Chokolait: Try the chocolate banana cake
Around a corner in a Melbourne arcade you will stumble on Chokolait. We were there in a lull and just loved the corner where there were some comfy chairs and couches ...brown ones (chokolait colour) I think from memory.
Well you do have to like chocolate as there are chocolate drinks and chocolate food and just plain (well not really plain) boxes of chocolate
Now I found a little brochure there you might like to know about...you can pick one up for yourself when you visit Chokolait....it tells you about the Chocoholic Tours held on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays ...but you can also phone
+61(0) 3 9686 4655 or +61 (0) 412 158 017 for details and to book.
Favorite Dish: Chocolate of course and yes the banana cake was very special...sort of layered. There was a green chocolate frog as well!.......but the green frog was eaten very quickly so I do not have a photo
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
The Waiting Room: Drinks and Small Plates
Enjoy a snack...a drink while you wait to meet friends...then invite the friends to join you in this great little place...Maybe try a cocktail or a coffee. And they do have hot chocolate.
There are cosy spots inside or you can sit and watch the action in the foyer section of the Crown hotel. Not sure what was happening but on Saturday we saw at least 5 brides coming and going.
Maybe the reception or even the wedding night was in the Hotel.
Open from 12md till late.
certain gentleman of other days
who made of drinking
one of the pleasures of life.......................................
from The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book 1985
Favorite Dish: I enjoy watching the tea making as they add the water in front of your eyes and one waiter poured the water from "very high". I especially liked a combination of white and green tea "Dragon Well Green" $7.50
Mostly you enjoy the snacks but they do offer small meals as well.
Our most recent visit 2012....a new menu but very delicious....and very pleasant staff.
"Enjoy Your Wait"
- Food and Dining
Chin Chin Hand Made: Hot lips...Hot mouth...Hot tongue
Well actually we enjoyed ourselves.....in spiteof managing to eat some very hot green chilli hiding in the greens in one of the salads....WOW!' Hot Lips' had nothing on us
This is one of the places to eat in Melbourne so I am told and the young people love it.
And the waiter did explain there were hot and cool dishes. The idea is to order a number of plates and all share...in that way you get to experience a wide variety of what ChinChin has to offer.
Near to Christmas the Gogo Bar is open for lunch as well as in the evenings....and by the chatter this was a very popular spot.......'chook pen type chatter ' actually but all part of the atmosphere.
A special something at this restaurant is their mission to help feed the homeless and from Nov to Dec in 2012 customers are given an opportunity to help .
Favorite Dish: Well if you say "Feed Me" for $A66 per person you will be served a selection of Chin Chin's favourite dishes.
The comprehensive menu includes...soups, rice, noodles, greeen stuff curries, barbecue,and other offerings including a sweet menu....and the food was delicious...well when your lips, tongue, and mouth cools down you will find the food is great
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
The Hotel Windsor: Grand High Tea!
The Hotel Windsor is a great place for a weekend high tea as they have a dessert buffet!
Ive visited the Windsor twice for high tea now, the first was a day out with my mum and second a mix of birthday/ engagement celebrations with my parents and now fiance.
Firstly...I love the room the Windsor uses for the high tea, such an inviting and grand room with a huge buffet in the centre.
To start you are offered tea, coffee, softdrinks, water etc. Not long after arrives the 3 tiered stand with baked scones, warm savoury pastries and finger sandwiches Yum! (I will admit Ive had much better scones from the Werribee craft market sconeman but I was here for the dessert buffet so cant complain!)
Having learnt my lesson from my initial visit with mum I saved plenty of room for the petite desserts... macarons, mini strawberry lamingtons, creme brulee, lemon meringues, cheesecakes, chocolate fountain, crepe station, sticky date pudding, vanilla slices, creme caramel and... plenty more but i think thats all i could fit in haha!
This is a great place to celebrate a special occasion, maybe mothers day, bridal party high tea or even taking your grandparents out, i know mine would love it.
Favorite Dish: The mini vanilla slices (Napoleans) are very good... Im definately one of those people on the hunt for the perfect vanilla slice and the custard in these are proper custard, not gelatiney at all - Yuk! to think some people would sell jelly custard in their vanilla slices. The icing is fondant and not powdered - no mess or evidence that Ive gorged on one too many..perfect :D
- Women's Travel
- Food and Dining
Bistrot d'Orsay: French Delight (City)
Part of the Athenaeum Theatre in Collins Street, this is an extraordinary little restaurant.
Overlooking the street with a large shop window frontage, behind the glass is one of the most intimate of restaurants.
Wood panelling is the wall decor, dividing the space into two, while, if you chose to look up, ornate painted cherubs and angels stare down at you. Looking out through the glass windows across the street, a view of the ornate Regent Theatre is your eye candy.
Staff are extraordinarily attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. It ain't cheap though...
A return in 2012 confirmed that standards remain high.
