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Delima Shanti

Delima Shanti

Delima Shanti is Time Out’s former Australia Audience Development Manager.

Articles (59)

The best soups in Melbourne

The best soups in Melbourne

From comforting classics to sinus-clearing spicy broth, we burned our tongues on a tonne of the city's soups to bring you the very best. Refer to this list when you need some salty, creamy, warming deliciousness – and mum’s not around to dish out the homemade stuff. Feel like some more comforting food? Try the city's best noodle soups or Melbourne's best dumplings.

Where to learn to make cheese in Melbourne

Where to learn to make cheese in Melbourne

Whether it's chucked onto a salad, slathered onto a slice of thick crusty bread or melted onto a wood-fired pizza, cheese vastly improves pretty much everything it touches. But it ain't cheap, and if you've been spending all your money on delicious curds, we feel you and we're here to tell you that the magic of cheese-making is actually more approachable than you'd think.  Learn how to make everything from stinky blues and silky-smooth ricottas to sharp cheddars and salty fetas with these workshops and masterclasses around Melbourne. On top of the knowledge you'll need to whip up some fresh fromage at home, most of them will also send you home with a portion of your delicious creation.  If you'd rather leave it to the experts, then head to these cheese and wine bars.

The best cooking classes in Melbourne

The best cooking classes in Melbourne

There’s no shame in being hopeless in the kitchen, but if you’re tired of falling back on the few things you can cook without burning the house down, maybe a Melbourne cooking class is in order. Classes range from those led by professional chefs to those run by great home cooks who can share a thing or two about creating delicious dishes for the dinner table. Want more ways to get hands-on? Check out Melbourne's best pottery classes. RECOMMENDED: 50 things to do in Melbourne before you die

The best smoothies in Melbourne

The best smoothies in Melbourne

We’ve all seen the freakshakes – the dairy-based concoctions sugared up to the nines and piled high with whole doughnuts, tarts, dribbles of chocolate sauce and lashings of whipped cream. But let’s take it back to basics with smoothies – or not so basic depending on where you go. Not content to simply blend up a few fruit and veg, cafĂ©s are constantly trying to one-up each other on the superfoods they can jam into a smoothie (just wait until you scroll down to Shoku Iku) and the bright colours they can create. Now that you've started your health kick, peruse our wrap-up of Melbourne's best tea specialists and comforting hot chocolates. If you're after something a bit more substantial, check out our run-down of the city's best breakfasts.

The best places for fruit picking near Melbourne

The best places for fruit picking near Melbourne

You don’t have to slave away for months in your garden to get super fresh fruit. Head out of town and pick your own fruit at orchards and farms in regional Victoria. There are berry farms and stone fruit orchards just a little more than an hour away out of the city, but before you visit here is a fruit picking rule of thumb before you go: check the website or call the farm if you’re not sure if they are open for harvest season as the farm may be closed due to seasonal conditions. For more out-of-town adventures, check out our guide to the best day hikes from Melbourne, or tick off the 50 things to do in Melbourne before you die. 

Here's where to get fit at Melbourne's best gyms

Here's where to get fit at Melbourne's best gyms

Whether you're a gym rat or looking to start your fitness journey, finding a good gym is half the battle. That's why we have sweated, squatted and push-upped our way through Melbourne's gyms to find out which ones will get you fit, fast. While some of these gyms offer equipment that you can use at your convenience, many of them offer classes that can help you stick to a weekly workout schedule.  Prefer your workout outdoors? Check out Melbourne's best bike paths or train for that 5km at one of Melbourne's best parks. 

Shopper’s guide to Smith Street

Shopper’s guide to Smith Street

Earlier this year, Smith Street earned the title of being the coolest street in the world. Whether you agree or think that's a bit of a stretch, there's no denying that Smith Street is a hub of cool independent shops. We've rounded up 11 shops that you should check out on your next visit, including everything from trendy bottle-os and quirky gift shops to some of the best vintage stores on this side of the river. The list starts at the tail end of Smith Street near Fitzroy Gardens and takes you all the way up towards Alexandra Parade to ensure you'll get the most out of your journey down Smith Street.  For more northside action, check out our shopping guide to Gertrude Street and our Smith Street bar crawl. 

The best pizza in Melbourne

The best pizza in Melbourne

You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a midnight snack. This is our most favourite, versatile food that combines light crusts, rich tomato bases and fresh toppings. We've eaten our way around Melbourne to find the best slices; in no particular order, here are our 15 favourite pizza restaurants. Plus we've scoped out all their delivery details, so if you're staying in you can still have the best slice of pie. Looking for dinner with a view? Here are Melbourne's best beachside restaurants.

