3 new openings, the Ultimate Melbourne Food Tour & the Alt-Breakfast Series

I hope you're very, very hungy.

Breakfast is boring.

There, I said it. I can’t take it back, but what I can do is kick off the Alt-Breakfast Series. By the end of it, you’ll have 100+ cafes across Melbourne split into countries, continents and flavours, starting with a dozen spots for Japanese brunch (that is, if you’re an Off Menu subscriber).

I’m writing to you from the Greek island of Tinos, where a single cafe has just started serving flat whites. It’s made me think about how we start our day in Australia. Sure, we’ve got the coffee, but enough avocado toast, already. For the love of god, you can make it at home, people!

In this dispatch I also have three new openings: a father-son Turkish success story with wood-fired pide and a bonus hole-in-the-wall kebab shop; a two-storey Japanese izakaya in a heritage bluestone building; and a brand-new A1 Bakery in the heart of Fitzroy.

In other exciting news, I’m hosting an extremely exclusive, three-day food tour of Melbourne from June 9 to 11 that I’ve curated myself. More on that below, but note that tickets are half sold. For you, dear subscriber, there’s $100 USD off when you use the code ‘EATCURIOUSLY’.

I hope you’re very, very hungry.

Sofia x

Introducing the Melbourne Alt-Breakfast Series

Welcome to the first article in my Alt-Breakfast Series, written for those who feel like Melbourne hit its smashed-avo-sourdough ceiling long ago. We’re going to journey from Asia to Africa and beyond. But first, here are 12 Japanese cafes and bakeries to start your day (plus a bonus opening in June).

Yakamoz Turkish is a father-son success story

Ali Atay and his son, Oğulcan, went from serving Turkish food in a garage without running water to opening two restaurants in two years. The pair couldn’t be more different, but their shared love of Turkish food is why Melbourne chefs are already getting behind their new Brunswick East restaurant, Yakamoz.

The Ultimate 3-Day Melbourne Food Tour

I have put my heart, soul, and certainly my stomach into curating a one-off food tour from June 9 to 11. It covers what I consider the best in Melbourne, from a progressive dinner in the CBD at our city’s most difficult-to-book restaurants, through to a unique visit to Chae’s home for a kimchi masterclass alongside her mother, followed by lunch (FYI she has thousands of people on her waitlist!). That’s quite literally just a taste, and I’ll be with you the whole journey. Questions? Hit reply and email me. For the itinerary and to book, click the button below. Extremely limited spots available.

Tamura opens a two-storey Izakaya in Fitzroy

Gertrude Street favourite Tamura Sake Bar has opened a two-storey izakaya and Japanese bluestone pub on Smith Street, where Mamma Vittoria once stood. There are beer-friendly snacks (try gyusuji nikomi, stewed beef tendon), a dedicated sushi and sashimi menu, original highballs and cocktails, plus live music to boot.

A1 Bakery opens its third store in Fitzroy

Lebanese pizzas and pastries are a go near the corner of Brunswick and Johnston Streets in Fitzroy after cult-bakery A1 opened it's third store, following on from Fairfield and the original Brunswick shop.

“We love Fitzroy and there’s heaps of our customers around the area… we are just excited to finally open our doors (after six months) and serve people,” says Haikal (Hake) Raji, who owns the bakery with his two brothers. “The locals walking past would often tell us how they can’t wait, so the welcome to the area has been overwhelming!”

The shop, located at 295 Brunswick Street, is not geared for dine-in, but there are seats for those who want to perch and scoff takeaway baked goods. Hake says the menu is 95 per cent the same as the Brunswick store. They’re open from 9am through to 5pm as of next week.

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