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FOOD & LIFESTYLE





Pilgrim Bar - Federation Wharf (Melbourne)

Hidden to the side of Federation Square away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne CBD is Pilgrim Bar – one of the city’s best-kept afternoon-session secrets. Its entrance is located on Federation Wharf, just off the well-trodden path of Flinders Street. Situated just next to the Yarra River, this bar and eatery attracts both locals and travelers alike with its beautiful, all-weather section the perfect vantage point for watching all of the action below.

Lady Carolina's Latin Street Kitchen - Brunswick East (Melbourne)

The fun starts as soon as you arrive at Lady Carolina and step through the large turquoise wooden doors that open onto the moody dining area. Complete with neon signs illuminating walls of exposed brick, the casual eatery exudes an air of cool that almost understates the clever, innovative food that is on offer. With warmer weather gracing our city, what you’ll really want to do is pass through the indoor seating to the outside, where you will find Lady Carolina’s Latin Street Kitchen – a vibrant courtyard dedicated to the celebration of Latin street food in all its boldness and glory.

Royal Croquet Club returns to Melbourne for December

The warmer weather has seen Melbournians taking to Birrarung Marr for a little reprieve, where the fancy Royal Croquet Club (RCC) has returned this year with its smooth green lawns beneath beautiful blue skies. While it may already be a week in, there’s still time to style yourself croquet chic and get in quick to try some of the best culinary experiences that the event has to offer.

New collaborative cookbook 'Friends of STREAT' sheds light on young chefs who have rebuilt their lives through hospitality

‘Friends of STREAT’, the new cookbook by Melbourne-based social enterprise, STREAT, recently launched at QV’s Meat Fish Wine. To celebrate, guests were treated to an abundance of espresso martinis, bubbles and canapés. With 45 top Australian chefs chipping in to share some of their favourite recipes, this hefty 320+ page hardcover offering is dedicated to the many hundreds of young people that have participated in the STREAT program thus far.

Biggie Smalls - Collingwood (Melbourne)

Are you ‘old skool’ or ‘new school’? That’s what you’ll need to decide when you enter Shane Delia’s newest dining concept, Biggie Smalls, which launched in Collingwood late last week.

Meatworks opens in South Melbourne

Meatworks could soon become the best thing to ever happen in South Melbourne's food scene. Housed in a renovated old 1930’s panel-beating garage, this warehouse turned pleasure palace for carnivores will be opening its doors in four stages across the next few months. Grass-fed meat is the name of the game and with influences from both the East and the West, the brand new eatery will surely not disappoint.

Dutchess Restaurant & Bar - CBD (Melbourne)

Perched atop the crown of Melbourne’s oldest pub, The Duke of Wellington, is a glamorous Manhattan-inspired dining lounge by the name of Dutchess. Despite its location across the road from Federation Square, the restaurant feels miles away from downtown Melbourne, evoking the signature vogue style of nightlife in New York City.

Burgers by Josh presented by Hashtag Burgers - North Sydney (Sydney)

One of Sydney’s emerging burger kings, Burgers by Josh is currently hosting the ultimate burger experience thanks to Hashtag Burgers in Greenwood Plaza in North Sydney. Lachlan brings us this review of a selection of Josh’s sinful specials and standards.

Dumpling Masterclass - Din Tai Fung (Melbourne)

For those who love their dumplings, stepping into Din Tai Fung creates the same childlike, wondrous glee that you’d get from walking into a chocolate factory. The awe is almost palpable as diners press their noses against the glass walls of the kitchen, catching a glimpse of the masters creating the world’s tastiest dumpling fresh in front of their eyes. That’s right, the restaurant is home to the famous xiao long bao, so you can imagine our excitement when we were invited along to participate in an exclusive Dumpling Masterclass last week.

The Flying Duck Hotel - Prahran (Melbourne)

Late last year, Prahran’s beloved Flying Duck Hotel changed hands to property magnate Zig Inge, following a long battle by locals to prevent the development of a six-level apartment block. A range of renovations ensued, with the Inge family finally unveiling a reinvigorated hotel, which took its maiden flight amidst a flurry of media buzz early last week.

Drinking with the AU: Battle of the Brews - The Crafty Squire (Melbourne)

While this city has long had a formidable reputation for producing craft beers, it may come as a bit of a surprise that nestled in Melbourne CBD amongst tall, nondescript buildings is one of Victoria’s best breweries. Previously the Portland Hotel, The Crafty Squire is Melbourne CBD’s only working microbrewery, producing none other than the distinguished James Squire brand. Its namesake pays homage to the life of Squire, a story that is told in snippets throughout the historic pub. Transported to Australia as a convict on the first fleet in 1788, Squire became the first successful cultivator of hops in Australia and also founded the nation’s first commercial brewery.

Eating with the AU: Rosella's 120th Birthday - Cremorne (Melbourne)

Who doesn’t love a bit of tomato sauce on their meat? If you’re like us, then a barbecue is nothing without the good ol’ richly flavoured condiment and it just won’t taste right unless its the one whose name is shared with a colourful native bird, Rosella.

Drinking with the AU: Chatting with Saké Restaurant's Bar Manager John Ross Jones about their new cocktail list - Southbank (Melbourne)

On the surface, Saké Restaurant & Bar is an ode to contemporary Japanese dining. It has the quintessential dark mahogany timber highlights and dim lighting that make it the perfect place to enjoy fresh sushi and sashimi whilst overlooking the breathtaking Yarra River and CBD. While Saké fits the classic description of a Japanese restaurant, it goes one step further than the rest: its specialty is in Japanese cocktails, whiskies and beverages that you would be hard-pressed to find in any other one place in Australia.

Drinking with the AU: South American Pisco Tasting - Harley House (Melbourne)

The summer weather is well and truly here, with long days giving way to balmy, sultry evenings. While your first instinct to cool down may be to reach for a standard gin and tonic, an exotic newcomer on the Australian market has captured the season with an unprecedented level of versatility. You may not have heard of it before but it is soon to become your go-to drink when the temperature soars. We’re talking about Pisco – a Peruvian brandy that is about to take your world by storm.

Eating With the AU: The Choc Pot - Chatswood (Sydney)

Choc Pot at The Choc Pot, Chatwood

The Choc Pot has a few locations around Sydney, one of which is nestled above Chatswood station, in the recently opened District Centre, a spot which became known instantly for opening the first Tim Ho Wan restaurant in Australia. But while Michelin starred dumplings sure deserve the fanfare, The District has a lot more to offer by way of culinary choices, and if dessert is what you're after then Choc Pot is definitely one of the better options.