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Showing posts from September, 2014

Addict Food and Coffee

There's a new kid in town. Addict Food and Coffee (240-242 Johnston Street, Fitzroy) is so on the mark, it's almost ridiculous.

Occupying a bright site on the corner of Gore and Johnston Streets, just a block from Smith, Addict already has a strong local following, attracting custom from Fitzroy, Collingwood, and beyond. It focuses on fine coffee, great food and serious hip-hop, in a sparsely-decorated, modern venue.

Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, the cafe is currently commanding the kind of queues customary for the hippest new joint in town. It's not a huge site, but it does offer a smattering of outdoor tables, bound to be packed out as the warmer months approach. So if you're heading there for brunch, especially on a weekend -- get in early.

We didn't have to wait too long for a table, but once seated, we did have to wait a while before we were given menus. Attracting the attention of waitstaff to place our orders was also harder than it should have be…

Bad Frankie

A refreshing departure from the current Americana food craze (is anyone else sick to death of burgers, pulled pork, po'boys and donuts?), Bad Frankie (141 Greeves Street, Fitzroy) has chosen to showcase local product instead. Rather than stocking your hospo standards (Absolut, Jim Beam, Bombay Sapphire, etc), owner Seb Costello has installed a huge selection of Australian-made spirits and liqueurs. This venue is a relative newcomer based on a very fresh idea - so I'm already a fan!

You'll find Bad Frankie just off Smith Street, buried among Collingwood's multitudes of eateries. It is actually perfectly situated for those post-dinner cocktails, when you're not quite ready to go home yet. Australiana is the theme here, shown in everything from the name and decor to the food and drinks. In fact, its Facebook page proclaims Bad Frankie to specialise in "iconic Jaffle and local Australian craft spirits". You read correctly: JAFFLE. "Home of the lamington …

Ballarat and Surrounds

I realise it's a little generic to title this post so vaguely, but my visit to Ballarat a few weekends ago has been my only experience of the place. It's just a 1.5 hour drive from Melbourne and it had been a toss-up whether to go there, or to Bendigo. (They're very near each other and both start with 'B'... it seemed like much of a muchness to the uninitiated.)

It was a good decision. I was surprised at how genteel - and hilly - Ballarat is. There is some gorgeous historic architecture, which makes sense, when you consider the town's role in Australia's Gold Rush, and, with its wide streets and the central Lake Wendouree, it's quite pretty. Here are a few snaps from the weekend.

I loved how some buildings were clearly built in the Art Deco period.

There were several rotundas down the main street.

There were also lots of statues... of whom, I couldn't necessarily say. But this dude is pretty self-explanatory:

Gorgeous old industrial buildings:


Anju Restaurant + Bar

Some friends wanted to try the new Korean fusion joint Anju Restaurant + Bar (18 Little La Trobe Street, Melbourne), so I happily joined them for an early Friday dinner. Not having eaten much Korean food previously, I'm still learning about what constitutes 'traditional' Korean fare, so I was interested to see how this place did 'fusion'.

Owner Young Choi went from a retail background to opening a completely fusion restaurant (combining Spanish, Mexican and Japanese), before adapting to patrons' requests for more the more traditional foods of his native background. The result is a schmick, modern restaurant/bar down a dodgy-looking CBD street, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Let me break it down for you...

The style

Anju has a warm industrial feel with traditional accents. Wooden floorboards, tables and decorative features (like planter boxes and wooden toy trucks hanging overhead) are interspersed with hard industrial surfaces like exposed concret…