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Sep 24, 2006 03:15 AM

Leaving in 2 wks for Honeymoon in Australia - need restaurant advice!

Hi, I live in Los Angeles and my fiance and I are going to be leaving in just over 2 wks for a 2-week honeymoon in Australia. Unfortunately, we have just not had time to book restaurants, so we are doing it a little last-minute. However, we do want this to be a culinary tour and cannot wait to experience the cuisine there - it will be our first visit.

We would like some recommendations for our 3 nights in Melbourne and 3 nights in Syndey (also if possible, for our 2 nights in the Yarra Valley and 1 night on the Great Ocean Road - we are staying over in Port Campbell, but those are less important)

So far, from what I have read, we wanted to book (or try to book) at these restaurants in Melbourne - must narrow down the list if we were able to get into all of them:

Flower Drum
Vue de Monde

**What do you think of this list? I added more than 3 b/c we weren't sure and expected we may get shut out, especially at Vue de Monde. We are staying in South Yarra if it matters.

And in Sydney:

Billy Kwong’s or Becasse or Marque
(do not want to continually travel to Surrey Hills, though admit I do not know where that is)

**Wanted to try for Rockpool or Testuya's but they were panned by several people so I was reluctant to pull the trigger. What do you think of the list above? (Location-wise, we are at the Shangri-La if that matters)

Thanks so much,

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  1. Your Melbourne restaurants are good choices. Flower Drum is not as great as it was but still OK. Red Emperor at Southbank has Peking duck I believe is better and cheaper too.
    Vue de Monde is wonderful but at present booked out well in advance. As you are an overseas visitor you may be able to get a table. I would try to talk to them soon. Good Luck.
    We had dinner at Pearl ( in Richmond, a short walk over the river from South Yarra ) last Friday and it was great food and service.
    You can either walk to the Botanical or catch a tram.
    A new restaurant Three One Two, in Drummond St Carlton ( old Mrs Jones restaurant ) has wonderful food too. We had a degustation menu there and enjoyed every bite.

    1. Good list for Sydney. Surry Hills is about 1km from the CBD. Est is superb, Becasse?Marque good, Longrain wonderful (but hard to get a table unless you go early)..Billy Kwong is good but small uncomfortable, noisy and you can't book. You might try China Doll at Woolloomooloo Bay - similar food, great service/view and you can book.If you're feeling French, you might try Bilson's at the Radisson in the CBD, an exquisite dining experience.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sleuth

        Hi - I've got to disagree with the China Doll - not a patch on BKs, or indeed most of China Town.

      2. Hi there !
        We did Flower Drum a few weeks back, it's gone down hill majorly. Try The Tea House, great service and food for half the price. There is no feeling of " occassion" anymore at FD.
        Vue De Monde and Interlude are fabulous. I would ring VDM asap to book..
        I have heard of a restaurant in North Melbourne called the Courthouse... it's next on my wish's getting very good reviews...2 chefs hats, but not sky high prices, yet !
        For a cheapie splurge,, try mud crab in Pacific House Richmond... just turn up and wait for a table.
        Enjoy !!

        1. For a honeymoon - Becasse for sure in Sydney. It's tasteful, excellent food and great for couples. I far preferred it to both Rockpool and Tetsuya.

          In Melbourne, Flower Drum was disappointing based on expectations (rated one of the best Cantonese in the world). It just doesn't excite (but does Cantonese ever excite?). But every dish was perfectly cooked and served - but no creativity just perfect cooking of boring dishes.

          1. Fenix, 680 Victoria St, Richmond, perched on top of the Yarra River with lovely bushy views (yet 10 minutes drive from the CBD)is serving incredibly innovative food in newly renovated premises. Costing roughly A$70/ head for 3 courses with other little taste sensations, it has 1 Hat in the Good Food Guide.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bjrocky

              Actually Fenix served the best meal we had in Australia, but I know they've changed their format recently (and renovated) so I was hesitant to recommend it. What I REALLY liked was that they were prepared to serve wines by the glass - and all were local. This is a place to go BEFORE visiting the Yarra valley to get an idea of what wineries to visit. And we discovered the Geelong wines at Fenix too (just over from Yarra and much smaller). My favourite was the Terra Moorabool Pinot Noir.