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The Food Society combines the celebration of good food with a love for photography. Each of our contributors bring something unique to the table, throwing in snippets of their own adventures along the way, but always writing with one voice. We hope you enjoy your visit here, and as always, bon appétit.

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This week: Green Park Dining, Fukuryu Ramen

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Asian, Bakery, Breakfast & Brunch, Carlton, CBD, Dessert, International, Japanese, Modern Australian, VICTORIA

Green Park Dining Location: 815 Nicholson St, Carlton North, VIC 3054 Contact: 03 9380 5499 The former premises of St Ali North, which closed its doors last September, is now occupied by the newly opened Green Park Dining; a mammoth operation that serves up the goods (bar included) from dawn ’til dusk. The space is absolutely huge – expect to be greeted by colourful bunting on the lawn out front & various cosy seating options within. Then there’s that cabinet to the front showcasing numerous sweets from Park Street Pastries (not joking when I say that I had a hard time not trading these in for brekkie).
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La Condesa Launch Party

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Fitzroy, International, Mexican, Pub & Bar Food, Tapas, VICTORIA

La Condesa Taqueria Location: 234 Johnston Street Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Contact: 03 9419 5675 La Condesa pays homage to the buzzing bohemian quarter and vibrant nightlife of Condesa in Mexico City, where the latest in food, art and culture is showcased and young artists and entrepreneurs – known as condechis, come out to play. This modern Mexican Cantina boasts traditional flavours with a Fitzroy twist. We recently visited La Condesa to celebrate the launch of their latest venture, the Taqueria, which sits on 234 Johnston Street.
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La La Land Wines Release

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced

La La Land Wines Website: http://www.lalalandwines.com.au/ From the wine group that brought us the iconic Katnook Estate wines of Coonawarra comes their new range of “drink now” wines. La La Land Wines will launch mid-August with two single-varietal wines, the Tempranillo and the Malbec, from the outstanding 2013 vintage. While these grapes are relatively new and unknown in Australia, being the flagship red varietals of Spain and Argentina respectively, we know they can be made into some absolutely beautiful wine. Packaged with stylistically unique labelling, they’re hard to miss; priced at $16 a bottle, these wines are also gentle on the hip-pocket. The question is, are they worth it?
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One Thai and Menulog

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in Asian, Balwyn, Thai, VICTORIA

One Thai Location: 346 Belmore Road, East Balwyn Contact: 03 9857 9186 A little while back, we received an invitation to review Menulog, an online take-away and food delivery service that features over 3,000 restaurants Australia-wide. The system is really easy to use – simply visit the website, type in your delivery postcode, and a list of restaurants that are affiliated with the site and can deliver to you will pop up quick smart. Add the dishes to your order, select the delivery time, pay the fee and voila – your meal will be over to you in a jiffy. Now, I know what you’re thinking – sounds like a pretty good option for hump day and a night in eh? Well, that’s exactly what we thought too. So when Wednesday popped around, we took the opportunity to order in and let the magic of home delivery take over. One sms later (telling us that our order had been received by the restaurant) and next thing you know it, the delivery girl is at our door.
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Third Wave

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, American, Barbecue, Prahan, VICTORIA

Third Wave Cafe American BBQ Dinner Location: 30 Cato St, Prahran, VIC Contact: 03 9510 2991 Thoroughly impressed with the smoky rich flavours of the brunch fare on our last visit to Third Wave (click here for full review), we couldn’t pass up an invitation to try their American BBQ dinner menu. When this menu involves a salacious range of meats and salmon that have been dry rubbed with a complementary mix of spices, smoked over different woods over a period that ranges from 6 to 12 hours, and then slow cooked to juicy tender perfection, how could we say no? Upon our arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff that were more than happy to discuss their recommendations over a menu that is packed with delicious options. This included the 6 different smoked meats and fish from the American BBQ menu, which come in medium/half rack (recommended for 1 person) and large/full rack servings (to be shared by 2), as well as a gluten-free Paleo menu and many of the delicious burger, slider and salad dishes featured in the lunch menu. Looking around, we noted that no love had been lost over the night-time ambience of the eatery, which had transformed from a bright, open café during the day to a softly lit casual diner with a joy-inspiring background track of alternative electro house and pop (much to E’s delight).
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My Other Brother

