Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$$ A little bit fancy, American, Barbecue, CBD

Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint Level 1, 79 Bourke Street, Melbourne Contact: 1300 BRISKET Fancy Hanks has moved uptown. From Canteen like pub digs at the Queen Victoria Market, Fancy Hanks has taken their expertise, as well as a 2 ton Silver Creek smoker to the top of Bourke st. The bright new dining area is a definite lift upmarket. The food however has the same old favourites though, but with added complexity to the sides, which always merely orbited around those juicy brisket slices. The wedge salad for example is killer. T & I were at the launch where they brought out the crowd favourites. It’s worth making a booking as it’s sure to fill quickly. Their website even allows bookings to be made only 5 minutes beforehand, as if you were on wotif. The food is balanced and flavour filled, the sides are so good and the drinks are familiar, but twisted to suite the cuisine. Well worth going to. _02a5197
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Ms Collins launches Acoustic Kitchen Fridays

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, American, Asian, CBD, Craft Beers, Fast Food, International, Modern Australian, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA, Winebar

Ms Collins Location: 425 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: Bookings contact (03) 8614 2222 during business hours. For after work group package bookings or information, contact info@mscollins.com.au After work drinks just got more fun! Ms Collins has just launched the Acoustic Kitchen, which means Friday nights just got a whole lot better. The huge bar, restaurant and club now features an acoustic live band from 6-8pm, every Friday. DSCF0640

Meatmother re-opening

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, American, Barbecue, Burgers, Craft Beers, International, Pub & Bar Food, Richmond, Steakhouse, VICTORIA

Meatmother Location: 67 Swan Street, Richmond Victoria Contact: 03 9041 5393 Meatmother is back. Whilst most would be familiar with this bastion of American style low and slow protein, things have changed over in Richmond. The favourites are all still there, but tweaked with modern sensibilities, bringing the cuisine from a decadent once a year indulgence to fantastic Friday night fare. _02A3687
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Royal Stacks Launch Party

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, CBD, Fast Food, International, Modern Australian, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA

Royal Stacks Location: 470 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9620 0296 Melbourne’s latest burger joint, Royal Stacks, may have just opened it doors on the Spencer end of Collins Street, but the soon-to-be Melbourne institution is already kicking up a buzz with burger fanatics. Drawing on US influences and the expertise of resident burger guru, Dani Zeini (the same geniuses who brought us Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Dandenong Pavilion, Easey’s and Truck Stop Deluxe), Royal Stacks manages to deliver on all of the things that a Shake Shack-inspired burger chain must, and then some. That means a lip-smacking menu of premium ‘stacked’ burgers, served with the option of jazzing it all up just the way you like, with add-ons including the usual extra patty and extending to a sinful deep fried mac and cheese croquette. Bless.
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Trunk Garden Drinks in Summer

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, American, CBD, European, International, Italian, Pizza, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA, Winebar

Trunk Location: 275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne 3000 VIC Contact: 03 9663 7994 There are a lot of things to love about Trunk. There’s that adorable side diner, housed in a shell of its own, which serves up some hella hearty American-style loaded fries, diner dogs and moreish brioche-bunned burgers. Then there’s that gorgeous garden to the front, peppered with large wooden communal tables and gorg-ified by the loveliest strings of fairy lights. Oh, and, if you’re in a mind to take that date of yours to the next level, you can easily transition to the indoor restaurant and bar which dishes up equally satisfying meals, albeit in a snazzier environment.
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45 Degrees Pizza

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Abbotsford, American, Asian, Fast Food, International, Pizza, Richmond, VICTORIA, Vietnamese

45 Degrees Pizza Location: 33 Bridge Road, Richmond, VIC Contact: 03 9429 5577 For traditional pizzas with a twist, one can’t go past 45 Degrees Pizza. The newly opened pizzeria joint is a celebration of Melbourne’s hip hop culture, with custom graffiti splashed across the walls and an open kitchen format that gives diners a view of the pizza making process, where pizza chefs don Run-DMC-esque uniforms while whipping up hearty pizzas to the tune of hip hop. 45 Degrees’ owners have been careful to craft a unique space and pizza offering that turns the traditional pizza topping on its head. The outcome is a cheeky menu which truly celebrates Melbourne’s multiculturalism, borrowing snippets of flavour from various countries and their favourite dishes from across the world.

