HITS & MISSES OF MELBOURNE FOOD

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I was just scrolling through my travel albums and inspiration struck in volumes greater than inertia, leading to the birth of this post.

The food itinerary of last summer’s Melbourne trip with the family was a result of checking out multiple sources on the Internet and social media for the places we MUST go to feed our tummies happy. Yet we all know how (uncritical) reviews can fail us, leaving us disgruntled diners.

Here’s a list of places we planned and ate at, accompanied by my critique (left out ice-cream/gelato ’cause you can find my reviews of them in my previous post). Starting off with finger food followed by full meals, here’s to helping you eat your way through vibrant Melbourne city! Links to full menus included 🙂

1. Doughnut Time

p1000089“Love at first bite” – their signature doughnut stuffed with copious amounts of Nutella and dusted with cinnamon sugar

p1000080“The Butternut” – glazed doughnut sprinkled with pistachio nuts

I truly applaud Doughnut Time’s creativity in playing around with the mix of flavors and elements, giving rise to enticing creations. Just look at their menu this week and all of their amazing past creations! Indisputably, their donuts are extremely visually appealing. Visual appeal? Score. Generosity in amount of fillings? Score. Texture and taste? Debatable.

If you are someone like me who prefers your doughnut to be soft and fluffy on the inside, you might not enjoy Doughnut Time as much. Their donuts have a relatively firmer interior. But if you are not a die-hard fan of fluffiness and place greater emphasis on the overall flavor of a doughnut, do check it out and you might just land yourself in a dilemma of which doughnut to pick with its attractive offerings.

Rating: 3/5

Address: 5 Degraves Street, Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000

Opening Hours: 8 am – 11 pm daily (while stocks last)

Other outlets: http://www.doughnuttime.com.au/locations-melbourne

2. The American Doughnut Kitchen

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The American Doughnut Kitchen nailed the texture of their doughnuts in my opinion. This is the epitome of soft, fluffy and chewy doughnut. I loved how my fingers sink right into the doughnut with just a gentle pinch. Their doughnuts are piped with jam and coated with sugar but you can request to do without them (just like how I like mine – plain and undistracted by the jam / sugar).

Freshly made on the spot, it is best when eaten hot. No fanciful flavors but this doughnut won me over with its simplicity and texture. SO GOOD I HAD IT TWICE!

Rating: 4.5/5 (must try!)

Address: Queen Victoria Market

Opening Hours: 6 am – 2 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; 6 am – 4 pm on Fridays and Sundays; 5 am – 3 pm on Saturdays (while stocks last)

3. Darling Cafe

p1000010Eggs Benedict – poached eggs with smoked salmon (other choices: rocket Virginian ham or grilled prosciutto)

p1000011Sticky date pancakes with butterscotch ice-cream, seasonal fruits, palm sugar caramel and malted crumble

The Eggs Benedict was an utter disappointment as the poached eggs were not runny. An imperfectly poached egg makes the entire dish unforgivable as it is supposedly the star of the dish. The hollandaise sauce was great though – creamy and of the right thickness.

The sticky date pancakes was luscious and its only flaw was that it was slightly burnt. They were crispy on the edges and fluffy on the inside and its savory, buttery flavor complemented the sweetness of the caramel and the butterscotch ice-cream. I loved how the bottom of the pancakes softened against the indulgent base of caramel it nestled on. The freshness of the seasonal fruits was a plus. Delectable plate of goodness!

Rating: 3.5/5 (must try the sticky date pancakes!)

Address: 2 Darling Street South Yarra

Opening Hours: 7 am – 4 pm daily

Full menu: Darling cafe menu 

4. Munich Brauhaus

p1000375Crispy pork knuckle on a bed of mashed potato and sauerkraut (finely cut fermented cabbage) along with apple compote

p1000379Sausage platter – Grilled Nürnberger, Wagyu Chilli Beef, Cheese Kransky, Sunday Night Roast Frankfurter

The pork knuckle was roasted to CRISPY PERFECTION and its meat was tender. Sadly, the mashed potato was not adequately infused with flavor. Definitely could do with more salt and butter. Creaminess was lacking too.

I personally did not like the whole platter of sausage as they were rather mushy.

Rating: 3.5/5 (pork knuckle worth a try!)

Address: 45 S Wharf Promenade, South Wharf VIC 3006

Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 1 am daily

Full menu: Munich Brauhaus lunch and dinner menu (their other menu can be found here)

5. Fukuryu Ramen

p1010035Chicken ramen – thick broth made with chicken bones, served with crusted chicken breast

p1010032Red Dragon ramen – spicy broth

p1010031Signature Tonkotsu – thick broth made with pork bones

The rating below is based solely on the Signature Tonkatsu as that was my order. The broth was sufficiently rich and it was neither too thick nor thin. The noodles were not as springy as I wished them to be. Everything else in the bowl was decent.

Rating: 3/5 (can miss this!)

Address: 22-26 Corrs Lane

Opening Hours: 11.30 am – 2.30 pm, 5.30 pm – 9 pm daily (closes later at 9.30 pm on Fridays and Saturdays)

Full menu: Fukuryu Ramen menu

6. 8bit

p1010268From bottom left: “8Bit with cheese” (burger) – beef, tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, mustard, cheese, ketchup and 8bit sauce // “Wonder boy” (hotdog) – smoked frank, bacon, grilled onions, cheese sauce, BBQ sauce and spring onions // “Cheese & bacon fries” – beer battered fries, cheese sauce, bacon, spring onions // “Strawberry cheesecake shake

First look at the menu and you might already be contemplating between the burgers or the hotdogs. I would recommend to go for the burgers ’cause the hotdog tasted so ordinary. What I like about 8Bit is that all their beef patties are cooked medium unless requested otherwise. Medium didn’t feel raw in case you are wondering. I’d advise against requesting for medium well or beyond as it might cause the patty to lose its juiciness and tenderness.

The burger was largely satisfying – the beef was tasty, the four different sauces blended well and the vegetables balanced the savoriness of the patty. The bacon cheese fries and bacon bits could have been crispier but overall it was still pretty good. The milkshake was great!

Rating: 4/5 (worth a try!)

Address: 231 Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Opening Hours: 11 am – 11 pm

Full menu: 8Bit menu

Other outlet: 8 Droop Street, Footscray VIC 3011

7. Railway Club Hotel

p1010136Tasmanian Cape Grim Beef (scotch fillet) with hand cut chips (served with every steak)

Google “best steaks in Melbourne” and Railway Club Hotel makes a consistent appearance. This place is so popular that reservations is a must if you don’t want to wait long for a table.

We had the porterhouse and eye fillet too. Not sure which cut to go for? Read here for a short and sweet summary. The steak was delicate and grilled to elegance. Their famous hand cut chips was EXCEPTIONALLY DELICIOUS. I dare say it is the BEST chips I have ever tasted in my entire life omg the potatoes used must have been P E R F E C T. There are sauces and butters which you can add on and I totally recommend the black garlic and truffle aioli sauce.

The food was exceptional and so was the service. BEST meal we had in Melbourne. If you are a steak lover, you gotta dine here. For non-steak eaters, they are famous for their seafood too just so you know.

Rating: 4.5/5 (try or regret!)

Address: 107 Raglan Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207

Opening Hours: Lunch and dinner daily

Full menu : Railway Club Hotel menu

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