Crumbs Organic Bakehouse

Union Road, Ascot Vale plays host to a great range of cafes and food outlets and Crumbs Organic Bakehouse would have to be one of the best.

Decorated like a 1950’s kitchen and filled with the wonderful smell of fresh baked bread, this is a wonderful place to get some organic bread or other baked goodies. The Formica table, complete with ‘granny chic’ doily, makes a great place to sit down and have something to eat. All their baked goods are vegan but you can get cow’s milk for your coffee and there are usually some free range eggs for sale.

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The Perfect Pav

The Pavlova was created in the 1920’s and named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova following her tour of Australia and New Zealand. While the trans-Tasman debate over the exact origin of the Pavlova is still unresolved, its crisp, white outer shell and soft, sweet, marshmallow like inside means this beautiful dessert takes pride of place on many Aussie and Kiwi dinner tables.

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The Flavour Exchange

Food waste. It’s a hot topic at the moment, and rightly so. Research conducted by the Australia Institute estimates that Australians waste more than $5 billion of food each year, with the majority of this waste being fresh fruit and vegetables. Consumer desire for aesthetically pleasing produce, uniform in shape and free from blemishes, means that many producers and suppliers are left with surplus goods. Organisations like SecondBite redistribute this fresh food to those in need, however the nature of fresh produce – short shelf life, susceptibility to damage during transport, a need for climate controlled storage – means that even with the help of food rescue organisations, waste is often unavoidable.

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Do Huxtaburger have the best burgers in Melbourne? That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. All I know is, I had my first taste tonight and it was pretty hard to fault. The patty was moist, flavoursome and just the right thickness. The salad was fresh, the cheese perfectly melted and the bun was just the right thickness and softness. I had the Bill’s (minus beetroot) which meant bacon, pineapple and egg – my favourite burger toppings – and the amalgam of flavours was spot on. The only minor fault I could find was that the ratio of sauces (tomato, mustard and mayo) was a bit heavy on the mustard for my taste, but this didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying my burger.

Grill’d and Urban Burger could learn a lot from these guys.

106 Smith street, Collingwood 3066

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Shanghai Village Dumpling

Melbourne’s Chinatown – stretching along Little Bourke street between Swanson street and Spring street, this area of Melbourne is hard to miss. The heritage buildings that line the street, off shooting lanes, nooks and crannies are contrasted by the sometimes overwhelming array of bright neon signs, hanging lanterns and ceramic beasts.

Despite having worked and studied close to this area for a number of years, I am unfamiliar with this area of Melbourne’s culinary offerings. This is mostly due to the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of Chinese food. The only exception to this? Dumplings (oh, and Peking duck).

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