The best Melbourne plant nurseries that deliver

The best Melbourne plant nurseries that deliver

Being surrounded by nature is good for the soul. These Melbourne nurseries can set you up with everything from hardy house plants to native shrubs and top-notch gardening accessories. If you don't have a green thumb, don't worry – the staff at these local garden shops can offer you advice so you don't kill your darling new plant friends. Great news – all of them offer delivery or click and collect during lockdown! Want more deliveries? Here are our guides to cheese, coffee and food deliveries.

The best massages in Melbourne

The best massages in Melbourne

Our pick of dreamy Melbourne massages will give your muscles the TLC they deserve. Whether you've got a niggling muscle pain in need of a remedial massage or just want to treat yourself, there's a massage style for you. Need a more thorough scrubbing down? Head into one of Melbourne's best spas and bathhouses.

Snap your homemade cocktail to win the Woodford Reserve range

Snap your homemade cocktail to win the Woodford Reserve range

Like a lot of us, you're probably wondering what to do with all the time you have at home at the moment. We've seen so many people bake sourdough loaves and embark on DIY projects big and small, but have you thought about putting that energy into making bar-quality cocktails at home? Trust us, it's doable. And we want you to give it a go, which is why we've partnered with Woodford Reserve to bring you three live cocktail masterclasses on Instagram. Every Friday, we'll be going live with expert mixologist and Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Thalita Alves. Alves will be showing us how you can make a whiskey cocktail at home while giving us some background info on American whiskey and Woodford Reserve. Prop your phone up in the kitchen (or wherever you designate your home bar) and follow along. Can't make it? No worries, we'll be sharing the video on IGTV for you to catch up. Alongside our weekly cocktail masterclasses with Woodford Reserve, we're also hosting a little competition to test your skills and create a fun at-home cocktail community while we're at it. Simply snap a pic of your Woodford Reserve cocktail once you've participated in Alves' masterclass and share it on your own Instagram account using the hashtag #WoodfordReserveFridays. Don't have a bottle of Woodford Reserve? You're going to want to hop over to BoozeBud tout de suite to get one. They will deliver your Woodford Reserve in around one business day (depending on where you live) and are offering a ten per

Meet Melbourne's new craft brewers

Meet Melbourne's new craft brewers

It’s the time of the year when beer-lovers flock to a hefty program of parties, meals, workshops and tours. Ahead of Good Beer Week, find out what it takes to start and run a brewery from two of Melbourne’s brightest new brewing talents.

Listings and reviews (42)

Hawker Chan

Hawker Chan

Melburnians can now try the food from Singapore's one Michelin starred hawker stall without having to fly out to the lion city. Teaming up with Hersing Culinary, the company responsible for bringing fellow Michelin star recipient Tim Ho Wan to Australia, Hawker Chan has opened a hundred seater venue on Lonsdale Street. The new restaurant is dishing out chef Chan Hong Meng's signature cheap-as-chips dishes. The majority of items are less than $10 a plate – you'll get some spare change back when you order any of the signature Hawker Chan meals like the Hong Kong-style soy sauce chicken rice (only $8.30), egg noodles with roast pork ($11.30), or char siew ribs with hor fun noodles ($10.30). It's an efficient operation, there's no table service, customers order at the counter and the food comes out at lightning speed. Lonsdale Street is a long way from the original stall in Singapore's Chinatown Complex, and while that inimitable hawker market charm is near impossible to replicate in a large, new venue, it's hard to complain when you can get a decent meal for less than a tenner. 

Uncle Tetsu's

Uncle Tetsu's

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese cheesecakes landed in Melbourne in a tiny Swanston Street shop in 2017, and the cake-loving masses are queueing up for a taste of this dessert with a cult status. The first Melbourne shop originally only offered Uncle Tetsu’s original cheesecake and muffin-sized honey madeleines, but since opening has added matcha and chocolate varieties to the menu.Unlike American-style cheesecakes with a crushed biscuit base and dense, creamy filling, the Japanese version served at Uncle Tetsu’s is more spongy and light. The team at Uncle Tetsu’s, who let us have a peek inside their kitchen, have to make sure that the fluffy meringue base is peaked just so, before stirring together the meringue and eggy cream cheese batter by hand, to ensure the end product stays airy. The goal, one of the kitchen staff says, is for the cake to be soft and jiggly when it comes out.Those used to traditional cheesecakes might be slightly baffled by the taste. When it’s still warm, the cake tastes and smells like french toast – it’s eggy, sweet and melt-in-your-mouth spongy. After it’s been in the fridge (Uncle Tetsu’s says the cake is good for up to 3 days), the cake gets more dense and cream-cheesy.The cakes (a bargain at $18) sometimes fly out of the store so fast that often customers will get one that has been out of the oven in mere minutes. On our visit (just after the Swanston Store opening), we overheard someone at the till assuring a customer that their cake would be coming out