Bowery to Williamsburg Midtown

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, CBD, Fast Food, International, Sandwiches and Salads, VICTORIA

Bowery to Williamsburg Midtown Location: 123 Hardware Street, CBD, Melbourne 3000 Contact: 03 9077 0162 We first visited Bowery to Williamsburg back when the original New York-themed cafe opened up in Melbourne’s graffiti-laden Hosier Lane, which is located near the Paris end of Melbourne’s CBD. Serving up an incredible list of sandwiches and bagels housing slow-cooked lamb shoulder, hot smoked salmon and organic chicken, we instantly fell in love with the hearty flavours of America’s finest. Since then, Bowery to Williamsburg has also opened up shop on the other side of the city in Hardware Street, offering the same, lip-smackingly-good fare as its parent restaurant.
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Girl with the Gris Gris at Ding Dong Lounge

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, CBD, International, Pub & Bar Food, Sandwiches and Salads, VICTORIA

Girl with the Gris Gris Location: Ding Dong Lounge, 18 Market Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9514 4577 Girl with the Gris Gris is a unique venue which capitalises on Melbourne’s love for live music and hearty food. The restaurant itself is nestled inside Market Lane’s vibrant Ding Dong Lounge bar, meaning that diners can enjoy live and eclectic local, national and international rock, hip-hop and electro music whilst tucking into local chef Chris Weysham’s modern take on New Orleans cuisine. That means filling serves of shrimp etouffee, spinach madeleine crab dip and grilled eggplant po boys alongside the tunes of artists like The Melvins, Silversun Pickups, The White Stripes, Plan B, The Kills, Peaches, Mike Patton, Ariel Pink, Death From Above 1979, Supersuckers and The Ting Tings, to name a few.
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Grand Trailer Park Taverna

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, CBD, Craft Beers, Fast Food, International, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA

Grand Trailer Park Taverna Location: Upstairs – Enter via Bourke St, 87 Bourke St Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9972 3699 With a menu that plays homage to pop culture references, it’s hard not to fall head over heels in love with Grand Trailer Park Taverna. Set above the bustle of Bourke Street, the burger, beer and milkshake joint aims to transport patrons to the US’ great outdoors – the space is set up with picnic-style tables, with little enclaves and an outdoor dining area to the back.

MELBOURNE FAVOURITES – SUMMER 2015

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, $$$$ Fine dining, Abbotsford, Albert Park, American, Asian, Bakery, Balaclava, Balwyn, Barbecue, Breakfast & Brunch, British, Burgers, Camberwell, Carlton, Caufield, CBD, Chicken, Chinese, Coffee, Collingwood, Dessert, Diner, Elsternwick, European, Fast Food, Fitzroy, Hawthorn, Ice Cream, International, Italian, Japanese, Kew, Korean, Mexican, Modern Australian, Moorabbin & Highett, Oakleigh, Prahan, Pub & Bar Food, Richmond, Ripponlea, Sandwiches and Salads, Seafood, South Yarra, Spanish, St Kilda, Steakhouse, Sushi, Thai, Toorak, Vegetarian, VICTORIA, Vietnamese, Windsor

I am constantly astounded by the quality and diversity of food that is offered in Melbourne. Having recently returned from travelling and working overseas (where I had the pleasure of dining at quite a few Michelin-starred restaurants), I can comfortably say that Melbourne offers some of the best restaurants and cafes in the world, which, believe it or not, I much preferred over their Michelin-starred counterparts. This past month I have been very ‘busy’ re-acquainting my palette with Melbourne food. Here are a few favourites that I’d happily eat at (over and over) again: Hinoki Japanese Pantry Location: 279 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC 0065 Contact: 03 9417 4531 IMG_20150215_174219 Hinoki Japanese Pantry on Urbanspoon Fonda Mexican Location: 248 Swan Street, Richmond, VIC 3121 Contact: 03 9429 0085 IMG_20150224_204240 Fonda Mexican on Urbanspoon Jinda Thai Location: 7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford, VIC 3067 Contact: 03 9419 5899 Processed with VSCOcam with c2 preset Jinda Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Rockwell & Sons

