Smith St. Trader Compelling Cafe/Bar in Collingwood

Smith St. Trader Compelling Cafe/Bar in Collingwood

Smith St. Trader is a compelling cafe and bar on eclectic Smith St Collingwood, full of soul and savvy, with Richard Hands a Melbourne gem and one of its best bar tender/mixologists. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample some of the menu one lunchtime, including an indulgent cocktail for which we don't apologise for.

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Epic Farmer, Brewer and Publican Lunch at The Lincoln for Pep Events

Epic Farmer, Brewer and Publican Lunch at The Lincoln for Pep Events

Epic is an apt description for this Pep Alliance Event hosted by Hilary McNevin at The Lincoln Hotel with publican Iain Ling and Tasmanian farmer and brewer Ashley Huntington. Ashley Huntington is a talented and passionate Tasmanian farmer who looks somewhat like Jon English but has the punk attitude of the Sex Pistols. He stands up for farmers and the industry, encouraging us all to support local farmers - and rightly so!

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Best Raclette Cheese Places in Melbourne

Best Raclette Cheese Places in Melbourne

How good is Raclette! The first time we encountered the magical world of Raclette we fell in love. We gathered around the Raclette "machine" where a wheel of premium cheese was blistering and bubbling under the heat in awe. Then with a scrape of a knife the theatre and aroma of raclette drew us in with wonder. Not to mention the taste of the oozy cheese - often paired with pickles, mushrooms or cornichons. Scraping the cheese into a small bowl, you are set for a session of bliss, especially if you pair it with say a dry white wine or a pinot noir. The joy of France and Switzerland is to be enjoyed here in Melbourne. 

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Stunning New Dishes at CH James Cafe in Fairfield

Stunning New Dishes at CH James Cafe in Fairfield

CH James has released several exciting new dishes on their menu and The World Loves Melbourne joined with other leading bloggers in Melbourne to experience the newbie dishes for brunch.

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Best Melbourne Cafes

Best Melbourne Cafes

 

Best cafes in Melbourne is a mix of new and emerging cafes together with icons that are well established cafes.  We celebrate Melbourne's best cafes in the search for perfection. Melbourne is best known for it's thriving cafe scene, often to be found in laneways. We are constantly eating out at Melbourne's top cafes and consider the standard to be high.

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CHE - Melbourne's New Next Level Chicken Shop

CHE - Melbourne's New Next Level Chicken Shop

CHE taps into the Australian chicken shop dream and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample some of the menu at the launch. We love the name - sounds like the name of a revolutionary (and it is a revolution) - but CHE stands for Chicken/ Heledos/ Empanadas as well as "mate" in Spanish (clever). CHE has a modern fit out and is in the heart of Fitzroy on the corner of Johnston St and Brunswick St (look for the neon letters in the windows at night).

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Bontempo Restaurant A Pizza Revelation on Brunswick Street

Bontempo Restaurant A Pizza Revelation on Brunswick Street

Bontempo is a fabulous option for a catch up to imbibe the best of pizza (one of the best pizza restaurants in Melbourne) in a modern hospitable environment and - wait for it - reasonable drink prices. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience some of the menu.

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The Big Sick Movie Review - Hilarious and Heartwarming

The Big Sick Movie Review - Hilarious and Heartwarming

The Big Sick is a must-see hilarious and heartwarming movie, releasing in cinemas on August 3 2017. See the trailer. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a preview of the film at the Gold Class cinemas at The Jam Factory on Chapel St South Yarra. Seeing the film together in Gold Class as a couple was perfect and the film is so relatable to modern relationships.

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Trunktown Restaurant - A great Melbourne Dining Experience

Trunktown Restaurant - A great Melbourne Dining Experience

Trunktown has been a favourite of ours for several years and is a venue we consider to be quintessentially Melbourne in terms of architecture and expression. The Diner section has been the place for some favourite events and moments but the restaurant offers a delightful casual dining experience that borders on fine dining. We were invited to the restaurant to sample the new menu, which provides both a Middle Eastern selection and an Italian selection, reflective of the owners.

