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Mr. Moneybags ($50 Plus)

Pentolina

The worst thing about being away from Melbourne during Covid – aside from not seeing my friends and family and y’know, the death and disease – was the fear that all the amazing restaurants I’ve yet to try will have shut down during my involuntary exile. And whilst many restaurants certainly bit the dust, Pentolina was not one of them, and now dining is (more or less) back, it seems just as popular as ever. Pentolina embodies everything I love about dining in Melbourne – its unexpected retro glamour tucked away next to a parking garage, the effortless old-world European comfort it exudes, and of course, the warm welcome and hospitality from each and every one of the staff.

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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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Ms G’s

I have a personal vendetta against course-based fine dining that Sydney stills seems to be so very fond of. As far as I’m concerned, 4 dishes served in procession is just not a good use of a few hundred dollarydoos, not when there’s the option of a table-full of share plates, or dozens of exquisite nibbles served degustation style. Thankfully, although the high-end restaurants in Sydney tend to prefer stuffy, traditional-styled dining, there are a few places that eschew that old-fashioned habit, and Ms G’s was one of the first in the city to do so.

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Lankan Filling Station

Here’s to the end of the third year of med school! After some really rather gruelling times, I’ve finished (and hopefully passed!) all my exams, and am keen on making the most of my 9 days off before having to head right back into the thick of it. Sometimes it feels like it just never ends, but I guess I’ve made my bed now so I may as well enjoy it! Like every other even remotely important occasion in my life, this was the perfect excuse for me to splash out on dinner at a restaurant I’ve been eyeing up. This time around I had my mind set on Lankan Filling Station, the one-hatted, somewhat modern taken on Sri Lankan…

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Bistecca

Bistecca was originally going to be my birthday dinner this year, but then, y’know, Covid happened. Thankfully once the worst of the first wave was over, not only did Bistecca reopen quick-smart, they also started accepting bookings for groups of any size. This was extremely good news, because apparently smaller parties used to have to show up at 4pm to scribble your name on a piece of butcher’s paper on the door, and hope you get a call sometime later that night.

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