Giddyup Mule – New westside cafe

Nestled within a seemingly dilapidated warehouse, you will find the newest west side cafe to join the tranquil streets of Yarraville. With exposed bricks, wooden communal tables and custom made cycling knick-knacks, you will be mistaken, if you think you’ve walked into the latest Fitzroy hangout. The industrial space is substantial compared to neighbours in the area. The crackling fireplace perfect for warming the winter jitters. The space cosy and warm for long-catchups.

Margareth and Jodie, the co-owners and brains behind the suburban venture, have racked up an impressive 12 years of hospitality experience. “We both come from a front of house background and we just want to serve amazing coffee, for a start,” explains Jodie. “We’re all for keeping it simple and pleasant- good service, great coffee and healthy accompaniments.” Coffee is a speciality Axil Coffee Roasters blend. The food is spot-on, with a healthy slant but also calorific alternatives for those of us that enjoy a weekend treat.

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New Shanghai

Dumpling enthusiasm is at an all-time high, since You-know-who‘ opened up on Level 4 of the emporium. Those meandering queues and lengthy waits makes us question,’ Why do Melbournians love lining up so much?’. Is it the suspenseful anticipation? The allure of being first? Anyhow, if patience is not your virtue, take the escalator down to New Shanghai and gorge yourself with line-up free dumplings. Taking prime of centre at the street-food inspired food court – the Shanghainese restaurant has some of the best dumplings in Melbourne. Diners are transported to old time Shanghai, with decor inspired by cobblestone hutongs, crimson lacquered shutters and murals of beckoning Chinese belles.

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The Crepe Cakes of Melbourne

Cupcakes, macarons, cronuts – Melbourne’s relationship with all things sugar, is as interchangeable as a Tinder date. In recent months, Donutella doughnuts have reigned supreme, with the fried confectionery attracting mass frenzy. Despite the craze, no doubt something will knock the Donutella off its throne. If this was Tinder for food, I would swipe right for crepe cake 100 times over. What’s a crepe cake, you ask?  Its a decadent, classic French cake consisting of 20 layers of paper thin crepes, each separated with a brush of ethereal light pastry creme. Hungrycookie first encountered this godly creation in New York City, with Lady M’s signature Mille crepe capturing our hearts. Since 2013, we have been waiting for crepe cakes to reach Melbourne and who thought it would be a Thai restaurant that would ignite the trend.

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Woody P Launch – Flinders Lane

Who is Woody P? He’s the new kid on the block, recently opened on Flinders Lane. Too cool for school, there’s that certain mysterious swagger behind the neon signage, acting as a fluorescent gesture to hungry Melbournians. Just follow the ‘W’ for a taste of Italy and the Mediterranean. Gathering culinary experience across the Victorian countryside (Lakehouse in Daylesford, Eleanor’s restaurant in the Yarra Valley), Head Chef Clinton Camilleri has combined his love for local produce with his European heritage for an exciting and diverse menu.

Taking over the venue, previously occupied by Fashion Lounge. The space has been transformed from a Gen Y clubbing venue into a sophisticated casual dining space. Suspended greeneries, snaking vines, pendant lighting – the polished interior inspires a night of casual fun and ravenous eating. Gone are the days of barely-there bodycon dresses and doof-doof music. Welcome, hungry diners. Continue reading Woody P Launch – Flinders Lane

Din Tai Fung, Melbourne – A First Look

Welcome to Melbourne, Din Tai Fung! (affectionately known as DTF) Unless you reside under a rock, DTF’s signature xiao long baos have arrived at the Emporium. Originating from Taiwan, the iconic dumpling chain has gathered fans worldwide, opening franchises globally. Sydney was lucky enough to secure the first Australian location. With a creative menu and world-famous dumplings, it’s easy to see why the brand has gathered substantial fanfare.

THE KITCHEN

The art of making the perfect Xiao Long Bao is a precise process. Picking up these soupy parcels of deliciousness will reveal a paper-thin translucent skin, constructed with meticulous detail (eighteen folds more or less). It’s that Asian precision that has made this dumpling chain world-famous. That silky smooth skin, stuffed with piping hot soup and premium minced pork, it’s worth every single calorie.The secret to the soup? It’s actually solidified jelly that melts at steaming temperatures.

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Baotime – Durian, kaya and lobster baos!

Winter has inevitably arrived.  Whilst, we mourn our summer outfits and beach frolicking days, the team at Baotime have been hard at work fine-tuning their steaming hot baos. Greeted by an amalgamation of anime inspired pop-art, the vibrancy of the graffitied wall is as kawaii and charismatic as the staff. Warm and inviting, owner Jess Lau wants to combine her love of intimate dining with social enterprise. Last month, Baotime generously donated a portion of their profits to the Nepalese disaster effort. With more initiatives to come, you can expect to eat with both the heart and stomach. With an impressive background, assisting to set-up Mamak and N2 across various Melbourne and Sydney locations. Baotime is the next venture for the impassioned entrepreneur.