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The Influence of Spain in Peruvian Cuisine Event at Pastuso Restaurant

The Influence of Spain in Peruvian Cuisine Event at Pastuso Restaurant

Pastuso Restaurant was the perfect venue for a cracking event featuring two of Melbourne's best chefs, Alejandro Saravia and Jesse Gerner, and an extraordinary insight into Peruvian cuisine. The event was part of the Pep Alliance series of events hosted by iconic foodie, author and identity Hilary McNevin. The theme of Spain v Peru was brilliant and topical in celebrating Peruvian Independence Day, and it explored the relationship between Spanish and Peruvian cooking. Our table raised a glass or two of Pisco sour to Peru on this great occasion!

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St Moritz Restaurant and Bar Hits the Mark in St Kilda

St Moritz Restaurant and Bar Hits the Mark in St Kilda

St Moritz is a stunning new addition to Acland Street as a top notch bar and casual restaurant for your next catch up. It's a new addition but pays tribute to yesteryear with a neon replication of the dancing dirl from the St Moritz Ice Rink that used to exist at the location from 1929 to 1981. The venue is modern but also incorporates St Kilda grunge with exposed brick and quirky artwork. 

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Frank's A Crowd Pleaser Cafe in Cheltenham

Frank's A Crowd Pleaser Cafe in Cheltenham

Frank's is one of the best cafes in Melbourne and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample dishes from the ever evolving menu. The cafe is called Franks partly because it offers frank and authentic honest food. It seeks to give the punters what they want, and we think it successfully does that. No pretension, just fine food in a chic modern environment, with owner Harry Butler at the helm.

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The House of Wine and Food Restaurant Making A Mark in Port Melbourne

The House of Wine and Food Restaurant Making A Mark in Port Melbourne

The House of Wine and Food is a distinctive foodie destination in Melbourne. How many restaurants can actually claim that? Often there can be a sameness about Melbourne dining experiences - many cafe menus are mirrors of each other and even restaurants serving up similar dishes. But for the discerning diner, The House of Wine and Food is a unique and exciting dining experience in Melbourne bringing French, Italian and Mediterranean classics and compelling bar and dining spaces.

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Kathmandu's 30th Anniversary Celebration

Kathmandu's 30th Anniversary Celebration

Kathmandu the legendary lifestyle and adventure brand recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the celebration at stylish Smart Artz Gallery. 

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Pontoon A Casual Restaurant Hit in Stokehouse Precinct

Pontoon A Casual Restaurant Hit in Stokehouse Precinct

The Stokehouse Precinct launched sexy casual diner Pontoon and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample the savvy menu at this modern restaurant with stunning sea views.

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Join the Ice Skating Fun at Eastland

Join the Ice Skating Fun at Eastland

Attention all shoppers, Ice Skating is back in Ringwood with the launch of an Ice Skating rink in the Town Square at Eastland, running through until the end of August. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a family event where we became one of the first to experience the ice skating fun at Eastland (our local).

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Raclette and Other New Dishes a Smash Hit at Merricks Creek Winery

Raclette and Other New Dishes a Smash Hit at Merricks Creek Winery

Raclette is one of the joys of life, and Merricks Creek have created a smash hit with their new Grilled Raclette cheese with potatoes and a side of cornichons. Customers are driving up from Melbourne for this raclette, as well as the other standout dishes and new release 2016 Pinot Noir at Merricks Creek Winery.

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Wilson & Market Restaurant A Labour of Love for Paul Wilson

Wilson & Market Restaurant A Labour of Love for Paul Wilson

Wilson & Market is an impressive 50-seater lifestyle cafe and 200-pax brasserie and bar, with stunning seasonal, delicious, ethical dishes by Paul Wilson and showstopper bathrooms designed by Kate Challis Interiors. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a media launch to imbibe the produce driven high quality dishes of the Brasserie. This is one of those "go to" places where you know you're in a foodie haven, specifically in the fine hands of iconic chef Paul Wilson. 

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IDES $65 Sample Table Available Every Thursday Till End of Winter

IDES $65 Sample Table Available Every Thursday Till End of Winter

A sample table at IDES? Yes please! The World Loves Melbourne believes every Melbourne foodie should visit IDES. For us there's a sense of electricity and excitement both behind the creativity and the execution of the dining experience.

