Foodstyle Review Magazine


Melbourne food treats

Heading to Melbourne? Read through our small selection of cuisine venues unique to this foodie city.

Red Spice, McKillop Street, CBD
A bookable restaurant with a modern ‘fusion’ South East Asian style menu. The place is bigger than it looks from the outside and features large, long communal tables and an informal ‘exotic’ atmosphere. We tried and liked (along with numerous food critics): Twice cooked crispy lamb ribs, and chilli jam (stunning); Pork belly, apple slaw, chilli caramel, and black vinegar; Pickled tea leaf salad, sesame, peanuts, tomato, and wombok (Chinese cabbage); Tiger beer battered soft shell crab, steamed buns, sriracha mayo, and pickled veg.


Seamstress Restaurant & Bar, Lonsdale Street, CBD
Downstairs bar with snacks and upstairs restaurant casual dining. Not big, but great atmosphere. We liked: Crisp soft shell crab, apple & wombok slaw with sriracha (a chilli sauce) mayonnaise;  12-hour braised Berkshire pork belly, jicama (a root vege from Mexico) salad and kohlrabi kimchi (fermented Korean cabbage); Duck rice crepe money bag filled with ragout of duck, porcini mushroom and black truffle paste; Roasted duck breast served with a plum and black garlic sauce; House-made roti bread, peanut and lemongrass dipping sauce (stunning).


Gingerboy 7-29 Crossley Street, CBD
Another popular Aussie menu adaption of Asian hawker-style, street market food. Downstairs dining room is very, very cosy. Service is solicitous. Huge grazing menu. Liked very much: Son-in-law whole soft poached eggs with lash-fried crisp coating and chilli jam.


Charlie Dumpling, 184 High Street, Prahran
Small, crowded, walk-in restaurant serving ‘modern’ dumplings. Good option: The “Feed me’ sharing menu with six dishes  - minimum of two people and this option must be selected by the whole table.


Ba Charlie, 212 High Street, Prahran
Situated in Charlie Dumpling Jr, a tiny, brightly lit takeaway a few doors down from the venue above. The shop features a small window for ordering takeaways and a clutch of stools for dining , and has a ‘secret door’ (photographed) with a touch pad that, when touched, opens into a spacious modern, speakeasy bar with , yes, more, delicate Asian-style morsels. Wines are chalked with a takeaway price, plus a $15 supplement for drinking in.


Hanoi Hannah, 180 High Street Windsor
Popular walk-in (as in no bookings) restaurant in Melbourne’s South East with a menu described as ‘Vietnamese hawker food’ or ‘sex drugs and rice paper rolls’. Outdoor street seating.

Top Paddock, 658 Church Street, Richmond
Airy, spacious cafe, that is extremely popular and has won many awards. Pictured is the Pan fried snapper with chilli-fired eggs, avocado, tomato, lime and toast. Other offerings include the house muesli with green-tea poached fruit, garnished with seasonal berries and micro-herbs.


Top Paddock, 658 Church Street, Richmond
Airy, spacious cafe that is extremely popular and has won many awards. Pictured is the Pan fried snapper with chilli-fired eggs, avocado, tomato, lime and toast. Other offerings include the house muesli with green-tea poached fruit, garnished with seasonal berries and micro-herbs.


Movida Bar de Tapas
There are a number of outlets on the same tapas theme, including one at Melbourne international airport. The original one (actually two located along side each other) is opposite Federation Square in Hosier Lane, off Flinders St. Let the staff talk you through the options, go for Spanish wines and sherries by the glass, and enjoy. 


Degraves Street, CBD

Degraves Street (really a lane) off Flinders Street - opposite the central Railway Station – is one of the first inner-city service lanes to be converted into a food and beverage venue. Pick an outside table or a window seat for snacking and folk watching.


Labour in Vain, Brunswick street, Brunswick
Get out those old leather jeans for this iconic, local pub that is loved by all free thinkers for its live music, good booze, BBQ, beer deck, and grungy atmosphere (like Auckland pubs used to be). 


Naked for Satan, 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Walk through the cavernous ground level bar to the grungy lift and ‘beam’ up to the roof-top terrace with its bar, lounge and restaurant. Mesmerising views over Fitzroy and the city on one side, and a full length vista of Brunswick Street on the other. An experience not to be missed. Menu says it reflects the cuisine of the Basque country.

A view from Naked for Satan

Oasis Bakery, North Road, Murrumbeen (south Melbourne)
Large Middle Eastern bakery, cafe and grocery reflecting the city’s huge Lebanese legacy. Great baking and food tourism rolled into one. Look out for the Lebanese sausage roll where Aussie culture meets the Middle East in a pastry of kafta and halloumi cheese mixed together with almonds, currants and chilli sauce, and baked in a stone-ground wholemeal pastry.


Queen Victoria Market, CBD
If you get lost trying to find this inner city market ‘precinct’ (and it can get confusing) just ask someone. The food halls on the corner adjacent to the Elizabeth Street shops feature the Deli Hall (with many art deco features including the original marble counters). A lot of takeaway deli food available and there’s plenty of seating. Avoid the weekends when the locals are hauling around their endemic shopping carts.


Gewurzhaus – locatsions: Lygon St, Carlton; 543 Malvern Rd, Toorak; and Block Arcade, 282 Collins St, CBD
Herb and spice merchants with a flare – great cuisine tourism venues.


Ponyfish Island, middle of Yara River, CBD
A kiosk bar Located on one of the pontoons holding up a pedestrian bridge over the Yara River between South Bank and Flinders Railway Station. Descend the stairs to one of the most intriguing bars in the southern hemisphere, and get as close to the Yara river as you can get without falling in. Avoid the after-work swell when security has to limit numbers to this open-air venue.

Hanoi Hannah menu

Winter 2015

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Ponyfish Island Yara River.

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Soft shell crab Red Spice

Secret door to Ba Charlie

Degraves Street

Queen Victoria Market


Top Paddock