Beat Eats Spring/Summer 2017

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Issue N NO 76 ISSUE

Guide to eating out in Melbourne




You can never have too many chefs in the kitchen. /hardiegrant



Contents 14











Beat’s Guide to Mamma’s Still Running the Kitchen Best Burgers The Humble Cephalopods are Smarter than You Think

Editor’s Note To say there is much to discover in the Spring/Summer Edition of Beat Eats would not be giving this magazine the justice it so truly deserves. Incredible food in Melbourne refuses to slow down, and the warmer weather certainly doesn’t stop our city’s chefs from creating and our bakers from baking. We’re in full swing, and I know you’re in the midst of it all too. That’s why making this magazine is nothing short of an absolute pleasure. But it’s not just food we explore here, it’s the stories that come with it too which I invite you to discover. You’re sure to learn a bunch this time around, like how to save the bees, the true intelligence of cephalopods, easy-to-make vegan alternatives and where to find those hard working mammas still running family restaurants – power to them! Plus, there’s some incredible interviews. Take our feature story on Charcoal Lane for example, who are marking milestones within the Indigenous community. You’ll also find a closer look at Meatstock festival – an event binding meat and music in the finest of fashions. Rounding this edition out comes a selection of traditional recipes we wish to share, as well as in-depth profiles of the wonderful Melbourne eateries we’re so lucky to call our own. So have fun. I hope you learn a little, and most importantly, remember how lucky you are to be in our city of Melbourne this season.

Georgia Spanos

7 Easy Vegan Alternatives Lasagna





Georgia Spanos

Georgia Spanos, Siena Caterina Ramsay, Isabelle Oderberg, Anna Rose, Deanna Makreogeorgos, Jacob Colliver, Ryan Najelsk, Tess Nicolaou, Nathan Quattrucci, Will Harrison, Tiernan Morrison, Isobel Buckley, Jai Felinski, Stevie Zipper, Steven Daniels, Shaina Glenny, Will Harrison, Julia Sansone, Abbey Lew-Kee

SUB-EDITOR James Di Fabrizio

COVER Black Gold (page 4) Photography Kate Shanasy




Cassie Stevens @soggysavoy Erin Rossa @thats_so_hospo

Ruby Furst Zarnie Morcombe


PHOTOGRAPHY Kate Shanasy @kateshanasy_creative Kamilla Musland Hania Glapa @haniaglapaphotography Holly Hawkins Amy Weavell @bitesofmelbourne Shaina Glenny Julia Sansone @thesansberry




Georgia Spanos Thom Parry

FURST MEDIA PUBLISHING Level 1, No. 3 Newton Street, Richmond VIC 3121. Phone: (03) 9428 3600





A cosy sanctuary within the heart of Richmond, Black Gold is a haven for those who desire a passionate and original approach to their cafe experience. Since its opening in April, the gorgeous corner hideaway has quickly become a local highlight, ensuring that quality, all-Australian produce and creative flair shines throughout all they create.


Black Gold’s outdoor setting area and comfortable interior expand to accommodate eager patrons on the weekends. Sliding doors reveal a huge space fitted with plush cushioned alcoves, perfect for group coffee outings and functions. Offering roasts from the prestigious World Roaster champions ONA, Black Gold’s freshly-ground turmeric blend and cold brews have become the talk of the town. Where Black Gold truly shines, however, is in its breathtaking dedication to incredible-looking, mouthwatering dishes – as any follower of their Instagram account can attest to. The hugely popular Acai Pancakes contain fresh acai pulp puree, resulting in a thick but delicately fluffy texture. Beautifully balanced, the smooth whipped ricotta and toasted coconut aid the vanilla bean, berries and a gentle desert lime and pepper gel. Never too sweet and adorned with a beautiful floral arrangement, it’s easy to see why the burgundy-blushed delights are such a favourite. Each dish is not only crafted from premium ingredients, but beautifully presented too. With summer around the corner, there’s no example more perfect than the refreshing allure of the Pineapple Superbowl. A smoothie bowl with a truly unique flair, the vibrant bursts of colour compliment a zesty sorbet topped with pineapple, banana, mango, coconut water, seasonal fruits and organic granola – generously encased within a bowl that’s been

handcrafted from a scooped pineapple. On a sweltering day, the ice-cold medley of silky flavours could quench the most parched Melburnian. Even cafe favourites like Mushies On Toast come from a world of striking originality. Meredith Dairy goats cheese and brussel sprout leaves crown the dish, which lays upon a smooth spread of dark, shimmering mushroom ketchup – inspired by the black sand beaches on the Greek island of Santorini. The seared, sesame-crusted Yellowfin Tuna salad comes accompanied by shaved fennel, peas, avocado, quinoa and chilli Kewpie. The aptly-titled Not Another Smashed Avo comes topped with zucchini flowers; golden-fried with a light crisp and stuffed with goat’s curd. As a popular extra, you can add a poached egg. When the yolk cascades upon the toast’s edge, you won’t regret it for a second. While we’re on the subject of eggs, Nonna’s Roast Chicken Benny has everything you could ever want with your perfectly poached favourites: slow-roasted free range chicken, crunchy shaved cabbage, parmesan and a rejuvenating glaze of white balsamic hollandaise. No matter what your heart desires, you’ll find it at Black Gold, with a twist that you’ll want to experience over and over again.



Bluebonnet Barbeque has earned its place in the hearts and stomachs of many Melburnians, with Chef Chris Terlikar’s establishment being one of the best genuine Texas barbeque joints in the city. Having honed his craft during 18-hour stints all over the Lone Star state, Terlikar’s Texan jaunt helped revolutionise his cooking style and saw him develop Bluebonnet’s distinctive taste. The Bluebonnet team have established themselves as the inner north’s hottest ticket, with a demand for two sittings on Friday and Saturday nights. But the good news is that the smoker is a 500-gallon tank and can dish out 280kg of barbequed goodness every time it’s fired up. Naturally, the menu is meat heavy. Although that doesn’t mean there’s nothing for veggie worshippers with the delicious smoked jackfruit being hugely popular with all. The team recommends about 200-300g of meat per person, and with 100g servings of all meats, it’s easy to mix and match to make sure your table gets a taste of everything. The food is served Texan-style and hits your table on a large tray, alongside small plates for the range of sides. This traditional presentation immediately reminds you that you’ve made the right choice. On our Bluebonnet experience, we were served an epic tray of Black Angus brisket, Berkshire pulled pork, baby back pork ribs, porter braised beef cheek, crispy lamb ribs and hot smoked Berkshire pork belly. This was coupled with apple and celeriac slaw with sherry mustard vinaigrette, carrots glazed with bourbon and a light and fluffy black garlic cornbread with thyme butter.

There’s no rush at Bluebonnet, so as the grazing begins it’s only right to sample one of the housemade picklebacks – their drinks list is just as substantial as their food offering thanks to their adjoining bar, Loretta’s, offering a top range of tap beers, tinnies and stubbies, cocktails and whiskey. The way the meat is prepared and smoked ensures that every ounce of juice stays inside the meat. It helps break up the fatty goodness on cuts like brisket and pork belly, before the cut is sealed with a crispy dry rub that has the right amount of heat, sweetness and spice. Barbeque sauce is available, but the meat is so flavoursome and juicy that it’s not even needed. This is definitely not your local drench-itin-barbeque-sauce kind of rib joint, that’s for sure. The fact that Bluebonnet is so popular shouldn’t alarm, since they happily take bookings for any time that suits and don’t make desperate diners wait on the corner – a look that’s become a little too familiar across Melbourne. It’s worth keeping an eye on Bluebonnet Barbeque as we move into 2018, with the Fitzroy North area changing so quickly with apartment buildings and developments. Here’s hoping that gems like this never suffer from the inner North’s constant changes.




Seeking the perfect blend of modern flair and rustic pub vibes? Look no further. The Builders Arms Hotel is here to satisfy your senses. Situated on the corner of Gertrude and Gore Street, this charming bistro-style restaurant features a seated area out front (for those balmy summer afternoons), a dining area surrounding the bar and an endearing beer garden tucked away in the back of the venue.


Andrew McConnell of Supernormal, Cumulus Inc. and Cutler & Co has curated a magical food experience that amply blends with the overall relaxed feel of the pub. The selection of sharing dishes spans a wide variety of worldly flavours. The creamy decadence of the whipped cod roe with crisp Turkish bread is a dish not to missed. The charcuterie board presents the finest quality of pastrami, salami, chicken terrine with pickles, and Dijon mustard scattered over the top. The Builders Arms Hotel wouldn’t be an Andrew McConnel-stamped restaurant without an intelligently curated wine list. Order a Camporsino Chianti Red while you wait for your steak to arrive. No doubt by the time your meal comes you’ll be yearning for a second glass thanks to it’s sweet, aromatic flavours topped with notes of cherry and violet. The fish pie epitomises utter comfort. Meanwhile, the chicken schnitzel roll on brioche with pickled cabbage and yuzu mayonnaise is a classic melt-in-your-mouth experience. But the true hero is Monday night’s steak special. Swimming in parsley and garlic butter, served with a side of classic French fries and beautifully crisp salad, the

Builders Arms Hotel defies the expectation of your average pub special and will only set you back a total of $19.00. Although pub fare isn’t traditionally associated with Italian cuisine, The Builders Arms Hotel take on spinach and ricotta tortellini proves that the kitchen’s versatility knows no bounds. The tortellini as is doesn’t require much else; such is the beauty of this dish. A toss of burnt butter proves all that’s needed to bring out the best in its entirety. As for the selection of beers, the public bar offers ten rotating draght beers to cater for all tastes, whether you’re after a refreshing summer ale or a session beer that’ll see you though the afternoon into evening. Capping it off, their sprawling courtyard acts as the perfect counterpoint to this; an ideal area to soak up some sun and take part in the communal revelry. The warm globed lights, high stools and rustic tiling, partnered with the overall great pub food experience, makes The Builders Arms Hotel an utter highlight amidst the Melbourne pub chains. Whether your winding down your weekend with an indulgent meal or starting your week off with a bang, The Builders Arms is always there for you.