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Breakfast & Brunch, Camberwell, VICTORIA

My Other Brother Location: Enter at rear (via car park), 586 Burke Rd Camberwell, VIC 3124 My Other Brother is located in the most unassuming of places – to get to this one, you’ll have to deviate from the bustle of Bourke Road; the cafe sits behind a makeshift picket fence on the boundary of the car park leading to Camberwell Market. However, once you’re in, you’re in for a treat. The cafe is delightfully bright space, with enough seating to allow for not-too-long waits, and huge communal tables lining the centre. It’s a clean and crisp feel, and, despite its relatively hidden facade, is absolutely teeming with customers. The service is warm and polite on the busiest of days.
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Boatbuilders Yard

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Breakfast & Brunch, CBD, Pub & Bar Food, South Wharf, Southbank, Winebar

Boatbuilders Yard Location: 23 South Wharf Promenade South Wharf, VIC Contact: 03 9686 5088 A few weeks ago we accepted an invitation to try out the new breakfast menu at Boatbuilders Yard, a bustling cafe and bar located on South Wharf Promenade on the banks of the Yarra River. Housed in a minimalist modern shed, Boatbuilders Yard boasts stunning views, round the clock drinks and huge spaces both indoor and outdoor. IMG_6975 IMG_6973
Ricotta and goji buckwheat hotcakes ($16.5)
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Pantry Brighton

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Breakfast & Brunch, Brighton, European, International, Modern Australian, VICTORIA

Pantry Brighton Location: 1 Church Street, Brighton Contact: 03 9591 0393 Adjacent to one of the original and most iconic brunch joints in Melbourne, The Pantry Delicatessen has undergone a revamp with a classy new fit out and a stunning range of take-home food. Exploring new territory with a plethora of seasonal take-away deli nibbles, meals and treats, ingredients are sourced from local producers, and ready-to-go meals are prepared by restaurant-trained chefs. The options are gobsmacking; from gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free in preparation, to the myriad of cheeses, fresh salads, hearty meals, breads and of course, tantalising cakes and sweets. There is something for everyone, for every occasion, whether it be a simple take-away lunch or a take-home meal for a lazy Sunday afternoon gathering with family and friends. DSC_0190 DSC_0191 Quality is king at The Pantry Deli; this is evident before you even enter the store. Setup in the window display are some delicious looking cuts of dry aged meat, including dry aged rib eye beef and a slow roasted half side of lamb – ready to be cooked by The Pantry chefs for collection the next day. Moving on in, you feel like you’ve entered a modern restaurant complete with soft down-lighting and timber frames, until you notice the rows of display cabinets and quirky art installation behind the counter. This is fun and friendliness meets serious cooking and produce.
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Southgate Moveable Feasts: Artusi, Amarok and Bluetrain

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, $$$ A little bit fancy, American, CBD, Coffee, Dessert, International, Italian, Modern Australian, Southbank, VICTORIA

Southgate Moveable Feasts Location: Southgate Melbourne Contact: See website here This Winter, Southgate Melbourne has been host to a series of ‘Moveable Feasts’ where Melburnians and Melbourne-lovers alike can savour three tailored courses at three separate venues (with matching wines). That means that you begin your feast at one restaurant and then, when it’s time to change over, your host will ring a little bell and guide you to your next eating destination. A rather innovative concept, and one that’s a warm welcome to those looking for a comprehensive introduction to three new eateries without the need for excessive waits between lines. The whole experience sounded too good for us to pass up, and we were delighted to accept an invitation a couple of weeks ago for a Sunday session with Artusi, Amarok and Bluetrain Restaurant. The full list of participating restaurants contains some old and new scenes, from the recently opened Hophaus Bar to Pure South Dining. We began our entrees with a sit down at Artusi, a modern Italian wine bar and dining establishment facing the waterfront. Brand spanking new, the Artusi dining area is clean and crisp, with the restaurant focussing on producing artisan handmade pastas, whole roasted duck, suckling pig and fish created in their new wood fired oven.
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Dolcetti