Donna Sheridan

Donna Sheridan

It's fitting that hairdresser Donna Sheridan and her namesake salon share the same name as Meryl Streep's character in Mamma Mia. In the films, Donna Sheridan is a free-spirited character with a penchant for ABBA songs and impossibly cool beachy waves. In real life, the salon in Fitzroy's backstreets specialises in low maintenance cuts that wouldn't look out of place in the ABBA tribute films. Donna Sheridan (salon founder, not Mamma Mia character) was cutting hair out of a warehouse space before she moved to the Kerr Street address in 2017. Originally from New Zealand, she has grown a following for her 1970s-inspired cuts. Think wispy bangs like Jane Birkin's or Joan Jett's choppy layers.  Sheridan and her team's true speciality, however, is their ability to understand what their clients are after. Aside from listening to what their customers say they want, Sheridan's crew take cues from what people wear when they arrive at the salon, what clients say their day-to-day grooming routines are and what their hair looks like on arrival. For instance, on my visit, Sheridan took in my bell bottoms, linen shirt and admittedly unclear brief of "a shag maybe, but not too short and I don't own a hairdryer" and translated that into an easy to maintain, layered cut that yes, didn't need a hairdryer to style and made me look like a cool 1970s skateboarder.  Sheridan shares her salon space with hairdressers Erin Frances, Lucia O'Sullivan and Shannon Senol, who bring with them years of expe

Nourish Spa and Skin Clinic

Nourish Spa and Skin Clinic

We'll let you in on a secret. St Kilda's Fitzroy Street is hiding one of the most relaxing spots in the bayside area. Nourish Spa and Skin Clinic, a day spa located on the second level of the Adina hotel, is an oasis in what can be a hectic part of St Kilda.  The day spa offers the complete pampering experience, from mani-pedis (bubbles optional), waxing and specialised facials to massages, spray tanning and IPL treatments. The pamper packages are where it's at if you're in need of a complete relaxation experience.  The Sensory Escape package ($185) does exactly what it says on the tin. On entering a dimly lit treatment room, you'll be asked to jump into a fluffy bathrobe and soak your feet in a bowl of warm water to prepare those toes for a foot scrub. Beware of any sudden movements if you're the ticklish kind, but the foot rub should prepare you for more relaxation to come.  The treatment is followed by a full body exfoliation with a dry body brushing – where the masseuse sweeps your skin with a dry, cactus bristled brush in long strokes going up towards your heart. This is supposed to improve your circulation as well as buff your skin to get rid of dead skin cells. The main event is the super relaxing full body massage using a fragrant essential oil of your choosing. It's a totally luxurious experience, especially if you have sore muscles that need rubbing out. They'll even pop hot towels on pressure areas, which is a pretty luxurious feeling. The treatment finishes with a

Babu Ji

Babu Ji

3 out of 5 stars

In India, Babu Ji is a term you’d use for an older male, say your dad or grandfather, and since opening on St Kilda’s Grey Street in 2014, the original Babu Ji has earned the respectful title. The original owner Jessi Singh packed his bags, along with the Babu Ji concept and took it to New York and Southern California. But that whole time the St Kilda outpost, alongside sister restaurant Horn Please, continued to tick along, serving their modern take on Indian cuisine. Smart money is on the $49 set menu. It lets you choose two entree dishes and two curry dishes along with rice and a basket of naan bread. You’ll also get a basket of fresh papadums with a minty dip, a sweet and sour tamarind sauce and mango chutney. Dinner sorted. Another mark in its favour is the inclusive menu, so bring your vego and pescatarian mates. ‘Double Trouble’ is a non-traditional take on aloo tikki (potato croquettes). The pair of croquettes (one crab, one beetroot) is served with a sweet apple and gooseberry chutney. Following staff recommendation, we tried both croquettes together in the one bite – the earthiness of the beetroot and the peppery crab croquette find balance with the sweetness of tamarind. It’s not often we ask for smaller serves, but in this case, smaller croquettes would’ve meant more of the crisp golden exterior. Tandoori chicken is juicy, but more time in the oven is needed for char and smokiness. Better results are found in the vindaloo, which was closer to the traditional Goan

Fitness First Melbourne Central

Fitness First Melbourne Central

If you work or study in the CBD and have an hour or so to bash out a session, Fitness First Melbourne Central is a great option. Group fitness classes run from pre-workday slots to around 8pm in the evening, and they range from gentle mat Pilates to spin classes. If you’re a Les Mills class fanatic, the standard line-up of Body Pump, Body Attack and CXWorx resistance sessions are in the roster. The best part, though, is the range of equipment available and amount of floor space there is to work through your sets. If you’re confident flying solo, help yourself to the weights (assisted machines and free weights) or have a go on the TRX frame for body-weight exercises. If you don’t know your way around the gym, there are always friendly trainers roaming around to help you get started. And when you’re done, the steam room and sauna is a great spot to continue your sweat session before you hit the showers. Membership is $28 a week on an 18-month contract. Other Fitness First gyms in the CBD include branches in QV Melbourne, Flinders Street and Bourke Street Mall. Best for: Budget-conscious gym rats

