It’s worth the trek up to Thornbury for these self-proclaimed ‘inauthentic’ pizzas from the owner of Brunswick East’s Rumi. Middle Eastern flavours are at the forefront with a selection of tempting pides and manoushe – all at $19 or less. Zingy mint tea, dips served with house-baked bread, stuffed peppers and super-sugary Persian fairy floss all combine to make for an affordable and delicious night out. The large, open dining space is decorated with Lebanese movie posters and encourages a buzzy, laid-back atmosphere that befits the made-to-share menu and friendly wait staff. Takeaway is also available.
Just what Chapel Street needs, you say, another ‘fast food’ outlet. But the boys at Parlour are producing some genuinely good dude food and have created a really welcoming diner-style eatery with swivelling bar stalls, metal milkshake flasks and food served on trays. Buttermilk crispy fried chicken chops, half and full rack serves of BBQ baby back ribs, an assortment of burgers, and sides that include super-curly curly fries and pale ale onions rings. Takeaway is also available and (we think) they have now finally got their liquor license.
We stumbled upon this Yarra Glen restaurant on our way back from a lovely day out at Wild Dog Winery in Traralgon. We were already pretty stuffed, but that didn’t stop us ordering a few curries, a pile of poppadoms and a basket of garlic naan breads. We love that the fresh paneer is made from scratch each day, that the meat is good quality and that they take the time to roast the spices for each and every curry (they don’t rely on a generic sauce as the base). The young couple who own this restaurant are thoroughly charming, and make a mean chai tea, too. We urge you to stop in the next the you are passing, and order extra to takeaway with you.
Well, we had to put one taqueria on the list, and it was affordability and atmosphere that bagged this Carlisle Street haunt a spot among our cheap eats. With $6 tacos and a whole heap of affordable snacks and sides, plus larger sharing meals, this place demands you stay a while and graze. We recommend the chilaquiles – proper nachos that are utterly addictive. Go easy on the cocktails, though, or that cheap night out will suddenly stack up.
Sydneysiders have been flocking to the Haymarket outlet for years, so us Melburnians were beside ourselves with excitement to discover the Malaysian canteen-style eatery was opening on Lonsdale Street. A range of sweet and savoury roti breads are cheap and cheerful (all under $10), while satay and curries offer a more filling option (they have started to ramp up the chilli levels after initial complaints that things were a little on the bland side). Sample the country’s signature nasi lemak washed down with a ‘pulled’ tea, of course, and visit at lunch to taste a number of dishes at the bargain price of $11.50 each. We only wish they didn’t close between 2:30 and 5:30pm.
Got a favourite Cheap Eat? Let’s build a list! Tell us about your favorite spot (and why it’s great) in the comments section below.