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Kisume

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Kisumé Japanese Restaurant The new fine-dining venture on Flinders Lane by the Lucas Group
Any Melburnian foodie worth their salt is aware of the Lucas Group and its portfolio of very successful restaurants:

Chin Chin, a loud hall of colourful South-East Asian food and cocktails on Flinders Lane that still attracts queues of several hours' wait, some six years after its openingHawker Hall, a similar style venue to Chin Chin but on South Yarra's Chapel Street and with more of a focus on street food, that once infamously proffered a wait time equal to a return drive to Torquay with a beer stop in the middleBaby Pizza, quiet stalwart of the group, churning out delectable, fresh Italian food on Church Street, and Kong, offering Japanese-Korean BBQ fusion also on Church Street, and perhaps the most casual venue o…

Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart

Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart Popular Malaysian Sweet Tart Inspired by Japanese Cheese  
You can't work in hospitality or be a food blogger and NOT have heard about the Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart. Even if you're just a regular Joe Blow, they would have been hard to avoid on social media. I'm not sure exactly how the craze started, but suddenly they were EVERYWHERE - little yellow rounds of promise.



Like any good writer (!), I hot-legged it to the new Melbourne Central HBCT venue soon after its opening to try and obtain one of the cult-followed baked items, and alas, my first attempt was futile. (I stood in the queue for about 10 minutes, with over an hour left until the store's official closing time, only to see the person three ahead of me in the queue buy the last tart. So. Much. Sad.)

My second attempt was better; also towards the end of the day - on a Friday, no less, when I would have thought queues for anything self-indulgent would have extended round the corner - …

Spice Temple

Spice Temple  Neil Perry's Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant at Crown, Southbank, Melbourne
It's considered an institution in Melbourne, and with a chef to its name like Neil Perry, a location like Southbank, and an existence of six years in the Melbourne restaurant scene (when staying power is notoriously elusive), it's no wonder. Spice Temple's name is a pretty accurate description of the restaurant: food heavy in spices and spiciness; a dim space with a sort of hushed reverence.



The quiet tone of Spice Temple (Shop 7, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) could well be due to its design. With lots of dark wood and more traditional red and gold carpet, one might be forgiven for thinking it's a little dated. What keeps it current is the symmetrical and perpendicular fittings, creating neat squared-off eating nooks, and the dark, felt-like soundproofing material spaced out overhead, muffling any white noise.



Walking into the restaurant's reception area, yo…

Milk the Cow

Everyone likes cheese, right?

OK, except maybe the lactose intolerant, and some people are averse to blue cheese. I love it all. Aside from one bad experience when I ate far too much camembert one Christmas and was subsequently quite ill, I will usually happily eat ALL the cheese, all the time. And yes, I am aware it's not terribly healthy, but pffff, I don't care (much), and yes, I am also aware there is a old wives' tale that cheese gives you crazy dreams... Awesome! Bring it on.



In 2012, St Kilda was all abuzz with the opening of Milk the Cow (157 Fitzroy St, St Kilda), a 'licenced fromagerie' - which I take to mean 'cheese shop that sells alcohol'... unless you need some kind of special licence to sell cheese? (Apart from unpasteurised cheese - which I'm pretty sure is illegal - I don't think you do.) Intriguing. A bar that sells cheese? Or a cheese shop that lets you drink? Eat/drink in, or out? I was interested to check it out, but never actua…