Maha – my Melbourne CBD favourite

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Maha is my firm Melbourne favourite for lunch or dinner.

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The $35 per person weekday two course lunch, like the two course dinner, offers a lovely range of Lebanese flavours and textures to share.

But it’s hard not to go for the three course $45 pp menu which was fabulous.

First course

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local olives, fel fel

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cauliflower hummus, chicken, cashews, parsley

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olive oil braised potatoes and beans, marjoram, black olive

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arak pickled cucumber, fennel fronds, labneh

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chemen cured swordfish, kewpie mayo, preserved lemon and shallot

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Second course

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12 hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, cumin, coriander, sumac, St David’s labneh

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char grilled victorian calamari, saffron, tomato, hamsi toast

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charred brocolini and winter greens

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Third course

peppermint crisp ice cream, pomegranate creme, semolina, chocolate, pine nut crumb

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The decor and service are welcoming and stylish.

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The staff even thoughtfully surprised us to mark the special occassion we were celebrating!

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The staff work together well as a team and are clearly proud of the Maha experience.
Maha Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spring Street Grocer – A gourmet Treasure Trove in the Melbourne CBD

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Spring Street Grocer, next to the Princess Theatre, is a gourmet treasure trove.

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There’s an impressive cheese cellar, down a quirky spiral staircase.

But my highlight is the icecream. Flavours are unusual, but delicious, like salted caramel and Wattleseed, citrus and yogurt, cardamom and pistachio.

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Open everyday until late, it’s my go to spot for Melbourne CBD icecream.

Spring Street Grocer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The European, Spring Street, Melbourne CBD

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The European on Spring Street is number 65 of the 100 Top Australian Restaurants and spoken of fondly by locals.

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Popular for breakfast it had good coffee and fruit toast $9.50

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But it was hard to see why reviewers might have chosen it for the the top100 as the menu and service was similar to many others.

The European Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Embla, Melbourne CBD

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Embla is hot news, having featured in September’s Gourmet Traveller and being listed as number 30 on the list of the top 100 Australian Restaurants.

It matches great wines with simple but successful share plates.

It’s open long and useful hours (but not Sunday’s).

It also has great desserts like the Apple Blossom Creme Caramel $10..

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..and the Anise ice cream with mint and preserved pineapple $10

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Very approachable and unpretentious!

It matches great wines with simple but successful share plates.

It’s open long and useful hours (but not Sunday’s).

Embla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Chin Chin Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

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Chin Chin on Flinders Lane is just plain fun. It’s also number 34 of the 100 Top Australian Restaurants.

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No bookings but the wait was useful. It gave us time to check the Instagram feed against the menu.

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But it was still hard to choose.

 

We went for the Braised Duck Red Curry with Thai Basil, Son in Law Egg and Coconut Rice $35…

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…..and the Green Papaya Salad with Chargrilled Red Chilli, Prawn Floss, Peanuts and Black Beans and Nam Jam $18.50

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Good choices, but I suspect the Aromatic Yellow Curry of Roast Pumpkin, Chargrilled Tofu and Green Beans $23.50 with steamed rice $4.50 with perhaps the BBQ Cuttlefish Som Tum with Green Papaya Salad, pickled tomato, burnt green chilli, peanuts and Nam Jim might have been a better curry pick.

Popular was also the Salad of Shredded Chicken and Tom Yum poached prawns with Vietnamese slaw and coriander $24.50 and the Kingfish Sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and Thai basil $23.

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Chin Chin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Movida Bar de Tapas, Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD

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Movida on Hosier Lane is number 24 of the 100 Top Australian Restaurants and famous for its tapas.

We were determined to work through as many tapas as we could.

ANCHOA $4.50 each – Hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy on Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet

CROQUETA $4.50 each – Mushroom & Blue Cheese Croquette

ANGUILA $5.50 each – Smoked Eel with Celeriac Remoulade & Dried Jamon

CABALLA AHUMADA $6.50 each ( my favourite) – House Cold Smoked Spanish Mackerel with Pine Nut Gazpacho Sorbet

QUESO $4.00 each – Whipped Goat’s Milk Cheese Wrapped in Quince Paste & Brik Pastry

TOSTADA $5.00 each ( our least favourite) – Pressed Pork Sandwich, Tomato Jam & Quail’s Egg

While these small bites might seem costly for their size, they truly are worth it!

But there’s more….

Some lovely roasted mushrooms (about $18) ….

….and a special of pork meatballs in almond cream sauce (about $25).

MoVida Bar De Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Supernormal, Flinders Lane Melbourne CBD

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Supernormal on Flinders Lane is very appealing. It’s also number 20 of the 100 Top Australian Restaurants

Even though I just dropped in to try their Miso and Pink Lady Icecream $9…

….I was warmly welcomed and seated at the bar. This actually turned out to be the perfect position for seeing the passion and dedication of the team. Their attention to detail was impressive!

The simplicity of the menu disguises what are quite complex dishes.

I’m looking forward to returning to try them out!
Supernormal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato