Dandenong is home to people from 150 different countries, creating an ethnic smorgasbord unlike any other in Melbourne. From hot-from-the-oven Afghan bread to hand-made sausages straight from the smoker, Dandenong’s food traders are as proud as they are varied, all just 30-minutes drive from Melbourne’s CBD.
Five of the Best took a food tour of Dandenong with local chef and taste hunter Russell Bald, who knows all the best places to eat and shop. Here are our five tasty reasons to check out central Dandenong. Next time we’ll head to the Dandenong Market, which is a whole other world of yum.
- 123-127 Thomas St, Dandenong, 03 9793 0135
- Bert Glink and Brendan D’Amelio hot-smoke a huge range of sausages and smallgoods in a custom-built smoker at the back of the shop. The brothers-in-law took over Uncles Smallgoods several years ago, keeping the Polish heritage going with a daily dose of heat and smoke. Now their sausages, hams and bacons are distributed to restaurants across Melbourne. The enterprising pair have also opened a cafe next door, with excellent coffee and great-value sandwiches featuring their famous meats.
- 7 Scott St, Dandenong, 0431 455 897
- Chewy, charred and still hot from the traditional clay ovens, the Afghan flatbread from Maiwand Bakery has a loyal following, with queues often running up Scott Street. At just 90 cents for a huge piece of flatbread, it’s hardly surprising. Baker Jawad Urozgani sells about 1000 flatbreads at day, both plain and topped with sesame. It’s delicious with dips.
- 177 Lonsdale St, Dandenong, (03) 9792 5188
- The original and the best. Rob Boyle and his British Butcher shop has been winning awards for his gammon, sausages, black pudding and pork pies for decades. His cabinets are bulging with everything you need for the ultimate British fry-up, all hand-made by Rob and his team. He even makes haggis, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but don’t knock it until you try Rob’s version.
- 101 Foster St, Dandenong, (03) 9706 9194
- Rye Crust Polish Bakery has an amazing array of traditional bread and European goodies like pretzels, babka, pierogi, plum doughnuts and more. The bread is made using starter culture more than a century old.
- Book at the Greater City of Dandenong website
- Join a small walking tour of Dandenong with local chef and food guru Russell Bald. You’ll sample bread hot from the oven and delicacies from several food traders. Don’t eat too much before you go… there’s a lot of food to try over two to three hours. The tour finishes at Kluska Polish Restaurant, where you will be spoilt with an authentic Polish meal. The tour costs $50 per person.