Tinker goes against the definition of insanity. That is, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The 'Mischievous Little Dreamers' - the same team behind Penta, Mob Espresso and Temperance Society have unearthed the formula to lure the finicky Melbourne cafe crowd. There's plenty of fish in the sea and many of us are hooked. You may have noticed similarities between all three sister cafes. The same successful formula is replicated with slight tweaks: bubblegum bright smoothies, colourful Pannacottas and hotcakes laced with gardens of edible flowers. One look at those smoothies and I know the 'Dreamers' have been here. That's successful branding. But how does Tinker compare to its' sisters?

Mr. Scruffs is not for the active wear, detoxing juice crowd. Best to replace the Lululemon leggings with a pair of fat pants, because Mr Scruffs is all about the drip of melting cheese, hulky burgers and beer. Located on the grungy streets of Smith St and a short walk from my office (thank the lords), the poutine and half priced Tuesday menu is held in high esteem. By high esteem, I mean it results in groans of cheesy pleasure and satisfying food comas. There are no gimmicky freak shakes (oh god, someone make it stop) or oddly coloured buns –its all about the about tasty burgs and good ol artery cloggers. No need for gimmicks.

Georgio’s Seafood & Steakhouse, just little way off the Monash freeway in Beaconsfield, does exactly as it advertises in its name; serving up steak and seafood in a warm, family run restaurant. Once a video rental store, now converted into a restaurant, Georgio’s head chef, John, oversees the kitchen while his father manages front of house. Together they are providing patrons with friendly service as well as generous serving sizes and quality meals. It's old school dining, all the way south-east.

Gontran Cherrier is a rock star baker, starting his journey in the culinary capital of the world. The Parisian baker has an impressive resume with Michelin experience, teaching at a top culinary school,  with books and TV shows to his name. With bakeries in Europe and Asia, Melbourne is a natural progression for Gontran’s next artisan boulangerie. With Melbournians' existing willingness to line up for pastries and café culture– Smith St is the chosen home for the first Australian branch of Gontran. “I chose Melbourne for my newest international bakery because it is known for its excellence in food. I think it also shares a lot of similarities with Paris such as the café culture and laneways.” Gontran said.

Melbourne is well acquainted with Bistro Morgan’s doughnuts. Morgan Hipworth – Melbourne’s 15 -year -old doughnut prince has been supplying Melbourne’s cafes with his specialty doughnuts. Most notable are the syringe doughnuts, injected with decadent chocolate or sticky jam. Morgan’s passion for doughnuts was ignited at a young age, supplying heart shaped doughnuts to his local café. From Mum and Dad’s kitchen, Morgan now supplies doughnuts across Melbourne. A pop-up store opened in Windsor, testing Melbournians appetite for Bistro Morgan. The crowd answers with a resounding ‘Yes’, with Windsor becoming the permanent home for Bistro Morgan.

Hokkaido baked cheese tarts have arrived in Melbourne. The 'land of the rising sun' has given us Uncle Tetsu’s - alas, skipping Melbourne, much to the dismay of cheesecake fans. Thankfully, these cheesy creations have opened in 4 locations across Melbourne. The glorious smell of cheese, fills the nostrils of Christmas shoppers at: Melbourne Central, QV, Box Hill Central and Chadstone. Hokkaido cheese tarts have a loyal allegiance of fans throughout Asia, inspiring multiple brands to pop up. The original Bake.Co tarts, have their origins in Sapporo, Hokkaido - a region known for Japanese dairy and epic snow runs. The brand ' Hokkaido baked cheese tarts' is a Malaysian franchise inspired by the original. The branding is quite deceiving implying that the brand heralds from Japan. Admittedly, a quick google of 'Hokkaido baked cheese tarts' brings up the Bake Co website and not the Malaysian brand. Admittedly, I did feel slightly deceived, it feels like a blatant copy of the original. Regardless, these warm cheesy creations are worth a try.