Donut Shop

Melbourne’s obsession with donuts continues, and although I’ve already found a go-to, the simple and laid-back interior of Donut Shop drew me in when I had a few hours to kill in the area, and I decided to try them out.

Mocha Crunch – $5.00

At the friendly suggestion of the waiter, I settled for the mocha crunch. The donut was very soft and airy, which contrasted well with the biscuit crumbs on top, and wasn’t overly sweet. This is one of those donuts that light enough that you don’t feel too guilty after having one as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Donut Shop is a great place to catch up with friend over some coffee and donuts. There was one weird thing: the place is named Burgers & Donuts on Zomato, and as far as I’m aware, no burger appeared on the menu. Mystery aside, good luck deciding between those donut flavours, may the odds be ever in your favour.

How to get here:
The Donut Shop is located on Gertrude Street, around a 12 minutes walk from Parliament station.

Burgers & Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Dex2rose

Dex2rose has been around for a few years now, and joined in all the fun with the nitrogen gelato craze. However, it has since ventured out into a range of other desserts too.

Matcha Crepe Cake – $11.95

Crepe cakes will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve made it a couple of times at home, and it is truly an art getting the same consistently thin crepes each and every time while essentially burning your fingertips.

Matcha Crepe Cake – $11.95

The matcha crepe cake was more decked out then say, the one at Jinda Thai, the plate was completed with a drizzle of matcha patissiere, white chocolate gelato, salted caramel popcorns, dollop of whipped cream, and fresh fruit. The plating was certainly well thought-out, and the flavours all worked well in unison. The red beans scattered through the crepe cake itself meant that there was some additional depth of flavour added to the creamy and silky cake, and the white chocolate gelato was not overly sweet on its own or when paired with the cake.

Mist in the Woods – $16.95

The hot chocolate set was probably the more gimmicky choice of the two desserts we had picked. Recreating something you would enjoy doing by the campfire meant that you could actual roast the marshmallows on the small burner, which was actually really exciting. The hot chocolate itself was lightly spiced, and the salted caramel gelato was a nice addition.

The desserts at Dex2rose were innovative but didn’t compensate in flavour either, a combination that has become harder to comeby in recent times.

I really enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere that Dex2rose offered. Although the space wasn’t too big, it was reasonably easy to grab a table that was made up of crates if you didn’t manage to score a proper table on the side. I will definitely be returning when we are looking for some crepe cakes around the city after dinner next time round.

How to get here:
Dex2rose is located on Little Bourke Street, a short 5 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Dex2rose Nitrogen Gelato Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shortstop

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Pumpkin Caramel – $5.00

Shortstop is tucked away in an alleyway opposite Melbourne Central. It is home to one of my all time favourite donut – the Australian honey and sea salt. Shortstop makes four varieties of donuts; raised, cruller, cake and filled; the names are quite explanatory.

On this occasion, I went in for the pumpkin spiced donut, which was unfortunately sold out already. Note to self, go earlier to ensure the full selection is available. I settled on the pumpkin caramel, which was actually a Halloween special, as shown by the web icing on top. The inside of the donut was orange too, and the pumpkin flavour was very prominent. The caramel was sweet, but not overly sweet.

Although the store is quite small, the friendly staff are able to provide prompt service to ensure that you don’t have to wait for too long to enjoy your donut. There are a few tables inside, as well as a bench; and there is also some seating available just outside the cafe. Given its convenient location and seasonal rotation of flavours, I am quite proud of myself for not visiting in it on a weekly, if not daily basis. Be sure to give the donuts a go next time you’re doing some shopping in Melbourne Central.

How to get there:
Shortstop is located on Sutherland Street, just opposite of the Elizabeth Street side of  Melbourne Central.

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Milkcow

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Watermelon Ice Cream Sandwich – $10.00

Milkcow hailed from Korea a couple of years ago, and this summer, they introduced the Watermelon Ice Cream Sandwich, and if this doesn’t scream summer, I don’t know what does.

