Shortstop is a popular donuts and coffee spot in the Melbourne CBD. Located on Sutherland Street and walking distance from Melbourne Central Station, the donuts there tend to be sold out before closing time so I’d recommend getting in there early or pre-ordering! At Shortstop, they usually have around 10 different donut flavours to choose from and their flavours do also change from time to time. Whilst the flavours may change, they usually have at least one of each type of donut (Raised, Cruller, Filled and Cake). The first time I visited Shortstop I had to try all the different types. Obviously.
I ordered the Thai Milk Tea (Raised), Maple Walnut & Brown Butter (Raised), Tiramisu (Filled), Cookies & Cream (Filled), Triple Matcha (Cake) and Australian Honey & Sea Salt (Cruller) which sadly, is not pictured above.
The Cake donuts are as you would think by the label given. They are cake shaped donuts. Freshly made, this Triple Matcha Cake donut is fluffy, with a bold matcha flavour to it with just a slight bitterness coming through. The white chocolate and matcha glaze is heavily on the sweet side but that’s par for the course for white chocolate and donuts in general. Love the matcha flavour but not the glaze so much.
Eaten the Shortstop donuts fresh is amazing and I highly recommend you don’t keep the donuts for too long after as the texture, taste does change a bit. The Maple Walnut & Brown Butter Raise donut is incredible. Like the best damn donut I’ve ever tried. Crunchy and toasty maple walnuts with the just sweet enough brown butter glaze on top of this so fluffy raised donut it’s the perfect combination.
The Thai Milk Tea donut is interesting and in a good way. I love fusing Asian flavours with traditionally Western food so this one works for me. The Thai Milk Tea flavour does come through but it’s a bit more subtle than I would have liked but again the donut is top notch. Fluffy and not dry.
The Tiramisu filled donut has a lovely coffee cream filling inside. The coffee flavour is surprisingly intense and might be a bit too strong for my liking with the fluffy donut. However, for those that love their coffee creams strong, this one is for you.
Usually you can’t go wrong with a Cookie & Cream flavour or filling, and this is no different. The Cookies & Cream filling is tasty, the flavour comes through perfectly and the cream is so light and delicious paired with the fluffy donut.
The Cruller’s are interesting. The texture of these donuts is quite airy which is nice, but the honey glaze is incredibly sweet. Too sweet to have the entire donut all to oneself to be honest. The sea salt seasoning does try and put the sweetness back in balance a bit but I wouldn’t order this particular flavour again.
Interesting flavours and more importantly tasty donuts. Donuts done right.
12 Sutherland Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Authenticity is Ba’get’s motto, mission and lifeblood. Ba’get is providing authentic Vietnamese food, made from recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Ba’get not only have a wide variety of their signature Vietnamese Rolls (Banh Mi) but they also offer Vermicelli Rice Bowls where you can choose your preferred meat or vegetarian option. Ba’get have recently introduced Vietnamese Broken Rice to their menu, and you can also choose your choice of meat/veg and a sauce to go with it.
Meal vouchers kindly provided by Ba’get
If you’ve never come to Ba’get, you wouldn’t pass the opportunity to try their Banh Mi. I ordered the Grilled Pork version but you get this with Grilled Meatballs, Grilled Chicken, Pulled Chicken, Tofu, Tomato Meatballs, Salad, Ham & Cheese, Salami and Cheese, Classic Meat, or even as a Breakfast Ba’get. Their Grilled Pork option has great flavour to the meat, a tad too dry for my liking but still tasty nonetheless.
Ba’get’s Grilled Chicken Broken Rice with Fish Sauce (Com tam) has all the components of a great Vietnamese Broken Rice. The grilled chicken has a lovely grilled flavour to it, but I find it a bit dry. The fish sauce with the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers does help bring it all together. You can also the Broken Rice with Grilled Pork or Tofu with your choice of Fish or Soy Sauce.
The Grilled Chicken Vermicelli Bowl (Bún thit nuong) is one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes, and especially so in the spring or summer months when a bowl of steaming hot Pho is out of the question. While Ba’get’s offering doesn’t have the same sweet and sour notes that I’m used to for the sauce, the fish sauce that you can order with this works well together. It’s still quite a refreshing meal!
