I’m not averse to lunch being my first meal of the day, especially on a Saturday, which is how I found myself at Garden State Hotel ordering a steak at the early hour of 11.45 in the morning.
I must be the person in my friendship circles who is least familiar with the cult favourite Chinese dating show If You Are The One and its host, Meng Fei, but I am familiar with the Melbourne dining scene and jumped at the opportunity to sample Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet, the Chinese noodle chain’s first Australian restaurant.
Bontempo Pizzeria may appear to be just another sleek Italian restaurant frequented by a well-heeled crowd, but a closer perusal of its menu reveals astoundingly good-value pizza, pasta and alcoholic beverages.
All 3 devoted readers of this blog will know that I’m firmly #TeamPasta, but vegan pizzeria Red Sparrow Pizza all but negates my need for Lacteeze pills and so I had to try it.
Fructose-filled, bloat-inducing eating experiences are like books – more often than not, they culminate in a score of 3 out of 5, but Tora Dumplings went above and beyond by delivering my first five-bloat score since Shizuku Ramen back in March.
Houhai Dumpling House is a rarity in the slew of cafes, Italian restaurants and pubs in the area, which may explain why it was packed to the rafters last Friday night.
The Standard Hotel’s prices are not prohibitively high, as is the case with certain gastropubs, and its menu is inventive and varied enough that there’s something for everyone (unless you have intolerances and hate steak).