Sunday, 22 February 2015

Vegie Bar, Fitzroy

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Vegie Bar is probably one of the most well known vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Melbourne, located in Fitzroy on Brunswick St. It's easily accessible by tram 11 towards West Preston, just across the road from stop 17. It's on the same strip of road as the gelato place N2, and further up the street is Hammer and Tong, another popular cafe that I've blogged about before.

The restaurant may not look very big when you first enter and the tables do look quite close to one another, but once you actually sat down, it was okay. There's a rustic, old school feel to this restaurant that's actually been around for twenty or so years, with a lively atmosphere from customers having meals or just a drink at the bar. Although it was very busy and seemed to be quite noisy, we didn't have to raise our voices to hear each other.

Merchants Guild, East Bentleigh

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Merchants Guild is a popular cafe in East Bentleigh best known for its coffees and teas, and a good range of breakfast and lunch dishes. It's probably easiest to access by car, though you can also take the 703 bus towards Blackburn.

We went at about 1pm on a Sunday and there was quite a bit of a wait for a table inside, so we decided to sit outside as the weather wasn't too bad. It was probably better sitting outside as when we went inside to pay, it was a little noisy with all the customers. As it was such a busy place, there was a significant wait for ordering and for our food to come, though the staff did mention this to us.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Grand Trailer Park Taverna, CBD

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Grand Trailer Park Taverna is a relatively new burger place in the CBD, located on Bourke St just past Exhibition St, about a five to ten minute walk from Parliament Station and easily accessible by tram 86/96. It's easy to miss as the joint itself is on the first floor, and there's only a small sign above the door indicating the place.

There's a really lively, vibrant atmosphere to Grand Trailer from the moment you walk in, with upbeat music playing in the background. The place has a really cool design that has been inspired by east coast trailer parks, with an assortment of picnic tables and a few booths for large groups. We went at around 530pm on a Friday night and were lucky enough to be seated straight away. By about 6/630, there was about ten or so people waiting for tables, so it's best to go early so you don't have to wait.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Proud Mary, Collingwood

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Proud Mary is one of Melbourne's most popular brunch places, located just off Smith St in Collingwood, near Gelato Messina. It's about a five minute walk from stop 18 on tram 86 towards Bundoora RMIT, with plenty of parking on the street itself as well. It's well known for its extensive drinks range, in particular its coffee, and also a quirky menu that's different from your typical brunch cafes.

As it is such a popular cafe, there's a bit of a wait for a table. We went around 1130 on a Sunday and had to wait about twenty minutes for a table, and it was about that amount time for our food to come as well. There's not a lot of individual tables at Proud Mary. Instead, there's large communal tables and counter tops; we sat at the bar style area, which was actually quite cool as we got to see the barista make filtered cold drip coffees right in front of us. The cafe itself isn't that big, but it's very bright with a lively atmosphere, and perfect for a catch up with friends any day of the week.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Yak Italian Kitchen & Bar, CBD

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Yak Italian Kitchen & Bar is a popular Italian restaurant on the corner of Flinders Lane and Russell St, about a five minute walk from Flinders St Station. The restaurant prides itself on using fresh seasonal ingredients, and all pasta and pizza dishes are hand made using stone ground flour.

The restaurant is opened for breakfast on weekdays, lunch from Tuesdays to Fridays, and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays. As it is quite popular, it's probably best to book in advance for a table, even though they take walk ins. We went on a Friday night and didn't make a reservation beforehand, but luckily they found us a table for two. We did have to leave before a 7pm reservation, so if you want to be able to enjoy your meal and not feel rushed, it's definitely better to make a reservation.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is very lively, and at times a little noisy from the crowds of people at the bar, but we didn't really have to raise our voices to hear one another, which was good. There aren't any decorations on the walls, it's very simple, but the whole restaurant is very brightly lit. The service was quite fast, and the staff were friendly and very attentive.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Dead Man Espresso, South Melbourne

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Dead Man Espresso is located in South Melbourne, relatively close to St. Ali and about a ten minute walk from South Melbourne Market. It's about a five minute walk from the York St/Claredon St stop on tram 12 towards Fitzroy/St Kilda. Dead Man Espresso uses local produce where possible, from meat to herbs and even honey from their own rooftop beehive!

The cafe is quite large, with plenty of seating inside, outside in a shaded balcony area, and also at larger tables on the street itself. We sat in the elevated balcony area, which is greater in the warmer weather as you get to enjoy the warmth but not feel too hot, as it is completely covered from the sun (or rain). The cafe setting is very open so you didn't really have to raise your voices despite there being lots of people. The layout and decor of the cafe is modern and laid back, with the use of wooden tables and chairs, as well as wooden panels for the walls.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Collective Espresso, Camberwell

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Happy 2015! It's been awhile, hopefully everyone had a lovely time off during the December holidays - I certainly did - ate waaaaay too much haha! I know I said I was going to post some photos from my Taiwan/France trip on the Facebook page, that'll definitely happen soon!


Collective Espresso is a small cafe just opposite Camberwell train station, also easily accessible by tram 72. It's quite well known for its coffee, and the interesting menu items make you want to visit this place more than once to try it all out!

There's seating both inside and out at Collective Espresso - from memory of the first time I visited, the interior is very brightly lit and open, with cool art in wooden frames on the walls. This time around when we went we decided to sit outside as it was a sunny day, and we wanted to soak up some vitamin D.

Cafe Cui, Footscray

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Cafe Cui is a small cafe just opposite Footscray train station, best known for its lobster rolls and burgers. The cafe's dishes are New York inspired, celebrating the diversity, culture and attitude of Footscray itself.

The cafe itself isn't very big but the way it has been designed makes it look and feel quite spacious, especially with the fact that there's no windows or doors - it's a purely open area that is perfect for this warm summer weather. There aren't any decorations on the walls except a sign to one wall that says Cafe Cui, and the white tables with contrasting black chairs/couch seats make for a minimalistic and simple decor.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy 2015!

Hi all my lovely readers!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's break (if you celebrate it)! If you've been following my Instagram you'll know I've been having lots of amazing food adventures in Taiwan and France!

I'm back in Melbourne now, and happy to report that new blog posts will be up again from next weekend! Thanks for all the support to this blog in the past year, and can't wait to share more food adventures with everyone in 2015 :)

I'll be posting some food photos from my trip on the Facebook page soon, so head on over to see what I've been up to.

Happy eating!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Gingerboy, CBD

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Gingerboy is a popular South-East Asian restaurant in the CBD, in one of the side streets off Bourke St., easily accessible by tram 86 & 96 or a short walk from Parliament Station. It's known for its quirky interior designs and modern Australian take on hawker style Asian dishes, with dishes changing every few months to reflect the seasons.

As it's such a popular restaurant, you'll definitely have to book beforehand to grab a table - there's a pretty good online booking system on the Gingerboy website that send you reminders by text or email to confirm your booking, and also alerts you on the day of your booking. We went on a Monday around 6pm and the whole place was packed by about 6:30-7pm, with another sitting starting at 8pm.

The interior design of Gingerboy is quite funky and modern, with lots of small lights on the walls. When you first walk in, it feels like it'll be quite dark with the choice of d├ęcor, but there's lights above each table so it's not too bad. Despite it being filled with people and relatively loud music playing in the background, we didn't have to raise our voices at all to talk to each other, even though the restaurant itself doesn't seem very spacious. The service was really great, with attentive and friendly staff that always came to check up on us and see if we needed anything else. Another great little titbit was the complimentary small bowl of pickled cucumber that came at the start as the appetiser dish.