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Episode 28: Hot Tips for Dining Around the World with Food and Travel Writer Janne Apelgren


Apelgren, Jannejpg
Janne Apelgren

Janne Apelgren takes her food seriously. She’s the sort of person who makes international restaurant reservations then goes looking for flights to get there. More importantly, she has an amazing knowledge base as a food and travel writer built up over many years and is much loved by her followers.

In fact, when Janne sat down to record an episode of ExtraVirgin Food and Travel Podcast with us, Natascha had to stop herself from going all fan-girl and here’s why.

“Janne writes not only with intelligence but passion,” says Natascha. “She’s got a strong sense of what good food is really about – the technical aspects and trends – without buying into the ridiculous Insta food frenzy that pushes food that’s good for nothing but posting. She’s a calm voice of authority and intelligence in a social media sea of mediocrity and wannabes. And she’s a bloody good writer.”

In the episode, Janne generously shared her knowledge on a range of topics including:

  1. Her take on the Sydney-Melbourne competition for food dominance

  2. What’s changed in the Melbourne food scene

  3. Dining trends and

  4. Her pet peeves when dining out.

Here’s just a sample of what we talked about:


  1. Is sustainability critical or just another trend?

  2. How many dishes are we seeing on degustation menus?

Pet Peeves

Breakfast – find out why Janne says Melbourne breakfasts have gone too far and which Queensland beachside town is doing it better.


When you’ve got the sort of experience that Janne has, people are always asking where they should eat when travelling the world. So Janne and her colleague Joanna Savill pooled their shared wisdom and experience in their book Around the World in 80 Dinners. While it’s a neat title, Janne says the book actually features 500 venues ranging from the world’s best cheese sandwich at the borough market in London to a remote little Italian degustation place where you have to hike in and in winter, you have to ski out by torchlight.

The intrepid pair took their research seriously enough that Joanna even flew to Tokyo for a weekend because there was a place she really wanted to include in the book.

Favourite Food Destinations

Janne talks about plenty of beautiful destinations around the world but she reckons regional Victoria is up there with the best. She suggests you build a five-day roadtrip around a concentration of world-class restaurants all of which are about an hour’s drive apart. Listen to the episode to get the details.


She also shared an enormous amount of insider knowledge for anyone planning a visit to Melbourne. We won’t give it all away here but two of her special occasion dining recommendations are Attica with chef Ben Sherry for a very Australian restaurant experience, and Lake House in Daylesford.

If you want a restaurant at the cutting edge, try Sunda, for an exciting take on Asian food with an Australian bent and Anchovy in Richmond, for modern Vietnamese food that’s somehow also Australian.

We loved Janne’s advice when asked for a cheap eat. She prefers to go somewhere great and order less food. For example, she says, sit at the bar at Bar Lourinhã in Little Collins St, for one glass of wine and a couple of small plates.

Janne shares a few of her favourite top spots for that all-important shot of Melbourne coffee, including Proud Mary in Collingwood which she says will never give you a bad cuppa.

She’s also got the latest on Melbourne bars including one where you can do cocktail-making classes and another that offers “snack-sized” cocktails.

Hot Read for Food-Loving Travellers

And finally, for an incredibly thorough run-down of where to eat in Tokyo, Janne recommends Only in Tokyo, a book by chefs Luke Burgess and Michael Ryan that covers everything from coffee and sushi to breakfast, bars and kaiseki.

We hope you enjoy this info-packed episode. To get all of Janne’s tips, listen here.

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