Being a British foodie living in Melbourne I can't tell you how joyous I felt after hearing that David Jones' new food hall was one, re-opening and two, that it was going to be based on some of the world's great food halls such as London's Selfridges and Harrods, Bloomingdale's and Macy's in New York, and Galleries La Fayette in Paris. Epicureans rejoice!
So does it live up to the hype?
As you glide down the escalator, gleaming food counters will dazzle you, where to start? There's a butchers, a seafood counter, 100 different sorts of bread on offer, a deli packed with German, Italian, French and English goodies, a meals-to-go counter for speedy lunches and gourmet dinners (that you can pretend you cooked), an oyster bar that serves freshly shucked oysters and Champagne for a decadent treat, a juice bar, noodle bar, sushi bar, and a pasta and panini bar. Phew!
And it doesn't stop there, there are wheels of cheeses stacked up, a seasonal cheese board, olives of every persuasion, and a tempting array of antipasto to try from the cheese and antipasto bar. A fabulous Wine and Spirit Department with a cellar man who'll give you advice. Plus shelves stocked with some of the best foodie products from around the world: Harrods biscuits, Wilkins & Sons jams and Donna Hay goodies.
Don't forget to visit the Sensory Coffee Lab right at the back of the Hall and down some stairs – you'll be missing out. Owned by the St Ali crew the lab (it even has people in white coats) are focused on helping customers find their way around the wonderful world of coffee and finding new ways to appreciate it. There are coffee consultants to demonstrate brewing, rare and specialty beans and the chance to discover your own 'flavour profile'. A great place to pick up a decent brew and ask those burgeoning coffee questions that you've always wanted to know – these coffee white coats are the people to ask.