Melbourne, Australia
Anna, 46
Hunter of Hidden Bars
see her Melbourne city guide

ask Anna about

whiskey bar upscale bar hidden bars café desserts food shopping indoor markets

What do you do and why do you do it?

I currently work at a university. While it is not the most exciting job around, it does allow me to enjoy my life outside of work. So I work to live a pretty nice life.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

There are sooooo many great songs for heartbreak. To channel the anger - You Oughta Know, Before He Cheats. For the tears - Unbreak My Heart, How Do You Mend a Broken Heart, Without You. Acceptance - I Can't Make You Love Me. To bounce back - I Will Survive. Just to name a few.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

It is so hard to pick a favorite. 24 is probably up there.

Name some spots in Melbourne that are good for a Tinder date.

Federation Square would be a top pick. There are often events there and has lots of food and drink options near by. You can also take a walk along the river.

Who’s your hero and where in Melbourne would you take them out for a serious hang?

Don't really know if I have a hero.... If I do, I think I would take that person to hang out with some awesome animals. Moonlit Sanctuary is one of my favorite places to interact with cool marsupials, day or night.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

To be honest, I do most of my clothes shopping online....

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Hungry Jack (Burger King to the rest of the world).

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Spend time with the native animals. Even though I can get to my favorite sanctuary in under an hour, I just don't get a chance to do that. It seems like the only time I get to do so is when I'm playing tour guide to my friends.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Melbourne and where did you get it?

The most decadent dish I can think of was probably a pasta dish at Woodland House. It's a very simple pasta dish with lots of shaved white truffle from Alba.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Melbourne that you particularly like?

Melbourne is known for hidden bars and I love all the ones I've been to. Don't worry, I will share them with you.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Melbourne? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

The most expensive restaurant I've been to here is Vue de Monde. It was about $500 per person for dinner. Frankly, it wasn't really good and definitely not worth the price. I know places where you can get better food, better service and for a fraction of the price.

What restaurant in Melbourne looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

Pondok Rempah offers some tasty Indonesian food. It's not a looker and service can be down right non-existent. But I still come back for the food.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Melbourne? Which one do you like?

This is a tough question as we have some many fantastic cocktail bars in Melbourne. I would say Manchuria Bar has my favorite "guilty pleasure" cocktail - Wahines Green Stone. It tastes like a green tic tac.

Where would you take your partner in Melbourne if you wanted to really pamper them?

Body Freedom Urban Day Spa - couples message and treatment.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

Lamington - yellow cake with a layer of jam in the middle, dipped in a thin chocolate sauce and covered with coconut. You can get them everywhere but quality does vary quite a bit. If you want to try one, get one from a nice cafe instead of from a supermarket.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Melbourne?

Crown Casino - it's no Vegas....

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Melbourne?

South Melbourne - while this suburb seems like a sleepy place, it has a lot of great eateries hidden in plain sight.

What are the Melbourne spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

You got to go see the penguin. Yes, I said penguins. I know Australia is known for kangaroos and koalas (you shouldn't miss those), but we have these adorable fairy penguins that just can't be miss. The sight of thousands of little penguins coming onshore and waddling to their homes is not something you can see anywhere. So make sure you head over to Phillip Island to see those little guys. Oh, you can see kangaroos and koalas on the island as well.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Melbourne. How do you spend it?

I would be hitting all my favorite bars.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Hong Kong is one of my top choices. Come on, it's all about the food. From street food to fine dining, Hong Kong has it all. And you can get most cuisines there. Transportation is convenient so you never have to stress about getting from one place to another. In between meals, there are plenty of shopping and sightseeing to do.

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Steph Jones