After spending a wonderful few weeks in Adelaide with family and friends, I am back in my former stomping ground of Melbourne. One of the world’s culinary hot spots, Melbourne has transformed itself even more since my last visit, with restaurants and cafes popping up around town on a daily basis. I look forward to falling in love with this ever-changing city all over again, exploring its gritty lane ways and discovering hidden gems around every corner.
Here are my ten favourite foodie finds this week….
1. Nieuw Amsterdam is likely to be one of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants in 2014. Step inside this New York style eatery and you’ll be wowed by the enchanting space full of candlelight, exposed bricks and beautiful archways. Here you can take your taste buds on a culinary journey with dishes like black kingfish ceviche, impossibly crispy pork trotter and ham hock nuggets and Southern style pork belly chops with sauerkraut, applesauce and crackle. And the good news – all dishes are $20 and under. Get in quick – the word is going to get out pretty soon.
2. Two Birds One Stone in South Yarra for one of the best coffees you will get in Melbourne. These guys know their stuff – so if you are looking for drip coffee, syphon, cold drip or a pour over this is the place to come. Tucked away in a quiet street, a stone’s throw from South Yarra Station, this Scandinavian style cafe is a perfect spot for a weekend brunch. Try to get there early to avoid the crowds and nab one of their prized cosy booth positions.
3. Follow the mysterious lamp light in Malthouse Lane to an unmarked wooden door and you will find… Eau De Vie – a prohibition style bar in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. One of Melbourne’s more classy bars with its decadent surrounds and jazz music, it makes a perfect spot for an intimate date. Expect to be delighted by steaming liquid nitrogen cocktails made by the expert bartenders and a worldwide whisky collection which even gets its own room!
4. It’s no surprise that Dukes Coffee is the worst kept secret on Chapel Street. Windsor locals flock to this specialty coffee shops by the masses, lured by the unmistakable aroma of freshly roasted beans. Dukes is everything a good coffee shop should be – atmospheric, buzzy and loud. For hungry punters, they also serve up a mean experimental brunch menu. If options like smoked trout scotch eggs or avocado hummus toast with, honey candied bacon and dukkah don’t get you salivating, I don’t know what will!
5. Laikon Delicatessen on Bridge Road for their mouth-watering selection of gourmet treats. The third generation deli has a counter full of cheeses, cured hams and antipasto. The Reuben sandwich comes highly recommended – bursting with thick chunks of corned beef, Swiss cheese and zesty sauerkraut on rye. One of Richmond’s hidden treasures.
10. Voted as the best gelati in Australia, Gelato Messina continues to strive for perfection in quality gelato. All flavours are made lovingly in house and churned daily using raw and natural ingredients. Good news for the calorie conscious – dairy flavours have a low-fat content because they use less cream and sorbets are completely fat-free. Expect palate popping flavours like apple pie (real apple gelato with bits of house made apple pie), dulche de leche and their biggest seller – salted caramel with white chocolate chips. Need I say more?
What have been your favourite foodie finds in Melbourne this week? Would love to hear your comments below.