It’s no secret that Melbourne is the country’s epicentre for Asian cuisine. Whether you’re fanging for a bowl of ramen, pho, laksa or a plate of dumplings, you’re guaranteed to find what you’re after within minutes just by walking down any given street in the CBD and beyond. With so much on offer, especially considering the scope and diversity in what Asian cuisine entails, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Burma Lane gives you a solution. Tucked away on the Paris end of Little Collins Street, you’ll find this spacious, two-storey gem of a restaurant. Bird cages hang from the ceiling, and a mesmerising, abstract mural stretches across the venue’s main wall. As a venue, Burma Lane is a fusion of urban modernity with Asian heritage. As for its food, it follows a very similar train of thought. The restaurant is pioneered by Australian executive chef John Mcleay (Red Spice Road) to reflect modern Australia, drawing inspiration from Asia and its world of flavours, sights and smells. As a starter, don’t look past the sesame-crusted seared tuna. Jazzed up with some wasabi potatoes, blood orange and togarashi, this is the Japanese entrée of your dreams. The flecks of blood orange offer a smack of sweetness that balances well with the wasabi potatoes. If you’re into trying something adventurous, you might want to experience the beef tartare. There’s some serious design skills in this baby, layered with kohlrabi cream, paratha, rice paddy herb and a quail egg. The taste is an acquired one, but it’s a real pleasure to take in with the eyes too.

If that tuna has you geared up to indulge in some more seafood, go straight for the snapper. Surrounded by an arrangement of clams, wild rice, mushrooms, coconut and roasted red pepper, the tastes of Thailand are oozing through every bite of this number. It’s all deliciously soft and rich, and a perfect choice for a main. I know the drill when you’re offered dessert at a restaurant. You shake your hands and smile meekly while assuring the waiter that you wish you could, but you simply can’t. However, please save some space for Burma Lane’s lemongrass cheesecake. You’ll thank me later. It’s essentially a deconstructed cheesecake, artistically flourished across the plate, adorned with crumble, coconut meringue, caramelised pineapple and even some tiny edible purple flowers. It’s absolutely heavenly, with the taste of lemongrass offering a nice tang. The meringue is also a standout component of the dish. Burma Lane is ideal for any occasion. Whether you’re looking to get comfy and settle in for a few hours with friends, treating yourself for a three-course meal, or even dropping by for a few light dishes and a drink or two – this is a must for a night out in the summer that’s fast approaching.



10 Ways to Save the Bees BY ISABELLE ODERBERG

We all know bees make honey. But there’s so much more to the importance of bees in our ecosystem and no way to understate the value of bees to our flowers, plants and the vast array of food we enjoy. “If we didn’t have bees we wouldn’t have anything beautiful or colourful in the supermarket,” explains urban beekeeper and founder of Rooftop Honey, Vanessa Kwiatkowski. “All of our stone fruit and apples; it’s all reliant on bees. Humans would have to do manual pollination and the cost to agriculture would be huge.” Unlike elsewhere in the world, Australia is experiencing the “last golden age of beekeeping in the world”, according to beekeeper and founder of Honey Fingers, Nic Dowse. “We actually don’t have colony collapse disorder – this phenomenon that every other continent in the world other than Antarctica are now having,” he says. “Bees can cope with industrial-scale beekeeping. They can cope with fungicides and herbicides and pesticides. They can cope with migratory beekeeping. But when you introduce this little mite called varroa destructor – a carrier of diseases – the bees struggle. Australia does not have an established varroa destructor problem.” If we want to enjoy the European bees that are responsible for keeping our gardens beautiful and our plates brimming with beautiful food – as well as the best honey in the world – there are actions we can take to help. Here are ten to get you started. If you have a backyard, look at planting a range of beefriendly flowers and plants. Rosemary, lavender, sunflowers and Californian poppies are all good examples. On the native side, Grevilleas and Callistemons (bottlebrushes) are also bee-friendly. If you have lawn, let it grow a little – bees adore clover and dandelion. Dowse suggests letting it grow and simply mowing a path through or having longer borders around the outside. But don’t think you’re off the hook if you only have a balcony or a windowsill. There are lots of small flowering herbs that bees adore, such as sage and thyme. Don’t use pesticides or poisons, especially not weedkiller or anything containing neonicotinoids. They’re not good for you and they’re not good for bees. Kwiatkowski advises looking into alternative means of controlling pests in your garden, for instance companion planting, which can be extremely effective. Consider shifting to organic produce to support more beefriendly agriculture.


Get to know your local beekeeper and buy local, raw honey. Not only do we have the best honey in the world, these beekeepers are doing us a favour and they deserve your support. “You’re supporting people who are trying to manage bee populations,” says Dowse. “We don’t maintain 11,000 hives, we’re not industrialscale, we have relationships with all the hives we have, and we are smaller apiaries, probably located in local suburbs where people live, so they’re foraging for food in our homes. That’s the beautiful thing about eating and sourcing locally.” Once you know your local beekeeper, if you find a wild hive or a swarm, refrain from calling your local council or a pest controller. Beekeepers can relocate the swarm without resorting to poisons or other destruction. Bees get thirsty, so in summer leave a dish of water out in the shade with a stick or stone in the middle for them to land on. If you find a tired bee, put out a teaspoon of sugar water to give it a boost and get it home. However, never use honey because it can carry bee diseases. If you’re scared of bees, do some reading. They’re not out to get you, we just have to learn how to interact with them in urban environments, explains Kwiatkowski. “The reason people get stung is because we bump into one another in the garden. But they don’t necessarily sting you when that happens. You do get a warning, but you only get one,” she says. “Waving your hands and swatting, that’s like holding a red rag to a bull for a bee. But if you don’t swat and you stay relatively still, they’ll realise you’re not a threat and they’ll go.” Once you’ve done your reading, realised how important and harmless bees are, and fallen in love with local Aussie honey, you might even consider keeping your own bees or hosting a hive. If so, it’s time to join your local beekeeping club. Plus, it’s not as tough as you might think. Here’s the most important thing you can do for bees: share what you learn far and wide. Advocate for them and tell people why they should get on board the bee train. It’s not difficult to make a huge difference and keep our bees buzzing strong.



Nestled at the Windsor end of Chapel St, California Burgers have carved out their own niche amongst the late night eateries in the area. Inspired by their love of West Coast America, Theo Tzavaras, and his wife Rosemary, have created the ultimate California burger experience right here in the heart of Melbourne. They’ve taken a staple of Aussie takeaway – the old souvlaki store – and turned it into something new and exciting. Starting from humble beginnings, they’ve perfected their take on the classic American burger, inspired largely by the famous In-N-Out Burger chain. At first glance it appears to have kept the old souvlaki store veneer. However, they’ve vamped it up with a distinctly Californian feel. Streamlined lights hanging overhead offer a laid back atmosphere with small doubleseater tables lining the wall, which opens up to a seating area with more generous sized tables for larger groups. Patrons can soak up the West Coast hip-hop playlist or take in a California centric movie playing on the small TV screen while waiting for their orders. Loaded with the freshest ingredients and made to order, the menu boasts a wide variety of burgers, catering to almost every taste. Their patties are handmade by Theo himself from a homemade recipe he’s been backwards engineering from classic U.S. eateries. The burgers are packed but aren’t messy, boasting thick cut pickles and raw onion served in a specially made brioche bun. The meat is cooked to perfection, retaining its moisture without being greasy or oily, loaded with a flavour that is reminiscent of those classic American burger joints. The California Classic is the simplest item on the menu, consisting of a hand smashed beef patty, American

cheese, lettuce, tomato, and topped with pink mayo – their own version of a “secret sauce”. The single patty burger is great for light eaters, but if you’re after a little more bang for your buck you can double it up by ordering the LAX (double patty, double cheese). Poultry gets a fair run on the menu with both The Malibu (a turkey burger), and the Compton Burger (a crispy spicy fried chicken burger topped with a BBQ and sriracha sauce). The chicken is prepared in house, with Theo creating his own medley of spices that results in a tender burger that packs a spicy punch. A vegetarian option is also available, replacing the beef patty with grilled saganaki. Keeping some elements of their roots, California Burgers also have souvlakis on offer, as well as a selection of tacos. Fries are available as a standard side while cheesy fries (served with melted American cheese) are also available for the more adventurous. California Burgers don’t need anything flashy to bring in the crowds. Instead, they let the food speak for itself. Utilising fresh ingredients and with everything made to order, it’s the perfect spot if you’re sick of the sloppy take away burgers you find at most places around town. Whether you’re a late night eater or just somebody who enjoys a damn good burger; you’re sure to find something to tantalise your tastebuds at California Burgers.




Your first interactions with the wonderful staff members at Crafternoon is not just your average “coffee to start?” question. Instead, you are treated upon arrival with an array of coloured pens and pencils alongside a blank piece of paper – the first of many options to interact with your inner child-like creativity.