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Book for the Winter Season of Pep Alliance

Book for the Winter Season of Pep Alliance

Looking for gourmet distinctive foodie events? Pep Events presents the Pep Alliance with culinary icon Hilary McNevin as host. A superb winter season is open now for bookings. We think exceptional quality and value.

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CH James Cafe Sustainability Embraces Fairfield Community Garden

CH James Cafe Sustainability Embraces Fairfield Community Garden

CH James is setting the pace when it comes to cafe sustainability, storing up its weekly coffee grinds and food scraps for the last 2 years, and giving them to the fabulous Fairfield Community Garden. The World Loves Melbourne caught up with Kat from CH James and Ken and Annette from the Fairfield Community Garden to see how it all works, and go on a tour of the garden.

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Cannibal Creek Vineyard  a Gippsland Triumph

Cannibal Creek Vineyard a Gippsland Triumph

Cannibal Creek Vineyard (recently featured in Broadsheet) is just an hour East of Melbourne on the fringes of Gippsland and is one of those quiet achievers, in an area (Gippsland) that is on the fringe of emerging "big time" as a food and wine region. The World Loves Melbourne was invited on a famil to experience Cannibal Creek Vineyard and imbibe the delights of Gippsland.

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Stonebarn Truffles The Best We've Had and A Restaurant Hit

Stonebarn Truffles The Best We've Had and A Restaurant Hit

Stonebarn - remember the name. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to be part of a media event with Stonebarn Truffles, showcasing the excellence of the produce, at Sarti restaurant. Exceptional French Black Perigord truffles from Manjimup Western Australia.

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Taste of the Barossa Dinner with Secret Foodies

Taste of the Barossa Dinner with Secret Foodies

Celebrating paddock to plate produce and fine South Australian wine, our Taste of the Barossa event was held at Craft & Co in Collingwood. As an inner city foodie haven Craft & Co. was the ideal place to indulge in the standout South Australian wine-making region.

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Food

Best Ramen in Melbourne

 Ramen! One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to visit one of our iconic ramen destinations; there's a wonderful world of ramen out there! The best Japanese comfort food!  Best ramen restaurants in Melbourne according to The World Loves Melbourne:

1. Mr Ramen San (Mid City Bourke St CBD)

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Mr Ramen San is an authentic ramen house, with owner Roystan having been trained by Japanese masters and bringing influences of the Kyushu area of Japan. Mr Ramen San is known for it's traditional charsu pork ramen featuring the cloudy white broth; this is the result of cooking the broth in pork bones for 10 hours. Kitchen staff are disciplined to stir the broth for 4-5 hours; a sign of dedication.

We consider Mr Ramen San to have some of the best broth in Melbourne. It's authentic. The time is taken to make it properly and with pride. And of course no MSG in sight! The World Loves Melbourne doesn't enjoy some of the thin weaker flavoured ramen broths going around; we crave for the in your face thicker pork bone stock broth! Bring it on! And we don't feel guilty about slurping!

When it comes to meat in ramen,  The World Loves Melbourne considers Mr Ramen San to offer a generous serving compared to many other ramen houses. We enjoyed the charsu pork with several thick slices of ramen; while some other ramen houses often offer a couple of thin slices of pork. We found the meat (and tofu and seafood) is the various ramen dishes to be consistently generous.

Ramen is originally the Chinese name for noodles (ramen arrived from China to Japan in the 19th Century) so quality of noodles is critical to ramen! A feature at Mr Ramen San is the house made noodles made fresh daily. Not only are they sumptuous in themselves, Mr Ramen San offers FREE extra noodles upon request. This is unlike most places who charge for extras.

Customers enjoy the sheer variety of ramen with a host of options including Charsu traditional Ramen, Beef Miso Ramen, Spicy Chicken Ramen, Vegetarian Tofu Ramen, Seafood Ramen, Spiced Pork Nabe Ramen, and Teriyaki Charsu Ramen, to name a few.

Service is paramount here with eager staff greeting customers on arrival and attentive to tables, all with a smile. There's decent room in the restaurant and tables are not crowded together. In no way are you rushed in your dining experience. 

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Tonkotsu charsu pork ramen is delectable...

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Check out the new Summer Ramen Salad (refreshing for those hot days).

