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Impress Your Date ($30-$45)

Dexter

Has anyone ever heard of the podcast Stuff You Should Know? I stumbled upon it about 5 years ago, and have been an avid listener since. Well anyway, recently they did an episode on How BBQ Works, and although I had been planning to go to Dexter for a long time already, that was the nudge I needed to finally get me there. With that said though, Dexter is far from the usual American BBQ joint. In fact, their restaurant website actually specifically advertises themselves to be non-traditional. Certainly, the place is a far cry from the brooding, masculine spaces you often associate with a carnivorous meal. There were skylights and greenery aplenty, and was a perfect fit for an…

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Bar Idda

I have a co-worker I’m rather jealous of. She lives in Brunswick, which means she has her choice of Deliveroo/Ubereats from any of the surrounding suburbs, and that includes everything from 400 Gradi to Jimmy Grants, as well as Kumo Izakaya and Mankoushe. And amongst her list of favourite restaurants to order from is Bar Idda, an unpretentious little Italian eatery at the top end of Lygon Street. The atmosphere at Bar Idda really is stunning. The outfit is deliberately dated and provincial, and whilst that would feel tacky in any other suburb, it feels just right in ethnic, hipster Brunswick. Seated by the window, with the whitewashed walls and herbs hanging in bunches to one side, and the dim…

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Demitri’s Feast

Not sure why, but I’ve had a real hankering for Greek food lately. I blame it on the cold weather, which has been making me crave the comforting flavours of Greek cuisine, along with rich plates of pasta and deep bowls of pho. And today, I’ve made my way to Demitri’s Feast. Those who’ve heard of Demitri’s Feast probably know it as a reliable local brunch spot along Swan Street, but after 8 years of business, the owners decided to shake things up a little. A few weeks worth of renovations later, Demitri’s is reborn as a Greek taverna, and is all but unrecognisable.

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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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Alpha Ouzeri

I love Greek food, but as it turns out, I’ve eaten a lot less Greek food than I thought. After picking up an unshakable hankering for some Mediterranean flavours, I looked through my blog, only to realise that I’ve been to a measly dozen or so Greek restaurants in all of my food blogging years. So I immediately set to remedy that, and my first stop was Alpha Ouzeri. If you’ve never heard of the term ouzeri, you’re not alone. As it turns out, an ouzeri is a Greek tavern dedicated to serving ouzo – a strong herbed liquor – and meze. In other words, it’s kind of like an izakaya specialising in sake, or a tapas bar specialising in…

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Souk

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to those entertainment websites (such as Broadsheet and Concrete Playground), you’ll have noticed that Melbourne’s picked up a new and rather exciting looking Middle Eastern restaurant and bar named Souk. No, Souk is not what you do when you’re told that there’s a 2 hour wait for a table at Chin Chin (though that’s certainly understandable). Rather, a souk is the name for a marketplace in Middle Eastern and North African cities. And that’s very apt, because this bazaar promises to serve up a fresh and modern take on traditional Middle Eastern, North African, and Anatolian cuisine.

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