Looking down at the floor, your feet are greeted with thousands of magazine cutouts, resulting in one of the greatest collages you’ll ever lay our eyes on. Above your head, artwork made by the cafe-goers hangs beautifully for all to see. A great inspiration when first beginning your drawings. On the crafts menu, you can pick from an array of activities, spanning from painting, plastering, Play-Doh, and badge making (all of which you can take home and show off to your friends). The food menu pays homage to the vegetarian and vegan folk, with all-day brunch options available too. The breakfast burrito and corn fritters with cashew dressing are particularly delicious. Crafternoon’s all-day brunch menu is certainly their crowning jewel. Take Mushroom Mountain for instance comprising of mushrooms simmered down with lemon and served with hazelnut dukkah, avacado and baby spinach. Or, their Sunny-side Burrito that although is made-up of the usual burrito suspects ­­– beans, avacado, cheese and salad – is a star dish on offer. The Mexican-inspired theme is continued with the Crafty Amigos (suitable for vegans, vegetarians and the gluten-intolerant alike), featuring a bed of homemade

toasted corn bread topped with capsicum, tomato beans and avocado. It’s a hearty serve that’ll keep the creative juices flowing while you work on your next masterpiece. For dessert, why not decorate your very own cupcake? Pick a flavour and make it beautiful before devouring it whole. As for other sweet options, you’ll find chocolate and beetroot cake served with cream, berry coulis and almonds alongside lemonade scones, banana loaf and a daily array of muffins that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Are your kids too much of a menace to bring out in public? Crafternoon knows these trials and tribulations all too well. Bring the crafternoon crew over and get creative in the kitchen. Your kids will remember the experience forever, and you’ll be able to pin their creations up on the wall as you go. Not just for the little ones, this idiosyncratic cafe caters to all ages. Get crafty and eat tasty food. Does it get any better?



Founded in 1866, the Dandenong Market is an institution in Melbourne’s south-east. A huge space split into five main areas, the market is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon.

With a bazaar full of wonders, plenty of shopping and an incredibly multicultural mix of food to choose from, it would be very easy to get lost in a whole day wandering around, sampling everything the Dandenong Market has to offer. As we head into what looks to be a very hot summer, the amount of events being held make this the place to be. The atmosphere can only be described as eclectic. With so many different areas, cultures, and items on sale, you’ll hear, see or feel something different about every five seconds. Indian music in the main square will give way to the smells from inside meat, fish, and deli area, which is soon overtaken by the variety of colours in the fresh fruit and veg section. No two experiences at the Dandenong Market are the same, but with the variety of everything on offer, how could they be? One of the first things you’ll notice is the mix of old and new at the market. Some food stalls are incredibly modern and fresh you’d swear they’d only opened the day before. Contrast this with the stalwarts of old favourites; some food trucks not even bothering to have tyres so sure are they that they’ll never need to set up anywhere else. The multicultural focus of the market shines through in the selection of foods on offer, with unique cuisines like

Mauritian and New Zealand street food finding a home among all the usual classics. This being a market, the best thing to do is grab something to eat and start exploring. There’s plenty of things here that you won’t find anywhere else. Somewhere among the throngs of people you’ll find things like authentic Afghan bread, home-collected honey and rare spices. By far the best place to explore is the Bazaar. Rows and rows of stalls sell all manner of items in a bustling market atmosphere. Each stall has its own character. Some play music, some play home to magnificent displays, but all are intriguing in their own special way. With its strong international influence, the bazaar may fool you into thinking you’ve been transported to Asia or the Middle East. With everything from lingerie and jewellery to souvenirs and electronics, there isn’t much that you can’t find if you look for it hard enough. Heading into summer, the Dandenong market is looking to showcase the newest jewel in its crown – the Terrace. An outdoor space with a bar, ample seating, and plenty of space for food trucks, there is a plethora of festivals being held by the market over the next few months. Those hot summer nights don’t get much better.




There’s nothing like kicking back with your mates, having a yarn, knocking back a few cold ones and ordering a pizza for a night of total leisure. And that’s exactly what to expect at Duke’s Pizza, Melbourne’s newest pizza joint that’s had everyone talking.


The neon lights that adorn the venue hark back to the type of pizza haunts you might find in New York. Tender love and care has gone into every inch of the décor, while beautiful pastel tiles offer a modern slant on a vintage motif. For those up for a serious food challenge, Duke’s 24inch pizza is for you. Unless you’re ready to suffer an early death, you’ll need some friends on board to tackle this one. Get a hungry crew together and go all in. As well as a large range of toppings spanning everything from margherita to ham and pineapple, there’s a few special options peppered in through the menu for the more adventurous too. Their Little Miss Piggy topped with prosciutto, rocket and gorgonzola is well worth a try. A further standout is the Pony Special, showcasing thinly sliced potatoes alongside rosemary and fontina cheese. Paired back with a white base, it’s a simple yet filling choice to make. The ever-enticing Mary Jane illustrates that simplicity is key when it comes to pizza, offering the best of old school flavours with tomato, mozzarella, fresh oregano

and basil. You know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For the formaggio fanatics out there, you can’t look past Duke’s take on a four-cheese pizza. Oozing with gorgonzola, pecorino, parmesan and fontino. It’s an utter delight as the flavours of each cheese intertwine with each other – alternating on you palate with each bite. For those who want to break with tradition, the Straya will sort you out. Tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, egg, bacon pieces and onion come together to offer up an Italy-viaoutback-Australia flavour that’s been a guilty pleasure of punters for years. An honourable mention goes to the dough, which is specially prepared two days in advance to assure you with quality and flavour. It results in a pizza base that reaches the perfect amount of crunch and flavour every time. Whether you’re looking to become the hero of your next house party by bringing home a giant pizza or just settling in for a night of indulgence – Duke’s are the pizza aficionados you simply need to try.



If we asked you what immediately springs to mind when you hear the phrase ‘fish and chips’, you’d probably be reminded of warm summer nights, sauntering down to your local corner-of-the-road joint to bring back a few greasy paper packages down to your mates who await this golden delivery at a park or beach. Nestled far away from any glimpse of ocean, Hooked busily cooks up an assortment of fish night and day on Chapel Street, Windsor. The restaurant has transformed the suburban take away fish and chips affair into a sophisticated dining experience. The shop itself embodies a familiar nautical aesthetic; wooden tables with anchor-print pillows, and a sprawling charcoal mural of an octopus as the centrepiece of the shop. Up first on our menu is a dish of flathead tails with a side of brown rice alongside the restaurant’s salad speciality; a quinoa and broccoli salad dressed with yoghurt and lemon dressing. In other words, it’s what Hooked calls their Superfood salad. This stack of green goodness bursts with flavour and zest, and quickly becomes the most standout element of the plate. Hooked have garnered a reputation for pairing exceptional fish with creative Asian-fusion salads. We dig into a dish of Asian greens; bok choy, Chinese broccoli and choy sum all doused lightly in soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s

a side well worth trying, best with a white grilled fish like the blue grenadier. Who could deny a fillet of crumbed flake, complimented perfectly with chunky, seasoned chips? The saltiness and weight of the flake and chips are balanced out with an Asian slaw comprised of Wombok, carrot, and red onion tossed in a Vietnamese dressing. If you’re turned off by the thought of run-of-the-mill coleslaw, rest assured that this slaw is incomparable by any standards. If you’re feeling fancy, try their mussels. You’re served a huge bowl with toasted bread, brimming with tomato, onion, white wine, and chili. They’re rich and poignant with flavour, but not so much that they become unbearable after a few. You can share a bowl with one or two other people and it’ll go down seamlessly. Hooked is a winner for an easy and superb city seafood stop. Oh, and they even deliver. It turns out you can have cutting-edge fish and chips at your local park too.



Beat’s Guide to Mamma’s Still Running the Kitchen There’s nothing more enticing than stepping into a family-run restaurant. It’s as if you’ve been welcomed into the home of a long lost Nonna or Nonno for an evening, offering a truly special dining experience. We’ve compiled some of the best restaurants in Melbourne that do just that. PELLIGRINI’S ESPRESSO BAR 66 BOURKE ST, MELBOURNE


Dripping in nostalgia and vintage allure exists Pelligrini’s Espresso Bar, established in 1954 and maintaining its period diner décor with chequered floors and red vinyl bar stools. With the option between seating at the communal bench or at the bar, Pellegrini’s embraces the social culture traditionally associated with Italian espresso bars. Their homemade pasta is worth adding to any Melburnian’s culinary bucket list.

Boasting authentic flavours and traditional cooking methods is Pho Victoria, a Vietnamese restaurant open for lunch and dinner. The restaurant prepares their meals with a real passion for their craft; spending hours to prepare beef stock alone. With no meal over $30 and the average price of pho being $12, it’s easy to see why this place is often considered one of the best authentic Vietnamese restaurants in the area.



For just $3.50 at the Queen Victoria Market you can get a variety of different boreks including cheese and spinach, lamb or potato and vegetable. They’re some of the most popular lunches in Melbourne. It’s easy to spot The Borek Shop by scouting out the store constantly bustling with people, often with lines around the store itself. However, service is always quick and friendly.

Despite the small 20-seat restaurant that makes up the heart and soul of Little Africa, the restaurant has both introduced and made successful one of Melbourne’s less mainstream cuisines – East African. Little Africa has made a splash with chef Ruta Ukbagerish bringing in the interesting flavours of Africa to Melbourne. The servings are very generous and the prices moderate so if you’re up for a change of flavour when eating out, Little Africa may be the way to go.