St Skin

St Skin

Treating yourself to a spa treatment doesn't always have to involve dropping a stack of cash and locking yourself away to an hours-long session. Short but effective treatments you can do on your lunch break were what St Skin founders and beauty clinicians Maryan Al Talebi and Leelah Linke wanted when they opened their beauty clinic on Flinders Lane (now located in North Melbourne). I tried a few lunchtime sessions at LED treatment at St Skin's LED Lounge. For the uninitiated, an LED treatment involves you sitting with your face under a bright, warm LED lamp that's a little bit like a dentist's lamp. There are three options available at St Skin: a blue light is billed as fighting acne, the red light is supposed to promote collagen production for skin elasticity, and infrared is described as an all-rounder that's soothing on skin inflammation and skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema.  It all sounds a bit weird (how does light fix your skin?), but there's definitely something to LED treatments. I've got your classic combination to oily skin that gets the odd monster stress zit, and after a 20-minute blast under the warm LED lamp my skin felt plumper and smoother. There's no social downtime like you might get after an acid peel, and I still had time to spare on my lunch hour afterwards.  The LED light emits different wavelengths, and depending on the colour light you go with these wavelengths are supposed to reach target different skin issues. The plumpness you get from inc

The Langham

The Langham

The Langham is the definition of the classic luxury hotel experience. If you can shell out for the Executive Rooms, absolutely go for it, you’ll get a stunning bird’s eye view of Melbourne’s famous skyline, the bustling rail lines of Flinders Street Station, and the Yarra River. But for the ultimate luxe hotel stay, opt for the Executive Terrace Room is available so you can lounge in your own private terrace overlooking the Yarra and the Southbank precinct.  The CBD's riverside bars and restaurants are just a short walk away, as are tram and train lines that go all over the city, but if you prefer to embrace the luxury experience in the comfort of the hotel, guests to the Executive Rooms have access to Langham Club privileges which includes access to an exclusive club lounge on the 24th floor where you can enjoy a continental breakfast, a classic afternoon tea and even drinks before dinner. Stick around for dinner at the Melba, the Langham’s fine dining buffet restaurant, where you can feast on the freshest seafood to start, peruse the range of seasonal dishes, and finish with the impressive dessert range. Before you check out, take a dip in the indoor 15-metre pool inside the Langham’s blissful Chuan Spa. Time Out tip: Guests with club privileges should make the most of the butler service – including complimentary shoe shining and garment pressing for when you need to look on point. Plus, tea sommeliers are most definitely a thing at the Langham– and you’ll find them at the

Souk

Souk

In the CBD, you'd be hard pressed to find a Middle Eastern eatery that sits somewhere between kebab joints and Maha on the pricing scale. Souk's entrance on Bligh Place changes things. The restaurant is on the casual side, and what it lacks in natural light past the pokey laneway entrance, it makes up for with bright pink neon lights indoors. The pan-Middle Eastern menu touches on influences from Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula, coupled with Turkish wine and cocktails.  Owner Ergun Elmas and business partner Vlad Kovacevic have enlisted the help of Mexican-born chef Rogelio Almanza to lead the kitchen team, which is putting out fresh takes on Middle Eastern classics. Centred on share dishes, the menu features big ticket items like the slow-cooked lamb shoulder and sides like the fattoush salad served in a za'atar cone and chipotle hummus.  This is probably not the venue for purists, shawarmas are dubbed "Arabian tacos" on the menu and feature interesting flavour combos that riff on the classics, like the slow-cooked lamb with fresh crunchy veg like cucumber, red radish and salad leaves. The octopus legs served whole, is more truthful to Mediterranean fare, barely dressed whilst tender and smoky from the charcoal grill.  Cocktails nod to classic Arabic flavours like rose water and cardamom. The Espresso Martini is tweaked with Turkish coffee, while their take on Gin and Tonic is made with a mastic-infused gin and watermelon spritz. If you're after a dinner with fun party vib

