Wow. So apparently, we eat out a lot. When we moved back to Melbourne we committed to enjoying the lifestyle down here as well as cooking some great meals at home. Every now and then I question if we’re delivering on this… then I am slammed back into reality when I do a 2 month catch up blog where I have more than 1 new restaurant per week and I’m not even touching on many of our regulars! Then over the weeks to come I also need to catch up on posting home made recipes. Watch this space!
In the mean time – here are the rest of the restaurants we’ve visited.
Nam Loong Chinese Restaurant – Take 2
We will come back here time and time again for the buns. As per first post, the Golden Sand (kind of like a sugary egg bun) is ridiculously tasty. I guess it’s an overly flavoursome custard bun. We have also tried red bean (yummy if you’re used to it), lotus seed (a subtler version of red bean), black sesame (tastes like… sesame), BBQ Pork – yum, Chinese Sausage – also yum. I could go on forever. Or at least to end the end of the bun cabinet. I didn’t love the two main meals we tried this time (Chicken Golden Sand, sadly wasn’t like the Golden Sand bun; Clam noodles – apparently I’m not a fan of clams).
EAT. THE. BUNS.
This place somewhere in the CBD quite simply didn’t cut it. So much so, that I haven’t even googled the name. Perhaps that’s why I should put the name up – but they don’t deserve that. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t great. In a city like Melbourne where restaurants and cafes are everywhere to be found, you need to be great. Maybe we faulted by not ordering ‘the best big breakfast in town’ as advertised on every available space in front of and inside the cafe…
297 Exhibition St, Melbourne
A couple of girls from work enlightened me to this little place at the top end of the CBD. I can honestly say that EVERYTHING we ordered was stupidly yummy. The person who dines here more regularly ordered for us and as some of the dishes came out I was thinking… “Really? This is a massive fail.” But no. My eyes deceived me. This was a party in my mouth. I can vouch for the following dishes: Duck pancake, Chilli Prawn Vermicelli Salad, Fish of the Day, Vietnamese Steamed Rice Crepes with Pork & Wood Ear Mushroom, the Lychee ice crush which we ordered with vodka that came as 2 shots on the side… and the girls will no doubt vouch for the rice paper rolls which I didn’t try. If I was to be pedantic, the straw was too skinny for the ice crush which made it difficult to drink. I can’t wait to take Steve.
CJs Lunch Bar
391 Little Lonsdale (on Hardware Lane), Melbourne
This little place is always packed with Asians when we walk past. A sure sign of a good feed. It is a little Korean/Japanese cafe which is made for cheap eats. After weeks (months) of walking by on the way home, we finally dropped in and got their dinner specials. For $6 we ordered the honey pepper chicken and it was so mouth wateringly yummy, we went back the next week for more. Needless to say, we ordered that again plus another dish for around $13 I think which is under the pile of cheese on the sizzling plate pictured above. I can’t vouch for it because it was too spicy for me to eat but Steve enjoyed eating it the next day. If there’s one thing you must remember about eating at Asian restaurants/cafes, it is completely OK to ask for a take away container and not feel judged. In fact, an old team member informed me that is expected you’ll order more than you eat and take the rest away. Best advice I was ever given.
Hardware Societe – Take 3
It continues to be yummy. Don’t forget, #2 hot chocolate in Melbourne as judged by my kidney-stone carrying Chocolate Connoisseur. I had a duck on the special menu and Steve had the Poached Eggs Une again (ham steak).
Chain Store – Various Locations
On the unfulfilling hunt for a Banh Mi, we stopped at Cacao Green on Bourke St having spotted the Berri Muesli picture on the menu board. It has a lovely setting with all the pine and a great seating spot that we could perch ourselves on to people watch just beyond the top of the mall. It goes without saying, Steve ordered a hot chocolate which is a very near #2 Hot Chocolate. This does of course make it #3 but it’s more like #2.2. What made it great is that it was a hazelnut hot chocolate and the nutty ness suited Steve to a T (in mentality and taste).
Little Lonsdale near Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Like CJ’s, we walk past this new little restaurant daily. We watched it from the day it opened and was almost always empty to now when it is frequented by locals and has drool inducing smells wafting from its doors. A Korean bar it serves everything from Rice Base Pizza (“rizza”) to more traditional Korean dishes. We oped for the “small” fried selection which turned out to be a whole basket of goodies from gem scones to potato croquettes and fish balls. Given at this point they’d already brought out a complimentary corn and cheese entree, we were feeling stupidly full… Then our main came. Thankfully for me, it was again too spicy for me to eat and Steve was packed to his eye balls so we opted to take this away. Despite this, we were brought complimentary Tuna in Boiled Egg. Also yummy. They were very friendly considering they were somewhat non-english speaking waiters/waitresses and the dark interior and cool bar certainly creates an atmosphere. We’re going back to try their pizza and rizza for sure.
9 Errol St, North Melbourne
#1 Hot Chocolate in Melbourne (so far). Pause for a moment and take that in. It’s a big statement. Why? It’s big. It’s not massive. But it’s big. It’s just yummy. It’s not too milky – it’s chocolatey and sweet. Duh. We’ve eaten here a few times and the food is good too. I had the vege bonanza twice. I’ll admit that I thought the beans were a bit lack lustre but the potatoes were crispy and perfectly salty. A generous serving of avo and a tomato relish that was to die for. It was also sufficiently sized to fill me to the gills. I don’t think the meals are super creative but they hit the spot nicely.
Over and Out.