Favorite Dish: French food! It's fresh, it's incredibly tasty - ranging from superb seafood linguine (OK - so not an obvious French dish...:)), gourmet sausage and mash, twice roasted duck, lamb and more.... And a great wine list too.
Carlisle Wine Bar: Reliable rustic Italian (Balaclava)
Carlisle Wine Bar is just one of those places you just keep on returning to.
It may not be a place of bells and whistles and 5 gold star reviews, but its laid-back rustic charm, friendly service and excellent food and wine is a winner, and people travel far and wide to eat here.
A long, thin, single windowed shop frontage, Carlisle Wine Bar is not about faddish funky design and overly trendy menus. Warm, snug environs is the order of the day with tables close to each other without being on top of each other and a welcoming fire place at the back suggests good, homely food.
And whether local or a traveller, Carlisle Wine Bar appeals across the board and such is the demand, it's rare a table can be had without a booking - it's that good.
Favorite Dish: Nice thing about Carlisle is that the menu is not extensive - the kitchen focuses on a few dishes and doing them well. A couple of pastas and a risotto feature alongside at least one fish and 2-3 meat dishes is the norm. Entrees always feature oysters, warmed olives and antipasto with a further selection of carpaccio (beef or yellowfin tuna), calamari and a charcuterie plate.
It's not great for non-fish eating vegetarians.
France Soir: A Total French Experience (South Yarra)
If you can get a table, this is a true 'French Melbourne' experience. It's an archetypal Parisian Brasserie - long, thin room, lots of white linen, mirrors, brass fittings, waiters in blacks and white linen aprons, and lots of noise - this is no ambient romantic tete-a-tete destination. Owner and all waiting staff are French (kitchen as well probably but then didn't wonder through the hallowed swing doors).
It's been here since 1986 and quickly established itself as one of THE places to go. It's always, always busy - pre or post theatre crowds, business lunches and dinners, even the occasional visiting international superstar may well be found at the next table - such is its reputation.
Favorite Dish: The menu is long and is difficult to make that final decision. One main hint at France Soir - don't try and look for the budget option! It just won't be there. Expect to pay AUD$25 - 35 for your main course - but this could be one of the best steaks you will eat in Melbourne, served with the epynonymous and true 'French Fries'. But there's plenty of other meats on offer, as you would expect from a French restaurant worth its salt. But there's also fish and seafood options (the oysters....). And then there's the creme brulee........
The Greek Deli & Taverna: Not So Great Greek (South Yarra)
Next door to Caffe e Cucina (see earlier tip), it's in a great spot and whilst friendly and accommodating, the food has gone downhill - sadly it used to be terrific.
With its black and white tiled floor, wooden furnishings crowded together to create an intimate space and an open fire in the main dining room, this is a cosy environs for a winter's day (with a bottle of red, grilled meats and/or fish, the warmth of the fire.
But over use of the microwave (I kid you not) has seen a decline in quality.
Favorite Dish: Emphasis on simple, grilled foods (meat, vegetables, fish), the ever important Greek dips and breads but would avoid anything that needs warming.
Supper Inn: Great Chinese (City)
A Chinatown institution that has been going for almost 30 years. Nothing fancy schmantzy about this place. Found down a nondescript alley off the main Chinatown drag (Little Bourke Street), with entry up an equally nondescript flight of stairs, this is a welcome target among the plethora of confusion that makes up the eating houses of Chinatown.
The interior doesn't win any awards for design either - a simple, large, wood panelled room, formica top tables and, usually, a little more than just ambient noise - it attracts families, large groups and more. All diners are in one square room - so no discrete corners. Service is functional and helpful without any chit chat.
Its also open until 2.30am every night - a very welcome late nighter in the city centre (from 5.30pm)
Favorite Dish: The menu is long, long, long :)
All the Cantonese standards are there and so it can be a difficult choice. And whilst part of the menu conveniently breaks up the dishes into seafood, chicken, duck, beef etc - turn the page (and the separate sheet) and be even more confused...:)
But the duck and mushroom soup is good. Setchuan Chicken was excellent, Beef with Bitter Melon good if a little too much of the bitter melon. Order a portion of fried rice and away you go.
Wine list is reasonably priced and a fair selection but it is also a BYO (corkage payable)
Caffe e Cucina: A Melbourne institution (South Yarra)
Tiny Italian restaurant that has been here for years.
Dark (lots of wood panelling), atmospheric, small tables pushed up against the wall and close to each other, there's not a lot of space in here (unless you grab one of the 4 tables outside on the busy Chapel St) or you bite the bullet and go upstairs (which is airier, lighter and a degreee quieter), but which takes away from the reason to come to Caffe e Cucina.
Favorite Dish: Pastas are always good - they tend to be simple but a little different from your standard fare. Not so many to chose from, which is also a good sign. Also worth checking out the specials.
It may not be the best Italian in town, but it's still very good, eminently affordable, very friendly and it IS something of a Melbourne institution.
