Beat Eats; try something new on Brunswick Street

When waltzing down Brunswick Street on a sunny afternoon, a new thought came to my mind. 

As I spend almost every evening around the area, appreciation for the familiar becomes increasingly harder to grasp. “There’s still so much to explore,” I thought, and since it arose, my past few evenings have seen me dining at eateries I’ve never tried before, down our beloved Brunswick Street in Fitzroy.

For years I’ve kept Indian food strictly as a takeaway option, but after discovering Mukka, I now have a new reason to go out. Their restaurant offers honest Indian food that’s also imaginative and classic. Plus, they serve Indian cocktails which I’m shocked I’ve never tried before – like their Bloody Mahrani of organic vodka, tomato juice and their housemade spice mix of dill, white pepper, celery salt and turmeric. Their food is just as impressive, like their famous dosas which are an all-day South Indian staple of a light savoury pancakey crepe made from a homemade fermented batter of rice and lentils. Or my favourite, their banana leaf fish fry marinated in a spicy paste of fresh garlic, ginger, tomatoes, green chillies and desiccated coconut. Head down to Mukka to satisfy your next tummy grumble and say hi to Prateek when you arrive – he’s a very lovely man.

Just down the road lives Fina’s 2, Melbourne’s first vegetarian and vegan-friendly soup/stir-fry restaurant of Vietnamese cuisine. My best vegetarian friend suggested the restaurant and it’s quickly jumped onto my regular-dining list. The staff, interior and overall vibe is all kinds of endearing and fun; bright chairs and bold, red walls contrast with sweet wooden tables and bright green chopsticks that burst with vibrancy. We started with the salt and pepper crispy tofu which was possibly the lightest fried tofu I’ve tried. We then moved onto spicy noodle soup – the restaurants most widely celebrated meal – featuring thick vermicelli noodles with beef (but not real beef), tofu, and mushrooms with bean sprouts, cabbage and mint for freshness. Pair your meal with a cooling beverage, like the Cold Fighter juice of carrot, orange, lemon and ginger. I promise you’ll leave with a happy tummy.