Got a gig on at Festival Hall but aren't sure where in the area to get a bite beforehand? Hotel Spencer recently redid their menu and they serve fancy and delicious things like twice-cooked crispy skin duck with sticky rice and shiitake mushrooms or 28-day-aged Black Angus porterhouse steak. Or if you're just up for a pub favourite they have parmas or sausages and mash. Stop in, have a bite, then go see Pulp.
The winner of High Tech Burrito's recent free shit giveaway on beat.com.au (where you designed your own burrito) was Leah White, who concocted a dessert burrito of Nutella, strawberries, chocolate chips, raspberries & icing sugar. Congratulations Leah, gorge yourself on the sweet fruits of success with a year's worth of burrito!
Not that kind, guys. Mushrooms are in season, are the meat of vegetarians and are also the most wonderful earthy tasting things to pop up out of the ground basically ever. They go well with literally anything. Cameron Russell runs mushroom tours in the Mornington Peninsula but these are so popular that they're sold out for 2011. Bummer. Next year though? Register your interest now for 2012 at mushroomtours.com.
CHIN CHIN OPEN
Chris Lucas' contemporary Asian inner-city dining+ experience is officially open, open, open. Head into 125 Flinders Lane, call 8663 2000 or visit chinchinrestaurant.com.au for more info. It's open seven days a week, 11am until quite late.
MESA GOT US DRUNK
We had a lovely night at the opening of Mesa in Abbotsford last week. They serve upmarket traditional Greek cuisine, which is certainly very popular in Melbounre with George Calombaris' influence spreading all over the place. Mesa has been created by George Papgelou, who's been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years. The place was cleared of tables and full of good-looking people when we went there, and they had a DJ from Sydney and lots of wine and finger food. We had to wear gold-leaf crowns and we got a bit drunk. Fun times - we'll be back for dinner for sure. 265 Johnston St, Abbotsford, Tuesday-Sunday from 6pm. 9419 3388.
The eco-friendly lounge, bar and live music venue Grumpy's Green recently added a few token meat dishes to their previously all-vegetarian menu. Upholding their motto of 'Eat, Drink And Save The World', all of the meat is organic, sustainable and hormone free. Choose from marinated kangaroo fillet on an eggplant, kumera and spinach stack or Persian spiced whole Poussin chicken stuffed with figs and apricots with roasted winter vegetables. 125 Smith St, Fitzroy.
Melbourne institution Lucky Coq on Chapel St have just released their latest creations in the world of cheap pizza. The new menu additions include more gourmet style offerings such as the il souvlaki (roasted lamb, red onion, pesto, lettuce and garlic sauce) and chorizo supremo (chorizo, zucchini, beetroot, caramelised onion and tomato relish), as well as a delicious sounding vegetarian la capra (pesto, mushrooms, semi-dried tomato and goasts cheese). Prices will stay at $6.50 for meat pizzas and $5.50 for the vegetarian pizza from open till close.
STARLIGHT FIVE CHEFS GALA DINNER
If you've got a spare $350 hanging around, book yourself into the Starlight Five Chefs Gala Dinner, which features Jason Camillo (Grand Hyatt), Frank Camorra (Movida), Ian Burch and Darren Purchese (Burch & Purchese), Dan Hunter (Caelis) and Shane Delia (Maha). They will create an amazing one-off menu, and it's all for a good cause. fivechefs.org.au.
If you missed out on The Provincial's beautiful slow-cooked dinner, book now for their Winter Game event on Thursday June 23, with a four-course dinner of local game meats paired with appropriate and delicious wines. provincialhotel.com.au.
WALLIS & ED
A new eating establishment has opened up in town at 1 Bourke St - The Hotel Windsor. It's kind of French-flavoured and general looks like a lovely winter night meal. Coffee also, from Five Senses. 9633 6265, Monday-Sunday 7am-3pm.