Offering seasonal dishes prepared using locally-sourced produce, Mankoushe reflects Middle Eastern cuisine through the use of the best Australian ingredients on offer. As well as serving an array of Middle Eastern foods like falafel wraps, meat and vegetarian, Mankoushe also sell pickled vegebles, labneh and dips. The family-run restaurant maintains authentic taste yet brings exciting new flavours to their meals that keeps the balance between new and old. CHEF LAGENDA 16 PIN OAK CRESCENT, FLEMINGTON

In 2010, Thomas Lee opened Chef Lagenda, realising a long held dream to open a warm, welcoming, traditional Malaysian restaurant, which showcases the authentic cuisine of his hometown, Ipoh. From popular pork dumplings to chicken satay skewers, there is something for everyone here.


With home delivery, outdoor seating and vegetarian options, Flemington Kebabs is a very versatile kebab store. However, they are not limited to just kebabs; they also make pizzas, salads, dips and HSPs. With an average price of $30 for two, it’s not a bad place to stop for a quick lunch or post-concert meal. PACIFIC HOUSE 293 - 295 RACECOURSE RD, FLEMINGTON

Pacific House is a Cantonese Restaurant chain renowned for their fresh roast meats and seafood. This restaurant even serves crocodile, sea cucumber and jellyfish if you’re looking for something different. Well worth venturing out to find something new, with Cantonese shining through everything they do.




Best Burgers GOKU’S FUSION

• Black Angus grass-fed beef patty with JD’s secret fusion seasoning • American cheese • Hardwood double-smoked bacon • Spanish onions • Lettuce • Tomato • JD’S new secret fusion sauce • Brioche bun


• • • • • •

From JD’s Burgers


• Black bean, mozzarella and sweet potato patty • Lettuce • Tomato • Lime mayo • Sweetcorn relish • Smoky charcoal bun From Meet Patty


Angus beef patty Lettuce Tomato Onion Cheese Betty’s special sauce From Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co.


• • • • • • •

Mushrooms Garlic butter mushroom broth Chipotle mayonnaise Halloumi cheese Rocket Balsamic Parmesan cheese From The Little Mushroom Co.



Since opening almost eight years ago, Mamasita has become a mainstay of Melbourne’s culinary scene. During that time, the tidy taqueria at the top of Collins Street has fought of intense competition to remain one of the city’s best Mexican restaurants. For the most part, Mamasita has built its reputation with thoughtful menus and world-class seasonal ingredients as opposed to bold experimentation. At Mamasita, you can find everything you love about Mexican cuisine – simply executed a little bit better. If it seems strange to sing the praises of the humble tortilla chip, you likely haven’t had Mamasita’s house-made chips, which are more crunchy and flavourful than any you’ll find. The restaurant is well-known for popularising the street food style corn that is now a staple of all good Mexican eateries. Their version – smothered in chipotle mayo and lime – is still something special. Mamasita’s commitment to the flavours of Mexico is reflected in their drinks menu, which offers a large selection of mezcals and tequilas as well as a range of Mexican beers. Those looking for a truly eye-opening experience should try a flight of tequila or mezcal, which showcases how varied and flavourful the underappreciated agave can be. You also can’t go wrong sampling one of their many cocktails. The margaritas are a dependable choice, but those looking for something different would do well to try the Agave & Orchard made from Alipus mezcal, pear, apple and lime, which balances out the smoky mezcal with a fresh fruit hit to make the perfect summer drink. Since taking over almost a year ago, head chef Michael Smith has only furthered Mamsita’s commitment to quality

and authenticity. During a recent trip to Mexico, Smith was inspired by the traditional agricultural technique milpa, in which a range of vegetables are cultivated alongside each other to create a taco using marinated zucchini and squash. Mamasita are now the first restaurant in Australia making tortillas out of Mexico’s famed blue corn, sourced through a special agreement with a local supplier. It is used to terrific effect in the new blue corn masa – a remarkably flavourful combination of roasted spring vegetables and a smoky, creamy cauliflower puree. Smith has also pushed the restaurant forward by placing authentic Mexican ingredients in new and interesting contexts. This plays out in the recently introduced lamb rib chop, which pairs a fried crumb made from three different types of chilli with a sweet, tamarindbased salsa inspired by a Mexican candy. The result is an innovative and delightful fusion of global flavours that Smith says represents the future of Mamsita. If this all sounds too high-minded, fear not. Mamasita is still a great place for an after-work meal or a casual latenight snack. The cosy and wood-heavy décor, the light South American music and the laidback wait staff combine to create a relaxed, cosmopolitan vibe that feels both exotic and utterly Melbourne. Almost a decade after opening, Mamsita still represents some of the best that the city has to offer.




We’re spoilt for choice of Italian cuisine here in Melbourne – there’s no denying. It seems somehow most evident when your stomach cries for a loving bowl of pasta and nothing else will do. We have pizza bars, gnocchi bars, cantinas and cucinas, just waiting to feed you. And then, there’s Massi.


Gorgeous – although simple in its description – is the perfect word to describe this Italian restaurant. Serving Southern Italian cuisine (from owner Joseph Vargetto’s dearly cherished Sicilian heritage), Massi seats a sweet 50 guests – just perfect for the closely confined intimacy that the restaurant welcomes its diners to be a part of each day. Massi stands tall with respect to tradition. With an admirable dedication to the delicacy of Italian cooking and it’s family-like staff striding through the restaurant in crisp ironed shirts and black vests – it feels as if you’ve known them forever. Although with fine respect for tradition comes alongside a modern flare seamlessly intertwined throughout; exemplified by their arrancini with basil pesto served in adorable trays with special pockets for each one. It also shines through their undefined tables and leather booths where conversations combine and friendships are bound over appreciation for culture and honest food. Massi’s Wagyu bresola carpaccio presents as a mesmerising pattern waving against the plate, and is just one of many instances in which Massi creates something delicate, and beautiful. Pastas are kept to a minimal selection and all represent the true beauty of Italian cooking – crafted with a few

good-quality ingredients used carefully and considerately. Nothing is overdone at Massi with intense flavours or masses of the unnecessary. Massi cooks with love and a confident knowledge for what is needed and what is not. Massi’s papparadelle with braised beef osso bucco, tomato ragu and ricotto salata can only be compared to falling in love with at first sight. And their pansotti of veal, lemon, rosemary and porcini sauce is a flavour so classically Sicillian but yet to be found elsewhere in Melbourne. A mention although must go to their pumpkin ravioli which is assured to linger in your dreams. It may seem silly to mention – as obvious as it lies – that the pasta at Massi is hand crafted fresh each morning. Secondis offer fish, veal, lamb neck or scotch and eye fillet. All are cooked simply, yet are resoundingly beautiful. So too is their desert menu of tiramisu, gelati or connolo. When dining at Massi, you feel a part of something much larger than just lunch, or dinner. Although it can be overwhelming with the abundance of Italian eateries around town, Massi sits somewhere above the rest with a little more fresh pasta, a lot more allure, and their own special flare of the traditional, classic, and the gorgeous.



For those that haven’t had the pleasure of meeting a cephalopod underwater, experienced their mischievous and inquisitive nature – and most of all their unparalleled intelligence – you are missing out on something quite surreal. For starters, what even are cephalopods? Cephalopods are any mollusc of the class Cephalopoda which have tentacles attached to their head; derived from the Greek kephale meaning “head” and the pod meaning “foot”. More specifically, the cephalopda family consists of octopuses, squid and nautiluses. Octopuses were in fact the first intelligent being on earth. Their species posses more genes than we do, and may even be able to see with their skin. They have been known to open jars from both inside and out, complete puzzles, escape from captivity, master camouflage and even edit their own genes. Interestingly enough, we are not so different from them either. Around 600 million years ago, we existed on the same evolutionary branch when the two of us resided in the sea, ‘the original home of the mind’. Here, we split off from the cephalopods and the two of us continually evolved to two of the most highly evolved organisms on the planet. Like us, they abandoned their hard shells for soft bodies and like us, they invested in brain power for complex thinking. An octopus vulgaris was observed in Bermuda out catching crabs, returning to its home to eat them for lunch, collecting rocks around it’s den to barrier up the entrance and then soundly going to sleep. Sound familiar? Octopuses have also been known to tidy, clean and decorate their homes with all sorts of treasures and trinkets on the ocean floor. The most fascinating fact about these incredible creatures is that they are alone from the moment they are born; they acquire no knowledge from


parents or learned social interactions from sibling rivalry. Octopuses must navigate on the reef; the most complex and dangerous environments alone and only have two years to wrap their tentacles around it. Surely we’d be in trouble if they had the lifespans and knowledge reservoir we do. Arguably, octopuses may even be more intelligent than we are. Jaron Lanier – a pioneer of virtual reality technology – stopped eating octopus decades ago due. Lanier was fascinated by their ability to project observed images directly from their brain onto their skin. As humans, we can replicate sound and replicate our environment through drawing, but we can’t look to our environment and then become the environment by projecting it on our body. This is a powerful communication tool and something that Lanier is hoping to replicate through virtual reality in humans. So why eat it, if I haven’t made you think twice about it already? The amount of work to make cephalopods tasty is enormous, that is unless they are eaten alive. Head chef of famous Tokyo restaurant Jiro reports that it is necessary to massage octopus for at least fifty minutes before it is tasty enough to be cooked, and eaten. Peter Godfrey Smith, a philosopher of science and author of The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life, claims, “This is probably the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien.” I guess the question is then, would you have an issue eating aliens?


Meatstock BY ANNA ROSE

Having a chat with Meatstock organiser Jay Beaumont when you’re hungry is far from ideal – the man has the power to entice and tempt as he discusses the exciting 2018 event which is promised to be a party on your palette.


