Sassafras Canteen, Paddington

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Sunday Breakfast at Sassafras. What an interesting place to visit, with a different, varied menu – including vodka salmon..hello! Theres a wonderful vibe you receive from the polite, caring staff as you are greeted upon entering this inner city delight.

Passing through the inside to head out to the garden area, nooks and crannies pop up along the way. Everywhere you turn there is something different to look at. Including a good sense of humour. One had to love the placement of this sign, over a small pond…still giggling!

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Breakfast choices included the Sassa Brunch, Eggs Benedict with bacon (yes also one with the vodka, lemon murtle & spiced salmon gravlax), the pulled lamb omelette, and corn fritters. All the meals were well presented, fresh, tasty and most enjoyable.

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Eggs Benedict with bacon above tasted as good as it looks. The beautifully presented Sassa Brunch below, was an awesome healthy option.

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I definitely enjoyed the vodka salmon Eggs Benedict, however I think the dish that really wowed with taste was the pulled lamb omelette. We have never tasted an omelette with the appeal of this one. If you’re an omelette person or like a little lamb, give this one a try, it really is different with an explosion of taste in the mouth.

The selection of juices and smoothies has a wide ranging appeal. Most definitely give these a try. This strawberry, pineapple & mint juice was just devine, an extremely refreshing kick to start the day.

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Take a drive through to Paddington, if you’re not already in the area. Visit Sassafras and enjoy the warm welcome you will receive from the staff as well as the good food and atmosphere. We know we will be going back šŸ‘!

P.J. O’Briens, Tullamarine Airport

Reluctantly, we realised our whirlwind, weekend visit to this fashion, foodie paradise, was coming to an end. Time to fly home.

Never liking to be pushed for time when facing a deadline time, we chose to arrive at Melbourne airport earlier to partake of a pre-flight lunch. Our choice, P J O’Briens.

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Seated next to a window, we had the option of watching the airport going about its business, or enjoying the busy atmosphere within P J’s.

Perusing the pub style menu, one starts to realise how wise we were to choose airport dining over stopping somewhere en route to Tullamarine. There looks to be a bit of eating involved with these meals. Oh well, someone had to do it!

Ordering meals and drinks at the counter, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. Why, you may ask? Upon ordering my glass of wine, I was asked to confirm if this was a normal or large sized serve. There is a choice?? Apparently yes. Well, that had to be one of the easiest decisions ever made šŸ˜„.

Two meals ordered, were the Boston Celtic Cheese Steak Sandwich. A long, full roll, oozing the contents, covered in melting cheese, from one side, with chunky chips served on the side. Apparently these meals were very tasty.

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I was happy to pick at the couple of starters we ordered, including Blue Eye Cod Croquettes, Semolina Dusted Calamari and Fried Beer & Cheese Bites.

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The Calamari was a nice little dish, the lack of heavy crumbs making a nice change to normal pub fare.

Service here was surprisingly quick for such a busy restaurant. Staff were efficient, obviously used to the busy environment. The pub area is out the front, if you are after a pre flight drink. With the dining area situated at the back of P J O’Briens, overlooking the airport.

Another bonus here, PJ’s is located before security. Rather handy if you are wanting to spend time with family or friends, before you head through security to your gate.

Bye bye Melbourne. We barely scratched the surface this weekend, next time we hope to explore a lot more of what this city had to offer.

Follow Dine Live Travel on Instagram & Facebook to stay up to date with iur travels. You never know where we may be.

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The Smith, Prahran, Melbourne

Dining out in Melbourne is a totally different world. Often you need to decide well in advance where you are going, to ensure you successfully secure a booking. Our forward planning hosts, had secured a dinner booking at The Smith.

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Late dining is the norm here. Where a lot of Brisbanes restaurants would be taking final orders at 9pm, in Melbourne they have only just warmed up for the night ahead.

Entry through the door is divided, right for bar, left for the restaurant. Caught in the steady flow of people, you are washed through the door, into your designated area.

Once inside, one could see the venue was packed. The huge open bar sits in the middle of the room dividing the restaurant from the bar. As the table wasn’t quite ready for our 8.30pm sitting, we were directed to the bar for drinks. Negotiating through the standing room only crowd, we were able to order our desired drinks. Surprisingly, especially given the noise with the DJ in the corner and the excited wave of voices, our order was filled promptly.

A short time later, we were seated at our table, with an extensive menu to choose from. Once seated, there was a noticeable drop in the noise level.
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Seated amongst the hustle and bustle, dividing time between perusing the menu and admiring the exposed brick, big rafters, industrial feel building, eventual choices were decided.

We all chose our individual mains, leaving our hosts, who were Smith savvy customers, to choose the entrees. Kingfish Sashimi arrived first.

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This dish was devine. A soft combination of the Kingfish, lightly flavoured with mango purƩe, coconut milk and green chilli dressing, created a flavour explosion in the mouth. The chilli was not overpowering though, by any stretch of the imagination.

Soft Fajitas followed, served with with a Cuban braised wagyu beef alongside an avocado and sweetcorn salsa. Another well presented, tasty dish.

