Category Archives: Melbourne

Assembly, Melbourne

For once, we aren’t behind in our posts! So let’s a trip back in time to around Easter 2013, where we flew down to Melbourne for a holiday.

Located a bit north of Melbourne CBD, between Carlton Gardens and Melbourne University is a tiny cafe/store called Assembly.


Assembly - coffee

As usual, it was raining in Melbourne that day, so after a long, wet walk, we were super relieved to notice this little sign along a road that just looked like a bunch of warehouses.

We went into this tiny shop/cafe, where there was 1 guy happily making coffee. It continues to pour outside, so we decide to order a tea to warm up.

Coffee and tea
Coffee and tea

As you can see, the counter is set up with filters for coffee making, a board with tea and coffee orders and little enclaves hosting tea and coffee wares for sale.

Our host starts brewing our tea for us and then offers us the first brew. He’s quite a friendly fellow and after a few questions, it’s clear that this guy is a tea and coffee expert, like a professor! He even looks the part with his beard!

The place is beautifully set up with a minimalist design and is really quiet, except for the pitter patter of rain outside. Aside from us and the host, there’s another visitor sitting at the communal table reading a book. This must be his refuge from the rain as well.

Compared to the popular cafes in Sydney, this is a welcome difference to the queues and noisy Sunday brunches.

Our tea

This is our tea served in interestingly designed cups. You can see them on display in the second photo actually. Each cup has a slightly different ‘crack’ in it as well. But don’t worry, no actual tea drips out.

We sit there and enjoy sipping our tea, brew after brew! The host even nice enough to bring out a cold brew that he made earlier. He wants us to try the difference between the cold and hot brew, and maybe it’s the wet weather, but the hot brew is my preferred choice!


There’s also a platter of cookies on the communal table for us – don’t they look good?

Anyway, I suggest you check out what else we have from our Melbourne visits.

Assembly on Urbanspoon


Gazi Melbourne

Back in December last year (2013), we went on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to New Zealand. But our first port of call was actually Melbourne. Having limited time (about 6-7 hours) at this port, we had a list of places to visit and eat at. From this list, we chose Gazi because of two reasons:

  1. It’s a venture by Greek Masterchef celebrity George Calombaris
  2. There are sheep brains


As usual, Melbourne was in pouring rain on the day that we docked (when is it every sunny?). After trekking through a lot of puddles, we went to Gazi for a late lunch before we returned to our cruise ship. Perhaps it was the cold and rain outside , but I simply loved the decor of this place:

Gazi, Melbourne
Look at that roof

Gazi has many tables, with a big open kitchen in the middle. The ceiling with filled with upside down terracotta pots! Yes, plant pots! On one side, they have booth tables with wooden partitions and little hooks to hang your coats/umbrellas.

Even though it’s late to be walking in for lunch, the staff are friendly and seat us next to the window. We look through the menu, which is filled with Greek food we know little about. We’re a bit uncertain about the portion sizes (but we’re also greedy to try a couple of things). The staff are super nice and suggest a half-half for the Wood Fire Spit.

Gazi’s menu has quite a lot to choose from. There’s things for sharing, street food style snacks, through to more substantial mains and eventually dessert.

Our food comes out hot and we can’t wait to gobble it up:

Lamb brains
Crispy lambs brains w/ Charred leeks, pickled grapes $12.50

Hmm cripsy lamb brains? Gray matter disguised under batter! I think there’s about 3-5 pieces in there and it comes with a bed of salad. PS. the salads are really good! This comes under the menu’s heading of “Hellenic Dirty Food”. As expected, the brains have the ‘offal’ taste, being internal organs. They’re soft and mix well with the crunch of the batter. The brains are surprisingly small, kind of like an egg.

Pork belly
Pork belly w/ White beans, apple skordalia – $16 (half half), normally $32

This was our delicious, big two pieces of pork belly. It was SO good. I also loved the extras on the side – white beans and apple.

Chicken w/ White beans, tyrokafteri – $14 (half half), normally $28

This was the other ‘half’: amazingly tender and tasty chicken. They gave us HEAPS. What would a whole serving be like??

Salad – around $12

We also had a salad. I can’t recall which one now, but, like I said, their salads are pretty tasty! And they’re an interesting blend of flavours and greens, which you wouldn’t normally encounter (unless you eat Greek food a lot).

All in all, D2D and I agreed that this was our new favourite restaurant in Melbourne! The food is really good and surprisingly cheap for a place decked out nicely and owned by a celebrity chef.

Nice work George. We’ll be back next time.

Gazi on Urbanspoon

browery to williamsburg – Melbourne


16 oliver lane, heart of melbourne 
bowery to williamsburg is a top little cafe 
inspired by NY's Bowery subway station


postcard menu - brought to you 
by the peeps who started 
the ever popular
hardware societe


inside seating area and counter 
appears to be an upstairs area 
but will with boxes (food?)


constantly changing chalkboard wall menu 
provides quite a handful of
options to choose from

(a kitchen staff is currently standing idle)


coffee comes with hershey's chocolate 
they have a espresso coffee soda on the menu
which is a must try! 

(we didn't try)


shakshouka eggs with merguez curly sausage
basically a baked eggs 
with a very tomatoey base
surprisingly not too heavy
as the tomatoey base is not 
as creamy as it looks 

comes with pita bread instead of toast 
which heaps lighten the dish
no idea what merguez sausage is 
but they give you a decent amount of it


lox latkes (i think) 
what does that mean? 
it means poached eggs and a waffle 
with smoked salmon


nearby melbourne's Hosier Lane
has gotten a whole new respray 
as part of Melbourne Now

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon