I love going to Melbourne for a short trip, whether it is for work or a long weekend getaway. I was in Melbourne for work during my Sydney trip and I have heard so much about Little Hunter that I had to go and check it out myself. Gavin Baker (ex sous chef at Fat Duck, London) and Pete Evans (chef and host / judge on My Kitchen Rules) head this lovely establishment which is located in the basement of 195 Little Collins Street.
I had perused the menu before coming and knew exactly what I wanted. We started with the in-house baked herd bread which was served with chicken skin butter – yes you heard me right, chicken skin butter! It was incredibly delicious, the bread was warm and soft and slathered with the butter was just AMAZING! I wanted to lick the little bowl on my own!
My dining companions and I couldn’t go past the pork crackling topped with paprika and white cheddar which was served with apple sauce ($6). My goodness – these were so addictive that I couldn’t stop eating them. The pork crackle were light, airy and crispy and I absolutely loved the paprika and white cheddar.
The cured kingfish with seasoned roe, roasted peppers and bay oil ($14) was a hit. ‘The Mother’ absolutely loved it – he said it was extremely light and the flavours were wonderful.
My aunt couldn’t go past the fish, Chatham Island Blue Cod which was served with sea grasses, leeks, and brown butter ($39). The fish was pan fried which was deliciously crispy and the fish itself was wonderful.
The rest of us, the three of us, couldn’t go past the wood-roasted pork served with kale, cider vinegar and fresh sausage ($38). Oh my, more crackles! The pork meat was tender, and I loved the cider vinegar, it really gave it a nice kick. I couldn’t help but steal some of ‘The Mother’s’ crackle as well!
We ordered a couple of sides, fresh vegetables, olive oil, butter, and lemon peel ($9).
I absolutely loved the roasted yams with gremolata ($7) – it was incredibly tender and absolutely delicious.
The little hunter fries with fry sauce ($6) was also a hit!
We were stuffed but couldn’t help but order dessert. Thought we would share the licorice ice cream, milk crumbs, bee pollen and candied citrus ($12). I have never had licorice ice cream and oh my, this was fantastic! It was different but in a good way and not too sweet. The milk crumbs and candied citrus was a wonderful complement.
Service was excellent and food came relatively quickly. We all thoroughly enjoyed our food and would definitely be back for more. I love Melbourne and its fantastic restaurants.
GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
195 Little Hunter Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9654 0090
We had originally wanted to go to Hutong for dinner in China Town but it was fully booked. Our fault for not organising it early enough! ‘The Mother’, Brother in Law and I were catching up with two of our friends in Melbourne, P and R. A lot of places we thought of was either closed or fully booked, so we took a stroll down China Town and P suggested this place.
Fish and bbq pork tofu hot pot. Usually one of my favourite dish in Chinese restaurant but this was average. The tofu was nice, but the fish I thought had too much batter.
After dinner, we went for dessert. Can’t for the life of me remember the name of the cafe, but we shared Bailey’s cheese cake and OH MY! It was absolutely divine! Absolutely loved it!
GA’s ratings: 6 / 10
181 Russell St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9662 9882
I have wanted to go to Movida for a while now. Last time we went to Melbourne we couldn’t get a reservation as they were fully booked. This time round, we were hoping to try our luck and luck was on our side! I didn’t expect to get a table easily – rocked up, asked for a table for four and got a table outside – perfect!
Movida Aqui is the sister restaurant of Movida, which was open in 2003. They now have four different restaurants, Movida, Movida Next Door, Movida Aqui and Movida Terraza.
The menu is broken up into small plates, grilled, cold meats, rich dishes and many more. Thought we would share a couple of things, as tapas should be!
We started with complimentary bread and olive oil.
The anchoa ($4.50 each) – hand filleted Cantabrian Artisan anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet. It was a little salty for me, but I know ‘The Mother’ really enjoyed it. He said ‘the sorbet took away the saltiness of the anchovy’.
Sardines in olive oil with toast ($9.50) was absolutely lovely. The sardines weren’t fishy or oily, and the thin crunchy toast really gave it a nice crunch.
One of my favourites – bomba ($4.50 each) – Catalan potato bomb filled with chorizo were amazing. Perfectly round potatoes with spicy chunks of chorizo with crispy exterior. We loved it so much, we ordered another serving, this time though ONE each, none of this HALF or sharing thing!
Pulpo ($23.50) – chargrilled octopus with avocado and spanner crab salad was excellent. The octopus was tender and succulent and the avocado puree was a wonderful complement.
