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.
St Hotel Location: 54 Fitzroy St, St Kilda VIC Contact: 03 9534 2944 http://www.sthotel.com.au/ On every Sunday, St Hotel lays out a thai banquet to help soak up the excesses of Saturday night. We sauntered down to have a taste.
Red Spice Road Location: QV Centre, 37 Artemis Lane, CBD, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 8660 6300 My love for weddings is equally matched by my love of a good challenge. So, when I was tasked by C with the honor of organising her Hens party and corresponding dinner celebrations, naturally I was absolutely ecstatic. C, being the lovely lady that she is, gave me considerable freedom in scoping out restaurant venues for the night, with the only conditions being that: a) the place would be able to deliver a fantastic night in a ‘pretty’ setting; b) the venue wasn’t so noisy that the girls would be able to have a proper chat; and c) the per-head charge would fall within a reasonable price range.
Rustica Canteen Location: 33 Guildford Lane Contact: 03 9642 2203 Freshly baked artisan bread, smashing sandwiches and salads, pastries and specialty coffee are on high rotation at Rustica Canteen. And boy, does it work. The hip, industrial cafe, located just a stone’s throw away from Melbourne institution Krimper, is our favourite launch this season, and is likely to be a regular haunt as Summer kicks in. Rustica’s famous sourdough is given all the fancy trimmings through a display of wholesome sandwiches with fillings from smoked beef brisket, carrot and red cabbage on ciabatta to Asian-spiced Berkshire and crackling with cucumber.
Fitzrovia Location: 155 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9537 0001 It doesn’t feel quite right to call Fitzrovia a cafe. Yes, the St Kilda eatery serves stellar brunches and a well thought out dinner service, however the combination of unique, homely touches and luxe comfort food make the whole experience of dining at Fitzrovia more akin to being invited for dinner at a lavish house party, rather than within the walls of a restaurant itself. It’s a distinguishing feature, and a wonderful reminder that friendly service and atmosphere play as much a part in contributing to repeat business as does getting the menu right.
Mission Mexican Festival 2015 Location: Federation Square When: Sunday 13 September, 11:30am-8:00pm For more information, head to: http://www.mexfest.com.au/ We recently attended a media preview of the 2015 Mexican Festival, which will be held this Sunday 13th September at Melbourne’s beloved Federation Square. Melbourne’s top Mexican chefs, artists and musicians will take food and culture lovers across Mexico’s different regions, from the rainforest state of Tabasco to the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, allowing foodies to get a true understanding of the intricate flavours, sights and sounds that make Mexican cuisine and culture so special.
Oakridge Wines is presenting two magical nights of opera with one of Australia’s leading acts, PotPourri. Head Chef Matt Stone will showcase a traditional Italian menu for La Dolce Vita and An Enchanted Spring Evening will celebrate the fresh flavours of spring found in the Yarra Valley regional food bowl, matched with Oakridge award winning wines including its Italian varietals. La Dolce Vita, “The good life” – Theatrical highlights from the most popular operas, Italian, Neapolitan and international songs including Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Madam Butterfly; and songs made famous by Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, The Three Tenors and more. An Enchanted Spring Evening – Featuring the best of musical theatre and Broadway including hits from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, South Pacific, Chicago, Westside Story, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, songs by artists Leonard Cohen, Sting, Josh Groban and many more.
Dutchess Location: Level 2, 146 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9810 0055 Step into Dutchess Melbourne and you immediately know that you’re in good hands. The space exudes a level of class which complements its ‘Paris-end’ of the CBD position, with luxurious tan booths scattered throughout and big glass windows extending to views over Flinders and Russell streets. The dining menu has been crafted by chef Justin Wise (Press club, The Point), with a focus on modern Australian fare that allows diners to pick between a range of tapas plates for grazing and more substantial main dishes for the ravenous. The bar boasts a list of innovative cocktails that have been carefully selected by head bartender Paul Ramsay (finalist in the Angostura Cocktail Challenge). The place goes off on Thursday and Friday nights, and it’s not hard to see why.
Kirk’s Wine Bar Location: 50 Hardware Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: (03) 9600 4550 One of the things that I love the most about blogging is being able to meet the passionate brains behind some pretty smashing local produce. All of us here at TFS already regularly use Cobram Estate’s olive oils in our cooking (SERIOUSLY, if you haven’t tried it, that gold-labelled, black-bottled hojiblanca magic is guaranteed to turn ANY mediocre salad into a plate of bliss), so it was a resounding ‘hell yes’ when we were asked to pop over to an intimate olive oil tasting at Kirk’s Wine Bar with Cobram Estate CEO Rob McGavin.
