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Bistro Gitan

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Bistro Gitan Elegant French in friendly refined surroundings
I'd heard the name Jacques Reymond since moving to Melbourne ten years ago, and always assumed I'd eat at one of his restaurants. He closed his solo doors in 2014 before I got around to it, but along with L'Hotel Gitan in Prahran, he remains involved with Bistro Gitan (52 Toorak Road West, South Yarra), jointly operated by three of his children.



Ever since a soul-changing meal in the south of France with my family on my first trip to Europe, I have enjoyed partaking in a decent bit of French food. I was particularly looking forward to the dinner date my partner had booked, knowing the restaurant's location opposite Fawkner Park in the elegant, leafy part of South Yarra would only add to its feel of an exclusive treat.



We arrived with the s…

Hana

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Hana Restaurant A seafood tribute to Hawaii in Melbourne - with cocktails 
One day in the middle of Melbourne winter, I went looking for Hairy Canary. I remembered a long, dark venue with cocktails, somewhere on Lt Collins. In its place, I found Hana (212 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne), a new restaurant I'd read about but hadn't realised it had replaced the long-standing Canary.

I was intrigued, because HALLELUJAH, here was a new restaurant in Melbourne that was NOT yet another fried/slow-cooked/smoked/overdone tribute to Americana. Though technically still American, Hana celebrates and proffers the exotic flavours of Hawaii. Which basically means a lot of fish. Which is good. Because fish is good for you. And delicious.

So anyway, cut forward a few weeks to when my equally-foodie-friend is in town from Sydn…

Minamishima

Minamishima A Japanese den by a sushi master, hidden in Richmond 
If you're the sort that baulks at $150-per-head set menus, you'll never truly appreciate a place like Minamishima (4 Lord Street, Richmond).

Sure, it's got a price tag. But for foodie purists, every cent is worth it. You are not just paying for supreme-grade ingredients, some of which are regularly shipped in from a Tokyo fish market, prepared by world-class, highly skilled chefs, presented impeccably and all melt-in-your-mouth, oh-my-God orgasmic. You are paying for the anticipation. For the ever-filled water glass and replenished napkin. For the hushed, dramatic mood of the restaurant itself. For dishes timed to perfection, and the en-pointe realisation of your most specific drink requirements. You are paying for the entire experience.

In my opinion? It's better than a weekend away, which is hella more expensive.



Minamishima opened in October 2014 with no fanfare. Owner-chef Koichi Minamishima spent t…

Kisume

Kisumé Japanese Restaurant The new fine-dining venture on Flinders Lane by the Lucas Group
Any Melburnian foodie worth their salt is aware of the Lucas Group and its portfolio of very successful restaurants:

Chin Chin, a loud hall of colourful South-East Asian food and cocktails on Flinders Lane that still attracts queues of several hours' wait, some six years after its openingHawker Hall, a similar style venue to Chin Chin but on South Yarra's Chapel Street and with more of a focus on street food, that once infamously proffered a wait time equal to a return drive to Torquay with a beer stop in the middleBaby Pizza, quiet stalwart of the group, churning out delectable, fresh Italian food on Church Street, and Kong, offering Japanese-Korean BBQ fusion also on Church Street, and perhaps the most casual venue of the lot. 
And if you have read any of my posts before, you will know that I am utterly fed up with the 'Americana' craze, whereby every new venue in Melbourne off…