As Group Content Director for The Urban List, Kim Barnard’s days typically revolve around researching and tasting her way through the hottest restaurants, cafes, and bars in Australia and New Zealand. A self-confessed food freak, she reads cookbooks for fun and has a reputation in certain circles for her ability to eat inappropriately proportioned chicken schnitzels (respect). We caught her on a busy weekend in Melbourne town as she educates us on the etiquette of track-side meat pies, getting fatter at Fatto, and the best Rueben, ever.
Friday, 16th October
I was in Melbourne for the long weekend, so decided to take every opportunity to eat like my life depended on it. I started the day with two cappuccinos, followed by the lunch of champions—a burger, fries, and a schooner—at Grand Trailer Park Taverna in the CBD. I devoured their KSA burger: beef patty, American cheddar, tomato, butter lettuce, special burger sauce, and mustard. Classic, delicious, and not at all healthy—exactly what I wanted.
I caught up for drinks with some old friends at Du Nord in Little Bourke Street and had two (very large) beers. It was excellent.
We then raced across to Fatto where I furthered my diet efforts with a big bowl of crab and chilli spaghetti. No regrets. Many more beers (and a few wines) were also consumed, because… when in Rome, right?
Saturday, 17th October
We were staying with my brother in Brunswick for the weekend, and there are so many great options around, food-wise. We were heading to the Caulfield Cup later so were all in the mood for a hearty breakfast. We decided to hit up Wide Open Road—a super popular spot with Melbourne hipsters northsiders.
I had an excellent cappuccino (when you’re away for the weekend it is acceptable to have chocolate sprinkled on everything. Everyone knows this) alongside their bacon dish—an impressive serving of what can only be described as a bacon steak, atop a delicious potato and gruyere cake with chipotle mayo and an egg. I couldn’t even get through the bacon (it was so rich!), which is pathetic. I promise to do better next time.
While we were getting races-ready, we had a couple of glasses of Champagne (obviously), which put us in a very festive mood that came in handy when we were racing for the train in our heels. The food at the races was typical—lots of beer, bad bubbles, and an inappropriate amount of meat pies (which were delicious, if you must know).
After we’d lost all our money we headed into a pub in Prahran called The Flying Duck where I proceeded to eat a chicken parmy—because what else do you order at the pub? I’d like to say no more beers were consumed over the course of the night, but that would be a filthy lie.
Sunday, 18th October
Bit of a sore head this morning, so after a sleep in we headed to Two Little Pigs for a much-needed feed. In keeping with my obvious inability to eat anything remotely responsible, I ordered the croque monsieur, with the completely necessary and not-at-all piggish addition of paté, with a cappuccino chaser. It went down a treat.
That pretty much took care of breakfast and lunch, but I regret to admit I did smash a box of Pringles over the course of the afternoon, because HEALTH.
For dinner, we decided to hit up a new Latin/Mexican joint on Lygon Street, called Lady Carolina. We sat on Astroturf, drank margaritas off tap, and ate corn chips and tacos until we nearly exploded. Pretty much my idea of heaven.
Monday, 19th September
We decided to squeeze in one last meal before our trip home, so we headed to Pope Joan in Brunswick, where I had the best Rueben of my life. Toasted to perfection with a generous serving of all the best stuff, it was seriously the goods. I restrained myself from ordering a side of fries because… well, it was 9am on a Monday, and also… because of all of the above.
Want more of the best restuarants in Melbourne? Find them here!