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Burgers, Collingwood, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA

Rockwell & Sons Location: 288 Smith St Collingwood, VIC 3066 Contact: 03 8415 0700 We’ve had our fair share of burgers, and after celebrating the taking out of Burger Adventure’s ‘best burger in Melbourne’ award earlier this year with Merrywell in Southbank (click here for coverage of that eating frenzy), we’ve been on the lookout for favourites across the ‘burbs. Rockwell & Sons is definitely a fave. Rockwell & Sons’ double patty smash burger is by far one of the best burgers we’ve had to date, and for good reason – each of these bad boys contain two juicy, tender patties wedged in between the fluffiest brioche buns. All smothered in kraft cheese and special sauce. It’s just as good as it sounds.

The Lumber Yard

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$$ A little bit fancy, American, Barbecue, British, Fitzroy, VICTORIA

The Lumber Yard represents the culmination of the efforts of Paul and David to exhibit some southern USA style cooking they’ve perfected outside their regular efforts at major events under the guise of Iron Bark.

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Nestled in a room within the Worker’s club on Brunswick street, The Lumber Yard is a quiet, comforting space lovingly adorned with articles of olde. Note as well, an early model offset smoker barbeque in the corner as well, that can be calibrated for standard and reverse flow.

Southgate Moveable Feasts: Artusi, Amarok and Bluetrain

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, American, CBD, Coffee, Dessert, International, Italian, Modern Australian, Southbank, VICTORIA

Southgate Moveable Feasts Location: Southgate Melbourne Contact: See website here This Winter, Southgate Melbourne has been host to a series of ‘Moveable Feasts’ where Melburnians and Melbourne-lovers alike can savour three tailored courses at three separate venues (with matching wines). That means that you begin your feast at one restaurant and then, when it’s time to change over, your host will ring a little bell and guide you to your next eating destination. A rather innovative concept, and one that’s a warm welcome to those looking for a comprehensive introduction to three new eateries without the need for excessive waits between lines. The whole experience sounded too good for us to pass up, and we were delighted to accept an invitation a couple of weeks ago for a Sunday session with Artusi, Amarok and Bluetrain Restaurant. The full list of participating restaurants contains some old and new scenes, from the recently opened Hophaus Bar to Pure South Dining. We began our entrees with a sit down at Artusi, a modern Italian wine bar and dining establishment facing the waterfront. Brand spanking new, the Artusi dining area is clean and crisp, with the restaurant focussing on producing artisan handmade pastas, whole roasted duck, suckling pig and fish created in their new wood fired oven.

Third Wave

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, American, Barbecue, Prahan, VICTORIA

Third Wave Cafe American BBQ Dinner Location: 30 Cato St, Prahran, VIC Contact: 03 9510 2991 Thoroughly impressed with the smoky rich flavours of the brunch fare on our last visit to Third Wave (click here for full review), we couldn’t pass up an invitation to try their American BBQ dinner menu. When this menu involves a salacious range of meats and salmon that have been dry rubbed with a complementary mix of spices, smoked over different woods over a period that ranges from 6 to 12 hours, and then slow cooked to juicy tender perfection, how could we say no? Upon our arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff that were more than happy to discuss their recommendations over a menu that is packed with delicious options. This included the 6 different smoked meats and fish from the American BBQ menu, which come in medium/half rack (recommended for 1 person) and large/full rack servings (to be shared by 2), as well as a gluten-free Paleo menu and many of the delicious burger, slider and salad dishes featured in the lunch menu. Looking around, we noted that no love had been lost over the night-time ambience of the eatery, which had transformed from a bright, open café during the day to a softly lit casual diner with a joy-inspiring background track of alternative electro house and pop (much to E’s delight).

