GINGERBOY - MELBOURNE CBD

Gingerboy
27-29 Crossley St
Melbourne CBD

Flying solo in Melbourne is not really a chore when there are places like Gingerboy nearby. It had been on the list for a while and finally an opportunity appeared - and I grabbed it.

Gingerboy isn't really in the most easy to find location. It is well signposted though so even if you're passing the end of Crossley St on Little Bourke St you really can't miss the glowing red sign.

I ate upstairs at the bar and relied on recommendations from behind the on what to order.

The suggested starter was the sesame crusted swordfish tataki, avocado, garlic chips and shiso-wasabi dressing. It was crisp and fresh with a great combination of flavours. The dressing was quite tangy but still went really well with the swordfish.

My main was an absolute gem - red duck leg curry, Thai basil and coconut cream. This was simply amazing with a rich full curry that blended perfectly with the distinct flavour of the duck meat.

A serving of steamed rice went nicely but the recommended side order of crispy fried sweet corn cakes were fantastic on their own and even better to mop up the generous serving of delicious red curry sauce. So good!

I'll be taking Mlady back here on another visit as I'm sure she'll love Gingerboy just as much as I did - and there's plenty more to try there!





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NAKED FOR SATAN - FITZROY, MELBOURNE

Naked For Satan
285 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Ever had Pintxos? Its great stuff if it's done well - which is what you'll experience at Naked For Satan. Basically pintxos are small pieces of bread with goodies on top and are normally served cold. At Naked For Satan they have platters of different types of pintxos and you simply grab a plate and self serve. They also bring around platters of hot pintxos to tempt you with as well. Each one has a toothpick in it and they trust you to keep them on your plate. At the end of the night you take your plate back to the bar and they add up the number of toothpicks and charge you per toothpick. On the quieter nights they are a mere $1 each and on busier nights they are still cheap at only $2 each - its a bargain on any night. And the quality of the food is excellent too as Sir, Mlady and Baroness A discovered.





Mlady loves croquettes. If you've read earlier reviews of ours you'd already know that! So when a platter of hot steaming freshly cooked croquettes came around they were eagerly grabbed by Mlady - and we grabbed one each as well which we quickly ate before she could steal them from us! They were delicious. Where else are you going to get fantastic croquettes, freshly cooked and brought to your table for only $1 each!











Naked For Satan is an amazing place. You can go here for a drink - they have so many vodka options - or a snack or a whole meal.

We weren't sure if we were snacking or dining but we just couldn't stop trying things until we were eventually full.

We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of our visit - the food, the drinks, the service and the decor.















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COOKIE - MELBOURNE CBD

Cookie
252 Swanston St
Melbourne CBD

Cookie is ridiculously popular right now and as a result its impossibly hard to get a booking there. We'd drifted from brunch to shopping and on to a very early dinner so we lucked out and scored a table. Soon afterwards the place was full.

Cookie is upstairs and takes up the entire first floor of the building it's in. There are a few outside tables on the narrow balcony overlooking Swanston Street but its mostly indoor seating. The extremely high ceilings give the whole place an open airy feeling.



The menu has small dishes, medium dishes and large dishes. We started with the prawn and glass noodle firecrackers with avocado and coriander sauce. This was from the small dishes section of the menu.

Three torpedo shaped rolls arrived nicely wrapped and accompanied by a lovely dipping sauce. The prawn meat was juicy and cooked perfectly and it went very well with the crisp pastry.

I had expected the avocado and coriander dipping sauce to be spiced up a bit but it was subtle with only a hint of coriander and no extra spices or chilli.

This starter cost $14.50.





We then moved on to the fat rice noodles with duck, cabbage, green peppercorns and basil.

This dish was fantastic both in appearance and taste.

The duck was beautifully tender - and there was actually plenty of it as well - and the entire flavour combination worked perfectly. The textures were also great with the tender duck and noodles offset by the crunch of the cabbage.

The green peppercorns, still on their stem, were a nice touch as well. The dish cost $22.00.







The chilli beef stir fry with beans and Thai basil certainly had chilli in it. You could both taste it and see it!

If you like your dishes hot then this one's for you. If not, but you still love the sound of this, fear not - the chilli's are large and can be easily set aside. It will still have a kick but nowhere near as violently! This dish was only $19.50.

