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eG Foodblog: ChrisTaylor (2012) - On the south east side. Down south.

84 posts in this topic

Great work showing off our city, Chris. I am proud of you :)

Here are a few more suggestions. No. 1 - the laneways! Melbourne city is packed full of interesting little discoveries. A graffiti laden laneway with garbage bins might lead you to the most exquisite restaurants (Movida as shown, but also Supper Inn, Gingerboy, Hutong, Coda, Degraves Lane, and a few jazz clubs and bars), a nondescript unmarked door might lead to places like Cookie, countless rooftop bars, micro cocktail bars, wood panelled establishments, or interesting shops). Show them a pic of Ponyfish Island, basically a little pontoon bar floating in the middle of the river. And maybe a few of our high end eateries in beautiful surroundings - Donovan's in St Kilda, the Botanical, the Point, Vue de Monde at the Rialto, and so on.

Still plenty of work to do ;)

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

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Melbourne is a city of alleyways and laneways. It's possible to walk from one end of the CBD to the other, travelling entirely by laneways. Many restaurants, bars and cafes are located in laneways. This laneway off the Chinatown end of Little Bourke Street is but one example I could show you.



A gift shop that sells abalone in a variety of forms.


Spicy Fish, one of the better (although far from great) 'cheap and cheerful' restaurants in Chinatown.


Looking up Little Bourke Street.


The old location for Dainty Sichuan, the Sichuanese restaurant featured in Bourdain's No Reservations tour of Melbourne. It's now moved to one of the inner suburbs. Is it as good as he made out? Not really. And I really hope it isn't a cut above what's on offer in Sichuan itself. It's not bad, however. Worth visiting if you happen to be in South Yarra for, say, Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio or Prahran market.


A lot of the restaurants in Chinatown (and Lygon Street, for that matter) have someone out the front, trying to attract business. Quite often in Chinatown, these people just so happen, by total accident and coincidence I'm sure, to be attractive young women. Altho' in Lygon Street the difference is that they're mostly older men.



The menu (which is very long, by the way) has tidbits of history for each and every one of the classic cocktails on offer.




Sazerac: half rye, half cognac (they can/will also make it with 100% rye or 100% cognac, but the recommended blend of the two sounded like fun).


Interior. 1806 is small, by the way, and quiet.

Random Japanese restaurant near 1806--Sushi Burger SomethingOrOther


I needed to eat something (other than all those white anchovies I'd scoffed down before heading out) before consuming more alcohol. Just as I thought this I passed a place called Sushi Burger, er, something. A sensible person would defer to Urbanspon's 'near me' feature and maybe aboutface to get some utility dumplings in Chinatown. Sometimes I am not sensible.


Eating on the run (or sitting on a bench on Bourke Street, around the corner from Gin Palace). The tatsutake itself was okay but some of the sides were, er, interesting, such as the random lump of meat (in the very corner of the shot).

Gin Palace


Gin Palace is a laneway bar, although it's hardly a good example of such a thing. A true laneway bar requires you to navigate two or three laneways, getting well away from the main streets. Luckily, Melbourne is a fairly safe city.


Martini menu.


This is their selection of gins. They also have a lot of whiskies, rums and other spirits.


Some gin-based cocktails.


The one on the left is a gin and tonic with Plymoth sloe gin (my friend wanted to taste sloe gin--turns out, the flavour clashes disgustingly with the flavour of tonic water) and the one on the right is a 'Blackthorn', a mixture of sloe gin, regular gin, dubonnet and orange bitters.


Obligatory interior shot.

Chez Regine


This, clearly, is a bar for people who love whisk(e)y. The prices are, for such places, very reasonable.


When this place first opened, the intent was for it to be a whisky and cigar bar. Thing is, smoking in pubs had just become illegal. Chez Regine couldn't get an exemption from this law. If you want to smoke a cigar, you need to go out the back.


Interior shot. It's only 'bright' because of the camera flash--this place is lit softly. The guy with his back to the camera, by the way, is running whisky-tasting class for a couple of customers. These classes are a regular thing at Chez Regine.


Part of the non-scotch whisk(e)y menu.


Some of the more interesting beers on offer.


Bourbons and such.


The Islay section of the 'normal' menu. There's also an attached menu of special, limited edition whiskies (and, to celebrate the recent release of the 2012 edition of some whisk(e)y book, a selection of award-winning drams).


The non-whisk(e)y section of the menu. The Patron Cafe, by the way, is very good--it's everything Kahlua should be.


Some cocktails.


Another interior shot. A very nice way to use bookshelves, I'm sure you'll agree.


Old Fashioned with Thomas H Hardy Sazerac. Very nice. I should mention--for purists, as I know there are many of you here--that the orange peel is an optional extra. You get asked if you want it, with the assumption being that you don't want it.

