Have you tried…?

Sometimes I need to cater to the adventurous side in me and find things in Melbourne that are a little bit different to eat.

Here are a few spots I’ve discovered:

Kuku Mama
This pop-up is located in Hoo Haa Bar, for which I made a booking when it turned out to be very quiet. What really got me here is the cheeseburger dumplings – if you like cheeseburgers, I’d say you would like these! Complete with a pickle on top.

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Besides that, we tried a lot of little dishes, but they were a tad underwhelming. My fish taco for example, did not have much else besides fish. The Jamaican mussels were probably the most flavoursome thing of the night. The kepani dumplings, teriyaki chicken and crushed TWISTIES, sounded different, but couldn’t quite replicate the “weird things that work” formula from the cheeseburger dumplings.

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It wouldn’t be too bad for a few drinks and nibbles, but if you’re looking for a fully satisfying meal, try elsewhere.

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Sparrow’s Philly Cheesesteaks
Similarly, this place was located in a pub, at the back of The Catfish. I was a little confused at first, but basically you order cheesesteaks at the back kitchen and drinks from the front bar of the Catfish.

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It was quiet at first but got busier as the night went on. I was eager to try to the Bulgogi one as I love Korean food – but I thought it’d be better to experience a more traditional, American item.

The Bourbon Bacon sounded like it was made for me! Smoked bacon, beef, bourbon BBQ sauce and cheese – all I need to make me happy.

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It was packed to the brim with smoky meat, so much that it felt neverending and with a bit too much onion in bunches. I wanted a bit more of that BBQ sauce, so had to add a bit more sauce from the side. A decent amount of fries accompanied it but I was still left slightly hungry and eager for dessert. Not to say it wasn’t good but it just left me wanting that much more. Maybe next time I’ll eat two or order some chilli cheese fries!

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Bistro du Peuple
Yet another CBD laneway restaurant, this Mauritian restaurant seemed like the Friday night drinks place to be. We were seated upstairs and tables were tiny – lucky there was a spare one behind us to place our food.

Mauritian seems like a cuisine influenced by everyone else – European, Asian and Indian influences were apparent. The taro fritters (gateau arouille) are apparently a signature, and went down quite well. Who doesn’t love anything fried? But the filling made it unique. Meanwhile our entree platter also featured some pastries and dips, one being super spicy!

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After asking for recommendations, we ordered all the Mauritian mains but two were surprisingly similar to Asian food. One was similar to stirfried noodles whilst the rice was like any fried rice dish. The third had more of an Indian influence with dips and bread.

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Unfortunately the food seems to imitate a lot of other cultures but hasn’t put enough twist on them to make it different. It was interesting nevertheless, but I wonder whether we just need to try more dishes to fully experience the culture.

Creole Kitchen Lobby
This eatery is also located in an interesting spot, the lobby of a hotel. The owner was friendly and talkative, giving me a lot of information about the food.

I decided to try the Creole chicken flatbread, which comes with a side of salad, and a smear of chilli sauce. A light and healthy lunch, I quite enjoyed the simplicity of it.

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The owner also made me a Mauritian vanilla tea with condensed milk – delicious! Maybe next time I’ll grab one of the sweets at the counter to top it off.

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What unique cuisines have you tried in Melbourne?


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