Eat here: Noi Pizzeria, Maha & Lindt Cafe

Time for a quick round up of this weeks best eats…

Noi Pizzeria (Italian), Preston
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Noi-Pizzeria/419481201491581

The lovely Michele & Elena, formerly of Pizzeria Amici, are running this hidden little gem out in the northern suburbs. It is genuine, authentic, perfect Italian pizza – this crust, wood fire oven baked, topped with a few simple but quality ingredients.

I had the San Daniele pizza (San Daniele prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and rocket) which was absolutely magnificent. Although a little steep at $22.00 (it was a medium sized pizza at best), it was worth the money. One of the best pizza bases going around, the base is slightly crispy from the wood fire oven bake, and the dough and crust are pillowy and soft.

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Also shared the Nutella & strawberry pizza for dessert with a friend – we’re chocoholics so our only criticism was not enough Nutella, but other than that it was the perfect end to dinner. If you don’t like in the northern burbs it might be a bit of a hike, but it’s worth it – just make a reservation!

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Noi Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

 

Maha (Middle Eastern), Melbourne CBD
www.maharestaurant.com.au

Shane Delia’s Maha has been a Melbourne stalwart for a while now, bolstered by guest appearances on MasterChef and his own TV show. What I didn’t realise, despite the fact that I work within a stones throw from the place, is that they don’t just do fancy, book-a-month-in-advance cuisine – they do a mean burger at the bar, too. The burger changes from month to month; I had their Brazilian World Cup burger. Pork & chorizo patty with Swiss cheese, avocado, corn & ancho chilli mayo. Pretty delicious, unfortunately the patty was just a little bit too high, which meant that it kept threatening to slip out of the bun (which got quite soggy quite quickly, a real shame). Tasted fantastic though!

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Maha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

Lindt Cafe, Melbourne CBD
www.lindt.com.au

Not much that needs to be said about this one really – everyone knows their chocolate is unreal. My lovely friend and work colleague organised a tea for 2 session in our lunch break and here’s what we got – needless to say, it was all delicious!

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Lindt Chocolate Café on Urbanspoon

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Eat here: The Breakfast Club, Melbourne. Again.

The Breakfast Club, Northcote, Melbourne
https://www.facebook.com/thebreakfastclubcafe

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So, as you might surmise given that I’ve written about this place before, I really love The Breakfast Club. We try to get here at least once a fortnight, walking the 6km from our house to eat breaky there, and then the 6km back home to digest. This particular weekend gave us a pretty nice day, so the stroll down St George’s Rd (long as it was) was really very pleasant!

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It’s getting to be a popular little place, particularly with the northern suburb hipsters, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cosy and cute, with kitschy little mismatched salt and pepper shakers on the tables, a gorgeously decorated bathroom, and tattooed, thrift shop-clad staff (this isn’t an insult, by the way – I love their tattoos and am inked up myself, and they’re always so lovely and smiley and friendly, even first thing on a Sunday morning!).  They do have a gorgeous little café area inside, but we have our “regular” spot out the side-way that we prefer. It’s quieter, more private, and nice to be sitting in the fresh air.

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We’re usually pretty boring and order the same thing every time, but my last post was the day we decided to try something different. This weekend past, we went back to our regular order, and as usual, it was perfect.

Poached eggs with avocado on wholegrain toast for me – the toast is amazing, they use good quality avocado and are never stingy with it, and my eggs are always poached to perfection.

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Husband’s usual is the potato croquettes with bacon, avocado, chipotle mayo and poached eggs. Always delicious – can’t really go wrong with fried potato and bacon, can you?

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And because we’re dorks and we can, breakfast usually ends with a pot of tea and cake of some sort. It was brownie this time – it was the size and weight of a small house brick, but we figured it was ok because we had a 6km walk home ahead of us. It was thick and gooey and all sorts of marvellous. Also, the teapots come out wearing cosies, which scores extra points, because I’m a huge dork. Or maybe I’m turning into a hipster. Hmmm…

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With that, we paid the bill (again, around $40.00 for the works), and started the long walk home. So, why go there? Great food, relaxed weekend breakfast atmosphere, lovely staff, and it’s not in any of the big inner suburbs, which means its not packed with pretentious hipsters, just friendly neighbourhood ones! See you next weekend guys, thanks for another top notch breakfast!

 

The Breakfast Club on Urbanspoon

Eat here: Shiki, Melbourne (Japanese)

Shiki, Melbourne
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/71/1502785/restaurant/Melbourne/Shiki-Greensborough

I first came across this little place in the Northern burbs a few years ago, and after getting over my initial shock, it’s been a solid go-to for Japanese food cravings ever since.

Shock because Greensborough is part of the most Caucasian area in Melbourne. There’s not a heap of multi-culturalism in those suburbs, especially compared to some others close by, so it’s the last place I expected to come across amazing Japanese food. But this place give you real, honest, authentic Japanese food, at very reasonable prices, in a restaurant that has one of those rare, one-big-happy-family atmospheres.

I’ll be honest here, sometimes the service isn’t amazing. I’m not sure if that’s because of how crazy busy it can get, or the occasional language barrier (the staff mostly speak English as a second language), but the food is absolutely good enough to excuse it.

We made the trip there with the family for Mother’s Day last week, and between the eight of us, ordered an absolute truckload of food. We started with two giant sushi boats to share ($36.50 each), and this is some seriously fresh and delicious sushi. Highly recommend.

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Then, it got chaotic – main dish after main dish started to bombard the table and there were forks and spoons flying absolutely everywhere. I got in quick to photograph the dishes that husband and I ordered.

The first was the Yakisoba noodles with beef and vegetables ($11.50). It’s a perfect dish that’s filling without being heavy or sickening, simple but delicious flavour in the sauce, and the beef was tender and tasty. It’s also a great share dish if you’re like us and enjoy trying a few different things.

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The other dish we shared was my personal favourite from Shiki – the Oyakodon ($9.50). It’s basically a bowl of rice topped with chicken cooked with egg, onion and sukiyaki sauce. I can’t even tell you how tender and juicy the chicken is, it’s seriously incredible. Chicken, onion and egg sounds like a ridiculous combination – I thought the same the first time a friend recommended it a few years ago, but trust me, it’s like the most delicious little bowl of Asian comfort food, and the one dish I look forward to ordering over and over again!

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This isn’t a fancy restaurant. It’s not high dining. It’s probably not the absolute best Japanese food you’ll get in Melbourne. But it’s certainly the best I’ve had out in the Northern suburbs, it’s very well priced, very authentic, and regardless of whether you’re visiting for the first time or the twentieth, it always feels like home.

 

Shiki on Urbanspoon