A whirlwind weekend in Hobart, Tasmania
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RACV Apartment Hotel
Location: 154-156 Collins Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
Contact: (03) 8657 0140
This was my second time in Hobart for a holiday and it was an absolute pleasure to attend as a special guest of RACV Apartment Hotel. I have always had fond memories of Hobart – it’s a lustrous, beautiful space, and a wonderful way to escape the bustle that so often consumes Victorian life.
Aptly located within close walking distance of the pier, Salamanca Markets and Hobart’s premier shopping strip, the Apartment Hotel is a sight to behold. The entire block has just undergone a spectacular, 14-month-long renovation, with each space being carefully crafted and maximised to a tee. The result is a gorgeous celebration of old and new, where historic touches and the old Cascade brewery office (heritage-listed) and on-site stables are reinvigorated to blend in with modern finishings. After speaking with the warm staff there, and having viewed pictures of the transformation process myself, I can honestly say that the journey has been well worth the effort and it is a true testament to the team’s patience that they were able to ensure the smooth running of the hotel while construction continued throughout the precinct.
Kitchen 425 @ Ms Collins
Location: 425 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne
Contact: 03 8614 2222
GOOD NEWS: Ms Collin’s Kitchen 425 has partnered up with Veuve Clicquot this Summer to bring you the ‘Veuve Clicquot Summer Garden’, trading Wednesday – Friday from 4pm to 9pm.
The menu celebrates a unique culinary experience, with dishes drawing notes from pan Asian and contemporary Australian influences, under the consultancy of Chef Daniel Wilson (Huxtaburger). The addition of the Summer Garden means that every Wed to Friday there will be a Summer cocktail special, and a delectable food special on offer – the perfect segue-way to a fun night out on the town. On the Friday night that we attended, there were some MAD good plates of ribs and burgers (yeesss please), garden spritz cocktails and deeelicious sweet potato fries doing the rounds.
Location: Flinders Walk, CBD, Melbourne
Contact: 03 8648 7644
Taking up residence in Finders Street Station’s disused Sandridge Line, Arbory bar and eatery boasts stunning views of Melbourne’s Yarra River, good booze and scrumptious bar food.
The slick, 150m deck means getting a seat is (generally) not an issue, although Friday nights are known to draw large crowds. The delicious menu by Raúl Moreno Yagüe (ex-Vue de Monde) is wine-centric (think crispy pork belly and fried calamari), and there are some gorgeous rosés, pinot gris, Mornington Peninsula pale ales, Golden Axe ciders and Brooklyn lagers to keep all alcohol enthusiasts happy.
Mr Mister Cafe
161 Chapel Street, Windsor, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9529 3902
Mr Mister is open on the busy Chapel street strip. Their courtyard is a delight, a secluded place to bask in the morning sun and recharge.
1 Fennell Street, Port Melbourne, Melbourne
Contact: 03 8534 9957
In the midst of the slightly industrial and commercial side of Port Melbourne is Punchbowl Canteen. The heavy brickwork and large continuous windows give away it’s factory origins, which gives the inside a light airiness. The menu is genuinely interesting, with plenty for breakfast and brunch, as you’d expect plus a fuller lunch menu than most. We sampled a great selection of them, perched as a veritable bevy of exotica stopped by the corner: A Lamborghini Aventador, A Ferrari 246 Dino, A Lotus Europa and a Porsche 911 Carrera S convertible (991).
Location: 229 High Street, Prahran, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 9530 2288
Middletown, the name of Prahran’s latest cosy hideout, is based of the persona of the Dutchess of Cambridge; royal, but close to the people.
It’s all part of the vision of co-owners Randy Dhamanhuri and Valerie Fong, the same duo behind Operator 25, which has quickly become one of Melbourne CBD’s most frequented cafes. The duo have created another luxurious nest in this feel-good space with sophisticated, delicious and healthy meals.
