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Category / Australia

One of the things that Melbourne offers, and KL lacks, is a good cup of coffee. The coffee drinking culture here is very mature, literally a cafe in every street corner within the CBD.

Cafenatics at QV, Melbourne
Cafenatics also offers good sandwiches and muffins

Breakfast places like MART 130 and even chocolate drinks specialists at Max Brenner serve up good coffee, but for really awesome coffee, you have to go to a dedicated coffee place like Cafenatics.

Cafenatics is small cafe chain based in Melbourne CBD, with about half a dozen stores across the city. The one we went to is located conveniently at QV, just a few doors down from Max Brenner.

Mellissa and a cup of flat white
a glass of flat white after a meal, yums

I have taken a liking to enjoy a cup of flat white after a good lunch. Flat white is pretty much the same as latte, but served in a ceramic cup instead of glasses. Both drinks consist of steamed milk poured over a shot of espresso, but due to the smaller size of ceramic cups, flat whites usually end up slightly stronger.

The aroma of coffee here is really good, and with the very fresh and super creamy milk makes the drink very smooth. This of course, is done by very experienced and skillful barista who packed beans properly and made sure the milk is prepared perfectly. Not bad for $3.30 a cup right?

map to cafenatics at QV, Melbourne

For those who are stuck in Malaysia, there’s always places like Cafe Le Passione at Hartamas Shopping Centre.

Address:
Cafenatics
Red Cape Lane, QV
Melbourne 3000 Victoria, Australia

GPS: -37.810657,144.965587
Tel: 03-9654 9096

On the second day at Melbourne, Mellissa and I went to the very busy Centre Place during lunch hours for some good old fashion quick meal at a fish and chips place called BluFish. The restaurant is located between Flinders Lane and Collins in a quirky small lane packed with lunch crowd.

blufish at flinders lane
BluFish, serving fish, scallops, prawns, and calamari

The menu at BluFish is pretty simple, grilled fish, calamari, prawns, scallops, salmon, chips, salad, soup, and a few choices of burgers. Seats are pretty limited with only a handful of tables, a place designed for express meals or take-away, nothing more.

scallop pack and grilled fish salad
scallop pack and grilled fish salad

We met up with Singz and Greame, two of Mellissa’s friends at Melbourne. Singz, of course, is the daughter of Mama Wong who cooked excellent prawn mee and laksa for us in KL just a month plus ago.

For lunch, the others ordered grilled fish salad ($9.80 alternatively, with chips), while I just couldn’t resist myself with the scallop pack ($13.50).

Graeme, Mell, KY, Singz
look at the big fresh scallop!

I can’t really identify the fish used but the grilled fillet was pretty tasty and goes especially well with their special white sauce that is slightly sourish (not tartar sauce though). The potato salad and coleslaw too were quite good.

Scallop pack came with plenty of thick chips with 5 very good size deep fried scallops. The seafood were very juicy and fresh, with the sweetness of scallop sealed in the batter despite the rather straight forward method of cooking. Again, the white sauce fits perfectly. I had no complains.

map to Centre Pl, Melbourne

BluFish is only open for lunch, close on Sundays.

Address:
BluFish
16, Centre Pl,
Melbourne VIC 3000,
Australia

GPS: -37.816624,144.96578
Tel: 03-9663 0738

Hello everyone! Just landed at Melbourne late last night thanks to Air Asia’s 2 hour delay. Didn’t manage to get the Wifi key at Mellissa’s last night.

We went to a satisfying quick lunch at this grilled fish salad place called Blue Fish at Flinders Lane this afternoon (will write about that soon enough) and then a cup of flat white at Cafenetics, QV. I think the milk makes all the difference, nothing beats wholesome fat laden milk in your coffee, yums.

Mellissa and KY at Melbourne
a very rare Starbucks Cafe at Melbourne

Just got back to the apartment after watching Public Enemy (Jonny Deep & Christian Bale), a pretty good show albeit a little long. A$16 for entrance, gotta say cinemas in Malaysia are still better, but at least nothing is censored and there’s no subtitles taking up 20% of screen space either.

Going off for Mellissa’s Birthday dinner and a bit of drinking in 20 minutes with the gang in Melbourne. Will write more soon. Have a nice weekend guys!

I thought of Supper Inn just as I was reading Lainie’s latest post on Shanghai Dumpling, both are bargain basement old fashion Chinese restaurants (as in oversea Chinese restaurant) in Chinatown at Melbourne CBD.

As I am heading to Melbourne again in some two weeks time, I suppose it is wise to post the remaining food entries from the city before my second trip. The Melbourne food map is slowly shaping up. *beams*

Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant, Melbourne
Supper Inn is located at a dodgy alley by the name of Celestial Ave

Supper Inn is located right in the middle of Chinatown, a little alley by the name of Celestial Avenue (can’t get a more Chinese name than that) just off Little Burke Street. The restaurant operates from 5:30pm till 2:30am daily, hence it is one of the only places to eat in CBD after midnight.

