Gourmet Traveller (Australia) - - Melbourne Review -

PIE TIME Matt Wilkin­son’s diner Pope Joan might have closed, but The Pie

Shop, his cheer­ful shopfront next door, con­tin­ues to trade in gold­stan­dard pas­tries – savoury, sweet and break­fast – all made in house. The fill­ings, in­clud­ing a spag Bol num­ber (above) named The Bruce, are gen­er­ous, and the short­crust, rolled out in the front win­dow, is light and but­tery but still sturdy enough to be eaten by hand. 75 Ni­chol­son St, Brunswick East, 0455 052 342 RE­VAMPED CLAS­SIC Cafe Ro­man­tica, a fix­ture on Ly­gon Street for nearly 30 years, changed hands re­cently and is now Bar

Ro­man­tica, a late-night lo­cal with an above-av­er­age food menu, free pool ta­ble and a sim­ple booze list that favours lo­cal la­bels. The reno has cap­tured a 1960s es­presso-bar spirit and snacks in­clude a tomato and fior di latte pizza, with or with­out ’nduja, and a very good beef tartare with fer­mented chilli. 52 Ly­gon St, Brunswick East, (03) 9191 9410 BIG NIGHT OUT The team be­hind Fancy Hanks has opened an ex­u­ber­antly dec­o­rated three-level fun­house called He­roes. It fea­tures a Sin­ga­porean and Malaysian-in­spired bar­be­cue restau­rant, rooftop bar and book­able karaoke rooms. Chef Ali­cia Cheong dishes up a menu of sticks (duck heart, tin­gling lamb, shi­itake) cooked over char­coal and larger plates such as chicken wings with chilli vine­gar and lime. Cock­tails are good too, cour­tesy of Os­car East­man, for­merly of Loretta’s and Eau de Vie. Level 1-3, 188 Bourke St, Melbourne, (03) 8639 0630

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