The Lui Bar at Melbourne’s prime real estate in the skies is luxe, elegant and provides superior views of Melbourne’s skyline. Since opening in 2011, it has been at the top of my “to-go” list, although I find the location right smack bang in the middle of the city a bit awkward seeing as I drive to the city these days, and popping in for a quick drink isn’t really possible with the pain in the ass parking. You will need to consult the concierge at the ground floor just before the elevators and our arrival mid-afternoon proved that we had arrived just in time, snagging the last window view seat.
For anyone that has travelled to Japan before, you will understand the fervour that you acquire for the food and culture, and the unwavering appetite and despair that you feel after your return home. While there are a few places in Melbourne to satiate to a certain extent, the fresh sashimi and sushi cravings you begin to have, there’s no where quite like Japan. With just the mere mention of the words “just like in Japan”, I know many people who will be scrambling and demanding for the name and address.
There are only a handful of weekends are left until Mr A and I are off to gallivant all over the east coast of America. In an attempt to soak up as much Australia sun as we can before we are plunged into the second Winter of our 2014. It seems fortuitous that Melbourne is laying off the temperamental weather act on our free days, so we decided to make the journey to Ascot Food Store. It is larger than it appears from the outside; beyond the front of house, a few steps up lead to a segregated dining area with a homely and comfortable feel. To beat the breakfast crowds, we had woken up a little earlier given the distance as well so we were feeling a little bleary eyed. That was quickly rectified with some coffee orders; using Proud Mary coffee beans and St David’s Dairy milk, my iced latte provided a refreshing caffeine hit.
Not many are willing to travel all the way from the outer east side all the way over the bridge to the west side, so I’m lucky to have Ms L who doesn’t mind the mini road trip when it comes to good food. Ms L had been eager to try Seddon Deadly Sins for a while and it was one of those days when she felt like she needed a day off work, that we made our way to Seddon. We felt extremely welcomed when we arrived at Seddon Deadly Sins, as if we were regulars coming back for our weekly visit. Our coffees were rich and strong, suiting our palates well especially considering that Ms L is incredibly picky when it comes to her long macchiatos.
Melbourne is consistently on point with food trends – instagram-worthy food like fluffy hotcakes accessorised with a colourful array of edible flowers and fresh fruit; frozen yoghurt dispensaries popping up on every corner, both north and south of the river; cold pressed juices and healthy smoothies served in mason jars; and the latest one to start making an appearance on menus – things made with food-grade edible charcoal. Charcoal food products are becoming more mainstream – what, with charcoal brioche buns encasing meat patties, ice creams scooped into charcoal waffle cones; and now, after supplying select cafes for a short while earlier this year, Nora has opened shop in Carlton with a range of their signature charcoal tarts.
If you haven’t noticed lately, my posts have been sporadic and spanning towards the monthly basis now – a cumulation of getting caught up in work, life and obsessively planning our trip to America at the end of the year. I feel major guilt neglecting my little food baby (my blog, not my stomach. My stomach is always well fed!) but the urge to relax after a long day at work always wins over writing and editing. Still, enjoying good food with loved ones is still a significant aspect of life I’m happily partaking in; and to celebrate our father this year, we decided to take him out to a neighbourhood Italian restaurant. At Assaggi Italiani, we are greeted with upbeat Italian greetings and heavy accented wait staff, while being led up the stairs to a private room for our table of nine.
You shouldn’t expect anything less than a crowd of people lining up, out the doors at one of Melbourne’s hottest openings on a Friday night. Andrew McConnell, of Cutler & Co and Cumulus Inc fame, experimented with the concept of Golden Fields at his trial canteen out in Fitzroy last year and it has resulted in the evolution of the new city outlet, Supernormal. While we felt quite smug in our decision to pop by just before the dinner crowds flocked down, I enjoyed an refreshing yuzu sake beverage while Mr A went for a rice lager.
There are some things that are harder to attain when you live in suburbia – an essential one being a dependable source of good coffee and breakfast fare. Sometimes scrounging around in the kitchen and fridge for something that passes for breakfast wins over the thought of driving 40 minutes through traffic for an inner city cafe so Scarvelli Cafe changes all that now. Scarvelli Cafe sits in a row of shops along Whitehorse road and the vibrant and striking graffiti along the side of the cafe signals that it’s time to start finding parking.
Disclaimer: I was invited by AMPR to have dinner at Cecconi’s Flinders Lane. All thoughts and opinions are based purely on my experience at the time of visit.
It’s admirable for a restaurant to be long-standing in the fickle and on-trend driven city of Melbourne. Cecconi’s has been established on Flinders Lane for almost a decade, despite the continuous droves of restaurants opening and closing up within a few blocks. There is a sophisticated, formal atmosphere with the open kitchen acting as the main centrepiece – from the offers to take your coat away from you; crisp white table linen dressing the dining tables; and the brushing of crumbs off the table after courses. Upon our arrival for dinner, we noticed some late lunchers who seemed to enjoy their lunch so much, they had started to transition their way into some early evening drinks
Disclaimer: I have received a media pass courtesy of SSM PR to attend Truffle Melbourne.