Food – Ten One Ate

1018 Mount Alexander Road
Essendon Vic 3040

Most people in the north western suburbs of Melbourne would know of the Brickmakers Arms, a historic pub in Essendon that was demolished to make way for apartments. Once demolished the empty façade stood  behind temporary fencing for years on end awaiting the commencement of construction. Eventually the apartments were built and a new restaurant aptly named the Brickmakers Arms opened on the ground floor. Despite some initial success, the restaurant closed its doors late last year after newly imposed council parking restrictions brought the business to its knees. Fast forward to February 2016 and the smart thinking owners put it all on the line to relaunch the space as a modern café named Ten One Ate. Continue reading

Food – Demazzi Stone Grill

1142 Mount Alexander Road
Essendon Vic 3040

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As a local, I have driven past Demazzi more times than I can remember and each time told myself that we should visit, but for what ever reason years have passed and I only actually visited for the first time last week. In the early days, the big draw card to Demazzi was the stone grill cooked meat whereby a raw steak is placed on super hot pieces of bluestone and cooked on your plate. More recently, it has grown in popularity thanks to its array of great quality calorie loaded burgers and over the top freak shakes. Continue reading

Food – Johnny Pump

87 Fletcher Street
Essendon Vic 3040


This little restaurant has been right under my nose for ages and I’m ashamed to admit that I only learnt of its existence on Instagram. Of late, my Insta feed has been flooded with pictures of these insanely rich, sugar loaded and over the top ‘Freak Shakes’, which is what brought me and what looked like half of Melbourne to Johnny Pump.

For those who haven’t heard of the latest foodie fad, a Freak Shake is  pretty much a flavoured milkshakes topped with a sweet treat like a brownie, a piece of cheesecake or a donut. It’s an excessive, calorie loaded and insanely attractive treat that is enough to tempt even the healthiest of people into having a cheat day. Given it doesn’t take a whole lot to persuade me to have a cheat day (um, it’s pretty much every day), once I realised that an eatery close to home was serving up these shakes I headed straight there to try them for myself. Continue reading

Food – Boccone Gourmet Foodstore

1057 Mount Alexander Road
Essendon Vic 3040


As I sat in my seat at Boccone Gourmet Foodstore enjoying lunch with my little man,  I was amazed by the constant stream of people flowing in and out of the place despite the fact that it was nearly 3pm. Situated in the super busy Mount Alexander Road shopping strip, this very popular Essendon café is clearly doing a roaring trade keeping the locals fed and caffeinated.

Translated to English, ‘Boccone’ is a morsel, or a small bit of food, a word that very much defines this café. Offering limited, but high quality breakfast and lunch menus (although on the downside, breakfast is only served until midday), Boccone also doubles as a high quality Italian delicatessen offering take home bits and pieces like fresh cut cold meats, a variety of cheeses, super sized Arrancini and home made gnocchi. Continue reading