This was my first eating place on this trip to Melbourne & I certainly enjoyed my choice greatly.
I liked the service here, typically Aussie friendliness & helpfulness.
I liked the way they served complimentary bread with "real" butter not margarine.
It 's in a great position where the Block Arcade splits into 2 directions, one heading down into Elizabeth St & the other down in to Little Collins St. So you can sit outside & do some serious people watching in a couple of different directions.
Definitely will revisit this place on my next Melbourne trip.
Favorite Dish: The dish I picked from the blackboard daily specials was delicious.
"Cassavecce" was a thin spiral pasta with roast pumpkin, chicken, spanish onion, cream & white wine. Not only did it taste good it was also just the right amount for lunch. I was a bit worried that the sauce might overpower this dish as I'm not overly keen on cream based sauces, but that was not the case. The sauce was just right & not too thick either.
To accompany my meal I enjoyed a bottle of James Boag Premium Ale. Being a hot day of 37 degrees Celsius (about just over 100 degrees F) this lovely Tasmanian beer went perfectly with the meal.
You will be surprised to read of no dessert with this meal. Having enjoyed the meal with a beer I did however finish off with my usual mocha coffee. The "Italcaffee" coffee used for this was very nice. As my Vt mate craic says, "Hard to find bad coffee in Melbourne". This was one of the better ones I've tasted in Melbourne.
Had wandered through little Degraves St earlier, seen the "duelling cafes" there & hadn't booked anywhere for dinner so wandered back down there again.
Don't know what made me seclect Cafe Andiamo from the 5 on offer in this little street.
It's a great atmosphere in Degraves St which is blocked off to traffic. The cafes put their tables, chairs & umbrellas out onto the roadway itself (narrow enough to be only a bit wider than a lane).
Favorite Dish: I'll describe what I had & comment on the food on the way through.
It had been a terribly hot day in Melbourne so I started off with a Tasmanian beer -a bottle of James Boag Premium.
Then I moved onto food itself with an order of Spinach & Fetta Cheese Canneloni with Napoli sauce, which came with a mixed green salad. To drink with this was a bottle of San Pellegrino Liminata.
To be quite honest the Canneloni was o.k. without being much better than average as the Napoli sauce was a bit too thick.
But to move onto to title of this tip. No guesses for what I finished off with. Yes, that's right, a cup of mocha coffee & here this place was perfetto (perfect). Had not tasted "Genovese" coffee before, but it was absolutely lovely, smooth, rich & tasty. The best coffee I've tasted anywhere yet.
Don't know if mio meno poco Italiano is correct above so I'd better give you the Aussie translation.
A delicious breakfast. Yes, at this lovely little Italian Cafe I did indeed have that.
Favorite Dish: I began with the "Melon Madness", a freshly squeezed juice of watermelon, rockmelon & honeydew melon. Just what I needed to cleanse the kidneys after overloading with too many bottle of James Boag premium in the heat of the previous day. It was cool & thirst quenching so may well have been better on the previous day. lol!
To eat I ordered the "Veggie Special" which was 2 poached eggs (just how I like them) on grilled tomato & cheese on thick, crusty toast with sauteed mushrooms. The free range eggs had a rich orange yolk & were absolutely delicious.
Another reason I really enjoyed this place was because they served "Genovese" Coffee that I had discovered at dinner the previous evening. Mmmmmmmm...., the crema was sort of soft & almost fluffy with a bit of firmness that almost shimmered & sheend when I bumped the table while writing this. Beautiful rich, smooth coffee in the form of my favourite Mocha! Aah perfetto!
I stumbled on this place while I was looking for another Cafe so I can justifiably say (yet again), "Funny how things happen".
It was busy with what seemed like locals so immediately my antennae began twitching & thought it must be o.k. When I saw they served Grinders Coffee (not one of my faves) I had another thought, maybe not. But, (yes, you knew that was coming didn't you dear reader) when I had a squiz at the blackboard menu I thought yet again!
Now for the drier info. They are open 7 days. Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. till late, Saturday 9:00 a.m. till late & Sunday 10:00 a.m. till late. Think on my next Melbourne trip it will be brekkie one day & lunch another day at the very least.
Favorite Dish: If I hadn't been meeting Anne12 for lunch I would've chosen either the Goat's Cheese Omelette with Asparagus ($13) or the Seared Tuna with Coscous & Yoghurt ($18). I would have been able to choose from an excellent selection of table wines, byt the glass, to have with my selection.