Babajan

Babajan

5 out of 5 stars

We suspect that northside locals would like the quiet strip of shops along Nicholson Street bordering Fitzroy North and Carlton to retain its village feel, but Babajan’s arrival looks set to draw plenty of newcomers to this sleepy high street.  Chef Kirsty Chiaplias, formerly of the Workers’ Food Room, has opened a cafĂ© serving modern Turkish fare and they’re cooking some seriously delicious eats out of their tiny open kitchen. They make everything from scratch, in-house, and all the action is visible from the 20-odd seats inside. On any given day, the fruits of their labour include piles of hearty salads that wouldn't look amiss in an Ottolenghi cookbook, teacakes, pastries, and Turkish breads like pide and simit.  Menemen is the Turkish take on baked eggs that are traditionally pre-scrambled with tomatoes and spices. At Babajan, they choose to bake the eggs whole so you can dunk you simit – a slightly sweet, bagel-like bread ring encrusted with sesame seeds – into the eggy tomato mess. At the other end of the spectrum the baklava pain perdu is pretty close to having dessert for breakfast – it comes with a dreamy dollop of kaymak (close relative to clotted cream) and jammy poached quince that adds extra sweetness to the walnut-sprinkled brioche. There’s a couple of nods to Chiaplias’s Greek background in the mix too. The trout spanakopita really looks nothing like a spanakopita, but what’s some pastry between friends? Instead of filo, the spinach and cheese filling is wrappe

Pickle

Pickle

4 out of 5 stars

The northern end of Nicholson Street still has a quiet suburban feel to it, so Pickle’s arrival to the strip didn’t mean queues materialised for the burger shop. Instead, the opening has been welcomed by locals, who visit the corner eatery next to the Capital City trail after bike rides or with post-soccer practice kids in tow. Pickle owners Anna Rogers and Gaby Zakharia have kept the menu short; there are ten burger options plus a small kid’s one that comes with a juice box. The cheeseburger (a steal at $7.90) comes with no adornments apart from Heinz mustard, ketchup, pickles and a melted plastic cheese slice. The patty is well seasoned, juicy and properly caramelised on the grill and the sesame seed brioche buns used for all Pickles’ burgers are from Ovens Street Bakery in Brunswick and have the shiny toasted tan of a Brazilian model’s legs.   The pulled pork burger has a welcome kick of heat to it. It comes with a slaw that’s sparingly dressed to make room for the extra sauces from the sweet barbecue pulled pork and Sriracha mayo, and you get an extra burn from the jalapeno poppers – if only they were available as a side. Get the Bruce Lee if you can, a beef burger on some Asian slaw and crowned with the famous South Melbourne Market dim sim, fried to market-fresh levels. Here they cut up the fist-sized dimmie into more manageable pieces, so it can sit on the cheese-topped patty. The combo works if you’re after a nostalgic hit: the pork dimmies, usually served with soy s

8bit Melbourne

8bit Melbourne

4 out of 5 stars

Have we reached peak burger yet? Maybe. The game of one-upping each other with the weirdest, most loaded sandwiches in town has gone quiet – if anything, the competition is now about a simple burger that nails every single component, like 8bit’s signature beef burger.The meat patty is thin, so there’s no medium-rare pink centre, but that’s not a bad thing. The thin patty caramelises more evenly on the grill this way, before being capped with a melted slice of yellow American cheese. Adding a touch of freshness are the classic condiments – tomato, red onion, pickles and lettuce – so that every bite is equal parts salty, fatty, crisp and soft. Simply put, the 8bit with cheese is the perfect fast food.Skip the fries and order a side of potato gems, which have more crunch than the beer battered chips. If spice is your thing, the After Burner improves on the signature burger with extra Sriracha, jalapeños and chipotle mayo. The Golden Axe fried chicken burger uses the same brioche bun; the battered fried chook comes piping hot with a crisp char that’s almost too burnt, but not quite. It sits on some white cabbage ’slaw and Sriracha mayo and is hot enough to melt the bright yellow cheese on contact.Some clever engineering went into the paper sleeve your burger is served in, catching the juices before they drip down to your elbow. Also, thumbs up for the filling-to-bun ratio, spot on at 1:1.The Swanston Street venue is decked out with nods to old-school arcade games. A sole Pacman m

News (171)

How to spend a day in Melbourne's CBD on $50

How to spend a day in Melbourne's CBD on $50

Down to your last fiddy and need to take someone out for a day in Melbourne?  There’s actually a surprising amount of things you can do with a crisp pineapple. Our first tip: stick to the CBD, where you can get around in the free tram zone. 1. Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens: Free Start off by wandering through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Everyone does the walk around the Tan, but head deep into the gardens to check out the vast plant collections and landscapes. Our favourites are the Arid Garden, which showcases many exotic desert plants and cacti and the lush Fern Gully that looks like something out of Jurassic Park.    2. Get a snack at Shortstop Doughnuts and Coffee: $9 Visit this little laneway doughnut shop for a fresh, delicious doughie like this maple glaze and walnut number, which you can watch being made in the open kitchen, coffee in hand. Shortstop gets their coffee from local roaster Market Lane, known for their serious blends.   3. Go on a self-guided tour of Melbourne’s arcades: Free (if you don’t buy anything) Window shopping is infinitely more interesting at the Royal and Block Arcades. Start at Royal Arcade’s Bourke Street Mall entrance and get a feel for how Melbourne’s 19th-century shoppers spent their well-earned shillings. Cross Little Collins Street to enter Block Arcade and pay close attention to the beautiful mosaic tile floor and stunning glass canopy. If you have more cash to spare, stop by the arcade’s excellent cafes and shops offering everyth

