It’s a tricky task finding somewhere in the city that is a) new and b) intolerance-friendly but I found the perfect place in Calia, a Japanese retail grocer-cum-cafe in Emporium with an adjoining restaurant.
I’d had the best intentions of following my intolerances and ordering a Yangzhou fried rice (I’d scoured the menu thoroughly beforehand), but as soon as I entered the confines of New Shanghai and inhaled the tantalising mix of garlic, ginger and pork, my resolve waned.
The dedicated omnivore that I am, I had been eyeing Green Man’s Arms – a newish Israeli-influenced vegetarian pub in Carlton – with interest over the past year.
A new pasta bar has come to occupy 214 St Georges Road and without any identifying storefront name save for the ‘good times’ sign emblazoned on the yellow façade of the building, the pasta bar is aptly known as Good Times.
Manned by Matt Piccone of Pellegrini’s fame, after his 19 years as a barista there, and his partner Julia Piccone, Pentolina has some serious Pugliese chops underpinning it.
Postmistress is great at catering to various dietary requirements – two of the pasta dishes were naturally gluten-free and pizzas came with the option of gluten-free bases.
Nearly every cuisine has its own form of dumplings, and I love each and every one of them – from the Nepalese momo, the Chinese jiaozi and the Japanese gyoza to the French quenelles and the Polish pierogi.