Royal Stacks, CBD

Royal Stacks is a new(ish) burger joint in the city located on Collins Street, closer to the Southern Cross end of the CBD.

Like most burger joints, Royal Stacks is a self service where you have to up to the counter to order, and pick up your food when the buzzer goes off. We went relatively early on a Saturday night and there was about a fifteen minute wait for our food. The restaurant itself is quite big, with dark wooden decor lining the seating beyond the counter. In contrast, the front of the joint is made up of large communal tables by the large window and the plant covered wall, and there's a cool neon pink burger sign on the other side.

Hello Sailor, Hawthorn

Hello Sailor is a cafe in Hawthorn close to Auburn Station on the Belgrave/Lilydale/Alamein line, close to another cafe I've recently blogged about, The Counter. I'd noticed the cafe a little while ago because of the huge 'Hello Sailor' logo painted on the wall of the cafe (it's located on the corner of a street), and the fact it seemed to be always very busy when I went past.

The interior design of Hello Sailor is very cosy, and there's a very homely feel to the place, with the pale wooden walls contrasting with the white ceiling, and the simple hanging lights. Cushioned seating lines one side of the cafe, and soft upbeat music plays in the background, giving the cafe a lively but not too noisy atmosphere, mixed with the chatter from all the customers. There's also plenty of seating for two outside the cafe, and I noticed quite a few people bought their pets along when sitting outside. The staff were friendly for the most part, however service was average - despite it not being particularly busy when we went, there was a half hour wait for our food to arrive.

Matcha Mylkbar, St Kilda

Matcha Mylkbar is a famous vegan cafe in St Kilda, best known for its bright dishes and use of matcha. The cafe is located just off the popular Acland street in St Kilda, and easily accessible by a number of trams that go down the area, including 3, 16 and 96. All the dishes at Matcha Mylkbar are vegan friendly, with some very unique items.

We went on a Saturday morning and were told there was going to be a 1.25 hour wait, though luckily got a table in about an hour. They take your phone number when you put your name down for a table, and you receive this quirky text message when your table is almost ready. The menu items had really quirky names as well; this seems to be a recurring theme throughout the cafe. There are a couple of seats outdoors, but for the most part the seats are indoors. There are a lot of plants hanging from the ceiling, and the use of wooden tables and wicker chairs makes you feel like you're at a florist or the like.

St Cloud Eating House, Hawthorn East

St Cloud Eating House is a Vietnamese fusion style restaurant, located on Burwood Road in Hawthorn about a five minute walk from Auburn Station. It was a really enjoyable experience here, and I noticed there is a lot of emphasis on using different herbs to provide flavours and add to natural ingredients, something I haven't really seen in Viet style cuisines.

The restaurant has quite a lot of seating; there's two levels plus an outdoor area on the second floor, but as it's so popular, you definitely have to book for one of their two sittings in advance, in order to grab a table. The decor is quite simple, with white painted walls and lights hanging from the ceiling, giving it mood lighting in a relaxed environment. Upbeat music plays in the background; loud enough to provide add to the atmosphere and experience of the whole place, but not too much that you had to raise your voice to speak, even with all the chatter from the groups of people. The service was really great with attentive and friendly staff, and our food came out in less than fifteen minutes.

Fordham's Milk Bar, Camberwell

Fordham's Milk Bar is a cafe/milk bar in Camberwell, located just opposite Hartwell Station on the Alamein line. The cafe was a lot bigger than I had imagined, with plenty of seating both inside and out, and a whole display cabinet area and drinks section to choose from. I was surprised I hadn't heard of the cafe before, probably because it's quite hidden in a little street in the suburbs, and you might not think to venture there unless you were going to the train station.

We went at about 11:45 am on a Sunday and luckily didn't have to wait at all for a table, opting to sit outside as the weather was nice and sunny. The only downside to sitting outside was the occasional fly, and for us, a very persistent bee that just wouldn't stay away from our food! A lot of people seem to bring their dogs with them, and there's plenty of seats outside to accommodate this. I got a quick glimpse of the interior when I was looking at the dessert cabinet; it seemed to have a rustic vibe, with the brick and white painted walls and the overall use of dark wooden decor combined with tiled communal tables. The large windows at the front allowed plenty of natural light to come in, and overall was quite a lively atmosphere with all the people having Sunday brunch. The staff were attentive and friendly, and there was about a 20 minute wait for the food.

Trei Cafe, Glen Waverley

Trei Cafe is located in Glen Waverley, in a little shopping strip just before Syndal Station on the Glen Waverley line, or a five minute drive from The Glen Shopping district. It's a pretty popular cafe in the area with a good range of both breakfast and lunch dishes, that have a twist on your typical brunch flavours and dishes.

The cafe isn't very large, with pastel coloured decor and the use of white chairs and wooden tables. Cushioned seating lines one wall of the cafe, and overall the atmosphere of the cafe is comfortable and lively, though at times you did have to raise your voice a little as it was so busy. We went on a weekend and were told there was going to be a half an hour wait for a table, but luckily got one in about 20 minutes. Staff were friendly and attentive, and there wasn't too long of a wait for our food.

A Thousand Blessings, Richmond

A Thousand Blessings is a cosy cafe in the Richmond area, just off Church Street and easily accessible by tram 78. It's owned by the same people behind the froyo chain 'Frozen by a Thousand Blessings', and prides itself on serving and using organic and local produce.

The cafe has a very homely feel to it, with the use of wooden decor and soft colours. It can seem a little cramped for space at times, but the relaxed atmosphere and overall service of the place makes up for this. Staff were attentive and friendly, and our food didn't take too long to arrive. There was also no wait for a table when we went around 12pm on a Sunday, which was really great.

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