Monday, 15 April 2013

Top Five Melbourne Food Experiences

{a selection of food that I shared on Instagram}
We had so many great meals in Melbourne, it was hard to narrow down a top five. We barely strayed from the CBD and still found so many great, bustling places to eat on weeknights and for breakfast, which is a little different from Brisbane. Many people say that Melbourne's best food is in the suburbs, and the one place we ate at outside of the city centre made it into my top five. I snapped lots of photos before tucking in, and here they are in order of mealtime.
Hardware Societe

Hardware Societe 1
{image from here}
This cute place is the talk of the town on Urbanspoon and I know why- I wanted to go back every morning! It had a cool vibe with the usual mismatched tables, chairs and crockery, bright colours against grey walls, white and wooden neutrals. Baked eggs seemed to be the popular menu item, but at the last minute I decided to go for the continental breakfast (something I NEVER do!). It was so good, with a flaky, buttery croissant, amazeballs local granola with organic vanilla yoghurt, and a watermelon-strawberry-mint fruit salad. Never before have I ordered any of these elements, but they were perfection. I have since begun buying Bonne Maman jam jars to add to my servingware and have already tried the fruit salad flavour combo as a mocktail.

Manchester Press
We found Manchester Press on our last morning and they specialize in bagel breakfasts. It was very industrial chic, hidden down a blank brick laneway (see my previous post). I had avocado, feta, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts on a bagel (AKA the mountain below) and the first half was delicious. The second half was even better, stashed in my bag all day and enjoyed on the plane on the way home. 
Chin Chin

We ate lunch at Chin Chin as we had heard top rate and top dollar things about it. Dining during the day at a pricier restaurant seems to be the go for eating well on a budget, and it certainly worked here. We both ordered from the 'something smaller' menu (having had large breakfasts each day), and I had the delectable DIY rolls. Crispy tofu was paired with cabbage, carrot, daikon, cucumber, bean sprouts and Vietnamese mint, wrapped up and slathered in a peanut-garlic-ginger dipping sauce. YUM. I was stuffed full for $16. Also pictured are the coconut-watermelon-mint iced coolers, named something snappy but I can't remember what. This place is so hot their menu isn't even online for gawking at.

Touche Hombre

{image via here}

We tried to get into this place on a Wednesday night and there was an hour wait. That pretty much says it all. Came back the following night at a more respectable hour and were so glad we did. The grungy, tequila lined interior (complete with DJ) was the perfect complement to fresh Mexican. I was in "corn heaven" (which made the eavesdropping waitress laugh out loud) with the chilli cheese corn on the cob. In keeping with the theme of our Melbourne lunches and dinners we kept it small, and a tostada topped with a creamy corn, avocado, chilli and lime mix was more than enough despite being 10cm round.
Naked for Satan
{image via here}
Located in Fitzroy and led there by my friend Vicki, this is the only place we ate at outside of the CBD. NFS is famous for homemade flavoured vodkas and pintxos, Northern Spanish tapas on a toothpick. I had never had pintxos, but of course, being in love with any meal where I can try lots of different things I was an immediate convert. There were lots of vego options (tortilla, caprese salad, creamy corn all on baguette) and Kyle had to force me to stop adding to my plate. I love this idea for entertaining as it is so simple yet varied.
Thanks Melbourne for all of the food inspiration!

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