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Jul 22, 2012 04:55 PM

Melbourne CBDdining - Monday night at 5/5:30pm??


We will be heading to Melbourne in September. We need to be at the airport by 7:30pm on the Monday but are looking at dining somewhere, preferably near Southern Cross Station, at 5 or 5:30 to be out by 7pm.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I would love to go to a hatted restaurant or similar but most seem to open at 6pm. Any pre-theatre specials are also much appreciated.

It doesn't matter if it isn't right near the Southern Cross Station, but the closer it is, the longer we can stay at dinner!

Many thanks in advance.

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  1. I have done a bit more research and think perhaps Modia Aqui? We were going to got to Movida the night before, before going to a concert at Regent Theatre, but there seems to be a lot more options in that area. So it may work best going to Movida Aqui instead on the Monday night and then on the Sunday going to perhaps either PM 24, Ezard, Grossi Forentino or somewhere else in that vicinity? (once again pre-theatre but a 6pm dinner would work).

    1 Reply
    1. re: keedm002

      Actually Ezard is not open on Sunday's so that is out of the choices!!

    2. Cumulus and Chin Chin are a good bet for that time (both open pretty much all day, 7/7). Not near Southern Cross Station, but you can catch a tram down from Collins St.

      4 Replies
      1. re: karina_h

        Good call, I was going to say Chin Chin but had forgotten about Cumulus.

        Who else is open all day? The City Wine Shop is (assume kitchen is as well), and so is San Telmo (Argentinian parilla).

        Then there will be stuff at Crown, which is the right end of town for the OP: GAS (Italian), Bistro Guillaume (French) are open all day as well.

        1. re: mr_gimlet

          Hi guys, thanks so much. Have decided on the following meal itinerary:

          Breakfast -Auction Rooms
          Lunch - Chin Chin (how busy is it on Sundays - what is the best time to get a table for 2 without too much of a wait?)
          Dinner - MoVida Next Door

          Breakfast - at hotel
          Lunch - Press Club
          Dinner - nil or something light at the airport (figured it is easier having a big lunch and not having to rush a nice dinner)

          Thanks for your help!

          1. re: keedm002

            Sunday lunch at ChinChin will be fine, although I would aim for 12ish if you are able. It typically gets busy between 1 and 2.

            There are a range of views on the Press Club but personally, I find it overrated and wouldn't recommend it as the apex of my Melbourne dining experience. I would suggest you reconsider unless you had a special reason for going there. But this is only my view, and others disagree.

            The airport (assuming international) has a Cafe Vue which is quite good. Obviously it has airport prices, but it is a nice light meal of quite good food.

            1. re: mr_gimlet

              MrG - I was equally unimpressed - but that was a few years ago and has George revamped?

      2. san telmo is ok but i would head to mamasita if you wanted sth american vibes...

        2 Replies
        1. re: cuenca

          Yes, Mamasita is open all day (on Monday, it's closed Sunday) and they start dinner at 430pm.

          Your only risk is that it is no reservations and extremely popular. It is notorious as Melbourne's premier 'stand in an alleyway for two hours' dining experiences. It should be OK at 5pm, but it is still a risk with after work drinks and food.

          cuenca, what do you reckon at that time? ChinChin is normal;l;y starting to get busy.

          1. re: mr_gimlet

            You could also throw in Izakaya Den and Bar Lourinha.

        2. Hi all!

          Have returned from our fleeting visit to Melbourne, breakfast at Auction Rooms was the highlight of our meals. Very professional service, decor was very cool, and food delicious. My partner had a Chia Seed Porridge (served cold) which he loved, I had Duck and Bone Marrow which was so rich and delicious.
          Lunch at Chin Chin was very good, I recommend the Coconut Ice (I think it was called) as a drink, food was delicious but service a bit so/so. We opted for 3 smaller plates, which were perfect as we didn't want a lunch that was too big. Crispy school prawns were delicious, the corn and crab fritters were ok, and the highlight was the salt and pepper squid.
          For dinner we went to Movida Next Door, I have been before and don't think it was as good as I remember, the churros were not that good but the meal in general was good, particularly the prawns. Service was quite good, I was entertained by the open kitchen which I could look in (and particularly entertained by the head chef, who was watching and commenting on a couple behind me who desperately needed a room!) Has a great vibe but I think the food needs a bit more of a spark.
          Breakfast at the Grand Hyatt is really great ($40 a head though so expensive if not included), staff were a bit stuffy however (reception staff on the other hand were some of the best we have ever encountered). I like the Asian options at breakfast and the potatoes and mushrooms were extra delicious.
          Lunch was at Press Club, we almost cancelled as we had not had breakfast as early as anticipated. Service was very good, I really liked the salted cod roe butter with the bread, although I would think it would not be to some peoples taste. Food was all delicious, particularly the salmon. If you don't like butter however I would not suggest it as there was copious amounts of it in everything. Doesn't compare to many of the other great meals we have had, but definitely good value I think at $50 a head (and bottomless sparkling water was only $6 a head which was very reasonable).
          Overall very happy with the choices, and I have to thank you for suggesting Chin Chin as the food was really good!
          Also if anyone is into coffee, Seven Seeds has gone way downhill (my partner threw away his macchiatto!) but Auction Room was excellent and Brother Baba Budan remains excellent as well. St Ali was good coffee, but we didn't like the decor - didn't have the right feel (particularly after we had visited Auction Rooms!). Also visited Dead Man Espresso although only had an iced latte so not sure how their coffee rates. Was very nice setting though.