The Vue Experience: Vue de monde, The Lui Bar, Bistro Vue

You might know Shannon Bennett as the calm, fluffy haired mentor on Masterchef. To Melbournians, the famed restaurateur, is most well-known as head chef of Vue De Monde. Not satisfied with the numerous accolades and chef hats. Bennett’s hospitality ventures now include Bistro Vue (French bistro), The Lui Bar (adjoining cocktail bar to Vue De Monde), Burham Beeches (Sherbrook estate/cafe) and Jardin Tan (Vietnamese themed eatery at the Botanicals). From an unexpected birthday surprise to a rowdy hens night, Hungrycookie has been lucky enough to dine at 3 out of the 5. Bon Appetit!

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Personal research has informed me that 15 out of 10 people like cake. Any outliers, means the person is an extraterrestrial. Seriously… be suspicious. Bibelot is the closest thing to a Parisian boulangerie in Melbourne. Claiming stake to some of the prettiest cakes in Melbourne. The lustrous shine of the petit gateaux is enough to inspire intense salivation. The ever-evolving selection of French inspired sweet treats now have their own abode. Bibelot (pronounced bib-lo) is well qualified to overturn any savoury attacher into a hyperactive sweet-tooth. No longer having to share space with the Chez Dre cafe, Bibelot is all about the sugar.

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Chow City

Melbourne possesses one of the most culturally diverse populations in Australia. Asian cuisine is no exception, with a booming dining scene rich in diversity and cultural influence. Chow city is another addition to Melbourne’s Pan-Asian dining scene. The menu is a vibrant mixture of Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese. All popular cuisines, with flavours that seamlessly integrate into a single menu. Dishes are traditional with a modern twist. You might find touches of edible florals, clouds of fluffy pork floss and rich fragrant curries that awaken the senses. All-in-all, the plating was beautifully intricate, whilst staying true to authentic Asian flavours.

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The Brass Coq – Modern Vietnamese

Vietnamese food is known for its vibrancy and freshness. The cuisine is an exciting mixture of age-old traditional techniques and colonial influence. If you’ve ever eaten with a Vietnamese family, the concept of ‘sharing and caring’ is an understatement. Eating brings the family together and over-catering is the norm for a day of celebratory feasting. The premise of The Brass Coq is to take this concept of sharing, creating a new Vietnamese eatery and bar with a French colonial influence. Taking authentic recipes from Mum and Grandma, the team at TBC have fine-tuned a modernised menu that is a combination of old and new. Admittedly, the menu is limited, but quality beats quantity any day. With rotating specials and authentic flavours, TBC is a standout for modern Vietnamese in Melbourne. Personal favourites were the chargrilled Wagyu loin and fried custard Bao.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Mornington/Sorrento

Victoria’s stunning coastline has captivated many – from the towering rock formations of the Great Ocean Road to our adorable penguin friends at Phillip Island. The shorelines of the Mornington Peninsula are equally spectacular.  Extending south-east of Melbourne and a mere 1.5 hour drive from the CBD, there’s no excuse not to escape the rat race. We visited during the Easter break, to walk off those food blogging calories. Did it work? It’s the effort that counts.

Here is a short guide, encompassing the main attractions of the Mornington/Sorrento region:

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Sezar – Autumn Menu Launch

Before the entrance of Sezar, it’s fair to say the only exposure we’ve had to Armenians – and apologetically so, are those annoying Kardashians. Fortunately, there are no big butts here, only big flavour ;). Brought to you by the talented crew of Glen Waverley’s Black Toro, Sezar’s autumn menu brings a modern take on Armenian cuisine to the alleyways of Melbourne. Every dish was perfectly executed, with bold fresh flavours and delicate plating. Drinks ranged from smooth Armenian beers and whiskies; to feminine vibrant cocktails. In a casually sensuous setting, Sezar will ensure a night full of rowdy drinks and mouth-watering food.  Continue reading Sezar – Autumn Menu Launch

Delhi Streets – Indian Street Food

Indian street food is a vibrant medley of spices, tastes and aromas. If a culture of a country can be inferred by its food, then the Indian character is a cacophony of diversity and boldness. Street food has taken Melbourne by storm, with a wide assortment of trendy food trucks and night markets attracting massive crowds. Indian options were present, however; never truly represented the actual brilliance and diversity found in the hustle and bustle of Indian cities. Miles away from your local Indian joint, Delhi Streets is a hands-on dining experience, bringing authenticity and an explosion of Indian street-food flavours to the laneways of Melbourne.

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Scarf Dinner @ Green Park

The Scarf Community is an innovative social enterprise, helping young people achieve their hospitality dream.  The catch 22 of ‘needing experience to get a job, but needing a job to get experience’, is certainly a frustrating one. Particularly for young migrants, refugees and asylum seekers facing significant employment barriers. The brilliance of Scarf is that it provides professional mentors and industry specific experience, to those that need it most.

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Top 5 New Brunch Openings of 2015

The Melbourne brunch game is strong. Too strong. There’s only one of me and a stampede of cafes to try.  Barely a quarter of the year has passed and a number of exceptional cafes have settled nicely into their leafy homes and suburban alleyways. From Hong Kong waffles with green tea ice cream, to Chinese doughnuts stuffed with cheese. The brunch scene has never been so exciting.  Gone are the days of boring ol’ scrambled eggs and eggs benedict. No doubt, all these cafes will cement themselves as Melbourne favourites. Here are the top 5 new brunch openings of 2015.

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Oree Korean Duck Restaurant

Korean BBQ is a meat-lovers dream. Thickly sliced pork belly, quality cuts of wagyu, roasted oyster mushrooms – it’s a tradition synonymous with Korean culture and who can blame them? These havens of chargrilled meats and smoky aromas scatter the Melbourne CBD. Although some are better than others when it comes to meat quality, they are more or less comparable.

Oree’s speciality is all about duck. When I say it’s all about duck, I am not even slightly exaggerating. The menu is duck crazy. Duck dumplings. Duck congree. Duck salad. No doubt, the star of the show is the Korean Duck BBQ – sourced locally in Victoria and chargrilled with potato slices and oyster mushrooms.

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