Various: A lisitng II
Have to move to a second listing - too many words for one tip ! :)
Funkiest retro bar:
Misty (Hosier Lane, Melbourne) - hidden away, hence still in the 1960s - well, the 21st century version anyway. Few bowls of peanuts will be your supper here. $
Best All-rounder that's a great bar with good food:
Dog's Bar (Acland St) - one of my faves and it does superb gnocchi $$
Wine Bar with (some) food:
Enoteca (Gertrude St, Fitzroy): Wonderful environs - but tiny $$
Beer Budget with Champagne Tastes:
Grossi Fiorentina Cellar Bar (Collins St, City): Training ground for next door - the Grossi Fiorentina itself. $$
The Court House (Errol St, North Melbourne): Trad with a difference $$
Movida (Hosier Lane, City): Can be hard to get a table, even with the extension next door - mix of the traditional and experimental $$
Dino's (Chapel St, Windsor): Warm, welcoming and delightful $$
Pelican (Fitzroy St, St Kilda): A real destination place that has been serving satisfied customers for years $$
South Yarra China House (Toorak Rd, South Yarra): Stunning food - Shanghai style belly-pork to die for! Big portions for sharing. $$
The Curry Club (Bridge St, Richmond): Certainly the 'smart' side of Indian restaurants with linen tablecloths etc, but food is glorious $$
The Curry Cafe (High St, Westgarth): Relaxed, 50s retro decor NEW 2012
Blow Your Budget:
The Press Club (Flinders Lane, City): 'Master Chef' judge George Calombaris' restaurant is truly spectacular $$$$
Various: A listing
I'll give my favs here - and will write about them individually later. It's been a while since I updated this particular tip!
France Soir (Toorak Rd, South Yarra) - been here years, real steak et frites place $$$
Olivers (Greville St, Prahran) - gives France Soir a run for its money! $$$ NEW (2012)
'Ladro's' (Gertrude St, Fitzroy) - fantastic toppings $$
'Mr Wolf' (Inkerman St, St Kilda) - ditto $$
Red Rice (Brunswick St, Fitzroy) - tiny, clean lines, contemporary $$
Lam Lam (High St, Northcote) - formica top tables, always busy $ NEW (2012)
Pacific Rim Fusion:
ezards@Adelphi (Flinders Lane, City) -superb but get someone else to pay for it -:) $$$$
Cicciolina's (Acland St, St Kilda) - 1 hour waiting is the norm - excellent - fairly cheap wine list too. $$
Caffe e Cucina (Chapel St, South Yarra) Maybe not the best in the city (its still good though) but most intimate atmosphere you could possibly ask for. $$
Cafe Provedore - Barkers Rd, Kew. Traffic jams caused at weekends here - eat in or take away $$
Kamel (Albert Park) - these guys take some great risks - fried watermelon with black pepper? $$
Deli & Cafe & Restaurant
Il Fornaio (Acland St, St Kilda) - industrial strip-down decor but has a terrace $$
Walter's (South Bank complex) - a fantastic oyster bar $$$$
Claypots (crnr of Barclay & Acland St, St Kilda) - superb fish and 'claypots' (Moroccan, Kerala, Cajun etc). Cheap (its also BYO) and VERY popular. $$
All round cafe: NEW
Dino's (Chapel St, Prahran) - eclectic international menu that works, very friendly $$
Bar and good restaurant with a view:
The Stokehouse (downstairs) -(St Kilda Beach) lively, noisy, good food, right on the beach (upstairs better view but more expensive) $$$
Who gives a damn about the food, the place is open all night:
Melbourne Supper Club (Nicholson St, Melbourne) Almost opposite Parliament - funny that -:) $$
Favorite Dish: Varied
Cafe Promenade: Awesome coffee and muffin
Having traveled to many countries around the world I have come to tell myself to never expect good coffee in the morning! But Melbourne was a pleasant surprise. There are many cafes on St Kilda Rd but the one I liked the best of them all was Cafe Promenade- I made it a habit to drop in here and get myself a coffee and a muffin everyday! In fact for about a week after I got back home I missed this breakfast!!
Favorite Dish: Their assortment of muffins
Red Pepper: Awesome Indian Food!!
The funny thing was that 2 locals insisted i eat at this place and tell them if truly it is Indian cuisine they serve!! SO curious and hungry we reached there at around 8PM. I ordered the veggie thali which came with some complimentary chaach! The food was superb! The bhaingan ka bharta is something that was even better than what we cook at home! :)
Thread Cafe: Fantastic Hangover Cure
Eccentric paintings line the walls, the waiters all have great taste in music and fashion, the lighting is just low enough not to hurt your eyes after a night out, and the food is sublime.
I highly recommend it to anyone who just finished up a big night.
Favorite Dish: Eggs on wholemeal toast with smashed avocado complete with a Berocca. It's like they know I'm hurting and want to help.
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