Juno and May
662 Burke Road, Camberwell, Melbourne
Contact: 03 8840 8006
Juno and May have transformed a large complex space into a series of areas with different textures. The bright light, light stained wood brunch front leads to the luxurious dark back area, with a great high function area above. We dropped in at night to taste their asian inspired dinner menu
Spare Me Kitchen
Location: Level 1, 393 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9419 6380
Walking into Glamorama’s Spare Me Kitchen, on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, I didn’t know what to expect.
Operated by the same crew behind the popular Less than Zero in South Yarra, Glamorama offers itself as a restaurant; a bar; and later in the night as a nightclub. I had high expectations about the atmosphere, but didn’t know what to expect from its kitchen.
I found that all my expectations were surpassed by Spare Me Kitchen, which offered a fun and inviting atmosphere matched by a creative and delicious menu.
Meat Market South Wharf
Location: 53 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf VIC 3000
Contact: 9008 8953
Set in the stunning South Wharf precinct, Meat Market offers pasture fed beef from some of Australia’s best ethical producers, as well as chicken, seafood, lamb and kangaroo sourced in Victoria.
Hearty proteins are available in all forms and sizes (think Cape Grim porterhouses and Kilcoy eye fillets) and come dressed with a range of classic sauces, from Bordelaise jus to a trio of mustards. Those looking to impress can turn it up a notch with a whole roast duck or 1kg of crispy pork belly, although make sure to leave up to a 45 minute wait for these gems busy periods.
The Truffle Shuffle
Location: South Melbourne Market
I still remember the first time I tried truffles.
A good friend had just gotten engaged and, armed with a good excuse to throw a decadent cheese and wine party, I headed down the orange staircase at Spring Street Grocer’s cheese room in the hopes of picking up a creamy brie or camembert for a crowd. Safe to say, Spring Street Grocer does not disappoint, and I walked out with a slab of truffle brie, absolutely convinced by the French cheesemonger that it was the best thing in the world.
And boy, it was – from the strong scent of the truffle that had been grated and strewn throughout the middle of the cheese, to that sharp, earthen and delicately oily taste. It was out of this world.
The Crux and Co
Location: 35 Albert Road, South Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 9820 1081
South Melbourne’s newest addition to the brunch rotation is a massive, 110-seater space with a killer menu and round the clock fresh pastries. It’s one of those places that, despite only opening a month ago, is already a hub of activity and still somewhere that is intimate enough to encourage visitors to sit for a while and enjoy the surroundings.
Owner Kevin Li (who also brought us Lights in the Attic) and manager James Julian have designed the space to be somewhere that visitors can lounge and relax, without the pressure of being pushed out. That means light-filled spaces with wooden features and pot plants throughout, and service that focuses on making patrons feel like they’re at home.
Grub Food Van
Location: 87-89 Moor Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria
Contact: 03 9877 5102
Grub Food Van is refreshing change amongst a sea of clean, minimalist designer cafe’s that litter every suburb. Decorated by the owners themselves, it feels much like stepping into their house, which is apt as it was their rather expansive abode.
The garden is served by the gleaming bodied Airstream, perfect for summer days or nights, whilst the warm greenhouse is filled with light and plant life, heated heartily from the fireplace.
As if to top it all off, it’s also dog friendly inside so people and their pooches aren’t shivering outside. Grub Food Van’s pastry chef even makes biscuits for well behaved canine guests.
Academy Kitchen and Bar
Location: 318 Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9427 8231
Academy Kitchen and Bar’s Chef and owner, Will Manning, has tapped into a number of classic European dishes and adapted them for the modern, Melbourne palate. With experience in hatted restaurants, as well as a previous stint of part ownership of the beloved Prospect Espresso Cafe, Manning has put together a well-balanced menu that combines indulgent share plates of wholesome pastas, risottos and meats with techniques developed in Australia.