We treated ourselves to the icecream after finishing up with exams, and although the pricetag of $10 is not cheap, the serving is huge, and is enough to share between two to three people. The concept is quite simple really, a thick slice of watermelon is hollowed out in the middle, and filled with the vegan watermelon ice cream. The seeds are actually chocolate bits, which was cute but not very tasty. I loved the ice cream, on the other hand, it was sweet and refreshing, kind of reminds of the watermelon flavoured Chuppa Chup. If you start finding the ice cream a bit too sweet, carve out a piece of the watermelon, and it tames down the whole thing.

This is strictly limited edition, so if you’re after a cartoon-like dessert that’s both photogenic and delicious, head down to Milkcow and try the sandwich for yourself today.

How to get there:
Milkcow is located on Swaston Street, a few minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Milkcow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Madame Brussels

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Madame Brussels is a popular rooftop bar, especially in the warmer weather that Melbourne’s finally experiencing over the last week. The space is decked up in the garden party theme, completed with hot pink serviettes and Japanese paper umbrellas that’s both practical and adorable.

We visited on a Saturday for the actual garden party, an event that’s on every weekend at Madame Brussels, and it’s strictly limited so booking ahead is essential at $55 per head.

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The Madame’s Fruity Double D Cups

Excuse the half filled jug, I only remembered to snap a photo of this later on. The drink was Madame Brussel’s take on the classic Pimms. It was made with a concoction of lemonade and gin, and was light and fruity, with plenty of fruits floating around.

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Phillipa’s Parmesan Sables with Goat’s Cheese, Beetroot and Orange Relish

The appetiser per se came out on the gorgeous floral plate, and the flavours worked well together. The sable acted as the perfect carriage for the beetroot and orange relish, which was tart and zingy, and the creamy goat cheese.

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Old-Fashioned White Breach Sandwiches

There four sandwich fillings included cucumber, ham, chicken and curried egg. My favourite was the chicken, the mayo had ample amounts of chives, ensuring that the chicken was very flavoursome. My friend picked the curried egg as her favourite, a clavour twist on a traditional egg sandwich, without the curry being overpowering.

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Home-Made Sausage Rolls with White Crow

These sausage rolls were piping hot from the oven, and they were some of the best sausage rolls I’ve had to date! The filling was moist and well-textured, not overly mushy as they can be sometimes, and the pastry was crispy and buttery. The tomato sauce on the side prevented the sausage rolls themselves from being too heavy.

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Petite Cupcakes with Gooey Centres, La Belle Miette Salted Caramel Macaron

The cupcakes were nice and moist, with the right ratio of icing to cupate, and it had a rasberry jam centre which added even more flavour. La Bell Miette does some of the best macarons ever, and these were delightful as usual. The pink shell was light and airy, and the caramel filling was gooey and sweet.

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Mini Pavlovas with Lemon Curd

I’m usually not a huge fan of pavlovas, since they tend to be quite sweet. However the lemond curd was thick enough to hold iteslf, and its tartnesshelped to balance the sweetness of the meringue out, and I actually quite enjoyed it.

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Warm Scones

Scones are a must at high tea, and the ones at Madame Brussel came with rasberry jam and cream on the side. The scones were on the small side, but were buttery and warm. I especially liked the cream, because of how thick and creamy it was, just how cream should be.

The ambience at Madame Brussels was very fun and light-hearted, the service was friendly but not intrusive. On the Saturday we visited, there were several bigger parties that were hosting birthday parties and the like. I can definitely see its appeal, however the $55 price tag is a tad bit steep for the amount of food we had.

I would be open to returning for a couple of drinks though, it would be a great location to relax before a musical, given its proximity to the Princess Theatre.

How to get here:
Madame Brussels is hidden upstairs on Bourke Street, catch the train to Parliament station and get out of the Bourke Street exit, then walk up a couple hundred metres, it’s right next to Spaghetti Tree, the glass door has a sign that says Madam Brussels, go up a few steps and then up the elevator to level 3 and you would make it to the bar.

Madame Brussels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Things I ate at the Night Noodle Market

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Not wanting to repeat my mistake last year of leaving the Night Noodle Market in my folder for an insanely long time, and eventually just missed the limited time window to post completely, I’m typing up this post on the first day of its duration this year. Is it too early to give myself a pat on the back?