As you may have guessed by their name, Meatstock specialise in some of the finest cuts of meat this city has to offer. Juicy, tender, glorious meat. “It’s basically a barbecue festival wrapped around a lot of events and cool bands,” says Beaumont. “The first event was two years ago in Sydney. This year we did the first event in Melbourne with just shy of 10,000 people attending. Meatstock is not just a barbeque festival. Twenty butchers from around the country compete in competitive butchery. We have a barbeque expo, and we have a really good lineup of bands that creates a great atmosphere.” The people who attend Meatstock are certainly drawn by more than an insatiable hunger and interest in meat. “I think it’s about the spectacle,” says Beaumont. “It’s not just a barbeque festival – I would call it like the Easter show for carnivores. “A lot of people enjoy their burgers and wings; the bacon and barbeque at Meatstock is just one big celebration of that. We have lots of demonstrations and there’s a lot of energy around the whole event. It’s quite an experience.” Not only will there be a huge range of great food, exciting competitions and excellent bands on show,

the budding barbeque enthusiast can also get the opportunity to have a go and learn more about the art of meat. “There’s three live stages – one is a demo stage there for the entire event; the best burger, how to trim chicken wings; someone there all day teaching you what makes a good barbeque. “The second stage is the butcher stage, people featured showing you how to break down a body of beef, they’re competing in butchery, butchers with 30 minutes to break down half a lamb and half a subtle of pork in front of a live crowd. The third stage is live bands, all day. It’s a great vibe, three big stages, there’s always something to see.” If the prospect of succulent meats, finely cooked and prepared in an impressive fashion still isn’t enough to entice you – then undoubtedly the music will get you across the line. Beaumont says the live entertainment will appeal to anyone who’s interested in Americana, roots, blues and country. Offering a mix of authentic barbeque and the tunes to match, Meatstock is a must-try experience for anyone who wants to enjoy a full day of meats and beats.




W W w. m e at s T o c k . C O M . A U


7 Easy Vegan Alternatives BY KATE STREADER

Veganism has become a popular lifestyle choice over the past few years, meaning there are more vegan-friendly alternatives on the market now than ever. But between the difficult to pronounce and the straight up bizarre options floating about, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Whether you are thinking about going vegan or you’re just looking to experiment, here are a few must-try vegan alternatives that won’t cause you any stress in the kitchen. JACKFRUIT

Substituting meat with a fruit may seem like an odd concept but the jackfruit, native to South India, is a traditional ingredient in many Asian curries and has recently become popular in Australia as an alternative to pulled pork. Be sure to buy it while it’s premature. You can pick up cans of young, green jackfruit at Asian grocers or The Cruelty Free Shop. VEGAN REUSABLE FOOD WRAPS

A big reason for ditching meat, dairy and eggs for many vegans is sustainability. Therefore, wrapping leftovers in non-reusable plastic isn’t a viable option. While the reusable beeswax wraps serving as an ecofriendly cling wrap replacement are a no-go for those opting to forgo animal products, you can now find vegan-friendly food wraps made from organic cotton, plant-based wax, tree resin and jojoba oil at a number of online vegan retailers. CASHEW CHEESE

Admittedly, cheese is a tough food to replicate. This substitute isn’t one you’d mistake for the real deal, but it is delicious in its own right. You can pick up premade cashew cheese from most health food stores or make your own. All you need to do is soak some cashews overnight, pop them in a food processor with some water, garlic, nutritional yeast and lemon juice and blend. Perfect paired with wine and crackers. NUTRITIONAL YEAST

Let’s be honest. Giving up cheese is the hardest part about going vegan for a lot of people. Luckily for us, nutritional yeast is another cheese alternative. Not


only because it’s packed with B vitamins such as B12 – which are otherwise difficult for vegans to attain without supplements – but because its punchy, cheeselike taste makes it perfect for sprinkling over anything from nachos to popcorn, or adding to sauces. RICE PAPER BACON

Faux meats can be pretty hit and miss, especially those aiming to imitate the texture of bacon, but rice paper bacon is a simple DIY way to curb your bacon cravings. It’s as easy as marinating rice paper sheets in a mixture of liquid smoke, maple syrup and soy sauce and popping them in a pan or oven until crispy. This option is much healthier than real bacon or other overly processed alternatives, so you can enjoy it guilt free. AQUAFABA

While there are a number of vegan-friendly egg substitutes for baking, none are quite as versatile as aquafaba – otherwise known as the liquid you’ll find your canned chickpeas swimming around in. The key is to whip the aquafaba until it turns white and fluffy, at which stage it becomes the perfect base for vegan meringues or mousse as well as serving as an egg replacement in anything from pancakes to brownies. COCONUT YOGURT

Thanks to the recent coconut craze there’s no shortage of dairy-free yogurt on the market. Not only is it easy to get your hands on, it’s also very simple to make at home. Just pour canned coconut milk into a jar, add a few probiotic capsules, cover with a cheesecloth and leave to thicken.



Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • •

750ml tomato passata 100g bacon 1/2 onion 1 carrot 800g minced beef 1/2 cup red wine 500g egg lasagna sheets 500g mozzarella 30g Parmesan cheese Salt Oil

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180° 2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, chopped onion and bacon pieces, and cook for five minutes. 3. Add the minced beef and let it simmer for ten minutes before adding the wine. Add the tomato passata and salt, then cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for two hours. This will make your Bolognese sauce. 4. Boil the lasagna sheets in a separate saucepan in hot salted water along with a tablespoon of oil. Then, remove the lasagna sheets and let them dry on a cloth. 5. Pour a layer of sauce in a baking tray (suitable for lasagna) to start. Cover with a layer of lasagna sheets then cover with a layer of sauce again. Spread the slices of mozzarella over the sauce and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with another layer of lasagna sheet and repeat the process until the tray is full. Make sure to only cover the last layer with ragu and mozzarella. 6. Place the tray in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top layer starts to crisp. 7. Let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. E buon appetito!






There are many culinary delights hidden in and around Melbourne. However, the modern take on a classic menu at Hawthorn East cafe Mr & Mrs Anderson is one you should definitely make time for. The friendly staff go above and beyond for their customers, greeting you immediately and making sure you are well looked after. The extensive all-day menu includes breakfast and lunch, which is all prepared in house.


The cafe’s private farm in Gippsland is where most of the produce is grown, unless otherwise sourced from local and reputable companies. Axil Coffee keeps the café well looked after by brewing a coffee bean exclusively for Mr & Mrs Anderson that turns many one-off customers into regulars. The cafe is lined with beautiful tiles from Mexico, enlivening the minimal yet elegant space. Not only is the food presented in a beautiful way, but the taste and quality matches. Mr & Mrs Anderson want to follow through and deliver incredible flavours, as well as excelling in the presentation of their meals. If you are in a hurry, there are pre-made ready to go options. The cafe makes a conscious effort to cater for any dietary restrictions and includes, amongst others, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. This make an excellent choice for office workers looking to come in and pick up a quick and delicious lunch before heading back in to brave the rest of the day.

Crowd favourites from the menu are of course the avocado smash, which has a twist to the normal delivery of the dish, being served with raw kale, organic quinoa, fresh radish and cucumber from the cafe’s paddock. Capping it off comes a generous serve of toasted seeds and sesame ponzu dressing. A new addition to the menu is the incredible Japanese omelette, accompanied by eggrolls with seared scallops, sautéed asparagus, yuzu mayo and garnished wasabikko. With a South-East Asian influence, lunch options include the growingly popular poke bowl with seared salmon, sesame, soy, brown rice, nori, avocado, spring onion, macadamia, and pickled ginger. Mr & Mrs Anderson is also family friendly, offering a separate menu section for children. Combining an affordable price point with amazing customer service, this cafe is a winner. Add Mr & Mrs Anderson to your must-visit list to experience the indescribable flavours that are sure to impress.



Humble beginnings and honest offerings are what make Mukka one of the busiest restaurants on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. From what started as a stall at the Vic Market some years ago, Mukka has now blossomed into a culmination of cultures both old and new. And they just won’t slow down.


As soon as you spot the restaurant, a rush of excitement overcomes you. Their festively decorated restaurant – draped in party streamers, windmills and other collective ornaments – appear as a huge celebration for you and your friends with abundances of food, light and laughter. The exposed bricks show Mukka’s rustic side, as after all, they are cooking up varieties of Indian street food. But when those walls display a colourful and powerful Indian woman draped in traditional wear dancing above you, you instantly feel you are in the presence of something spectacular. Let’s just say the restaurant certainly doesn’t compromise on making their energetic and highly-spirited presence known to the street. But enough about their amazing decorations, let’s talk about their food, which is what really brings Mukka to Melbourne’s attention. Specialising in honest Indian food that’s different and imaginative, they also serve Indian cocktails like their Bloody Maharanis (how fun) of organic vodka, tomato juice and their house-made spice mix of dill, white pepper, celery salt and turmeric. The spices will certainty pick you on a Sunday morning.

Mukka’s dosas – a South Indian staple – have seen them frying crapes for crowds of guests who even at times wait in queues miles long. The light savoury crepe, made rice and lentils, is filled with curry and other spicy treats. Their coconut chutney is the perfect cooler to accompany this dish. After some more spicy news? Well Mukka now welcome a ‘Bottomless South Indian Lunch’ until February 18, where their modest staff will feed you until you cannot possibly eat anymore. And for drinks? That’s where the bottomless aspect really comes into play with free flowing Bloody Maharanis and bubbles. Mukka can’t be missed even by the laziest of observers, and it’s not just because it looks as the most cheerful party on Brunswick Street. Their fun atmosphere and standout street-food dishes are all they ever needed to grow from a small vendor, to a widely celebrated and established restaurant. There’s no doubt that a single dine-in at Mukka will have you coming back time after time to be a part of festivity.



