Melbourne Food Guide: The Must Try Best Melbourne Restaurants
Melbourne is indeed a city for foodies – having the reputation for one of the best coffees of the world, excellent fresh produce, a melting pot of cultures from across the globe and of all the Masterchef series – I dare say Australia ones are simply the best. The food culture has grown so much in Australia and Melbourne has thrived on that. It is therefore my pleasure to dine in some of the top restaurants in Melbourne, and to introduce them to my readers. I must thank Royal Brunei Airlines for choosing me as their Royal Brunei Blogger Outreach Program to write about the food scene of Melbourne. If you’re travelling to Melbourne, these are my choices for best restaurants in Melbourne. In this post – I will write about restaurants from both medium price range and high end price range. Here are the BEST and Must Try Melbourne Restaurants!
Mid Range Pricing Restaurants
Adam d’Sylva’s Bistro showcases a fusion menu, combining South East Asian influences especially from Thailand and Vietnam with Australian cuisine. It’s located at the famous Flinders lane, and you will like their modern minimalistic ambiance.
I absolutely loved their appetizers! The spanner crab, wrapped with lime betel leaf and fried in tempura batter is absolutely delicious. The soft shell crab Vietnamese roll is another interesting appetizer.
I’m a fan of their steak tartare with quail egg and melba toast, as well as their blackened quail. Great flavours in smaller bites.
When I see roasted duck curry on the menu, I had to try it – especially when it comes highly recommended by the waiter. I love the perfectly roasted duck which goes very well with the yellow curry, not too hot and slightly saltier but it’s very good with steamed rice.
For me, my favourite dish at Coda is this beautiful dessert, A dark chocolate crunchy ganache with a good mandarin and licorice finish.
141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000
Pei Modern is a bistro version of Mark Best who hails from Sydney. It offers a more affordable bistro dining. Located at Collins Place, Pei Modern’s offers modern Australian cuisine that will intrigue your foodie tastebuds.
The Snapper Tartare, chopped up raw snapper in a marinade is refreshingly delicious and served with rice crackers. Great textural contrast between minced snapper and crispy crunchy crackers. Very good appetizer!
Sensational fried sunny side up duck egg, with jerusalem artichokes and truffle sauce! Bravo!
The Bass Grouper fillet with kale and caviar is swoon worthy too ~~ *slurps*
If you enjoy pasta, go for this hearty Casarecce pasta, served with chicken dumplings and Regianno sauce. Rich, creamy goodness on a plate.
Finish your meal with this unique light tasting dessert: Sorrel Sorbet, with hibiscus and honeycomb ~ this is especially good ending to a lunch, so you don’t walk out feeling sleepy from the heavy food!
Pei Modern Restaurant
45 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD
One of my favourite Masterchef Australia judge, George Calombaris, recently decided to turn his high range dining Press Club, and turned it into a more casual, warm Greek restaurant, Gazi, which has drawn quite a good loyal crowd eager to try modern Greek food.
They have a good range of Greek wines to match with their food – such as these yummy appetizers, Grilled Cheese with Cumquat Saganaki, currants, mustard seeds to the left and Moschari spanakopita – a yummy braised beef cheeks fili pastry appetizer to the right.
Grilled Pumpkin, stuffed with goat’s cheese curds, chestnuts and salad leaves. I wished there was more cheese for the caramelized grilled pumpkin.
The souvlakakia – mini souvlakis are very popular here – I tried a few and highly recommend the soft shell crab and the duck ones. Delicious! They even put chips (french fries) in some of them!
We really liked the Flinders Island Arni Kleftiko which is a slow braised lamb shoulder, pearl cous cous with an interesting chewy texture, feta, kalamata olives. Very tender lamb and a good comfort food!
George’s famous pavlova that was actually featured on masterchef! It has a meringue shell – when you crack open – will reveal the ice cream inside!
Video of the magic happening ~~~
*crack* Say hello to your surprise! A playful beautiful dessert worthy to be instavideod!
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne CBD
Jang Gun Korean Restaurant
While many would recommend Gami for good Korean Fried Chicken, Jang Gun is a very underrated Korean Restaurant you should check out. The best part is that it opens from 5pm till late hours, so it’s a good after hours place to have a few sojus with spicy Korean cuisine. Yuk Hae, the Korean style beef tartare or raw beef with an egg on top is a must try! Good dish to order and share.
The Koreans really know how to fry their chicken and the fried chicken here is very crispy yet moist on the inside. Seriously good fried chicken – super good for supper!
