It really takes something to stand out in the cafe scene these days. Lavender & Fare serves brunch, but also a lunch menu that sees some of its dinner dishes brought over to the daytime. The four-month old cafe and restaurant is set in a quaint building with homely decor. Out the back, there's an outdoors seating area where diners can enjoy their meals under the shade of the centuries-old peppercorn tree....

The Long Room, the long-time haunt for after work drinks, was rebranded to The George on Collins earlier this year. Gutted and completely refurbished, the slick and modern interior was designed by Hecker Guthrie. Crisp white walls and ceilings brighten up the basement space. The bar takes centre stage, encircled by tables. Booths run around the perimeter, complete with curtains if you want that extra bit of privacy....

Imbue caused quite a stir when it opened in Maribyrnong in October last year. In a suburb not known for its culinary prowess, there was suddenly now a place for fine dining.It's a warm and cosy place, seating only 48, or up to 60 for functions. Their carefully considered wine list is comprised of Australian wines. Local food suppliers are also thoughtfully selected, and the quality of their produce is showcased in Chef Phong Nguyen's share-style contemporary menu....