|Fried eggs with jamon, figs and potato tortilla from Hardware Societe, Hardware Street, Melbourne|
Always turned off by the usual breakfast queues, I was pleasantly surprised on a Thursday morning with no queue but still a jam-packed venue including a shared communal table.
|Fried eggs with jamon, figs and potato tortilla from Hardware Societe|
Spanish jamon cured ham and a wedge of potato tortilla made an appearance alongside in-season fresh figs and a scattering of pumpkin seeds in a gorgeous spin on breakfast eggs and toast that was as gourmet as it was filling.
|Herb roasted mushrooms with twice cooked gruyere de comte souffle from Hardware Societe|
|Bills burger from Huxtaburger, Fulham Place, Melbourne|
It's a more of a scoff-and-dash venue, which is fine by the hungry devourers of the all-Aussie Bills burger featuring a fried egg and bacon with the juicy beef pattie, and beetroot and a pineapple ring in addition to lettuce and tomato - a burger doesn't get much more Australian than that.
|Rudy burger with chipotle fries from Huxtaburger|
The cute Rudy burger on a shiny mini burger bun with a beef pattie, lettuce and tomato was a classic burger with both tomato sauce and mayonnaise. For a proper meat hit, though, go the full size.
|Tam Tam ramen from Fukuryu Ramen, Corrs Lane, Melbourne|
Fukuryu Ramen is located up a couple flights of stairs in an aged laneway building, but once you're up there, it's like any other brightly-lit fast food restaurant. Order at the front and get a neat little tracker, rather than a buzzer, that alerts waistaff to your seating location once your food is ready for table delivery.
Offered in regular or large size (adults aren't allowed to order the kid's size - I tried), the mildly spicy, red-hued 'Tam Tam' ramen featured chasuhu roast pork slices and nori seaweed sheets propped up against the side of the bowl, as well as half a googy-yolked egg and pork mince through the soup. The broth had a fantastic smoky umami-ness that strongly encouraged one to finish the entire bowl of soup.
|Miso ramen from Fukuryu Ramen|
|Sweet potato fries with Vietnamese spicy chilli mayonnaise from Lord of the Fries, Flinders Street, Melbourne|
Darkly fried, the sweet potato chips alternate between crunchy and soggy, enriched with the 'Vietnamese' sauce - a lightly spiced mayonnaise.
|Ninjabread martini, Section 8, Tattersalls Lane|
Vanilla vodka featured with a touch of cream in the shaken cocktail that seemed to lack a real ginger hit, but it was the gingerbread crumb rim that won me over in the decidedly 'yum' cocktail.
|Jia zhang noodles from Camy Shanghai Dumpling, Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne|
The meaty, saucy jia zhang wheat noodles are fabulous for booze-soaking, and general eating too. The generous bowl of dry noodles is topped with a fine pork mince and finely chopped other ingredients in the Asian bolognaise-like sauce, with Chinese greenery on the side.
|Pan fried pork dumplings from Camy Shanghai Dumplings|
|Hot and sour soup from Camy Shanghai Dumpling|
|Xiao long bao from Camy Shanghai Dumpling|
I always feel like I need a salad week or two after an eating and drinking weekend in Melbourne, but it's all about the balance and the good times afterall.