We wanted to order the pork belly but unfortunately they ran out! *sigh*, so we ordered the next pork dish, Butifarra ($19.50) – house made Catalan pork and pepper sausage with chickpeas and house made morcilla. The sausages I thought were a little salty, it was tender and the right amount of fattiness. The chickpeas were a wonderful compliment.
Carillera de Buey ($22.50) – slowly braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree was to die for! Melt-in-your mouth tender, the beef cheeks were rich in flavour but it was nicely complemented by the smooth cauliflower puree. A winner dish!
We were quite full but there’s always room for dessert right? So we shared two desserts between the four of us. The flan ($14.50) – crème caramel served with pestinos. The crème caramel was super wobbly and the texture incredibly soft. Served with pestinos which are biscuits that contains fennel seeds and coated with sugar crystals were delightful!
Churros con chocolate ($12.50) – Spanish doughnuts with rich drinking chocolate was excellent. Probably the best churros I have had ever! The texture of the churros were light, fluffy and incredible, the chocolate was bittersweet and complemented the sweet sugary churros. One churros each was definitely not enough!
It was definitely a wonderful meal and exceeded expectation! We really wanted the pork belly, there will definitely be a next time! The winner for me would have to be the bomba, the octopus and the churros! Yum! I’m also keen to try Movida – next time!
It was an extremely busy evening, and service was still very friendly and warm. Our waitress was great and recommended a couple of our dishes which we all loved!
Will definitely be back!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
500 Bourke St Level 1
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Ph: +61 3 9663 3038
I have read and heard raving reviews about Cumulus Inc. It was our last day in Melbourne, we had a noon flight, which meant one last meal….Breakfast!
You have read my reviews on Cutler and Co – EPIC! If I lived in Melbourne, this would definitely be a regular restaurant!
Cumulus Inc is located in a large warehouse at the top end of Flinders Lane. It has been open for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, they have a no booking policy, except for groups over 7. I was afraid that we wouldn’t get a table, so made sure the clan got up early and we rocked up at 9.15am.
The place was already full, but thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long.
The breakfast menu is quite extensive ranging from muesli, toasts, sardines, baked eggs, sandwiches and even watermelon salad with mint.
Unfortunately they ran out of smoked salmon, 65/65 egg, sorrel, apple and dill! I really wanted that, but never fear – I did have a back up!
Started with coffee – unfortunately, they only had one size – not enough for me, but it was good. Hot, strong and aromatic, it went down so quickly that I had to get another. One was definitely not enough.
My parents opted for the grilled chipolata sausage with beans, ham hock, and 65/65 egg on sour dough toast ($17.50). The egg was beautifully done – oozing with yolk and the sausage was very tasty. The beans were delightful, full of flavours and not too sweet and sickly.
F, opted for the pain d’epices with whipped maple butter and candied walnuts ($15). Sometimes loosely called as gingerbread, it is a French cake whose ingredients are rye flour, honey and spices. It was very similar to a french toast, and was deliciously sweet. The maple butter was creamy and a wonderful complement to the pain d’epices and the candied walnuts were crunchy, sweet and excellent. I couldn’t help but steal the candied walnuts off F’s plate.
O had the toasted sandwich, double smoked istra leg ham and pyegana cheddar with tomato relish ($14). I loved the cheese, however, not enough as it wasn’t stringy. The tomato relish was lovey and it was toasted to perfection.
I opted for the turkish baked eggs, spiced tomato, dukkah, labne ($16) all served on a hot plate. The egg was again cooked beautifully, it didn’t ooze with yolk by the time I ate the second one, however, I loved the combination fte the spiced tomato, dukkah and labne. I have taken a liking to baked eggs, and I have to say this was the nicest baked eggs I have tasted in a while.
The place has that really laid back feel. I would definitely like to try their dinner one day. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful trip in Melbourne. I loved the atmosphere, the food brilliant, and the coffee excellent. Service wonderful and I can see why this place is buzzing! If we didn’t have to go back to Sydney, I would have definitely ordered another coffee and maybe some friands or croissant.
That concludes the Melbourne eating trip. Hope you have enjoyed reading them and I am sure that this will not be my last eating trip to Melbourne. Till next time….
GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
F’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
45 Flinders Lane
Ph: +61 3 9650 1445
We were roaming around Chinatown Melbourne, I had originally wanted to go to HuTong Dumpling but they were fully booked and couldn’t fit the five of us. Starved, we thought we would go for yum cha, it certainly has been a very long time since I had yum cha. My brother saw Crystal Jade and thought we should give it ago. Unfortunately, it is not the same Crystal Jade Group that we see in Singapore or Hong Kong. Its just the same name and can be found on little Bourke Street.
