After a good 3 years of kicking, screaming, and just stubborn resistance in general, I’ve finally given in and joined the Instagram bandwagon. And as much as it pains me to say it, I was definitely missing out – I now have all the food photos my greedy eyes can handle, and a portable way of sharing every meal I ever have. To top that off, Instagram is also a great way to discovernew and exciting restaurants, and one that’s popped up on my feed repeatedly is Son In Law.
I’m not a big fan of heading out to the St Kilda area. Not only is parking expensive and scarce, the only public transport option is the temperamental tram network that often results in waits of upwards of 20 minutes after 8pm. Luckily, there’s only a few restaurants out that way that I’m extremely keen on trying, so I don’t have to brave the trip out too often. Uncle is one of the restaurants on that short St Kilda to-visit list, but before I could make my way out there, they’ve done everyone a solid and opened up a second branch on Collins Street in the CBD.
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…
It may have technically been Spring for a month and a half already, but that won’t stop the chilly Winter winds nipping at our heels through to Summer (typical Melbs). But I know a way of bringing a bit of much-needed sun to these lingering Winter evenings – Thai Tiki Hut. I’ve been to a lot of restaurants in Melbourne, but Thai Tiki Hut takes the cake for hodgepodge quirkiness. Not content to mix Thai with a stereotypical tropical theme, they’ve also thrown in some (for lack of a better term) war-time glam, complete with retro Thai war films playing on the TV. The result however is not nearly as tacky as you need fear, and the cordoned off booths…
According to Zomato, Nine Elephants is the best restaurant in Docklands. And because you can only go so wrong with Thai food in Melbourne these days, I finally went and checked it out one day after work. Nine Elephants is a little bit off the glittery, bar-studded main strip of Docklands, and there’s no sign either, so it’s a little hard to find. But here’s the trick: look for the pretty spherical lights that dangle from the high ceiling, visible through the glass front of the restaurant. But despite the stately ceilings, the restaurant is surprisingly cosy, and it hits that nice higher-end East-Asian restaurant feel without feeling like it's pandering to the exotic.
Ever since coming back from my trip to Korea and Hong Kong, I have been revelling in the slight drunkenness that comes from the joy of having such a huge variety of food at my fingertips. As great as food in both countries were, it is both amazing and liberating to be able to change my mind half a dozen times throughout the day about what cuisine I want for dinner, and not ruin any plans in the process. I spent my day oscillating between wanting Middle Eastern and Thai food, but the fact that the Lebanese restaurant I’d been eyeing up didn’t take card made up my mind for me – Sabai it was!