At first glimpse, you can’t help but compare the concept to Wonderbao, but you would be entirely wrong in thinking that Baotime is an imitation. The concept is entirely differentiable, the diversity of the menu far superior and the Bao’s look and taste different. Steamed fresh daily, the baos resemble sliders stuffed with various gourmet fillings. Generous portions of Moreton bay bug, plump Aburi scallops, Singapore chilli crab, these fillings are sure to impress.

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Sister Cafes : Stagger Lee’s & Proud Mary

The Fitzroy, Brunswick and Collingwood areas have long been known as hipster central. Unfairly shunned for their unruly beards and thick framed glasses, we have the hipsters to thank for the explosion of quality brunch spots and organic, artisanal what-nots. If it weren’t for our non-mainstream friends, we would be drowning in the watered down ‘coffees’ of Starbucks and generic egg benedicts. So, thank you hipsters for making Melbourne great. We all love you deep down, despite the occasional mockery ;). Stagger Lee’s and Proud Mary are prime examples of quality in the area. Both live up to the hype.

STAGGER LEE’S

‘We can stay up late, swap manly stories and in the morning, I’m makin WAFFLES’. Donkey from Shrek knows how to live the good life. This long weekend, we took his advice, heading to Stagger Lee’s to swap manly (or rather womanly) stories, with a side of buttermilk waffles. Long weekends call for indulgences, after all.

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Eatnow : Food delivered straight to your door

Gruelling days hardly inspire the need to create elaborate sumptuous feasts. Unless you’re a Stepford wife or Jamie Oliver, an opportunity to relax in front of the TV judging the absurdness of reality TV, sounds more appealing than attempting to replicate a Masterchef feast. Don’t get me wrong. I love cooking and eating out, but sometimes a lady needs a break. If only food could magically appear from the heavens, onto our dining table, whilst dressed in my daggy teddy-bear PJ’s. Enter smartphones and the internet, and the above is very achievable.

Eatnow is an online takeaway food app and delivery service, that allows users to order local food from the comfort of their computer or smartphone. The food is delivered straight to the door, warm and fresh and ready for piggish consumption. No need to leave the house. No need to even speak to the restaurant. Hello, being a lazy hermit! Continue reading Eatnow : Food delivered straight to your door

Sister Cafes: Barry, Square and Compass

BARRY

Barry is to Northcote, as coffee is to brunch – completely inseparable. Waking up on the weekend in the Northern suburbs, means heading down to Barry. With all the feels of an inner city cafe, the big, bright, airy space is enough to excite us out of our morning slumber. Scatterings of morning light shine through the open windows, as a steady line of coffee orders build up against the counter. Little pot plants add touches of greenery. It’s Saturday, and that means brunch!

Onto the menu. You can expect all the on-trend ingredients to satisfy those detoxers, those paleo nerds. But for the ravenous eaters, there’s plenty to sooth our empty bellies. The crispy prawn sub, fried in a light batter, is completely superior to the tempura norm. Big, juicy prawns are balanced by the creaminess of a kewpie mayo and the acidity of pickled cucumber and carrots. Sprinklings of green tea salt (how interesting!) add the finishing touch.  Continue reading Sister Cafes: Barry, Square and Compass

District Brewer

Welcome to the new kids on the block. District Brewer has settled nicely in its Bentleigh location. In a smart location, directly across from Bentleigh Primary school, there is no shortage of soccer mommas and coffee-yearning teachers, pining for their brunch fixation. Weekends are more of a relaxed affair. If you’re lucky, request for the table across the kitchen pass. Watch as mouth-watering dishes are constructed before your very eyes. Melted Brie. Buckets of avocado smash. The smell of bacon and eggs and all things brunch-alicious, is sure to create intense salivation.

The kitchen is manned by Head Chef Ashley Tirosh – whose past ventures include De Clieu in Fitzroy. The menu is superior to your average eastern-suburb cafe. Mediterranean, Southern and fine-dining inspirations make welcome appearances. The Sepia inspired Bircher Muesli resembles a chef-hatted dessert. Similar to twigs on a forest floor, thin branches of 80% dark chocolate lay on a soil of crushed pistachios and Bircher muesli. Finished with a vibrant red quenelle of cherry labneh and floral touches, the end result seems too pretty to eat. Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please.  Another sweet highlight is the peanut butter hot chocolate. Preferable to the coffee, according to our table.

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