I was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to fit all of us, the restaurant looked tiny from the entrance, but it was surprisingly big. We sat at one end of the corner though, which wasn’t the best ‘traffic’ for yum cha trolleys. However, I was wrong, and we had lots of trolleys coming and ordered all sorts of food.
We started with har gao, two servings as there were only three in each basket! Sio may, again two servings, xiao long bao and spinach dumplings. The har gaos were excellent, thin pastry with large chunks of prawns. The sio may and spinach dumplings were juicy and tender. Unfortunately, the xio long bao weren’t great. It wasn’t juicy and wasn’t your typical xiao long bao. It was meaty and that was pretty much it.
We couldn’t help but order the pork ribs, braised tripes, beef tendon, which were all relatively generous serving. The pork ribs were seriously succulent and the beef tripes and tendon were so tender it just melted in my mouth.
The fried prawn dumplings, pan fried dumplings, were wonderful, however the sweet bbq fried dumplings were a little ordinary, so were the yam fried dumplings which was a little disappointing.
The bill came to $100 for the five of us, and we were stuffed. There were absolutely no room for dessert. The service was good and friendly. Stuffed, we continued shopping and walked off the wonderful yum cha goodness we just consumed. Compared to the yum cha in Sydney, this was pretty good, but my favourite is still Marigold. Definitely keen to try the new restaurant Eight.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
F’s ratings: 7 / 10
154 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC, 3000
Ph: +61 3 9639 263
There is really not a shortage of cafés in Melbourne, especially on the buzzing street of Central Place or Degraves Street. There were so many to choose from, however, Lorca looked inviting and judging from the food that diners were consuming, we couldn’t go pass it.
It was busy that day, I didn’t think we would be able to get a table, however, one of the waiters told us to go upstairs, and it was completely empty. I didn’t even realize that they had an upstairs bit. Even though we were upstairs, service was excellent, they didn’t forget about us, and kept coming up to make sure we were well looked after.
I noticed the chalk board menu as we entered the café, but I didn’t get a chance to peruse it. The menu had a great selection of Spanish / Portuguese dishes, it all sounded absolutely wonderful.
The coffee was wonderful! It was hot, smooth and aromatic. I could have easily drank two large coffees but don’t think that would be a good idea.
Dad didn’t want eggs, he wanted something sweet, so opted for the apple strudel which was served with delicious heavy cream and generously sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar ($6.50). The apple strudel was warm, with sweet, tender apple and crusty pastry – it was good! Dad unwillingly offered us to taste, I knew he wanted it all to himself and I can see why – it was incredibly good!
The rest of us wanted breakfast, especially me! We opted for the big breakfast, scrambled eggs on toast with bacon, chorizo, mushroom and roasted tomatoes ($15.50). The eggs were moist and creamy, but not as creamy as those from Bills, Sydney. The bacon was crispy and the chorizo – perfect! I LOVE chorizos, and the mushroom and roast tomatoes were great complements.
Deliciously full, we wondered around Federation Square before shopping. Not only do I love the food in Melbourne, but also the shopping! Oh… the shopping…
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
F’s ratings: 7 / 10
7 Centre Place
Ph: +61 3 9650 6337
I enjoy a good breakfast, especially on weekends, however, on holidays, every single day! Our first breakfast was at Café Vue, which is situated right on the corner of Little Collins Street and New Chancery Lane, next to Vue de Monde. The Café is small, and the counter bar occupies two third of the space inside the café. There are a few tables and stools along the glass window. We opted to sit inside, thankfully it wasn’t too busy so we were seated straight away.
Started with the flat white, it was lukewarm, however, it was creamy and smooth.
The breakfast menu consisted of toasts, porridge, muesli, fruit, jaffle, and grilled sandwiches. Both my parents and brother opted for the duck egg, bacon and hollandaise jaffle ($12.50). The duck egg oozed with yolk and ‘sandwiched’ between bacon and hollandaise sauce. I had a little taste of this and it was deliciously tasty! I know F absolutely enjoyed it, he wanted more and so did I!
I opted for something a little ‘healthier’ – bircher muesli ($6.50), which was served with yogurt. The bircher was soaked in orange juice with sultanas and apple gratin and I have to admit, it was one of the nicest bircher I have had for a long time. It was moist, juicy and loved the combination of sultanas and apple.
It was a shame that the coffee was lukewarm, I always enjoy a good breakfast and good coffee. Café Vue is the sister restaurant of Vue de Monde. I will most likely come back to Café Vue next time I am in Melbourne, to try their lunch or dinner menu. It was a great breakfast to start our road trip to the twelve apostles.
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
F’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
430 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, Vic 3000