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3 months have passed since I wrote part 1 of my “Melbourne: Where I Ate In 2014” list, and the winter has been good to diners in Melbourne with a lot of new places to eat opening up. I’ve been less interested in rushing to check out the latest spots this winter, and have tried to spend more time exploring some of Melbourne’s less publicised places regardless of how new they are. That’s not to say that I haven’t gone to any new places, but it’s easy to get caught up with all of the new openings in this city and forget about the places that have been around for years doing great stuff.

As always, there have been a mixture of hits and misses in the places that I’ve tried, and a large number of them I never “properly” reviewed. So here they are, the places that I ate at this winter that I never reviewed but think you should know about.

Lazerpig Pizza Parlour

melbourne where to eat food reviews best restaurants
Opened by the team that runs the Grace Darling, Lazerpig ticks all of the expected stereotypes that one would expect to find in Collingwood in 2014. Don’t let this dissuade you though. Service can get slow when it’s busy, however the staff are friendly and, more importantly, the food is pretty good. Wood-fired pizzas with top quality ingredients and traditional and non-traditional topping combinations are the main draw here, and a range of sides are offered too. I was very happy with my pizza and sides (pickles and croquettes) and would happily visit again.

A changing selection of cuts of meat on the charcoal grill are also offered along with a small range of craft beers and the usual wines and spirits. Be warned though – the place gets busy and very loud.

Lazerpig Pizza Parlour

9-11 Peel Street
Collingwood
Victoria 3066
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9417 1177
Email:             enquires@lazerpig.com.au
Website:        http://www.lazerpig.com.au/

Open
Mon:                4:00pm to late
Tue – Fri:        12:00pm to late
Sat – Sun:        2:00pm to late

Lazerpig Pizza Parlour on Urbanspoon

Rainbow Hotel

Tucked away in the back streets of Fitzroy, the Rainbow Hotel is over 140 years old. The unspectacular exterior makes way for an interior that, while revamped a few years ago, has retained its old pub character. It’s unpretentious and there’s a great selection of craft beers both on taps and in bottles. When I’m out in this part of town I generally drop in for a drink however I’ve also eaten here a few times too. The menu is nothing fancy – just good old fashioned pub grub with some more modern gastropub type dishes. For me it’s always a toss up between the chicken parma or the Rainbow burger with bacon.

Rainbow Hotel

27 St David Street
Fitzroy
Victoria 3065
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9419 4193
Email:             info@therainbow.com.au
Website:        http://therainbow.com.au/

Open
Mon – Thu:   3:00pm to late
Fri – Sat:        12:00pm to 1:00am
Sun:                12:00pm to 11:00pm

Rainbow Hotel on Urbanspoon

Mook Ji Bar

melbourne where to eat food reviews best restaurants

Korean might be the “on trend” food at the moment but the fact of the matter is that there have been loads of restaurants in Melbourne doing no-nonsense Korean food for man years. Mook Ji Bar doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a place that does the good stuff well. The food is very well priced, tastes great and service is lightning fast. The fried chicken with chilli and the kimchi pancakes are the must try dishes.

Mook Ji Bar

406 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9600 2661
Email:             n/a
Website:        Facebook

Open
Mon – Sat:      11:30pm to 11:00pm
Sat – Sun:        3:00pm to 10:00pm

Mook Ji Bar on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ

Dae Jang Geum is another Korean restaurant that does the basics well. Unlike Mook Ji Bar though, which for the most part eschews the self BBQ tables, Dae Jang Geum leans more towards the Korean BBQ side of things with grills on most of the tables. Nothing fancy, just well priced, simple Korean food. I like coming in for the lunch specials which are great value.

Melbourne Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ

235 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9662 9445
Email:             n/a
Website:        n/a

Open
Mon – Sun:        11:00pm to 10:00pm

Melbourne Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Bomba

I was a big fan of the Aylesbury, and in particular the Aylesbury Rooftop bar.  It’s since been rebranded as Bomba, with the theme now “Spanish workers’ bar”. There are a range of tapas and mains on offer but the focus is very much on share plates. Things are a lot less formal than they used to be but what hasn’t changed is the great service and quality food. The spiced beetroot and goats curd toast and the leek and manchego croquetta are two of my favourites, and Bomba continues to be a place that I like to go to for some after work drinks and snacks.

Bomba

103 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9077 0451
Email:             info@bombabar.com.au
Website:        http://bombabar.com.au/

Open
Lunch
Mon – Fri:     10:00pm to 3:00pm

Dinner
Sun – Thu:     5:00pm to 10:30pm
Fri – Sat:        5:00pm to 11:00pm

Bomba Downstairs on Urbanspoon

Dainty Sichuan Food

melbourne where to eat food reviews best restaurants

Dainty Sichuan had been on my to-do list ever since I saw it on the Melbourne episode of “No Reservations” back in 2009. Since then it’s moved locations, expanded and become more and more popular. I finally got around to trying it in 2014 and was hoping that it would still be good. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. While the service can leave a lot to be desired, there’s no denying that the food is quality. Nothing is toned down for Western tastes and some of the dishes (for example the first one in the photo) are seriously hot.

My favourite discovery was pork threads. I’d never tried them before and they were threads of meaty, gelatinous, sweet and sour deliciousness that everyone should try.

