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HOT: Olivigna, 54-56 Brumbys Road, Warrandyte South

Love the idea of sunning yourself in Tuscany but can’t afford the airfare? Believe it or not, a little bit of Italy can be found at Olivigna at Warrandyte South, just 30 minutes from Melbourne. Drive up to Olivigna, surrounded by tall cypress trees, and it’s like driving up towards the Tuscan hills. The 20 […]

HOT: Rice Paper Scissors, 19 Liverpool St, Melbourne

Rice Paper Scissors is a small South East Asian hawker-style eatery tucked away in Liverpool Street. I call it ‘Longrain-lite’, due in part to the postage stamp sized venue and its menu of Vietnamese and Thai street food. We visited Rice Paper Scissors early on a Saturday night, when it was rammed to the rafters and […]

HOT: Syracuse, 23 Bank Place, Melbourne

Syracuse was one of the many restaurants I tried in my first year in Melbourne and since then it has become a stalwart of the CBD’s scene, particularly for the banker-and-lawyer end of town. It’s not a so-hip-it-hurts kind of place with queues streaming out the door – more of a quiet high achiever. Syracuse’s […]

NOT: Collins Kitchen High Tea, Grand Hyatt Melbourne, 123 Collins St, Melbourne

Collins Kitchen is the snazzy restaurant within the Grand Hyatt with an open kitchen format and attached bar. As befitting a hotel restaurant it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus everything in between, including high tea. I’ve eaten a lot of high tea around Melbourne and sometimes it’s hard to judge whether a […]

HOT: Neapoli, 30 Russell Place, Melbourne

Neapoli is an all day eatery in Collins Street Melbourne that is many things to many people. By day, a cosy cafe and meeting place for nearby office workers (who particularly like the big boardroom table upstairs). By night, a sexy wine bar with interesting food to share. I visited on shadowy winter’s morning and […]

HOT: Ruyi, 16 Liverpool St, Melbourne

At first glance Ruyi looks and sounds like a Japanese restaurant. Its laneway windows display  blond wood furniture, handmade ash and concrete light fittings (from France), white tiling and small gold details. The Japanese-style aesthetic continues with the custom handmade crockery by Melbourne ceramic artist Andrei Davidoff. But this cool, serene laneway restaurant is actually […]

HOT: High Coffee, The Waiting Room at Crown Towers, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank

If you’re lucky enough not to work Monday-Friday then quickstep to The Waiting Room at Crown Towers, where they are offering their twist on high tea – ‘High Coffee’ – for only $40 per person on weekdays. The Waiting Room is the lobby bar of Crown Towers and it is the exact opposite of a […]

HOT: Isabella’s at Rochford Wines, 878-880 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream

The Yarra Valley is one of the favourite destinations for Melburnians in search of a country drive and I always like to combine a day trip there with a delicious long lunch. On my most recent excursion to Coldstream I visited Isabella’s at stunning Rochfords Wines with an invitation to try their new autumn menu by head chef Ciaran Butler. […]

HOT: Romulus and Remus, 648 Bridge Road, Richmond

Romulus and Remus are characters from Roman mythology – which quickly gives you an idea of the kind of cuisine you can expect from this restaurant in Bridge Road Richmond. I was invited to sample some items from their broadly Italian menu which is all about ‘modern day feasting’. This translates to sharing plates, hearty […]

HOT: Éclair Affair High Tea, Lobby Lounge, The Westin Melbourne, 250 Collins St, Melbourne

Melbourne offers a high tea option for just about every sweet desire and The Westin Melbourne has just launched an afternoon tea service which pays homage to buttery, fluffy, choux pastry – it’s an Eclair Affair! I was invited to sample Éclair Affair and settled myself into a fat leather chair one sunny afternoon while […]

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