We also ordered a side serving of boiled rice and roti. The roti was absolutely lovely - light and flaky and packed with flavour and good value at $3.50.
























Cookie has an interesting menu which is large and varied. It's got great atmosphere, excellent food, good service and reasonable prices - particularly for the quality you get here. They've gone for a kind of pre-school/kids theme here with plenty of storybooks on shelves and pictures of dolls on some walls. Our bill even arrived inside a Peter Pan and Wendy Little Golden Book. It's one of the most popular places in town at the moment and doesn't look like slowing down.


























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MANCHESTER PRESS - MELBOURNE CBD

Manchester Press
8 Rankins Lane
Melbourne, Victoria

You probably wont just stumble across Manchester Press in your travels. Most people that end up here are specifically looking for this place. It's not well signposted, it's not on a busy street and its not even clearly visible.

However, make the effort to find it in its narrow graffiti filled laneway because you will be rewarded. You will get great service in an interesting, cavernous yet pleasant setting with generous servings of amazing food.













After hitting the streets of Melbourne on a warm morning the calm tranquillity of Manchester Press was like an oasis.

I started with the juice of the day. This was (I think) pineapple, mandarin and mint.

It was absolutely delicious. The flavours combined so well and it was so refreshing.

The fresh mint garnish not only looked good but added further to the lovely vibrant taste. It arrived quickly as well.









We both decided to have salads on this occasion. Mlady chose the beetroot and chickpea with mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, red onion and fetta. 

It was the first to arrive and it was enormous. It would almost be big enough for two people to share. There was a generous serving of mixed leaves covered in chickpeas and cubed beetroot with halved cherry tomatoes, slivers of red onion and a massive mound of fetta on top.

It was fresh, tasty and filling and all this costs a mere $12.00. What a bargain!
Whilst I don't usually choose salads I do love smoked salmon.

Manchester Press are known for their bagels but I ended up going with the smoked salmon and avocado with mixed leaves, dill mayonnaise, semi dried tomatoes and red onion.

I was stunned at the size of this dish - particularly the generous fillet of salmon that rested on top. All this was only $14.00.

Manchester Press is a lovely place. The service is excellent - they all seem to actually enjoy being there. The food is great - generous servings, good quality and very reasonable prices. It's very easy to see why this place is doing so well.





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INSIEME RESTAURANT BAR - SOUTH YARRA, MELBOURNE

Insieme Restaurant Bar
299 Toorak Road
South Yarra, VIC 3141

We were strolling down Chappel St doing some important shopping and I bacame desperate for a coffee. There are lots of small restaurants around the area but not a lot of plain cafe's. Anyway, we spotted Insieme and decided to give it a go - but just for coffee.












Its hard to say much about a place when you have only had coffee there. The coffee was nice, the service was fast and friendly and the place had a decent feel to it. We wondered what the food would be like - but really couldn't tell as we didn't have anything to eat. The menu looked reasonable though but there have been some mixed views about the food so who knows.








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SUGA - MELBOURNE CBD

Suga
Royal Arcade, 335 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

This is yet another quaint little shop in Melbourne's CBD - this time preparing rock candy. You can watch it being made too - they have their main bench area right in the front window of the shop so you can see the work as it progresses. They also make honeycomb here too - but you'll know this by the big "Honeycomb" sign on the front window!



They have a great range of rock candy here. You can buy it in small, medium or large jars and in combinations of three jars for a discounted price - well worth doing (as we did).

I felt like a kid in a candy shop - except I'm not a kid any more! We bought quite a variety here to take with us - and needed all our willpower to stop opening them as soon as we left.

Sadly we didn't try the honeycomb - if it had chocolate on it I probably would have!

The stuff here is great - the decor (lollies from wall to wall) is great and the floor show is interesting to watch too. Well worth seeing, buying and eating!







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LA CITA - MELBOURNE CBD

La Cita
11 Degraves St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

La Citta is a nice cafe/restaurant/wine bar. It has a pleasant atmosphere with their blackboard walls, visible wine bottles and plenty of timber offsetting the black colouring elsewhere.