Jang Gun Restaurant
Healeys Lane, Melbourne CBD
Chin Chin Restaurant
Chin Chin restaurant was on top of Urbanspoon for quite a while and it’s quite a long wait to get a table at Chin Chin. I remembered waiting at least 90 minutes for a table, and we actually went to a nearby coffee shop just to wait for our table. Chin Chin is a mid range dinner place featuring South East Asian fusion dishes. I would go for the ‘feed me’ option to try a range of Chin Chin specialties.
Fusion style appetizers: Kingfish sashimi and corn coriander fritters
The barbecued goat with raita (yoghurt) – was a spicy and sweet flavour packed tender goat that goes so well with the yoghurt to finish. Super thumbs up and my favourite dish of the night!
Yummer fusion style fish and green mango salad!
You just gotta love a creamy wholesome green curry chicken with salted duck eggs! Delicious!
There were quite a few other dishes which were good as well – and we also have three desserts – heres the banana roti with condensed milk, with coconut sago, puffed rice, corn ice cream and praline. Super yummy and really showcases a marriage of strong South East Asian flavours and techniques!
Chin Chin Restaurant
125 Flinders Ln, Melbourne CBD
Mamasita is a famous cosy Mexican restaurant located on the first floor of Collins street. Simple straightforward décor but the friendly service works a charm in this establishment.
Yowzers! Harbanero hot sauce in the house!
I really love the powerful punch from the dips and condiments. Simply beautiful!
You can order many mini bite sized tacos *smacks lips*
Or these yummy looking tortillas! The tortillas and tacos are pretty good here – but I say – the most iconic dish in Mamasita is not their tacos or tortillas – it’s actually their corn – would you believe it? I couldn’t believe it either!
Elote – simply the best grilled corn I’ve ever tasted in my life! Many restaurants have served Elote to me – and I even tried making them myself – but nothing comes close to Mamasita’s version. If you haven’t tried this at Mamasita – it would be a #foodcrime !
They do have other great main courses on the menu such as this gorgeous sliced roast ~~ so do check out the rest of the menu!
Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD
Madaeya Izakaya Bar
Madaeya is an Izakaya Bar, famous for the Japanese art of grilling and sake. Chef Toshi Maeda is a sake expert who specializes in pairing Japanese food with sake but even if you don’t drink alcohol – the grilled items are simply irresistible! You will need to make reservations and take a tram to Richmond.
oh yes ~~ the art of Sumiyaki ~~ charcoal grilled skewers! There’s quite a lot to choose – and you’ll be spoiled for choice.
*drools* How can you resist ?
It’s sometimes cheaper to order a set of the basics ~~
Or just go for your favourites like chicken skin or unagi (eel) – ooooh yes!
There’s also sashimi or other Japanese food if you want – but I’m sticking to the quality grilled skewers!
Maedaya Sake and Grill
400 Bridge Road
D.O.C. Pizza and Mozarella Bar
If you love pizzas, you simply must check out D.O.C Pizza and Mozarella Bar, a busy pizza place at Carlton. Enter and you can feel the energy from the open kitchen and the warm friendly waiting staff. They serve quite a range of European beers and wines to match with the pizza, but for me, beer goes best with pizzas!
They have gorgeous prosciutto, freshly shaved as well as a range of different mozarella cheeses for you to enjoy. For pizzas, you can go for the classic mozarella with tomatoes pizza or vegetarian non meat options to cater to your dietary needs.
I highly recommend their prosciutto and pesto with mozarella pizza, but for halal or vegetarian options, their truffle mushrooms with cheese is spectacular too!
Their Goat’s Cheese Tiramisu is so so good too! So good – I wished I didn’t have to share it! #foodieproblems. For great pizzas, D.O.C Pizza and Mozarella Bar is a must try when you visit Melbourne!
D.O.C Pizza and Mozarella Bar
295 Drummond St | Carlton
High End Pricing Restaurants
Cutler & Co
Owned by Andrew McConnell, Cutler & Co is a lovely fine dining establishment at Fitzroy. When I asked the waitress for their specialties, she replied that the menus are constantly changing and focuses on the freshest produce and ingredients available. They were fully booked but I managed to get myself a seat at the bar, which is a blessing in disguise because I get to watch the chefs in action the whole night! A foodie’s dream! PS: Did I mention the chef’s pretty good looking here? I posted a video of him preparing a salad and the girls were really impressed.
Watch the video of the handsome chef in action. I’ll let you be the judge – is he going to be too much of a distraction for you? Hee hee
The Spanner Crab served with deep fried curry leaves and spices brings out the lovely flavours of this Australian seafood.
I really enjoyed ordering three different types of oysters, which all had different mineral content and texture, well explained by the lovely waitress.
I must say the flounder, with smoked mussels, on a leek and brown butter sauce is so so good! Good crispy skin and perfectly cooked flesh, and the smoked mussels make this my favourite dish of the night!
