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Victoria

Cheek

My dinner at Cheek was a very, very special one. Not only was it easily the most enjoyable meal I’ve had all year, it was also followed up by one of the most wonderful and exciting things that has ever happened in my entire life. But hold up, let’s start from the beginning (or y’know, just scroll to the bottom of this post if you really want to know right this instant – I’m not the boss of you).

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Hector’s Deli

Call me a sucker for a good sandwich. I love the way that it can be beautifully simple, or startlingly complex, yet absolutely delicious either way as long as you know what you’re doing. And today, I’m going to tell you about one of the best places in Melbourne to get that pesky sandwich craving sorted. With alumni from Attica and Stokehouse, Hector’s Deli is possibly the most over-qualified sandwich shop in all of Melbourne. Yet despite the heavy-hitting names, Hector’s is remarkably humble. Located in a whitewashed building in a quiet Richmond backstreet, the fit-out consists largely of shiny white tiles and friendly blokes, and seats a grand total of 8, with a few more milk crates loitering around…

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Pidapipo CBD

I had promised my sister a pasta-and-gelato date for the next time I came back down to Melbourne, and despite minor shenanigans in the form of a last-minute search for a restaurant that was actually open, the first part of the operation was carried off without a hitch. After wandering around for a couple hours, digesting the ridiculous amounts of carbs we ingested, we hit up Pidapipo for our gelato fix. I had first come across Pidapipo a couple years ago, when they only had their flagship Carlton store. The deliciousness of their gelato, the hazelnut flavour especially, absolutely blew my mind. Unfortunately Carlton is just out of the way enough for me to not be able to frequent it…

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Lupino

I had been promising my sister a pasta and gelato date for the next time I’m in Melbourne for months, only to realise a few days before coming back that the only day we can go out is on a Sunday… the day which Grossi Cellar Bar, my sister’s favourite place for pasta, happens to be closed. After a bit of frantic searching on my part, I found Lupino – a well-established and well-reviewed Italian restaurant that I’ve oddly never come across in all my years exploring Melbourne.

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Flovie Florist Cafe

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this, but K, my long-suffering regular dining companion, is also my longstanding blog post editor. I will admit to feeling a little bad about the poor grammar I’ve exposed him to over the years, but I do occasionally treat him to a nice meal to make up for it. And that balances things out nicely. Or so I tell myself. Having been a while since our last meal, I took this opportunity when I was last down in Melbourne to have brunch with K at Flovie Florist Café, the hot new opening by the owners behind the very popular White Mojo.

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Lesa

Don’t tell Sydney I said this, but I think the food in Sydney is way less interesting than what Melbourne has to offer. To be fair, I’ll be the first to admit that coming into my foodie-hood in Melbourne has spoilt me rotten, as Melbourne has grown to be one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world (or if not that, then at least the most exciting in Australia) over the last few years. Even though, I was still a little disappointed at the prospect of having my annual Christmas-birthday-anniversary meal in Sydney, when I know there’s so much more in Melbourne I’d rather eat. Thankfully, things lined up just right, and Chris and I ended up being…

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