Blink as you ride past Patch and you’ll most likely miss it. Albeit, this is nothing but a good thing. This hidden slice of heaven is located in a lightfilled warehouse and sees coffee-lovers flock far and wide to get in on the secret. Patch isn’t a new player on the scene trying to ensnare your attention with dishes that are all show and no substance. Luckily for us, they needn’t be. Having provided a local getaway for some years now, Patch have mastered the humble craft of breakfast, served with health and holistic recipes in mind. With that in mind, don’t come here expecting heartclogging triple-stacked French toast. Patch knows all about nourishing the body and the soul, providing nutritious, well balanced and refined meals that will have you feeling energised for the rest of the day. But while the meals may be healthy, they by no means lack in flavour or presentation. The team here lives by a simple mantra: to inspire a movement where clean eating is delicious, wholesome and approachable. The result is a cafe that’s small enough to provide the service you’d expect from a well-loved local, but large enough to obtain directly sourced fresh produce that’s packed full of flavour. With summer in full swing, quenching your thirst with a shot of espresso inside a chilled coconut within their sunflooded courtyard is the right move. Plus, room for doggos

and ample seating for their humans makes this space an easy sell. While nothing on the menu will disappoint – especially with their punny names – the stand outs are: Living On The Veg (a crispy veggie pattie stack worth having again topped with creamy ‘Avodaise’), Planet of the Crepes (hazelnut butter, fresh berries and coconut crépes making for a guiltfree sweet treat) and the pulled pork hash, otherwise known as That’s All Folks. Think crunchy, appetizing and filling and you’re on the right track. Patch Cafe goes against the grain of most popular cafes by proving that eating out can be both healthy and delicious. With something here to satisfy the needs of almost everyone, doing right by your body has never felt so good.



Charcoal Lane


Nestled amongst the plethora of eateries in Fitzroy you’ll find Charcoal Lane, a venue quite unlike its neighbours. Not only does the Gault & Millau-hatted restaurant set itself apart through its culinary finesse, Charcoal Lane also offers a program which equips Indigenous young people in need of a fresh start with hospitality training and employment pathways.


In 2009 the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, who occupied the site from 1979 until 1992 and still manage the property, partnered with Mission Australia to launch Charcoal Lane. Restaurant manager, Nick Temple, believes it is of the utmost importance that the First Peoples of Australia are recognised both through celebrating native Australian food and eradicating the hindrances Indigenous young people face when seeking employment. “I think that the comments made by Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane are particularly relevant: ‘Structural racism needn’t involve people signing up to racist beliefs or attitudes. Prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, indifference; these all add up to what we would understand as racism,’” says Temple. As a nation we are only one generation out of Stolen Generation with many of our student’s parents removed from family. The Australian Government only apologised as a country in 2008 and those wounds are still healing. The gap in labour force exclusion still needs to be closed.” Charcoal Lane provides nationally recognised hospitality training for 25 to 30 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents each year. Moreover, they provide trainees with a Certificate II in hospitality, as well as offering support in breaking down other barriers they may be facing. “Our Student Support Officer and Program Manager work tirelessly to assist our trainees through a host of issues. As a quick snapshot for the first intake of 2017, our cohort of students were supported through justice and court issues, housing supports, mental health supports, engagement

in AOD supports, supported to family mediation around historical family violence. “They were also supported to engage and re-engage in secondary education, encouraged to follow passions in music and painting and supported to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander industry mentors in accountancy, sports and child care. “We hope to foster a greater resilience and selfdetermination in our trainees. For most people who work in hospitality it is not a career pathway, it is used as a means to support themselves as they study, create art, music, write, or even just figure out what they would like to do with the rest of their lives. The team behind Charcoal Lane believe connecting with traditional Australian culture through native flavours and ingredients is an integral part of celebrating the land and the First Peoples of this country. “In Australia, our Indigenous flora and fauna has been historically ignored when it comes to our dining table, and unfortunately a lot of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture has likewise been neglected in understanding, respect and prevalence. Charcoal Lane aims to, through food, strengthen and broaden the knowledge of the First Peoples. “Our Head Chef Greg Hampton has over 30 years experience cooking utilising Australian herbs, spices, fruits and proteins. Here, we celebrate the cultures, heritage and flavours of the First Peoples and the true heart of the nation, as well as offering one of Victoria’s most thoroughly unique dining experiences per the intriguing flavour profile and intricate pairings of an under-celebrated cuisine.”



In 2010 two chefs with 22 years experience in the culinary industry decided to start a religion. Well, a pizza religion that is. Co-owners Chris Bailey and Matthew Hunter have combined their reputable skill set to bring Melbourne some of the finest pizza you will find. As I stroll through suburban Armadale passing residents walking their dogs and riding their bicycles, I find one of five stores humbly resting alongside their neighbourhood. Walking into this sophisticated and warm restaurant, I am warmly greeted by the store manager. Soon being Introduced to Bailey, he begins to tell me what inspired Pizza Religion. The company’s business model is impressive indeed, with all stores tucked away inside suburban neighbourhoods, remaining localised and steering away from commercial branding. It’s an integral part of what sets Pizza Religion apart from the pack. Moreover, they hire locals from within the area that each store operates in. Consequently, an entrepreneurial spirit and a sense of employee loyalty can result in staff being promoted and managing a new store of their own. As Bailey says, Pizza Religion is “bringing it back to the people, where it matters and taking the time for human connection”. Everything is made on site at Pizza Religion and all produce is locally sourced – making for nothing but the freshest experience every time. Further in this ethos, Bailey and Hunter are constantly striving to create seasonal and experimental ranges that keeps the menu exciting for return visitors.

“Every mouthful is different,” says Bailey. “The palette is always being activated with new textures and flavours.” With an unwavering dedication to their craft, Pizza Religion would convert any lover of Italian food to a devout believer. A must-try is their roasted mushroom pizza with caramelised onion topped with a dabble of goats curd. A rich tomato sauce base and a refined drizzle of balsamic glaze seals the deal. It’s perfectly suited for vegetarians, but carnivorous diners will still be floored by its simplicity and flavour. Pizza Religion was recently awarded Best Pizza in Australia during the Global Pizza Challenge, and it’s easy to see why they took home the top prize. Like most great Italian food, the key to its brilliance lies in its simplicity. Pizza Religion knows this, and they deliver upon this tradition with airtight execution. Throw on your walking shoes and head down for a slice of heaven and good vibes. Safe to say, we’ve found a higher calling – and that’s Pizza Religion.




Stylishly tucked amongst the sweet collection of local Hawthorn village stores lives Piquancy, who consider far more than just sublime Indian food in Melbourne. Piquancy believe sight, thought, touch and the senses, all equally come into play when coming together for a meal. That’s why their fine restaurant (opening just this year) is just as much an experience as it is delicious restaurant.


At first spotting, when breezing along Auburn Road, you’ll notice quite a fascinating facade; a captivating image of a wise man, pulling on his grey beard and holding a humble, friendly face. Why does Piquancy use an image as their logo? Because owner Mani — of both lauded Carlton eatery Babajan and Piquancy — is a devoted advocate for all things pure. Mani believes beautiful imagery is best fitted with beautiful food, and is blessed that such a powerful image of older beauty can represent Piquancy. In another powerful image, their menu shows four men crouching down together at a traditional wedding. Aside from the evocative imagery throughout both of his eateries, the restaurants incorporate compelling touches, like sleek silver crockery and artwork-like dishes with fascinating flavours. Even the restaurant’s name exhibits this power, meaning ‘spicy and tangy’. A dish that embodies just that would be the widely celebrated ‘Pani Pury’ which has lived on the menu since the day they opened, even through their seasonally changing menu. These delicate puff pastries are filled with mash potatoes and chick peas, with a spicy and tangy (aka Piquancy) liquid which is poured inside. They must be eaten instantly and with your hands – like all real meals should be eaten.

Piquancy’s tandoori chicken is another dish that’s become a mainstay on the menu. After all, it would be a crime to take it from us. A spring dish that’s just as impressive as it is spicy and tangy, is their take on lamb chops, which are marinated overnight in feta and roasted capsicum sauce. It’s impossible to deny the love that has been devoted to its perfection; the recipe refined after months of experimentations. Moving onto pot dishes, Piquancy have a delectably diverse selection of Indian dishes, from all parts of India. They wish to celebrate the country as a whole, and the wondrous flavours that come from both north and south. The goat kessari cooked in its own juice with tomato, fennel and saffron is a traditional dish cooked in a very Piquancy manner being interesting, powerful and inspiring. Naan – either Garlic & Chive, Seasoame & Onion See or Plain – is an essential accompaniment. Piquancy teach us to consider every element of dining, while also being modest and uncomplicated. They amply explore dishes from the entire scope of Indian cuisine and culture – spanning from the north to the south – and serve them in their unique and inventive Piquancy fashion.



Red Spice Road has been a stalwart of the Melbourne dining community for over ten years now. And as one of the first big players to bring us the flavours of Southeast Asia, the team have now established a local institution – with a few dishes making them famous throughout the city’s competitive scene.