Thousand Pound Bend


Enough alcohol. I needed caffeine. My friend directed me to Thousand Pound Bend, a hipster bar/cafe/hangout just down the road (Little Lonsdale, for locals) from Melbourne Central train station. This is a place that will serve you a gin and tonic in an old jam jar. There are a lot of places like this in Brunswick (near Monsieur Truffe/Casa Iberica/random organic and booze shops).


The coffee was pretty good. Surprisingly, for a city that's big on coffee, your options for (decent) coffee at night are very limited.



Interior shots.

Lord of the Fries [Melbourne Central store]


If I can't show you a kebab shop I guess I can show you another favourite of (even vegan) drunks: Lord of the Fries, a frites-focused fast food outlet that tends to set up shop near busy train stations in the CBD. The fries at the Flinders Street outlet are shit but this store is okay.



Fries with aioli.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org


I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Wow. Marvelous stuff. I haven't had time to read all week, caught up tonight, and am suffering shopping overload! Oh, to have those options!

Don't ask. Eat it.


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The end.


I spent a hot day in a hot kitchen preparing tapas from the first and second MoVida cookbooks.


Pork and veal meatballs jacked with parsley, garlic and such.


Meatballs and grease.


Preparing a spiced carrot and mint salad.


The acidic, spiced, minty dressing.


The meatballs in a white wine sauce.


The marinated chicken meat from yesterday on skewers.


Quick lunch that was on topic: toasted bread w/ tomatoes.


The finished carrot salad.


A couple of substitutions resulted in beans w/ proscuitto instead of expensive jamon.


Chorizo (from Rob's British Butchery) and the chicken thigh skewers on the BBQ.


The same tomato and capsicum salad as the other day, this time with the correct kind of vinegar.



The finished spread.


Some cheeses from King's, the deli in Carlton.


Beans again.



Desserts supplied by my sister, a near-qualified pastry chef.



Farewell to Melbourne (closer to 'Mel-bern' than 'Melb-born', by the way, a point of annoyance amoung Melbournites

It's been a long week. this isn't how I normally shop, careening from Indian grocer to British butcher to BBQ restaurant. Not every day. Not even on the holidays. Melbourne has a lot to offer the tourist and the local alike, but it's not all avaliable at the same place. The supermarkets and shopping centres, even the big ones, they don't stock artisan cider and homemade biltong and slabs of foie gras and industrial-sized bottles of kenap manis. Not under the one roof. The good stuff, it's in markets and 'ethnic enclaves' and overpriced gourmet stores. You pay a lot of money or you need to explain what you want in a sort of pidgin, with much gesturing and pointing. It's spread out. Melbourne is large.

If I had another week, two weeks, a month and an unlimited food budget, I'd show you the markets in Camberwell and Prahran and Footscray and South Melbourne. The Jewish delis and bakeries near work: bagels, blintzes, chopped liver. Our population that hails from Central and Eastern Europe and their bratwursts and chevapi. The vodka place. The Sudanese and Ethiopian grocers, seling freshly made injera and berbere paste and tea and honey and gesho (the most expensive bag of sticks a homebrewer will ever buy). I'd show you Books for Cooks. The other suburbs and some country towns. Daylesford, maybe. Wineries, breweries, cideries. Harcourt. Our inner city laneways with their cafes, bars and restaurants. A Fitzroy pub famous for a burger that contains beef, chicken, bacon, a hashbrown, pineapple, beetroot, an egg. Served, naturally, with chips and salad and beer. I recommend Coopers Sparkling Ale. I'd like to show you fish and chips--with dim sims, of course--and dodgy kebabs and Sunday yum cha and three hat dining. And just because they're so big here, chocolate cafes and cupcake shops and juice bars. And local game--wallaby, muttonbird, crocodile, possum. And nasty but delicious introduced species--horse, camel, pheasant. For a good while a couple years ago, I made a systematic, concentrated, methodical effort to try all of them. Nick's Wine, a brilliant shop near work. An Argentine BBQ place. I could go on and on and on and on.

Alas, this is where we end things. Come visit some time.

Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org


I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Thanks Chris! It's been great and I got lots of good tips. No doubt I will need to find something and will look to you for guidance.

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Thanks, this was great. It's not just a food blog, it's practically a guidebook! And as I said earlier, I really appreciate the amount of travel you've put in. Top job :-)

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Thanks Chris, nice to see food from a Melbournian perspective. I enjoyed the trip.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four.
Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
My eG Foodblog

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Thanks for taking the time to criss cross the city in order to show us the wonderful options. That carrot and mint salad jumped out at me and will be made soon.

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