Melbourne's latest pop-up is dedicated to Indomie instant noodles

Melbourne's latest pop-up is dedicated to Indomie instant noodles

Indonesia’s most famous export, the instant noodle brand Indomie, has opened a pop-up restaurant at Melbourne’s HWKR. The ‘warung’, or shop, is serving Indomie noodle dishes that look a lot less like the 2am meals you made when you were pulling all-nighters at uni, and more like the pictures on the packet. In Australia, Indomie is a quick and cheap meal or a thing to add to Insta-worthy jaffles, but there’s actually more to the instant noodle brand than the 5-pack Mi Goreng. If you didn’t know just how iconic Indomie is to Indonesians, it’s probably best to compare it to Vegemite in terms of how prolific it is across the country. Indomie is sold in school tuck shops if your school had one (this writer remembers eating the dry uncooked noodles at break times), it’s a perfectly normal meal option for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it’s something you miss when you’re travelling. Much like those KitKat flavours you can only find in Japan, in Indonesia a typical supermarket will stock your standard Mi Goreng number but they’ll also stock other flavours modelled off local dishes like beef rendang or soto ayam (chicken soup). HWKR’s instant noodle warung is highlighting the more obscure Indomie flavours with dishes like mie goreng (fried noodle) with fried chicken ribs and telur balado (fried boiled eggs with sambal); a chicken curry noodle soup; and another with corned beef and fried egg. We tried the mie goreng sambal matah, a spicy number with Balinese beef,  Balinese-style pic

10 weird and wonderful things we saw at Mona Foma 2019

10 weird and wonderful things we saw at Mona Foma 2019

This year Mona Foma, the summer music, art and culture festival started by Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art, had its inaugural full run in Launceston, 200 kilometres north from its original home. After a successful mini-festival in Lonnie in 2018, this year’s festival marked the first of three years that the MONA magic heads north. Seeing as the museum and its festivals and other associated businesses (which includes a brewery and winery) have pumped millions into the Hobart economy, it’s no surprise that Launceston wants a piece of that MONA pie. And why not? So we spent three days traipsing through Launceston’s streets and arts precinct to soak up as much art and culture as we could. 1. Flying on the Air Mofo flightThe flight to Launceston on a Qantas plane chartered especially for Mona Foma was never going to be your standard flight. The passengers, mostly competition winners bar a couple of rows of journos, had been promised a flight on a purple plane, and judging by past festival surprises, who knew what else the hour-long journey would throw at us?    Passengers on Air Mofo Photograph: MONA   Air Mofo didn’t deliver on the promise of a Mona Foma purple plane, but it was really the inside that mattered. Before take-off we checked out the ‘How to Launceston’ cards placed in the seat pocket in front of every seat. Made in the style of safety instruction cards, the card advised passengers not to touch the monkeys at City Park (because “they have STDs”) and that “if it’s

10 weird and wonderful things we saw at Mona Foma 2019

10 weird and wonderful things we saw at Mona Foma 2019

This year Mona Foma, the summer music, art and culture festival started by Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art, had its inaugural full run in Launceston, 200 kilometres north from its original home. After a successful mini-festival in Lonnie in 2018, this year’s festival marked the first of three years that the MONA magic heads north. Seeing as the museum and its festivals and other associated businesses (which includes a brewery and winery) have pumped millions into the Hobart economy, it’s no surprise that Launceston wants a piece of that MONA pie. And why not? So we spent three days traipsing through Launceston’s streets and arts precinct to soak up as much art and culture as we could. 1. Flying on the Air Mofo flightThe flight to Launceston on a Qantas plane chartered especially for Mona Foma was never going to be your standard flight. The passengers, mostly competition winners bar a couple of rows of journos, had been promised a flight on a purple plane, and judging by past festival surprises, who knew what else the hour-long journey would throw at us?    Passengers on Air Mofo Photograph: MONA   Air Mofo didn’t deliver on the promise of a Mona Foma purple plane, but it was really the inside that mattered. Before take-off we checked out the ‘How to Launceston’ cards placed in the seat pocket in front of every seat. Made in the style of safety instruction cards, the card advised passengers not to touch the monkeys at City Park (because “they have STDs”) and that “if it’s