Stepping in, it’s hard not to fall in love with the elegantly minimalist dining space. There’s a huge communal bar that lines the right side of the restaurant, with the other flanked by a long bench, wooden tables and an earthy brick wall. It has that genuine neighbourhood restaurant charm about it – warm, welcoming and accessible, accompanied by the promise of stellar food and drinks.
Fall from Grace (located behind the bookshelf at State of Grace)
Location: 477 Collins Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 8644 7110
Steeped in history, Amaro Montenegro, ‘the liqueur of the virtues’, was created by famous distiller and herbalist Stanislao Cobianchi.
With over 100 years of refinement, today’s Montenegro blend is a perfectly balanced mix of over 40 herbs, vanilla and citrus pops of orange peel. The Montenegro brand claims top place as one of Italy’s leading exports thanks to its ability to be enjoyed straight, with soda water and a dash of orange rind, or in complex cocktails. We headed over to Fall from Grace (located down the rabbit hole of the sassy State of Grace on Collins Street) for a bangin’ cocktail party to celebrate the re-launch of Amaro Montenegro in Australia.
The Stables of Como
Location: Corner Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue, South Yarra & Toorak, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 9827 6886
Set amongst the lush surrounds of the heritage-listed Como House and gardens in South Yarra, The Stables of Como brings a surprisingly relaxed, country-style space to one of inner-city Melbourne’s poshest suburbs.
The cafe itself occupies the old stables of the gardens; a light and airy, white-washed space that sprawls out into a plush green courtyard and manicured greens.
Dogs are welcome (expect to see a few insta-famous pups on the weekend) and one should expect a wait – it seems like everyone is aware that this spot is a bit of bliss on a sunny afternoon.
Location: 6 Burton Crescent, Melbourne, Ivanhoe, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9499 8186
One of the East’s best cafes is (in, mind you, true Melbournian style) hiding in a street off a main road in a non-descript building in Ivanhoe.
For those in the know, the cafe, East Ivy, brings all the finesse of its sister restaurant Lux Foundry to the fore, and then some.
The all day menu is accessible as ever, aiming for broad appeal with a blend of Melbournian brekkie staples as well as a few unique touches. Coffee is by Proud Mary, teas by Larsen & Thompson (yes please), and the food is reliably good. All of the things one would expect from a crew who clearly know the brunch game back to front.
Meatball and Wine Bar
Location: 135 Flinders Lane, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
Contact: 03 9654 7545
Most of you would be familiar with the Meatball and Wine Bar.
Melbourne’s first artisan meatball restaurant, which launched in the CBD and has now expanded to three outlets across Melbourne, has quickly become renowned for its highly customisable meatball offering, which includes balls of the beef, chicken, pork, fish and vegetable varieties. Once you’ve picked your balls, ordering is a simple affair – add a hearty, creamy or light sauce and something for your balls to sit on (who can go past a good ol’ mash?) and voila, you’ve got yourself one lip-smacking meal.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Anchor Milk is redefining the way we look at milk. The company, which launched in Australia in February this year, is the first in Australia to employ the use of microfiltration technology – a unique process which allows the removal of 99 per cent of the bacteria in milk.
While unwelcome bacteria in pasteurised milk is not harmful, it can impact the taste and shelf-life of milk. The unique filtration process that Anchor Milk uses results in a beautifully fresh tasting product with a substantially longer shelf-life than normal pasteurised milk (21 days versus the typical 15 day shelf-life of regular milk).
Location: Collins Square, 727 Collins Street, Melbourne Victoria
Contact: 03 9252 7999
Albert and Sydney – Cocktail and Wine Bar
Location: 382 Sydney Road, Brunswick Victoria
Contact: 03 8354 6600
We wandered into the Albert and Sydney with the waft of barbeque filling our nostrils.
Planted imposingly on the corners of Albert Street and Sydney Road, the space is light and airy, belying its heavy blockwork outer. The booths are open and relaxed, and the vaulted ceilings help the feeling of vastness, dotted with textured shades and technicolour logo.