1. Rockwell and Sons on Smith Street for their double patty smash burger with kraft and special sauce. I’m also a fan of their fried chicken sandwich with buttermilk dressing and smoked lamb ribs “kentucky” style. If this is what “dude food” is all about, I’m definitely in.
2. Transport yourself back to old New Orleans at Le Bon Ton in Collingwood. The atmospheric bar/restaurant has been beautifully converted with a largely stripped back interior warmed up by candlelight. There’s even a cosy courtyard out the back, complete with astro turf and fairy lights. For food – think freshly shucked oysters, beef brisket and pit smoked meats. Not to be missed.
3. Still one of Melbourne’s favourite brunch spots, Friends of Mine in Richmond never fails to disappoint. It’s a cute and friendly corner brunch spot which oozes charm with its colourful interior and art clad walls. Go straight to the ‘favourite friends’ menu for some creative takes on brunch classics – like the ‘Hung’ over, a herby, cheesy toast, with poached eggs, bacon and smashed avocado.
4.Learning how to cook seadas (traditional Sardinian fritters) with Sammy and Bella at the Good Food and Wine Show. For a delicious recipe to try at home, click here.
5. Babka Bakery Cafe on Brunswick Street for its fresh bread and sweet treats. A Melbourne institution, Babka’s menu is influenced by Eastern European cuisine, so expect hearty classics like borscht, Russian blintzes and dumplings. Check out their challah – lovely for french toast or on its own.
6. Custard & Co for its scrumpy apple cider. Despite being based in the southwest of Western Australia, they have taken their business to many of Melbourne’s leading bars and restaurants. Luckily for us, the cider is sensational, using only whole local fruit with minimal preservatives.
7. If you’re looking for something a bit different to your average Vietnamese on Victoria Street, then head to Jinda Thai , a cleverly converted warehouse in the heart of Abbotsford. Be warned, they don’t hold back on the spice factor. This is authentic Thai cooking at its best. The hawker boat noodles, pork neck skewers and chilli infested Pad Gra Pow come highly recommended.
8. Punch Lane for its excellent wine list and seasonal inspired menu. One of Melbourne’s original lane way bars, Punch Lane is the perfect spot to unwind with a glass (or bottle) of red at the end of a busy working week.
9. There’s no surprise that dozens of ‘suits’ line up at Pallet Espresso on a weekday morning to get their caffeine hit before work. The Sensory Lab coffee is top-notch and so are the pastries. At lunch time, they even serve contemporary Japanese and Italian infused cafe dishes.
10. Recipe of the Week: Donna Hay’s Apple, Rhubarb and Cinnamon Pan Pies.
What have been your favourite finds around town this week? Please leave your comments below. Lisa xxx