Flinders Island lamb, nettles, radish tops and slippery jacks
Collingwood, Eat streets, Smith St

The essence of Saint Crispin on Smith St

A fish dish was the essence of a rockpool. The pullet egg with truffles and mushrooms like a forest floor. It was the evening before opening at Saint Crispin. And the restaurant was already hitting its stride. Chefs Scott Pickett of The Estelle and Joe Grbac, formerly of The Press Club, were working with the kind of seasoned intensity you only find in the worldโ€™s best kitchens. Rewind 5 years. Smith Street was all but a culinary wasteland being colonised […]

Burgers, Collingwood, Eat streets, Smith St

The Huxtabogan: the end to Smith St cool?

There’s a new burger in town and it’s a contender to take Melbourne’s best burger crown from Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar and Grill. It’s from a joint called Huxtaburger, the choice of hangout for a new breed on Smith St, the Huxtabogan, and costs $10 to Perry’s $23. There’s a lot that’s good about the burger, each one named after a character in the The Cosby Show. My favourite is “The Bill” which at $10 is a patty of grass-fed […]

Collingwood, Restaurants, Smith St

Gorski and Jones woodfires Smith St

There’s no website. Or Twitter account. Or any effort in marketing the newest spot on the Collingwood side of Smith St, Gorski and Jones, which is next door but one to Cavellero. Yet G&J place is packed with good reason. The place looks fantastic and their short menu of food and drinks is good. Very good. It’s brought to us by the people behind Brunswick St Alimentari – “The Deli” – and a keen fan. The music is booming and […]

Collingwood, Melbourne, Wine

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Wine in the groove at Cibi. Picture: Adriane Strampp Cibi is rapidly defining itself as one of the most interesting cafes (or should I say happenings) in Melbourne as I have written before. Not only does it serve a terrific Japanese breakfast at weekends, have a quirky shop of Japanese design objects but it also treats itself like a gallery with its regular opening nights. Then there was the recent pop-up store in the Aesop store in Flinders Lane and […]

cafe, coffee, Collingwood, Melbourne, Paraphernalia, Tea

Cibi: a cafe and a gallery by any other name

Cibi: try the green tea muffins Cibi is a cafe that thinks it’s a gallery. Actually, it is a gallery and regularly holds openings to launch the various (mainly kitchen) products it imports (mainly) from Japan. Housed in a modern warehouse building on Keele St, the Cibi space features a large open kitchen and grunge cafe mixing found objects and mismatched tables and chairs with a minimalist feel – if that makes sense. It’s the brainchild of former architecture nut […]

Collingwood, Melbourne, Restaurants

Josie Bones: we ate everything

We all know Chris Badenoch right? The bad boy beer guy who was runner-up on Masterchef series one. Heโ€™s the one that was chewed-up by the tabloids and spat out a love rat. Now heโ€™s a place of his own to, so to speak, chew-up rare breed animals and swallow, together with several hundred beers. Josie Bones, his love child with Masterchef runner-up Julia Jenkins, has only a token page of wines to a telephone book of beers but surprisingly […]

cafe, coffee, Collingwood, Melbourne, Tea

Proud Mary. Great coffee and tea

I‘m starting to judge cafes by their espresso machines. The more serious the machine, the better the coffee. So when you walk into a cafe and you see a six group Synesso longer than a coffin worth some $40,000 and you know something special is going on. It sorta trumps even St Ali’s $30,000 Slayer which is pretty awesome but only has three groups. [youtube:] A Synesso in action. And I can tell you it’s official: Today coffee – and […]

Chocolate, Collingwood, Melbourne

My wonky hot chocolate

180g cylinders of 100% pure cacao I‘m obsessed by good chocolate. This time last year flying on the excellent Emirates I was entranced by the story of Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, a TV documentary aired on Channel 4 in the UK. (Check him out on Youtube) The storycentres on the trials of Willie Harcourt-Cooze who sold everything and planted 50,000 criollo cacao trees in Venezuala courting disaster at almost every moment. Finally, he succeeds in securing retail distribution for his […]

Collingwood, Restaurants

How I found a table a Collingwood’s Gigibaba

It was an epic journey from St Kilda up to Gertrude St and then down to Gigibaba at Smith St followed by an epic meal. We left at 5.30 in the evening to ensure we would find two seats in this hot Turkish joint, arriving at the working class tea time of 6.15pm. Along the way we bumped into various well known food characters on Gertrude St. I even considered moving nearby. My paternal grandfather made a similar epic journey […]