Part of the gig at Broadsheet is that our writers are constantly discovering the latest dishes at new venues around town, and rediscovering old favourites. There’s a lot of delicious eating out there, but some bites shine more brightly than others.

Here are a few plates that some of our team have been eating – and loving – in recent weeks.

Oxtail dumplings, Beso, CBD

I didn't walk into a Spanish restaurant expecting to see dumplings on the menu, but I walked out of it wishing I'd ordered more. Four little oxtail-stuffed parcels arrive on a cheesy potato puree, drizzled in Lanzhou chilli oil. You barely need to chew these things, just push one to the roof of your mouth and let the flavour spill over your tongue.

James Williams, creative solutions executive

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Mango pomelo cake, Azuo Yogurt & Cake, CBD

I’m not usually one for creamy desserts, but this naked layer cake is expertly balanced. The light – not too sweet – cream creates a pillowy textural contrast to the delicate sponge, lychee popping pearls, pomelo segments and fresh mango. We shared one between four after a big birthday meal. It felt like too much cake per person when it was first dished up, and definitely not enough once we’d all cleaned our plates.

Audrey Payne, Melbourne food and drink editor

Bluefin tuna belly nigiri, The Chef’s Table at Kisume, CBD

The star of the show at this flash 12-seat omakase bar above one of the city’s buzziest Japanese restaurants is a two-bite toro nigiri towards the end of the 20-course meal. Fatty tuna belly is carefully draped over a warm palming of seasoned rice, lightly brushed with soy and presented on a lacquered dish with great reverence. The pink marbled flesh is unnervingly soft and savoury, like a thick wedge of umami butter atop the grains. It’s a tear-inducingly delicious moment to savour.

Michael Harry, national editor

Ham sandwich, Spazio Paradiso, Carlton North

There are several classics – from porchetta to salami – on offer at this Italian deli-style sandwich shop, which just opened a dangerous 100 metres from my house. But on my first visit I was in the mood for a good old ham roll. The excellent sanga had slices of grandfather ham, fior di latte, marinated eggplant, red pesto and spinach tightly packed into a ciabatta roll from nearby favourite Natural Tucker Bakery.

Sasha Murray, content marketing manager

Birria tacos, CDMX Brunswick East (also in the CBD)

Birria tacos have come and gone on mercurial Tiktok. On the streets of Melbourne they’re still rare enough to feel novel, even for a taco fiend like me. CDMX’s rendition is real good. Golden fried tortillas, tumbles of bracing raw white onion and thick inserts of smoky pulled beef. Do I straight up drink the rest of the oily consommé after dipping my tacos in it? You bet your arse I do.

Nick Connellan, publications director

Scallop empanada, Bar Andino, Brunswick

It was after a few (possibly too many) happy hour beverages. I ordered the scallop empanada at this place, which was the old Small Time pizza joint. Let me tell you, the creamy, cheesy, crescent-shaped pie hit different. Paired with a crisp sav blanc? Unbeatable. I ordered three more. It often comes back to me in my dreams.

Maddy Pogue, social media coordinator

Maamoul, Knafeh Nabulseyeh, Coburg

Knafeh is literally the name of the game at this Palestinian joint, but I recently made the “mistake” of accepting a maamoul straight out of the oven when I was there for coffee. Now I’m thoroughly obsessed with the warm, lavishly spiced date paste encased in rich, somehow-non-crumbly semolina cookie surrounds. And I’ve started buying my “mistakes” by the dozen to takeaway.

Jo Walker, Domain Review editor

Cured snapper, green lentil, pistachio, parsley from Carlton Wine Room, Carlton

A laundry list of four of my favourite things, but I was sceptical about them all working together (especially with a glass of orange wine) – thankfully I was proven wrong. I ended up eating it at a snail’s pace, and a front of house member came over to check if everything was all right. “I think it’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever eaten,” I told them. “I just don’t want it to end too soon.”

Chynna Santos, deputy branded content editor

Portokalopita (orange filo cake), Kafeneion, CBD

Most menus these days start off strong before petering out. The snacks? Outstanding! Mains? Solid. Dessert? Should have skipped it. At Kafeneion, the highlight comes at the end of an already strong line-up. More impressive given our group had eaten so much we had to cancel some of the remaining plates midway through the meal. And yet, when this glistening, fragrant orange cake was slapped down on our table, I managed to wolf down the whole thing. The flecks of filo pastry folded into the batter somehow make this dense, syrupy dessert so light. Plus the zesty brightness of the oranges? Oof. It’s restored my faith in dessert.

Daniela Frangos, editor at large

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