Anyway, I knew I had time & room (after a good brekkie at Caffe Cucian e Bar) for some morning tea so my eyes drifted towards the dessert menu & what was there posed a dilemma (if only all dilemmas were this enjyable & tasty. lol!) Was it to be the "Creme brulee with fresh berries ($9) & pretend I was back in Paris (this place had a Parisien feel to it) or was it to be the "Peaches & Figs with Amaretto ($9) Well I went with the latter & was very impressed indeed..
So impressed was I with the quality of my food & what they had to offer on the menu, as well as the wine selection, that I will most definitely revisiting for lunch on my next Melbourne trip.
Along Newquay Promenade, on the waterfront opposite Docklands Stadium you have a number of Dining options where I dare say you can't go too wrong.
Ann12 & I liked the look of this place & we weren't disappointed with either the menu or the location. On a beautiful summer's day with a brilliant blue sky sitting outside overlooking the water is a pretty good way to enjoy fine food.
When you check their website you will see another 2 restaurants Mecca in Southgate & LiveBait which is directly upstairs from Mecca Bah & looks a bit more expensive again, but a gr8 menu.
Favorite Dish: The menu is Middle Eastern, but leaning more towards Turkish.
From an excellent menu I chose the "Flathead Fillets wrapped in vine leaves & chargrilled parsley & artichoke" ($19.50) with a glass of lovely Pirie South (Tasmanian) Riesling.
Anne went for a bit of a mixture. She chose the "Mecca Bah dips & bread" ($11) & also "Chickpea battered mussels with almond skordalia ($11).
We both really enjoyed our meals. I eat quite a lot of fish & this was a different way of having it to what I normally have. A very enjoyable difference too.
After Laurie (one of my VT friends Australia2) dropped me off after picking me up from the airport I was still a bit peckish so thought I'd grab a bite at this place after reading about it on Keith Lawrence's (Melbourne VTer leffe3) Melbourne page.
Well I'm very glad I did because I got good food & equally good coffee. For me the perfect combination (well pretty close to it anyway. lol!).
Not only good food & coffee, but also equally good service. I don't know why Aussies are down on themselves saying we don't provide as good service as other places in the world when so often Aussie waitpersons are so typically friendly & helpful. The waiter & waitress who looke after me here were terrific. In the photo is Danae the waitress displaying her beautiful smile. I didn't catch the guy's name, but he was really nice too.
Favorite Dish: The issue for me here was not to eat too much or food that was too heavy as I had a bit of walking ahead of me & planned to have lunch somewhere else only about 1 & 1/2 hours later.
Browsing the varied & comprehensive menu led me to select a serving of:
Poached summer fruits (not too bad for late winter eh? lol!) with yoghurt. It was not only delicious, but was not too light, not too heavy, but just right (that's a line from a not too far gone cereal ad' on TV here in Oz'). It really was though. I'm not just using that line for fun.
And the coffee. my regular - a Mocha on soy milk, was just as good too.
When I posted a couple of questions in the Melbourne forum one of my VT friends craic replied saying (amongst other things), "There's no bad coffee in Melbourne Doug." From my little samping I think she may well be right
What makes it so special for me is the things I've mentioned in the pros above. For those of you who've visited other pages of mine you know I'm an avid bibliophile & am very happy browsing a bookshop then adding to my already over large book collection with a few more purchses. You will also know how much I enjhoy good food & coffee.
Again in Melbourne I found once more the friendly & open service of the wait staff so enjoyable. With this & a comfy' ambience within sight of rows of books all I needed was a good meal to round it off just perfectly.
Favorite Dish: So did I get it you're asking? Absolutely he replies!
Having had a nice light brunch at Time Out Cafe under 2 hours earlier I again needed something not too heavy & healthy to go with it.
So I settled on what turned out to be just right & equally delicious:
Risotto with chicken, spring onion & corn. Keeping with the healthy theme I forewent my usual mocha coffee & had an apple & blackcurrant juice. A very good combination indeed.
They had quite an extensive menu of everything from snacks & cakes etc to full meals. My choice was just right for my needs at that time. This came to a gand total of
$A14.20. That exchanges to just under $US10 & less than 8 Euros. So for northern hemisphere visitors especially, you're doing well in Australian restaurants. Good value for me, even better value for you.
When you make your booking at this restaurant, specify whether you want chairs or cushions to sit on!! I'm too old for cushions, so luckily I knew to ask for chairs. Actually it's bench seats or stools. We were in an upstairs room which added to the great atmosphere.
Favorite Dish: Friday and Saturday nights are fixed menu only. There is a choice of vegetarian, seafood or meat. $28 each was good value for the amount of food, which included unlimited amounts of turkish bread. We had the meat menu, which came with entrees of 4 dips, stuffed vine leaves(VERY nice), borlotti beans, mushrooms, chickpeas, chargrilled vegies etc. Thoroughly enjoyed everything.