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Bakery, Coffee, Dessert, Italian, North Melbourne, VICTORIA, West Melbourne

Dolcetti Location: 223 Victoria St West Melbourne, VIC 3003 Contact: 03 9328 1688 Seating just a handful of customers, pint-sized Dolcetti is a small Sicilian pastry and cake shop with enough charm to win over even the slightest of sweettooths. While the shop does do a few savoury goods (think soups and arvo tea), sweet treats are definitely the main deal here, so it’s pretty hard to go by the beautifully decorated mini cheesecakes, strawberry and pistachio tarts and fruity danishes encased in the glass cabinet to the front. Things get a little tricky though when you spot the platters of biscuits encrusted with nuts on the top counter. They’re impossible to resist, and you’re guaranteed to want to take at least one of these babies home.
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Urban Kitchen Emporium Melbourne Launch

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Asian, CBD, Chinese, Dimsum, Dumplings, Japanese, VICTORIA, Vietnamese, Yum Cha

Urban Kitchen Emporium Melbourne Launch Restaurants: Pho Nom, Tokyo Pop, 1000 Wat Location: Lower Ground, Emporium, 287 Lonsdale St Melbourne, VIC Melbourne’s shopping mecca, Emporium Melbourne, has just gotten better with the arrival of the new Urban Kitchen dining area on the lower ground floor. With a energetic vibe and a brightly lit arena, the large dining space is peppered with Asian highlights, with vietnamese noodle shop, Pho Nom, serving up heartwarming pho, banh mi and rice paper rolls, and popular Melbourne institution, Ramen Ya, dishing out bowls of steaming Japanese fare. And if ramen ain’t your thing, then there’s also Tokyo Pop, with healthy bento boxes and sushi to boot.
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Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer – Product Review

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips

Fever-Tree, a producer of high quality, 100% organic natural mixers has just launched their Premium Ginger Beer and they’re the perfect refreshment for this winter buzz. Co-founders, Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow have travelled extensively, from the Congo to the Ivory Coast to source the highest quality ingredients. Their ginger is handpicked from Nigeria, Cochin and the Ivory Coast, then brewed together to unlock taste and aroma. To deliver the perfect note, the three gingers are then blended with natural raw cane sugar and other botanicals to ensure that fabulous ginger kick.

We were sent a couple of samples to review, and here’s what we thought!

Fever Tree Ginger Beer:
A punchy, vibrant ginger beer. It may come in a little bottle but this concotion punches like Manny Pacquio’s right lead with big hit of ginger that tingles with the fizz of the bubbles. The hum of ginger is all pervasive, shooting from the tip of the tongue to the back, leaving a trail of spicy heat. A bold drink on it’s own, or as a full flavoured mixer.

Fever Tree Ginger Ale:
The finer, smoother drink of the two, witha clean crisp taste and characteristic dry finish. The ginger skirts around the edges in this drink more subtle and with short finish perfect for short cocktails.
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Rockwell & Sons

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, American, Burgers, Collingwood, Pub & Bar Food, VICTORIA

Rockwell & Sons Location: 288 Smith St Collingwood, VIC 3066 Contact: 03 8415 0700 We’ve had our fair share of burgers, and after celebrating the taking out of Burger Adventure’s ‘best burger in Melbourne’ award earlier this year with Merrywell in Southbank (click here for coverage of that eating frenzy), we’ve been on the lookout for favourites across the ‘burbs. Rockwell & Sons is definitely a fave. Rockwell & Sons’ double patty smash burger is by far one of the best burgers we’ve had to date, and for good reason – each of these bad boys contain two juicy, tender patties wedged in between the fluffiest brioche buns. All smothered in kraft cheese and special sauce. It’s just as good as it sounds.

The Lumber Yard

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$$ A little bit fancy, American, Barbecue, English, Fitzroy, Scottish, VICTORIA

The Lumber Yard represents the culmination of the efforts of Paul and David to exhibit some southern USA style cooking they’ve perfected outside their regular efforts at major events under the guise of Iron Bark.

