HOT: A Single Man, Rivoli Cinemas, 200 Camberwell Road, East Hawthorn

Colin Firth won a BAFTA a few days ago with his role as George Falconer in A Single Man. If you watch this film you’ll see why. The first foray of Tom Ford, uber-fashion designer, into film is an intense and elegiac work about the nature of love, loneliness, repression and the small poignant moments […]

HOT: Penang Coffee House, 549 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn

Penang Coffee House is the kind of reliable takeaway that everyone wants in their neighbourhood. No frills plastic furniture, hosed-down tiled flooring, a good place to take kids, BYO and large servings of Malay/Thai/Indian/Straits food. RM and I shared a plate of run-of-the-mill samosas (5.80), a tasty but rather soy-soaked hokkien mee ($11.20) and a […]

NOT: Kim Chi Lunchbox, 652 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn

Glenferrie Road is the train station for Swinburne University, so as you’d expect there are lots of takeaway restaurants in close vicinity which cater for poor, hungry students. Several factors led me to Kim Chi Lunchbox: it was open, it wasn’t Indian (no shortage of burp-inducing Indian takeaway around Burwood Road and Glenferrie Road),  it […]

NOT: Helen Garner, Readings Hawthorn, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn

It is a testament to Helen Garner’s evocative prose, tightly written plots and rich characterisations that I started reading her latest novel ‘The Spare Room’ in the morning while pedalling on the gym bike and finished it in the same day on the tram on my way to Readings bookshop to hear her speak about […]

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