With Georgia Spanos
Through the twinkling windows that wrap the corner of Moore and Brunswick Streets lives an honest pub boasting 150 years of Melbourne history – The Labour In Vain. Born a confectioner and butcher for a life of 72 years, the corner hub now holds its ground as a laid-back wooden bar where time slows right down. Somewhere to take a seat, listen to live rock’n’roll and order dinner if you like from neighbouring Brunswick Street vendors. Now the pub welcomes new life to its menu with Japanese inspired pop-up kitchen Tokyo Terrace on the open-air rooftop garden upstairs. Renkon chips (fried lotus root), eggplant katsu burger (the eggplant is panko-crumbed), and Sea Salted Edamame are a selection of what to expect.
Leave your assumptions of Indian food at home when visiting Hawthorn’s newest family member, Piquancy, meaning a pleasantly sharp and appetising flavour. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, Piquancy focuses on hidden Indian street food they assure you've never tried before; like yoghurt kebabs, pani puri or cheese dosa. Piquancy work hard to break down the reputation of Indian food being heavy and of predominantly curries and rice. Prepare for your expectations to take twists and turns, and while they do, pick a glass from their sophisticated wine and beer list.
You know that feeling of cutting your fork through a thick slice of cake as your English Breakfast steams in front of you? Take this, while sitting in a classically quaint corner in North Melbourne watching owner Nat serve her cakes in an apron covered in flour and batter. It's a perfect scene and one I hope you all experience immediately. I'm not quite sure how else to describe Beatrix cakes other than classic, perfect, heavenly and beautiful – even those don't give them justice. She offers rarities like coconut shagg layered cake, carrot and toasted caramel cake, pistachio and lemon curd layer cake, vanilla sour cream cheesecake, citrus chiffon cake, and they're just the regulars. There's always something on offer she has spontaneously whipped up – last time it was Yo-Yo's. Enjoying a Beatrix cake is a luxury once tried, impossible to live without.