Here at chez Wintour&Guinness we like to eat, we really do. I was travelling home recently with a colleague and when he asked what my weekend consisted of, my colleagues reaction was - jee's you sure like to eat. And the truth of the matter is - I do. I really enjoy working my way around the city and trying new places. Trying new dishes, new flavours and stepping out of that comfort zone that one can so often put themselves in. Rather than do a whole bunch of different posts about where I've been hanging out the last few weeks I thought I would do something a little different and bring you one overall post on all the great places I would recommend trying. Here is part one.
I've spoken many times before about Ireland and its coffee culture. There really is none bar Starbucks and the odd Bewleys Cafe here and there around Dublin city. Coffee is a big part of my day and there are days where I have this insatiable desire/need for my usual coffee (skinny latte with no sugar). Starbucks just doesn't cut it when it comes to good coffee. The beans lack any real substance for one and the flavour sometimes can taste a tad artificial. I can hear my Melbourne friends clapping and hollering, saying finally he's got it. Stellini on Little Collins Street is a great little coffee bar / restaurant and I love heading there in the mornings for a coffee as they really know what they are doing there. Owned by the same group as The Mess Hall on Bourke Street, the food looks divine and hopefully I get the chance to grab lunch with some friends or a client there soon. The lamb sandwich or gnocchi with slowed cook duck ragu are personal faves from lunch menu that I hope to try soon.
198 Little Collins Street Melbourne VIC 3000 -
(03) 9654 5074
Breakfast Thieves is one of the newer cafes I have come across. I am a south side guy and I love my beach-side lifestyle and I wouldn't trade that in for the world but more and more I am venturing north of the river to Fitzroy and Collingwood - looking for cool little bars, restaurants, galleries or shops to browse in and during my last trip I came across this place. Located on Gore Street just off Smith, Breakfast Thieves is definitely where the cool Fitzroy guys and gals hang out. The interior is impressive and the service great. I only had the pleasure of grabbing a coffee (and it was good) but I intend on visiting BT's this weekend. So make sure to check back next week for a more detailed review.
420 Gore Street, Fitzroy Victoria 3065 -
(03) 9416 4884
The reason for not dining at Breakfast Thieves was due to the fact that prior to my coffee there, I actually dined at Proud Mary. Picture this, I am walking along Smith Street, September issue of American Vogue in my hand, its over 900 pages and weighs a tonne. Naturally I ran to this place knowing it was nearby and when I got in there I was astounded by the crowds of people. Dropping my whopper of a magazine onto the counter top I perched my ass on one of their rather uncomfortable stools and looked at the extensive breakfast and lunch menu. I quickly ordered my coffee and took my time to look through the extensive menu and finally decided on the house scrambled eggs on toast with a side of Meredith's goats cheese. What arrived was a reasonable sized portion of scrambled eggs with one small piece of toast and one piece of goats cheese. Yes....just the one piece. I was both shocked and disgusted by this and thought to myself that even though the cheese was of the Meredith's cheese brand, the one lonely chunk of cheese that arrived was not justifiable. Overall my experience of Proud Mary is one that is hard to define. Its great for breakfast but the hustle and bustle is just too overwhelming for someone who likes to chill out with a coffee and the weekend papers.
172 Oxford Street, Collingwood VIC 3066 -
(03) 9417 5930
Having the opportunity to get out of the city at the weekends is just amazing. A few weeks ago whilst minding Kevin's sisters car - we took a ride along with our friend Stephen south towards Torquay for a day of beach-side chilling. Torquay is a pretty, small village south of Melbourne city that is famous for its surfing beaches and chilled out lifestyle. Whilst heading back from our walk along the beach, the three of us stumbled on the Torquay Larder, a cute little speciality food store that stocks some of the most amazing fresh, pre-prepared and frozen food which wouldn't feel be any different to what one would find in the food hall of David Jones. The store had ample seating for eating both inside and out and keeping our appetites for lunch at the beach side cafe Growlers, we decided to just order three coffee's to get us in the mood for shopping along the strip of surf shops that line the main road through Torquay. The coffees where really good and the barista made coffee-making look absolutely effortless. This is one place I urge everyone to try out when travelling through the area. Even just for the coffee.
3 Gilbert Street, Torquay VIC 3228 -
(03) 5261 3309
Although working smack bang in the middle of the city, I have to be honest in saying that there is not a huge amount of cafes to choose from when looking for your morning coffee/magazine session. Yes I could sit in Starbucks City Square or Stellini's which I mentioned above, but both just don't have that easy breezy laid back coffee shop feeling where one feels absolutely comfortable just sitting there with a magazine/paper/tablet and coffee. I had always intended to visit Brother Baba Budan on Little Bourke Street over the last year and a half but for some reason I hadn't and finally I decided one morning to leave my apartment a little earlier than normal before work and head there. I always remember a friend of mine Damon (a seasoned barista himself) telling me how great the place is and how the queue for a morning coffee can sometimes run out the door. He wasn't wrong. Sitting along the communal table beside the front entrance the door did not stay closed for more than fifteen seconds. The people just kept coming and coming and at the end of my trip there I had to wonder why! The truth is that despite the cities love affair with coffee there really isn't that many great cafe/coffee shops around that area and the coffee as my friend Damon told me, is pretty good. Check it out.
359 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 -
(03) 9606 0449