With two locations in the CBD, McKillop Street and QV, Red Spice Road deserves to become your go-to spot for tastes from Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and beyond. Both restaurants specialise in quick lunches for business types and pre-theatre dinners for culture vultures. The menu is designed to cater for all sorts of dietary requirements. The express lunch menu is definitely a highlight that keeps local workers coming back for more every week. Available between 12pm and 3pm each day (and 5pm to 6pm from Sunday to Friday) the express menu is updated every fortnight, ensuring that regulars have new options to try and casual diners are always spoiled for choice. It’s a pretty sweet deal at $29.50 for a starter and three large plates, seeing you begin with dishes like chilli sambal chicken wings, before moving onto bang bang cucumber salad with sesame and green onion, chicken stir-fried in ginger, lemongrass and black pepper, and veggies with peanuts and tamarind. The space itself is quite large, however, with its smart design the layout actually feels much more intimate and separated. There are smaller tables near the entry and bar area, a communal vibe at the epic half-moon dining table, and further space under a huge retractable skylight – a

hotly contested spot on a sunny arvo. The artwork on the walls is also a treat. Many Melburnians will have ordered, tasted, and loved their signature pork belly with apple slaw, chilli caramel and black vinegar – a sticky, sweet, crispy and creamy sensation that probably is ordered more than any other dish. As for their dumplings, these are some of the juiciest pan fried morsels you’ll come across – filled with Chinese mushroom and spinach, alongside a chunky chilli sauce that is actually more like a chutney complimented by the perfect balance of spice and salt. The soft shell crab could very well be the pick of the bunch. The crispy, textural crunch makes this an instant classic, made more delicious with the added garlic, dried chilli and green onion. Round this out with a couple of large plates of the Chiang Mai chicken curry with crispy noodles and cucumber alongside rockling stir-fried in ginger and black pepper and you’ve got a winner. Both dishes, like all at Red Spice Road, are well presented and the vibrant flavours match the colours every time. I might have even been spotted dipping the last spoonful of fragrant rice into the bowl to make sure there was no curry left.



Describing itself as urban “French share food”, Resto Bobo – one of Chapel Street’s newest eateries – raises eyebrows, mainly because when many think of French food decadent and expensive comes to mind. Restaurant owner Dan Xerri spent time living in Strasbourg and found that the average assumptions about French food are a little off. Resto BoBo aims to rewire the way Melburnians think of French cuisine. The venue has a delightfully laidback atmosphere thanks to a classy yet relaxed fitout featuring exposed bricks and warm colour palette; lacking the pretentiousness of so many of its fellow establishments along Chapel Street. Even before you’ve had your first bite, the drinks list illustrates that everything on offer here is not quite what you’re used to. Starting with the espresso martini (which swaps out vodka and instead uses high end cognac) the cocktail negates the overpowering taste vodka adds to many espresso martinis. While there’s more traditional brews on offer, the most interesting option is the Picon & Mornington which combines a small shot of Picon Orange liqueur with a lager, making for a surprising taste, being dark in colour but as light and drinkable as a summer ale. The menu offers French tapas and sharing plates, all of which sound amazing, and those sampled certainly do taste just that. Special mention to the bloody beetroot balls and the cheese board, which are sensational. However as good as these options are, the flambée is what you can’t go

past. For the uninitiated, think of a very thin and crispy pizza. Beautifully presented, the flambée allows for the toppings to take centre stage. While all brought out looked delectable, of the couple sampled, the finest offering is the Le Top du Top. Finished with carved black angus steak, it is appropriately dubbed “the best of the best” and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Resto Bobo even offers a dessert flambée which is topped with thinly sliced apple, cinnamon and then set alight. The burning liquor on top turned the apples a nice caramel brown colour. Again, the lightness of the mains and dessert allow you to leave feeling fresh and ready to continue on with your evening. Being wholly unique in a food-centric city as Melbourne is no mean feat. Being different on Chapel Street alone is hard enough, but Xerri and his team have managed to do just that. Get along and experience French cuisine as you’ve never experienced it before.




The Bang Bang crew are setting up shop riverside in Melbourne’s CBD. Riverland’s younger brother, Bang Bang Rifle Club, usually resides in Elsternwick, but for the summer you can get a little French-Indochine indulgence by the river just below Federation Square.


Like its Elsternwick home, the pop-up is both friendly and relaxed – suited to whatever dining scenario you’ll find yourself in. The staff pump this food out efficiently, but that’s not for lack of quality or presentation. The veggies are colourful, the buns are fresh, and the prices are reasonable. The menu is short, but filled with enough variety to please most. With four options of banh mi to choose from, it’s hard to pick a winner. However, the satay tofu banh mi is incredible – thanks to generous lashings of rich sauce and chunks of tofu. Pickled carrot and onion compliment the buns, making for a perfect snack. If you prefer something on the lighter side, the menu also offers a lamb bao, built by you. A huge piece of tender, succulent lamb can be pulled apart with ease and when coupled with a side salad, you’ve got yourself three mini Chinese delights. From Beerlao in iced buckets and Goose Island on tap, you’ve got a variety of refreshing beverages to choose from to whet your whistle. If you’re more of a cocktail person, they’ve also got summer’s new MVP, frose, alongside icy gin cocktails that are a sure-fire way to forget the rest of your plans for the day.

A tranquil escape from the city offering Asian-inspired cuisine with authentic drinks and cocktails to match, Bang Bang Riverland is the perfect place to settle in alongside the river and watch the summer day unfold into evening. Once the hot afternoon turns into a balmy evening, try their larger dishes made for sharing featuring sour red curry ocean trout paired with mussels, kang kong, and kaffir lime fruit. Or if you’re feeling indecisive, go with their ‘Feed Me’ menu that will see Bang Bang’s chefs serve up a selection of their finest dishes. They’ll even pair the menu with specially chosen drinks. The Bang Bang pop-up offers an enticing afternoon with Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River acting as the backdrop to your dining experience.



Tucked away on the corner of Flinders Lane and Fulham Place lives a quaintly branded Roll’d restaurant. With its peeling posters, metal stools and simple wooden tables, Roll’d offers a street-stall aesthetic that features a recognisable nod towards the Vietnamese culture this food chain is inspired by. And while there are numerous options for Vietnamese and Asian food throughout Melbourne, once you have tasted what Roll’d offer it could fast become your go-to lunch option. At the crux of their menu lies cherished recipes passed down from generation to generation. Now, decades later, these family traditions come to life in a menu that’s accessible as it is an informative insight into true Vietnamese culture and cuisine. And with such flavours now so widely celebrated across our city, Roll’d has quickly grown into a franchise to feed the masses. There’s no doubt that Vietnamese culture is a prominent and important element to the beauty that is Melbourne flavour, and Roll’d is no exception to this. Their bao steamed bun, filled with fresh carrot, cucumber, pickled onion, tender BBQ beef and that tasty crispy onion signature to Vietnamese cuisine is by far Roll’d’s star dish. Don’t be fooled, Roll’d’s position as a franchise certainly doesn’t mean they comprise in flavour. In fact, their food matches that of numerous standalone restaurants in both quality and convenience. Moving onto their classic and popular pho noodle soup packed full of fresh bean sprouts and fresh vegetables, this dish beautifully balances sweet and sour flavours that complimented each other perfectly, and with a kick of chili

too. To accompany, try their ice-tea, an ubiquitous and well-loved staple amongst Vietnamese cuisine. Moving onto the larger dishes, we’re witness to the much celebrated bun noodle salad – a refreshing dish hosting generous servings of just the right ingredients. And what else? Crispy spring rolls which feel like a treat, but is exactly how the dish is supposed to served. Of course, you can’t properly consider a Vietnamese restaurant without tasting their rice paper rolls. Luckily, Roll’d does not disappoint. Their selection features both classics and contemporary twists, with healthy options including barramundi and tofu alongside traditional favourites such as pork and prawn, lemongrass beef and barbecued chicken. Similarly, their range of banh mi follows suit. You can’t go past their roast pork and crackling, which offers a flavorsome mélange of fresh cucumber and slow-cooked meat. Roll’d marries the convenience and accessibility of a first-rate franchise while keeping true to the heart of a family-run restaurant. An essential dining experience to try for those looking to explore Vietnamese in Melbourne.






On a hot summer’s day, Small Graces proves a saving grace for those seeking a refreshing beverage and a wholesome meal. Behind these doors, Diego and his team deliver a delicious and healthy range of delightful dishes. Their dedication to working with fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients provides each dish with flavours like no other. Small Graces’ coffee is locally sourced from Rumble nearby in Kensington as supporting local business is part of their commitment to community spirit. With native Australian plants scattered around the gum-green coloured interior, the cafe embodies an aura of classic Australian that’s brought to life when the sun shines through its northfacing glass front. Sitting on the bench, looking out at the busy life of Footscray, is nothing but tranquil for solo diners. Or, sit on a larger table with mates. Whoever you dine with, Small Graces is a memorable affair. The Eggs and Greens – a unique take on eggs Florentine – uses wilted leaves and broccoli, and will leave you remorseful the next time you order boring old spinach and eggs. Diego has mastered the art of pickling, showcased by his sour cucumber pickles with confit blood orange and kimchi. Small Graces combine quality breakfast dishes with a sour and salty counterpart balancing the flavours beautifully. Kimchi scrambled eggs were most definitely a standout in that case and taste incredible with miso sauce drizzled on top. If you’re indecisive, then there is a dish named just for you. Can’t Decide provides a full breakfast of granola, toast

and two sides of your choice. You get orange juice too. Are you more of a sweet person? Then the Sweet Potato Waffles are for you. Small Graces are committed to avoiding sugar whereever possible – a stable ingredient of sweet indulgence – however their waffles are sweeter than any sugar filled caramel bar. The clever use of sweet potato gives the waffles a thick and naturally sweet texture served with black sesame ice-cream, grilled banana and fresh berries. Love and care is the sweetest ingredient in this dish, and you can taste it. Small Graces is a vibrant eatery creating staple Melbourne breakfast dishes with influences from Asia to Columbia. Their friendly staff, delicious coffee and laidback vibe make it a perfect spot to spend your time in the upcoming hot weather and particularly as they serve unique and healthy smoothie options to cool you down. With Footscray fast becoming a culinary hotspot in the west, it’s worth keeping an eye out for this one.




