(Melbourne) Top Paddock

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As a city renowned for its coffee and brunch scene, it’s tough picking favorites here. But if I were to choose, Top Paddock would be sitting somewhere on that list of ‘Favorite Cafes’ (or something). I loved where it’s situated, the food, the service, the decor, the ambiance – everything. While the food wasn’t perfect nor to-die-for, it’s holistically one of the better cafes out there that I would often recommend to others. However, take note that I haven’t had a chance to be back here for a while now, and it seems that certain changes have been made to the menu.

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(Melbourne) Three Bags Full

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There’s something serene and peaceful about cafes that lie on the outskirts, like Three Bags Full, which provided a quick departure from the hustle and bustle of the city that I was used to seeing most of the time. Food-wise, it offered the ‘standard’ breakfast and brunch menu that I have come to expect in Melbourne, and I thought it could do with experimenting with new dishes (though I wasn’t disappointed with the unconventional Japanese okonomiyaki pancake when they did). Trying to find breakfast and brunch where you don’t want to feel let down? Three Bags Full would be a pretty safe bet.

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(Melbourne) Chin Chin

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A list of Melbourne’s top restaurants would not be complete without at least a mention of Chin Chin. This Asian fusion restaurant (with a bar inside) offered uncommon, but certainly not unpleasant, food selections that certainly lived up to expectations, at least personally and for the most part. Food was remarkably exquisite and of high-quality, and worth every bit of the premium price attached to it. I’d definitely love to come back for more.

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(Melbourne) Gyoza Gyoza

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Gyoza Gyoza, a cozy Japanese bar conveniently located on Little Bourke Street, was one of the few Japanese restaurants I’ve been to in Melbourne that actually offered something other than 1) sushi rolls, 2) donburi, or 3) ramen. It came to a point where I thought finding Japanese a la carte dishes in the city was challenging… Or perhaps I’ve just been looking in the wrong places all along. Nevertheless, the izakaya style bar offered an impressive selection of popular Japanese dishes, although among those that I’ve tried, some were excellent while others definitely had room for improvement.

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(Melbourne) FOMO Thai

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Located right across the Bourke Street/Russell Street tram stop, FOMO Thai was a highly accessible and popular Thai restaurant in town. It offered a wide range of choices for both food and beverages, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, and the clean and relatively modern interior provided a comfortable and uncluttered environment. Food here generally didn’t disappoint, and they were served quickly as well. However, differentiating its lunch and dinner menus meant that there were some items that were available only in the day, or at night.

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(Lake Tekapo) Thai Tekapo

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Overall Rating: 45%

In general, I thought all of the dishes that I’ve tried here had a lot of room for improvement. But for practical reasons and cost constraints, Thai Tekapo served as a decent option for a filling and not-quite-so terrible meal. Although most of the dishes here were salty, the restaurant offered a fairly wide variety of options for food, and hopefully the other dishes are better than the ones I had.

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(Lake Tekapo) Mackenzies

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Overall Rating: 68%

An accessible and convenient restaurant to get to in Lake Tekapo is Mackenzies, with great location (in the city center), long operating hours, and lots of parking space. The restaurant had an excellent view of the lake and mountain, a warm and comfortable interior, but I thought the food was average and prices were too expensive. Nevertheless, Mackenzies is a place you can go to for various occasions, be it for a date, drinks, a meal with a friends or family, or if you just want to find a clean and comfortable environment with decent food.

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