Take a flavour trip with us! It’s winter and we decided to find as many snug spots around the city offering world cuisine as we could. Join us as we travel around the world on a tour of global cuisines right here at home. Here’s the first installment to get your mouth watering.
America: Mr Big Stuff
Sample some true southern-style food and hospitality at Mr Big Stuff. With a menu offering Americana favourites including mini beef sliders, ribs, jerk wings, corn bread and apple pie, washed down with American craft beer–you can’t go wrong.
Must try: The $45 Mr Big Stuff banquet, which includes pickled okra, watermelon bites, shrimp and grits, mac’n’cheese, kale and yams, pork ribs and apple pie. (And ask about their chicken and waffles.)
Italy: La Notte
You’ll get traditional Sicilian and southern Italian cuisine in the Carlton institution, La Notte. The new owners are focused on serving fresh ‘village dishes’ inspired by their mothers’ and grandmothers’ secret recipes, including minestrone and scallopine. Almost all produce is sourced from local suppliers and comes together to form a well-rounded menu of specialties and favourites.
Must try: Kangaroo fillets served on a bed of sweet potato mash, topped with Shiraz and rosemary jus.
Spain: Simply Spanish
Travel to Spain (at Queen Victoria Market) and enjoy traditional Spanish fare with a liberal helping of Spanish family hospitality. The menu at Simply Spanish starts with breakfast and continues with lunch favourites including paella, tapas, tortilla and to finish off, a churro or two!
Must try: The $50 winter special for two (on Wednesday and Thursday nights), includes a gourmet seafood paella, two glasses of sangria and churros for two.
Japan: Hakata Gensuke
You’ll be in ramen heaven with Hakata Gensuke’s speciality pork bone noodle soup and dipping noodles, made using the highest quality fresh pork bones. The fresh noodles and gyoza skins are the product of meticulous preparation, involving a temperature and humidity-controlled room.
Must try: Tsukemen (dipping ramen), where the noodles and soup are served separately. Finish your meal with a make-your-own Zousui (risotto).
Belgium: Belgian Beer Cafe
With 33 beers on tap and 175 bottled varieties from around the world, you could make the mistake of thinking Belgian Beer Cafe is only about beer. You’d be wrong though, because the food menu is extensive and features a mix of Belgian specialties and modern Australian. Favourites such as the famous frites and mayonnaise, Belgian cheese croquettes and Port Arlington mussels are not to be missed.
Must try: The beef and mushroom pot pie – washed down with a warming stout or dark ale.
Nepal: Kathmandu Cottage
You must try the traditional Nepalese goat curry in this place. It’s made to the chef’s own recipe from the Himalayas – you’ll be transported to base camp by it! Kathmandu Cottage specialises in both Nepalese and Indian cuisine, so you’ll find some old favourites, including Vindaloo and Tandoori chicken.
Must try: Nepalese-style steamed dumplings (meat or veggie), served with homemade tomato chutney.
If the Greek belly dancing show every Saturday night at Othello’s doesn’t convince you you’re in Greece, then the menu might. With traditional favourites including calamari mezedes, Cypriot grill, pastitsio and delicious Greek desserts like Galaktoboureko, you’ll be dancing the Zorba with joy.
Must try: Six-hour roast lamb ‘Kleftiko’ with ‘spunta’ style potatoes. It’s a typical peasant dish found throughout Greece and Cyprus. ‘Stolen’ lamb was traditionally cooked underground in pots to hide the loot and cooking evidence. Othello take lamb shoulder and quarters and slowly roast them with bay leaves, peppercorn, garlic, onions and lemon.