Food and Drink


World Food Melbourne

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I have close to zero travel plans at the moment due to a teetering-on-the-edge-expired passport and a bank account as dry as the Mojave, but my feet are getting unbearably itchy. I’m adopting some lateral thinking to combat my intrepid urges and Melbourne sure does come to the party. Here is a selction of global delights withing 20kms radius of our fair city. You’ll find the address, phone number and website where available. Give these cats a call to find opening times.

South Africa

The South African Shop
7/112 St James St, Templestowe
(03) 9457 0639

Biltong to South Africans is like Vegemite to Aussies. An acquired taste but if you love it, you really passionately love it. The South African Shop in Templestowe isn’t just a p lace to buy SA groceries like boerwors, Nik Naks and Braippap, beverages and snacks. It’s a home away from home for Afrikaans Beste Vriende.


Colossus Supermarket
6 Stutt Ave, Doncaster
(03) 9857 9971

If you want to be transported to downtown Athens, this is the place to go – pastas, olives, oils, drinks, spices, kitchenware. Anything that you can buy at Alpha Beta Vassilopoulos, you can most certainly get here. But be warned – you will be fighting Yia Yia and Pappou for aisle space. Saturday morning is diabolical  (no dedicated website).


Treats from Home
Level 1, 234 Collins St, Melbourne
(03) 9639 2344

Do you miss pickled onion Walkers, or proper curry sauce or Branston pickle? What about a Dime Bar or some Irn Bru? Treats from Home stock as many importable goods as they can from the Mother Land – bargains include prawn cocktail crisps and Quavers just before they go out of date. Warning: you need to be a hardcore fan of Fairy Liquid to pay the price charged here.

Online sales available.


USA Foods
73 Cochranes Rd, Moorabin
(03) 8672 9100

Given the recent obsession with all things American cuisine, USA foods in Moorabin is no secret. It’s moved premises three times since I have been shopping there, but the upside to this is that their range just keeps getting bigger. Hot sauces, Cherry Colas, Pop Tarts and best of all Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Get amongst it then head over the road to Fat Bobs for some burgers.

Online sales available.


La Parisienne Pâtés
290 Lygon St, Carlton
(03) 9349 1852

Cheese. That is all. Ok, snails too and pretty French sodas, mustards to die for and a charcuterie selection to bring the happiest of tears to your eyes. As you head down the back, grab a baguette – best ones this side of the Seine. More than cheese, obviously. Clear your credit card debt for this one.


Fine Gourmet Deli
465 Centre Rd, Bentleigh
(03) 9557 8965

Technically, this place spruiks itself as a ‘European Deli’, but you will find it hard to get a better selection of Russian groceries anywhere else. Caviar, herring, tinned okra, sour cherry juice and dill pickles – it’s all here. Vodka? Heck yes – and some cracking imported brandy too. Da baby, Da!

Online sales available.


Suzuran Japanese Food Specialist
1027 Bourke Rd, Camberwell
(03) 9882 2349

Most Asian grocery stores will have a selection of Japanese items tucked away on a shelf, but if you are looking for the real deal and lots of it – Suzuran is your place. They staff are so pleasant they are happy to walk around and translate items so you don’t end up with octopus flakes in your weetbix. Legitimately excellent sushi also sold by the tray.

No online sales, but some cracking recipes on their website.


Korea World
4 Ellingworth Parade, Box Hill
(03) 9899 1434

These folks are so serious about what they do, they have shunned Korea Town and gone straight for Korea World. As if that’s not Seoul domination! You want kimchi? KW has kimchi – oodles of the stuff. You want to put the world on rice? KW has more rice selections than a Pyeongyang sized rice paddy. You will find other Asian foods here (like most supermarkets) but this has your biggest Korean selections. Go David Change yourself.


Casa Iberica
25 Johnston St Fitzroy
(03) 9419 4420

Spanish experts. And Mexico, and South American. Any Latino ingredient you could possibly want can be found at Casa Iberica. Gorgeous bomba, huge range of pimento and beans, saffron, cheeses (try frinding queso fresco anywhere else), chorizo and fresh empanadas.

Middle Eastern

The Persian Market
2/325 Mannighma Rd, Lower Templestowe
(03) 9850 2992

Seriously, I have banned myself from this shop because it just gets embarrasing when I’m in there. I fondle all the bottles, sniff all the spices, stick my head in the nut boxes. They have a huge range of Middle Eastern everything; harissa, pomegranate molasses (loads and different brands), rose and orange waters, every nut and dried fruit you can imagine and the most beautiful Turkish breads on the planet. It’s a Persian dream.

So there you have it – aren’t we lucky that we have such diversity within a car rides distance. I am ABSOLUTELY certain other capital cities will have similar – get out in the fresh air and globalise your culinary mind. If you have any more gems – let me know.

Originally published by Trish Gallagher on

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