Panda Hotpot, Carlton

Melbourne has gone hotpot crazy and we have found the hottest of the hotpot! Located in the previous Dracula building stands Panda Hot Pot. You will not miss this venue. Two stories high, a massive dragon facing the entrance with a centre stage, you can expect great things from here. It gets real busy so make sure you make a booking to nab a spot.

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Piggy Smalls, Keilor East

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.

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Aunty Franklee, Hawthorn

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!

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o’Wok Shop Chinese Cuisine, Camberwell

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.

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Ngon Vietnamese and Asian Cuisine, Highett

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*.

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Saxe, Melbourne

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!).

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Steer Dining Room, South Yarra

Steer Dining Room. Having visited before for my birthday, I definitely wanted to take Mr D for his birthday because he’s a massive steak fan. I made sure to make a reservation in advance because it does get super busy. Walking in, you’re greeted by friendly staff surrounded by a great ambiance. We were seated in the corner and BAM the staff will bring around the steak board where they show you the different types of steaks with various levels of marbling that you can choose for the night.

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Innocent Bystander, Healesville

Innocent Bystander has been on my list for a while and a sunny Sunday meant time for brunch! Getting there was a breeze and there was plenty of parking. It’s a very spacious venue and the staff were oh so friendly and you knew it was going to be a fun and casual affair. Luckily we made a booking because it got oh so busy!

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Dans Le Noir, Carlton

I’ve heard of Dans Le Noir for a while and haven’t had an opportunity to visit yet but when I finally found some fellow friends that wanted to experience it with me, I made a booking and locked it in Eddie. Now if you don’t know anything about Dans Le Noir, it’s basically dining in the dark. You can have three course for $89 or a 5 course for $119 and no, you won’t know what you’ll be getting.

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