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restaurants and cafes

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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 […]

HOT: HM Quan, 5/68-82 Hopkins Street, Footscray

There are loads of Vietnamese eateries on Hopkins Street Footscray yet HM Quan still manages to stands out. Mainly because of its crazy, Hawaiian-tiki inspired decor and toddler-sized furniture (for kids and adults alike). Step inside and you’ll be bombarded by a party of fake grass, indoor straw huts, tiny knick-knacks placed on every bit […]

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: Addict, 240-242 Johnston St, Fitzroy

Addict has just opened in Fitzroy and I think it’s particularly well-named because clearly Fitzrovians are addicted to coffee and brunch for yet another cafe to open in the suburb. Addict has removed all traces of the fluorescent lit, dingy Fitzroy Curry House and transformed the prime corner spot on Johnston and Gore Street with an […]

HOT: The Age Good Cafe Guide 2014 awards

The Age Good Cafe Guide 2014 awards were announced tonight – did your favourites make the cut? These cafes won top honours and * indicates a cafe that I’ve reviewed previously: Top Paddock* (Richmond) – eftpos best cafe Stagger Lee’s* (Fitzroy) – best new cafe Dakdak (Moorabbin) – local hero award. Seven Seeds (Carlton) – best coffee […]

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: The Premises, 202 Bellair St, Kensington

Elegant Bellair Street is a leafy residential road in Kensington and not really a place where you’d expect to find a hip cafe. But The Premises dominates its corner locale (right near Kensington train station) with a standout menu, Seven Seeds coffee and a recycled chic aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place in the inner […]

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: Cacao Lab, Driver Lane, Melbourne

Arguably one of the happy consequences of H&M evicting the previous tenants of GPO is that Cacao Fine Chocolate has been transformed into Cacao Lab in Driver Lane. Cacao Lab, which is down an alleyway from the revamped Strand arcade, is a much bigger space than the previous island stand. It’s pretty hard to miss […]

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