Fire has gutted a South Melbourne cooking equipment supplies shop, causing an estimated $250,000 damage.
Firefighters were called to the Chef's Hat store in Coventry Street about 3.30 this morning.
At the height of the fire, a rear wall of the building collapsed, blocking access to the seat of the blaze, in a storage area at the rear of the business.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade communications controller Laurie Crowther said crews called in extra resources and aggressively battled the fire from the front of the shop, confining the blaze to the storage area and "significantly" reducing the damage bill.
It took 25 firefighters 90 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
No one was injured.
In April last year the Chef's Hat Store in South Melbourne - specialising in hotelware and catering equipment - had a fire. Since then, I have been lurking there regularly, waiting for the fire damaged stock to come on sale. Well, finally, it has happened. I suppose the investigation has been concluded in so far as insurance etc and in front of the counter now are pallets of fire damaged stock.
I looked in and walked out with a perfect - though ash covered - Scanpan at a third of the retail price and some fabulous stemware priced at 50cents each. On sale there is all manner of items, some charred, covered in ash, dented or damaged, some in perfect condition and although mostly suited to the hospitality industry there are finds for the home cook too.
Terms of the sale are no refund, no exchange, no guarantee and no account payment. Had I a bigger kitchen I would have bought more paraphernalia and there was even a lamp I was eyeing off. I watched more stuff coming out of storage as the stock moved and there were only a modest number of shoppers milling about digging through cartons.
More good news - a new stall has opened next to the famous South Melbourne Market Dim Sim shop. Named Linx it is a Chinese roast meat store which ironically also sells dim sum, including Sui Mai - the dumplings that Aussie Dim Sims were modeled on. The window is sexily filled with glistening examples of Cantonese style roast meats that make my mouth water.
Both dine in and take away is offered, with outdoor seating and also a few tables indoors. The kitchen is on display and a Chinese Sui Mei Master and Dim Sum chef are hard at work, supported by a number of ladies who speak in reverential Cantonese to them.
I have eaten at Linx twice and taken away both Cantonese Roast duck and Char Sui. Both were as good as my father's. I give the dim sum the thumbs up too, including PG's favourite fried footballs, Ham Sui Gok. Also available are Chinese Red Roast sausage, soy sauce chicken and roasted crisp belly pork, which can be eaten on the spot served on rice. The menu has a selection of Malaysian noodles and the bain marie contains the customary western oriented items like lemon chicken, generic stir fries etc.
Luckily for me it is open six days a week (Tues-Sunday) so I no longer have to go to Victoria Street, Richmond for a fix.