It’s time for another food post! This time I’m talking about my favourite places to eat in Melbourne.
There is an abundance of amazing restaurants in Melbourne and I was lucky enough to be shown the best ones by a few pals who call this great city home. And let me tell you, Melbournians know their food – so I was in good hands.
My brunch obsession continues (see Breakfast in Berlin), and lucky for me, Melbourne is one of the best places in the world for this leisurely amusement. I wish I had more time to immerse myself in the brunch scene but alas, all good things must end.
In this post you will find a couple of brunch places, a few trendy Asian fusion restaurants and some cafes.
I really enjoyed writing this post, and I hope it inspires you.
“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child
Rice Paper Scissors
Location: 19 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: South-East Asian Street-food style
Rice Paper Scissors has a bit of reputation for being extremely busy all the time, so scoring a table can take quite some time. They don’t take dinner reservations, so it’s a case of turn up, put your name on the list, and wait for the text message to say your table is ready.
The menu concept is based around share plates. It’s $29.50 per person and you get to pick 5 dishes between you to share. Each dish that comes out is portioned for however many people are at the table.
The food is really yummy and filling. All the food is incredibly fresh and as soon as it’s cooked, it’s on your table. The chefs and staff seemed very energetic and passionate about the food. By choosing five different dishes, you get to experience a range dishes and decide what you’ll have next time. The menu is really concise and clear – something that I think is so important for any dining experience.
Rice Paper Scissors encourages eating with your hands, making eating at this restaurant a fun and interactive experience. Customers are allowed to get really close to the food they eat, making for a genuine foodie adventure.
Between two of us, we shared: Asian Greens, Crying Tiger, BBQ Pork, Steamed Pork Buns, and Sticky Pork Belly.
I drank: lychee cocktail “A Great Leap Forward”
8 Bit Burgers
Location: 231 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Burgers and shakes
I love a good burger, and when I find one, I will tell everyone who’ll listen about it. I had walked past 8Bit a number of times and it wasn’t until one of the last days of my stay that I decided to venture inside and see what all the obvious hype was about. When I say hype I mean every time I walked past, people were queuing from the counter out onto the street. I figure if people are queuing that much, it must be good.
When I’m super hungry, as is often the case when travelling and exploring, I tend to want to be able to grab something with as little waiting as possible. I’m a bit impatient with my food I guess. On my hunt to find food at around 1pm on a Friday, I was surprised to see that the queue inside was only three people deep. I joined the queue and the place was going off. So much chatter and staff running around, but most importantly a lot of people with their food in front of them. I assessed the seating situation and taking into account that it was a beautiful sunny day outside, and that is was a bit hot inside, I made the choice to order take away. As I waited in line, I brought up the menu on my phone to rehearse my order. I ordered my 8Bit Cheeseburger and didn’t have to wait long for it to be ready. I wish I ordered a shake because apparently they are really good and being such a hot day that extra refreshment would have been beneficial.
I ate my meal at a nearby park, alongside loads of other Melbournians and tourists soaking up the gorgeous weather. The burger was amazingly tasty! As I’m writing this, I’m wishing I could indulge in another right now. The prerequisite greasiness of the burger definitely met my standards of what a good burger should be. There was a superb amount of sauce in the burger, and the patty was cooked nicely. I can’t wait to get back to Melbourne and try a more ambitious menu item from 8Bit.
I ate: 8Bit with Cheese burger.
Hash Specialty Coffee
Location: 113 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Restaurants along Hardware Street (and lane) can become very busy during peak times, and Hash Specialty Coffee is a place that you could expect to see people queuing to get a table. Luckily, when I turned up at the entrance I could be seated straight away. Overall the service was prompt and the wait staff very attentive. The food was really good. There are a wide variety of dishes on the menu and a lot of the stuff is a little bit quirky, creating a point of difference between them and other competitors in the area.
When my hot chocolate came out, I felt like a kid again filled with wonder for this magic fairy floss concoction sitting in front of me. The process of pouring the chocolate over the floss made a great Boomerang.
I ate: French Toast with seasonal berries and mascarpone cheese
I drank: Hot Chocolate with fairy floss
Location: Shop rg03, St Collins Lane, 260 Collins St, Melbourne
Cuisine: High Tea and brunch, French
This quaint little teahouse is the perfect place to revive spirits if shopping/sightseeing fatigue sets in. Runya’s Room has a great selection of teas and coffee alongside a simple yet balanced menu. The décor and crockery is charming, I felt like I was I dining in a stately French chateau. If you enjoy people watching, ask for a table in the shopping centre thoroughfare outside of Runya’s Room. I visited on a weekday and it was pleasantly calm, but I can imagine that on weekends it could get quite busy.
