Gelato Messina – Happy Taste Bud TimeWe loved Gelato Messina’s bespoke creations last year, and this year was no exception. Messina’s ‘pot luck pies’ included tubs of goodness with cheeky names like ‘Bangkok Holla’, ‘Phuc King Tasty’ and ‘Happy Taste Bud Time’. Our Happy Taste Bud Time pot luck pies were huge, encompassing a deadly sweet mix of lychee sponge, mango puree, rambutan and coconut gelato, whipped salted coconut cream and a chewy coconut macaron.
Melbourne Night Noodle Markets 2014 Location: Birrarung Marr Dates: November 14-30, 2014 Back with all the buzz and vibe from last year, the Night Noodle Markets returned to Melbourne this year with a bang. Lighting up the banks of the Yarra River in a new (and much better) location this year (Birrarung Marr), the festival boasted over 50 food stalls and food trucks representing dishes spanning Korea, Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia, Burma and Nepal. All of our favourite eateries returned (think Chin Chin, Mamak, Izakaya Den, Longrain and Gelato Messina), as well as some exciting newcomers (Kong, Charlie Dumpling and Mr. Miyagi). The festival was by far bigger and better than last year, with minimal wait times (on the days that we visited, there were hardly any lines), ample seating and enough space to lounge around on the grass while relaxing to the sounds of Melbourne’s top DJs.
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.
David and Camy Noodle Restaurant Location: 605 Station St Box Hill, VIC 3128 Contact: 03 9898 8398 David and Camy has been a staple for dumplings in Box Hill for as long as I can remember. The dumplings are dirt cheap, the no-frills service is quick and efficient, and the food is not spectacular but still hits the spot.
Shandong Mama Location: Shop 7, 200 Bourke St Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: 03 9650 3818 – no bookings policy Shandong Mama, located in the blinkoryou’llmissit Mid City Arcade off Bourke Street, serves up moreish dumplings and then some with a twist. The owner, Meiyan Wang (Mama) hails from a small fishing village in the Shandong Peninsula, and has lovingly created a unique offering of mackerel dumplings at Shandong Mama. Having heard rave reviews of the dumplings served up here, we were well and truly due for a visit.
Shanghai Street was on my radar this week. It’s an absolutely teeny store that is, more often than not, accompanied by a ridiculously long trail of customers that runs out the door and on to Little Bourke.
Restaurant chains typically invite scepticism, but they are known for their consistency in food and service. And at HuTong CBD, this translates to reliably high-quality xiao long bao with pleasant and efficient service staff toting walkie talkies.
Consisting of a cluster of 6 separate food stalls, Food Republik is a dolled-up food court that captures the concept of the large, multi-shop eateries that adorn the giant department stores of Asia.