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Showing posts from April, 2014

Little Ramen Bar

Anyone who's met my current housemate will know she is a massive ramen fan. Along with nachos, it's pretty much all she eats. In fact, she was one of the first to take me to Shop Ramen on Smith Street, which has since become one of our favourites. Having lived with her for a while now, I am happy to admit that her ramen obsession has rubbed off on me. So it was not unusual that a group of us decided, after an afternoon drinking session at Naked In The Sky one Saturday, to head to Little Ramen Bar (346 Lt Bourke Street, Melbourne) for dinner.

A tiny joint near the corner of Lt Bourke and Elizabeth Streets, Little Ramen Bar is consistently packed, often with a queue outside the door. Fortunately, the staff have a great system in place, manning the door and ushering in patrons as soon as a table becomes available. There is usually a quick turnaround, so even though waiting might be annoying to some, it's usually not for long.

Most tables seat 2-4, but the staff were kindly ab…


It has been months since I ate at Tonka (20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne). My work crew chose it as the venue for our 2013 Christmas lunch, and the photos I took have been lying in wait (taunting me!) ever since.

It's not that I didn't want to write it up; but I've had a backlog of posts to write - and the delay possibly also says something about my reaction to Tonka: I didn't need to rush the write-up, because I knew it would still be there. Like its sister restaurant, the excellent Coda, Tonka boasts that X-factor: a mixture of classiness, cool design, warm service, and of course, high-quality, original food, accompanied by perfectly matched drinks.

Tonka's take on food is widely seen as 'Modern Indian', although it's more Modern Australian/Indian, with touches of other influences. As one workmate put it, this place gives us "a fine dining version of Indian". In any case, it seems to have filled a gap in Melbourne's dining scene that no on…

Stagger Lee's

(As seen in GRAM magazine)

25 March 2014 saw the opening of Proud Mary owner Nolan Hirte's second venture, this time on Brunswick Street: Stagger Lee's.

Not quite open for two weeks yet, this place is already ridiculously busy, and has had the gossip mills churning for months - so it already has a lot to live up to. Its location, 276 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy (corner of Victoria Street, a hop-skip-and-jump south of the prominent Johnston Street intersection), has already won half the battle for the venture. Guaranteed foot traffic, some outdoor seating, a nice amount of natural light, proximity to all the action of Brunswick Street, and a window bench for people-watching ensure the place is set for the levels of popularity everyone expects it to enjoy.

Although there are many cafes to choose from along Brunswick Street, most are overpriced and lacklustre in standards, catering more for the shopping lunch crowd or afternoon-latte-sipping hipsters. Not many do a rip-roaring brea…