I had a yummy New Zealand Venison served with quince and burnt onions. Quite an interesting combination which goes well with the gamey flavours but I would say it’s over-shadowed by the flounder dish.
Cutler & Co
55–57 Gertrude St., Fitzroy 3065
Melba Restaurant at Langham Hotel
If there was only one buffet you could eat in Melbourne, I suggest going over to Melba restaurant in Langham (South Bank) for their seafood buffet! It’s got quite a luxurious spread of seafood and meats, as well as desserts, specializing in Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Western cuisines in their buffet spread.
Fresh oysters, crabs, mussels and prawns at the seafood bar ~ mmmm ~~~
As part of the yummy seafood – they have a Japanese chef to prepare sushi and sashimi for you! Just order what you want and the chef will slice and make them for you ~~
I asked for her to put some diced salmon sashimi on my oysters, as well as a good mix of sashimi, with a soft shell crab sushi wrap ~~ mmmmmm ~~ ITADAKIMASU!!
More sashimi and soft shell crab please ~~~ *drools*
They have Peking duck and other Chinese style roasts and various dim sum in their buffet lineup too ~~
One thing I love about their buffet is custom made naan, that is made fresh to order by the chef ~~ it’s a joy to watch him make the naan and put it on the tandoor oven! Enjoy it with a whole range of Indian curry dishes ~ such as the butter chicken ~ mmm
Click on the link for my more detailed blogpost on the Melba Restaurant Buffet!
1 Southgate Avenue | The Langham, Southbank, Melbourne
(61) (3) 8696 8888
Located at the basement of the Adelphi Hotel, Ezard restaurant, they have a very simple – white and elegant ambience to make use of the long narrow space available in the restaurant. Ezard has been around for some time, quietly winning awards after awards despite the current competitive Melbourne market. Just a few months ago, they scooped best restaurant award from Victorian Savour Australia! Expect Chinese Thai influences in Ezard’s modern Australian dishes!
I went for their degustation menu and was wowed by one of the most delicious oyster I’ve ever tasted. The oysters are served with a mirin infused with ginger and wasabi, in which you will get a punch of sweet spicy flavours from the wasabi-ginger combo, cucumber sorbet and yuzu jelly! An amazing start to your meal. #bestOysterEver
Ezard’s tuna sashimi on the left and spanner crab dumpling on the right, with a good coconut tom kha soup – *smacks lips*
Black Fig and pickled beetroot salad with interesting contrasting textures and flavours on the left, and a spicy steamed mulloway fish fillet. Strong bold flavours!
Their signature chinese style roasted duck breast served with massaman curry is a good combination and I will definitely try to copy this when I go back to Brunei. A good amount of fatty duck skin with ketupat like texture rice and the rock melon add’s a refreshing texture and pleasing finish to this dish!
The chestnut and yuzu semifreddo was pretty interesting and the textural contrast with the caramel popcorn and bitterness of the chocolate moss, with the sweet sour yuzu gives this a refreshing and light finish.
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD
The Point Restaurant
The Point restaurant is a modern classy restaurant famous for steaks with a long history in Melbourne, and boasting one of the best lakeside views, with their window walls, allowing you to enjoy the scenic lake view. The service is excellent and the waiting staff really know their stuff, giving you good explanations for the dishes. A great place for lunch in my opinion – bask in the lovely view and great classy ambience.
A very delicious appetizer – foei gras with chicken jus and poached pear – an exquisite start to my lunch! Melt in your mouth goodness! #omg #foodorgasm
If you’re a steak lover – be sure to try out their steak tasting platter, consisting of 100gs of three different porterhouse steaks with different marbling scores and types – ranging from Wagyu to Rangers Valley to Black Angus! The waiter was there to give me an educational understanding of the three different types of steaks. My favourite is the Wagyu but having this is an educational meal for those who want to taste the difference in quality of steaks! An educational must try experience for foodies!
While waiting for dessert, I checked out their special temperature controlled fridge, which displays gorgeous cuts of meat – ready to be sizzling on hot pans, and served to your table ~~ *drools*
Black truffle from Manjimup, Western Australia is currently the latest foodie trend in Melbourne, as many restaurants I went to were promoting them.
It can’t get more luxurious than this! Shaved black truffle on top of a white chocolate souffle, #OMG #truffle #gourmet Needless to say I enjoyed and savored every bite ~~
The Point Restaurant
Aquatic Drv, Albert Part, Melbourne
As a foodie, I’ve collected a few cookbooks of Neil Perry and I’m excited to dine in his restaurant at Rockpool, which features open kitchen steak house, where you can watch chefs grill high quality steaks! Besides steaks, they also got quite a lot of classic dishes from the menu.