Food's great and so is the belly dancing!!!
Our 1st dancer was good but the second was even better. It was a complete surprise to have a young man belly dancing!! He was really very good. And his body wasn't bad either!!!!!
It made a good night even better. The whole room got caught up in the rhythm.
Make sure you go here on either a Friday or Saturday night to catch the dancing.
Favorite Dish: The male belly dancer was rather dishy!!!
A poor sign and little legroom make for an unassuming atmosphere for this great little Spanish Cafe right on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda.
If you manage to find the place, the food is so totally worth the wait I am not sure how this place isn't more popular.
Favorite Dish: Eggplant Chips with Aioli and Incredible Sangria.
Of course all the Paellas are the best displays of food, but for me nothing gets better than a snack of deep fried eggplant chips and a glass of their home-made sangria ,a jug of which serves 4 and costs $28.
Hidden behind three flights of stairs off Swanston Street in the city, Gopal's Vegetarian has won a bunch of awards for it's Indian-inspired vegetarian food.
Even meat-eaters wouldn't mind a bite to eat here - everything is incredibly well-cooked by a resident expert who usually charges $130 for a cooking class.
Lunch is served 5 days a week and it is a monster. In my humble opinion this place is way better than Crossways just down the street - which is another vegetarian restaurant 10 stores down towards Flinders Street.
Favorite Dish: Weekly Special: For $11.90 I got a mango lassi, soup, a Koffi Ball, a Tofu Steak, Basmati Rice and a generous helping of Garden Salad plus a dessert. All of it was exquisite.
For an extra dollar I got my hands on their special salted pickles. The green ones are covered in chilli seeds and are extremely spicy.
Three of us popped in for a quick meal on a Monday night, it was about 8pm and there were no other customers, so service was very quick.
I was surprised at the huge selection on the menu. There is a mixture of Vietnamese and Chinese dishes.
We started with Vietnamese mini spring rolls and Fried Shanghai Dumplings. The dumplings were superb, will certainly have these again!!
We shared 2 mains, Mongolian Beef and chicken with cashews, and also shared a plate of special fried rice.
All of this was washed down with a bottle of Yarra Valley sauvignon blanc, which was very nice!
Servings were a generous size, average price about $14.
We will certainly dine here again and I will remember the camera next time! : )
This central diner right off the corner of Collins and Spencer St gives off an inviting air by maintaining a hint of quirkiness within it's walls. Fascinating decorations and polite, helpful staff offset the idea that you are in fact in some kind of tiny Japanese village - away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne City life.
No matter how busy the diner gets the staff never lose their patience, and the waiting time is never too long. The food is beautifully presented and is obviously done with care and passion.
The cafe is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, but I recommend getting in early in order to snap up the freshest sushi rolls and most carefully prepared dishes - as with all restaurants when they are not busy they put more effort into any one dish.
Favorite Dish: Tofu Burger - $9
A long wholemeal bun covered in tangy mayo, lettuce, cucumber and tomato with a sheet of freshly pressed and fried tofu. Delicious and nutritous - you can taste how recently the bread was baked.
A cosy, quiet, clean venue hidden down a little shopway (like most of the best places in Melbourne) serving hot chocolates and candies imported directly from Belgium.
The owner is fantastically talented and knowledgeable about chocolate in all forms, the prices are on par with the rest of Melbourne Chocolate bars. I really enjoy my hot chocolate so I want you to understand the level of experience I am talking about when I say that in my experience this is the best hot chocolate in town by a mile.
None of the bigger chains match it, not San Churros, not Max Brenners, and definitely not Starbucks.
Favorite Dish: Spicy Dark Chilli Belgium Hot Chocolate
Spicy, thick, dark and rich. Warms you up nicely on a cold Melbourne winter's morning.
There was plenty to choose from on the menu, we couldn't decide so it was easier to go with the banquet. There are 4 different priced banquets to choose from, starting at $25 per person.
We had the $29.50 one. Heaps of food, we couldn't eat it all. Firstly there were 4 dips (hommus, tzatziki, skordalia & eggplant) with loads of flat bread. Then came Saganaki (fried cheese..my fav), dolmades & spanakopita (spinach & cheese pastries).
Main course was on a huge plate, it included a selection of lamb, chicken, fish, calamari & prawns. This was served with cream cheese potatoes and a Greek salad.
Finally, a selection of Greek sweets for dessert with either coffee or tea.
This is a licensed restaurant but BYO wine is allowed. Amazingly there was no corkage charge for bringing our own : )
Food was good, but it did get a bit noisy. Make sure you book a table, especially on a Saturday night.