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Nestled in a room within the Worker’s club on Brunswick street, The Lumber Yard is a quiet, comforting space lovingly adorned with articles of olde. Note as well, an early model offset smoker barbeque in the corner as well, that can be calibrated for standard and reverse flow.
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Yong Green Food

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, Asian, Fitzroy, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vegetarian, VICTORIA

Yong Green Food Location: 421 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC Contact: 03 9417 3338 Yong’s is your one stop shop for all things vegetarian: raw, vegan, gluten free – you name it, they’ve got it. The crowd rolls in and out fast, so stake your claim early or come during the quieter hours to ensure you grab a spot at one of the tables before things get a little too hectic.

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Thai green curry ($18)
The Thai green curry was quite enjoyable – my organic tempeh came immersed in a light, not too creamy house-made Thai green curry paste characterised by quite an amped up level of spiciness. I must admit that I am not one to usually order tempeh (it is one of those tastes that takes a little getting used to), but I quite liked the pairing. All of this married well with a bowl of biodynamic brown rice with just enough outer crunchiness to add some texture.
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Bistro Bakini

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$$ A little bit fancy, European, International, Italian, South Yarra, Toorak, VICTORIA

Bistro Bakini Location: 568 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004 Contact: 03 9521 7774 Avoiding the increasing hustle-and-bustle of the CBD, Bistro Bakini is situated along the breezy calm banks of St Kilda Road. The intended locale allows the restaurant to marry its hearty comforting Italian fare and relaxing alcoholic/caffeinated beverages to a setting perfect for those seeking to unwind. DSC_0143 DSC_0141 DSC_0137 DSC_0180 Entering the restaurant, the layout and ambiance of the place speaks casual chill-out. Complete with a long bar, the comfiest plush leather seats in the front room, an open-plan kitchen in the back room, a quiet private room to divide the front and back, a large alfresco area outside perfect for summer, and soft delicate lighting with a background track of neo-jazz, there is something for everyone here for any time of the day. Staff are dressed in casual attire and always friendly. Even the manager gets in on the fun – waiting tables, joking with customers and having a shot with us, just because!
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Scarvelli Cafe

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Balwyn, Breakfast & Brunch, Coffee, Modern Australian, VICTORIA

Scarvelli Cafe Location: 143 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn VIC Contact: 03 9816 8887 Scarvelli popped up in Balwyn, an area long dominated by a single big name, Snow Pony. For an area as affluent as Brighton et al, it was always mystifying that there wasn’t more variety available. With a good varied menu with substantial lunch meals, afternoons are no longer a trek to the more common haunts. 102A9581 102A9576 102A9571 102A9574
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Pressed Juices

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $ Cheap as chips, $$ Moderately priced, Breakfast & Brunch, VICTORIA

Pressed Juices Location: 1230 High St Armadale Armadale, VIC 3143 At $9.50 per bottle, Pressed Juices certainly don’t come cheap. The chain store, now operating in various locations across Melbourne, offers juices via the rarer cold-pressed method; a technique which ensures that each bottle of goodness contains up to 5 times more vitamins, minerals and enzymes than juice made by any other method. These beauties can add a bit of variety to the diet-conscious by helping you obtain the necessary nutrients from fruits and vegetables with ease. The best part about it? They taste darn good.
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Cecconi’s Flinders Lane

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$$ A little bit fancy, $$$$ Fine dining, CBD, International, Italian, VICTORIA

Cecconi’s Flinders Lane Location: Basement, 61 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 8663 0500 Following Melbourne’s newfound affinity for casual dining, there are only a few restaurants left where they’ll hang your jacket, pull out your chair and fold your napkin across your lap. But it’s exactly this sort of charm and attention to detail that carries a lot of weight at Cecconi’s. Set in a basement towards the loftier end of Melbourne CBD, stepping into Cecconi’s feels like entering a world of its own – the space is elegant and softly lit, with white-clothed tables and rich dark walls. Staff are polite and friendly, knowing exactly when to interject and offer assistance and when to leave you to banter. Behind a veil-like wall is, I presume, a private dining area, providing an intimate dining experience. It’s a classic setting – nothing overdone, and what one would expect of a fine dining restaurant.
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