..strange name for a little touch of Italy in bayside Hampton. And more curiously, this new eatery has been set up by Alastair Dobbs, previously the sommelier at the Church St Enoteca.
OS presents a classic simple Italian menu accompanied of course with an excellent wine list. Bookings are advised as OS has become very popular
I have just had one of the best meals I have had in America - a simple meal of pasta with a Bolognese sauce provided with superior service.
Owner and chef, Jason is a gracious host.
Attica is superb, unbelievable, different, wonderful and challenging.
In a quiet suburb, south east of the city (better known for its majestic National Trust mansion), Attica is breaking the ground rules for dining in Melbourne and gaining a very good reputation and two or three hats in local dining guides.
Attica presents food that is challenging - their after mains course called 'Terroir' consists of beetroot, limes, berries and flowers and is a prelude to various desserts, one of which blows you away - a tumbler of sauternes custard berries and toffee.
The service is exemplary and professional beyond belief. Attica hands the diner a wine list of great length with a selection of wines, local and international.
The degustation menu (on Friday and Saturday evenings) presents diners with two entrees and seven mains and a dessert dish, presented and explained over three hours of dining.
An astonishing dining experience
not cheap but absolutely worth it
First constructed in 1866, the Vue Grand is a superb historic hotel in Queenscliff about 90 mins from Melbourne. With very good accommodation in modernised old rooms, the Vue Grand is the place to stay while looking over the sights of Queenscliff or visiting the Historical Museum or discovering the local area of Bellarine. The Vue Grand has a number of cafes and eating areas as well as bars but the highlight is the Grand Dining room.
Just a nice place to stay in provincial Victoria.
One of Australia's best rural restaurants is Athelstane House in the historic maritime village of Queenscliff. The dining experience we had was superb, with amazing food backed up by a very good list of local and regional wines (as well as imports from France etc) and very very good service. Dining can be done in the restaurant or on the balcony or in front of the fire. Athelstane House also provides high class accommodation as well as a very good food store. Athelstane House is the winner of many dining and good food awards. We were impressed.
On the Mornington Peninsula about an hour from the centre of Melbourne are a lot of natural hot springs and pools and 'Peninsula Hot Springs' has built a resort over some of them. With this they provide special private treatments (massages, spa treatments etc) as well as public swimming areas in the thermal pools. Rich in minerals, the warm waters (around 36-42°c) soothe and caress.
Woodapple is in Hampton and gets its name from a strange Sri Lankan fruit of the same name (the fruit being hard skinned like a coconut but with an inner pulp like apple and berry pie filling according to our host)
So Woodapple serves Sri Lankan cuisine and does so superbly. There is a reasonable list of entrees but for mains the best choice is the hoppers (bowlshaped rice flour pancakes) filled with your choice of whatever curries are on the constantly changing menus. These are fantastic and come with some amazing chutneys. The coconut roti (bread) is also great. One thing we noticed is that vegetarians are well catered for with a surprisingly good choice of authentic dishes. The service was good, done by the either the lady owner and/or the chef.
Best of all, the prices are very nice and there is no corkage if you bring your own drinks.
427 Hampton St
ph 9598 7800
Woodapple is in the setback Hampton Village area of Hampton st shops and is about 200m north of Hampton station. Parking out front is free.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yfufnkk
A new name, a new owner, a new chef and newly renovated is the setup for what was the 'Middle Brighton Baths'.
'The Baths' encompasses a very swish restaurant upstairs with superb views across the bay, a lounge deck and a separate cafe and bar downstairs.
We dined at the newly renovated upstairs restaurant and came away impressed with a new a la carte menu, a very interesting wine list of local and imported wines, beers and liquers topped with very good service! Overall a very nice evening out.
Dreamworld is one of the many theme/fun parks situated on the Gold Coast in SE Queensland. As with all these theme parks, you have a wide choice of rides (some NOT for the faint of heart) but if that's not your scene, Dreamworld has quite a lot of other attractions, from an Imax theatre to the Australian wildlife experience. Tickets are not cheap but once in everything is free (except food and drink). Dreamworld is a good fun day out.
Victoria is a great course ... for us golfers. Victoria is rated in the top five in Melbourne and hosts many tournaments.
After golf, there is the superb dining room located upstairs overlooking the course. For the serious golfer and anyone wanting somewhere to stay, Victoria offers accommodation in the clubhouse, all rooms have views of the course and grounds.
Superbly located on the riverfront walk outside the Crown Casino and accessed via the Crown Promenade inside Melbourne's world class casino, the Waterfront does not disappoint.
With a name like - Waterfront Fish Market, the emphasis is obviously on seafood and to that end, Waterfront provides an elegant dining experience as the seafood is sublime.
For those who prefer something different, a variety of steaks done by weight is offered; anything up to 900gms of ribeye is for the carnivores in us.
Side dishes of salads are for the vegetarians or the hungry and to finish, a nice choice of desserts is available including their famous Belgian Chocolate Fondant! Yum!
A very good beverage menu also provides diners with an excellent choice of Australian and mainly French wines (red, white and sparkling).
Waterfront should be visited and enjoyed. Not cheap but well worth it.