One of the popular dishes is their Four Raw Tastes, four types of sashimi on a plate, ranging from light to bold flavours from left to right. Starting with Hiramasa Kingfish with tea smoked oysters, and blanched cos lettuce, Ocean Trout with preserved lemon and harissa, Yellowfin Tuna with sliced ginger, coriander and jalepenos, and lastly a scampi ceviche. A very refreshing delicious start to your meal.
The wood fire grilled Freemantle octopus is lightly charred with a smoky taste, great texture and seasoned properly. Yummers!
Simply gorgeous grilled King Prawns with Goats Cheese stuffed Tortellini, served on a fragrant Burnt Butter, Raisins and Pine Nuts. This dish might be familiar if you’ve dined at Din’s Bistro in Brunei before – it’s so good – it’s copied but the version at Rockpool is very delicious! I love how there’s a crisp texture to the prawns, yet juicy and goes very well with the rich buttery sauce.
Of course – how can you come to Rockpool, which is famous for their steaks, and not try it? They have quite a big range of steaks but I highly recommend the Wagyu beef with a marble score rating of 9, meaning it has more marbling, which means gorgeous juicy steaks! Or you could try their dry aged Angus Beef, tender goodness! Be sure to go medium rare for your steaks – a good quality steak should never be well done or medium well! #foodcrime
Passionfruit Pavlova at Rockpool is beautiful to look at and I was shocked by it’s size! How can I finish it alone?! Definitely one to share with your date – the pavlova has a good crisp and the insides felt like soft clouds melting in your mouth ~~ with a rich chantily cream and passionfruit curd to finish. Ooo so so good!
Rockpool Bar and Grill
8 Whiteman Street, Crown Complex
Flower Drum is a high end Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, which has earned lots of awards for it’s excellence in terms of food and service. It is one of the three hatted restaurants in Melbourne, and people often treat VIP guests or people they want to impress in Flower Drum. The price is on the higher end of the scale but the service here is top notch and bound to impress your guests.
I begin my meal with two of their signatures – pearl meat, which is essentially sliced quality abalone stir fried to perfection and served with asparagus spears on shell to look like pearl meat. On the right is a wholesome shredded duck meat with bamboo shoots in consommé.
You might have tasted fish noodles or Yee mian before but Flower Drum uses barramundi fish to make these premium quality fish noodles, which has better texture and none of the fishy smell.
I have to say their lamb springroll is amazing – it’s a Saltgrass lamb brisket, cooked in a stew, wrapped in springrolls with water chestnut, ginger and red dates, deep fried and then served with gravy from the lamb stew. Brilliant!
Their Peking duck is one of the best I’ve tasted and they will wrap it in front of you, plus make a cute duck design with your peking duck wraps. Lips smacking good!
These vegetarian stuffed eggplants are dipped in batter and fried till crispy and seasoned with five spiced salt and served on a bed of deep fried enoki mushrooms.
Dinner usually ends with these yummy pastry like almond cookies. Pretty good too!
Flower Drum Restaurant
17 Market Ln, Melbourne CBD
Vue De Monde
I must admit – out of all the restaurants I’ve dined in Melbourne, the one that impressed me the most was Vue De Monde. So I saved the best for the last. You need to actually book 3 months in advanced at least to get a seat – and I highly recommend their $250 degustation menu! Simply stunning by famous Shannon Bennett and head chef Cory Campbell! Located at the 55th floor where you can have a beautiful night view of Melbourne CBD, the ambiance is very posh, and romantic – a good place to propose after an amazing meal!
This is a popular dish that actually appeared on Masterchef Australia, the special duck yolk, pear and truffle dish. Gorgeous slow cooked duck yolks – with sliced pears, herbs and truffles – the yolks go so well with the sliced pears which help balanced its richness!
This is the delicious Marron, a shellfish from Western Australia, cooked in brown butter and you pick it up with your hands – and dip it with the pine mushroom dip ~ SO GOOD!
One of the best desserts I’ve had ~ the Tonka Bean Souffle with chocolate ganache and a smoked chocolate ice cream ~~ simply EPIC!
All I can say is – if you are thinking of visiting Melbourne, be sure to make your reservations at least 3 to 4 months in advanced!
In fact, Vue De Monde is so good – I simply had to write a separate post for them ~~ to read more about Vue De Monde, do check out this link
Vue De Monde Restaurant
525 Collins Street | Rialto Building 55th. Floor, Melbourne CBD
This concludes my Melbourne Food Guide for the best restaurants! Do check out my other food guides on Melbourne!
Click on the link for the best breakfast and brunch places in Melbourne!
Click on the link for the best afternoon tea and high tea places in Melbourne!