I’m a huge tea drinker and if you are too, I would recommend the Paris Black tea – a fragrant and uplifting blend.
I ate: Poached eggs on toasted sourdough with micro herb salad
I drank: Paris Black tea: delicious
Location: 35 South Wharf Promenade, South Wharf, Melbourne
Cuisine: Thai fusion
Sometimes when I’m out and about on holiday, I lose track of time and forget to eat lunch at the proper time. This is what happened the day I visited Bangpop.
I was out shopping at the nearby factory outlet stores and checked my watch only for it to say that it was 3pm!
I had walked past Bangpop on the way to the shops and the menu looked appetizing so I decide to give it a try. Considering dinner was only a few hours away, I didn’t want to eat too much at this time of the day. My brother and I shared a Pad See Ew dish and we both had really colourful, sugary drinks.
The meal was flavoursome and fresh even if it was part of the snack/downtime menu. Drinks were refreshing and energizing and packed quite a bit of punch. My favourite part about dining here was the view – always ask if you can get an outside table.
I ate: Pad See Ew
I drank: Old Thai Pirate Cocktail and Koh Phangan Cooler Mocktail
Manchester Press Café
Location: 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
Cuisine: Bagels, Brunch
Located in a semi hard-to-find spot, this little gem of a café is your one stop coffee + bagel destination. The coziness of the up-cycled furniture instantly makes you feel warm and comfortable. Menu items represent a good variety of choices, catering to every palette. Next time I really want to try the Rainbow Bagel – I was persuaded to order something a little further away from the confectionary side of things this time, but after seeing the rainbow served to other customers around me, I feel like I need to make a point of trying. And just imagine the Instagram possibilities!
My meal was extremely filling (for future reference: it could be shared between two) and the savoury vs sweet tastes were perfectly balanced. I loved the bustling vibe of the place – it’s like a capsule of the excitement of Melbourne life.
I ate: Blueberry Bagel with bacon, maple syrup, sliced banana, popcorn and mascarpone cheese
I drank: Latte
Location: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Recently Chin Chin has become a must-see dining destination for both locals and tourists alike. It’s not hard to see why – the open plan industrial space has been converted into a sophisticated hawkers market setting that is always busy. And if a restaurant is always busy, it must be good, right? Getting a table can take a while, so be prepared for the wait. When I went, it took over two hours and that’s not something I’m usually up for but I really wanted to see if the place lived up to its reputation.
I’m glad I stuck it out because the food was superb. My butter chicken was really tasty and the morsels I tried of my friends’ dishes tasted good too. I think restaurants like this are great for ordering a few dishes and sharing them out amongst the people on your table; that way you get to try a selection of meals.
I ate: Butter Chicken Curry
Location: Level 3, Emporium Melbourne, 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Lunch café, snacks
I was walking aimlessly around at perhaps the most insane shopping centre I’ve ever been in – Melbourne Emporium – and decided that it was time to get something to eat for lunch. I was by myself and just wanted to get something fuss free and quick so I could get back to my gift-buying mission. I found the food court a little bit overwhelming with so many dining options to choose from. I saw the bottle green kiosk that was EARL Canteen – it virtually pulled me in from where I was standing. The food on display in the fridges looked fresh, healthy and tasty so my mind was finally made up.
They have an exciting range of gourmet sandwich options which you can order as a sandwich with Turkish bread or as a Wholebowl which is kind of like a deconstruction of the ingredients in a bowl with EARL Canteen’s GSV base: grain + seed + veg combo which is low carb, gluten free and just really healthy overall. Read more at their blog. At the time, I didn’t get the chance to read the info about the Wholebowl situation so I decided to opt for the traditional and best-selling Pork Belly Sandwich.
It was the best, most delicious sandwich I’ve ever eaten! For $13.50 the serving was huge and I’m proud to say that I polished off the entire thing. The bread is a big deal for sandwiches, and this Turkish bread was soft in the middle yet still crispy on the outside, making the whole experience of eating the sandwich a symphony of textures. The pork had a decent amount of crackling, but for me the star of the show was the apple and fennel coleslaw – incredible!
I can’t recommend this café highly enough. If you ever find yourself at Emporium needing a quick, yummy meal you must try EARL Canteen – you can thank me later 🙂
I ate: The Pork Belly Sandwich: crispy skin free-range pork belly, apple and fennel coleslaw, wilted silverbeet
And that’s a wrap for this foodie post. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!
Please note that I was not sponsored for this post and all opinions are my own.