Eat & Drink

Baos, Sambos And Coffee: On The Hunt For Victoria’s Best Food And Drink

AWOL has teamed up with Andy And Ben Eat Australia to create digital episodes of the full-length SBS Food Network series, discovering some of the best food and travel experiences Australia has to offer.

We’ll be covering off five episodes with the ex-Masterchef contestants, exploring the delicious side of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The boys will be taking you through the best restaurants and experiences you can only find in each state: regional cuisine, native produce, community vibes and the small-town charm hidden in big cities.

This time, they’ve landed in among the laneways, coffees and experimental sights and tastes of Victoria. As we learn, there’s no markets quite like Melbourne’s Prahran, Queen Victoria and Warragul Farmers Market, and there’s nothing more wonderful than a Wonderbao (try it).

We spoke to them about how Melbourne is the ballsiest city in the country and why there’s no shame in a simple sambo being the best possible meal.

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Andy and Ben talk shop with Salvatore Malatesta, owner of the famous ST. ALi coffee conglomerate

Describe Victoria in three words.

Andy Allen: Food. Coma. No regrets (ok that’s four!).

Ben Milbourne: Experimental. Tasty. Buzzing.

What’s the favourite spot you visited?

AA: I loved getting into the country – Daylesford for me.

BM: What’s not to love about Melbourne city? There’s so much going on, with a great vibe on every block.

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Ben’s fave food was toasted sambos from Prahran Market. Yummo!

What was the number one thing you ate in Victoria?

AA: Wonderbao and Real Eggs!

BM: Toasted sambos from Prahran Market.

What do you think Victoria does better than anywhere else in Australia?

AA: Surprises people. Many people think it’s just laneways and coffee – and for good reason, but getting into the country and seeing what’s happening on a community level is pretty epic.

BM: Victoria is very confident in itself. It does ballsy things with food and drink and it does it so well.

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A selection of the delicious bao at Wonderbao

Any insider tips?

AA: Hit the markets. From Queen Victoria Market in the city to Warragul Farmers Market, it’s the best way to graze and enjoy local produce.

BM: Not quite an insider tip, but St Ali coffee is a must. It’s an institution and for good reason.

(All images: supplied)

Qantas and AWOL are partners of Andy And Ben Eat Australia. Check out more AWOL episodes of the show below.