Monday, 18 June 2012

Melbourne Coffee and Food is Freaking Good

I was in Melbourne for close to 3 weeks and had the opportunity to savour what Melbourne has to offer in terms of food. Well, I am pleased to inform you that you won't have any problems finding the right food because Melbourne offers you all kinds of great tasting food from all over the world.

If you need to put on weight, Melbourne is the place to be :) I definitely put on a few pounds while I was in Melbourne. I tell you, the coffee in Melbourne is really good; I guess this is because the milk there is fresh. And below is how coffee is served in Melbourne :)

Coffee serve at St Ali South Melbourne

The first place I dined in upon reaching Melbourne was at Stalactites, a Greek restaurant. I ordered the chicken souvlaki wrap with pita bread and the serving was huge for my standards. I asked for a knife and cut it into half and shared it with my cousin. My son on the other hand could finish one by himself. Anyway, the food tasted not too bad.

The next morning I went to Hungry Jack and ordered their breakfast set for about AUD5 which consisted of Bacon Egg Muffin, Hash-brown and a cup of Cappuccino. Boy, was I surprised that the coffee tasted damn freaking good.

And if you want a lunch or dinner meal for just slightly above AUD5, you should try out Hungry Jacks Stunner where you will get a burger, fries, soda and even a sundae ice cream.

Here are some places you should try out while in Melbourne for Breakfast or Brunch:

St Ali Cafe - 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne

I went there on a Saturday Morning and below is a photo of the street where St Ali Cafe is located. Looks deserted right.

And if you go to St Ali by yourself, you might even miss the place because there is no sign board! This is not uncommon for outlets which have the best coffee in Melbourne, I will touch on this again. The only thing that is obvious outside St Ali cafe is the address number i.e. 12-18. See, lucky number No.8, no wonder their business is damn good. Below is a photo showing the customers waiting to be seated and I assure you it was fully jammed packed inside.

I had the Mexican Cousin which was pretty good with many different flavours to it.

Auction Room - 103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne

I went there on a Sunday Morning at about 9.30am and it was already full house. Had to wait kind of long to be seated as our party consisted of 7 people. Everyone seems to be enjoying the atmosphere at the restaurant and would not move their butts even after finishing their meals, haha. The menu was kind of limited and we ordered most of it but I only took a few photos. The food was indeed good.

Seven Seeds - North Melbourne

Another outlet famous for their coffee. I ordered the French Toast with pear and pecans and it was really good. As usual, coffee is served with art.


Hardware Societe - Hardware Street Melbourne Central Business District

If you are staying in Melbourne CBD, you should try out the breakfast menu. The place is located between Little Lonsdale/Lonsdale streets and Elizabeth/Queens streets. But you should be there before 10am else you may not be seated until they serve lunch and missed out their unique breakfast menu.

Snag Stand - Melbourne Central Corner of La Trobe/Swanston

No way you can miss this place. Try out their unique sausages :) But I must say it is kind of messy eating it with my hands.

And for Lunch or Dinner, below are several places I tried out and find them to be pretty good. Actually, I enjoyed all the food at the restaurants I patronised while in Melbourne and there was nothing to complain about. Best of all, all the restaurants serve water for FREE whereas it would cost you no less than AUD2 for a bottle of mineral water.

TAXI Dining Room - Level 1 Transport Hotel, Federation Square

This restaurant is really nice and the food taste great too. I was there with my wife and 3 kids and we ordered the Ballotine of quail, rabbit with foie gras parfait, Crispy Twice Cooked Duck, Atlantic Salmon and Pan Fried John Dory to be shared among us. The bill came out to close to AUD200 and it was worth every penny. And I must add, the service was excellent, it was raining the day we went there for lunch and our wet coats were promptly taken away and their staff were already waiting for us at the door with our coats when we wanted to leave. Click here to see the rest of the menu. 

MERCADANTE - Lygon Street

My cousins took me to Mercadate and I found the food to be good and value for money. And I always believe a true Italian restaurant will have excellent Tiramisu and I just had to order it. Well, the Tiramisu was really good :) I like the food there so much that I visited it again when my family joined me in Melbourne 10 days later. Click here for Mercadante Menu.

Here are some photos taken at Mercadante:

Unfortunately, the second time I was there I did not take any photos of the food. But here are Mercadante's Chocolate Pizza and Tiramisu for desert :) Look at the generous portion of fresh cream, how not to get fatter :(

Red Spice Road - McKillop Street. A touch of Thai. 

This restaurant is located between Bourke/Little Collins and Elizabeth/Queens. It's not really a Thai restaurant but more like fusion. You must try the pork belly, really freaking good. If you go and order before 6pm, they offer a cheaper set dinner.

I visited many other restaurants but did not take any photos. If you like Indian food, check out Curry Vault where the naans were good. A piece of free advice to you girls: please hold on to the railing when going down the steps, a girl fell down the stairs while I was there!

See, Curry Vault address has the No.8, that explain why their business is good

If you like dim sum, check out Shark Fin Inn at Little Bourke Street China Town and Taipan in East Doncaster. Both these dim sum restaurants were packed during lunch time and I recommend you make a reservation before you get there.  And if you really like hot spicy Sichuan food, you must go try out Sichuan House at Corrs Lane (opposite Shark Fin House, note not Shark Fin Inn) along Little Bourke Street. The egg plant was freaking delicious and spicy, actually all the food we ordered were freaking spicy.

While I was in Melbourne I was craving for hard shell tacos and there is a Mexican restaurant called Taco Bill located at Collins Street.

Actually, all the addresses of the restaurants I mentioned above can easily be obtained by just googling.

And Melbourne cannot claim to have the best food on earth without having Malaysian food (Malaysia is the world's food capital where one can get the best tasting food for money on planet earth) and there are plenty Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne. It is not uncommon for many restaurant to have Hokkien mee in their menu too.

Petaling Street restaurant owned by Berjaya Group

Located at Elizabeth Street, big serving, fast and delicious.
And I had nasi lemak for lunch at Pappa Rich located at QV Melbourne CBD. They even have a stand alone building in Doncaster. The nasi lemak at Pappa Rich tasted exactly the same as the one in Malaysia.

For those of you who love hot chocolate, try out The Bald Man Max Brenner located at QV in front of Pappa Rich.

And last but not least, possibly the best coffee in Melbourne CBD is by Brother Baba Budan located at 359 Little Bourke Street between Elizabeth and Queen Street. Here is lucky number No.8 at work again, if you add up the numbers of the address; 3+5+9 = 17 = 1+7 = 8, see, that's why their business is so good :)  But like I mentioned in my post at the very beginning, you may not find this place because it does not have a sign board in front of the shop! But, don't worry, photos below will help you find it. And to make sure you are in the right shop, look up the ceiling and if you see chairs, you are in the right place, hahaha.

To read my next article >>> click here to Melbourne Aquarium - An Experience Not To Be Missed

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UPDATE October 2012 - Click here to read my follow up article to this post titled Melbourne Food Is Freaking Good Part II

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