The Night Noodle Markets are back for 2015. A record 57 stalls and three bars, light up the banks of the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr. Admire the dangling purple lanterns and sparkling fairy lights, against the most liveable city’s skyline. The silhouette of rising smoke against the setting sun, the aroma of sizzling skewers and exciting Asian street food – creates a sensory explosion guaranteed to excite the tastebuds. You have until the 29th of November to stuff yourself silly with the finest Asian street food. This year we were blown away by the creativity, reflecting the incredible diversity of Melbourne’s Asian food scene. The ‘markets’ themselves is divided into three sections. The sheer number of stalls means that queues are fast-moving. We visited rain and shine to give you our top picks from 2015’s Night Noodle Markets. Happy eating, my fellow foodies x
Don’t forget to vote for your favourite stall at www.topchopsticks.com to win a $250 dining experience every month for a year.
Continue reading The Night Noodle Markets 2015
Turning the old into the new can revitalise a caffeine starved suburb. North and Eight is Essendon’s latest newcomer, pumping out lattes and Nutella doughnut milkshakes – making Diabetes Australia quiver in fear. The transformation from an old fruit shop into a modern eatery has attracted locals in droves. Decadent milkshakes, fried chicken waffles and Brulee french toasts, tempt the dieting crowd out of their hungry stupor. In an unrelated segue, Melbourne’s gotta be of the hardest cities in the world to diet – have you seen our cafes?! Located behind a gym, North and Eight haven’t forgotten healthier alternatives. Superfood salads, chia puddings and granolas all make appearances. Buckley Street has been in dire need of contemporary food. Does it deliver? Yes and no.
Continue reading North and Eight – Essendon
Where do all the carnivores go? Well, Hunter & Barrel of course. The launch of Eastland’s town square, brings to Ringwood a new dining precinct that embraces Melbourne’s food scene. Hunter & Barrel is one of the dining offerings – courtesy of the Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group – aka the folks that brought us The Meat & Wine Co and Ribs & Burgers across Melbourne & Sydney. The concept of the ‘Hunter’ evokes imagery of taxidermied trophies. The concept of the ‘Barrel’ summoning thoughts of endless craft beverages and boutique wines. Never fear, the carnivorous appeal is not as macabre as an American dentist off to his next kill. The atmospheric ambiance is warm and buzzing, with communal groups clinking wine glasses and sharing ginormous platters of meat. This one is definitely for the meat lovers.
Continue reading Hunter & Barrel – Eastland, Ringwood
There’s vegetarianism, veganism and burger-nism. The last category I made up, but shouldn’t there be a category for the devoted souls that worship the beef patty? Golden melted cheese, juicy beef patties, fluffy burger buns – the elegant simplicity of a well-made burger is surely something to worship. With an ode to burger divinity, St Burgs has adopted the simplistic approach, with the focus on the meat and the bun – no unnecessary bells and whistles. Founded by Dan Soto, the burgers are American style, in a nod to burger traditionalists, that would sneer at overcomplicated toppings. Welcome to the hood, St Burgs (proud Maribyrnong local)!
Continue reading St Burgs – Maribyrnong
Serotonin – the elusive ‘happiness molecule’ has captivated scientists around its influence on mood regulation, anxiety and happiness. Whether it’s the activewear crowd, brunch seekers or the meticulous recipe blogger, we can all agree on one commonality – food makes us darn happy. Founder Emily, sought to create an eatery where every dish is nourishing, helping Melbournians achieve their health goals, through a holistic approach of a plant-based menu combined with an exercise centre. The message is clear at Serotonin – through daily physicality and lifestyles choices, we have the power to make ourselves happier. With all the butt cheek guilt of being an avid food blogger, Serotonin is exactly what I needed for balance. Continue reading Serotonin Eatery Spring Menu – Burnley
Hike: Circuit Trail, Werribee Gorge State Park
Length: 9.2 kms
Difficulty: Moderate – Advanced
Duration: 3-4 hours
Starting Point – Quarry Carpark, anti-clockwise
The Werribee Gorge State Park is an expanse of geological formations. The views of the gorge and the surrounding landscapes are breathtaking. Formed through millions of years of geological movement, the steeping of the river’s gradient, gradually deepened the gorge, to the rugged landscape it is today. There are a number of hikes that lead to different sections of the state park. The ‘Gorge Circuit Trail’ is the most recommended, where the walking track meanders through the expanse of the forest. The diverse scenery coupled with pristine waterholes and climbs, is certified fun. The earthen tones and plunging gorges replicate landscapes akin to the Northern Territory. Fortunately, there’s no need to fly that far. Without further ado, here is our guide to hiking the Circuit Trail – our favourite hike in Victoria!
Continue reading Werribee Gorge State Park – Circuit Trail
The iconic Bond Melbourne has been given the Midas touch. With a $5 million refurbishment under its belt, the venue has a new found luxurious allure. With angulating neon beams, reflecting against the mirrored ceiling, its curvaceous appearance resembles an alien spaceship, combined with the golden bedazzle of a modern discotheque. Its easy picturing Foxxy Cleopatra in her sequinned embellishments, singing,’ Hey Goldmember, Hey Gold member’. Never fear, there are no hairy superspies here. A young corporate crowd celebrates the end of a working week, with espresso martinis flowing off the hook. In the evenings, the crowd is replaced with hot young thangs, ready to dance the night away. ‘Yeah… baby’
Continue reading Bond Melbourne and the golden refurbishment
Doncaster locals find themselves travelling vast distances for the glorified weekend brunch. The desire for hotcakes scattered in edible flowers and crispy pork belly, overbearing for many. Eastsiders will be pleased that a new local has come to town. Despite its jovial name, Three Monkeys Place takes the breakfast game seriously. Quirky components such as tea marbled eggs, squid ink pasta and pickled octopus make appearances. With dish titles such as ‘Under The Sea’ (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS), the inspiration is centred around seafood and Asian influence.
Continue reading Three Monkeys Place – Doncaster
The ‘Paddock to plate’ philosophy holds true for Lamaro’s Bodega. Reinvigorated from a pub, the venue now serves as a Spanish-influenced restaurant and bar. An ode to the Spanish way of life, there’s plenty of vino and comida served in a Bodega setting, where smoky, sultry flavours are served amongst aged barrels and cellar wine. Landscape paintings extend the length of the private dining room, embraced by the comfort of dark timber facades, soothing diners before entering the realm of Spanish feasting. Lamaro’s is all about the locality of fresh produce and ethically raised meats. There’s melt in the mouth charcuterie platters sourced from Greenvale Farm, Flinders Island lamb, fresh seafood from the crashing waves of the Victorian coastline. Lamaro’s own farm in Cape Schank – breeds lambs and Black Angus cows. The produce-driven menu representing Victoria at its best.
Continue reading Lamaro’s Bodega – South Melbourne
Affectionately known by locals as ‘The Rhino Cafe’, the graffitied mural of the African ungulate is eye-catching. It’s a refreshing change from the white-washed minimalist, half built warehouse look, that Melbourne gravitate towards. There’s a parrot sitting on suspended light bulbs, 3D rhinos and paintings of rhinos scattered around the cafe. A portion of the cafe’s proceeds go to the ‘Save the Rhino Foundation’. Eating with the heart and stomach, certainly lessens the butt cheek guilt. Continue reading Three One 2 One – Richmond