Riverside (Shop 19)
Crown Casino Complex
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank, Victoria 3006
ph 9686 9766
Melbourne has retained a lot of its history, and no better way of seeing that is to stroll along the many arcades (almost all have now been restored) in the centre of the city and also take off down the small laneways and alleys branching off the main city streets and arcades.
The city's network of arcades is Australia's most extensive, with Block Arcade between Collins and Elizabeth streets, built in 1891, its crowning glory. Royal Arcade (between Bourke Street Mall and Little Collins Street), is Melbourne's oldest, built in 1869, and features Gaunt's clock and the two folklore giants of the ancient Britons, Gog and Magog, who strike the hour.
The various lanes and alleys in the city centre all hold their own interest and most have a specific history. The group of back alleys famous (or infamous) for having all Melbourne's brothels in the 1880s or the lanes either side of the Chinatown strip are a rich source of authentic Asian eateries. Hardware Lane, one of the first laneways to be restored in the 1980s, now has a fine collection of outdoor cafes and bars. The local interest in these lanes and alleys has recently seen one named in honour of one of our best known rock bands... AC/DC
Melbourne city centre
go to Flinders Street station and start from there or use the City Circle tram to get around
Brighton...? Not as in the UK or the island across the ditch (in Unzud), Brighton beach in Melbourne is the real McCoy.
Split in the middle by Middle Brighton Baths (see other Been There tips) and the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Brighton beach runs from Brighton (obviously) to Brighton Beach - there is a place called that, with a pub and train station.
All along the way is a broad strip of bright yellow sand (NO stones here in Oz) with brightly coloured beach bathing boxes. Pics of these are in Melbourne's gallery.
Laze on the beach in the warmer weather or when it gets cooler in winter and the wind whips up the waves, join the surfers or windboarders on the waters of Port Phillip Bay. Watch out for the dolphins or penguins!
Brighton Beach is bayside Melbourne
12-15 kms from the CBD
take the bus or a train to ..Brighton Beach (its a real train station 20 mins from the city)
What is it? It's a cross between a fun house, museum and a shop.
This place in Melbourne is full of collectables, fossils, old antiques, old scientific curios, natural history items (taxidermy anyone?) and even has a perfume library. Amazing, crazy, eclectic, eccentric ... that's Wunderkammer!
Melbourne is getting a collection of great little restaurants along its bay and Vincents is another one. It has fantastic views across Port Phillip Bay and the surrounding bayside suburbs from the upstairs dining room.
The menu is mediterranean based and of course offers lots of fish choices.
The pastas were great as were the home made dips. Service was smart and efficient. BYO and also licenced, Vincents is just a nice place to go and have a meal
Raiatea is the second largest of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. Raiatea means approx 'bright soft sky' in Tahitian and this island was the centre of Tahitian culture and religion for more than 1000 years.
It is thought that the migrations to Hawaii, New Zealand and other parts of Polynesia started from here. The main town on Raiatea is Uturoa. The best way to have a look around is to take the Island Drive which leaves from the end of the pier in Uturoa.
Stops along the way give access to the Botanical Gardens, views to Mt Temehani (the only place in the world where the white petalled Tiare Apetahi flower grows), visits to the pearl farms, motus in the lagoon and the various marae (traditional walled meeting places).
Far less touristic than Tahiti, Raiatea is defintely worth a visit.
Another outstanding find in one of our inner city suburbs is Olives. Situated in the busy strip of Martin St (highway end) Olives was a great place for us to have a family dinner for Mothers Day last Sunday.
Olives' menu gave us a large number of choices for dinner, with most of the menu seafood/mediterranean based. Us meat eaters (and vegetarians) are also well catered for with special menu offerings.
A reasonably priced wine and drinks list is also offered for diners. Service was efficient and friendly with wait staff able to offer menu recommendations when asked. All in all, a nice evening out was had by all.
Sublime, supreme, superb... are just a few things I can think of to describe this latest addition to the worldwide neo-Japanese restaurant chain.
Located in the lobby of the Waikiki Parc Hotel, Nobu provided us with one of our best all time dining experiences anywhere in the world.
I recommend the Yellowtail sashimi to start with Black Pepper Cod with Balsamic Teriyaki to follow... sumptious. Not cheap but an unreal dining experience. The service is also unbelievably good.
GP is a new place on the Waikiki Beackwalk which reminds me of the sports bar/deli setups shown in some of the USA TV series. Plenty to eat, drink and lots of large plasma TV screens to watch baseball, basketball, soccer or whatever ESPN is showing. A good place for a quick snack (the pizza is very good). GP serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from early 'til late. Service is good and the waiters chatty.
227 Lewers ST
ph 808 923 2100
One of the islands which make up the Hawaiian chain is Oahu, home of Honolulu and Waikiki. One of the thing all tourists should do is get a trip around the island, whether clockwise or anti-clockwise. The best way to do this is to hire a car (you can do it by public transport) but with local car hire rates very cheap ($39/day for us) a car is the way to go. Do not try this via scooter though, they are not allowed on the freeways or highways. The advantage of a car is you can stop when and where you like, to take a break, take a picture or grab something to eat. Driving also gives you access to the famous surf beaches on the top side of Oahu.
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