San Telmo

Named after one of Buenos Aires oldest neighbourhoods, San Telmo is one of Melbourne’s recentish additions to the Latin American inspired dining scene. And judging by my meal there over the Easter weekend with Alastair, Hazzie and Gazman: it’s a good one.

Opened late last year, San Telmo is a casual style eatery serving Argentinean inspired food. Fortunately they’ve bucked the no-booking trend of many of Melbourne’s new casual restaurants and take bookings, though half of the restaurant is set aside for walk ins. Hoorah.

The menu at San Telmo is designed to be shared, with a focus on meat cooked on the char-grill. There’s not that much for non-meat eaters, and in any case it’s not really a vegetarian friendly environment. The restaurant contains a big 2.5 metre parrilla / char-grill near the entrance, which is fantastic for cooking meat, but the smell does tend to linger in the air and cling to hair and clothes.


No35: MFWF express lunch

The decision to have an express lunch at No35 was the most annoying process ever. It started off innocently with an email from Thanh asking which restaurants we wanted to dine at during the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF). After several, several, SEVERAL emails back and forth, we finally settled on a few dates, one of which was the Labour Day public holiday. But could we decide on a restaurant on that day? Nope. It was worse than herding cats. For a group who like to eat and who are normally very decisive about where we want to go – we were hopeless. It got to the point where we were all a bit exasperated and it looked like we wouldn’t be eating anywhere.


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.


Vue de Monde: express lunch

Lui Bar

I love a lunch deal. So when I heard that Vue de Monde was doing a $60 1 hour express lunch that ended in November, I hurriedly booked in a lunch date with I-Hua and Maz.

Maz and I cleverly scheduled a day off work, while I-Hua snuck out for a long lunch. We weren’t aware of exactly how long a lunch it was going to be. One hour stretched into two hours… which extended to three hours. (Sorry, I-Hua’s company!)

We were a bit early for our table, so we were directed up to the Lui Bar via the snazzy nightclub style elevator. At the Lui Bar, we spread out on their couches, admired the view, and decided that: nope, 1pm was definitely not too early for a negroni. Not too early at all.


Win two tickets to Melbourne Streat Party


Have you heard of Streat? They’re a fantastic organisation that are dedicated to providing homeless youth with education and employment in the hospitality industry. They run a couple of food and coffee carts around Melbourne, and are currently trying to raise money to purchase another cart.

To do this, they’re holding a dinner party – with a twist. On Tuesday 29 November, up to 500 diners will head to Melbourne at 7pm for a 3-course dinner with wine – but where they’ll be sitting down is a secret! But what I can tell you is that over 50 of Melbourne’s most respected laneway and rooftop restaurants and bars are taking part.


Taxi Dining Room: bento lunch


Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Taxi and Little Big Marketing.

The other weekend I was invited to Taxi to experience their bento lunch. I’m sure Taxi needs no introduction! It’s a very slick restaurant, and I loved the splashes of aqua/turquoise (one of my favourite colours) amongst all the steel and shiny surfaces. Though of course, the best part must be the floor to ceiling windows that make the most of the views out to the Yarra and the city.


Cupcake Central

Disclosure: I attended the cupcake masterclass and received cupcakes courtesy of Cupcake Central.

I love the story behind how Cupcake Central came to be. Owner Sheryl Thai was made redundant from her job a couple of years ago and that potentially negative experience kick started her dream of owning a cupcake bakery. Fast forward a couple of years, hundreds of kilos of butter, flour and sugar, a mountain of hard work and dedication, and Sheryl and her boyfriend Tin have recently opened their second cupcake bakery in Melbourne Central (the first is on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn).


Campari House: She’ll be Apples

Things I’ve learnt: You’ve drank far too much cider when you start talking to strangers about chicken vaginas.

As part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival winter roast series, Campari House again had a set dinner. You may remember that last year we went there for A Toast to Campari House roasts, where we had five courses matched with wine.

This year, Alastair, Bro and I roped in Maria and Daz again and headed to Campari House. This year’s dinner was based around apples and pork, with three savoury courses, one dessert and lots and lots of cider from Kelly Brothers.

Comme Kitchen

Recently I went on a girls’ night out with friends, Emily and Jo. Nothing dodgy of course, just a nice dinner at a semi-flashy restaurant. 🙂 We went to Comme Kitchen (a 1-hat restaurant in the Good Food Guide, if you’re into that sort of thing), which is located in a beautiful, historical building down a cobblestone laneway. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a grand staircase, and to the right is a large bar area with soaring high ceilings. The dining room, adjacent to the bar and tucked under the staircase, is much smaller and more intimate, only seating about 40 people.