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Showing posts from January, 2014

Lee Ho Fook

You know how life is sometimes like a weird puzzle with all the bits slowly connecting or disconnecting over time? 
For example, Lee Ho Fook (92 Smith Street, Collingwood). I feel connected to it, sort of. In a tiny way. Let me try and explain. (If you don't like detail, skip to after the next photo!)

When I still lived in Sydney, I went to a Halloween party where I met a cool chick (Miss Hospo) who, like me, was moving to Melbourne soon. When I arrived, I knew just one other person (Mr Chef), who I'd worked with in retail at Grace Bros (back when it used to be called Grace Bros). I was determined not to rely on him to show me around, introduce me to his friends, etc. But this was right after the GFC, and I found it much harder than I ever had before to land a job. So I asked Mr Chef if I could crash on his couch for a while to save money. While I was there, one of his housemates moved out, so I moved in and quickly became best friends with his other housemate (Miss Fun). The…

Hammer & Tong 412

There's a lot of hype about Hammer & Tong 412 (Rear 412 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy), as there usually is about most new decent cafes, particularly ones so close to the hub of Fitzroy. In some cases, it's all hot air; in others, completely justified. In the case of Hammer & Tong, it is a mix of both.

Housed in the former premises of The Brix (a short-lived bistro with a reputation for quality), Hammer & Tong's owners Dennis Ferreira and Simon Ward did little to change the fit-out, so impressed were they by its design. Their website describes the look as "light filled", "stylish" and its "own take on vintage-industrial chic". It is definitely more industrial than vintage. It's all hard surfaces and slate grey, in a long, narrow space with a cool but light and airy feel. I didn't find it particularly warm and cosy, but stylish it certainly is.

I didn't witness too much in the way of "vintage" influence, except for…

Scholars Wine Bar (closed)

*This venue is now closed*

All I knew of Scholars Wine Bar (480 Victoria Street, North Melbourne) was that it was a wine bar, in North Melbourne, that did food - mainly because I knew its sommelier and one of its chefs, and that their gal pals spent an inordinate amount of time there. I myself had never gotten around to sampling its delights until a dinner there was suggested. Despite the obvious connections resulting in us being very well looked after, I was surprised and impressed by our meal, and would have no reservations in recommending it for dinner parties, intimate dates or cosy catch-ups with friends. It's a gateway for accessible upmarket dining.

Walking in, the main bar is to your right, complete with both bar stools and lower, more comfortable seating. Decor is simple and elegant with touches of the antique, clearly in keeping with the 'scholarly' theme: serious, dark, somewhat traditional, always well-presented. 

Veer off to the left and you will find yourself…