Cheap eats

Journal Canteen: eating and drinking out of our discontent

Journal Canteen: eating and drinking out of our discontent

It’s a little know fact that Journal Canteen – or Rosa’s Kitchen as the hidden neon sign on the first floor of the Centre for Adult Education (CAE) Building on Flinders Lane says – is now open on Friday nights. Up until I discovered that, I had only ever eaten lunch – for which bookings aren’t taken – there. For you to discover it, enter the Centre for Adult Education (1st floor, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne +61 3 9650 4399), […]

Slippery, furry and cold, I also ate terrific little scrotums of flavour at Din Tai Fung

Slippery, furry and cold, I also ate terrific little scrotums of flavour at Din Tai Fung

This is one of the most memorable and best value dishes I ate while briefly in Sydney – the $6.80 Tofu with pork floss and 1,000 year old eggs – at Din Tai Fung at World Square. I think it was even better than the Shao-long bao, which has become so fashionable at Yum Cha nowadays. I was eating with Shelley from SBS Food who was far more adept at eating these punchy little bags of flavour, using a technique […]

The Abyssinian: freedom fighter food in Kensington

The Abyssinian: freedom fighter food in Kensington

There’s a lot to be said for ethnic restaurants. They usually offer big, cheap hearty meals often cooked from the heart. They also often offer the chance to reacquaint oneself with monosodium glutamate, fluorescent strip lighting, surly service and dodgy lino. Then there’s The Abyssinian (277 Racecourse Road Kensington, Victoria 3031, 03 9376 8754), run by two Eritreans, which has taken the genre to another level and avoided all the crap which is why it was packed out the night […]

The Espy’s Ichi Ni rocks St Kilda

The Espy’s Ichi Ni rocks St Kilda

I instantly like it: Ichi Ni (03 9534 1212), the Izakaya, a Japanese style tavern/pub with food, which opened last night  next to The Espy by the owners of The Espy Vince Sofo and Paul Adamo. It rocks. Yes, there were some blips in service on the first night. But we weren’t even aware that our dishes were taking longer than expected. We were having a great time. It’s a balmy late summer night. We are sitting on the large terrace […]

Shimbashi: finding gold on the coast

Shimbashi: finding gold on the coast

The best and best value food in Surfers Paradise has long been the tiny Korean and Japanese joints hidden in its low-rent 1970s shopping malls. But it is also worth escaping the main tourist drags for Chevron Island where soba Master Yoshinory Shibazaki & his wife Keiko are bringing Japanese food on the Gold Coast to a new level. The restaurant Shimbashi Soba on Chevron is a local manifestation of the well-known and reviewed (even by those who really know […]

Still searching for the best Pho. Or am I?

Still searching for the best Pho. Or am I?

The seductive thing is the doorway and a sign. There is no other indication of what lies at the top of the stairs in the Thy Thy (142 Victoria St, Richmond +61 3 9429 1104) Vietnamese restaurant. Perhaps restaurant is too strong a word. This isn’t a place I’d come to eat at night and apparently nor should you. But do drop in for an aromatic and filling bowl of sub $10 Pho and to enjoy Thy Thy’s retro chequerboard […]

Very Cheap annoucement

This is, as Joe Strummer said, a public service announcement and it may “Rock the Casbah” a bit. The idea of Very Cheap Eats (Email me as gastrotomATgmailDOTcom if you’d like to become a reviewer) is to provide a guide to the best cheap food in Australian in the sort of places you’d actually choose to go out and spend an hour or so eating in. It is about meals of at least two courses costing less than $20 (or […]

Inkr7: worth a detour in St Kilda

Inkr7: worth a detour in St Kilda

The intersection of Inkerman, Barkly and Grey streets is where the whole of St Kilda comes together. The Barkly Hotel is a backpackers by any other name. The Bitch is Back is a local retro furniture icon. And of course, you can buy any type of drug or sexual deviancy under the sun on Grey. I prefer to hang out during the day at Inkr7 (7 Inkerman St, St Kilda VIC 3182 (03) 9534 6011). It’s hidden away in a […]