La Via Location: 252-254 Glenferrie Road, Malvern, VIC Contact: 03 9509 6373 http://www.caffelavia.com/ La Via have updated their menu for the season, so it was a perfect time to get re-acquainted with this Malvern stalwart.
Bockers & Pony Website: https://www.bockersandpony.com.au/ There is something really lovely about receiving gifts through the mail. From the excitement of laying your hands on a beautifully wrapped gift to the mystery of not knowing what’s hidden inside, the whole process is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. We were recently sent the ultimate gift chocolate hamper with Bockers & Pony’s ‘Can’t Smash This’ chocolate gift. Inspired by MC Hammer’s famous ‘hammer time’ and ‘you can’t touch this’, the hamper comes with one hefty kilogram block of couveture milk chocolate from Kennedy & Wilson, a premium chocolate producer based in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley, and a handy chocolate smashing hammer for a smashing good time and that much needed stress relief.
Collins Quarter Location: 86A Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 9650 8500 http://collinsquarter.com/ Hidden in the back behind the meticulously well stocked bar is Collins Quarter’s dining area. After settling down into a large chesterfield booth, we thought there would be no better way to start than with a drink.
Adam North of Entrecôte steakhouse and Hopkins River Beef and Richard Mattner of Pepperjack Wines have decided to coral their finely honed skills to compliment each other. The fruit of their labour are wines graded specifically to match a particular cut of steak and what a steak indeed in Hopkins River Beef. Adam’s grass fed Black Angus Rib eye was carved before our eyes before being whisked off to be cooked.
Om Nom Kitchen and Dessert Bar – Adelphi Hotel Location: Adelphi Hotel, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 03 8080 8827 http://omnom.kitchen/ Om Nom is set in the back of the light basked Adelphi Hotel. The moody, sharp space is calm and cool with metallic edges flaring any light that makes it through the picture frame like side windows. After a glass of sparkling we settled down to their signature high tea, plus a few obligatory extras.
Melba Restaurant, The Langham Melbourne Location: 1 Southgate Avenue, SouthbankC Contact: 03 8696 8888 http://www.melbarestaurant.com.au/aria/whats-on/love-peace-scones With all the merriment of the season it seemed only fitting to top it all off with High Tea. Setup in the Aria Lounge, the dark leather chairs were a great place to prop up for an afternoon of indulgence.
Hellyer’s Road are adding breadth their product range with their latest release. By finishing the maturing in Pinot Noir barrels they’ve created something a bit special.
Harry’s Bar and Restaurant Location: Stamford Plaza Hotel, 111 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC Contact: 9659 1592 http://www.stamford.com.au/spm The Hotel is nestled at the top end of Collins street. We came to sample the delights of their special menu: The Best of Lamb.
VinItalia 2015 When: 11 October 2015 Where: Royal Exhibition Building On 11 October 2015 the breathtaking Royal Exhibition Building will play host to this year’s VinItalia Festival, which will see approximately 400 premium wine labels on display, accompanied by delicious and authentic gourmet Italian food. The festival will be dedicated to the promotion of Italian wine and Italian food in a program made up of degustations, wine masterclasses, workshops and business meetings.
Araliya Location: 157 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Melbourne VIC Contact: 03 8658 3516 After cultivating 30 years of experience at the helm of Araliya Hawthorn, Sri Lankan chef Sam Wedande has now moved the institution to the beachy suburb of St Kilda. Drawing on three generations for his spice-infused dishes, the restaurant brings some wonderful recipes which represent a true celebration of both traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan techniques.
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.
Dex2Rose Location: 377-379 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD 3000 Contact: (03) 9078 0784 A cool change has hit Melbourne’s CBD, and kids, this time it’s a welcome one. Gelato doesn’t get much better than frozen at Dex2Rose (a wordplay on “dextrose”, the dextrorotatory form of glucose), where the friendly team whips up cheekily-named, innovative flavours (from ‘pinoy colada’ to ‘not your granny’s apple pie’) to order. White clinical walls are pitted against select splashes of colour and plush chairs inside. At the front bench, clouds of liquid nitrogen spill from KitchenAid mixers as the gelato is made before your very eyes. It’s a chem nerd’s dream, and a sweettooth’s secret escape.