That’s Amore Cheese is a wholesaler, deli, cafe and Italian culinary experience tucked away in the streets of the Thomastown industrial area. Having been open for just over two years, the one-stop destination for all Italian produce boasts an array of both international and local goods that will satisfy even the hungriest of stomachs.


The success story of That’s Amore started in 2004 when owner Giorgio Linguanti arrived in Australia from the Aeolian Islands near Sicily. Without speaking a word of English, he found a job at a cheese factory which ignited an unexpected passion. From there, the rest is history. Stock up at the That’s Amore grocery store safe in the knowledge that all products are sourced direct from Italy or high-end local Victorian suppliers. Everything from cured meats, olives, pasta and cooking essentials are on offer. Try out a sample or two from the diverse deli which boasts the same traditional meats and cheese you’d find in Italy. But most importantly, make the trip to Thomastown for L’Angolo Della Nonna, the famous cafe section of That’s Amore. With a rotating menu based on seasonal produce, the kitchen is able to keep their affordable, wholesale prices from factory to shop-front. That’s Amore breakfast is everything you’d want in a cafe menu with a Sicilian twist. Try ricotta stuffed tomatoes, ricotta scrambled eggs, or baked eggs with scamorza and Napoli sauce, all served with traditional crusty bread. The specials board offer lunch deals like slow-cooked porchetta cooked with fresh herbs. It’s a simple yet satisfying pick-me-up you won’t be able to resist. With Christmas creeping up quickly, the kitchen takes orders so you can have that same, perfectly cooked pork belly featured on your dining table for everyone to enjoy.

With freshly made pizza and pasta staples always a necessity, enjoy a sit-down meal like the zucchini, marscepone and salted ricotta gnocchi. Served with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon rind, it comes straight off the pan and onto the plate. Or, explore Italian delicacies like arancini, parmigiana, or a hearty serve of roast vegetables. The love of food doesn’t stop there for That’s Amore. The passionate and experienced Italian chefs offer focused cheese making classes; the perfect gift for someone ready to take their culinary experience to the next step. Spend the day making mozzarella, bocconcini and ricotta to take home, as well as trying them in a meal for yourself in the included lunch. The class fills up quickly though, so make sure you book in advance. With exciting renovation plans in the pipeline, That’s Amore are excited to reveal they will be running cooking masterclasses in the near future, teaching you how to deliver Italian-style meals for your friends and family using fresh cheese produce. Don’t leave That’s Amore Cheese without taking home some of their famous Sicilian cannoli. This slice of Italy in the heart of Melbourne is definitely not one to miss.



The Gem Bar & Dining on Collingwood’s Wellington Street is a true little gem of the north side. Holding a coveted corner spot, this is a classic looking pub from the outside. However its inside proves eclectic and full of individuality. Gem-goers are greeted with an open, lowly lit space featuring walls packed with quirky pictures, signs and knick-knacks. The décor is a cultural melange – giving off American cowboy-meets rock‘n’roll-meets Latin American vibes that result in a sense of unapologetic personality. This is ultimately a venue that knows who they are, and are proudly sticking to it. Live music is featured at The Gem on Fridays and Sundays, but Saturday’s see a quirky mix of rock, funk, soul and old school hits over the sound system. This selection of music proved the perfect atmosphere for a crowd enjoying casual food and drinks. The true highlight of The Gem-goes are their gorgeous selection of American-style barbecued meats on the menu. Served at 200 grams, diners can choose from Texas chook, Kentucky black lamb shoulder, Carolina chopped pork or a Texan angus beef brisket among others. These pair fabulously with their selection of side dishes, including classics such as slaw, mac ‘n’ cheese, Southern-fried chicken, Texas fries and a chicken waffle delight, as well as a section dedicated to veggies. Merging pub classic with renowned Texan BBQ isn’t all The Gem are good for though. Their selection of snacks makes for perfect grazing options, best coupled with a beverage of your choice. House pickles are some of the best this city have to offer, while their Southern-fried eggplant

offers a less carnivorous alternative to the traditionally meat-heavy options of Deep South cuisine. For those who wish to sample a bit of everything, The Gem offers a special platter featuring their favourite picks from the menu in what they call the “Pit Masters Plate”. As the name suggests, this platter puts the meat at the forefront, showing off three of the menus best (chicken, beef brisket and lamb shoulder) alongside house-favourite sides. Capping it off comes a tidy selection of sweets that would have Elvis impressed, capturing the spirit of Americana through expertly chosen flavours. Peanut butter and chocolate tart comes topped with a raspberry sorbet, making for a brilliant combination of sweet and salty, while the sticky bourbon and cola pudding topped with salted caramel arrives as something akin to a classic sticky date pudding done Southern-style. For an eatery that oozes atmosphere and has the food to match, The Gem makes for an excellent dining experience. With a menu best suited to sharing, it’s the perfect opportunity to get a bunch of friends together and send your tastebuds Stateside.




In a prime location amongst St Kilda’s buzzing atmosphere lies the old gem known as The Vineyard.


This charming place has something for everyone. The multifarious variety of knick knacks and styles that decorate every inch of the old boat house all come together to paint a picture of St Kilda’s rich history. Through the decades it’s been around, The Vineyard has stood as a silent witness to all the trends that have passed through St Kilda. From grunge fanatics to bike enthusiasts, The Vineyard offers a communal experience coupled with a prime location for all walks of life to come together. Once night falls, The Vineyard is known to showcase some of Melbourne’s finest local musicians to get the weekend started right. During the day, it’s a wonderful spot to kick back with mates in the beer garden and tuck into some flavoursome food designed to share with accompanying tunes to soundtrack your afternoon to. The heirloom tomato bruschetta and beef carpaccio are the perfect dishes to enjoy in the sun along with one of their many beers. Not a beer person? No worries. The bar staff are happy to serve up a cocktail of your choice to sweet your afternoon. The wine list is a cracker too.

The Vineyard is famous for their meats, exemplified by their tender lamb ribs – dripping with succulent flavour, marking an undoubtable menu highlight. Be sure to pop in on Mondays for their steak night too. Each steak will set you back 20 dollars, which is a solid price for the quality they’re plating up. There is a reason The Vineyard has stood for so long. With summer around the corner, this is definitely a place to check out for those that love good music, great beer and even better food. Next time you’re at the beach and you need a place to retreat from the sun, this venue is more than worth a try. After all, it’s a St Kilda institution that all Melburnians need to experience at least once in their lives.



Two Tall Chefs could be Carlton North’s best kept secret. Located on Nicholson Street, this “eating house”, specialises in boutique style cheese, wine and beer. Over the course of four years, it’s now transformed into a local jewel. The ethos of the shop is simple. Two Tall Chefs is built around providing a comfortable, warm atmosphere for customers to have brunch, dinner or even just to pop in for a drink and a cheese platter. Pioneered by former Michelin star chef Monte Hudson, the dinner menu gives Hudson a chance to present his expert knowledge of French and Italian flavours, all with his own personal twist. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, you can settle yourself in for a lavish two or three-course set menu meal. Boasting an extensive wine list – favouring local, small breweries to match the business’s own entrepreneurship – the staff can help you match your drinks to your food. There’s a lot on offer with an even split between Australian and International cheeses, but you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice and in very safe hands. Two Tall Chefs aims to build relationships with their customers through sharing stories and giving rich,descriptive backgrounds of the food that they love to make and serve. They have also run multiple wine and food degustation across the year that have been incredibly successful. If you fancy yourself an evening featuring a five-course meal

and a chance to talk with local winemakers, this is the perfect opportunity. With the upcoming warm weather, I’m sure we’re all on the lookout for outdoor havens to relax and enjoy some champagne and a bite on any given afternoon. As well as having a cosy, wooden furnished indoor setting that’s doused in gentle lighting, the restaurant opens up a backyard area in the summer. It’s a cute, intimate courtyard decorated with plants and a huge mural of an owl painted by a local street artist. The art extends onto the brick wall side-exterior of the store, lending a contemporary flair to the store’s aesthetic, whilst also managing not to tarnish the ye olde atmosphere that feels so unique to the business. Here’s one piece of guidance we’ll offer for when you drop by Two Tall one day this summer for brunch: their cheese omelette is the famous choice that at first bite will have you keep on coming back for more. With soft herbs, Maffra cheddar, Provolone and Milawa King River Gold spread out on sourdough toast, prepare to bliss out in a cheese dream.



Choripán For those yet to taste the beauty that is Choripán, I’m chuffed to be the one to share it with you. Choripán – or ‘Chori’ as it’s known for short – can be spotted on almost every Argentinian street in South America. Personally, they are my favourite aspect of the South American street-food variety. They’re basically chorizo, chimichurru and salsa sandwiches and I assure that once you’ve tried them, you’re barbecues will start to look a lot more colourful this season. And here’s just how to do that.


Method 1. Place the sausages on the barbecue and turn them from time-to-time to ensure they don’t burn. 2. Finely chop the parsley, garlic and oregano and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the red pepper flakes, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil. Mix well. 3. To assemble, cut the rolls in half, add the grilled chorizo and top with lots of the chimichurri sauce. E buon appetito!


Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

4 chorizo sausages 4 bread rolls 1 handful of parsley 5 garlic cloves 1 small handful oregano 4 tbs of red wine vinegar 3 tsp of red pepper flakes 200ml of olive oil 1 tsp of sea salt black pepper