cheap eats

Gami Chicken and Beer

A life without fried chicken is a life not worth living.

It’s true.

It’s a shame that fried chicken has been marred by the trashiness of KFC because when it’s done well, it’s a thing of delicious, delicious beauty.

At Gami, which I *finally* visited the other week, they serve Korean fried chicken and beer. While there are other dishes on the menu, with a name like Gami Chicken and Beer, what else would you be there for?

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Fonda Mexican

Note: scheduled post. Still on holiday. Back soon though. Boo!

I’ve heard that Fonda, a Mexican style cantina in Richmond, is always busy, with lines down the street. I don’t spend much time in Richmond, so I can’t confirm whether or not this is true, but with the popularity of Mexican food in Melbourne, I can believe it.

Before we went on holiday, Alastair and I had an early dinner with Hazzie and Gazman. We rocked up at 6pm and were seated straight away – hooray to not lining up. We quickly looked through the menu and ordered at the counter.

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1 + 1 Dumpling Noodles

You wouldn’t expect lamb skewers to be the best thing on the menu at a restaurant named 1 + 1 Dumpling Noodles. But if you make it to this casual restaurant in Footscray and don’t eat at least two lamb skewers each, you’re missing out.

1 + 1 Dumpling Noodles has been around for quite a while. Located on Hopkins Street, across from the Footscray Market, they serve north western Chinese / Xinjiang food. Food in the Xinjiang region of China generally uses quite a bit of lamb/mutton and no pork because it’s a region with a high proportion of Muslims, due to the geographic nearness of the Middle East. Noodles are primarily made with wheat flour and cumin is a common spice.

I hadn’t eaten at 1 + 1 Dumpling Noodles in quite a few years (for some reason I thought they had closed!) and was pleased to find on my latest visit with Maztech, Bro, Bro’s gf, and Alastair, that not much had changed. The walls had been painted, and there was now a helpful photo menu, but it was still the same casual joint that I remembered. And the lamb skewers were still on the menu. Win win win.

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Dognation

Disclosure: We dined courtesy of Dognation thanks to Thanh.

Hot diggity dog, there’s a new gourmet hot dog purveyor in town. Dognation opened a couple of weeks ago in The Causeway – the laneway between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street – and their shop used to be the adjacent restaurant’s storeroom. It’s itty bitty, but somehow they manage to turn out some pretty good hot dogs, with five versions on the menu. The hot dogs are all named and themed after different cities around the world.

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Phat Brats


Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Phat Brats.

First it was gourmet burgers, and now it’s time for the humble hot dog to take the leap into Gourmet Town. Step aside glammed up burgers – it’s time for posh dogs to shine.

Phat Brats is one of the latest to get in on posh dogs. Located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, they describe themselves as having “honest sausages” and “top notch dogs”. The menu has a large selection of sausages: from lamb sausages to beef sausages to pork sausages to vege sausages, all with a wide variety of toppings. They also offer several types of fries: beer batter fries, cheesy fries, or chilli fries.

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Fifty-Six Threads Cafe

“Hey Azzie. I’m in your hood,” Haz messaged me one day. “We’re going to Fifty-six threads.”

“Where? Are you buying sewing supplies?” was my response.

She told me it was a social enterprise venture that had launched at the end of last year by AMES – an organisation that helps new and recently arrived migrants and refugees to settle in Victoria. The main aim of the cafe is to provide employment and training for new migrants who want to work in the hospitality industry.

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Embrasse: MFWF express lunch (closed)

Wouldn’t it be good to be able to tap into a collective memory? Then you would always have access to important details, and it wouldn’t be a problem if your mind was crowded with useless things like the lyrics to “Deep deep trouble” even though you haven’t heard that song for 15 years. (Oh, is that just me? And yes, I do know the words. I can totally bust it out at any time. HELP I CAN’T FORGET IT.)

Fortunately, I have friends who help me remember things. When I eat out I sometimes can’t recall all the details and will message whoever I ate with: “Hey, do you remember what was in that dish?”

After our lunch at Embrasse, Thanh and I had the following conversation.

“What was the fish again?”
“Ummmm. I can’t remember.”
“It was silver something, wasn’t it?”
“Oh! It was silver dory!”

Food bloggers hive mind win. With our memories combined, we are… one normal person!

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Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen

There’s an inner glutton in me. She is mostly tamed and kept deep down inside, but occasionally she rises to the surface. Normally she comes out in the presence of other gluttons ie Ms Kat. However, I discovered the other night that my glutton is only a glutton in training in comparison to Kat.

Kat wanted to go to Chinese Spicy and Barbie Kitchen to eat Sichuan food and “shit on sticks” (my terminology – translation: meat/vegies on skewers). Since it’s my side of town, I was keen and we gathered up Thanh, Kat’s partner Josh, Alastair and Bro for a visit one night last week.

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Kokoro Ramen

Kokoro Ramen

There’s something about ramen that seems to inspire almost fantatical devotion.

If I hadn’t eaten truly good ramen before, I wouldn’t understand it. Because if you break it down, ramen is just noodles in broth. But it seems to be more than the sum of its parts. It can be amazing: nourishing, comforting, and filling. In particular, tonkotsu is fantastic – it’s made by boiling pork bones for hours, and results in a creamy, salty pork broth that’s also sticky and creamy and full of flavour.

So when the guys from doublecooked advised that a new ramen joint had opened on Lonsdale Street, I took Alastair and Bro down there quick smart.

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Gurney Drive (closed)

One evening on our way home from the CBD, Alastair, Bro and I stopped at Gurney Drive for a quick meal. The restaurant, presumably named after Gurney Drive in Penang, Malaysia, sells Penang Malaysian hawker food. It’s decked out with bright walls, framed pictures, and heavy wooden tables and chairs – oh, and lots of photos of the food stuck on the front window!
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