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Hoy Pinoy | Pork Belly Skewers – 2 for $13.00

Given that Hoy Pinoy operate at markets as far as I’m aware of, I always make sure I grab a few of their skewers when I get the chance. The Filipino street food stall has made an appearance since the inaugral noodle market, and there’s a reason that it is able to do so. The skewers were grilled to perfection, and the banana glaze was sweet and enticing. My only complaint is that they were lukewarm, which I guess is the downside of it not being a busy night, the skewers weren’t exactly freshly made.

Hoy Pinoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Wonderbao | Korean Chilli Chicken Gua Bao – $7.50

Wonderbao is also a staple at the market, and a personal favourite of mine. Although its location is quite convenient for me to grab a quick lunch, Wonderbao always does a few market specials, and I’m always curious to try the limited edition ones out.  Unfortunately, the fried chicken wasn’t my favourite. The chicken was fried pretty well, but there was an overwhelming amount of sauce, and it was overly taste for me, making the whole bun a bit of a mess.

Wonderbao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Gelato Messina | Aunty Tomsu’s Cheesecake (Japanese cheesecake, strawberry & cherry blossom cream, strawberry meringue, strawberries & strawberry gelato) – $12.00

Messina is probably one of the most highly anticipated stall at the market, to say the least. The theme this year was Japanese Gameshow, and in typical Messina fashion, they did not hold back with all the incredible flavour combinations, as well as the decked out stall, completed with a board to flip for luck.

I experienced a Sophie’s Choice moment in choosing one out of the four desserts they had on offer, but ultimately picked Aunty Tomsu’s Cheesecake. Do I know who Aunty Tomsu is? Nope. Do I like her cheesecake? Hell yeah. The container was filled with goodies, and if you like strawberries and cheesecake, you’re in for a treat. Needless to say, the gelato was perfection, on top of that, the cream at the time really drilled in on the cheesecake factor. The meringues were not only perfectly shaped, they were also very airy, albeit a tad bit sweet. That’s probably my only complaint about the whole thing, it was just all a bit sweet towards the end.

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Dining at the Night Noodle Market is certainly not cheap, even by Melbourne standards. You could easily rack up a $50 meal by the end of the night, trying to sample a bit of everything. It may be pricier than food markets in other countries, Asia in particular; however the serenity of the location and the variety of food that is on offer makes it a must-go event for the Summer time.

So, grab a few friends and head out to the Night Noodle Market, it’s open every night until 26 November, giving you just over three weeks to find some time visit.

Oh and it’s also cashless, meaning that you can simply pay by card at every stall, including the $2 fortune cookie donation.

How to get there:
Night Noodle Market is located at Birrarung Marr, which is right next to Federation Square.

Le Petit Gateau

Le Petit Gateau is tucked away in my favourite part of the city, and serves one of my favourite cake in town. We stopped by for a quick dessert after lunch one day at, you guessed it, my suggestion.

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Lemon Tart – $8.50

Starting things on a simpler note, we ordered the lemon tart. This is such a classic dessert, and I loved Le Petit Geteau’s interpretation. The pastry was buttery and crumbly, and the lemon curd was tangy and silky smooth. Although nothing ground breaking, this is as good as lemon tarts can be imo.

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Brownie and Passionfruit Chocolate Gateau – $9.90

The precision of this cake never fails to blow me away, just look at how crisp the layers all are! The flavour profile certainly lives up to expectation, with chocolate brownie, passionfruit curd, and milk chocolate mousse layered on top of one another, and then the whole thing is covered with dark chocolate glaze, and topped with a mango jelly.

Five ingredients isn’t all that crazy when it comes to French patisserie I don’t think, however, these five elements all work in harmony, and brings the best out of one another. The tartness of the passionfruit curd and mango jelly balances out the richness of chocolate in its three different textures so well, making it a must order every time I visit!

There are still many more cakes and pastries I want to try out from Le Petit Gateau, it always takes me so much self control to not order a couple more to take home when I leave the store. But hey, given its accessible location, I’ll be sure to go back!

How to get there:
Le Petit Gateau is on Little Collins Street, which is less than 10 minutes walk away from Melbourne Central.

Le Petit Gateau Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato