The Melbourne International Film Festival comes around only once a year. It’s sometimes your only chance to see great films before they disappear forever or the one opportunity to say “I saw this 12 months before anyone else heard about it”. I’m gutted that this year I will be in London during the festival but that hasn’t stopped me from scouring the reviews from film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto, SXSW, Sundance to ensure I know what’s worth seeing and what to avoid – as you should too.
I have previously attended the London International Film Festival, and what Melbourne has going for it is the close proximity of the cinemas to each other. Only here are you able to walk out of one film and try to get into another that you have heard on the grapevine not to miss – with virtually all venues a few blocks from each other.
In light of the madness that sweeps the capital – we have decided to compile a list of places where you can get your sustenance in and around the CBD/cinemas. These are places we will be hitting on a regular basis. We have sorted them into two groups:
Quick Eats – Where to go for that quick feed if you only have 1/2 an hour to spare before trying to secure the best seats in the house. And…
Late Night Eats – For when you see tow or three films on the trot and you find many places closing their doors on you just as your stomach is about gorge on itself.
Click on the Urbanspoon link to go straight to the address and ensure they are open at the time you need – but all places are found in and around the CBD within walking distances of most venues.
Quick Flick Eats
Mini Blockbuster in the making now open in the CBD. Huxtaburger will have you in and out of their joint in 15-20 mins after delivering one of the best burgers Melbourne has ever devoured.
Mamak – 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).
- If you need to ready your stomach with both solids and liquids then grab a large pho of your choice and you will be prepared to sit through any sort of movie marathon without needing a choc top.
Mr Nice Guy – Proud Mary coffee. Stir-fry dishes, pad thai, fried rice, home-smoked lemongrass cured salmon with scramble eggs and coconut reduction, coconut pancakes, Asian-inspired macaron flavours – Thai Milk Tea, Lychee, Chocolate, Mango, Passionfruit and Caramel.
Other Asian food stops worth considering include:
Late Night Eats
Nam Loong –
Need something fast but tasty? this place serves some of Melbourne’s best Char Sui Bao (aka Roast Pork Buns). They are served fresh from the bamboo steamer and you can be in and out in 30 seconds.
2012 Twitter Recommendations:
China Red –
This place is fast. Order your food via touch screen and within minutes Chinese FBI agents will deliver fresh parcels of goodness to your table. You literally don’t need to converse with anyone.
Journal Canteen –
Journal Canteen is situated in the same building as Journal Cafe. And if you are looking for a decent plate of food that hasn’t been Australian-ised look no further. The blackboard has around 5 dishes a night and as they sell out of them they get struck off one by one. A great feed.
Show that day’s MIFF ticket for a $20 Ampere burger and a Weapon Pale Ale. 25% off absinthe with ticket.
Two-course set menu exclusive to MIFF audiences. Bookings essential; please present a 2013 MIFF ticket on arrival. $35 per head, minimum of four people.
MIFF ticketholders can enjoy a chicken sandwich and a West Winds cutlass martini for $25.
Show your MIFF ticket to receive a complimentary Tiger draught beer or Stone Dwellers glass of wine with a main meal purchase.
Present your ticket for that day’s show and get a dollar off our delicious homemade salted caramel crepe (usually $5).
Two cocktails for the price of one on presentation of your MIFF ticket (not to be used in conjunction with any other offer; only one per customer per night).
Show your MIFF ticket for 15% off your bill when you dine with us.
Your choice of two cocktails for the price of one from Loop’s extensive cocktail list on presentation of your MIFF ticket for that day.
Mention MIFF for a 10% discount in our restaurant and cellar door.
Order before 6.30pm and receive two courses and a glass of wine for just $60* per person. For bookings call 03 9653 7744 and cite “celluloid special”.*Bookings are essential for this special pre-screening offer.
Order a post-show cheese platter from 9.30pm and enjoy a complimentary digestif upon presentation of that day’s MIFF ticket.
Enjoy the special MIFF pre-show menu at Red Spice Road QV. Choose between a $25pp menu (including three courses) or $35pp with a glass of wine. Menu available on pre-booking only and tables must vacate by 7pm.
Show your MIFF ticket to savour Sake’s Kingfish-jalapeño-sashimi skewer amuse-bouche and grilled Ora King salmon with quinoa-kombu crust; with matched sake: $35.
MIFF ticket holders are invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of house wine or Peroni with their meal. Simply show your ticket between 25 July and 11 August.
Show your MIFF ticket when you dine with us, and receive a free Paloma – Tromba blanco tequila on the rocks, with your choice of jarritos with salt rim and lime.
The French is offering all MIFF ticket holders a pre-cinema dinner menu: Kir Royal on arrival and two course set menu for $39.50pp, Mon–Sat. Must order before 7pm.
Show that day’s MIFF ticket to select three tapas items from the MIFF Menu, two glasses of house wine / domestic tap beer or soft drink, for only $30. Groups of two or more. *Menu is subject to change. Offer available Tues to Thurs 4pm–10pm, Fri 4pm–11pm, Sat 5pm–11pm
Some Like it HOT, so bring your MIFF ticket in and your hot drink is on us when you purchase a hot breakfast on the weekend.
We would love to hear where you will be frequenting during the festival in the comment section.