This is the kind of place that inspires you to blog and spread the word. It’s a culinary adventure! We were recommended Epocha by ma soeur, and while we were in the area (going to IMAX at the Exhibition Building no less) we thought it was a good opportunity to have a taste…
Tag Archives: quality
Given Pope Joan is just around the corner, it’s an absolute travesty that we’ve never been until now. Cue the two of us on a rainy Sunday morning deciding we couldn’t possibly spend another hour in bed showing each other youtube videos from kids shows in the 90s, we simply had to get out.
So I managed to make it back to Lygon Street for my Vietnamese after I was convinced that there is actually decent pizza to be had there (who would’ve thought, huh?) and pulled up a chair at Saigon Pho. It’s in the part of Lygon Street that others call the ‘terrace end’ (due to there being a lot of historical terraced shops in a row) but I call it the end of ‘world cuisine’ as you’ll find pretty much everything here except for an awful Italian pizza joint. (Here’s your Vietnamese style iced coffee and Longan drink – each $3.50)
I think we know each other well enough now that I can let you in on a secret restaurant of mine: Tiba’s in Sydney Road. I almost don’t want to blog about it because I understand the power of the written word, the power of word of mouth and the (very small) amount of power I wield as a food blogger (Muahahahaha)… I just don’t want to be crowded out of here or see a rise in prices. So use your new-found knowledge wisely!
Okay, seriously now. The first time I went to Tiba’s I went with a vegetarian friend of mine who insisted that this was the most filling and awesome vegetarian feast that you could get this side of the city at a fraction of what you would expect to pay. I was astounded to find that this was true, so I brought back a host of friends (well, 5 plus me) and found that this claim also holds for the meateaters and non-eaters and everything in between.
I can’t help thinking when we’ve scooted down the alleyway at the bottom of Monaco House that this would be a pretty good secret spot for a bit of a liaison of sorts. I just love that word.
My lunching partner C and I figured this was definitely worth a try – not too far to walk from work at lunchtime (ah, this lunch hour is closely guarded!) and with the enticement of a good coffee to finish (or finish me off, as it were). I definitely appreciate a good hidden gem, so I’m always up for a treasure hunt down some of Melbourne’s laneways.
What is more wonderful than a really good hot cup of coffee?
Well, a hot cup of coffee with a face on it.
Okay, I admit it, I approached Morris Jones with a bit of scepticism. I can’t count the number of times I’ve forked out for something somewhat less than average (The Smith, I’m looking at you). I didn’t want something fad-ish and trying to do the whole ‘restaurant AND bar’ thing doesn’t really cut it. Do one and do it well is generally the motto. But… I actually think this is different.
The food at Morris Jones is worth your money. Then you can always stay for the cocktails.
This little eatery at the top of Bourke Street is a reliable choice at pretty much any time of day, for any occasion. I’ve come here for the odd sneaky dessert, as well as for dinner (on dates, some good, others not so much…) and a good morning tea coffee the time we strategically left the building before the fire drill started (I have friends in high places, what can I say? Haha). I’d never come for lunch before, but it was actually a marvellous surprise.
Our team at work went to celebrate H’s leaving us and A and I getting qualified. Yes, so many celebratory meals! You have to have a good reason to go out all the time… and this was certainly well worth it. We took up the whole of the giant table upstairs – I didn’t even know it was up there, but easily caters to large groups.
We left it up to the boss to order a smattering of different entrees, which included the incredible croquettes (with harissa sauce, absolutely melt in your mouth), Polenta chips with aioli – polenta is a huge tick in my book, any day of the week, and these were the perfect crispness from the pan and soft polenta centres, with incredibly lip-smacking aioli. The calamari fritti with tartare and roquette was certainly the most delicious calamari I’ve had this year, hands down. I don’t know where they’re sourcing their ingredients but these were fresh, soft and tasty. Sadly, no photo, but the croquettes were pretty photogenic:
Heard about Kenzan Japanese in the good food guide? It’s been around for a while, it’s a bit of an institution (god, when do we ever escape that word in Melbourne?!) This was my first foray into the dark regions of Collins Place (that’s not supposed to sound dirty) and I wasn’t disappointed. But then again, I wasn’t footing the bill on this one.
The rounds of food went by so quickly and were so varied, it’s actually difficult to remember. Sadly, I don’t think anything stands out in particular, although the quality was very high. Pickled vegetables $8.50 (not so keen on the brussel sprouts, but hey)
Shitake stuffed with prwn and deep fried $20
Tucked away in the strip of shops up in Fitzroy North, you’ll find a delicious little Italian restaurant called Pinotta. It has a very sophistocated atmosphere, extremely good taste in food and wine, and exceptional service. They probably wondered what hit them when I showed up, late and thoroughly dishevelled.
Luckily I hadn’t missed much, just some general catching up with the family brood, warm bread and a glass of something hearty. Although the lights are low and the tablecloths are brilliantly white, there isn’t anything stuffy or too formal about the dining experience here, I felt at home as soon as we got to ordering (not ‘moccasin-level at home’… apparently I only reserve the right to wear my moccies to and from takeaway places).
First served up was the Calamari (with lemon and roquette) $21.50. It was fresh and absolutely deliciously rolled in a light battering of herbs; perfect for a cleansing of the palette before the onslaught of the mains.