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Gourmet Melbourne Insider guide to getting fat through eating well

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Disclaimer: Not all humans like the gym. If you do, it’s all good, you can go work out later.

Phew! Now we’ve done the health and fitness bit, let’s talk about something the human race can all agree on. Food. And if you like delicious, awe inspiring, not too pricey breakfast, lunch or dinner, you will love Melbourne.

The thing is, it’s all very well knowing a city has great food, but your experience as a tourist can be very hit and miss. Unless you know someone who has lived there, and knows how to eat really well without sending the bank balance spiraling. Here is everything you need to know.

P.S. we’ve since road-tested these places and, oh my, they are good!

Chin Chin, 125 Flinders Lane

They have this dried red curry with crab dish that won’t change your life, but you’ll talk about it for days. The beef spare ribs are also amazing. Actually, everything on the menu is. Buy the cookbook as it will make you look fancy, but it’s too hard to cook from. Better just to go back ,and back, and back. I always stop in here whenever I’m back in Melbourne. Always. Cocktails are great. Wine prices are reasonable. Best time to get there is Sunday 11.45am to be guaranteed a table for lunch. Great way to spend a lazy Sunday.

The City Wine Shop, Spring Street

Tried & true. Never fails to deliver. European style bistro that does a mean chicken schnitzel, partnered with a great Italian coleslaw. Always get the polenta chips to start with and ask for an extra bowl of sauce. Great place to sit outside on the street at all times of the year and quaff, plus limited seating available in the bar and down the back. Ask the staff for help picking wine because they know their stuff. Wine prices shown are takeaway and it’s about another $20 to drink in. Note, a surcharge applies on Sundays. 

Ichi Nee, St Kilda beach

Good Japanese. Again, something I crossed town for often. Book as it can be crazy, especially if you want an outdoor seat on a late summer’s evening. Sashimi was always fresh and gyoza that are almost singing love songs to you as you bite in. Smashing.

Mamasita, top of Collins Street up some stairs

This place is well deserved of its reputation as a good time. Interesting take on Mexican food, great margaritas (try the jalapeno one and the cucumber one – word) and their corn ice cream is surprising, in a good way. This place is always popular and queues after work are a bit ridiculous. Go in the afternoon at about 2.30pm to be seated straight away. After a few of Mamasita’s finest margaritas, a nap is usually in order.

Degraves, Degraves street

Finest coffee in town. Nuff said. Oh, and the omelette is pretty darn good too!

David Jones food court. Bourke Street Mall – downstairs

In my humble opinion, it’s worth mentioning two places to eat here. The sandwich bar is awesome and I always get sucker punched into a roast pork roll with crackling. Just so good. They’ll put the crackling on the sandwich or on the side. The other is the big food station between the sandwich bar and the stairs. Once a month I used to prop myself up at the bar, order a great meal and a glass of wine. Quiet time out with lots of others doing exactly the same thing. Magic. 

…And we’re just getting started. Next, we’re going to be tempting you with the best ever haunt for all things Thai, hipster coffee and pies. Comfort for body and soul. Let’s just hang out for a while, we can always hit the gym tomorrow?


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