Cookie Decorator of Gingerbread Corner (www.gingerbreadcorner.com.au) | Felt creator of Born To Be Felt (borntobefelt.com)| Yoga Teacher | Blogger | A firm believer in choosing your own life
Published July 17th 2015
Eating on a shoestring in Melbourne CBD
Whether you work in the Melbourne CBD area or popping in for a day or two, there is nothing better than finding cheap eats, especially if they are under $10. Here are some of the places I regularly drop in on for a delicious yet affordable lunch special.
Kenzan | GPO, 350 Bourke Street, Melbourne
For those sushi fans out there who want more than a standard California roll, the 'do-it-yourself' hand roll is definitely a must try. Wrapped in clear cellophane with printed instructions; a simple peel, roll, peel and roll some more produces a neat little hand roll that is moist inside and encased with a crisp seaweed (ranging from $2.70 - $3.70 depending on the filling). Or for something a little more extravagant, the lobster and potato sushi roll is certainly one of my favourites for less than $4.
Rain or shine, Kenzan @ GPO is another tucked away eatery for a satisfying lunch that is genuinely tasty and leaves you nibbling at the last piece of sushi in the hope that it won't disappear.
Choose your timing for Shanghai Street Dumpling wisely, as this place is renowned for a line, especially during the peak hours of lunch and dinner. But there is a reason for the popularity of Shanghai Street, and it's because the dumplings are delicious with plump fillings. They are full of flavour and are cheap starting from $9.50 for a shared plate. Now the choice is whether you'll go for fried, steamed or boiled?
Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (image sourced form Shanghai Street Dumpling FB page)
Roll'd | Multiple CBD locations
Authentic Vietnamese Rolls (image sourced from Roll'd FB page)
It's time to roll out that $10 note and head on down to Roll'd for some authentic Vietnamese street food. The Roll'd Soldiers, traditional known as rice paper rolls, are packed with flavour and filling whilst the Mr. Bun Mee is said to have been born in Saigon and crafted in Melbourne. Nearly everything on this fresh 'n' tasty menu is under ten bucks, even the combo deals.
Snag Stand | Melbourne Central, Cnr La Trobe & Swanston St
A range of fillings to choose from (image sourced from Snag Stand FB page)
Snag Stand differentiates itself from other hot dog providers with its high quality ingredients. Here the sausages are hand-crafted with no artificial colours or flavours. The sausages come from all sorts of trusted suppliers around the country, with the Melbourne branch receiving most of their snags from Jonathan's Butchery in Collingwood. Therefore for $6-10, their 'haute' dog will be one of designer quality. If you wanted to splurge a little, for an extra $3.90 you can accompany your snag dog with some crunchy chips made out of Tasmanian russet potatoes with a tube of sauce ($1 per tub).
Delicious Rice Paper Rolls (image sourced from Miss Chu FB page)
The Miss Chu tuck shops are the first of their kind anywhere and can be described as a modern day hawker takeaway with high end food at low price tag. Miss Chu provides not only the famed rolls of rice paper, but also pecking ducks pancakes, steamed dumplings, buns and spring rolls. A tasty rice paper roll duo, or dumpling trio won't break the $10 budget and you can order online for a swift pick up too!
Ba'get is a brand new food concept based on the Banh Mi, a Vietnamese street food invented during the Indo-chine period when the French colonised Vietnam in the late 1800s. The crispy French baguettes with the added flavours of Vietnam make this Banh Mi outlet true to form and authentic. With a selection of fillings from marinated fried Tofu to Braised Pork for under $10, these rolls are a must try.
The Borek Shop | 95, Deli Hall, Queen Victoria Market
You simply cannot bypass the Borek shop in the deli hall of the Queen Victoria Market – mainly because there will most definitely be such a large crowd waiting to order their Borek. For only $3 per Borek available in spicy lamb, spicy potatoes, or spinach and cheese why wouldn't you give it a try?
Wonderbao Kitchen | Shop 4/19-37 A'Beckett St
Braised PorkBelly Bao (image sourced from Wonderbao FB page)
For under $10 grab yourself a Bao from Wonderbao Kitchen in the CBD. All the buns and ingredients are prepared fresh and handmade every day. You can choose from traditional Bao fillings or maybe consider trying the 'Braised pork belly' guabao with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts for $4.20. Even if you grab two, you still stay within the $10 budget.
Known for their cheap Bento Boxes and Beef Curry Don for under $10, this place is always packed, but don't despair because the service is super efficient. At times you could be picking up your order at the same time you are paying the cashier - it's just that fast. Although at times you might want to consider takeaway due to the limited seating or go super early to grab a table.
Mamak | 366 Lonsdale St
Try the delicious buttery roti (image sourced from Mamak website)
Mamak is a buzzy and smart Malaysian restaurant with wooden benches, stools, and some shared tables. This is a great place to get a feed with genuine Roti Canai and Murabak – roti stuffed with chicken or lamb and veggies for under $9.50.