Taking a Londoner on a taste of Melbourne: Movida, Tonka, Cup of Truth, Le Petit Gateau.
When a visitor comes to visit us in Melbourne, it is never easy drawing up an itinerary that would best showcase what our food scene has to offer. Luckily for our friend from London, she would be here for much longer than the usual holiday stint, which gave me less pressure do it all. Nonetheless having 3 food stops and 1 coffee stop jammed into one afternoon would still be a great feat.
For this little adventure I focussed largely on our laneway culture, started off with a few bites at Movida, before heading over to the brand spanking new Tonka for a little contemporary Asian, then a little coffee banter at Cup of Truth and a final sweet note at Le Petit Gateau.
[Movida bar de tapas]
Where: 1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne CBD.
When: daily lunch + dinner.
Contact: 03 9663 3038
Although there are now several stores scattered across Melbourne CBD (and now Sydney) flagging the Movida brand, the original Movida bar de tapas remains my favourite and go to destination for gorgeous contemporary Spanish. Having Frank Camorra’s beef cheeks lathered in Pedro Ximenez is must!
Pictured above: smoked Spanish mackerel & pine nut gazpacho sorbet; rabbit cigars (special of the day); poached egg and jamon; slow braised beef cheek in Pedro Ximenez on cauliflower puree.
Where: 20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne CBD
When: Mon – Sat.
Contact: 03 9650 3155
Tonka, sister of the successful Coda restaurant takes on a similar concept of Contemporary Asian cuisine, this time heading towards the west – India. The otherworldly interior is a feast on the eyes, in stark contrast to the dilapidated alleyway entrance.
Pictured above: Smoked trout on betel leaf; Pani puri; Tempura soft shell crabs; lamb curry (half serve).
Toned down fusion cuisine – that has rather delicate fresh notes, and if anything falls light of what one expects from the headier Indian cuisine. Yet, this fits right into the current Melbourne palate and trend for lighter Asian cuisine which it certainly fulfils.
[Cup of Truth]
Where: 12 Campbell Arcade, Degraves street subway, Melbourne CBD.
When: Mon – Fri, from 6.45am.
Our next stop would be a true slice of Melbourne’s coffee culture – a hole in the wall coffee store, nestled in an underground alley below Flinders station serving flawless coffee. Having a friendly barista, who will dish out light-hearted banter, take the time to explain your coffee, and remember your usual coffee would certainly help start you on a buzz in the morning. Definitely one of my favourite coffee haunts – if only I worked within reach of it.
For more secret coffee haunts around Melbourne check out this post at Fatboo.
[Le Petit Gateau]
Where: 458 Lt Collins street, Melbourne CBD
When: Mon – Fri
Contact: 03 9944 8893
By this stage of the afternoon, the two hungry strollers were hungry no more. But there is always room for cake right? Oops, forgot to take photos this time…
I have had many cakes around Melbourne, and I would list Le Petit Gateau in my top three cake destinations. Their cakes are richly decadent but absolutely timeless. Anecdotally, the brownie and passionfruit chocolate gateau seems to be the standout number with its luscious layers of mousse, custard and crunchy praline.