On Parkstone Ave sits an aptly named cafe, Parkstone. It does get super busy with locals but despite that, there’s plenty of parking. Once you step inside the bustling cafe, you instantly feel welcomed as if you’re part of their family. Despite how busy it was, the staff are very attentive and will help you through the menu to making sure you’re having a great morning.
Keilor East. Not a suburb that you would think of when you think of great food but let me tell you about Piggy Smalls. Piggy Smalls is a humble venue that only has outdoor seating but don’t let that deter you. Hot dogs, milkshakes, onion rings and fried chicken ribs, definitely for when you’re feeling a little bit naughty.
Aunty Franklee has been around for while and it’s known for its authentic Malaysian dishes. With two stores located in Hawthorn and Melbourne CBD, you know it’s good when they just keep popping up around Melbourne. The Hawthorn venue is located on the busy Burwood road and it is a tad difficult finding parking as they are all time limited. Pushing through the doors into the venue, you’re greeted by friendly staff and the delicious aroma of food cooking!
Amongst the construction in South Yarra lies little bustling cafe called Two Birds One Stone (such a cute name don’t you think?). Many people pop in and out for some coffees and others will wait for a table. We walked in on Sunday morning and boy was it busy. There were people everywhere, staff running around and the sound of coffee being frantically made. We got a table and you know the rules, first we coffee.
I’m a huge fan of Chinese food and when there’s a new Chinese eatery in town, I definitely want to check it out. O’Wok Shop in Camberwell has been on the food scene for 3 months and it’s already pretty busy. It’s located on Burke Road which is the main (busy) road, but there’s plenty of parking around too! The interior is modern and at the front of the shop, you’ve guessed it! There’s someone making dumplings for you in plain sight (love that!). Walking inside you’re welcomed with open arms by the staff and they are very attentive and friendly. There’s quite a bit on the menu so be prepared to spend quite a bit of time going through it.
I am a huge fan of Indian cuisine and there’s a new bad boy that just opened in Toorak that serves modern Indian food. Located where all the restaurants were, it is a very humble venue. We were invited to try the 7 course set menu which costs $75 a head. Now that’s a feast that got me super excited.
Highett isn’t the first place you’d think of Vietnamese food and here sits a hidden gem. Ngon Vietnamese translates to Yum Vietnamese and you’ve gotta be amazing to name your restaurant that. The staff were super friendly and we came in at lunch time which we found out that not a lot of people come in for lunch, but for dinner. So luckily for us we had the whole venue to ourselves *wink wink*.
If you’ve been in Melbourne for a while you will know that plenty of venues have been popping up that serves hotpot. For those who don’t know what hotpot is, let me give you a brief overview. Basically you get a pot of broth in the middle and once it boils, you chuck in whatever you’d want to eat which could be various meats, fish balls, veggies and noodles. You cook them in your pot, cook it, dip it in whichever sauce you’d like and BAM Bob’s your uncle. Mr D was in charge of picking a hotpot place and we ended up at Da Long Yi Hotpot. Da Long Yi Hotpot is a huge venue, double story and located conveniently on Elizabeth Street.
Saxe has been on my go-to list and when one of the stooges’ birthday came up, I was in charge of scoping out a place we haven’t checked out. Which means, SAXE it is! At Saxe there’s an a la carte or a set menu and of course, we got the set menu since we are oh so indecisive. Now, you can have the 5 course for $105 or 7 courses for $145. The staff recommended that we start off the 5 course and see how we feel since she was very certain that we’ll be full (that’s a big assumption mate!).
Shira Nui has been on my list to hit up and seeing as work was super close to it, it was definitely a lunch break kinda place. Luckily for me, there was a lunch menu and lunch only had two sessions, 12-1PM and 1-2PM which meant, we had to leave on the dot. We visited on a Friday lunch and boy oh boy were we glad that we made a booking because it was jam-packed! We were seated immediately and as the minutes ticked by, more and more people came in and a few people were turned away due to how busy it was.