This page may contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Lots of places can be described as foodie and I have been to many of them but Melbourne has to take the top prize. It’s amazing with food on every level, from eating out big scale, to small scale to even just doing your basic shopping. You imagine that even the toddlers here have the best, most diverse and exciting food compared to most grown ups elsewhere. And not only is the food good but it’s everywhere and served in style. I have never been anywhere with such consistently cool and stylish eateries and bars – not New York even. And you can’t get bad wine either – impossible!!
We have been to so many fantastic bars and restaurants along the way – I’ve captured a few below.
These include a place selling piadinas an italian crispy flat bread which I’d never had or heard of before which was amazing, Babka, a russian bakery, Hooked, an amazing fish and chip place where you can get a normal or tempura batter and get so many kinds of fish as well as huge prawns and calamari.
The best cocktails can be found at Pollys is on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. The head barman is originally from Yorkshire and he is incredibly skilled not only with his suggestions but putting together something to suit your tastes.
The place is decorated in an art deco style with sumptuous reds and gold and velvet. It’s a simply divine place to be. It is also a big figure on my bank statement.
The 29th Apartment in St Kilda, is a bar themed in a kind of trashy New York kind of way and is not only cool but a prime example of bar selling a simple menu but the food being better than what we are generally used to at home as pub grub. My pizza with pumpkin, feta and sunflower seeds was pretty cheap for Australian standards and better than I’ve had in many a poshed up Italian restaurant.
I LOVE Tiki bars. Simply love them. Whenever I spot one I have to find a way to wheedle my way in. But they are often disappointing.
When, after being in Melbourne for some time, I discovered there was one super close to us, I had to find a way to at least check it out.
And it was definitely worth it. It’s one of the most well done Tiki bars I’ve ever been to and I would have loved to spend an evening there with lots of friends – we unfortunately, were there early evening and could stop only for a couple.
We stumbled across Stop 35 in St Kildas Carlisle Street mainly to find somewhere to cool down. It’s named after the tram stop it is on and has a kind of out doors in kind of look to it. Quite simple but a little quirky. We’d popped in for a quick drink but when we got in there we saw the chef putting a huge beef joint on. Despite it being a hot, hot day we deliberated for a while but eventually gave in and had the roast.
We hadn’t had one since New Zealand and it was sooo good. Tons of succulent beef with veg that tasted like veg and pumpkin which was a lovely touch and a gravy that had a deep, slightly garlicy flavour. I’m drooling thinking about it again now.
Dirty chicken made clean
One of the things that I thinks rings out Melbourne’s foodie status is the dirty chicken shops. You know the ones. Cheeky chicken, Favourite Chicken, Chicken 4 U all serving fried chicken and similar delights. Now I personally won’t even touch a KFC but even many of those who do won’t go near these places, others, however, simply love them!! And I’m sure many only do go to them as they are the only places open after a late and ‘merry’ night out.
Well they have them in Melbourne but all the ones I have seen have free range chickens. Now isn’t that great. That should be Jamie O’s next campaign for Britain – getting dirty chicken shops to use only ‘happy chicken’.
One thing that intrigued us for quite some time was the advertising of ‘Parma’ all over the place. Sometimes described as ‘Parma and Pots’ and I’d even seen it referred to in a travel guide but not described. I’m not sure if this just a Melbourne thing of if I just hadn’t noticed it in Adelaide but it took nearly a week to find out what it was. Nothing exotic involving parma violets unfortunately, but chicken parmigiana. I’ve seen and heard of chicken parmesan a fair few times in the states and it’s pretty much similar to that. Chicken with a tomato sauce, and parmesan and breadcrumbs involved somehow. We thought of tasting it but quite frankly even Mark didn’t fancy the idea. Something screams to me – hiding bad chicken with lots of sauce. Which is probably where it originated but maybe we are missing something and maybe we’ll summon up the courage one day to give it a go.
So foodwise, Adelaide was good, but Melbourne has been mind blowing – will be interesting to see what Sydney will bring.