The dining area is located on first floor, with really old school interior deco and even older waiters. The place is, however, air conditioned and generally quite clean. Business seemed to be brisk even though it was past midnight in midweek when Pinky, Mellissa and I went there last April.

chinese tea, yau char kuai, porridge
Chinese tea, yau char kuai, century egg congee

The menu at Supper Inn isn’t exactly very extensive for a Chinese restaurant, but you do get to choose from over a dozen types of soup and porridge, a few appetizers, and entrees. From duck and mushroom soup, sharks fin soup, the venerable hot and sour soup, and more exotic items like duck’s tongue, abalone porridge, and coagulated pork’s blood porridge, they do have most of the essentials.

coagulated pork blood porridge, sweet corn soup at Supper Inn
coagulated pork blood porridge, minced chicken with sweet corn soup

I knew what I had to order the moment I looked at the menu, the coagulated pork blood porridge ($6.50)! Mell had the minced chicken with sweet corn soup ($6.00) while Pinky ordered the century egg porridge ($6.50). We also shared a pretty large serving of yau char kuai ($6.00) to share.

KY, Pinky, and Mellissa at Supper Inn
KY, Mell, and Pinky at Supper Inn

The porridge were very good, cooked to the point where individual grain is indistinguishable like how Cantonese porridge should be. And of course, coagulated pork blood never disappoint, it is something that is not easy to find even in KL (I usually get my fix from lorong seratus 100, ss2), and I wouldn’t have thought I’d get them in Melbourne, bliss!

Sweet corn soup was pretty good too, but the yau char kuai (some might call it Chinese donut..) was a bit of a let down by being soft and slightly oily though still edible. However, Pinky said that this is an exception rather than rule, they are usually crispy and tasty, I guess I’ll just have to take her words for it.

map to Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant at Celestial Ave, Melbourne
Supper Inn is located right in the middle of Chinatown

Bill came to about $25 for the three of us. Chinese tea, as with ice/warm water in other restaurants, are usually free in Melbourne. So if you are craving for some chewing optional supper in Melbourne, this is the place to go.

Address:
Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant
15 Celestial Ave,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

GPS: -37.811873, 144.968091
Tel: +603 9663 4759

Cafe Italia must be one of the most uncreative names for an Italian restaurant to assume, especially one that is tucked in a small lane connected to the little Italy of Melbourne, Lygon Street. Fortunately, it is also one that serves up very good authentic Italian cuisine in for pretty reasonable prices.

Cafe Italia at University St, off Lygon, Melbourne
alfresco dining at Cafe Italia when weather permits

Incidentally, this is also one of Mell’s housemates, Jun Wei’s favorite Italian restaurant in Melbourne. The eatery is located on a rather small 1-way University Street (between Melbourne University and Carlton Garden) and only has a small 3’x3′ sign on the outside. Pretty easy to miss especially since the place sorta look like a green house from the outside during cooler months.

Together with Zehan (who also needs a bf, a good Muslim boy perhaps?), the four of us went there in the middle of April during my last trip to Melbourne.

spaghetti fruitti di mare and fish special
spaghetti frutti di mare (seafood), fish special (barramundi)

The restaurant has three different area, conventional dining, private rooms, and court yard (which, as mentioned, converts to green house like area when it’s colder). Interior is tastefully decorated with a bar, wine racks, and plenty of plants. Very comfortable and yet not overly done.

The menu is not any different from most Italian restaurants, offering pasta, beef, lamb, fish, pizza, and of course, a variety of appetizers, desserts, and wine.

lamb chop and rigatoni ragu
lamb chop, rigatoni ragu (pasta with eggplant)

I ordered the lamb special ($27.90)- a generous piece of char grilled lamb chop marinated with lemon and wine served on pea mash. The meat was tender, juicy, and the taste of the lemon and red wine marinate was just right. I was so glad I ordered it. The pea mash was interesting and I actually liked it better than mashed potato by quite a bit.

Mell had the pesce del giorno (fish special $28.90)) – a piece of barramundi (I think) fillet served with fire roasted peppers, brocolini, and lime saffron sauce. The seafood was fresh and sauce went well with the whole combination, no complains at all there.

jun wei, KY, mellissa, and zehan at cafe italia
Jun Wei, KY, Mell, Zehan

Zehan and Jun Wei had the rigatoni ragu (spaghetti with eggplant, $17.90) and spaghetti frutti di mar (seafood spaghetti $22.90) with both of them expressing approval for their dishes in terms of taste as well as presentation.

Comparing to the more student friendly (budget wise) places such as Cafe Notturno, Cafe Italia is 30-50% pricier, but if you look into the place, service, as well as food quality and taste factor, then it is a very worth while place to visit.

map to cafe italia at lygon street, Melbourne

At the end, our bill came to just a bit less than $100 for the four of us (we only ordered water). Dollar to dollar, an excellent value don’t you think? Now I think I might need to go back there again for the next Melbourne trip.

Address:
Cafe Italia
56/66 University St,

Carlton
Victoria 3053,
Australia

GPS: -37.799366,144.967926
Tel: +613 9347 0638
Website: cafeitalia.com.au