Visit the Oasis dessert bar for these cheesecake on a stick

Visit the Oasis dessert bar for these cheesecake on a stick

I don't care if you think we don't need cheesecakes on sticks in our lives, because these loaded cakes from Stix look like the best thing ever. While Stix has a permanent hold-out in Coburg, the dessert store is doing a two-week pop-up in Murrumbeena's all-in-one supermarket/cafeteria/bakery Oasis (formerly Oasis Bakery). Head to Oasis's dessert bar until October 7 to find Stix's cheesecake on a stick, which features toppings like Oreos, Nutella, cookie crumbs (à la Golden Gaytime) and more. The pop-up will be open from noon daily. Can't make the pop-up? You can head to Stix's permanent digs at 600 Sydney Rd, Coburg.  If your idea of heaven is a stack of dessert treats, here are the best places to get high tea in Melbourne. 

The Free Tram Zone will extend to the MCG for the long weekend

The Free Tram Zone will extend to the MCG for the long weekend

If you're getting involved in the footy action this weekend, you can make the most of the long weekend as the Free Tram Zone will be extended to the MCG to get punters to and from the Grand Final Parade and the AFL Footy Festival with ease. The extension will start from Wednesday, September 26 to Grand Final Day on Saturday, September 29.  The extended Free Tram Zone will include stops along Wellington Parade, Jolimont Station, Rod Laver Arena, the MCG and Hisense Arena. Even if you're not the slightest bit interested in Melbourne's footy frenzy, you can still use the public transport changes to your advantage. On Grand Final Day, there will be 30 extra metropolitan train services taking people around the city and 150 more trams tacked on to the usual Saturday tram schedule. Plus, all tram and train fares will be capped to $6.30 if you're travelling in zones 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday nights. The Night Network will run as normal all long weekend. Check out the best bars and pubs to watch the AFL Grand Final. Plus, here are the best things to do this long weekend.

Where to get Lune croissants without the huge queues

Where to get Lune croissants without the huge queues

Lune Croissanterie's croissants earned the venue the top spot on Time Out Melbourne's best patisseries list and was dubbed "the world's best" by a writer for the New York Times. No one's doubting how good those croissants are (they are, very), but unless you really want Lune's flaky baked goods for breakfast it can also be hard to justify waking up early on a Saturday to join the queue snaking out of Fitzroy's best-known warehouse bakery. Thankfully, siblings Kate and Cameron Reid from Lune are spreading their buttery goods beyond the Fitzroy bakery to a small number of cafés around the city. That way, even if you work away from Fitzroy's worst-kept secret, you'll be able to grab your morning croissant and maybe even a lemon curd cruffin from these venues.  1. Top Paddock, Richmond 2. Higher Ground, Melbourne CBD 3. Kettle Black, South Melbourne 4. Cumulus Inc, Melbourne CBD 5. Marion, Fitzroy (only on Saturdays and Sundays) Want more of the sweet stuff? Check out the best patisseries in Melbourne. If you feel like something a bit healthier, these are some of the best smoothies in town.

MasterChef winner Sashi Cheliah is opening a pop-up restaurant

MasterChef winner Sashi Cheliah is opening a pop-up restaurant

This year's MasterChef champion Sashi Cheliah may have been a prison officer in Adelaide before he entered the MasterChef kitchen, but it looks like he's leaving his work in corrections behind as the winner is set to open Gaja by Sashi, a pop-up restaurant in Melbourne's HWKR. The restaurant is set to launch on Friday, August 17 at the hawker market-inspired space in the CBD. The menu at Gaja will draw on Sashi's Singaporean background, focusing on the kind of Malaysian, Chinese and Singaporean home-style dishes that Sashi became known for in his time as a MasterChef contestant. He's already confirmed that diners will be able to look forward to trying his take on the classic beef rendang, Malaysian rojak, lamb biryani, ayam masak merah (red braised chicken) and Kerala chicken.  HWKR has become an unofficial launching pad for ex-MasterChef contestants to work on their restaurant concepts. When the space opened earlier this year, the 2017 champion Diana Chan and a 2015 contestant Reynold Poernomo opened a Malaysian canteen and dessert bar respectively.  Sashi will be running Gaja for three months, so if you've ever wanted to get a taste of what the MasterChef judges have been sampling all season, this is your chance.  After more cheap eats? Check out Time Out's top picks of Melbourne's best cheap eats.  

