It was a balmy Friday night late in 1987 and with a friend of mine we were down in St Kilda. We wandered into an odd place in a side street by accident - it turned out to be the place to be!
Over the years which followed I have been back to this place many times over, but it wasn't until recently where I made the return in over 18 months. I was well withdrawn and claimed one particular table - No 27 the boat table. Strangely and as I've explained on my home page it adds up to 9 and most importantly the Galleon Cafe is at No 9!
Recently the much loved 1954 Gaggia espresso machine has retired, while still on disply. One can only hope that it gets repaired soon. However I was impressed with the decent coffee - much unchanged.
So if your in St Kilda for some time and want to be treated like a local than the Galleon Coffee Lounge is for you - although these times are a changing!
Favorite Dish: The coffee and the brattwarst with sour krout, preferably not togeather.
This is one of the best restaurants in Melbourne. It's a great place to chill and enjoy the local food...and the views of the beach. It's inexpensive, laid back...and completely Aussie.
If you're looking for a local experience...with alot of character...this is a good spot to check out.
Favorite Dish: Mushroom Pizza with an Aussie or Tassie Beer...
This place is a perfect place to chill for a lunch or dinner...
It's right along the beach...and a place to hang out on the patio. and there's a fire if it's cold outside.
The food and wine is some of the best in Melbourne. If you only have a few nights in Melbourne...this would be a great place to come for a taste of Melbourne life....
Bookings are necessary here...
This is a great restaurant at night...they have intimate tables with candles on every table. They serve excellent tapas and pitchers of sangrias...
and if you don't make it for dinner...go there for dessert...they have the best spanish donuts covered with chocolate...
This is one of our favorite spots in Melbourne...and we're not even vegertarians...
The restaurant over looks the bay...and it's a cozy, cool spot to hang out in St Kilda. If it's cold...there's even a fireplace.
It's buffet style...so you choose whatever dish you want and have it served on a choice of 3 different rices.
It's definitely a great experience...
Favorite Dish: They have something different every night...and they normally have a range of 10-15 dishes.
One of the Classiest Places in Melbourne...and some of the best food we've tasted here in Oz.
In Melbourne, they have a bible named the Ages Food Guide...and this restaurant got one of the top ratings...and it was well deserved.
If you're looking for a romantic place to dine...this is the spot...worth every penny.
I do love ice cream, so it was a pleasure to be able to finally try the famous New Zealand Natural I had heard about. It is not like the ice cream places where you can get a candy mixed in to your choice of ice cream... it is just different flavours, similar to Baskin Robbins in the US. But there was an excellent choice of flavours, as well as smoothies, shakes, sorbet, frozen yogurt, juices, etc.
A popular flavour in New Zealand is Hokey Pokey, which includes pieces of the New Zealand honey candy of the same name.
One scoop was $3 and you could get that in a cup or cone (the cones are yummy waffle cones, so go for those!)
Two scoops were $4 and you could get the same flavour or 2 different kinds.
They currently have stores starting in New Zealand & Australia, but also branching out to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea and even further to the UK & Ireland. Maybe I can open some in the US when I return. :D
Favorite Dish: I just had Toffee Caramel Cup, although I didn't see that flavour on the website. It was excellent. There is toffee and these caramel filled chocolate cup pieces in it. Quite nice!
Mark, more commonly know to VTers as ATXtraveler, organised this VT meeting here when he discovered that Jen, better known to VTers as craic, is a vegatarian & he even went & road tested it in advance. Now that's doing market research isn't it.
It has one cool website so please check it out. Very interesting!
When Mark organised this with around 24 Vters coming I was quite pleased as I'm not a bit meat eater & actually was a vegetarian many years ago in my younger, "hippie" days around my college years, but these days with a family it's a lot easier to be an omnivore who eats very little red meat.
It advertises itself as a, "Global Vegetarian Cafe" whatever that exactly means? I was surprised how large it was & I read on their website that they can seat 200 . I can say that it has a very good selection of vegetarian dishes, but more about that below.
