Well… not so much around the world in four stops, but this week we are taking you around Melbourne in four stops to taste the wonders of the world. From amazing American inspired burgers in Epping, to traditional Afghani meals in Dandenong, these restaurants are sure to impress even your most discerning family and friends!
We have had a long term infatuation with American culinary culture, and there are several places around the suburbs that deliver a classic American style burger. So begin your food journey with a stop at not one, but two great burger places. Laurie Dee’s [571-583 High Street, Epping] is decorated in very much the American diner style while Chip Inn, though American influenced, is truly Australian. It even has a mural of Melbourne on the wall!
Laurie Dee’s in Epping is famous for their big burgers, loaded fries and thickshakes, very reminiscent of the USA we would say. Expect to see a line winding out the door, as Laurie Dee’s has been crowned the home of Melbourne’s best burger, by the Burger Adventures, two years in a row (2015 and 2016). It is their famed Laurie Dee’s Double that has won them their awards, the Burger Adventures noted that it was the smash patty that won them over. The smash patty concept is very common in the USA, but rarely seen anywhere in Melbourne. Basically, the patty is smashed down to ensure a lot of the surface area has contact with the grill, ensuring flavour and ultimate crispyness… yum!
Be sure to also ‘chip in’ to Chip Inn Burgers and Grill [2/9 Mill Park Drive, Mill Park], and check out their burger offering… which isn’t for the faint hearted. Try your hand at the Sweet Southern Bird, inspired by the USA’s southern states. It’s created with house made southern fried chicken, cheese, crispy bacon, a golden hash brown, crisp lettuce and maple mayo. There are burger places aplenty in Whittlesea, and this one is a standout, so make a pit stop on this worldly food tour in your own backyard!
Dandenong is home to one of the biggest Afghani precincts in Melbourne. Walk down Thomas St and discover the wonderful food on offer, which includes warm tasty Afghan bread cooked in traditional clay ovens, or kebabs cooked over hot coals. Be tempted by an extensive range of authentic sweets, groceries, fruit and nuts, and Halal meat. For something different browse through traditional clothing, jewellery, rugs and musical instruments.
Afghan Rahimi Restaurant [23/29 Walker Street, Dandenong ] is famous around the area for delicious and authentic food, with an atmosphere to match. To really immerse yourself in the culinary experience, try out one of the three banquets on offer. Expect anything from prawn curry to vegetarian Ashaak, a cooked pastry filled with chives and leek. Serves are generous, with several sides.
The Dandenong Council runs great Afghan Bazaar Cultural Tours of the area, and for $50 you get a guided tour of the area, several tastings and a large meal with the group. What a unique experience to share with any of your visiting friends or relatives!
Image source: zomato.com
Sunshine is known as one of the principal places of employment outside the Melbourne CBD, but it is far better known as a great place to grab some traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Head down Hampshire Road and pop your head into some of the small Vietnamese shop fronts, they may look simple, but we all know that the best meals are often found behind a humble façade.
If you aren’t in the mood for a Pho or noodle soup, then take a wander down the road to a Vietnamese bakery like Lan Anh [195 Hampshire Road, Sunshine], where you will find a colourful and delicious range of made-to-order Banh Mi rolls. Apart from the fact that all the Vietnamese restaurants in Sunshine serve traditional, quality food, the end bill is very kind to the hip pocket. The famed steam boat at Queen’s Rose the Sun costs a mere $13 and a range of large Banh Mi rolls from Lan Anh just $4!
Image source: sunshine-vic.place-advisor.com
China Town in Melbourne’s CBD may be the most densely populated with Chinese restaurants, but as we are often told it’s quality, not quantity, that matters. The quality of the Chinese restaurants in the Box Hill precinct to Melbourne’s East can rival anything the CBD can offer.
Dainty Sichuan [Level 1/2A Cambridge Street] is a stylish eatery that is as much about the experience as it is about the food. This joint is all about creating your Chinese hot pot yourself. Simply order the broth and the meat you would like. Next, head to the sauces table and pick up what you would like, then place the broth on your own personal stove at your table and cook away. Although, some might shy away from the idea of paying for food you cook yourself, Dainty Sichuan is about a shared experience, making it a great family outing. There are so many options for delicious Chinese in Box Hill, all you have to do is take a stroll down Cambridge St and the surrounding smaller streets to find a hidden gem the family is sure to love!
Image source: goodfood.com.au
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