In Melbourne, it’s all about comfort food — doughnuts, noodles, and coffee! It probably had to do a lot about the weather. It was cold so we tried to look for warmth and comfort elsewhere. And what’s accessible? FOOD! And what would you expect in this Melbourne Eat list but this trifecta of food (and drink) and a lot more.
Probably our favorite thing to do in Melbourne was to eat. It’s one of those things that’s inevitable and yet dangerous to be doing all the time. But we were on vacation we just threw all caution to the wind the minute our plane landed in Melbourne. It was insane to drink coffee more than once a day. My usual is just a cup in the morning. Good thing I didn’t have any bouts of migraine after Melbourne. Too much caffeine gives me that.
Anyway, enough about coffee as I’ve already listed down my favorites prior to this post. Now on to our Melbourne Eat List..
Darac Grill & Bar
First time to try Army stew. We don’t have this in Manila which is weird to think we have a ton of Korean restaurants around. So the moment we were seated and right after perusing the menu, we knew immediately what to order. So what is an Army stew or Budae Jjigae in Korean? Army stew incorporates processed meat products such as sausages, spam, beans and cheddar cheese. The soup base is relatively spicy but you can request to have it with less heat. Noodles are optional and rice is served on the side.
Essential Info: After the Korean war in the 50’s, food was scarce and the leftover processed canned meats from US military bases were a great source of food for Koreans.
Mr. Ramen San
Yes, another noodle spot and not really a part of our original Melbourne Eat List. It might look a little boring to some for seeking out noodles during our trip, but they were the perfect remedy to the cold weather and it’s carb-heavy enough to last you the long walk back to your hotel.
A kilometer away may not seem far but when it’s freezing outside, every step feels like a struggle. But Mr. Ramen San was worth the long, windy, and almost numbing cold walk. The staff were all nice and smiley. Service was fast and the soup was served hot. Believe me, it matters that soup should be piping hot in Melbourne spring weather.
SIDE NOTE: According to local news, temperature dropped its crazy lowest since 1983 during our stay last October. Imagine that. What timing, right?
We got really intrigued after seeing a bao stall at the Night Noodle Market in Sydney. The line in this stall was unbelievably long and people looked not in the least bit irritated by it. They were patient and eagerly waiting for their turn. Baos must really be good in Australia. But it was crazy long that we had to pass this up because we were really hungry and we needed just a quick bite after our Sydney walkabout. But when there’s a long line, food must be really good. So I made a mental note to not miss baos in Melbourne and hoped that line would not be as long.
Read: Sydney Eat List
Luck must be on our side that day as the queue was short when we finally visited a bao resto called Wonder Bao. We were fifth in line and service was fast that we were in and out of there in 30 minutes. We eat fast when we have to. Seating is limited but we were able to find a place to savor our baos. The baos, I thought, were a bit expensive but I didn’t mind as they were also good. We ordered Da Pork Bao, Da Chicken Bao and Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao. Of the three, I like the Braised Pork Belly the most. The belly was tender and flavorful and the bun soft and fluffy.
Would I go back here again? Perhaps. I just wish prices were not that excessive. I prefer Little Bao of Hong Kong more than Wonder Bao only because Little Bao has other food options and drink list is amazingly diverse and delicious.
This Korean restaurant is located in the same building where we stayed along Queen Street. We decided to have dinner here one night when it got unbearably cold to walk far. We weren’t really craving for chicken that night and we only needed something hot like soup. Not familiar with the menu, we ordered their specialty and other dishes that looked appetizing plus the soup. And boy were we glad we ate here!
First off, the staff were courteous and friendly. We sat by the window overlooking Queen Street so we were generally entertained with the street scene while waiting for our food. We were not prepared for the ginormous amount of food that was served on our table. We actually had to use another table for the rest of our orders. As hungry as we were, we didn’t even make a dent on the plates. Aside from ordering so many dishes, the servings were really huge. I especially loved the Fried Rice Cakes, Seafood Pancake and Egg Soup. I am not generally fond of Korean Fried Chicken but MG loved it and I take her word for it as she’s a chicken connoisseur.
When you’re craving Korean, I highly recommend ABC Chicken. Two thumbs up for this Korean joint.
Il Pom Italian Restaurant
Perfect that this resto is conveniently located at Federation Square. After a half day tour of the city, we were famished and in need of sustenance. Service was a bit slow. There were only two of them but since it was already after lunch perhaps the rest of the staff were on break. But the food came quickly and surprise, surprise — it was authentic Italian. We ordered pizza, risotto and pasta dishes. The pizza was rustic style, the risotto had a nice consistency to it and the seafood pasta was brimming with a good amount of seafood. All in all, it was a great choice for lunch.
Gozleme Turkish Cafe
Just two hours into our trip to Melbourne and we chanced upon this restaurant along the F row in Queen Victoria Market. It was the only place that seemed promising and appetizing as well. I wanted meat after our very early flight from Sydney. We were very hungry as I only had coffee and a piece of bread for breakfast. A salad or a pizza just won’t cut it so Gozleme was the perfect choice for our hungry tummies.
We actually made the right choice as we were treated to authentic Turkish cuisine (whatever that is). It’s so often that we eat at restaurants and they’re just mediocre, but on rare occasions you actually get something good and you leave the restaurant feeling full and quite satisfied that you got your money’s worth. That is exactly the feeling we got with our meal at Gozleme.
Definitely a must try when in Queen Victoria Market. If you have not had a falafel before, Gozleme is the place to go if you don’t want to be disappointed.
You can never avoid brunchin’ in Melbourne. Brunch spots are everywhere. And these spots double as cafes and go-to restos for lunch and dinner. Talk about hitting two or three birds with one stone. Here were the two we’ve tried and why we love them.
One of the best parts of staying in the CBD area was that brunch spots were everywhere. We were fortunate enough to be so near one of the best ones, Hardware Societe. We ordered Baked Eggs and special of the day. Coffee beans are by Padre which I instantly fell in love with.
Baked Eggs were ok if only the bread that came with it was brioche instead of the rock hard one we got. The Special was great. Too bad I can’t recall the name of the dish.
Hannah is a bit out of the way but very well worth the 2 train rides from Melbourne CBD. Coffee is by Proud Mary which is one of the pioneers of Third wave coffee culture in Melbourne. Find my review of Hannah here along with all the cafes and brunch spots in Melbourne.
One more thing you can’t and shouldn’t miss in Melbourne…it’s the DOUGHNUTS!!! I’ve listed down shops we’ve tried and our favorites there. See HERE!
So that’s our Melbourne Eat List for you.