The Seven Best Places To Eat And Be Fancy In Melbourne
Melbourne certainly isn’t starving for good food. The vibrant Victorian capital is home to some of Australia’s best dining, with internationally recognised chefs serving up delicious, innovative meals. Deciding on the best Melbourne restaurants to visit during your stay can be daunting!
Even if you visit the same restaurants, chefs are constantly refreshing their menus, experimenting with what’s in season to deliver the flavourful meals that are worth a flight to visit.
Here are some of the best Melbourne restaurants:
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Considered by many to be the best Melbourne restaurant, Attica uses native Australian ingredients such as marron, emu and bunya nuts to deliver a unique, delicate set menu, served to cool marble tables in a sleek dining room. The Melbourne restaurant’s singular multi-course meal is priced at a few hundred dollars per head, plus a couple of hundred more if you want wine pairings as well.
It isn’t somewhere you visit on a whim, and though the restaurant is open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday every week, getting a table isn’t as simple as simply showing up. Bookings for Attica are made available at 9:00AM on the first Wednesday of every month, for three months in advance.
Where: 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
The warmly-lit Flower Drum is a dependable star in the constellation of Melbourne restaurants, having served up delicious Cantonese food for decades and cooked its way into many locals’ hearts. Using local, seasonal produce, Flower Drum has earned a widespread reputation as one of the best Melbourne restaurants, even attracting top chefs to its white tablecloths.
Flower Drum still employs original chef Anthony Lui, and many of its waitstaff have worked in there for decades. This has resulted in consistent excellency rather than stagnation, and skilled, attentive waitstaff who are very familiar with Flower Drum’s kitchen.
If you’re unsure what to order, ask the waitstaff about the Chef’s menu to try some of Lui’s newest creations. Alternatively, for a very special occasion, give Flower Drum two days notice and you and your family can enjoy a hand-roasted whole suckling pig.
Flower Drum is open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday, as well as dinner on Sunday.
Where: 17 Market Lane, Melbourne
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
The crown jewel in Crown Melbourne’s plethora of great dining options is Dinner By Heston Blumenthal.
This Southbank restaurant utilises some unusual ingredients such as snails and red moss, but there are enough familiar ones that diners should feel challenged rather than uncomfortable. Heston Blumenthal has worked with chef Ashley Palmer-Watts since 1999, blending British and Australian cuisine to present aggressively modern dishes inspired by traditional ones.
Those who want to be enchanted not only by the food but also by how it’s made can book Dinner By Heston Blumenthal’s Chef’s Table. Seating six, the Chef’s Table is situated so that diners can observe the kitchen through a glass wall, interacting with the chefs as they enjoy a seven or nine course tasting menu.
Dinner By Heston Blumenthal’s Southbank location is open for dinner every day, as well as lunch on weekends. Reservations can be made online.
Where: Crown Towers, Level 3, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Minamishima is the only Melbourne restaurant voted one of the next 50 great dining destinations by The Diner’s Club International. There is no set menu at Richmond’s sleek sushi restaurant. Instead, chef Koichi Minamishima offers an omakase experience, guiding your meal and carefully crafting each bite.
You have to trust your chef for omakase dining, which puts you completely at their mercy. Fortunately, there are few Melbourne sushi chefs more trustworthy than Mr Minamishima, who has been in the sushi business for 30 years. Shifting with the seasons, each plate carefully considers not only taste but texture, as well as how it plays against the dishes preceding it.
Minamishima delivers both performance and experience as well as a meal, its clean, minimalist style making room for diners to take a moment and really appreciate the food.
Minamishima is open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, and bookings are essential. Reservations open at 12:00PM on the first Tuesday of every month.
Where: 4 Lord Street, Richmond
If you’re looking for a less formal dining experience, Cumulus Inc. on Flinders Lane is the best brunch spot in Melbourne. The menu is geared toward groups, with dishes such as slow roast lamb shoulder designed for sharing paired with a bright environment conducive to friendly conversation.
Cumulus Inc. is part of chef Andrew McConnell’s network of Melbourne restaurants, which includes his flagship fine dining establishment Cutler & Co. Also one of the best Melbourne restaurants, Cutler & Co. is typically rated slightly higher than Cumulus Inc, however the all-day eatery’s more casual atmosphere and less expensive menu make many favour it.
Cumulus Inc. is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Where: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
You won’t find Sunda on many guides to the best Melbourne restaurants. This South East Asian restaurant only opened in 2018, and hasn’t yet had the time to garner widespread attention. Despite this, Sunda has already won a myriad of accolades, and is destined to become one of Melbourne’s next must-visit eateries.
Bringing over a decade of experience to his first head chef position, chef Khanh Nguyen creates innovative South East Asian cuisine with native Australian ingredients, serving a menu unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. Dishes such as otak otak with spinner crab curry and finger lime put an unmistakably Australian touch on Indonesian, Malaysian and Vietnamese favourites — a perfect blend of culinary histories.
Sunda is open for dinner Monday to Saturday, as well as lunch on Friday. Though it accepts walk-ins, reservations are advised and you’d better make them soon. This Melbourne restaurant may be a relatively unknown treasure, but that’s unlikely to be the case for long.
Where: 18 Punch Lane, Melbourne
For those who are after just after a staple lunch haunt, swing by Cargo in Melbourne’s Docklands area for everyday fare that is still deliciously satisfying. This waterfront restaurant offers a terrific view of the Yarra River as you dine on pizza, pasta and burgers. Drop by in the evening, and you’ll also be treated to a lovely sunset view.
Out of this list of best Melbourne restaurants, Cargo is the best option for families, offering reasonable prices and a kid’s menu to boot. If you’re in Melbourne for a few days and Attica has you nursing your bank account, you can pop in at this Docklands bistro for a tasty meal that won’t eat through your holiday budget.
Cargo is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
Where: 55A Newquay Promenade, Docklands
(Lead Image: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal/Facebook)