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Apr 26, 2012 12:52 PM

Need some help with Melbourne

Hello Down under chowhounds !! I will be in Melbourne in early May for a week and need some recommendations for restaurants. I would like to try a couple mod-oz restaurants and anything else the city would specialize in. This is our first visit to Melbourne so we are kind of lost. Nothing is off limits. Thanks...

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  1. Based on your research so far, what looks interesting to you?

    1. Such a difficult question to answer! Melbourne is teeming with venues.

      Here's a list of the HOT venues in my city.

      Attica is rated 53rd in the San Pellegrino top 100 but would need to be booked well in advance

      Vue de Monde is also innovative has the best views in melbourne and is likely the most expensive. though they have some 'express' deals. If you can't get a reservation have a meal in the salubrious bar and try some of their inventive coctails

      Embrasse is intimate and innovative with a focus on produce grown by the venue's chef
      The Estelle is in a similar vein

      Chef Andrew McConnell has three Mod Oz venues considered the places to be seen, as well as a Gastropub. The food is interesting and of a consistent standard:
      Cutler & Co
      Golden Plains (Asian leanings)
      The Builders Arms (pub)

      The famous ponytail - Neil Perry - has two venues at Crown Casino:
      Rockpool Bar & Grill
      Spice Temple (Spicy Asian dishes)

      There's also a Nobu in the same complex and a super luxe Atlantic seafood restaurant, unbeloved by locals but popular with visitors.

      Masterchef's George Calombaris' most innovative venue is Press Club but his has fingers in other places too.

      Movida is well regarded as innovative Aussie Spanish food, there is also Movida Aqui and Movida next door (tapas)

      Chef Paul Wilson is doing modern local sustainable produce driven food at his casual and fashionable pubs:
      Circa at The Prince
      The Newmarket Hotel
      The Albert Park Hotel
      The Middle Park hotel

      We have also a rich vein of produce driven pubs and Bistro's that focus on heirloom,heritage and principals of slow food with modern interpretations. In no particular order:
      The Wayside
      Rose Diner Bar
      The Vine
      Pei Modern
      Pope Joan
      Next Door Diner
      Gorski & Jones

      People queue for hours to go to the fashionably noisy, Chin Chin (Thai) & Mamasita (Mexican)

      But the reality of Melbourne is that we are a melting pot of immigrants who enjoy the food of 54 other cultures. For example, when in town, David Chang and Anthony Bourdain love Dainty Sichuan for firey Central/South Western Chinese food. We also have some excellent Japanese food that uses our wonderful seafood as its centrepiece, there are a number of izakayas to enjoy.

      All over town are great Malaysian venues, Chillipadi is one of the more gentile - others are cheap and cheerful. In Richmond we have our 'Little Saigon' But stay away from Lygon's Street's 'Little Italy'. There is better Italian food to be found at places such as The Stokehouse - which also has sea views and The Italian downtown. For classic French go to PM24 and innovative French at Jacques Reymond.

      For something fun go to Naked for Satan for Pintxos. Modern Middle Eastern can be eaten at Gigibaba and Rumi - and their unusual pizza place, The Moors Head.

      There's tons more on offer but that should keep you going ;)

      3 Replies
      1. re: stickyfingers

        Lots of good recommendations in here... but a couple of things -

        I'm not that keen on Chillipadi. While the environment is generally ok, I think it is quite overpriced and you can have much better (and cheaper) Malaysian food at Nasi Lemak House in Carlton.

        As someone who has eaten a lot in Japan, be warned Japanese is pretty hit and miss in Melbourne.

        1. re: stickyfingers

          That is a great list...many thanks! What do you recommend for Indonesian? I used to travel to Amsterdam frequently and got hooked on Indonesian. Sadly there is no Indonesian in Toronto.

          1. re: Torontotonto

            This is a controversial one, because Indonesian tends to cater to students = cheap. So there are lots of recommended places, but they are probably at the value end of the spectrum - places like Nelayan and Coconut House in the CBD.

            Of the more expensive places, Warung Angus in North Melbourne is well regarded - it is Javanese.