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Bar

Hochi Mama

You know what’s clever? Discovering vaccinations is clever. Making cereal out of Milo is clever. And opening Hochi Mama right next door to Rice Paper Scissors is clever. So why is Hochi Mama being where it is such a clever move? Well, when Rice Paper Scissors first opened, its concept of building your own banquet from a selection of dishes for a set price caught Melbourne by storm. These days, you’d be lucky to get a seat there even if you waited right outside for it to open. And that’s where Hochi Mama comes in. Boasting a style of dining very similar to Rice Paper Scissors, it’s perfectly positioned to catch the overflow from next door. Whether this was planned…

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Ichi Ni Izakaya

Sometimes I get an itch that only a meal at an izakaya will scratch. It’s usually happens when I feel the need to have something that feels a little bit like a treat, but at the same time don’t want to break the calorie bank. And although I’ve just about gone through the more popular izakayas in town, there’s still a couple left, and one of them is Ichi Ni Izakaya. I don’t have any exact dates, but Ichi Ni Izakaya has sat on the prime strip of St Kilda’s esplanade for at least a good half dozen years, back in the days where a new izakaya can probably still be considered trailblazing. Despite the interim years however, the interior…

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Cabinet Bar and Balcony

I’m a big fan of bars that go out of their way to also serve up good food. Given that I’m all about the grub, bars don’t hold much allure for me. I’m much more keen however if the bar is also known to have amazing food, and whilst I’m there, I might be persuaded into ordering a drink. I’ve heard some phenomenal things about Cabinet Bar and Balcony, regarding both their selection of tapas and delicious cocktails. Being a Monday, it wasn’t overly busy in the small, dark bar, but that’s because everyone wanted to be on the balcony, nestled amongst the leaves of the trees lining Swanston Street. We managed to get a seat, but it was a…

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Rice Queen

The funny thing about being a food blogger is, you get to know a lot of restaurants very well by name and the food they serve, but only have the vaguest idea of where the restaurant is and what it looks like. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve walked past a restaurant, glanced at the menu on the window, and said Oh that’s where so-and-so is! Rice Queen is one of the many restaurants in that list; I know of the restaurant, and I know of the dark building on Brunswick Street festooned with garlands of flowers, but I’ve never put two and two together.

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The Fifth Province

I may not frequent pubs, but I have always nursed a soft spot for them. They are just like such comfortable, easy-going, home-away-from-home sort of places. They remind me of worn, squashy armchairs by a good fire – something anyone and everyone can enjoy. The Fifth Province, an Irish pub set on a corner in the streets of St Kilda, is a perfect proof for my theory. Behind a slightly dated and very unassuming facade hides a collection of beautiful rooms; some full of light and flowers with walls panelled in mint green, whilst others are dark and polished, perfect for sharing a bottle of wine. It is obvious however that an effort has been made to keep The Fifth…

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The Napier Hotel

Before tapas and clean eating became popular, the corner pub was where it was at. There was no gluten free or organic, just huge, hearty meals served up with a cold pint. The Napier Hotel has honoured the age-old tradition of meat and 3 veg since 1866, and despite the ongoing gentrification of the Fitzroy area, still remains a beloved local watering-hole to this day. But then again, calling The Napier (The Naps? Nazza?) a corner pub seems like a bit of a short sell. Although the rabbit warren of comfy rooms and well-worn furniture has hardly changed with the years, the menu has kept up with the times. Along with the standard pub meals, there is also a long…

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