I can also tell you that the ambience is pretty good too! It has beautiful 180 degree views over Port Phillip Bay & being upstairs on Level 1 just gives you a nice bit of height to enjy the views from. I think this would be a great spot in Summer time or daylight savings (now until the end of March next year & each year) to enjoy the food & watch the sun setting & the play of colurs on the sky & water. The night we were there, Wednesday August 17, there was a 3 piece group providing music & singing who were quite good too.
Favorite Dish: Because this was organised in advance we had a number of dishes brought out for us all of which I quite enjoyed. Mind you if you are a confirmed carnivore it might be a good idea for you to read what a VT friend of mine leffe3 (Keith Lawrence) writes about it on the second page of his very good Melbourne restaurant tips. He also explains the serving method, but you can check that out on their website just as easily.
I'd be happy to go back again, for the food, the ambience & the views.
If you have the time have a squiz at my second photo which is of one of the dragons in the restaurant (seems more like a restaurant than a cafe to me). They caught my eye so I snapped a shot of one & then when you go to the main page of the website you have to click on the dragon to enter so I thought I'd add my dragon.
This was the first place I ate at in St Kilda. Mel (mesoblonda) & I had arrived around 2 p.m. or so & after we checked in she went to her room & rang a few people (& some rang her, she's a popular gal that one! lol!) to catch up with so I went for a wonder to find a coffee & something not too heavy to eat seeing we were having the VT dinner meet later on.
I thought I'd check out the legendary Acland Street & it's equally legendary cake shops, so I was pretty pleased to find Acland Street just a minute or so down the road, but when I turned the corner not a cake shop to be seen. However there was Il Fornaio so there I had a latish, light lunch!
I found this in the news release from their website & just had to share it with you. Now I see why I could never be a writer for this type of thing.
"Il Fornaio is the place to be seen having coffee in St. Kilda. More scripts are written, contracts signed and careers forged at this café than at any other eatery in Melbourne. More than that, though, this traditional European style bakery makes everything on premises from yeast free loaves to delicate pastries. The only thing they don’t make is the wine. Drop in for a baguette in the morning or pizza and pasta at night.
Favorite Dish: Having only eaten the once I'll tell you what I had & my response to it.
To begin with, a cold drink, a bottle of San Pelegrino Limonata. Cold & refreshing with just a nice amount of lemon tang. To eat, a serving of Cannelloni which was just right in both taste & amount. I accompanied this almost perfectly with a glass of Sangiovese. So far so good, in fact better than good, pretty close to, "buonissimo". And of course to finish with a smooth, rich, creamy Mocha Coffee! Just right to finish off with.
This came to a total of $22. Affordable & enjoyable!
One of the places you have to see when you come to Melbourne is St. Kilda. This is the mecca for most backpackers, and other transient travellers.
When you are in St. Kilda however, there is a nice place to grab a juicy steak, and that is Monroe's.
While in St. Kilda, you will have many options, but this one was perfect for a table at 6:30pm big enough for the 12 of us that met for a VT meet.
Favorite Dish: I would recommend the steak!
The golden days of pub culture in St Kilda are numbered more or less with the cocktail lounge boom, however there has been one such institution which has strongly resisted these changes. This is none other than the Esplanade Hotel, known to Melbournians as "the Espie". Here difference crowds of people have traditionally co-habited the space togeather along with the sticky carpet.
Favorite Dish: Boages Premium
If golden florral wall paper, metal frame and vynal padded chairs, along with tripe soup are your thing - than take a journey into the Cafe Scheherazade. This is no ordinary cafe / restaurant establishment, but a famous institution, actually more of a time machine really. It all started, or did it end, in the late 1950s when an Eastern European couple Avram and Masha, both Jewish survivors and refugees, made St Kilda their new home in Australia. This cafe was made famous in recent years through the writings of Melbourne based writer Arnold Zable. His book "Cafe Scheherazade" tells the historical accounts of some of this establishment's long term paitrons and owners.
Favorite Dish: You guessed it - the tripe soup!
Acland Street St Kilda is the regal home to fine cake shops in Melbourne. Since about 1932 the Monach Cake Shop has satisfied the passers by - it is certainly the queen of all cake shops.
Favorite Dish: Believe it or not I have been going to the Monach cake shop for about 15 years now and have only tried about one variety - the Paradise cake! It is totally addictive. It a square Poppyseed / Cheese cake with a dark chocklate layer on top.