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13 January, 2019

[TRAVEL] 7D6N Melbourne Itinerary: Central Business District - Part 2 (Evening Edition)

Hello, lovely evening in Melbourne Central Business District! 

In my last post, I have narrowed my focus to the city attractions that I have visited during the day in Melbourne CBD, because of the short daylight during winter and generally short business hours there as compared to Asian countries.

Here's the list of places to visit in Melbourne CBD (and those strikethroughs have been covered in my previous post):

1. St Paul Cathedral
2. State Library of Victoria
3. Riverside Quay in Southbank
4. Block Arcade (and many more shopping arcades)
5. Queen Victoria Market
6. Hosier Lane
7. Chinatown (Bourke St)
8. Alexander Gardens & Queen Victoria Gardens
9. Shrine of Remembrance
10. National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australia
11. Federation Square &Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI)
12. Docklands

Anyway, here are some of the highlights during my trip which I'd personally recommend spending some quality evening time at.

Commuting tram is not necessary, walking will do. Or biking perhaps :)

1. Riverside Quay in Southbank

Right behind Flinders Street Railway Station is Victoria's longest river, Yarra River which extends about 22km. The morning scene is just lovely, with soft breezes caressing the hair and warmth from the sun surrounding us.

But in the evening, it transforms into a totally different scene that wows me. Starry sky, gushing wind and mesmerizing city lights everywhere; That's exactly the place I have always wanted to be. Seriously I don't mind sitting by the river for the entire evening and surround myself with such peacefulness.

Going across the bridge, I stroll past plenty of restaurants and wine bars tucked along the riverfront of Southbank. This is indeed a great spot to enjoy the evening river view that shines in golden hues, thanks to the reflection of the city.

A truly romantic casual place for lovebirds too :P

2. Hosier Lane

Melbourne's famous street art capital, Hosier Lane probably needs no further introduction. The wide laneway is full of street arts at every possible space on the wall, yet we see street painters there working on new artwork everyday. Make another visit in a month or so, you'd probably see different arts there.

Good 2 Go Cafe
7-9 Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Contact: +613-9945 2100

Just a quick interesting fact about this hidden cafe along Hosier Lane. It may look a little dodgy, but actually it does something noble for the society -- Good 2 Go employs the unemployed young ones and preps them with work experience and skills. Do pop by for some coffee or cakes.

Since it is a public street, you may also pop by in the evening as the atmosphere becomes more vibrant with street lamps lighting up the arts. But be careful as I heard there are plenty of drug traders late in the evening (unverified fact from a friend; not sure how true is it).

3. Chinatown (Bourke St)

One of the most happening streets in Melbourne CBD that you can easily reach by foot is the Chinatown area along Little Bourke Street with alleys, laneways and arcades that link you to Bourke Street and Lonsdale Street.

Although we don't see much of the Chinatown's essential character which dates back to the gold rush days of the 1850s, it is still a very busy area with plenty of Chinese F&B establishments which are generally more affordable here.

We come across plenty of "China Bar", roast meat specialists, shark fin house, dim sum places, and Malaysian restaurants too! Haha....doesn't that sound very close to home?

Among the famous ones which are highly recommended by the netizens, we have found ShanDong MaMa, a famous Chinese dumpling specialist in town.

ShanDong MaMa
Mid City, 7/200 Bourke St,
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
Contact: +61 3 9650 3818
Business Hours: 11.30am - 9.30pm daily

As soon as the clock ticks at 6pm, we see a huge crowd swarming into this Chinese family-run restaurant. We are lucky because we are here slightly earlier. Despite of the limited space, the queue is very fast-moving.

Well done ShanDong MaMa for incorporating a wide range of eastern and western flavours into their rustic, homestyle steamed and pan-fried dumplings. They are all loaded with flavours and textures, although I prefer adding a spoonful of hot garlic in chilli oil for that spicy kick.

Think modern Australian flavours in a dumpling, you'll experience that only in ShanDong MaMa!

4. Docklands

Once Melbourne's largest and busiest port, Docklands is now an abandoned industrial wasteland. But we still make our way there (by tram) to see the colourful Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, unfortunately it is closed on a Wednesday evening (no such information available online thou - it's mere unluckiness).

 Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

I realise people only gather in Docklands for concerts and sports at Etihad Stadium, so you'd expect any other day to be rather quiet. There is nothing much for us to explore in the evening except for visiting Melbourne City Superyatch Marina, the hub for casual short-term berthing, and enjoying a waterside dinner at Renzo's Italian Restaurant & Bar.

Renzo's Italian Restaurant & Bar
46 Newquay Promenade, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia.

Business Hours:
Mon - Fri: 11am - 12am
Sat - Sun: 11am - 1am

Of ravioli, penne and salad. Pretty normal meal. Nothing much to shout about.

5. Late night snack hunting!

Pidapip├▓ Gelateria
8, Degraves St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.
Business Hours: 12noon - 11pm daily
Pistachio Gelato
AUD4.50 per scoop of gelato / sorbet

The darker the sky, the more crowd Pidapipo attracts. Yes, that describes how popular this famous Italian gelato shop is in the late evening. Pidapipo's gelato flavours are available on a rotational basis, but the crowd's favourite Pistachio and Nutella Swirl stay on the menu everyday.

Each scoop is so rich and creamy good! Believe it or not, it tastes extra good on a cold winter night ­čśŤ

Travelling Tips:
Food hunting is made easier along Degraves St. You'll be surprised how this unexpected alley is constantly filled with people and yummy treats be it coffee, full breakfast, desserts or alcohol!

Honestly, apart from food and drinks, I find that evenings in Melbourne City can be quite boring. But hey did I forget to mention that there are huge beautiful Zara and H&M stores in Melbourne for late shoppers.

And Lindt Chocolate Cafe for a cup of hot chocolate to end the evening
(and don't forget to bring some souvenirs home!)

Next post: We'll be visiting Melbourne City beyond the Central area. Stay tuned!

More about my Melbourne travelogue:

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