Episode 10: The food episode
Food is an ever important part of the tourism industry, and as we have come to know over the years, Melbourne is definitely world renowned in this area. So it's only natural that at some point throughout this year the Postcards team are taking it upon themselves to uncover some of our best kept secrets. From where chefs themselves choose to eat, through to world food in our own backyard and dining in unusual places, this episode has got it covered from every culinary angle. And for those who want to experience something special but are on a budget, Glen Moriarty has the answer in his story, frugal fine dining.
Frugal Fine Dining – Flower Drum, The Point, Café Di Stasio
The beauty of eating out in our wonderful city is that you can take your taste buds around the world without breaking the bank. The Flower Drum Restaurant in Chinatown is a Melbourne institution that is widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world. With a lunch banquet that includes two courses for just $40, you have a choice of daily specials that include some of their most famous dishes.
Not too far from the centre of Melbourne is another favourite of Melbourne diners. The Point in Albert Park is the perfect venue for any occasion. It has some of the best views in town, great food and it's now more affordable than ever before! The combination of this stunning venue and exquisite food means The Point is no stranger to picking up awards. Throw in the express lunch menu that's guaranteed to please, you'll find the Point irresistible.
Just around the corner from Albert Park in St Kilda you'll find another one of Melbourne's great food destinations. Di Stasio has always been a popular choice amongst both Melbournians and tourists in the know thanks to its old school Italian charm. Dining out at Di Stasio just got a whole lot better with the addition of the new bar that serves up mouth-watering cocktails and their lunch special where guests can enjoy two courses, a glass of wine and coffee for just $35.
17 Market Lane, Melbourne
Ph 03 9662 3655
Aquatic Drive, Albert Park Lake
Ph 03 9682 5566
Café Di Stasio
31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Ph 03 9525 3999
Self Preservation, Switchboard Café and The Little Mule
You'd have to say two key interests of a typical Melbournian are coffee and shopping and this city café combines the two seamlessly. Situated at the top end of Bourke Street, Self Preservation moonlights as many things including casual breakfast and lunch spot, after work wine and tapas bar, jewellery store and art gallery.
Head to the majestic Manchester Unity Building on Collins Street for a coffee without any temptation of window shopping at the small but very sweet Switchboard Café. You could get one of their tasty toasties or fresh baked muffins to go, or, if you manage to snag a seat, stay a while.
Another tucked away café is The Little Mule. Located in Somerset Place, these cool cats are confident their coffee has cred but that isn't the only craft they have mastered. Out the back they cater to the city's crazed cycle culture by making custom made bikes. The cafe may be slight in size but the kitchen pumps out delicious breakfasts and lunches like fresh baguettes, soups, salads, sweet treats and mouthwatering warm sandwiches, with specials changing daily.
70 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 0523
Manchester Unity Building
220 Collins Street, Melbourne
The Little Mule
19 Somerset Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9670 4904
Mama Baba, Misschu and Tonka
You can't get more global than Mama Baba, which embraces Roman Greco flavours and freshly made pasta. The cuisine is influenced by owner George Calombaris' parents, his Greek Cypriot Mama and half Sicilian Baba, hence, Mama Baba. Sunday lunches at Mama Baba are a real cultural mix with the invention of a Roman Greco Yum Cha that includes all the restaurants greatest hits.
Around the corner on Toorak road you'll find a tuck shop that's way too cool for school. This is Misschu's tuck shop and it's the place to come for stylish and sensational Vietnamese street food. Misschu tuck shops are kind of like modern day hawker stands and they offer high end food at a low price tag, all put together with a sense of humour.
Lastly, in a quintessentially Melbourne laneway we found a new kid on the block. Tonka is the spicy new sibling to Flinders Lane favourite, Coda and its name is a nod to the nightclub Honky Tonks, which was once located here in Duckboard Place. The restaurant is big enough to seat 100 people and features installations by Melbourne artist Naomi Troski.
21 Daly Street, South Yarra
Ph 03 9207 7421
276 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Ph 03 9041 5848
20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne
Ph 03 9650 3155
Jacques Reymond, Shane Delia and Rita Macali
If you're looking for the ultimate restaurant recommendation, I can't think of anyone better to ask than a chef. We've asked three chefs to nominate their favourites, starting with Jacques Reymond. Jacques is the executive chef and owner of Jacques Reymond restaurant in Prahran. His beautiful restaurant occupies a stately Victorian mansion and Jacques' innovative and modern approach to cooking continues to win him accolades and acclaim. When Jacques has some spare time he likes to head over to Friends of Mine, a lively café in Richmond.
Shane Delia is one of Melbourne's most innovative chefs. Shane opened his much awarded restaurant Maha in 2008 and then in 2011 headed up St Katherine's in Kew, which combines modern Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cultures and food. Bar Lourinha in Little Collins Street is where Shane likes to stop for a drink and a snack.
Lastly, Chef Rita Macali opened her North Fitzroy restaurant, Supermaxi in 2010 and cooks wonderful Italian food. As the original chef and co-owner of Ladro in Fitzroy, her traditional home-style pizzas are ever popular. But she also loves Japanese food and rates Kenzan as one of Melbourne's best.
Friends of Mine
506 Swan Street, Richmond
Ph 03 9428 7516
37 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9663 7890
45 Collins Street, Melbourne
Ph 03 9654 8933
Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Festival
If you're holidaying in the Daylesford region next weekend be sure to come along to the Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Festival showcasing the region's best producers, farmers, provedores and vignerons.
When: 26 April – 5 May
Grampians Grape Escape, Halls Gap
For those who prefer a quality glass of wine, The Grampians Grape Escape in a couple of week's time is the place for you!
When: 4–5 May
Bright Autumn Festival
Join in all the fun and relish in local north east produce at this year's Bright Autumn Festival.
When: 26 April – 5 May