You can order this with Grilled Pork, Tomato Meatballs, Pulled Chicken, Crisp Salad, Classic Meat, Grilled Meatballs, or Tofu with your choice of Soy, Hoisin or Fish Sauce.
Ba’get also offer Rice Paper Rolls, Pork & Taro Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Puffs, Sesame Donuts and of course Vietnamese Ice Coffee to go with your meal so there’s something for everyone.
While Ba’get may not match the highs that you may find in Vietnamese hubs like Richmond or Springvale, it does provide a decent option for Vietnamese food in Melbourne CBD, Watergardens and Werribee.
132 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ba’get – Elizabeth St
369 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ikkoryu Fukuoka is located underground on Russell St in Melbourne’s CBD. Close to Flinders St station, it is one of the many Japanese ramen restaurants around Melbourne so certainly each ramen store has to entice diners somehow. Its menu offerings are similar to Hakata Gensuke and Ramen Bankara where you select your variation of the Tonkotsu broth, and choose from add ons such as sliced pork, seaweed and eggs and you are able to choose how you want your noodles to be cooked, whether that’d be soft, hard or in between . What makes this place a bit more special is that each diner has their own menu to write their choices and you include your name on this as well. So when your meal comes to you it’s on a name basis which I find to be a nice change to what is normally a very methodical ordering process.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka’s Chef selection is their Yuzu Tonkotsu which is green in colour. It’s an interesting broth, you can definitely taste the citric flavour of the Yuzu. I find it quite different to the usual more meatier broths like the standard Tonkotsu or the Miso Tonkotsu and I’m not entirely sure I’d choose it again but I’m glad I tried it anyway.
Warning though, if you do choose the Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu and pick level 3, it’s ridiculously spicy and I actually couldn’t eat it all because it was that spicy and I can usually take heat relatively well.
Their Chips and Wasabi is like those wonton wrappers deep fried with a creamy wasabi dipping on the side. It’s nice and crunchy, and the wasabi taste comes through well so it’s great for wasabi fans.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka has a premium feel to it, and it is certainly reflected in the pricing as well. Their ramen is decent, but I would have liked a few more broth choices instead of just Tonkotsu.
Basement of 27 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
CJ Lunchbar situated on the corner of Little Lonsdale St and Hardware St is a popular little eat out for those wanting a taste of Korea. CJ Lunchbar doesn’t just open for lunch like its name suggests, so you can get your Korean fix for dinner as well. What’s great about this place is that the food is good, very good and the servings are generous and value for money and their menu offers bento boxes, rice dishes, and a wide selection of hotplate and soup dishes to choose from.
Their Stonepot Bibimbap has all the ingredients for a tasty Bibimbap but it doesn’t come with the chilli paste that you’d often find provided with other Korean restaurants. Sometimes you find that the Bibimbap can be very bland, but fortunately this isn’t the case here.
One of their popular items is the Cheese Chicken Bulgogi, one night I saw like the majority of tables order it. It’s a little bit spicy, but the combination of melted cheese and marinated chicken on a hotplate is one of the best dishes you’d find around. So good.
CJ Lunchbar won’t win awards for being a relaxing dining experience, the tables are small and service is so-so but the food here is worth it.
Shop 2/391 Little Lonsdale Street (entrance on Hardware Street)
Melbourne VIC 3000
Nine Taiwanese Dessert House located on Swanston St is similar to Dessert Story, serving a variety of ice-y sweet treats and Bubble Tea drinks. What I love about Dessert Story is their ice machine for some of their “snow” menu options, has this delicious slightly sweet and milky shaved ice. This dessert house also has the same but is it as good?
Their Green Tea Snow Ice, comes with red bean, jasmine jelly, taro and sweet potato balls topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream. It’s decorated with this green syrup of sorts. The snow ice here isn’t too bad, it lacks the same creaminess that the Dessert Story ones have. It’s also very sweet all over, with this sort of odd fake taste to it. The jasmine jelly is nice though, and is the reason why I tried making Ooolong Tea Jelly, not too sweet but with this subtle tea flavour to it.
I liked their Taro Bubble Tea though, but the one they gave us was warm because they just cooked the taro so that was a bit disappointing. At least it’s real taro!
Maybe their other dessert options are better? First impressions weren’t too great, I might come back again but for now I’d still go to Dessert Story if I had the choice.
Nine Taiwanese Dessert House
268 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000