Slept in on a Sunday morning, so I was surprised to find a restaurant/cafe nearby that’s actually opened at late noon, since most shops are closed on Sundays. Stokers is a hidden gem located on Clarendon Street that operates every day. Apparently, it’s still opened until late at night from Tuesday to Sunday as well, which is really convenient. Even though the portion here is small, I was thoroughly fascinated by its signature pancake chips. Definitely returning again to try out the different savory, sweet, and exotic sweet pancakes!
Squisito Bar is located inside QV, which is at the heart of the CBD and easily accessible, and situated behind Schnitz. I assumed that since the mall is normally bustling with people, the restaurant would be very crowded and noisy as well, but it turned out to be relaxing and peaceful instead. I was very impressed with the quality and price of the dishes here – the food are delicious yet reasonably-priced, if not lower compared to other places. Customers can make online reservations as well on the restaurant’s website, to avoid having to wait in line.
I went to Stove Monkey on a Saturday noon with my friends and I’m disappointed to say that it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. The small cafe is located on Clarendon Street and it’s quite easily accessible, and although I genuinely thought the dishes here were decent, the portion were so unreasonably little that neither of us were remotely satisfied. Service was sub-par, food was extremely overpriced, and the cafe also didn’t give off a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Definitely won’t be going back anytime soon.
Le Miel Et La Lune is a popular destination for breakfast and brunch, and it’s just a short walking distance from the University of Melbourne. The cafe is normally filled with people, but not too packed that it becomes too noisy. It’s located on a fairly quiet street, so the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxing. The breakfast and lunch menu are served throughout the day, and there is also a variety of beverages available. There are also gluten-free options for quite a number of the dishes!
Bunyip Cafe is one of the numerous cafes lined up along Coventry Street, and located right across from the South Melbourne Market. The area bustles with people on both weekdays and weekends, and is a popular destination for breakfast and brunch. The food and coffee at Bunyip Cafe are quite good, but I’m not exactly wow-ed since I can find better brunch food elsewhere. The portion of the food is pretty small compared to the price you have to pay, but it’s one of the places where you can be guaranteed to get decent food. The atmosphere here is pretty peaceful and quiet, although it may be crowded especially during weekend mornings.
I was trying to find a good place to have brunch within Southbank and it was actually tougher than I thought, since there are normally plenty of brunch places in the CBD and South Melbourne. The Bond Store is is conveniently located in Southbank and has pretty good reviews. It is right next to the Eureka tower and also close to the Southgate Center, and behind the fancy restaurants alongside Yarra River. The restaurant is easily accessible, wasn’t very crowded when I got there, and it was comfortable and relaxing. However, I personally think there are definitely better places to have coffee and brunch, and have better atmosphere as well.
I had quite a great time at Table Manners. I was told it’s a gem of the East and it wasn’t so difficult to see why. It’s a fun place, with excellent food and lively atmosphere. What sets it apart from most brunch places is the concept of the menu. You get to sort of customise your own meal. Feeling carnivorous? Don’t add the veggies. I quite like their “Build Your Own Platter” menu. They’ve also got some very creative paper place mats that might help break the ice a bit on your first date with that special someone. Intrigued yet? Well for me, I had quite a lot of fun and enjoyed my food there.