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2. Kokoro Ramen (CBD)

Kokoro Ramen offers excellent Japanese ramen choices and is a great restaurant for a value quality meal. This place specialises in ramen but offers some excellent other menu options. What is exciting is the number of different ramen combinations including interesting selections such as butter and corn and soft crab.

Kokoro Ramen is an inviting restaurant with timber floor, white chairs, a modern timber panel wall, and cool naked bulb lighting. It has become popular for its authentic dishes and trendy ambience.

Like a few others in the precinct Kokoro Ramen makes their own noodles. It makes so much difference even in any soup based dish, to experience fresh home made noodles. They have four types of broth including the staple boiling pork bones. Apparently good for your health.

Ordering is via the counter which is a little out of step with most other such restaurants.

Service was excellent apart from having to line up at the counter. This place buzzes at night. 


3. Little Ramen Bar (CBD)

Little Ramen Bar is a small ramen shop in Little Bourke St (away from Chinatown) that delights. You may need to wait for a seat but the ramen is satisfying. The Classic Tonkostsu Ramen has the signature white cloudy broth and exudes a rich oily thickness. Most of the ramen come with a choice of Miso (soybean), Shoyu (special soy) or Shio (light salt). A talking point is the Vampires beware garlic infused ramen! Little Ramen bar steps up with with beers on tap. The style here is of traditional ramen and staff are polite and engaging.


4. Ramen Bankara (Doncaster)

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Ramen Bankara eminates from a series of outlets in Japan; with this ramen house opening up in Westfield Doncaster. We indulged in the Classic Chuka Soba, Premium Kakuni Bankara, Gyoza, Karaage Chicken and delicious Black Sesame Ice Cream.

The Tsukemen was a surprise alternative with thick cold noodles and soup on the side. Cold noodles in hot soup was unusual for us but rewarding!

The Bankara signature ramen was our favourite and features a rich and oily style broth, with both salty and sweet tastes. The Tonkotsu broth is soy sauce based. Pork belly used in the ramen is premium and would be our meat of choice here.

Ramen Bankara features four different types of noodles in the ramen and you can choose your ramen toppings.

The ordering system is through filling out a form - which you hand to the wait staff. The wait staff are first class and can explain the dishes if needed.

To be honest we highly enjoyed the signature ramen broth but found the Chuka Soba was quite mild in flavour (more a gateway ramen for newbies).

In terms of value the standard dishes are around market cost of $13.80 but the premium ramen can be around $20 to get a larger ramen with kakuni, seasoned boiled eggs etc. 

Desserts are popular here including Black Sesame Ice Cream and Green Tea Ice Cream, as well as the refreshing Lemon Sorbet. All in all a rewarding experience.

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5. Shop Ramen (Collingwood)

Shop Ramen is on eclectic Smith Street, with attractive in house eating as well as dining available on outside tables. This is a modern fit out with neon signage in the window and large communal table right down the middle of the restaurant. Perch on a stool in this simple but modern ramen house. The BBQ Chicken Ramen is a talking point, almost a gateway to those not used to ramen. The Pork Ramen has smoky flavours on the pork, with intense broth. The neon sign says "ramen, bun and pie" and Shop Ramen delivers when it comes to bao buns at affordable prices.

 


6. Ramen Ya (CBD)

Ramen Ya on Bourke St and in The Emporium is one of Melbourne's best ramen restaurants. Bringing an authentic brand of ramen to Melbourne. A hot contest for tables. It's difficult to claim a seat on a table already occupied by a company of friends, but you try and squeeze in anywhere you can. I cheekily joined a cheery group and fortunately they embraced me. 

The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed waiting in line and absorbing the atmosphere; with students and city workers imbibing. This is multicultural Melbourne lunchtime. In such a throbbing hub of many nations you feel connected to the world. And to Melbourne.

I enjoyed my Charsu Tonkotsu pork ramen; full of ingredients and a hearty meal with rich intense broth. 

My understanding is that the broth is a key to great ramen and this broth had been prepared over many hours to get the layering of flavours. The broth is slightly cloudy in traditional style and is extremely tasty.

Other popular ramen dishes include Tofu Ramen and Gyoza Ramen, with even Kimchi Ramen available.

Ramen Ya also pleases with its sides including karaage chicken and fried rice. 


