Sample the Flavours of Melbourne

Today’s review is very timely, for a few reasons…

(1) I’m laid-up, and need to live vicariously through others;
(2) Hubby and I really need to go on a date soon, it’s been far too long;
(3) In my opinion, winter is the perfect time to explore Melbourne, and there’s no denying that winter has arrived…

So, as I’ve been spending a ridiculous amount of time lying on the couch, I’ve been flicking through the pages of Flavours of Melbourne, by Jonette George (Designed by Daniele Wilton, and published by Smudge Publishing) and I’ve been making mental lists of sophisticated outings and laneway explorations.

Flavours of Melbourne is a gorgeous coffee table book that beautifully highlights the very favourite restaurants and bars in Melbourne’s laneways and rooftops. It includes fantastic write-ups on Melbourne; its history, and its highlights and makes it abundantly clear why Melbourne is considered to be so very ‘liveable’.

Some favourite inclusions for me would have to be Cookie and Pelligrini’s in Bourke Street. Now on the list of ‘things to do’ is Madame Brussels and The Croft Institute, and although I’m painfully aware of the fact that to check out every spot that caught my eye in the book would take more weekends than I’ve got at my disposal, I’m loving having such a wonderfully long list of ideas.

It should be said that George and Winton’s book is more than just a restaurant guide, of which there are many. There are a couple of things that set it apart… firstly, they’ve included a very special range of recipes, provided by some of the top chefs working in Melbourne. For those weekends where you can’t secure a babysitter, you’ll not miss out, you can recreate the Melbourne experience in your own home. A Calamari with Chickpeas and Radicchio entree from Guy Grossi and Matteo Tine, perhaps followed by a main of Braised Pork Belly, Drunken Potatoes, Steamed Baby Bok Choy and Star Anise Caramal from Seamstress chef Anthony Humphries and then finish off your stay-in evening with a devine dessert from Nikki Smith from Punch Lane, a Rhubarb and Custard Tart with Ginger Ice Cream.

The second thing that makes this book special is the photography – it’s bold, large and original. It paints our city’s nooks and crannies in an incredibly flattering light. I particularly loved the inclusion of lots of colourful and edgy Melbourne Street Art, from front-cover and throughout. This inclusion, wonderfully presents our urban gallery in all it’s glory.

Flavours of Melbourne will be a book that sits on my coffee table for a long time yet. It’ll take me time to work through, and it’ll provide me inspiration when I get out and about again, one day very soon. I marvel at the fact that every time I pick up the book and have a flick through, I find something I’d missed before. Quite a bit like Melbourne itself really.


I’m thrilled to be able to offer TWO readers a copy of Smudge Publishing’s Flavours of Melbourne!

All you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post, or

2. Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment,

…and tell us about your favourite restaurant or bar, or your favourite recipe. I can’t wait to hear your recommendations!

I’ll draw two winners at random on Thursday 7 June 2012. As usual, you’ll have 4 days to claim your prize or I’ll redraw.

If you’d like to find out more about Jonette and Daniele’s book and their other great titles, you can visit Smudge Publishing here.


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20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. michelle
    May 31, 2012 @ 06:35:46

    Ooh, I would love to win this! I am pretty new to Melbourne, so it would be invaluable. My favourite restaurant in Melbourne is probably Vegie Bar in Fitzroy. The food is simple, divine and entirely affordable. Also, it’s all vegetarian friendly! Which is a complete novelty for me, who has come from a small city in NSW where being vegetarian means eating a lot of vegie burgers.


  2. subtlekate
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 00:39:21

    Recovey is no better time to spoil yourself with flavours. I’m so glad you are taking time off.


  3. Rohani Kamso
    Jun 01, 2012 @ 02:11:04

    Yum is all I can say!


  4. booksaremyfavouriteandbest
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 12:09:08

    Having looked at the menu at Cookie, it’s now on my list of places to visit.

    My very, very favourite place in the city is Mamasita – Mexican as it should be: light and bursting with flavour. You can’t book but it is well worth waiting in the queue (and be sure to order the corn cobs – sensational!).


  5. Thuy On
    Jun 04, 2012 @ 09:53:48

    One of my fav haunts is the Moroccan Soup Bar in N. Fitzroy. Beautiful vegetarian fare (absolutely love the chickpea bake) for an affordable price. Warm and unpretentious (and no pretentious menus either)


  6. Karen
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 02:50:13

    I would absolutely love to win a copy of this! Would be great to pick up and read something new each time…


  7. Karen
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 02:51:24

    By the way…Great review x


  8. Kathy Petkoff
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 03:14:49

    I wanna win! LOL Thuy – I’m also a big fan of the Moroccan Soup Bar – it is a bit out of my way to go now, but I love it so! I’m also a huge fan of Abla’s – fantastic food, amazing looking kitchen and all run by women! I don’t get out much these days so recreating in my own home would be wonderful!


  9. Jenny Esots
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 14:02:01

    Guess I must have been under a rock not to hear about this book. As an ex-Melbournite I am keen to see how it scrubs up. Would love the red scooter too:)


  10. That Book You Like
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 09:36:23

    Winners of the give-away are…



    Jenny Esots

    Guys, just email me at with your postal address and arrangements will be made.

    Thanks to everyone for entering, and don’t forget to check out this month’s newsletter ( for a chance to win another great book by Jonette and Daniele.


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