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Tapas

Continental Deli Bar and Bistro

For our annual end-of-year shebang last year, I decided on dinner at Ms. G’s. However there was another strong contender for the occasion, and that was Continental Deli Bar and Bistro. On paper, Continental is pretty much everything I love – a wine bar with a range of clever share plates and charcuterie, all served in a relaxed and decadently European setting. First impressions certainly lived up to my hopes. The beautifully classic interior was jazzed up with the most intriguing and charming range of pieces, including boughs of local greenery, framed retro-styled posters, and an enormous hand-drawn picture of a blue fin tuna. But if you ask me, the most attractive features would have to be the deli cabinet…

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Tres a Cinco

Remember what I said about being devastated over missing out on many a Melbourne restaurant whilst I was stuck in Sydney due to Covid? Well one of the restaurants that I was most upset about not getting to eat at was Bar Tini, the brainchild of Frank Camorra, aka the father of Spanish food (and tapas in general) in Melbourne. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to get myself to Bar Tini, it had shut down, and that boat has sailed forevermore. But it’s not all bad news; for once it’s not Covid that took down Bar Tini, at least not directly in any case. Being both an amazing chef and a shrewd businessman, Camorra realised that as popular as…

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Nakano Darling

I’m always up for an izakaya meal. There’s really not much out there better than a parade of plates and nibbles, ordered over a long meal with great conversation, and maybe a drink or two. Nakano Darling is one of the new kids on the block, located in the shiny Darling Square dining precinct. The décor may not be classically Japanese, but the vibe it evokes is unmistakeable. It is undeniably cool with its collection of neon street signs, tatami seating with wooden crates for tables, and quirky Japanese ads projected onto the concrete walls. It stops just shy of trying too hard, and the result is very appealing indeed.

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The Stinking Bishops

There’s just something oh-so-indulgent about having nothing but charcuterie for dinner. I’d like to think it’s because it makes me feel a little bit refined, but really I think it’s more like a meal of chicken nuggets – you know you shouldn’t, but that’s part of what makes it so good. And whilst there are plenty of places around town that’ll serve you up a decent plate of meat and cheese, where you really want to go if you’re serious is The Stinking Bishops. With over 40 cheeses (both local and international) on rotation at any one time, as well as a respectable selection of cured meats, even the most discerning cheese aficionados should find something new and exciting to…

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Yakitori Yebisu

One of the things I was most disappointed to have missed out on during my Japan trip was the authentic izakaya experience. I was so keen to chase up that perfect bowl of ramen – this was 2012 and good ramen absolutely did not exist in Melbourne – that I didn’t spare much time for anything else. And whilst I certainly don’t regret eating a bowl of noodles (sometimes two) a day, I do wish I had made time for even just one late-night izakaya trip. At least I have my 2022 honeymoon to Japan to look forward to; that is, if we’re let off this Covid Coaster by then!

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Love, Tilly Devine

One good thing about Covid – hold on, hear me out here – is the fact that restaurants that never used to take bookings are now pretty much forced to do so. I’m usually pretty resigned to having to show up to a restaurant early and still run the risk of not getting a table, but frankly Sydney is a such a pain to get around compared to Melbourne that I’m much less keen to make that gamble. And that is also pretty much the reason I’ve never visited Love, Tilly Devine up until now, despite it being exactly the kind of wine bar I love and miss so much.

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