The free range eggs on toast cooked to your liking certainly sounded good - and my liking was poached. I also chose to get a side of Istra bacon as well - which turned out to be a good choice. The eggs were cooked perfectly and the bacon was nice as well. The combination was tasty and cost $14.00 ($10.00 for the eggs and an extra $4.00 for the side of bacon).
















The Princess also chose the free range eggs on toast cooked to your liking - but as expected chose them scrambled. She also chose sides of avocado and tomato. The meal was again well cooked and well presented. They do their food well here! The eggs were $10.00, the side of tomato was $3.00 and the side of avocado was a further $4.00 bringing this meal to $17.00.


Their coffee was good too. Nice flavours and aroma - well presented and served promptly. All good as expected.


La Cita is a pleasant cafe/restaurant/wine bar in a nice location with good decor, decent service and solid food.





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LA PETITE CREPERIE - MELBOURNE CBD

La Petite Creperie
Corner Swanston St And Little Collins St

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Wow, this place is great. Its the smallest of small booths on a busy street corner that gets a huge crowd there for hot steaming crepes - and once you try it you'll see why. If you've ever been to Paris you'll recognise this type of place - but while they are common there they are so rare here.

You basically just join the queue and place your order - but make sure you know what you want before you get to the front.







On the night we were there - a Friday night - the most popular choice by far was a nutella crepe. I couldn't resist as it brought back memories of Paris. It was excellent as well - and for a mere $5.00 was good value - although they are cheaper in Paris at around 3 euro.

La Petite Creperie is a great snack stop - or dessert stop - on a night out in the city. Well worth a visit!














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LITTLE CUPCAKES - MELBOURNE CBD

Little Cupcakes
Goldsborough Lane
Melbourne, VIC 3000  

This is an awesome little place with awesome little cupcakes. There's certainly a good variety here and plenty of interesting flavours, styles and decorations. The name draws you to the shop and the variety of cakes inside draws you in. Its quite a quaint pretty little shop with a few seats to enjoy your treats - and you will buy some - guaranteed.











The carrot cake with cream cheese icing was a mini tower of goodness - or not so good goodness - but impressive still. It tasted as good as it looked too.




















The chocolate cake with chocolate icing seems so much less indulgent when its a small one. I was almost tempted to get two - almost. If I hadn't been eating all day I probably would have.





A lovely pair of little cupcakes! Its hard not to buy something here - and because they are all small you tend to convince yourself that you can buy more.
Anyone fancy an Elmo Monster? They were very tempting but didn't quite get the nod.



Little Cupcakes is another one of those hidden treats down Melbourne's CBD laneways. If you see it you'll go in. If you go in you'll buy something. If you buy something you wont be disappointed.



























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HOPETOUN TEA ROOMS - MELBOURNE CBD

Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Block Arcade
Melbourne CBD

This place has an amazing window that stops you and drags you closer. Its absolutely beautiful. Hopetoun Tea Rooms is pretty. It has a English feel to it - not surprisingly. It even has a poles and a red rope barrier outside - like lining up for an academy award.













Any menu item that is described as green eggs and ham has to attract attention. Its actually toasted bread with scrambled eggs infused with basil pesto on a big slice (or slices) of leg ham. The Princess ordered this being a scrambled eggs fan (as well as a basil fan) and said it was great. The flavours were excellent and combined perfectly for crisp tastes with the salty ham capping it off nicely. It was described in the menu as creamy scrambled eggs seasoned with fresh basil pesto, thick cut leg ham and Vienna toast. It cost $18.50 - pricey but a quality meal.



Any breakfast that has smoked salmon, eggs and avocado is always going to attract my attention. This did. These three ingredients always combine well - and they tasted great here. It was called Atlantic Eggs and consisted of two soft poached eggs, with Tasmanian smoked salmon and salmon caviar on toasted Vienna with avocado seasoned with lime juice, salt and cracked pepper. It was lovely. This tasty treat cost $18.50 so it wasn't cheap - but it was good.
The front window of Hopetoun Tea Rooms is amazing. Its a show stopper that is constantly being looked at and photographed. And why wouldn't it be - it has great appeal.

Hopetoun Tea rooms is a classy place. The service is good, the ambiance is nice, the front window and variety of goodies excellent and the food quality great. The prices aren't cheap but you get quality. It's a nice place to visit.



























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