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10 2012 Dec

George’s top brekkies

George CalombarisWhere does George Calombaris do brekkie?

MasterChef star George Calombaris is way too busy running his ever-growing fleet of restaurants to eat out at night, but Australia’s most famous chef loves getting out for a spot of brekkie.

Take a look at George’s top 5 brekkie joints in Melbourne, the latest instalment on Five of the Best.

Now that MasterChef has moved its studio kitchen from Sydney to the Melbourne Showgrounds, you’ll be seeing a whole lot more of George around town.

Two Birds One StoneThis is one of this top 5 brekkie joints, a friendly little cafe in the back streets of South Yarra. So next time you see George out and about, make sure you say hello.

And let me know about your favourite sources of food and fun. I’m always on the look out.









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27 2012 Nov

A chef’s top 5

Coda's spanner crab with galangal

Where chefs go to dine

This gorgeous spanner crab and galangal flavour bomb is on today’s top five list of Melbourne dining destinations, this time from France-Soir’s charming chef de cuisine Geraud Fabre.

Geraud also has a soft spot for a particular rotisserie in the CBD.

Find out where to find these dishes, along with three other top Melbourne spots in GERAUD’S TOP FIVE.

And while you’re there, have a surf around the site for other TOP FIVE tips from those in the know.

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23 2012 Nov

A top chef’s top 5

Where does one of Melbourne’s
top chefs go out for a feed?

Michael Lambie’s CV reads like a hit parade of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants.

First he turned St Kilda’s Stokehouse in an institution, then he created Circa the Prince, followed by Taxi Dining Room and Lamaro’s. His latest project The Smith has also sent big ripples across the city.

Notching up 17 years of fine cooking in Melbourne this month, Michael is marking the occasion with an epic 17-course feast at The Smith on Monday night (there are still a few seats left at $155 a head). Expect flavour bombs like mushroom cappuccino with truffle cream (1995-2000), quail salad with celery and apple bois bourdon (2001-04) and rolled roast rabbit with rabbit confit and grain mustard veloute (2004-12) – and if you’re going to this gourmet marathon, starve yourself for he entire weekend.

So where does the chef behind all these amazing dishes like to go when he wants a good feed? Check out Five of the Best for MICHAEL’S TOP FIVE. His faves include Sake’s beautiful kingfish dish (above).

And while you’re surfing around the site, take a look at this weekend’s guide to the best FARMERS’ MARKETS this weekend.


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20 2012 Nov

Eat your weeds

How to forage for
greens in the city

To the untrained eye. Melbourne’s nature strips and riverbanks are overgrown with weeds.

But for Raymond Capaldi, our lush spring undergrowth is a delicious source of food. Every day, the Scottish-bred owner/chef at Hare and Grace goes hunting for sorrel, dandelion, berries, thistles, wild mint and more, using the foraged goodies at his Collins St restaurant to add unique flavour and visual interest.

But there are special tricks and rules to follow in the foraging world, so check out Ray’s TOP FIVE TIPS before you grab a basket and start weed hunting.


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16 2012 Nov

Weekend calling…

Need some inspiration for the weekend?

Five of the Best is here to help.

First you can fill your fridge and pantry with delicious goodies, thanks to our top five guide to this weekend’s best farmers’ markets.

Then you can check out our top five COCKTAILS and DESSERTS at Taste of Melbourne, rocking Albert Park until Sunday.

And if you’re a staying home, check out Phillippa Grogan’s amazing cake tips, Adrian Richardson’s top five tips for perfect steak, Paul Wilson’s advice for a winning barbecue, Shannon Bennett’s top five coffee joints and Darren Purchese’s top five dessert cookbooks.

Plus a whole heap more at Melbourne’s own Five of the Best.



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15 2012 Nov

Tightarse Thursday

Love a bargain?

Five of the Best has tracked down Melbourne’s best freebies and cheapies, from $1 tacos and hot dogs to FREE ICE CREAM. No strings attached.

We’ve also got a sugar fang’s guide to Taste of Melbourne, with top five cocktails and desserts. The cream of Melbourne’s chefs will be peddling their tasty gear on the shores of Albert Park Lake from tonight until Sunday.