Staff were fantastic when we checked if the dish had tomato, due to an allergy. They quickly checked with the kitchen and tried to seek an alternative to the Cuban beef. Unable to, they were most apologetic. To be honest, the salsa on its own, still made for a tasty entree.

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My choice for the main, was the Salmon. Crispy skin, beautifully soft inside, the salmon combined fabulously with the crushed peas and pomegranate yoghurt. One of the best salmon dishes I have ever tasted.

All the mains were declared fabulous, and we were told, our hosts had never had a bad meal there yet. A high accolade.

Time to finish with their signature dessert, The Smith Knickerbocker dessert.
Layered with berries and cream, a delightful way to finish the meal. A most enjoyable evening all round.

IMG_2385.JPGif you can secure a booking at The Smith, give it a try sometime. I’m told lunchtimes through the week are usually quiet. Plus you never know who you may see here. Keep an eye out!

Blues Bar & Grill, Carlton, Melbourne

Melbourne. A couple of hours flight from Brisbane, yet a world away in so many other ways. Our late night flight had us arrive at the Rydges in Carlton around midnight. Breakfast in the morning was a buffet in the Blues Restaurant. This was our first introduction to this comfortable, hospitable area.

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A view to match a deliciously fresh, varietal and fulfilling breakfast. Seated next to the window, within the warm enclosure of the restaurant, we had a birds eye view of people rushing about their daily business. Judging by the additional clothing most were wearing, we gauged it to be a lot less warm out there than it was inside.

The hearty breakfast was the ideal start before embarking on a morning exploration of Melbourne. Trams run past the outside of the hotel, however with a specific destination in mind, we utilised the cab rank right next to the door instead. First stop, the vinyl record shops hubby was seeking. An easy find, the cab driver dropped us at the door of the first one. This was when we discovered some of these boutique shops don’t open until 10:00am. Oh well, with interesting buildings and streets to explore, we found an open vinyl shop for hubby whilst I watched Melbournites go about their day, snapping a few shots here and there. Graffiti, art, fashion & food. All in Melbourne are an artform. A unique, interesting city, with something to see at every turn.

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After a long trips back to the hotel, yes we did get lost, it was close to our 1pm check out time, after which we were heading out to the suburbs.

Exhausted, we checked out and leaving our bags at reception, ducked back into Blues Bar for a quick lunch before we left. Seated at the bar this time, the friendly, helpful Con was our barman, who quite happily started us with a cocktail, of his choice (as we asked). Both cocktails were superb. Time to order some lunch.

We opted for the the 5 choices of dishes for $42. Kilpatrick & natural oysters included. The food was superb, fresh, crisp or soft where it was meant to be. Very palatable.

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We had to eventually cut our ties with the hospitable Con and head off to the suburbs to stay with family.

If you live in Melboune, or are just passing through, stop off at the Blues bar and say hi to Con. Hopefully we can revisit this one on another trip to Melbourne.

Keep an eye out over the next few days, more Melboune reviews to come. Don’t forget to follow us in Instagram & Facebook – Dine Live Travel.

You never know where we will be next. šŸ‘

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Little PawPaw

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Days off work throughout the week are somewhat of a rarity. It was to be expected therefore, that a Friday away from work would result in a lunch somewhere.

Taking the opportunity to drop the car in for a car wash, whilst partaking of lunch, we headed to Kedron’s Little PawPaw Cafe. This cafe was recommended by friends of my daughter, which made it an easy decision for her to take me out to lunch.

Located on a street corner in the suburb of Kedron, this quirky, popular little cafe has taken up residence. The next building houses a dog salon, with a number of pampered pooches exiting with their owners, looking spruced up and fluffy. One particular little white dog, looked to be smiling proudly, sporting a blue bow, as their owner carried them off to their car, to be belted in for homeward trip. Salon treatment with valet service and your own driver, no wonder this one was smiling!

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The menu is sufficient for most tastes, with breakfast available all day. Once you place and pay for your order at the counter, you can collect a bottle of chilled water, plus glasses, from the nearby fridge.

There’s a mix of picnic tables outside, mostly roughly hewn wooden tables painted with interesting pictures of fruit. Small stools surround some tables, with a couple having bench seats. Quite an arty, eclectic feel to the whole area.

Staff were efficient, no complaints with regards to service. This is a busy cafe, not a full table service restaurant, which generally denotes a different type of service.

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The quinoa salad pictured above was my choice for today, fresh, tasty and surprisingly very filling for a lighter meal. A satay chicken burger was the other meal choice at our table. Apparently this was a very tasty burger, perhaps a little heavy on the satay for this person’s palate. Otherwise, however, a very substantial lunch.

Little Pawpaw looks to be very popular with the locals in the area. Quite a few wandered in for a lunch or a coffee and a chat. The nice casual, laid back atmosphere lends itself to wiling away some time while you catch up on the news or watch the world go by.

There are other cafes related to this one, throughout Brisbane, including Pawpaw, Raw Pawpaw & Picnic Cafes.

Keep an eye out in your area, you might stumble across one.