Best winery dishes of Victoria is a tall order to select. We had to visit numerous wineries in our quest. Someone has to do it. Our belief is that food at a winery shouldn't just be basic options that appeal to the broadest amount of people; there should be some savvy. Share plates are a great way to go as winery dining is mostly geared around relaxing and informal dining where friends can connect.
Bircher muesli? Granola? Looking for that perfect start to the day? We love an oats fix in the mornings, although we see many brunch style dishes on Melbourne menus as all day items. Bircher goes back to the last century with the Swiss, and was more "mushy" than some of the drier types we see today, but still with the power of fruit. Bircher revolves around oats that are baked, often with nuts, seeds and fruit. Here are some of our favourites in Melbourne.
Recently launched in Richmond (a burger belt in Melbourne), Benny Burger is a revelation. This burger house, the brainchild of legendary Australian chef and businessman Shannon Bennett, looks to shake things up in "burgerland" and it succeeds in doing so. "The Ethical Burger" is a big claim but Shannon delivers at so many levels, and the emphasis on sustainable and organic produce is groundbreaking for a burger house. You won't want to go back to over processed burgers after having visited Benny Burger. Benny Burger is also a celebration of Shannon's father who ostensibly loved a burger or two. Benny Burger comes across as a labour of love (a trend has been to describe new restaurants by restaurateurs as "love childs"). The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the launch of Benny Burger and was highly impressed by the offering.
Where to go in Winter? Southgate is the place to be with a plethora of attractive dining and bar options! You can move from place to place as we did on our media progressive dinner to experience the highlights of Southgate.
World Gin day was celebrated in Melbourne with gusto and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a special event; the Melbourne Gin Company takeover of Mountain Goat Brewery in Richmond.
The good ol’ Aussie pie. Is there anything better? Chefs Matt Wilkinson (Pope Joan) and Steve Rogers (ex Circa, Movida) have opened The Pie Shop – a new pastry-filled paradise – at 75 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick and The World Loves Melbourne was invited along soon after the launch . The verdict - worth a drive across town.
The World Loves Melbourne was privileged to have a coffee with iconic food photographer and chef Dean Cambray and talk about his new book EatDrink; A Visual Feast.
The World Loves Melbourne jumped at a bus trip with media to Yarra Valley Caviar organised by Wendy Hargreaves followed by a visit to Four Pillars Distillery. This was the first time I'd met the boys at Yarra Valley Caviar and the news is they’re not just producing their own salmon roe… they’re now importing European caviar as well.
Get excited Melbourne - a culinary luminary is set to spread her wings even further. Chef Jerry Mai of Pho Nom at Emporium and Collins Street has settled on a site to open Annam Restaurant Bar, her latest Vietnamese restaurant offering in August 2017.
The new establishment will remain true to her Vietnamese roots, however it will take a different direction from her current restaurants.
Located at 56 Little Bourke Street in the CBD, this new enterprise will offer a wider dining experience. It also introduces a new venture with friend and business partner Rani Doyle of The National Hotel, Richmond (another venue we love).
Annam is named after a region of central Vietnam that holds the countries cultural capital, Hue. Indeed it was the name that was used to describe the country during the French Indochina occupation.
The menu of both the kitchen and the bar of Annam will strongly reflect the modernity and energy of Vietnam today, embracing its diverse multi-cultural history.
The restaurant, designed by architect Emlyn Olaver, delivers an energetic and friendly environment with rustic exposed walls surrounding a cross section of seating, from large communal tables and intimate banquets to bar stools. Reclaimed materials and neon signs surround the noise and action of the open kitchen, transporting customers to the energy of an Asian street market.
Originally from Vietnam, Jerry Mai arrived as a refuge to Australia in 1984. Her cuisine is a happy combination of her deep-rooted respect for Australian produce and way of life, married with her Vietnamese recipes and culture.
As with her previous establishments, all of Jerry’s produce will come direct from growers and producers she knows and trusts.
Rani Doyle has a wealth of bar and beverage experience in the city and will be responsible for all of the drinks offering. The energy of the bar and open kitchen will deliver a robust and lively environment for diners to enjoy all day dining.
The menu itself will have a strong bias to charcoal cooking, an area that Jerry has spent the last year or so exploring. An onsite oven that makes charcoal in house and to requirement will feature, allowing the kitchen total control over flavour and precision cooking. Annam is located at 56 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000. Opening mid August 2017. Hours 12.00 midday to late, open all day. We can't wait!
The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience the exciting new Carne Grill just off Maroondah Highway in Chirnside Park (opposite the Chirnside Park Shopping centre) - part of the Eastridge Entertainment Precinct new gateway to the Yarra Valley. This is a top notch development that lights up the region in terms of its class and gourmet offerings.
The World Loves Melbourne is excited by the recent launch of Kisumé in Flinders Lane. Chris Lucas has the ability to nail Melbourne in every way, to stay fresh and relevant and innovative and tap into what the punters want. Or at least maybe the punters didn't know what they wanted but they do now. The World Loves Melbourne has visited Kisumé for a soiree and we are looking to return soon. If there are people in this city adding to the reputation of Melbourne as a global foodie hub, then Chris Lucas and friends are part of that.