Moving from regional Victoria to the lights and sounds of Australia’s best food hub would be a dream for any local chef. I’d visited Melbourne before but nothing compares to actually living in the midst of the chaos that is that city and it’s people. It’s not hard to see now, why people become so absorbed by the culture, the atmosphere and its food, there’s so much going on it can be difficult to know where to start, so I’m going to help you.

Something that has held my heart since the first time I travelled to Melbourne has been its patisseries, people that know me would guess I’d start with dessert. Anytime I’m in the CBD, a visit to Agathe Patisserie at South Melbourne market is a must, with probably the widest array of viennoiserie available in the city, changing daily specials and delicious croissants. I often find myself going there at least twice a week, grabbing a croissant and walking through the aisles. My other favourite dessert stops included; the amazing Lune in fitzroy, Le Petit Gateau or Laurent in the CBD and Gelato Messina also in Fitzroy or Windsor.

When it comes to breakfast I’ll always take advantage of the hippie Melbourne cafes that can be found in the alleys in Melbourne. A few of my favourite stops include Auction Rooms, HASH, Hardware Society and Higher Ground, but my ‘go-to’ would have to be St Ali in South Melbourne. Everything about it is Melbourne, it’s location is close to the local markets and the coffee culture is like no other in the city. I recommend a bottled iced latte and their red velvet pancakes.

Time for lunch or dinner, you’ll find most places in the city are suited for both! Honourable mentions include; Carlton Wine Room, Longrain, Chin Chin, Tokyo Tina and Estelle. My favourite stop for lunch would have to be Bambu at South Melbourne markets, the food is affordable, delicious and they have amazing cocktails. Try their apple martini and you won’t regret coming. Dinner always brings me back to Supernormal or Lucy Liu, both with banquet style sharing menus, pleasing atmosphere and of course, their Asian-fusion meals never fail especially when sharing with friends/family.

So that’s where I’m spending my time when this lockdown is over and the virus is eventually eradicated. Hopefully by then, we can all sit down together and allow food to do what it does best. Bring people together.