Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Food in Melbourne: Eating around the world..

Melinda's Dumplings

Vietnamese dinner

Veal pizzaoila from Papa Gino's

Straits of Malacca 1

Straits of Malacca 2
Wonderful lane ways, individual little shops, street art, and more bars, cafes and restaurants than you could visit in an entire year of going out to breakfast, lunch and dinner every day: that's Melbourne. And such global diversity in food too: not as heavily Asian as Sydney, though the Asian eateries have certainly grown fast there in the last few years, and represent the best value for money just as they do pretty much anywhere in Australia these days. But Melbourne also has perhaps the country's highest concentration of Italian restaurants, especially in Carlton, but also in many other places including the city centre. There's quite a few Greek places too, in the centre and in Richmond and there's Latin American, African, French, and much more scattered around the place. And of course St Kilda has all those wonderful Central European cake shops, which I wrote about in my last post..
Our Melbourne menu included:
*Pork, prawn and leek dumplings in soup for diner in a funny little Chinese eatery called Melinda's Dumplings. Very authentic-feeling place, and the food was surprisingly low-key--the soup(which I suspect you weren't meant to drink)was rather bland, only very lightly flavoured with a little coriander and seaweed(and practically no salt). We had it with a very good blanched fried lettuce in soy sauce--again, a surprising but this time very distinct taste
*Breton savoury crepes for lunch in Roule Galette, a tiny little French eatery tucked away from the corner of Flinders Lane and another lane whose name escapes me--thin, crisp, delicious crepes, filled with cheese, spinach, mushrooms
*Vietnamese broken rice with fried pork ribs in fish sauce and fried fish with a tangy sauce for another dinner in a place called Vietnamese Noodle House in Swanston St, and some very good prawn fresh rice paper rolls--and a lovely papaya smoothie to wash it all down
*Luscious Austrian-style cream cakes and coffee for lunch(!)in Le Bon cake shop in Acland St;
*A Malaysian feast for dinner in Straits of Malacca in the CBD--fried chicken wings to start with, then squid in nyonya sauce and beef satays in peanut sauce for me and tangy lamb cutlets with little spring rolls for David;
*Traditional Italian hearty food for dinner in the classic, very reasonably-priced Lygon Street Carlton eatery, Papa Gino's: we both had old favourites, simple and satisfying--veal pizzaiola(tomato and olive sauce) with vegs; and fettucine puttanesca for David. Totally unpretentious, bursting with taste and just what we needed after a long day pounding the pavements. And all the fun of making up all sorts of Underbelly-flavoured stories about passers-by!


  1. Papa Gino's was one of my favourite places when I was an undergrad. I still love it!

  2. yes, it's great, isn't it--so homely and down to earth atmosphere and really flavoursome food. I really like Tiamo's too for similar reasons.