We’ve heard nothing but good things about the diverse and vibrant food scene in Melbs, so it was imperative that we hit up as many spots as we could… you know, for science! And the conclusion was that some places were over hyped while others completely blew us out of the water. I present to you, la crème de la crème:
Hi Chong Qing
Our first meal in Melbourne was off to a good start. Hi Chong Qing is a hole-in-the-wall noodle spot with a limited menu, which got us thinking that they must make their dishes really well. And they did not disappoint! Our favourite was their Signature ChongQing noodles which were cooked to al dente perfection. The broth was rich and unlike anything we’ve ever had before. You can even customize your spice level! One bowl cost $10.80 AUD, which is as cheap as it gets. All in all, the perfect meal for a cold evening out.
Oddly enough, we kept walking past this 24/7 Greek restaurant whenever we found ourselves in the CBD. Curiosity got the better of us, and we decided to try it out for lunch one day. It cost $33 AUD for the mixed giro platter of marinated boneless lamb and chicken from the spit, served with Greek salad and chips (pita bread and tzatziki were extra). Portions were generous and the meat was so juicy! We left with full and satisfied stomachs.
Tired and hungry after a morning of exploring the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Shrine of Remembrance, we stumbled upon this hidden gem of a restaurant with just a quick Google search in the area. This spot does Taiwanese cuisine with a modern twist. Luckily we got there when they just opened for dinner–many of the tables were already reserved. Service was quick, portions were huge, and prices were fair. The three dishes we got below came to $47 AUD.
American Doughnut Kitchen
Another unexpected find at Queen Victoria Market, we learned in hindsight that American Doughnut Kitchen is actually a Melburnian institution. We joined the long but quick-moving queue, thinking that it would taste like mini donuts with powdered sugar. However, it turns out that they only sell one thing: hot jam donuts! They are made fresh right before your eyes. $8 AUD for five moderately sized donuts.
Archie’s All Day
Melbourne does brunch pretty damn well. This place was recommended to us by our hostel as well as a local (shout out to Sarah!) The avocado smash is an iconic Australian breakfast/snack and we tried it for the first time at Archie’s. Avocado on toast sounds simple, but add some chilli flakes, lemon juice, feta cheese, with a side of poached egg and you have yourself a fancy meal. However, at $22.5 AUD we won’t be buying a house anytime soon. We also ordered the ricotta hotcakes ($20 AUD) which were simply divine. All things considered, this meal for two was a bit of a splurge but was definitely worth it.