Food and Drink
Posted by Nola James
05. Dec, 2011
South Melbourne has some smokin’ locals – Deadman Espresso, St Ali, Freestyle Espresso and Chez Dre all do a cracking lunch trade, but when you spend 50+ hours in the suburb (like myself) it’s not hard to crave the luxury of variety our city slicking compadres have.
Lucky for us south-siders the Cecil Street strip of South Melbourne Market has had a recent resurgence, with renovations and new tenancies greatly improving the dining calibre on the strip. Here’s my top grazing tips:
Yo Yo Sushi
With the general standard of Japanese food in South Melbourne shoe-scrapingly low, Yo Yo Sushi does a roaring trade. The sushi is a little sweet to my taste, but the pre-packed selections are varied and reasonably priced, making sushi or sashimi a great grab-and-run option. A hot menu is cooked to order, crossing the spectrum of basic Japanese street food, tasty ramen, udon and rice based dished abound. Takeaway only.
Stall number 88
South Melbourne Market Dim Sims
Oh my, many a hangover has been cured by these babies in the last 60 years. South Melbourne wouldn’t be the same without them, as the often 20 (or more) deep line will attest. Steamed or fried, these dim sims are the best ride you’ll get all day. At $1.80 a pop and filled to bursting with mystery meat, load up on soy or Sriracha and these lumps of joy will wipe away your transgressions from the night before. Take away only.
Stall number 91
0418 334 202
Open market hours – Wed 8-4pm, Friday 8-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 8-4pm
On market days plump old Turkish ladies run the show at the gözleme stall outside Turkish restaurant Kőy, hand-rolling and filling pastry with cheese and spinach; Turkish spiced mince and mushroom, onion, capsicum and dill ($8.50-$10). Piping hot and fresh off the grill it’s lunch all by itself – but the addition of self serve yoghurt and lemon wouldn’t go astray. Eat in or takeaway.
Stall number 96
Linx BBQ Yum Cha
I’m all for shops that hang meat in the windows – but when they sell yum cha and duck soup and pork buns I’m a REALLY big fan. The cheapest duck in town (actually, pretty much the only duck in town…) is an $8.50 soup, delicious broth with bok choy and noodles thrown in as companions. Avoid the bain-marie and order from the above-counter menu, then stock up from the self-serve freezer with frozen dumplings to take home – they’re some of the best from the market. Eat in or take-away.
Stall number 92-93
Closed Mondays, 10am until 5pm other days
Claypots Evening Star – Sth Melbourne Seafood Peddler
Claypots Evening Star is the new (and really good looking) kid on the block, a teppanyaki-style seafood restaurant with a street cart out front selling fresh coconut milk and a rotating selection of fast seafood options. Try “mussels on the run” ($10) or big chunks of octopus that rotate against red hot heat on a big fuck-off metal skewer. Chill out on the little round island tables and pretend you are far, far away or head inside to the restaurant for classier fare. Eat in or take-away.
Stall number 101
Restaurant open 11am until 11pm everyday
Another newcomer, these guys run three bathtub sized paella pans on rotation in front of their sit-down restaurant, providing steaming hot dishes of rice stained yellow with saffron and fragrant with spices. At $12.50 a pop it’s a generous serve, but it would be nice to see more chicken, calamari and mussels per plate. Eat in or take-away.
Stall number 94-95
Open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday (big pan paella served 11am – 3pm), dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings only
All restaurants located at the South Melbourne Market on Cecil Street, South Melbourne.
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