Sash, Windsor

Sash is a contemporary Japanese fusion restaurant on Chapel St, close to Mr Miyagi and Hawker Hall and easily accessible by trams 6, 78 or the Prahran and Windsor Stations. The restaurant is known as a pizza bar and has influences from Hawaii and Peru for a really cool mix of dishes and flavour combinations.

The whole restaurant has a very modern vibe to it, with dim lighting and upbeat music playing. The cocktail bar takes up a lot of the front section and is definitely the most eye catching, with a cool sign in blue neon light across the back wall and low wooden beams hanging from the ceiling. This section is made up of tables for four or more in high stools, and we had no issues getting a table on a weeknight despite no booking around 7pm. The staff were friendly and attentive, and the food arrived super quickly, with less than ten minutes of ordering.



Le Petit Prince, Armadale

Le Petit Prince is a small, cosy cafe located on Mercer Rd just off High St in Armadale, in the area of boutique shops and cafes. It's easily accessible by trams 6 and 72, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets as well.

The cafe has a homely feel to it, with large pillars and a slant on one side as the underside to stairs, plus the bright lights, white walls and use of pastel blue throughout. The assortment of chairs and tables is almost haphazard in its placement, but this also adds to the cosiness of the place. There's also outdoor seating, and the cafe is known for being dog friendly. The staff were friendly and attentive, and our food arrived in about fifteen minutes.


Ippudo Ramen, QV

Ippudo Ramen is a Japanese Ramen chain that's recently opened up in Melbourne, located on Artemis Lane in the QV Precinct just a bit further down from Red Spice Road. I'd been to the one in Sydney a while back and was really excited that it had finally made its way down to Melbourne.

There's seating both inside and out at Ippudo, with large heaters to make sure it's not too cold even if you're at the outside tables. The lines at Ippudo can get quite long no matter the time of day, so we were lucky enough to get a table for three outside right away when we went on a Saturday afternoon around 1:30pm. The interior design is simple - there's not much decoration at all - with ramen bowls on one side of the wall above where the kitchen is, and low hanging lights adorning the rest of the opposite site. The atmosphere is lively and buzzing with conversation, and at the same time giving a casual and relaxed vibe.


Shanklin Cafe, Hawthorn East

Recently, I was lucky enough to receive an invite to Shanklin Cafe for brunch, a cute cafe located on Tooroonga Road in the quiet area of Hawthorn East. The cafe is a short walk from trams 70 and 75, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets as well. I had actually been to the cafe earlier this year and really enjoyed the experience, and this time was no different!

The cafe itself is cosy and spacious, split into the indoor area, the 'sunroom' that has heaters and a white covering that allows the natural light to enter, as well as seats at the front of the cafe itself. It was extremely busy and bustling with customers on the Sunday afternoon around 1pm when we went, which is the norm on a weekend for Shanklin cafe. The interior of the cafe has a warm colour palette; soft brown coloured bricks line the wall behind the counter, and the ceiling and other walls are also a light wooden tone that give the whole cafe a comfortable atmosphere.


Sister of Soul, St Kilda

Sister of Soul is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in St Kilda, in the popular Acland Street close to St Kilda beach. The restaurant prides itself on being a vegan/vegetarian establishment, along with having gluten free, raw foods and no garlic/onion options. The restaurant also gives tonnes of food waste and coffee grinds to the St Kilda Veg Out Community Gardens, to enrich the soil and help grow veggies, fruits and herbs.

On the corner of Acland Street and Shakespeare Grove, the restaurant has large windows that allow for plenty of natural light to enter, and the light brick walls plus white ceiling make for a bright, lively atmosphere filled with chatter from all the customers. Service was really great, with the food all coming out within 15 minutes even though it was really busy when we were there.


High Society, Armadale

Last weekend, I was invited to High Society in Armadale for a blogger review, a popular cafe that is located on High St, in the bridal district of Armadale. The cafe is easily accessible by tram 6 and there's plenty of parking on the side streets. The cafe went through new ownership late last year, but is still a popular brunch spot in the area.

The decor at High Society is simple and minimalistic, spacious and bright with the white walls and natural light coming in from the front. Apart from seating inside the cafe, there's a courtyard out the back, as well as in front of the cafe, lined with a white picket fence and white wooden chairs and tables. The staff were friendly though as we sat outside, at times it took awhile to get their attention, and our food came in about fifteen minutes.


Zero95, Doncaster East

Zero95 is a woodfire pizza eatery in Doncaster East, in the small shopping strip along Doncaster Road before Blackburn Road. The restaurant prides itself on creating an authentic and unique pizza experience, and I have to say it's probably some of the best pizza that I've had in Melbourne!

The restaurant has plenty of seating, though as it is so popular, definitely book a table to avoid not getting a seat. The front counter and woodfire pizza oven/station make up most of one side, and the rest of the restaurant has simple decor with brick walls and a few decorations hung up. It's always a lively atmosphere at Zero95 with the large groups of friends and family gatherings, but never too noisy that you can't hear the people next to you.


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