friendly, taking a lot of care with the coffee and obviously enjoying their craft. Bowery to Wiiliamsburg use Padre coffee roasted in Brunswick, creating a creamy coffee, mellow and light with a sweet finish. We couldn’t stop at just one each!   The two that followed were consistent in flavour, with more interesting latte art. It’s a thumbs up for us for the second coffee test! We’ve really been enjoying all the fried chicken on offer around Melbourne recently and the chicken and waffles at Bowery to Williamsburg …

Krimper / Melbourne CBD

   In typical Melbourne style you’ll find Krimper down a laneway, very much hidden from sight. Once you open the door this cafe seriously impresses with its design and the heavy wooden doors close so solidly you feel as if you have left the whole world and its troubles behind. It was easy to get a table and the staff were quick to take our coffee orders and provide menus.  Krimper serve up Proud Mary coffee, bringing back fond memories of La Veen coffees back in Perth. It was nice and full bodied, a solid brew. There were four of us dining but two of the dishes particularly caught  our eye and we went for two of each. Firstly, the sweet French toast, with crumbed almond and dulce de leche. The toast was okay but lost some of its lightness in the centre. The caramelized apple was delicious, as was the texture of the almond. Altogether it was an interesting dish to start the day.We also tried the Le Soud, meaty chorizo, mushroom, served with hummus and …

Magic Mountain Saloon / Melbourne CBD

Magic Mountain Saloon is a dark and strangely shaped modern Thai restaurant that’s all kinds of wonderful.  The staff are very knowledgable, and we were lead through the maze of stairs and levels to our table. The menu is pretty expansive and we didn’t really know where to start. Lucky for us we came with someone who had been before and knew exactly which dishes to try and we opted to get a mix of things to share. Not before some drinks of course. The staff were equally talented in their drink selections and made sure we all had something exactly to our tastes.  The first dish we tried really set the tone for the evening and from the first aromatic hit we knew we’d made the right decision. This fabled dish was the duck, served with pineapple and roti. Duck isn’t something we eat often but the richness worked so well with this dish. The real joy was that each individual element had hidden depths of flavour and when eaten together, a bit of everything was …

Mesa Verde / Melbourne CBD

 Mexican tends to be our go to cuisine at home or eating out for times when we know we want something delicious but aren’t sure what we’re looking for.  Up far too many flights of stairs and off Swanston st you’ll find Mesa Verde, a Mexican bar and eatery with character.    It’s dark, candles light the corners and tables are dressed in shadow. It’s an intimate eatery, with plenty to discover if you explore its corners and walls. There’s even a Mexican poster for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, but we’ll let you find that for yourselves… Darkness, or more accurately, the absence of light is a bane to any food blogger trying to take a half decent photo, but I have to say that Mesa Verde make up for it with charm and fascinating decor.  We started the meal with drinks, tempted by the cocktails I went with the South Side watermelon. A light and refreshing mix of mint, lemon, watermelon and gin.  We selected a few of our favourites from the menu, aiming …

Mr Big Stuff / Melbourne CBD

     With a party of five and a hankering for some good American before the football we headed to Mr Big Stuff down Meyer Pl. We’d made a booking but needn’t have worried, Me Big Stuff had only just opened for the night and was still quite empty when we arrived.  Everything on the menu looked tempting and wanting to save time and because it was difficult to come to a decision with so many people, we ended up opting for the banquet. The staff knew when we had to leave and ensured us it was the most efficient choice and would give us a taste of everything. As any good night out should, we started with cocktails. I went for the Kool Aid with watermelon, it was interesting but overly sweet. A good novelty drink but definitely not something to have often for the sake of your sugar intake!  Now for the banquet, let the deliciousness begin! We started with some pickled okra, a bit of a soul food delicacy. It may look a little like …

Romeo Lane / Melbourne CBD

     The best places in Melbourne are often small, tucked away from sight and masters of their craft, this is certainly true of our latest small bar find, Romeo Lane! It may be small, but it houses something quite wonderful – an impressive cocktail list as well as some bar food.   Looking at the menu there were plenty of cocktails to choose from and I felt I needed guidance to make my selection. Luckily the professional and passionate staff were on hand to help me out. I ended up telling them my favourite gin was sipsmith and they went off menu – suggesting a cocktail with dry sherry, lemon juice, sugar, lemon rind and of course, gin! It was just what I was looking for, a bit more complex than a tom collins, with a balanced palette that enhanced and complemented the gin.  Romeo Lane is a charming little bar and the service was outstanding. We will have to return when we have time to sample more of their cocktails and some snacks! Be …