Dainty Sichuan Food

Level 2
206 Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9650 2188
Email:             n/a
Website:        Facebook

Open
Lunch
Mon – Sun:   10:30am to 3:00pm

Dinner
Sun – Thu:     5:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat:        5:00pm to 10:30pm

Dainty Sichuan Food on Urbanspoon

The Beer & Burger Bar

This place does exactly what it says it will, offering a range of burgers with a focus on locally sourced ingredients as well as a tight selection of craft beers. The burgers aren’t the best I’ve had in Melbourne but they certainly aren’t bad. For me it’s an option if I’m going to see something at the MCG and want a bite before/after the game – in other words if I’m in the area it’s on my list.

The Beer & Burger Bar

112 Swan Street
Richmond
Victoria 3121
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9429 5934
Email:             beers@tbbl.com.au
Website:        http://www.tbbb.com.au/

Open
Mon – Wed:  11:00pm to 10:00pm
Thu – Sun:     11:00pm to 11:00pm

The Beer and Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Hobba

I used to work near Hobba so was able to visit with some regularity however these days I’m not in the area that often and, coupled with the fact that Hobba’s not open for dinner means that I don’t visit that much any more. It’s a shame because the food at Hobba is really nice. There’s nothing that screams “get yourself here now” on the menu – just a variety of tasty, simple breakfast/brunch options and some great sandwiches that use fresh, seasonal produce. A great option if you’re in the area.

Hobba

428 Malvern Road
Prahran
Victoria 3181
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9510 8336
Email:             hobba@hobba.com.au
Website:        http://hobba.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:     7:00am to 4:00pm
Sun:                 8:00pm to 4:00pm

Hobba on Urbanspoon

Ras Dashen

melbourne where to eat food reviews best restaurants

I’d been meaning to make a trip out to Footscray to try some Ethiopean food for a long time and finally got around to it when I visited Ras Dashen. When I visited I had no idea what Ethiopean food was all about so ordered the dish in the photo, which seemed like it was quite popular with the other patrons. The thing on the bottom is “injera” which is a pancake made from fermented dough. It has a very tangy taste to it and is used to eat the other food. You scoop a bit of the things from the bowls on top into a piece of injera that you rip off and away you go. The main topping was kitfo, which is a spiced beef mince which you can choose to have cooked or raw. White cheese and chilli sauce finished it off. The flavours were unlike anything I’d ever eaten before and I’m really keen to try some of the other things on the menu.

Ras Dashen

121 Nicholson Street
Footscray
Victoria 3011
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9687 3293
Email:             wilsbrown@gmail.com
Website:        Facebook

Open
Mon – Thu:   12:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri – Sun:       12:00pm to 10:00pm

Ras Dashen on Urbanspoon

Pizza Wagon

PizzaWagon

Pizza Wagon is run by “an Australian boy and an English girl in a French van”. The proposition is very straightforward – simple wood-fired pizzas using quality ingredients and techniques they both learned in Italy. The result? Some seriously good pizza. They were set up at Moon Dog brewery when I tried and where they are will depend on the day.

Pizza Wagon

Location Varies, Check Twitter on the day.

Telephone:   (03) 5902 2555
Email:             info@pizzawagon.com.au
Website:        http://pizzawagon.com.au/

Open
Depends on the location/day/venue.

Pizza Wagon on Urbanspoon

La Belle Miette

La Belle Miette is a small French patisserie that focuses on macarons. The hype around macarons in Melbourne might have died down, however there’s no denying that a good macaron always has been and always will be a great sweet. Over the past almost 3 years I’d not found macarons better than those at Sydney Road’s “By Josephene” so was keen to hear whether the praise that had been heaped upon La Belle Miette’s macarons was justified. In short, the answer is yes.

A range of flavours, both traditional and more novel are offered and great quality ingredients, including chocolate from Cacao Barry and Callebaut are used. The texture is perfect and the taste great. My favourite was the Salted Caramel and Mariage Freres Earl Grey Chocolate.

La Belle Miette

30 Hardware Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9077 3778
Email:             info@labellemiette.com.au
Website:        http://labellemiette.com.au/

Open
Mon – Thu:   10:00am to 6:00pm
Fri:                  10:00am to 9:00pm
Sat:                  10:00am to 5:00pm
Sun:                10:00am to 4:00pm

La Belle Miette on Urbanspoon

Supper Inn

For me, Supper Inn fulfils a very specific role in Melbourne dining. Are the staff friendly? No. Is the food amongst the best Chinese food in Melbourne? No. Would I go there for lunch or dinner? No. Why go there you ask? Simple – the service might not be friendly but it’s fast and efficient, the food might not be amongst the best in town, but it’s still decent and the menu is extensive. While there are better lunch and dinner options elsewhere in the CBD, the prices at Supper Inn are low and it’s open until the early hours of the morning, 7 days a week. If you’re looking for decent, affordable feed in the CBD after midnight, Supper Inn should definitely be on your list.

Supper Inn

15 Celetial Avenue
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9663 4759
Email:             n/a
Website:        Facebook

Open
Mon – Thu:   5:30pm to 2:30am
Fri – Sat:        12:00pm to 2:30am

Supper Inn on Urbanspoon