I cannot believe we are less than one week out for Hadoop Summit Melbourne! Following on from our first guest blog from Rikki-Lee Brandon, she’s been kind enough to pull together as list of her top restaurant and bar spots in the City. If you visit any of these recommendations during Hadoop Summit week, please take a photograph and either share with us through the comments on here or, even better, pop on Twitter using #HS16Melb so we can see please!
We can’t wait for the Hadoop Summit to get underway, I hope you enjoy the wealth of pre-event training, keynotes including our guest customer speakers from Coles and AGL (cannot wait for those!) and the business and technical sessions. However, kicking back and enjoying the social side of networking around the event is important too so whether you are based in Melbourne or visiting this fantastic city like I am, I hope you get to enjoy at least one of these picks from Rikki-Lee! Over to you, RL….
After living in Melbourne for 3 years, it was very difficult to narrow this list down to my absolute favourites. In my opinion, even after traveling to different parts of the world, Melbourne will always have my heart when it comes to food.
Here is a list of my absolute favourite places to eat and drink in Melbourne, in no particular order.
Gazi Restaurant – Opened by MasterChef Australia judge, George Calombaris, Gazi is simple Greek food bursting with flavour. You can taste the quality of the ingredients in every mouthful and the atmosphere of the venue is lively. You may even get to meet George himself if you’re lucky!
RL’s Pick: Duck Souvlakia with Chips, Parsley, Onion, Mustard Mayo and Poached Pear.
Nieuw Amsterdam Bar & Eatery – Walking into Nieuw Amsterdam feels like you’ve stepped straight into a trendy, underground, New York restaurant. It’s classy, just hipster enough to be cool, but not condescending, and the food speaks for itself. It’s beautifully presented, not overdone, and the flavours are perfectly balanced. After dinner, make sure you go down to the bar. It’s dimly lit, brick and wooden layout is the perfect setting for some quiet drinks.
RL’s Pick: Waffled Mac & Cheese and Pumpkin Donuts with Jack Daniels Cream.
(Louise note: Nice link to our upcoming Future of Data Roadshow in Amsterdam too!)
400 Gradi – Head Pizzaiolo, Johnny Di Francesco was given the title of Best Pizza in the World for his Margherita Pizza in 2014. If that isn’t enough to get you there, there are also magnificent pastas, risotto, meats and cheeses. Classic Italian food and a buzzing atmosphere to go with it.
RL’s Pick: Suprema (v) Pizza with pumpkin, rocket, pine nuts and goats cheese.
Kake Di Hatti – Super cheap eat on the food-famous Lygon Street. Some of the best Indian food I have eaten. Great for big groups and sharing meals. Restaurant is not much to look at, but the food is the real attraction here.
RL’s Pick: Butter Chicken (Makhani).
Colonel Tan’s – Hidden in the back of the very cool Revolver music venue on Chapel Street is arguably the best Thai restaurant in all of Melbourne. Small sharing plates make tasting everything on the menu a breeze… And trust me, once you are there you will definitely want to! You will never see so many fresh ingredients and beautiful colours in your food again. And it tastes even better than it looks.
RL’s Pick: Fat Duck Noodles with Cashew Salad, Tomato, Cucumber, Avocado, Chilli & Coriander.
Cookie – In the heart of Melbourne, just below one of the best rooftop bars in the city, you can find one of my favourite Asian Fusion menus. With a surprisingly large menu, the quality is never sacrificed. With unusual combinations and ingredients and a range of dish sizes, there really is something for everyone.
RL’s Pick: Pork Belly Dry Red Curry, Green Beans & Green Peppercorns.
Naked For Satan – Located in the heart of Fitzroy, the rooftop bar in this venue has uninterrupted views of Melbourne City. If the weather isn’t favourable, you can always hang out downstairs in the Bar de Pintxos y Vodka. They have over 20 house infused vodkas, a great selection of local craft beers and cider, and of course, delicious Spanish Pintxos to help soak up the alcohol.
RL’s Pick: Blue Cheese with Quince and Walnut & Smoked Duck Breast with Tomato and Chutney Pintxos washed down with Opium & Rose Vodka.
Hammer & Tong 412 – These guys are famous for their Soft shell crab burger. But that doesn’t mean the rest of their menu should be overlooked. They have nailed this crazy, eclectic menu with bits and pieces from different cuisines fused together into a versatile collection of flavours.
RL’s Pick: Duck Eggs & Candied Bacon Waffle.
Vegie Bar – This vegetarian restaurant could convert some serious meat-eaters. Pure comfort food at it’s healthiest. There is the unique Raw menu which is a must-try, and most meals can be easily be made vegan if required.
RL’s Pick: Mexican Burrito.
Shakahari Vegetarian Restaurant – Melbourne really knows the vegetarian market and Shakahari doesn’t disappoint with its varied menu and bohemian feel. This place is a mecca of specific dietary requirements including vegan, lactose intolerance and coeliacs. But what the food lacks in gluten, it makes up for in taste.
RL’s Pick: Avocado Magic followed by Quinoa Croquettes.
Mrs Parmas – This list would not be complete with a Parmigiana. You can’t get much more Australian. But these guys take it to the next level. With HUGE portion sizes and unlimited sides, you will roll out of the restaurant. Good luck narrowing down the list of mouthwatering toppings to just one. My advice is, take a friend so you get to try more than one.
RL’s Pick: Mexican with Tomato Salsa, Sour Cream, Guacamole & Jalapenos.
Dench – Fitzroy North – Best brunch in Melbourne and worth the wait for a table. You may even spot the odd Australian celebrity. A combination of fresh produce and perfectly baked goods will leave you satisfied well into the day.
RL’s Pick: Avocado, Feta, Lemon & Soft Herbs on Sourdough Toast. (Louise note: That’s next Friday morning before my flight home set!!)
Lolo & Wren – This cute little café is a bit out of the way but well worth the journey. As with all good brunch places in Melbourne, there may be a short wait for a table but you won’t regret it. The coffee is amazing and the food is delicious, colourful and cooked to perfection every time.
RL’s Pick: Sweetcorn & Zucchini Fritters with Peperonata, Soft Goat Feta, Pebre Salsa, Chilli Jam & Avocado.
Queen Victoria Markets – If you don’t get time to go to any of the other places, you may still be in luck. A lot of the best restaurants and cafes have food stalls at Queen Victoria Market. You can get small sample plates of all different cuisines and find Melbourne’s best food trucks all in one spot.
RL’s Pick: Dutch Poffertjes Truck – with Chocolate Topping, Vanilla Ice Cream and Icing Sugar.
Gelato Messina – There is only one place for Gelato in Melbourne and there is a good reason people queue outside in the middle of winter to get a taste of this stuff. Ingredients used in their most raw and natural form make for the mouth-watering flavours; 40 to be precise, with 5 special flavours weekly.
RL’s Pick: Snickers (If it’s available; it was a special once and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since).