7. Ajisen Ramen (various)

Ajisen Ramen is a great value and quality restaurant on Bourke Street extremely popular with students and lovers of good ramen. It is part of a group of restaurants originating from Japan and operating since 1968 and more recently from 2004 in Melbourne.

Walk in and be greeted by the larger than life mascot girl near the entrance. This places has two things Melbourne loves - great food and a sense of fun.

Here is the low down from the website - Ajisen Ramen specialises in ramen in tonkotsu soup which is pork bone soup. "It has lots of collagen in the soup which is good for health and prevents aging. Our noodle is made from wheat flour and cooked to al dente."

Interesting to use an Italian term to describe ramen! They also mention a secret brown sauce they serve with the ramen, that is tasty and delicious.

Ramen is the main game here so I went with the ramen in a lunch deal with the Tori Karaage chicken. The chicken came as a large portion of deep fried chicken and with a great Japanese mayo. For mine this was a sensation with perfectly fried chicken but not too oily. With the mayo it was a killer combination. I could have just settled with a bowl of this for lunch.

The Chargrilled beef ramen was excellent with tasty char grill flavours of the beef and the right amount of fatiness in the ramen. Served with egg and vegetables. You could see the char sear marks on the meat which was impressive.

The room is quite dim but a great atmosphere. Timber tables and timber stools. Condiments on the table. Art and photos on the wall. 

Unlike say Mr Ramen San, you need to pay for extras with the ramen. So it can end up being more expensive than you think.

The wheat flour noodles were of excellent quality. Quality of noodles in ramen are important.

Also impressive here is the fast and friendly service. 

The newly established Ajisen Ramen in Melbourne Central is great for those of us who work in the precinct.


8. Fukuryu Ramen (CBD)

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Fukuryu Ramen is in Chinatown; just duck down the laneway off Little Bourke and up the stairs.  Modern blazing red artwork adorns the walls. Chunky tables are scattered about; but you need to order from the counter.

We seem to always be ordering Tonkotsu Ramen at ramen houses; this ramen was described as the signature excellent although we felt the meat was really thinly sliced. We would like it to be thicker and more substantial. Broth was creamy and oily and full of flavour. There is a Silver Tonkotsu version that is the signature dish but thicker in the broth. As they say, "not for the faint hearted!"

Fukuryu Ramen divides the ramen menu into Signature and Modern; with the modern ramen including dishes such as Black Dragon with squid ink, black sesame and black pepper seasoned soup, and the Red Dragon spicy ramen made with chicken broth.

Atmosphere is pleasant as a quiet destination, with Japanese beers available (which we enjoyed with our ramen).

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9. Hakata Gensuke (various)

Hakata Gensuke Ramen is a popular ramen house and has several ramen restaurants around Melbourne, including a modern shop on Russell Street in the CBD.

Again, you need to order your ramen from the form to get the combinations of ramen style and soup. We actually prefer engaging a waiter/staff in the ordering process.  Also extra costs here; if you want extra noodles you need to pay $2 and it also costs for extra garnishes.

Signature ramen is the Tonkotsu Ramen; a thick creamy broth cooked in pork bones. For some the broth here is rather oily; while many enjoy the intensity of flavour. They cater for those who like fiery ramen - you can get your spice hit!

Hakata Gensuke Ramen also has brilliant sides such as their karaage chicken. 


10. Shizuku  (Abbotsford and now Fitzroy)

This is a ramen house with a creative menu. Whisky ramen - that's something we can embrace. Specialties include Tan Tan Men pork ramen (signature with free range pork mince and chilli kick), Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen with a house made soy flavour, Whisky Ramen with Yamazake 12 year whisky, and Angel's Share Ramen with Hibiki 12 years whisky and fermented rice sake. The whisky is not overpowering in the ramen - of course if it was substantial it would push up the price! Just imagine.

A Lobster Kewpie Burger (affordable compared to some others in Melbourne) and Kakuni Pork Burger sliders are most welcome, as is Ken's Fried Chicken, Karaage PopCorn Chicken and the large number of other small dishes. The selection of 5 types of Gyoza dishes is also providing great choice for diners. Rice dishes hit the mark and rival the quality of the ramen dishes.

Ramen and craft beer goes well together. The wine list is limited but stick to the craft beer; both international and local.

Enjoy a modern playful vibe.

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