It’s been a month since our return to Melbourne Australia. Hibernation and recuperation has been a big factor and it was only a few Fridays ago where we enjoyed our favourite meal since we’ve been back. Feast of Merit is an initiative from ygap that takes inspiration from seasonal and locally sourced produce with a Middle Eastern twist. The former cafe interiors have been stripped off and the raw bones and exposed bricks left us all feeling like after a detox, bright and happy.
We came upon Jinda Thai Restaurant one blustery night when we were actually planning to have an el cheapo dinner at Ying Thai which was just around the corner. Still being within the clearway time frame, we turned into a little street and parked right outside Jinda Thai Restaurant. Having already followed them on instagram, we curiously crept into the bustling restaurant to take a peek at the menu and liked what we saw so there we stayed. It was the best decision we could have made.
Docklands is a bit of a pain to get to if you don’t work or live in the area. However, I drive by every single morning on the way to work so one morning when Mr A and I had woken up early and arrived at Docklands at the seemingly unearthly hour of 8am, we decided to go have coffee before the daily grind. Kenneth, Melbourne’s unofficial ambassador for new cafe and restaurant openings, had recently posted on instagram about his visit to the days-old coffee and foodstore, story• in Docklands which had been opened by the people behind Dukes Coffee Roasters. Being an unashamedly big fan of their other cafes, I suggested we take a walk to check it out. It eventuated to quite the adventure as we were unfamiliar with that area of Bourke Street and ended up with a 15 minute walking detour!
Although Top Paddock has opened following the success of their most recent South Yarra cafe opening, two birds one stone, it has long been in the works since 2011. Headed up by the same people behind Three Bags Full, APTE and two birds one stone – you may notice some design borrowings from their already established cafes have been brought together into this new space. A clean aesthetic reminiscent of two birds one stone made us feel like we were there (at two birds one stone) in one particular area, whereas the high tables in another area reminded us of Three Bags Full with the high stools made with yellow and black street signs. The glass floor to ceiling windows along the side can be opened up to allow the breeze in which really makes for a great space. All in all, I was loving the look and feel of Top Paddock as soon as I entered.
Ms L works just around the corner and has walked past Cheerio before so when I sent her a link to Cheerio a few months ago, we decided to visit here next time I was in the area. I arrived first and only waited 5 minutes before a table was available so it seems turnover is reasonable and there was also a steady stream of takeaway coffees being ordered. I felt an inkling of envy wishing I worked in the area with cafes just like this – sometimes the city is so over-packed with suits (I am one to a lesser extent lol) that I can’t bear it. You can see the space at Cheerio is small but there is a refreshing organic feel to it. It was just one of those cafes that made me feel happy upon entering, not to mention the staff there were lovely.