Hope you’re having an ace day.


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14 2012 Nov

Happy hump day

For the sweet fangs out there…

First we did the hard yards and found top five COCKTAILS at Taste of Melbourne, the four-day food frenzy launching at Albert Park tomorrow night.Eton Mess by Mr Hive

Now we bring you the top five Taste of Melbourne DESSERTS (another real hardship posting… check out Mr Hive’s Eton Mess to the right). Big thanks to fellow sweet fang Adam Valentine for taste testing beyond the call of duty. Watch out for Adam at Albert Park… he’s be the handsome chap rocking back-and-forth with a chronic sugar crash.

In other sweet news, Melbourne’s biggest sugar hound Darren Purchese has told us his top five dessert cook books OF ALL TIME. If you love to cook sweet goodies, this is the post for you.Phillipa's Butter Cake

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the top five cake baking tips from Melbourne’s sourdough goddess Phillippa Grogan, complete with a recipe for her famous butter cake (try looking at that picture without drooling).



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13 2012 Nov

Two more sleeps…

Taste of Melbourne is coming

Just two more sleeps until Taste of Melbourne, that fabulous excuse for debauched over-eating with Melbourne’s hottest restaurants coming together in one groovy spot on the banks of Albert Park Lake.

If you’re anything like me, it’s impossible to pace yourself with so many great chefs plying their wares, like the queue-down-Collins-St Mamasita, Falls Creek’s hot newby Three Blue Ducks, Tony Twitchett’s award-winning Taxi Dining Room, John Lawson’s delish Mr Hive and Matt Wilkinson’s funky Bishop of Ostia, not to mention the Point, the Atlantic the Aylesbury, Libertine,  and the Botanical.Cocktails

But every great food event needs fabulous drinks, and I’ve been doing my research (somebody’s gotta do it) so make sure you check out my TOP FIVE COCKTAILS at Taste of Melbourne.

And while you’re surfing around Five of the Best, have a look at the top five foodie gems from Matt Wilkinson, the cheeky and oh-so talented chef behind Pope Joan, Bishop of Ostia and Spud Bar.

Happy dining!


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12 2012 Nov

A cure for Monday-itis?

Baking secrets from Melbourne’s best

Melburnians love Phillippa Grogan’s home-style baking at her eponymous bakeries. The Armadale mum-of-three has a knack for giving customers exactly what they want – consistently great sourdough bread, beautiful cakes and delicious biscuits.

And today Phillippa is sharing a recipe for one of her most popular treats – the old-school butter cake with passionfruit butter icing – plus her top five tips for perfect baking results. Find it all at Five of the Best.

While you’re poking around the site, check out Matt Wilkinson’s favourite food producers. The talented Pope Joan chef finds all sorts of goodies, from hand-picked scallops to a bizarre white root veggie called salsify.

You’ll also find personal top fives from Melbourne’s hottest chefs, including Vue de Monde’s Shannon Bennett, Circa’s Paul Wilson, Florentino’s Guy Grossi, the European’s Ian Curley, Estelle’s Scott Pickett, Le Petit Gateau’s Pierrick Boyer, Maha’s Shane Delia and La Luna’s Adrian Richardson… just to name a few.


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9 2012 Nov

Slide into the weekend…

Happy Friday!

Spring racing is the official launch of BARBECUE SEASON and Five of the Best wants to make sure your backyard barbie is a fabulous success.Ian Curley

Check out the hot barbecue tips from carnivore-loving chefs Ian Curley (right, from the European Group) and Paul Wilson, (Circa and a host of other diners in the Melbourne Pub Group) – complete with friendly heckling from 3AW food guru, Epicure scribe and barbecue aficionado Bob Hart, who reckons Chef Wilson has it all wrong. Bob says the key to good barbecue is not only heat, but also the right kind of smoke. For this barbie novice, I reckon Ian Curley has the right idea. His first tip is to turn on source of heat. Now THAT’S a good start.

But there’s no barbecue without top cuts of meat, fabulous salads and crusty bread, so get on down to the market tomorrow morning. No excuses – here’s my top five guide to this weekend’s farmers’ markets.



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