Bourbon Street

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, American, Barbecue, CBD, Fast Food, Sandwiches and Salads, South Melbourne, VICTORIA

Bourbon Street Order at: http://bourbonstreet.com.au/ Tough day at work? Got them Southern food cravings? Bourbon Street’s lunch delivery service is up and running, and boy do these kids deliver. The menu is short and sweet, with slow-cooked sandwiches and bowls done well, and a few quirky sides (melt-in-your-mouth kale chips and candied walnuts, anyone?). The ordering process itself is no fuss: order online, and your meal will be on wheels in no time. Heck, they even send you a lovely SMS update to tell your when your feed is almost at its destination. Can’t get any more convenient than that.

TGIF Fridays Premium Stacked Burger Range Launch

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, American, Barbecue, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, CBD, Modern Australian, Steakhouse

TGIF Fridays Location: Level 3, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre A simple mention of ‘TGI Fridays’ is likely to evoke certain fond memories: friendly service, the renowned Jack Daniel’s Grill, buffalo wings, loaded potato skins and that extensive list of value-for-money cocktails. Now occupying the top floor of Melbourne Central, the latest addition to the TGI Fridays chain also offers the same fun and relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere that TGI Friday’s other outlets have offered, smack bang in the heart of this vibrant city.

Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, American, Barbecue, Burgers, St Kilda, VICTORIA

Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall Location: 64-66 Acland St, St Kilda, VIC 3182 Contact: 03 9525 3755 This revamped homage to classic Southern-style food is set to catapult you into the American food scene, which has well and truly taken Melbourne by storm. Not that we’re complaining, of course: Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall have clearly put a lot of thought into perfecting what are guaranteed to be crowd-pleasers: there’s everything that one could possibly want from a Texas barbecue at this joint.

The Royale Brothers

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, American, Brighton, Burgers, Fast Food, VICTORIA

The Royale Brothers Location: 1 Church Street, Brighton Contact: 03 9005 4242 Walk up to Royale Brothers and you can be in no doubt that this would be a late night favourite. A small hole in the wall, open late in amidst a sea of day only shopping in an area with little else besides. To say that Royale Brothers is inspired by the great golden arcs, as well as perhaps one of the only G rated sequences in Pulp fiction would be a disservice. Recall if you will the taste of a quarter pounder through the rose coloured nostalgia of your very first time you ever went to McDonalds. Recall as well a first bite fuelled by an enduring hunger on a night spent imbibing the distilled, brewed or fermented. Heighted by either discovery of the new, alcohol or perhaps both, that is what a Royale with cheese tastes like.
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The Merrywell: Celebrating the Best Burger Award

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Burgers, CBD, Invitations, News, Pub & Bar Food, Southbank, VICTORIA

The Merrywell Location: Cnr Clarendon St & Crown Riverside, Southbank, VIC Contact: 03 9292 7468 Simplicity is deceiving. As a student at school with an Asian mum, of course I learnt a musical instrument. Two in fact at one point. But to pre-empt any stereotypical thoughts: no, I wasn’t forced, and no I wasn’t under duress to perform like some kind of circus animal. Well, not often. But what saxophone and piano taught me, beyond the obvious, was that in simplicity there can be perfection, but it is always hard fought. The sheer effortlessness of the senior jazz band always amazed me as a novice. Jazz music looked and sounded so easy, so self-assured. But as I progressed and joined the band myself I realised that that aura of confidence and finesse came from talent, to some extent, as well as a massive amount of practice and technical ability. Simple was the result of weeks spent traversing the circle of fourths, blues, augmented and diminished scales and so on. To make it sound simple, took a fine polished skill.
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Third Wave

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Breakfast & Brunch, Burgers, Coffee, Prahan, South Yarra, Toorak, VICTORIA

Third Wave Location: 30 Cato St, Prahran, VIC Contact: 03 9510 2991 Capitalising on hearty American fare and high quality coffee, Third Wave is a brand spanking new cafe located in the heart of Prahan. The cafe has a wonderfully bright and open feel, and boasts renowned chef Ryo Kitahara, a protégé of Iron Chef Sakai from the popular Japanese television series. TFS was kindly invited to the cafe to try out their brunch offering, which extensively covers both American and Russian style dishes.
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