14 thoughts we had while trying to get Harry Potter tickets

14 thoughts we had while trying to get Harry Potter tickets

UPDATE: All tickets to the first release of priority tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are sold out. But don't worry, more priority booking tickets will be made available from noon (AEST) on Wednesday, August 1. Make sure you get in quick!   Tickets went on sale today for those who signed up for priority early tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Time Out Melbourne editors Cass Knowlton and Delima Shanti were among those who wanted tickets as soon as humanly possible. Here is how it went.  There are HOW MANY people in the line ahead of me? (over 35,000). I really feel like a priority ticket buyer when there are only 34,000 people ahead of me. I've been on the phone to [insert telco company name/government body] before, this is nothing... I'm pleasantly surprised the site hasn't broken down yet, let's see if that changes. Is this show even really that good? Wait, Time Out New York gave it five stars, I guess I'll keep waiting. I haven't actually read the Cursed Child script (sorry not sorry), will I have time to finish the book by the time that line goes into the single digits?  Oh my God, what if I accidentally close the window and I have to go back to the start of the queue? I've made it this far without seeing any spoilers. Can I avoid spoilers until 2019? Is it too late for #keepthesecrets? I have an important meeting this arvo, how do I tell my boss I can't make it because I'm waiting for tickets? NO, COMPUTER, YOU MAY NOT RESTART NOW. Maybe I should

Melbourne's 400 Gradi is officially the best pizzeria in the Oceania region

Melbourne's 400 Gradi is officially the best pizzeria in the Oceania region

They've won awards for the best pizza in the world and the best pizza in Australia, and now a not-so-little pizzeria from Brunswick has taken the gong for the being the best in the Oceania region. 400 Gradi won the award at an event in Naples called the Top 50 Pizza Gala, where we imagine everyone walks around in Rihanna's famous 2015 Met Gala pizza dress.  The restaurant, which earlier this month announced they were opening a kiosk at Rod Laver Area, also made it into a list of the top 50 pizzerias in the world. 400 Gradi owner and chef Johnny Di Francesco said he was "truly honoured" to win the award. "Never did I think that my beginnings in pizza as a 12 year old would lead me here, to have my restaurant named not only as one of the top 50 pizzerias in the world, but as the best in Oceania.” It's going to be a big few years ahead for the Melbourne venue. Di Francesco has lined up a collaboration with the P&O cruise liner Pacific Explorer, and has taken the Gradi brand to the Middle East with openings in Kuwait and Bahrain. And in the next 12 months, they're looking at launching in Adelaide, New Zealand and the USA.  All that pizza chat got you craving a slice? Here's our list of the top 13 places to get pizza in Melbourne. 

Get excited: Uncle Tetsu is bringing its Japanese cheesecakes to Melbourne

Get excited: Uncle Tetsu is bringing its Japanese cheesecakes to Melbourne

You've probably seen them on your Facebook feeds even before you heard of them. Uncle Tetsu brought Japanese cheesecakes to Australia last year when it landed in Sydney, and now the super light, giant marshmallow-like cakes are coming to Melbourne soon.  The Japanese company has been making these wobbly desserts for close to 30 years. They have become so popular that many stores limit sales to one cake per customer. Uncle Tetsu Melbourne's Facebook page has been teasing followers on the launch of the Melbourne shops, which are due to land at 55 Swanston Street and Melbourne Central. Open dates have not yet been announced, but it looks like they're already testing their kitchen.  If you're unfamiliar with Japanese cheesecakes, they're definitely not like classic cheesecakes with the biscuit crust and creamy top. The Japanese version comes without a base and is closer in texture to a cross between a marshmallow and a fluffy sponge cake. Sounds weird, but it works. Our Sydney editors say Uncle Tetsu's wobbly cake's taste depends on how you eat it. When it's fresh from the store, "it smells like sugar and eggs in a pancake way and is bronzed on top and creamy-coloured round the sides... The texture is somewhere between a sponge and a cheesecake – feathery-light, but it melts on the tongue like butter thanks to all that fat. It tastes like a really light, fluffy pancake, and isn’t particularly cheesy." And when it's cold, the cake is "definitely more ‘cheesecakey’. [The] Japanese

24-hour pho is now a thing in Melbourne at Twenty Pho Seven

24-hour pho is now a thing in Melbourne at Twenty Pho Seven

When hunger strikes in the wee hours, we can already get 24-hour ramen, kebabs, burgers and even share plates in Melbourne. And our late-night favourites are getting new competition with Twenty Pho Seven, a 24-hour pho joint set to open later this month.  Brought to you by the team behind the CBD's contemporary Vietnamese restaurant Hochi Mama, Twenty Pho Seven will be serving up steaming bowls of broth and noodles that will make you feel wholesome no matter what you've been doing late at night in the city. Founders Thai Ho, Midawell Phal and George Do have taken inspiration from the bowls of pho that they've grown up with at home. There will be the classic chicken and beef options (fingers crossed they serve the 'complete' versions with offal), as well vego-friendly options.  The menu will also feature cocktails inspired by complementary Vietnamese flavours – handy if you're anything like us and can be a little heavy handed on the chilli oil. Want to know what else you can eat in the city at 3am? Check out our favourite late-night eats.