Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Fair Foodstore, Richmond

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The Fair Foodstore is a small cafe on Church St. in Richmond, easily accessible by tram 78/79 or a ten minute walk from tram 109 on Victoria St. It's close to Tree of Us, a burger joint I've previously blogged about. The cafe uses a range of local produce, and prides itself on its passion for food and coffee.

The decor of the cafe is quite simple yet modern, and the placement of the smaller tables with the large communal table in the middle gives a sense of open space. The use of white against the soft wooden colours makes for a comfortable and laid back environment, and the music in the background together with the sounds of the kitchen and coffee machine makes for a lively, cheerful atmosphere. Staff were very friendly and attentive once we were seated, though when we first went in we didn't know if we were supposed to wait and be taken to a table, and after a few minutes of waiting realised we had to go up to the counter ourselves.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Magic Mountain Saloon, CBD

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Magic Mountain Saloon is a Thai/Australian fusion restaurant in the CBD on Little Collins St. between Exhibition and Spring St. The style of food and atmosphere of the restaurant sort of reminds me of Chin Chins, with the dim lighting and loud music, together with the twist/fusion take on traditional Thai food.

The restaurant is a lot bigger than I expected, with at least three floors of tables and bar areas. As it's quite a popular restaurant, I'd definitely recommend booking ahead of time if you're going, even if it's just in a group of two or three. There's an online booking system on the Magic Mountain website that's really easy to use, and they send you confirmations and reminders via text or email depending on your preferences. We were seated on the third floor in a corner booth, which was good as it was a little more secluded and not as noisy, meaning we didn't have to raise our voices as much as if we were in the open space. The atmosphere at Magic Mountain is very lively, with the loud music playing from the live DJ and the chatter from all the customers.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Foodrinkery, Burwood

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The Foodrinkery is a small cafe in Burwood, just off Warrigal Road past Riversdale Road. It's in quite a hidden place, next to a park with two or three other shops, and you wouldn't think to find such a great little cafe there.

The cafe has a really friendly, family style vibe to it, with a homely feeling to it from the service of the staff, to the mismatched plates and glasses that our food and drinks came in. There's a lot of quirky decorations up on the walls, and a ladder with small trinkets hangs from the ceiling near the middle tables. There's seating outdoors at the front and back of the cafe, which is great for the warmer weather.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

CH James, Fairfield

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CH James is one of the many cafes in the Fairfield shopping strip on Station St, close to the Fairfield train station. It prides itself on a place to relax, with a great menu compiled of dishes using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

We went around 11:30am and luckily didn't have to wait at all for a table. There's plenty of room inside and in the garden courtyard, and we decided to sit outside as it was a nice day. The design in the interior is quite simple, except for the cool decorations on one of the walls, in particular the farming tools such as the huge pitchfork and baskets. The decor of the garden courtyard was also quite simple but with a summery feel, with lots of plants, flowers and big umbrellas over the tables. The atmosphere was very relaxed and laid back, and didn't have the busy hustle and bustle of some cafes I've been to, even though it was quite filled with people when we were there.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hakata Gensuke, CBD

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Hakata Gensuke Ramen is a popular Japanese Ramen Bar in the CBD, on Russell St in between Bourke and Little Bourke St, with a new store recently opening on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn. A friend of mine recommended this place awhile back, and I finally got around to trying it. In terms of authenticity, this is probably one of the best ramen bars I've been to in Melbourne, though there is always quite a bit of a wait for a table as it is quite popular.

We went around 630pm on a Saturday and had to wait about 15 minutes for a table, and this was only because we went with one of their specialty ramens (that costs a little more) and got to sit upstairs, instead of waiting for a table downstairs. The restaurant itself isn't very big, but the turnaround is quite fast that you'd probably have to wait half an hour at most for a table, providing you're not in a very large group. There's a very authentic feel to the restaurant; you're greeted by all the staff in japanese as soon as you walk in, and japanese music plays softly in the background. The history of Hakata Gensuke is displayed in large canvases on the walls, and there's a TV on one side that plays a simple explanation of the restaurant and how its ramen is made.