Melbourne Street Food - Part 2

Melbourne Street Food - Part 2

More Melbourne Street Food that I've tried during other visits to Melbourne, Australia, continuing from Part 1.

Blueberry Ricotta Hotcakes

Mantra Southbank

Mantra Southbank
31 City Road
Victoria 3006

Convenient & Quaint Hotel With Rough Edges

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 6
Visited: Sep-2019
Ambience & Setting: 6
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 6
Value for Money: 7
Budget about AUD $830 / SGD $775 per person.
- $725 Accomodation 4D3N
- $50 Room Service

Nearby Attractions: Flinders Street Railway Station, Federation Square, Melbourne Museum, Shrine Of Remembrance, Eureka Tower, Yarra Bend Park, Docklands, Queen Victoria Market, Immigration Museum, Police Museum, Old Melbourne Gaol, Royal Exhibition Building And Carlton Gardens, Melbourne Zoo, Luna Park, St Kilda Pier, Royal Botanic Gardens, Woodlands Historic Park, Brighton Beach, Koorie Heritage Trust, Hosier Lane

Hotel Facilities: Business Centre, Paid Wi-Fi, 1 Restaurant (Spire Restaurant & Bar), Gymnasium, Swimming Pool, 1 Lounge (Lobby Lounge), Spa, Cable TV, Partial Equipped Kitchenette, Self-Service Laundry Washer & Dryer, Meeting Rooms, Tour Arrangements Service, On-Site Parking, Currency Exchange Service

Hotel Activities: Work Out, Internet Surfing, Swimming, Tours, Meetings, Spa


Located about 40 minutes drive away from the Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, Australia, the Mantra Southbank is a modern 4-star hotel whose main selling point is its convenient location. Just minutes walk away from the Central Business District (CBD), the Southbank area, and numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options, the Mantra Southbank is well positioned. As a hotel on its own merits, it's decently comfortable.

Ambience at Mantra Southbank has a quiet refinement. The warm lighting and dark panelled walls, along with contrasts of deep coloured cushioned furnishings (yellow, purple, white, black, wood) in the Lobby Lounge, all lend a premium, sophisticated feel. This contrasts starkly with the simple, plain narrow corridors (white, grey) with bright motion-sensor fluorescent lights. The place has a unique triangular architecture, and the sharp edges of the building are cleverly designed as balconies.

Rooms at Mantra Southbank are spacious, and comfortable. I stayed at the one-bedroom spa apartment, which featured a nice size bathroom with a combination shower and jacuzzi spa. The bedroom is comfortable with a large king size bed, but the wardrobe was small, a larger clothing space would be better. The kitchenette is, oddly enough, partially equipped - they provide utensils, cooking wares, an oven, and a stove, but you'll have to purchase all seasonings and condiments. The living room has a nice-sized smart television, small working desk, and comfortable sofa. They provided an in-room washer and dryer for self-service laundry, but my washer was slightly faulty, and couldn't drain all the water - I ended up having to hand rinse my clothes again. Another quibble; the room isn't properly soundproofed, and you can hear conversations along the corridors.

Food at Mantra Southbank is provided by the Spire Restaurant & Bar. As far as restaurants go, the standards are underwhelming, with a limited menu that is executed to a passable, edible standard, but you'll find better almost anywhere else. The complimentary breakfast is small but sufficient, but I find it odd that coffee and tea is separately chargeable, and not included as part of the buffet (juice is included). They seem rather popular as a cocktail bar though, as nearby office workers come over for drinks in the evenings.

Service at Mantra Southbank is friendly, professional, and polite; good but not great. While I appreciate the happy interactions and engagement by staff, they aren't particularly meticulous, and paying more attention to details would help. For example, the entire duration of my stay, the kitchenette only had spoons and knifes, they gave me 0 forks. To be fair, I only noticed this mid-way through my stay, and resorted to eating noodles using a spoon, but housekeeping should have checked earlier. Similarly, the faulty washer should have been maintained / repaired. In the restaurant, staff sometimes clear up at a leisurely place, so new guests have limited clean tables to dine at. On an occasion, they put cups with half-drunk beverages into the dishwasher. I appreciate the helpfulness, but some attention to detail would be good.

Facilities & Activities
The facilities and activities at Mantra Southbank are basic and functional. The best facility is the well-equipped gymnasium, with a good variety of workout equipment. The indoor swiming pool is functional and nicely heated, and offers some view outside. There aren't many meeting rooms here, and these only hold groups of up to 25 or so. Beyond these, Mantra Southbank is so conveniently located, it's easy to walk or tram or bus around town.


Mantra Southbank 01 - Exterior Facade

Mantra Southbank 02 - Bedroom

Mantra Southbank 03 - Bathroom

Mantra Southbank 04 - Kitchenette

Mantra Southbank 05 - Living Room

Mantra Southbank 06 - Self-Service Laundry Washer & Dryer

Mantra Southbank 07 - Gymnasium

Mantra Southbank 08 - Swimming Pool

Mantra Southbank 09 - Spire Restaurant & Bar

Mantra Southbank 10 - Lobby Lounge



The Sampan

The Sampan
63 Boat Quay

We visited as regular paying customers, and paid the full standard prices for our meal here. However, they discovered who we were, and rolled out the special treatment, even though we insisted they treat us like any other customer. We still received several complimentary dishes and off-menu dishes.

Beef Cheek Rendang (SGD $26)

Carrot Cubes

Carrot Cubes
339 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 #01-1601

Carrot Cake Hottie (SGD $4)

Sumire Yakitori House

Sumire Yakitori House
80 Middle Road
#01-89 Bugis Junction

Sumire Yakitori Platter 12 Skewers, Salt & Tare Sauce Mix (SGD $29.80)

Karaoke Times

Karaoke Times
180 Kitchener Road
#05-06 City Square Mall

Daily: 12pm - 1am

Karaoke Times Signage
Karaoke Times Signage

51 Soho Tasting Session

51 Soho Tasting Session
51 Telok Ayer Street #01-01

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am - 11pm

This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from Purple Taste, msginginly, and Her Pen And Fork.

Beef Bone Marrow, Pickled Shallots, Capers, Herbs, Toast (SGD $12)

The Kins’ Specialty Coffee

The Kins’ Specialty Coffee
2 Jalan Mat Jambol #01-08

High Tea
High Tea

Tour East Singapore

Tour East Singapore
1 Magazine Road
#07-05 Central Mall

392 Havelock Road
Level 3, Grand Copthorne Waterfront

This was an invited sponsored media review. I did not pay for anything during the free hosted tour.

Domes Of Light
Domes Of Light